31e législature, 1re session

L053 - Thu 17 Nov 1977 / Jeu 17 nov 1977

The House resumed at 8:15 p.m.


Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Haldimand-Norfolk had the floor.

Mr. G. I. Miller: Mr. Speaker, it’s certainly a pleasure for me to continue the budget debate tonight; it must be two weeks ago tonight when I began, I believe.

Mr. Ruston: A long time for the hon. member to speak.

Mr. G. I. Miller: I’ve been ready. They had me up, they had me down, had me on and had me off, but tonight I have the opportunity of finishing the remarks I would like to contribute to this House on behalf of the riding of Haldimand-Norfolk.

Mr. Samis: Just make sure it is worth waiting for.

Mr. G. I. Miller: It is one of the finest areas in Ontario, I must say, Mr. Speaker: It is certainly a pleasure for me to bring these remarks to you tonight and be able to participate in the democratic system.

After 35 years of Conservative domination I think it’s time for a change and I’m glad to see our ex-Speaker in the House. I think with the Liberal caucus we have today with a few more additions we could just go over Ontario and do a heck of a good job for the province.

Mr. Samis: It’s one of those nights.

Mr. G. I. Miller: I would like to start out tonight by taking us back a little bit to the past election. The Premier of Ontario (Mr. Davis) visited Simcoe and he made promises. We have the towns and development in our area. We have South Cayuga -- which along with Pickering and Edwardsburgh contributed to the spending of something like, I don’t know, it must be close to $300 million. Pickering, of course was the biggest expenditure -- something like $240 million -- and the government hasn’t utilized that yet. I think it just indicates that the Hon. John White, the Treasurer of the day, misled us on the requirements of the province and perhaps over-extended himself. The fact is he picked up four town sites and two of those happened to be in my riding.

It is an interesting time to be involved in the democratic system, in the political aspect of Ontario, because we are perhaps in the most difficult times. Going back as far as the Thirties -- and everybody thinks I may be a young guy but I can well recall the Thirties, when 25 cents was 25 cents. If you had a nickel on Saturday night to go to town with you thought yourself real lucky.

Mr. Maeck: That must have been when the Liberals were in power.

Mr. G. I. Miller: I think we want to make sure we spend our dollars well. I would like to say the Premier promised that we’d get back the Townsend town site. He made a promise back in the election campaign -- June 9, in the charter, it all came out. He came into my riding and he made a lot of comments about my potential and the potential of the other candidates -- and I think I mentioned the other night that we did have a good campaign. The people spoke. I feel proud to represent the riding and I intend to do that to the best of my ability.

On his visit to Simcoe during the recent election campaign the Premier promised that the 10 existing municipalities in my riding would be allowed to get the growth they needed until this new Townsend town site was initiated. Every day in my riding of Haldimand-Norfolk we have a constant effort on the part of the government and their high-powered public relations people, promoting an early start for the Townsend site.

I would say I’m not against it beginning, if it’s needed, but I’m not in favour of it until that point in time.

I think they have a plan, and the initial stages have been finalized.

I might point out, too, the members of that committee include the hon. member for York North (Mr. Hodgson) and I think the former member, the hon. James Allan, for whom I have a lot of respect. It’s made up of some five local people including the mayor of Nanticoke. I think it’s very important that either my colleague, the hon. member for Brantford-Oxford-Norfolk (Mr. Nixon) or somebody who is a little closer to the people should be on that committee to represent the wishes of the people -- so that we have good local input by the people elected from that particular area.

Surveys have been made of the existing municipalities. On a Sunday afternoon there’s no finer place in Ontario than Haldimand-Norfolk if you want to take a drive.

Mr. Wildman: Sunday afternoons?

Mr. G. I. Miller: Norfolk county is sandy. We grow tobacco, we grow apples -- you name it; we can do it in Norfolk. Haldimand county is not quite so fortunate --

Mr. Makarchuk: Some of them are diversifying into grass.

Mr. G. I. Miller: -- but we do have the Grand River which is a real asset. Haldimand county in particular has sat dormant for years.

Mr. Haggerty: Dormant?

Mr. G. I. Miller: It has been dormant, but it’s beginning to move now. it will stay dormant, I assure you, unless the government gives us some support. We have to have some assistance.

We have towns like Dunnville with a population of 5,000 people, and I think it has a capacity to grow to 10,000. We have Cayuga, which hasn’t been recognized but has been the county town of the former county of Haldimand, now the region of Haldimand-Norfolk, with about 1,000 people. Caledonia, Hagersville and Jarvis.

In Norfolk we have Port Dover, we have Simcoe. We have Waterford, we have Delhi and we have Port Rowan. I think in all those municipalities we have a potential for roughly 25,000 or 30,000 people. I think they’ve already committed themselves to an expenditure of $12 million to upgrade the services in Dunnville, in Caledonia, in Simcoe, in Port Dover, in Waterford, and in Delhi.

Mr. Haggerty: Not 300,000 like White had it.

Mr. G. I. Miller: I think we wouldn’t be doing justice to that particular area if they weren’t given the opportunity to grow, to have people come in to help pay for those services, without the beginning of the Townsend town site.

I think the Premier indicated that it would grow, under the direction of the regional council. And, I think under Keith Richardson, who was elected by the people. He was nominated by the regional council, which I think was one of the first regional councils in Ontario that had an elected chairman. I think that is a step in the right direction. In order to make our regional municipalities work, we have to make sure the democratic system works. Then we will get effective government. I think this applies not only to my region, but also to the province of Ontario.

Of course, we have to sell it to the people and we have to earn that right. And that’s not easy.

Mr. Baetz: You can say that again.

Mr. Maeck: You guys have made it hard to sell.

Mr. G. I. Miller: Not really, not when you’ve got the talent. As I look around my caucus, I think we have the talent.

Mr. Samis: Where is it?

Mr. G. I. Miller: Tonight they’re not here, but I’ll tell you, they’re working someplace. You have to admit that, George.

Mr. Makarchuk: At the old fish market?

Mr. G. I. Miller: They’re working. It’s been a long day today.

Mr. Wildman: Murray, did you hear what he said? They’re not here tonight. The talent’s not here tonight.

Mr. Makarchuk: Are they down at the Sheraton with PET?

Mr. Speaker: Will you please allow the hon. member for Haldimand-Norfolk to continue uninterrupted?

Mr. G. I. Miller: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Makarchuk: We would like to accuse him of being provocative.

Mr. G. I. Miller: I do not say that ultimately a new town will not be needed in that area of Ontario, in my riding of Haldimand-Norfolk but let orderly growth proceed in the existing communities, assisting them to absorb, for the present, those who are coming into the area by providing proper water and sewage systems. I think we should spend that money in the area, rather than spending it in advertising to promote existing towns. I think that the province of Ontario should be considered as another developer. They shouldn’t be able to take advantage of public funds to promote and take advantage of the existing municipalities. That is a must.

Mr. Makarchuk: You’re going to get your hands caught in the cookie jar the way you talk.

Mr. G. I. Miller: Do you think I will, Mac? We’ll see about that.

The cost of this would be far less than the cost of development of what will prove to be a ghost town for years to come. That’s what I’m concerned about.

Mr. Gaunt: My colleague has always been adept at putting his hands into cookie jars.

Mr. G. I. Miller: Get them into a specific area, rather than spreading them throughout a community. That provides no scope for enrichment or enlargement of their interests, beyond what the present situation offers. The same could be said to be true of the totally industrial-oriented society placed in the centre of an agricultural area.

I would like to point out that this has been an agricultural area; it perhaps still could be. We have an industrial park of 6,500 acres which is owned by Stelco and is being developed by Stelco. We have the Texaco oil company which owns 1,400 acres and they already have their pipeline hooked up.

Mr. Makarchuk: Don’t forget about the fish plant, and the fish market.

Mr. G. I. Miller: They’re a good outfit, Mac. The member for Brantford utilizes those services down at Port Dover and he has to admit they’re pretty good. For a Socialist and a guy who owns a boat, I don’t know.

Mr. Makarchuk: Don’t forget the herring.

Mr. G. I. Miller: It is a tremendously interesting area and it certainly provides much employment over a period of time, especially now. I think Texaco is employing something like 3,200 people; they’ve peaked at 3,500. When they come on stream I think it’s about 300 that they will employ. Stelco, I think, are employing something over 2,000.

Hydro, of course, are supposed to be completely on stream by 1978. They’re topping off now, but again, they’re having problems with their equipment as you all know. Last year they had difficulties with some of their generators and some of their material that was provided. I might say it was imported from overseas, Great Britain, perhaps. It has caused considerable problems, however, the potential is there. It will be perhaps the world’s largest fossil-fired generating station, producing some four million kilowatts.

Mr. Maeck: What about all that black smoke?

Mr. G. I. Miller: Black smoke? They’re certainly going to require coal. They have depended on the American market, but now they are changing over to western coal and they are blending it in.

Mr. Makarchuk: And you have an expert from the United States.

Mr. G. I. Miller: Okay, getting back to the ranch.

New people in this region should be integrated and involved in the existing community. They should become acquainted and involved in the existing community. They should become acquainted with and mellowed to the life of this area, rather than creating an island of immigrants.

Caledonia, Dunnville, Cayuga and Hagersvilie in the County of Haldimand, Jarvis and Port Dover, the city of Nanticoke and Waterford, Delhi, Port Rowan and Simcoe need encouragement and revitalization. They need new industry to create new jobs for those who are presently unemployed in the area and to provide a better and more evenly balanced tax revenue. Traffic can be kept to a minimum if work is provided in existing towns. This is important once Stelco comes on stream with their --


Mr. Makarchuk: Not if the Liberals cut them off at the pipe.

Mr. G. I. Miller: -- industrial park. That’s really what they are providing that plant for. It has been geared all along for them to provide the raw materials required for the pipe.

Mr. Makarchuk: That’s right and the Arabs are giving that to the Americans.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Brantford is about fourth on my list.

Mr. Haggerty: You would never know.

Mr. G. I. Miller: Again, Mr. Speaker, I would like to indicate the industrial park area is zoned heavy industry. It is important we keep heavy industry in that particular area and I would expect and hope the other industries, like commercial and light industrial, would be provided for the existing municipalities. I cannot speak exclusively for my riding but we do have the 10 existing municipalities which need work, which need employment opportunities. They should be, and I think they will be located there under the leadership of the present council. They will provide the industrial areas so necessary to provide that work.

I might point out too, to provide a lifeline to the area especially from Port Colborne -- and I think my colleague from Erie will support the idea -- we do need a new route from Port Colborne to the industrial park. There is no significant east-west transportation corridor. It is strictly provided in my riding of Haldimand-Norfolk by the region of Haldimand-Norfolk and I don’t think we can expect the region to pick up all the expenses of providing transportation. It has to be up to the province to provide an east-west corridor. They provided the QE and of course, where you get an expressway such as that, it attracts the development.

In order to provide the development, say, along the Grand River, up to the town of Dunnville, you have to provide an east-west corridor. Not that old winding, scenic route, beautiful if you want to go for a Sunday afternoon drive. If you want to provide a service, it has to be upgraded and it has to be on the priority list as far as this government is concerned. If the Minister of Transportation and Communications (Mr. Snow) is here tonight, and even if he isn’t, I hope he gets the message because I think it is a necessity.

These towns are a part of the heritage of this region and they cannot be ignored. We have 10 existing municipalities and they cannot be ignored; I have to speak out on their behalf. The Premier promised Townsend would not go until the people wanted it. It is still very fresh in their mind and I challenge him and his government to keep this promise. The dollars being spent for most of this dream city could be better spent now in updating and improving facilities in existing municipalities.

A new school is being provided in the village of Jarvis and it has long been needed; the contract has just been let. Hopefully the Lions’ Club, which has wanted a new project, could see that a swimming pool is connected with this school with input from the community. We would be one of the first in that particular region to have a facility with a swimming pool. Our boys and girls might be able to learn to swim at an early age. I know it’s going to be costly.

Mr. Hennessy: How about allowances?

Mr. G. I. Miller: Allowances? I would hope there could be some funding available from Wintario or Community and Social Services, but I would certainly like to see this develop along with the school so that it can be tied in. Many swimming pools provided by many clubs can be utilized only four months of the year, whereas if we had one in connection with the school it could be a community facility. I think this is the philosophy of the Minister of Education (Mr. Wells).

The school is funded by public money, it should be utilized by the community as a whole -- not only by the young students but by everyone in the community. I would think it a step in the right direction and I would hope this might be built in my home town of Jarvis.

We have many other schools. We have a good secondary school at Cayuga. We have good secondary schools in Caledonia, in Dunnville, in Simcoe, in Port Dover, and in Valley Heights, at the far end of the Norfolk riding. So we are well equipped with schools.

As we all know, the school population is going down; I don’t know what is the matter with our folks, they don’t seem to be raising the families we did. There is a time and a place for everything, and you can wait too long.

Mr. Hennessy: They don’t have the time.

Mr. G. I. Miller: Too much television? However, they are good, first-class facilities and I would hope the existing; municipalities might be utilized so we don’t have to bus them all over the riding. The existing municipalities could be expanded and those facilities utilized.

Caledonia, for instance, has a small high school, but it produces some of the finest students in Ontario. They would like to turn that school into a public school and build a new school. They have the site there and everything needed for a new secondary school, but the population doesn’t warrant the expense.

Caledonia is on the Grand River, one of the finest streams in southern Ontario -- it was the highway 100 years ago, but we can’t get up past Dunnville under our present system. I think it has to be --

Mr. Makarchuk: It is a reflection of Tory rule for 35 years.

Mr. G. I. Miller: That is right, 35 years is too long.

Mr Makarchuk: It took God millions of years to put the river in there and they screwed it up in 35 years.

Mr. G. I. Miller: That’s right, so true. I think there is a possibility for development and we have to take these things into consideration.

The grant for educational purposes received in a rural area such as Haldimand-Norfolk does not enable these boards to provide anything in the way of extra facilities or enriched programs such as are enjoyed by large urban centres. Most of the children must be bused to school and the major portion of the school budget must therefore be spent in the cost of transportation. For instance, the Haldimand board of education’s 1977 budget for school busing is $797,472, and the Norfolk beard of education’s budget is $1,071,387. You can see, Mr. Speaker, that it is a significant cost.

I realize that the province subsidizes the busing facilities and I appreciate that. But it still comes out of the members’ pockets and my pocket, and I think it has to be a consideration.

The total overall budget for education in Ontario is about 25 per cent of the $13 billion provincial budget. We think it may be free, but actually it isn’t free, because we all have to contribute towards it. As a legislator at Queen’s Park, it is a concern of mine.

Expansion through growth in population and industrial growth would allow these boards the full use of their facilities through increased tax revenue. Full classrooms would be a more economical use of these existing schools.

There is a need for a water system for the communities in the area surrounding the Nanticoke development. And I must point out Hagersville has the poorest water quality of any municipality in Ontario. It is sulphurous. We have an adequate supply, but it is tremendously hard, and there within 12 miles -- I think the pipeline comes two miles into Texaco property, that’s about nine piles -- they could be hooked into the water intake at the Nanticoke generating station. I give the government credit -- when they put in the water intakes to supply water for the generating station they put in an oversized one so that it would supply not only the region of Haldimand-Norfolk, but I think it would even supply water to that good city of Brantford --

Mr. Makarchuk: Not only Brantford, but Kitchener as well.

Mr. G. I. Miller: That’s right. I think the potential there is for something like 450 million gallons per day.

Mr. Haggerty: Ten years ago that plan was born.

Mr. G. I. Miller: I can understand why Brantford doesn’t want the water. I had an opportunity to take a tour of the Grand River conservation authority area just a month or so ago.

I looked at the water that supplies Brantford and, so help me, before they do anything with it, there’s water back some place -- I wouldn’t want to say it -- that doesn’t look very good. It’s poor quality. After they run it through the fan mill, through the sand and everything, it comes out as A-1 quality. They can produce that water at 22 cents per thousand gallons and it may even go up to 25. The province puts in this water intake and sells it to the region of Haldimand-Norfolk for 85 cents per thousand gallons wholesale. When the region gets done providing it to the community, it’s going to cost them about $1.13.

Mr. Makarchuk: The Tories will rip you off even on the water.

Mr. G. I. Miller: You’re right and it’s free water. Everybody owns that resource. I’ve also made a resolution in the last House and I intend to put it on the order paper this time that everyone should have the right to a good supply of clean water.

Mr. Ziemba: Even Brampton.

Mr. G. I. Miller: Why should we have water like this in Toronto and why should I in my riding of Haldimand-Norfolk have to drink that old sulphur water when it’s right there? You can get your hands on it but you can’t put the pipe in because they say it’s going to cost 85 cents per thousand gallons, whereas in the rest of Ontario, and I think we’ve researched it out, it averages about 52 cents per thousand.

I think it has to be an injustice that the region signed a contract with the province to accept this water at 85 cents per thousand gallons at a wholesale rate and will retail it to the municipalities for $1.13. It is a bit of a ripoff and I would like to have that investigated. If I stay here long enough, they’ll answer for that.

Mr. Haggerty: You will be here for a long time.

Mr. Ruston: As long as you want to be.

Mr. G. I. Miller: That’s Gordon Sinclair’s water. What does Gordon Sinclair say they put in that?

Mr. Gaunt: Fluoride.

Mr. G. I. Miller: We won’t say what he says but anyway you’ll keep your teeth. We have that water intake there. They have the pipeline into Texaco. They put a 17- or 18-inch line into Texaco. The water is already in there now. They could have extended that on to Jarvis down the Hydro right of way to Hagersville but they didn’t do that. They said, “No, it can only go there and then we’ll have to run another pipeline because the Townsend town site is there.” They’ve spent $30 million on it. “We have to justify that expenditure, so we’ll have to run the pipeline in a different direction so that you can use that for leverage.”

We met with the Board of Trade from Jarvis last Wednesday night. Jarvis is an existing municipality of about 1,000 people and the business people there would like to see Jarvis have some growth to promote a business section that could be viable. They indicated they should be allowed to grow perhaps to 4,000, and at that time maybe bring Townsend on stream.

They’re really concerned with the fact that the Treasurer might take the knife and say the government has no more money. He is the chief planner for Ontario. I think our former leader pointed this out many times that he controls the purse strings. I think it has to be ridiculous that one man can control the purse strings for Ontario. I indicated to that group that in my opinion the Treasurer -- and I respect his ability -- shouldn’t have that power.

It’s our money and he shouldn’t be able to control it, and control the development in Ontario by his expenditures. He shouldn’t have that right. I don’t think he will have that right. As I indicated to them, I don’t think he will utilize that strength because it’s a democratic system. I hope the democratic system will always prevail for the best interest of everyone in Ontario.

The need for a water system for the existing communities in the area surrounding Nanticoke and the Nanticoke development is now. These communities should be allowed to reach their potential but they are hampered by a poor and inadequate supply of water. The ministry has promised these communities will be included when the services are developed for the Townsend town site. It is our contention that for the present time the service for Townsend is not needed but water services for Jarvis and Hagersville and other municipalities are an immediate need.

Mr. Makarchuk: Not in Port Dover. They’ve found a replacement for water.


Mr. G. I. Miller: I will say, Mac, they have enough water in Port Dover to expand their population from the present 4,000 up to 12,000. They can do it cheaper than any place else in the region of Haldimand-Norfolk. They have an adequate supply of water. They have a sewage disposal system which is adequate to take care of that development. It has already been put in. Dover has a good supply of water.

Mr. Makarchuk: They don’t drink too much.

Mr. G. I. Miller: That’s questionable, a lot of people do.

I suggest with the water intake presently in existence it is feasible to go ahead with a water system that will ultimately service Townsend but can immediately be used to service these existing communities. If a start must be made on Townsend, then let the water system be started, but delay the town proper until the municipality of Haldimand-Norfolk indicates there is a need for it.

Surely the people of this area deserve some advantage from the industrial complex now in the construction stages. As I indicated, I think the Stelco dock has been completed. They have spent a tremendous amount of money and I am convinced they will come on stream in time, perhaps by 1979 or 1980. They can provide steel for the pipeline which is going to service the northern part of Canada and provide the energy we so desperately need.

It is and has been our understanding that the intake at Nanticoke from Lake Erie and close to the mouth of the Niagara Creek is to be used as a water source for the Townsend site. As I pointed out, it is designed for not only Townsend, and not only for the region of Haldimand-Norfolk, but for the area along the Grand River as far up as Kitchener.

I might just comment, for a moment. I don’t think the region of Haldimand-Norfolk should be expected to pay the entire cost for a development of that magnitude. My concern for my riding is the need for water. I am also concerned that the quality of water, be it for Townsend or existing communities, be protected and improved.

Over the past months in Haldimand-Norfolk there has been a hearing of the environmental board with regard to the possibility of locating a toxic waste disposal system on a farm located near the industrial complex and on Nanticoke Creek just up stream of the location of the proposed water intake -- well, it is not proposed, it is already there and I have already spoken about this. The effluent from this proposed waste disposal site is to be let off, under ministry supervision, into Niagara Creek and thus into Lake Erie.

Again, Mr. Speaker, this is a real concern of mine. I have discussed it with the Minister of the Environment (Mr. Kerr) and he accuses me of playing politics with this. I assure you, sir, I don’t use it politically. I think we have to listen to the people. The other day during a discussion I had with him he said he would like to damn it in my car or in my home or wherever. I will say I think it is a concern. It is a serious problem we have to deal with. I think it is up to the minister to provide leadership. I would like to co-operate with him. I would like to make it known now that I want to co-operate with him so we can protect the environment of Ontario.

Despite the assurance of checks by the ministry, there are no 100 per cent guarantees against the possibility of spills and leaks and problems with flooding. As all members know, we have had a tremendous amount of rain in September. This certainly should create problems. The plan is they would provide a lagoon and a landfill site to take care of our waste. They indicate we can’t do it any other way, but I think there are alternatives.

They are putting highly poisonous material into the water system. The landfill site is located within a few hundred feet of the Niagara Creek and the creek enters Lake Erie at a point just a few thousand feet from the mouth of the water system intake. As you know, I have spoken on the fishing industry in Lake Erie many times. This provides over 50 per cent of the freshwater fish for Ontario. I don’t think we need another lake from which the fish aren’t suitable for human consumption. I think there are now some 130 lakes and streams in Ontario from which it is questionable we can eat the fish. I think that is a precious resource. It is providing a living for many people at Port Dover and Port Maitland -- all along the Ontario side of Lake Erie -- and has provided a living there for many years. We have to protect that resource, and I know we have the potential to do that.

I can appreciate the ministry’s feeling that it must push for this site, having granted a loan of some $500,000 to the firm involved for the building of this proposed plant. However, evidence provided by the various concerned citizens’ groups and the region itself indicates many reasons why this proposed site should not be given a go-ahead. It also has left questions in the minds of people in the area as to the credibility of the firm involved in the light of evidence of its parent company’s operations in the United States. Again it’s an American firm.

In Ontario we have the technology and the education system; and, rather than giving a payoff for that service from the States, I think we could keep our money in Ontario and in Canada and develop our own technology.

As the opposition party in Ontario, we would like to have some constructive input. Hopefully, the minister might listen to our proposals and suggestions and we can come up with a solution to the problem.

The proposed site is presently zoned agricultural and has been a viable farm operation for many years. Concerns have been expressed over the need to keep agricultural land in production, and yet in my riding we have two large parcels of land owned by the government, South Cayuga and Townsend, and now there is a future proposal to turn farm land into a waste disposal site.

We appreciate that this government has seen some of the errors of its ways in parcelling up the South Cayuga site and renting it back to farmers of the area. Townsend should remain in the same state for a good period of time unless -- and I would like to make this very clear -- unless there is a need for it and unless the region itself indicates that they would like to see it developed.

The basic industry in the area has been agriculture. We have the Norfolk Co-op. We have the Haldimand Co-op. We have the farm machinery dealers. They depend on that farming community for their existence. Until there’s a need, I think we can blend both rural and urban together and make it a better place to live.

As I see these boys and girls sitting around the Speaker here tonight, I am reminded that there is no finer place to raise a family than in a rural area. When it comes to getting a job, I think any boy or any girl who has been raised on the farm is going to be selected as soon as anybody else; in fact, they might have a little priority because they know how to work and how to get along -- and that doesn’t hurt any one.

I think it’s important that we keep a blend between urban and rural. In terms of our balance of trade, rather than having 80 per cent of our peaches imported and 20 per cent produced in the Niagara Peninsula, we should he encouraging our agricultural industries to produce and to be competitive.

Again I would like to point a finger across the House at the government for not recognizing the problem. When we met the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. W. Newman) in the committee considering his ministry’s estimates the other night, our agriculture critic, the member for Huron-Middlesex (Mr. Riddell) indicated we have been critical, but that they have turned around. They’ve got this new pin which will identify anything that’s produced in Ontario.

I think it’s a step in the right direction to indicate that something has been produced or grown here. But I believe it came about because the opposition has been strong enough to make the government listen. We have a strong agricultural background in our caucus, and we can speak out strongly on behalf of agriculture, which again is the very fibre of Canada and Ontario. We shouldn’t allow it to deteriorate; we should encourage it.

We’re only spending one and a half per cent of our budget on agriculture, which I think has to be a little bit ridiculous. I realize the farmers do not want to be subsidized; they want to be independent. But we still have to recognize that agriculture is going to be an important factor in feeding the world. The countries that currently produce oil are going to have the money to trade off for agricultural produce, and I think we have to protect that, we have to have those products to sell and I am pleased to see the Minister of Agriculture and Food and the Premier (Mr. Davis) trying to promote sales of agricultural produce around the world. This has taken place under the encouragement of a minority government and we should take some credit for it.

There is also a garbage or a waste disposal crisis around Ontario. They’re looking for sites. There’s one for Hamilton, just located along our border, at Glanbrook, I believe it is. I think there’s one down by Chatham. There’s one up by Owen Sound. There’s one in the riding of Halton-Burlington. They’re having hearings at the present time.

Of course, nobody wants the garbage. It is a problem. It’s the Minister of the Environment’s responsibility to deal with it and he is trying to deal with it, but hearings are taking place. It is costing the taxpayer a lot of inconvenience, a lot of money.

There is a garbage crisis in Ontario and it is increasing severely. In March 1977, there were 22 applicants for new garbage dump sites filed with the Ministry of the Environment. The issues on new garbage dumps: number one, no one wants a garbage dump nearby but we all create garbage; number two, garbage dumps pollute land; number three, garbage dumps pollute water; number four, garbage dumps degrade the area; number five, garbage dumps devalue the surrounding properties. This devaluation is a significant hidden cost falling on the few individuals forced to subsidize the big city garbage.

The need for new garbage dump sites is increasing because there are more and more disposable products and because of the ban on open burning in the late 1960s, As we all realize, burning was a way of reducing the quantity by perhaps 75 per cent.

Opposition to the new dump sites is being raised by citizens’ groups more keenly aware of the impact of garbage dumps. The time involved for application approval increases all the time and costs are very high. By the time applications have gone through the Environmental Hearing Board, there are still the OMB and the appeals to the cabinet ministers and courts to wade through. Experts agree landfill sites are passé, yet the province is letting these disputes grind on and on, avoiding the issue while garbage problems increase throughout Ontario.

The hearing on the dumps around the Owen Sound area has cost the public sector $97,000 and they’re only three weeks into the inquiry which is still continuing. When the industrial waste hearing was held in my riding in the past month the local citizens contributed something like $6,000 to oppose. The region had to contribute, as well as the cottage owners ratepayers’ association. I don’t know what the total cost is, but it will be well in excess of $30,000 no doubt.

Municipalities now doing cost study analyses think landfill is the cheapest method and will fight for landfill so long as they believe there is hope of getting approval.

The provincial government is on the hot seat in making the decisions through the Ministry of the Environment and the OMB as to who will take whose garbage and when. Grants for recycling and incineration are a myth. A provincial program similar to the Ontario Water Resources Commission, wherein the province provides long-term funding for all municipalities to go directly to source separation of garbage, recycling and incineration, is one probable solution. The sterile, inert ash can be reused for road work, clean fill, et cetera.


It represents five to seven per cent of the original volume incinerated. It can also be utilized for energy and recycling of paper, glass and metal. Technology and knowhow exist in North America to set up recycling programs for towns as small as 500 people. As of 1973, over 200 cities in the US were separating garbage. Since almost 50 per cent of garbage is paper fibre, the recycling of this product is a key to a successful recycling program. The province should invite a consortium of paper mills to build a newsprint mill for recycling paper, thus providing a steady outlet for the paper. There are two such mills in the US as of now, in California and Illinois.

Glass already has a market winch can be expanded as required, and as we know most mills have markets. Organic and other materials can be composted or incinerated, and the ash can be used as roadbed or clean fill. Heat from the incinerator may be recovered and used for heating government buildings, such as hospitals and office buildings.

I would like to point out that at the present time most of Ontario’s liquid industrial waste is hauled by trucks to landfill sites or lagoons for disposal. The volume is 40 million to 45 million gallons per year. Disposal of liquid industrial waste in landfill is at best an interim measure and is not environmentally acceptable when highly toxic chemical wastes are involved. This problem is also complicated by the lack of landfill sites in urban areas. The current difficulties the Ontario Ministry of the Environment is experiencing in Metropolitan Toronto with respect to landfill sites is an example.

There has never been a strong demand for facilities to treat liquid industrial waste because it is much cheaper for private business regulations requiring more stringent disposal industry would like the government to pass regulations requiring more stringent disposal practices. However, the government has been reluctant to regulate the disposal of industrial waste because suitable treatment facilities are not available.

I would like to point out that Tricil of Mississauga is operating only at 40 per cent capacity. Because of the fact not enough waste material is directed there it cannot expand its operations. Perhaps one reason is the need for government legislation. In the meantime, the Ministry of the Environment has instituted a way bill system to document the sources, movement and designation of hauled liquid industrial waste. The benefit of this mandatory reporting system is that it prevents illegal dumping of waste by irresponsible haulers, but it does not solve the problem of waste disposal.

The dilemma facing the government is that the disposal industry is reluctant to build treatment facilities unless there is a guaranteed market through government regulations requiring treatment of liquid industrial waste. At the same time, the government is unwilling to pass regulations when there are insufficient treatment facilities to handle the waste. One possible solution to this dilemma is to have the government regulate the level of treatment or method of disposal of industrial waste, while concurrently working with the disposal industry to develop the needed technology and facilities. This could be a government -- industry joint venture at the development stages. As the disposal industry matures, the government should then gradually withdraw from the waste disposal business. This is only one suggestion as to how we might deal with liquid industrial waste which is a serious problem for us all.

I would like to turn for a moment to the agricultural industry in my riding. We produce tobacco. I would like to indicate we have had one of the better crops that has ever been produced. I would like to indicate too that the Minister of Agriculture and Food and the Premier went around a considerable area of the world trying to dispose of it and they were fairly successful. It looks like a very encouraging year.

We have had one of the best wheat crops in our history and we have a tremendous amount of potential. The corn crop had another exceptionally good year, but the price is something like $1.60 a bushel. I would like to point out the fact that between the corn crop and the beef industry they’ve lost in the last three years, since 1974, something like $300 million. The farmer hasn’t created all that much fuss but it has created a real hardship to the farmer.

It’s up to the Minister of Agriculture and Food. I realize we have to contend with imports and we have to be competitive, but Ontario, as the largest province, has to show some leadership on behalf of Canada. Considering the difficult times the farmer is facing.

I realize also that Inco is a problem in Sudbury, that many are going to be laid off, but I would point out we didn’t have a select committee to deal with the problems of the agricultural industry; and the farmers accepted that. With all due regard to the Inco problem and the jobs involved, I think we are in difficult times and we do have to compete for world markets. It’s not going to be easy to resolve it, but I think labour still has to understand that we are in difficult times and we all have to share the responsibility of getting out of these particular times.

Getting back to agriculture, it is a trading resource and with some drive and some leadership by the Minister of Agriculture and Food we can sell our produce. We can encourage the utilization of our land so it can be competitive with industry, with urban development; and then we won’t have to have so much planning, we won’t need so much protection. I don’t think farmers really want to do so, but the fact is if you can’t make a dollar off the land then you are going to sell it for development; however, that trend may be turning around.

I would just like to make this point in closing my remarks on the budget debate, that our agricultural industry is still a very important industry for Ontario and for Canada. We want to recognize that and I think the Liberal caucus is in a strong position to put that forth on behalf of everyone in Ontario.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Samis: Merci, monsieur l’orateur, j’aimerais d’abord vous féliciter sur votre élection et naturellement j’aimerais vous souhaiter mes vœux personnelles et mes meilleurs vœux dans votre mandat comme le président de ce Chambre.

Mr. Speaker, if --

Mr. Reid: How’s your Italian?

Mr. Samis: Not so good.

Mr. Speaker, if one were to briefly consider the following facts, I don’t think there’s any real wonder or doubt that so many people in Canada and in Ontario are having increasing doubts about Canada’s future and our ability to manage that future. All we have to do is consider some of the following facts.

For example, that this winter we will probably surpass the one million mark in terms of unemployed in this country and that most economists are forecasting continuing high levels of unemployment for the remainder of this decade. I specifically cite the report of the Economic Council of Canada and some of their predictions for up until 1987.

I quote from page 11: “Because of this slow recovery, the continued under-utilization of resources in Ontario and the potential for expanding out but without a commensurate increase in employment, the Ontario unemployment rate could rise to 6.8 per cent of the labour force in 1977 and 7.5 per cent in 1978 unless,” and I emphasize that, “unless measures are introduced to combat the situation.”

If you look at the charts for the various industries which provide the basis for their predictions; if you look at the GNP, for example at the provincial level from 1968 to 1972 the growth rate was 5.7 per cent and from 1973 to 1977 it was 3.8 per cent. They prophesy 4.8 per cent for 1978-1982 and 3.8 per cent for 1983 to 1987.

If you look at personal disposable income in terms of dollars and percentage increase, and again if we compare: from 1968 to 1972 we are talking in terms of 10 per cent; from 1973 to 1977 the figure is 13.8 per cent increase; but for the future, from 1978 to 1982 it is 8.8 per cent and 1983 to 1987 they predict 7.9 per cent.

If we talk about the growth rate in terms of employment and we look at the same periods: again from 1968 to 1972 a 3.2 per cent increase in employment; 1973 to 1977 it is 3.3 per cent; and for the ensuing years from 1978 to 1982 they call for 2.4 per cent and from 1983 to 1987 it is 2.0 per cent I have outlined the unemployment forecast they are making.

If you look at the inflation rate in this country, we introduced wage and price controls supposedly to bring the inflation rate down, and yet figures have come out showing that the inflation rate this year, 1977, is almost 50 per cent higher than the federal government told us it would be at the beginning of this year. We all remember the forecast of the Minister of Finance at the outset of 1977. If we remember that the Canadian dollar has now plummeted to a value of less than 90 cents in terms of the American dollar; if we remember that our federal government’s deficit will probably hit an all-time high, while the Prime Minister keeps telling us that we all need to practise restraint in our personal lives; if we remember that as a country our balance of payments deficit is likely to hit a record high this year; if we remember the economic growth rate for Ontario will only be 2.5 per vent, a figure that the Conference Board of Canada says will be even lower than the growth rate of Quebec -- we know the political problems they are facing but Ontario will have an even lower growth rate for 1977 than the province of Quebec; if we remember that everybody is forecasting an eight to 12 per cent rise in municipal taxes for 1978, and that there will be sizable increases in the cost of Hydro, gasoline, home oil, and natural gas for the upcoming year -- the list is long.

Mr. Speaker, I don’t want to paint a picture of total gloom and doom, but I think as politicians and elected officials we should face the cold, hard facts that the people of this province and this country are losing faith in the future and strength of the economy of our society. One only has to look at Gallup and other polls to realize the rising sense of pessimism that seems to pervade all ages and all classes of our society about the future of our economy. There can be no doubt that this psychological lack of confidence has a lot to do with whether or not we will be able to get out of this economic recession.

As everybody knows, people who are uncertain about their future are certainly far less likely to make any major investments, whether they be large corporations, small business or individual consumers. I believe that is the sum total of the facts that I have mentioned at the outset of my speech. In this growing and pervasive sense of foreboding about the health and the future of our economy, and when I say this I am omitting the political problems that confront our society at the present time, I believe we as members of this provincial Parliament should realize that many of our average citizens are losing faith in the institution of government to cope with and solve some of the problems that confront us.

I emphasize that this criticism applies to my own party as well as to the other two political parties. Too often we become prisoners of our ideological past or our historical roots. We fail to display the flexibility in thinking that will not only tackle the short-term problems; we should not be afraid to tell people the hard facts of life and offer creative, comprehensive solutions on a long-term basis. Whether it be the energy problem, balance of payments, our international competitive situation, our dependence on the United States or the simple finite nature of our society and the seemingly infinite nature of demands of certain sectors of our society for more of everything at someone else’s expense, we must realize that we have a duty to provide leadership, to tell the people in plain language the obstacles that face our society and offer meaningful solutions to overcome some of those obstacles.

We in the New Democratic Party are frequently accused of being prisoners of our own ideology, incapable of seeing some of the economic problems in realistic and pragmatic terms. While my partisan instinct may deny the tenth of those charges, I must realistically admit that there is a limited amount of truth in that allegation and that we as a party must face the reality of a mixed economy in Ontario, with the bulk of it being and remaining in the private sector; and that represents the basic desire and preference of an overwhelming majority of the citizens of this province.

As a member of this party, I am prepared to discard traditional rhetoric and work within the context of that reality. That does not mean I do not believe in certain very fundamental changes in our taxation system, political structure and resource policy.

It is interesting to note that we are constantly being told by the other side that because we have never managed the store and because they have, they are automatically the only political party in this province capable of administering the province. While it is true the Tories have enjoyed the confidence of the voters of this province for 34 years -- although I would point out in the last elections they have not been able to receive the confidence of more than 40 per cent of the voters at best -- they themselves are indeed prone to becoming excessively ideological in their approach to some of our problems, especially the economic ones. Like anyone else who claims to be infallible in things mortal, they are eminently capable of committing major blunders and political somersaults that sometimes would make Nadia Comaneci stand back in sheer awe.


We have a Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) who tells us he’s wholeheartedly engaged in pursuing the Holy Grail of a balanced budget for this province in the millennial year of 1981. Such an obsessive, inflexible, doctrinaire, dogmatic, ideological pursuit in this day and age is tantamount to driving on Highway 401 in a Bennett buggy.

While there are defensible arguments for getting a tighter grip on public expenditures and for trimming the fat on various government structures, and for telling people they can’t have everything they want and that some stringent limitations may be necessary on certain government expenditures, the Treasurer of this province has gone far beyond this. He is embarked on a Herbert Hoover -- R. B. Bennett-like crusade for the impossible dream -- the reactionary Utopia, the ideological Valhalla, the purest paradise of a balanced budget for this province. I don’t intend to go into detail on the cost of the Treasurer’s fantasies beyond saying that we’ve already begun to bear the fruits of those fantasies in the form of rising municipal taxes, a stagnant provincial economy, serious social injustice to the poor and those on fixed incomes and to the thousands of people put on the unemployment rolls to pay the steep price of the Treasurer’s economic eroticism.

Those who are presently managing the store frequently accuse us of being a party that simply can’t cope with the realities of government, the private sector and basic good government. As one who is condemned to being beyond the pale of the chosen Tory brethren, I look at our economy today and wonder if the annointed 26 high priests opposite know the limitations of their presumed divine calling.

Let me explain, Mr. Speaker. For a government that claims to know best how to govern, I look at some of their recent examples of blunders and ineptitudes. We have wasted almost a quarter of a billion dollars in recent years on such extravagant and virtually worthless acquisitions as the Pickering site, the Edwardsburgh industrial wasteland, and the Townsend-Cayuga “Brasilia” of John White’s dreams.

Two hundred and fifty million dollars, Mr. Speaker; hardly chicken feed even for the most hard-bitten ideologue of our party.

Mr. Reid: Who would you name as the most hard-bitten ideologue of your party?

Mr. Samis: I leave it to your fertile imagination, Patrick.

Mr. Reid: Do I get a prize if I guess right?

Mr. Samis: We are now $300 million over cost at the Bruce nuclear project and the end still isn’t in sight. Yet we’re told by the chosen 26 that only they can rule the fortunes of this province with any certitude of competence. I won’t digress to dwell on any of the recent declarations or inanities of the Minister of Energy (Mr. J. A. Taylor) on the Bruce project and the whole fiasco surrounding the contracts, Mr. Speaker.

These same chosen 26 squandered $20 million of the taxpayers’ money recently in a provincial election that nobody wanted; nobody in the general public asked for, wanted, or deemed desirable. The only purpose for the election obviously was to satisfy the Tory lust for power, for the simple reason they can’t tolerate the restrictions and limitations minority government has put upon them.

We’ve given away more than $500 million to the corporate sector in the last three years in the form of various tax credits, tax holidays, tax deferrals, depreciation allowances and tax deductions; all in the hope of spurring the economy. Yet look at the stagnant nature of our economy, look at the figures that came out in the press this week; $500 million of the taxpayers’ money and what have we gotten in return?

It’s interesting to note we’ve given away so much to the corporate sector that even the Conference Board tells us our economic growth rate for 1977 will be less than that of Quebec; and the Ontario Economic Council concluded in a recent report on the Ontario economy that “in analysing the case for corporate tax cuts, both the financing need for this redistribution and the effects of tax concessions need to be assessed.

“The difficulty with the use of corporate tax cuts as a short-term stimulant to investment is that linkages seem to be weak. Tax incentive policies designed to encourage investment have reduced impact because of the extent of operations of subsidiaries of United States firms. Corporate tax cuts often merely redistribute revenue between Ottawa and Washington, because US multi-nationals are liable for United States taxes on the income of their Canadian subsidiaries.”

Yet the Treasurer of this province continues the same old ideology-based policies of continuing the corporate tax giveaways regardless of their lack of proven success. It would almost seem that orthodoxy at any price is the first commandment of this government.

It is interesting to note that at no time does the Treasurer seem willing to change or modify the neo-colonial status of our provincial economy. In fact, he seems to be attempting to outdo C. D. Howe, the old tsar himself, by railing away at the feds, by railing away at the role of FIRA and by decrying the need for yet more American control of our economy, using the euphemisms of investment, initiative or confidence. But whatever one wants to call it, the end result will be an even greater dependence on the American economy, American technology, American capital and ultimately American hegemony of our economy on a scale that will surpass the colonial cultural status of our society today.

It is sad that the excellent proposals of the select committee on economic and cultural nationalism have been assigned a permanent place on the scrap heap of forgotten, unused and unwanted reports in this province. I sometimes wonder how the genera- lions of the next century will judge us for having ignored their recommendations so casually and so consistently.

In addition to the almost $1 billion misspent by our high priest of fiscal orthodoxy, I see looming before us the spectre of a $5-billion investment east of Toronto in the Darlington nuclear station. I don’t pretend this is a simple black-or-white issue and that we would have totally rejected the project had we been in government. But I do say that we would certainly have had an independent environmental assessment done on the project prior to any commencement of activities. Even more important, we would have adopted a much tougher, more comprehensive and more stringent conservation policy than that being pursued by Ontario Hydro at the present time in order to reduce the need for such massive consumptions of valuable capital as Darlington.

The recommendations of the select committee on Hydro of last year, if adopted in word and spirit, would have quite conceivably eliminated the need for a Darlington if they had been pursued and implemented vigorously over the next eight to 10 years. But no, we are hell-bent on a massive nuclear expansion, and it is the taxpayers of this province who will eventually cover and pay the full bill for this all-out drive into nuclear power and this failure to launch a cost-saving, energy-saving, job-saving, tough conservation program.

It is rather ironic that we can afford to spend $4 billion to $5 billion on a Darlington, yet we cancel a meagre, mere $5-million home insulation program in order to accommodate the Treasurer on his journey to the promised land of fiscal orthodoxy in 1981 -- a program that would have saved home owners millions of dollars in the upcoming years; a program that would have demonstrated Ontario’s commitment to meaningful conservation; a program that would have reduced Ontario’s need for expensive oil and gas in the 1980s; a program that would have created jobs and been a boon to small business in this province; a program that would have set an example for this country. All this is scrapped to save a measly $5 million while we pursue the grandeur and girth of a nuclear empire in Darlington at a probable eventual cost of more than $5 billion.

We have a Treasurer who pursues a policy of bigness in every sense at the expense of many valuable things which operate at a smaller scale in our society. Whether it is the imposition of regional government upon those who didn’t ask for it and don’t want it, or whether it is his predeliction for giving the biggest handouts to the biggest suppliants at the corporate tax trough, this government has failed to pay adequate attention and adequate heed to the vibrant, largely Canadian-owned, enterprising yet politically neglected and inadequately recognised small business sector of our economy.

In the Treasurer’s pursuit of bigness we have overlooked the small business sector in terms of its role in stimulating the economy, creating jobs, providing an indigenous technology for our country’s future.

I commend the member for Victoria-Haliburton (Mr. Eakins) --

Mr. Foulds: You are going too far now.

Mr. Samis: -- for his initiative in introducing a bill that would assist small business in a meaningful way. I was pleased to support it. I only hope the government will not let the bill die, thwart its passage or attempt to significantly modify it just because it was the member for Victoria-Haliburton who had the enterprise to introduce such a piece of legislation before the government ever got around to doing anything about it.

The Treasurer is so rooted in his R. B. Bennett ideological orthodoxy that he’s even behind his counterpart in the province of Quebec, Jacques Parizeau, who is a pretty conservative fellow in his own way in the province of Quebec. His colleagues made it one of their priorities upon assuming power a year ago to introduce programs specifically designed to assist, stimulate and foster small and medium-sized enterprises in that province. Naturally, I regret the fact it wasn’t a member of my own party who moved to introduce such a bill earlier in this session, Mr. Speaker, but I cast aside my partisan consideration and pay due credit to my colleague from the fair city of Lindsay for his important contribution in this session of the Legislature.

I began my remarks with a quote from the Ontario Economic Council on what they predict lies ahead for Ontario. I must say I’m inclined to give them far greater credence than I do the Treasurer. I have before me a copy of the Treasurer’s statement to the Legislature on June 27 of this year entitled, “Reaffirming Ontario’s Budget Strategy for 1977.” I’d like to quote from the conclusions of that particular document.

I quote, Mr. Speaker, from page 14: “The government’s budget plan for 1977 implements a fiscal policy appropriate to the needs of the Ontario economy and makes wise use of our financial resources. The economic outlook is steadily improving, assisted by the built-in fiscal stimulus in excess of $1 billion that I documented in my budget statement, lower interest rates and recovery of the economy of the United States. I believe that this recovery trend will continue throughout the year and into 1978. I will be monitoring the situation closely and I am prepared to consider supplementary actions to stimulate the economy in selective areas, if necessary.”

Mr. Foulds: Who said that?

Mr. Samis: Darcy McKeough. “This government of Ontario’s record”, he boasts, “of achievement in fiscal and economic policy is second to none. In 1971” -- an election year -- “again in 1975” -- an election year -- “Ontario led the way in Canada in the early and timely implementation” -- and notice this Mr. Speaker -- “of expansionary fiscal policies to stimulate economic growth and to create the great number of new job opportunities our people demand. We have shown equally good judgement in recognizing the threat of inflation and in bringing forward policies to protect our high standard of living and enhance our bountiful opportunities.”

Comment on the shortcomings and inadequacies of those forecasts and conclusions is almost superfluous. Although I must say I rather enjoyed the comment of the correspondent of the Montreal Star, when he stated “The Davis government first had to rewrite it’s April budget so drastically that the new versions bears little more resemblance to the original than the Valley of the Dolls does to Little Women.” The same scribe, in the same article, wondered aloud at the Treasurer getting his financial advice from the infamous Bert Lance. If one compares the predictions of the Treasurer with those of the Conference Board as to how our economy would fare in 1977, I’m afraid the Treasurers stature would approximate that of the Toronto Argonauts alongside the Montreal Alouettes or the Toronto Blue Jays alongside the Kansas City Royals, much less the New York Yankees.

Mr. Haggerty: What about the Brampton charter?

Mr. Samis: We’ll leave the charter to itself.

That was the past. Now I’d like to turn my attention to the future and what I feel we should be doing to correct the situation that does exist.

I want to make it clear I regard the stagnant economic situation and the unacceptably high unemployment as the fundamental problems facing our economy. I say that because of the attitude and statements of both the Premier of this province (Mr. Davis) and the Prime Minister of this country. They still regard inflation as a basic problem facing Canada today. They both say they do not want to rekindle the fires of inflation. They’re both in bed with the AIB and their incestuous relationship will drag on another five months before they have to get up, get out and face the realities of a post-AIB society. Clearly, rising unemployment and the present almost nine per cent inflation rate have proven the failure of the AIB and Trudeau-Davis policy to really come to grips with our economic problems.


The AIB was supposed to cure us of our inflation woes, yet here we are today with a record full one per cent rise in the inflation rate for the month of October, no clear policies for the post-AIB era and staggering unemployment among our young.

In the short-term, we must give top priority to getting our economy moving again and setting our productive capacity well beyond the existing 80 per cent. We must introduce significant tax cuts, along the lines suggested by a whole host of people, including the Economic Council of Canada, Walter Gordon, a whole series of economic experts and by my federal colleagues in the New Democratic Party in Ottawa.

Most curiously, even the members of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada are advocating tax cuts. I must say I do feel a little uneasy when I hear that they and I are advocating the same thing.

Mr. Foulds: I should hope so.

Mr. Samis: Being anywhere near Sinclair Stevens gives me quivers --

Mr. Foulds: Yes, indeed.

Mr. Samis: -- and sensations of a nature I don’t exactly feel comfortable with. But the simple fact is that priority must be given to stimulating consumer confidence and consumer buying, as opposed to further corporate tax cuts, in order to reduce our inventories, increase our level of production, strengthen business optimism and reinvigorate some of the ailing domestic-oriented industries in this country.

I want to emphasize I realize that some of these tax cuts may well be somewhat inflationary, but when you have 20 per cent unused productive capacity and a rising cost of unemployment to government, I believe it’s a sound investment in the future.

I don’t believe we’ll ever again achieve levels of high employment and low inflation simultaneously, for a variety of reasons; and I don’t believe that personal income tax cuts will be nearly as inflationary as the high priests of fiscal orthodoxy constantly warn us. I think that the EGG proposals of tax cuts in the range of 8.3 per cent across the board, and graduated to 25 per cent for those in the lowest income-tax-paying brackets would be a significant short-term stimulus at the federal level.

To those who immediately decry the loss in federal revenues, I can only say that the strength and performance of the economy in the succeeding years could certainly restore most if not all of those lost revenues in the form of accelerated growth in sales, employment and individual income; all of which would produce revenue for the government coffers in ensuing years.

I was rather interested, Mr. Speaker, to note that the ECC also called for a reduction in the provincial sales tax to stimulate consumer spending. This is certainly a proposal I could support for the province of Ontario.

Oh, I know that the Treasurer would immediately decry the loss of revenue for 1978 and tell us that he could only do so if the feds were to compensate the province. But this is a time for new initiatives and most economists, regardless of their political stripes, readily admit that a one per cent cut in the retail sales tax would certainly not bankrupt any treasury; and most economists say that it would immediately spur consumer spending and give some buoyancy to retail sales of consumer goods. Yet once again the Treasurer refuses to move because of his twin obsessions with a balanced budget and some sort of orthodox fiscal nirvana that he seemingly seeks endlessly.

I’m the first to admit, and I emphasize this, that these tax cuts along with various suggested public works programs are short-term and somewhat traditional Keynesian approaches to the whole economic problem. But I also said at the outset of my speech there are long-term solutions that we as legislators must find to our problems. Some of these problems are structural in nature and they too require our attention if we’re ever to get our economy back on track again. I would like to highlight briefly some of these problems, because I believe that if we don’t find a solution to the root causes of our economic woes we’ll never be able to get a healthy economy in Canada again.

The first basic problem, obviously, is our problem of competing in world markets. Being an exporting nation, we simply must devise new methods and modes of making ourselves more competitive in the world trade scene. I acknowledge the need to improve our overall level of productivity and to restrain wage demands in certain segments of the economy, but I certainly do not ascribe to any simplistic views that the wage earners of this country are solely to blame for the present situation, and that if we’d put a lid on wage increases we’d solve our problems.

Nor do I subscribe to the idea that excessive taxation is the root of our problem. I must say that I was both rather surprised and pleased to hear the Treasurer attack this simplistic approach in a speech in Toronto on October 26 to a joint meeting of the engineering and managerial organizations operating in Ontario. I quote from page 6 of that speech:

“Secondly, we must maintain a competitive tax climate for manufacturing in Ontario. Here, I think it’s time to try and lean against the nagging myth” -- myth, Darcy McKeough, myth? -- “that our industries are simply too-heavily taxed to compete.

“We published our research on this matter last fall and explained the need to exempt from retail sales tax the purchase of production machinery and equipment. We’re continuing to watch the situation closely and I would like to say that recent data in fact suggests that the tax burden here is now very competitive.

“Without getting into payroll taxes, which are much heavier in the United States than in Canada, and investment tax credits, which are somewhat more generous for growing firms than in Ontario, we have one of the most competitive corporate tax structures in North America. The net combined corporate tax burden in this province for this year appears to be less than in the case for manufacturing firms in such major states as New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, Texas and California.”

I’d like to quote a little further on in the same speech, where the Treasurer said:

“Also, the competitive position of Canadian producers at home and abroad is no longer deteriorating but is improving significantly. The devaluation of the dollar, which essentially reflects an honest realignment for Canada and the world economy, has gone further than any imaginable tariff policy to enhance our competitive position. It is bringing our costs in line substantially. Both the governments of Canada and Ontario are committed to utilize this fundamental adjustment by enhancing productivity, rather than encouraging nominal and inflationary wage gains as a key to real income growth.

“Finally, along with rising disposable incomes, competitive business taxes and a more competitive Canadian dollar, there is every indication that costs will continue to moderate and are going to move in tandem with our main competitor. Non-labour costs have been declining and are expected to parallel moderating American costs next year. The same has been the case in both wages and in salaries. Next year, wage gains in both countries are expected to be exactly the same.”

Those are the words of none other than Darcy McKeough.

A very basic aspect of our problem is how we manage our investment in Canada and the serious weaknesses in our research and development programs in this country. Part of the problem is due to our neo-colonial status and the preponderance of US-based multi-nationals in the manufacturing sectors. I don’t believe that this is sufficient to explain our sorry record in this regard. If we compare what percentage of our GNP is spent on research and development in Canada, with other countries in the world, then you get some idea why we’re losing some of our competitiveness in some of these fields. The source of this comparison is the OECD.

If you compare the percentage of the GNP spent on research and development the Americans spent 2.35 per cent; in West Germany, it was 2.16 per cent; in the Netherlands it was 2.06 per cent; in Japan it was two per cent even; in France it was 1.86 per cent; in Sweden it was 1.59 per cent and in Canada it was one per cent. Those were 1974 figures and, since then, it’s become worse and not better in this country.

In 1975, spending in the manufacturing industry on R and D had declined to 0.58 per cent of the value of manufacturing output. That is a decline from 10 years ago, 1965 when the percentage was 0.80 in the manufacturing sector. This serious situation, even prompted none other than his lordship, the Treasurer, to comment. I quote from his speech of October 25: “It’s a national scandal that our R and D activity is only one-third the level of that of the United States, as measured as a proportion of GNP. The shortfall is simply enormous, close to $3 billion per year or 50,000 to 100,000 innovators and what little money we do spend is far too often locked up in the research bureaucracies which may well produce the discoveries we need for the next 100 years, but can’t be relied on for those we need to grow in the next decade.

“Unemployment among engineers is at its highest level in 15 years and we have reversed the brain drain only because United States has tightened up on immigration. If we move to close the R and D gap with the US, think of the new products Canadian manufacturers could be designing, constructing and selling to world markets. With another 50,000 innovators at work, two in every plant in Canada -- that’s all it means -- how long would it take before we started closing the import gap for manufactured products?

“We must provide, along with the basic elements of enterprise strategy that I have discussed, meaningful encouragement for innovations by the manufacturing sector.”

This is kind of interesting, Mr. Speaker. In closing, the Duke of Kent -- the Treasurer -- emphasized, “The form and success of our industrial recovery nevertheless will depend as in the past” -- he’s speaking to these industrialists -- “on your inventiveness and your enterprise,” and that is none other than the Duke of Kent telling businessmen.

Before leaving the subject I would like to touch briefly upon the question of wages and wage earners in this country. I regard the minimum wage in this province as an absolute disgrace and shame. I think it’s an outright insult to those who do not belong to a union, to those who are not highly skilled, to those who may be born in another country, to tell them that they must work and expect to be paid below the poverty level because any increase in their wage would be inflationary.

If the nine other provinces -- and I noticed just yesterday in the newspaper that the Saskatchewan government has announced their minimum wage would be going up to $3.15 per hour as of January 30, 1978 -- if the nine other provinces plus the federal government can do significantly better than this province, I think it’s an outrage that the working poor in this province should be treated in such an abysmal, insensitive, callous, arrogant, inhuman manner in this day and age. The minimum wage should be increased immediately to $3 per hour and should be pegged to the cost of living.

Mr. Gregory: What happened to $4?

Mr. Samis: Mr. Speaker, I know that this --

Mr. Foulds: We will get it up there.

Mr. Makarchuk: In time, in the fullness of time.

Mr. Foulds: How would you like to work for $3 an hour or $4 an hour?

Mr. Samis: I know this is not what my party said in the last election campaign, but it is what I said; it’s what I believe in. It’s what I believe is necessary and reasonable and I do not intend to smudge any difference with my party’s stand on this issue. The people of Cornwall riding know my stand on the issue. They knew where I stood during the election campaign and I don’t intend to say one thing in my riding and another thing here in the Legislature merely because of party discipline or any sense of solidarity.

We are a democratic party. We don’t agree on every single issue. We shouldn’t always pretend to have uniform views on all matters and we should expect to respect these differences and the rights of individual members to express those differences. Fortunately I belong to a party that does respect those differences.

Mr. Breithaupt: We will see what the next convention says.

Mr. Samis: We will see. It will be very interesting, I agree.

I want to point out that in terms of hours lost because of strikes, Canadian wage earners are frequently accused of being the most strike-prone in the world. We read in some newspapers and hear from some journalists that in the first eight months of 1977 there was a dramatic decrease in the amount of time lost due to strikes and lockouts. If one compares the first eight months of this year with 1976, the decline in the amount of time lost because of strikes and lockouts is 65 per cent. In other words, we have gone down 65 per cent in terms of time lost. And I point out that those 1976 figures included all the time lost for that one-day walk-out on October 14, on the day of protest. That should put an end to the lie, the notion, the misnomer, the generalization, the condemnation that Canadian workers in 1977 are strike- prone and irresponsible.

As to wage comparisons, it is frequently said that Canadian workers are overpaid and don’t work hard enough.

Mr. Wildman: Claude Bennett.


Mr. Samis: Well, let’s compare wages, for example, with the United States, because frequently we hear people, including the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Bennett), tell us that our wages are too high, they are not competitive, and therefore that is the root cause of our problem.

I’d like to call attention to the very important consideration of the whole discussion, and that is how comparative figures are calculated and arrived at. I’d like to quote from an article by Ed Finn, the PR director of the CBRTGW, who wrote a very interesting, and I thought revealing, article in the October 17 edition of the Toronto Star. He says, and I quote:

“What they fail to mention when comparing wages in the United States and Canada is that the two sets of wage settlement figures are calculated by widely divergent methods, and therefore are not legitimately comparable.

“In the US wage gains are figured on the average hourly earnings of all workers in a bargaining unit, whereas in Canada we use the base wage rate, an entirely different index. The US figures also exclude” -- and I emphasize exclude -- “public sector settlements, which we in Canada include” -- and we all know that was the one sector with the highest percentages of wage increases -- “Conversely, US data include construction industry contracts which we omit in Canada. Both sets of statistics exclude cost of living adjustment (COLA) clauses, since more than 60 per cent of union members in the United States receive COLA payments compared with only 25 per cent of those in Canada, and since the average American COLA clause provides close to double the Canadian equivalent, this omission produces a lower figure for US earnings than is actually the case.

“Another glaring omission is that of fringe benefits, such as pensions and health insurance. American workers have always taken proportionally more of their total compensation in deferred and indirect payments than are recorded in settlement data.”

There is no question that we do have problems in terms of competition in the foreign markets. Our balance of payment problem is without question becoming increasingly critical, especially with the annual migration to Florida, the Caribbean and Mexico by many of our sun-starved compatriots. But I strongly believe that we must analyse all the constituent contributing causes to our problem of competitiveness on the world scene, so we can bring forth solutions that will really come to grips with this serious problem for our economy. If we don’t do this, then I believe that our solutions will be half-baked and severely limited in their efficacy.

The second major structural problem that we face in our economy is one that I have already mentioned, and that is unemployment. We have to come to terms with the regional nature of our unemployment in Canada; the chronic nature of our unemployment; the occupational nature of our unemployment and the changing values and attitudes in our society towards work and its role and value in an individual’s life.

I think it is extremely important that we come to terms with that latter point, for there is no question that in the younger generation there has been a very substantial change in values and attitudes vis-â-vis the work ethic. I don’t think it makes much sense to try to preach the old Puritan work ethic if you don’t understand and don’t come to terms with their values and their attitudes.

A third basic problem in our economy is our ongoing balance of payments problems. The tremendous drain of dollars outside this country for manufactured goods; for tourism; the ever-increasing amounts of money being spent on foreign oil and the reorientation of capital investment, all require action to restore some semblance of balance in our outflow of dollars.

I might say as an aside, I find it rather curious that recently the Minister of Finance has been lecturing us about staying at home, not spending our dollars in foreign lands, especially the Caribbean. And what did we see about two weeks ago, after all these lectures, the Prime Minister was getting a little weary of the controversy regarding the RCMP. But who else goes down to the Caribbean to do a little skindiving, yet comes back here and has the gall to preach to the average Canadian, “Stay in Canada, set a good example. Don’t spend your money outside the country.” Sheer hypocrisy.

Mr. Wildman: I wish they’d keep him outside the country.

Mr. Samis: A fourth structural problem we must face in this country is the absence of any coherent, comprehensive, meaningful, industrial strategy for this nation and for this province. We simply must define our goals and intensify our efforts in those sectors most suited to specialization and deserving of assistance. We must work out a far better harmonization of our regional development policies; our manpower policies; our investment policies; and our different forms of incentives. We simply cannot operate in a vacuum and at cross-purposes if we are to develop our strength in those sectors which are best suited to expand and compete on the world scene.

A fifth problem we must resolve in this country is the whole energy field and the tremendous waste that we as a society are still engaged in. We must formulate a clear policy for the development and pricing of our oil and gas reserves in the 1980s and 1990s. We must reassess the whole nuclear option in the light of the soft-hardware, renewable options before us, and we must provide for an industrial policy that will be in tune with the increased costs of energy over the next 10 to 20 years. If we don’t, we’ll pay for our own failure in economic performance, in the competitiveness of our industries and in the employment opportunities available for our young people.

We simply cannot afford to fool around with the whole question of conservation and the ridiculous waste of our non-renewable resources. We simply must get tough, get serious; and if it means tough medicine for the people who aren’t willing to do it on a voluntary basis, let me say that I would support it. because the future of our country is at stake.

A final structural problem, as I see it, is our excessive dependence on the American economy and our failure to develop our own resources with Canadian control. While we cannot isolate ourselves from American capital or the American economy, it’s imperative that we achieve greater control of our own resources to ensure that their use and development serves the interests of Canadians above the interests of any other company, any other corporation or any other nation in this world.

That isn’t narrow nationalism; that’s basic common sense. It’s a message that the Arabs and other Third World countries have realized in this era of multi-nationals and superpowers. Being the hewers of wood and the drawers of water is not the future, and should never be the future, that we should want or ever tolerate for this country. Being a colony of any other country means automatically that our technology will he produced and developed in another country. And any country that is totally dependent on another society for its technology is doomed to permanent colonial status.

Before closing, I’d like to mention a few regional concerns. Having listened to the member for Haldimand-Norfolk tell us about the rivers and harbours of his riding, et cetera --

An hon. member: Harbours?

Mr. Samis: Port Dover -- may I say that we in eastern Ontario have some very deep-rooted and legitimate concerns about where the economy is going and how it’s going to affect us in our particular region of the province.

First of all, we wonder about industrial development and the whole pattern of industrial development. We don’t want Queen’s Park coming down to us and setting out some wasteland just before an election, telling us it’s going to be the shining jewel of industrial development in eastern Ontario or that that industrial park will be the key to our future, with no consultation with any municipal council, no input from the local people, no input from the affected communities.

Mr. Wildman: Or no consultation with the minister.

Mr. Samis: We had such a ridiculous situation that the Minister of Industry and Tourism was touring the communities of eastern Ontario and telling us, “You’d have to be off your nut to support any such idea as Edwardsburgh.” He couldn’t conceive of any reason for Edwardsburgh, yet three or four months later we had him standing up in the Legislature announcing the birth of the Edwardsburgh industrial wasteland.

We’re not prepared to put up with any more of that nonsense in eastern Ontario. We want to be in and we want to have some input into our future. We don’t want to be peons of the bureaucrats of Queen’s Park or victims of designs of any ambitious Treasurer.

Mr. Wildman: Or the incompetence of the Minister of Industry and Tourism.

Mr. Samis: Right on. In my particular community, where the textile industry has been a very basic feature of the economy of our area, we wonder where Ontario is going. Where does the Treasurer of this province want to lead as? He is making speech after speech these days, saying, “Free trade is the answer. We must reduce the tariff barriers. We must reduce the quota barriers.”

But, on the other hand, in the committee considering the estimates of the Ministry of Industry and Tourism and of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, those ministers don’t give us that line at all. They talk about the need to protect some of our industries -- the agricultural industries, textile industries, footwear industries, et cetera -- that have such a difficult time competing.

We want to know who speaks for Ontario. We want to have all the ministers of the cabinet telling us the same thing. I am not a person who says we should shield our whole economy behind a tremendously high wall of tariffs, but on the other hand, when you have over a quarter of a million people working in an industry, who have devoted their lives in some cases to that particular industry, you can’t just let it down hook, line and sinker.

I think people in the textile industry are prepared to make plans for the adjustment. I noticed that the province of Quebec has established a five-year time frame for some of its weaker, less efficient, less capital intensive industries to make their adjustment prior to the lowering of tariffs.

I would like to see the Minister of Industry and Tourism and the Treasurer get together to work out a common policy to help the textile industry make that adjustment. Don’t just tell them, “You are on your own. If you can’t compete, that’s it; tough beans,” while communities like Cornwall or Cambridge go down the drain.

We want this government to show initiatives and programs to help them make the adjustment. We are prepared to face the competitive scene. We are prepared to adjust to the GATT agreement, but all we want is the government to help us make that adjustment, to make that transition.

Living in a part of the province where we border on the province, la republique, of Quebec, we have some particular problems that I think should be considered by this government. We have the Minister of Industry and Tourism and the Premier trying to tell us -- industry starved as we are -- that thou shalt not advertise for industry in the province of Quebec because that would contribute to separatism. That would not be in the interests of national unity. I would agree if it is a case where they try to do it, and they haven’t done it before merely to exploit the political situation. But if you have a community that has been doing it consistently, whether it was René Levesque, whether it was Daniel Johnson, whether it was Jean Jacques Bertrand, whether it was Jean Lesage, we in eastern Ontario don’t want any politician or bureaucrat trying to tell us where we can advertise if we do it in a reasonable, responsible, non-exploitative manner in papers in Quebec.

We are in competition in eastern Ontario with New York state; we are in competition with Vermont which is offering all sorts of tax incentives, tax discounts, low interest loans and is advertising in the Montreal market. We don’t want somebody telling us we can’t use our freedom to exercise a normal, reasonable, responsible, non-exploitive manner.

In eastern Ontario, we have the ongoing problem, that I have raised in this Legislature several times, of tradesmen from the province of Quebec crossing the border to work in communities like Cornwall, Hawkesbury, Pembroke and Ottawa, who don’t have to have any special licence in particular, have very minimal requirements and do get jobs and do take away the jobs from some of our people. We are prepared to allow them to come in if, and only if, we are given the same freedom, the same opportunities and the same right to compete on the Quebec labour market in the construction field. But we aren’t. They refuse.

I emphasize it is not a Parti Quebecois policy because the Liberals followed the same policy. It is not a Liberal or PQ policy because the Union Nationale followed the same policy. All we are saying is we tried negotiations. If negotiations don’t produce results, if the Quebec minister says, “That is our policy. We are not prepared to moderate. We are not prepared to make concessions or change it,” then all we ask in eastern Ontario is protect the jobs of tradesmen in eastern Ontario by saying to Quebec workers, “If you want to work here, you have to meet the same conditions that Ontario workers have to meet when they want to work in Valleyfield or in Dorion or in Montreal.”

All we ask for is equal treatment, not revenge, not special privileges, just equal treatment.

Fourthly, I would hope the government would give consideration to the fact that down in the eastern fringe of the province along the border, we have to compete with Quebec communities for industry.

I recall very vividly the case of Goodyear, which was seriously considering moving into my community and we were in competition with the city of Valleyfield, Quebec, a $56-million industry. We lost that industry for the simple reason that, number one, the provincial government in Quebec was prepared to offer more in terms of tax incentives for them to locate in the province of Quebec, and secondly, because of Quebec provincial laws -- which I don’t want for Ontario, let me emphasize -- under which the municipality of Valleyfield was allowed to give special tax concessions to lure them to Valleyfield. The Premier said, “No, we won’t do anything.” How can we compete in that situation with a multi-national trying to locate in our community? It’s virtually impossible.

We have the situation where the Department of Regional Economic Expansion has designated the entire Metropolitan Montreal area as a depressed or designated area, which means special tax concessions for industries or businesses seeking to locate in the Greater Montreal region. They don’t have to compete with that in Toronto. They don’t have to compete with that in central Ontario and they don’t have to compete with that in southwestern Ontario, but we do in eastern Ontario. I think it’s time that the economic policies of this province gave special consideration to the problems of communities and counties along the Quebec border that have to face that reality in trying to attract new industry.

We in eastern Ontario believe the only way this province will prosper in a decent honest way is if we decentralize development. The government can spend $2 billion in investments in Townsend, Nanticoke and along Lake Erie, but what do they give eastern Ontario? We get the bread crumbs and southwest Ontario gets the full-course dinner. In 1975 we had the Minister of Industry and Tourism travelling through the area promising the Edwardsburgh jewel as the great contribution for eastern Ontario.

Mr. Wildman: That’s enough to depress anyone.

Mr. Samis: Right.

Mr. Foulds: Just like Minaki Lodge for the northwest.


Mr. Samis: That’s right. We have our own version of Minaki Lodge. In 1975, the minister was trooping around Belleville and promising some strange but magnificent huge resort hotel complex within 15 miles of Belleville. We haven’t heard a single thing about that glorious promise since the election. That was dangled in front of the people in the Quinte region, as the provincial government’s contribution to their economic development. Then comes 1977 and the Tories are back to the same old game. This time it is transfer. They announce some transfer in terms of offices in downtown Toronto all the way to the city of Oshawa, and they say, “Look what we’re doing for eastern Ontario.”

I have nothing against the good people of Oshawa, naturally. They elected a good member and obviously they have a considerable amount of intelligence and foresight. But who in eastern Ontario is ever going to consider the city of Oshawa as being a part of eastern Ontario? What person who lives in eastern Ontario would ever consider that?

Mr. Foulds: That is like calling Barrie part of northern Ontario.

Mr. Samis: That’s exactly it. I give the Tories credit. They knew that really wouldn’t convince too many people. They wanted to make sure the member for Kingston and the Islands would be elected. He got in by, I think, 150 votes. They were grooming him for great cabinet things and he seemed to have ambitions of his own. They wanted him to get something he could offer the good burghers of that community. So they announce the transfer of OHIP. They say this will be a great boon -- 500 to 800 employees. Think of it all, Mr. Speaker. Those aren’t new jobs. Those are people being transferred. It was promised in 1977 before the election. We were told, just as some magic figure, it was going to take four years to make the transfer.

I asked myself what was the political significance of four years. It suddenly dawned on me. My God, that means another election. I can just see the minister over there with his bouffant hairdo -- I think he’s got new shoes now by the way -- and his suit, cutting the ribbon and saying, “Look what we’ve done for you people in eastern Ontario.”

Mr. Foulds: He’s got bouffant shoes too.

Mr. Samis: We are not going to be taken in by that sort of thing. We welcome the fact that they transferred it. But we’re not going to play this silly little game where at every election a goodie is dangled. If we behave ourselves in eastern Ontario, if we return the right boys back here, then maybe we’ll get a little more. We want to see specific plans, a specific strategy for development in eastern Ontario and not a whole series of Duplessis-style election goodies, pork barrel, patronage and promises. We want a comprehensive industrial strategy for our area. We want a planned, phased commitment towards the decentralization of development and decentralization of opportunities for our people.

It strikes us as ironic when we see what’s happening in what my colleague from Port Arthur sarcastically has described as northern Ontario. In the city of Barrie they are taking out prime agricultural land.

Mr. Foulds: Ironically, not sarcastically. I would never refer to Barrie in a sarcastic way.

Mr. Samis: The city of Barrie is being told: “We’re going to take this prime agricultural land. We’re going to use this for industrial development, and whether you want it, whether you like it, whether you need it, we’re going to force-feed 125,000 people into your community, because Darcy McKeough says that’s the way, the life and the future of the province of Ontario.” Does that really make sense when we have regions like eastern and northern Ontario, in dire need of new industry, new opportunities, and jobs for young people? Obviously, it doesn’t, but we don’t get the results we need in eastern Ontario.

One particular facet of our sector of the province is the tourist industry, which does provide a certain number of jobs. I’d like to make a few specific proposals as to what I think could be done to improve the tourist industry and create more jobs in our area.

First of all, a fundamental weakness is that along our part of the St. Lawrence River tourists may visit something like Upper Canada Village, they may visit Long Sault Parkway or something of that sort, but there isn’t much to keep them beyond a one-day visit. They go back to Montreal or on to Ottawa or back to Toronto. They don’t stay. What we need very badly is something that will keep people beyond one day, something that will provide them with an incentive to stay.

A feasibility study has been done as to the idea of developing a summer theatre complex in the Upper Canada Village. It’s been studied. It’s been said: “Yes, it is feasible.” A design has been proposed. Because of certain problems, they’ve asked the architects to go back to the drawing boards again.

We don’t want an endless delay of proposals and ideas. The experts have said it’s feasible. We want to see some action to help our tourist industry.

Secondly, I think one thing that should be emphasized about eastern Ontario is the heritage of our area. If you look at the history of this province, my own community was founded in 1783. We have what I would consider the cradle of confederation in this part of the country in Kingston. We have older communities such as Napanee, Smiths Falls and Perth. These are valuable historical communities in the heritage of Ontario. I noticed that the recent study commissioned by the Ministry of Industry and Tourism has suggested that more attention should be paid to the historical heritage of eastern Ontario because that attracts people. That’s a specific characteristic that I think we have to that extent, that no other part of this province can claim.

In terms of my own particular community, I would like to suggest that the Ministry of Industry and Tourism play a very active role in seeking to establish some form of major tourist attraction along the lines of some form of safari park or major recreational area. The feasibility study, done by the ministry, did indicate that if we project for the next five years ahead, it is certainly and definitely feasible for private enterprise to establish a major tourist attraction of that nature. I would hope that, even if some of the businessmen in my area are somewhat reluctant, the ministry will continue the consultations and furnish every possible encouragement to businessmen to create something of this nature.

I want to bring to your attention concerning eastern Ontario that many of the tourists we get would come in by Highway 401. If they come from the United States, obviously they would cross either at Gananoque or Cornwall and then get on Highway 401. Immediately, I’m sure, as soon as they cross the river, the Americans are hit by the high cost of tourism in this province, whether it be for food or rooms, but most important of all in terms of what hits them is the cost of gasoline. I know the Highway 401 leases have been renegotiated and I know for a while there was a decrease in prices and it did become somewhat competitive but, just last week, I drove up along Highway 401 and decided to get off at Belleville to get gasoline. The difference between the cheapest gasoline in the city of Belleville compared to the cheapest gasoline that I’m aware of on Highway 401 -- and I don’t claim this is a thorough representation of the gas prices along Highway 401 -- was as high as 14 cents a gallon.

The tourist doesn’t know where to get off to get the bargains. The tourist doesn’t know about the bargains. Most frequently he relies on the service centres along Highway 401.

Mr. Wildman: That’s right.

Mr. Samis: When he has to pay 14 cents inure a gallon, there’s nothing else I can think of to describe that but a ripoff. The people who are getting ripped off are the people to whom we’re saying, “Why don’t you come back to Ontario? Why don’t you want to come and see our tourist facilities? Why don’t you scant to stay?” If we’re serious about getting American tourists back we’d better get serious about some of the prices we charge for gas, food, lodging and services.

I notice even Jack Homer, the cactus rancher from Pincher Creek, has attacked some of the operators who are charging prices like that. They’re not just the small ones, because if you look at who runs those service stations you find it’s the multi-national oil companies.

A fifth suggestion I’d like to make in terms of developing the tourist potential of eastern Ontario is that possibly greater attention could be given to the winter activities available in our area. We have a considerable number of provincial parks and groomed trails of a variety of sorts, whether it’s for cross-country skiing or snow-shoeing. We have a whole host of well-organized, well-financed and well-administered snowmobile clubs. Some of those clubs have thousands -- not hundreds, but thousands -- of miles of well-groomed trails that people in the big cities don’t have access to.

Obviously, it’s a little farther to drive. But if they want to talk about thousands of miles within a day’s drive, surely, it’s the responsibility of the Ministry of Industry and Tourism, in their advertising at that time of the year, to make the snowmobile enthusiasts aware what opportunities there are for them in eastern Ontario.

There’s a tremendous burgeoning of cross- country trails in eastern Ontario, in the provincial parks and elsewhere, and I suspect most people in the metropolitan area of Toronto aren’t even aware of them.

Finally, in terms of eastern Ontario, may I suggest that possibly more publicity should be given to the history of the area. Cornwall, my home town, for example, was founded in 1783. We have the historic Glengarry settlers. We have the unique architectural heritage of such communities as Kingston, Perth, Smiths Falls and Cobourg.

It always amazes me when I drive to the city of Kingston where Sir John A. Macdonald spent his lifetime, where Sir John A. Macdonald is buried, that you can drive along Highway 401, and drive right past the community of Kingston -- and not even know that the first Prime Minister of this country, the outstanding Father of Confederation, lived and was buried in the city of Kingston.

Even when you get off Highway 401, it’s almost impossible unless you know your way around the city to find out where Sir John A. Macdonald lived, where the Sir John A. Macdonald legend developed. I’m amazed how the provincial government and local authorities almost totally ignore the tremendous heritage of our first Prime Minister.

When I go down to Virginia, Washington or New York State and find out about the heritage of that country, I think the way the Americans mark, publicize and make you aware of their heritage is something that puts us to shame in this province and in this country. We have a hell of a lot that we can learn from the Americans in terms of tourism. It’s time we woke up and built our strength upon that heritage.

Mr. Wildman: When they say Macdonald in Kingston they think you mean Flora.

Mr. Samis: Either Flora or Ronald, unfortunately.

Mr. Eakins: You are dead on.

Mr. Samis: I have outlined my concerns and my proposals for eastern Ontario, and for the provincial economy as a whole. I have tried to do so in a constructive sense rather than a partisan sense, because like many Canadians I’m truly concerned about the fate of our economy, the fate of our province and the fate of our country.

I don’t consider myself to be a doom-and-gloomster, but I do believe we must confront the serious and basic economic and political problems that face us today. I believe that Canadians care too much for their country to allow these problems to overwhelm us.

I believe that we in this Legislature must provide leadership and make narrow, partisan considerations secondary to the search for solutions to the problems I’ve outlined tonight.

We certainly have our differences with this government, make no mistake about it. But I believe our primary purpose in being here is to find those solutions and not merely to indulge in petty, partisan, parliamentary pandering or puerile posturing. Thank you. Merci beaucoup.

Mr. Gregory: A Lawlor you’re not.


Mr. Baetz: I had intended to direct my comments on this budget debate to that sector which is largely but not exclusively covered by this Legislature’s social development policy field. It’s an area in which I have been active for many years. I believe it is also that part of government activity where more than elsewhere we operate on slippery slopes and shifting sands.

I am watching the clock. I will not be able, Mr. Speaker, to present the comments that I had prepared for tonight. I do hope I will have an opportunity to do so in subsequent sessions.

Mr. Reid: Sounds like a threat.

Mr. Baetz: It’s not a threat, it’s a promise. I would like to congratulate the hon. member for Cornwall for having given such an eloquent speech. I couldn’t agree with most of it. Some things I would agree with.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I didn’t even think it was eloquent.

Mr. Baetz: However, the things I could agree with him on, I suspect he has come by by being such a great disciple of the Duke of Kent, as he calls him -- the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough). He’s obviously a very avid reader, having read at great length to us tonight from the writings of our esteemed Treasurer, and I am sure that if the hon. member for Cornwall continues his studies of our esteemed Treasurer, he will one nice day cross the floor.

Mr. Samis: Don’t count on it.

Mr. Reid: That is how he became an NDP in the first place.

Mr. Baetz: Well, there is progress. There is a sign of progress there. There is hope there.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: We are not that desperate.

Mr. Samis: Never turncoats.

Mr. Wildman: Not one of us will be over there. You will be over here.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: That will be a long time.

Mr. Baetz: I have prepared for this occasion here. As I said earlier, I want to speak about the social development field. I think sometimes when we criticize inadequate expenditures, there’s an all-too-common tendency to compare our current situation with utopia, with some never-never fairy land. We have gone through that exercise again tonight.

I would immediately claim that I have never joined that chorus because I have always felt that to be an exercise in futility. This kind of shotgun criticism is one which can and does lead quickly from uncertainty to frustration, down to pessimism, down further to scepticism and finally sinks into cynicism and we have bordered on that tonight again. There is no utopia and there is little point in comparing ourselves here in Ontario to such platonic states of perfection as we apparently have had painted for us across the floor tonight.

It seems to me to be a far more useful exercise to compare our performance in the social development field with other similar jurisdictions. It is for this reason that about one year ago when I was still executive director of the Canadian Council on Social Development, we began some work in assembling and analysing data comparing expenditures in the social development field to all the Canadian provinces. That work has not yet been published, but in the meantime, for purposes of our debate, I had prepared and would like to provide this Legislature with some first-hand information with a view to helping all of us, both on this side of the House and those opposite, to gain some assessment as to where we in Ontario stand as compared with our sister provinces.

I would like to assure members opposite that the statistics are objective and non-partisan.

Mr. Wildman: Then start with the minimum wage.

Mr. Baetz: I would like to assure them that how these objectives are interpreted will undoubtedly become partisan and value oriented. In presenting these statistics, I hardly need warn the members of some of the pitfalls in comparing statistical data between provinces.

Mr. Reid: The member for Grey-Bruce (Mr. Sargent) already did that today.

Mr. Baetz: It can be somewhat misleading, partly because of differences in terminology. What may be classified as health service in one province may fall under another department in another province. Even within provinces, an examination of expenditures in one department may be misleading because increased expenditures might simply reflect the transfer of programs to that department from another and therefore leave unchanged the provincial aggregate expenditure in the social development field.

Mr. Wildman: Are you going to compare the populations as well as the expenditures?

Mr. Baetz: Also, increases in expenditure alone do not tell us everything. For example, if much more is spent on medical and hospital care in a province, than was the case 10 years ago, it could mean that the same proportion of a greatly expanded need is being provided for. In this case it could simply mean that the needs are still being met inadequately by the same proportion as previously.

Nevertheless, in spite of the limits and pitfalls, this approach to comparative expenditures among the provinces is, I believe, valid and useful and it has never been done before. This is because patterns of public spending do reveal the policies implicit or explicit which govern the use of our provincial wealth.

Mr. Wildman: Only if you compare the populations.

Mr. Baetz: Many goals and grand purposes may be proclaimed both in this House and in other jurisdictions. But, as a general rule, the percentage of our wealth which we are prepared to divert to social development is the measure of how a society feels about this field.

Mr. Wildman: Per capita, it is.

Mr. Baetz: There is an added advantage in comparing provincial expenditure patterns, because in doing so we avoid the mare’s breakfast of trying to sort out federal from provincial expenditures.

By and large, the statistics that I had prepared, and will be sending to this Legislature, will refer to moneys raised and spent by the provinces themselves. The period which I will be covering is from the fiscal year 1970-71 to 1976-77 inclusive. It will cover specifically the fields of social welfare, health education, protection of persons and property -- which is essentially administration of justice and the law -- and fifthly, housing.

Gross general expenditures by all provinces have increased by an average of 160 per cent in the seven-year period, in current dollars, that is during the period 1970-71 to 1976-77. The percentage increase has been greatest in British Columbia, which has gone up 203 per cent, with New Brunswick having the smallest increase at 128 per cent. Ontario, with an increase of 142 per cent, is the third lowest with Nova Scotia being next lowest with an increase of 141 per cent. I am talking about gross provincial expenditures, not just on social development.

In the next five minutes I will just touch on a few statistics, but there are many more here and I would encourage all of the members to take a look at them. They tell a tale.

Mr. Reid: Talk in human terms.

Mr. Baetz: What percentage of gross expenditures -- I am assuming that these expenditures were for human well-being -- goes for social development? How do these percentages compare in proportion to similar ones in other provinces?

First, the percentage of total provincial expenditures designated for social welfare in Ontario in 1976-77 was 14.3 per cent of our gross provincial expenditures. That is third highest among the provinces, being exceeded only by BC, which directed 17.8 per cent of its total provincial expenditures to social welfare, and Manitoba with 16.8 per cent of its provincial expenditures going to social welfare.

The four Atlantic provinces diverted the lowest percentage of their provincial expenditures to social welfare, ranging from 11.4 per cent for New Brunswick to as low as 8.9 per cent for Nova Scotia, which was the lowest in the country. As the degree of need in the Atlantic provinces is probably greatest, the relatively lower expenditure in those provinces for social welfare suggests that need alone does not determine the degree of expenditure. There is obviously a trade-off somewhere between needs and available resources.

Keeping in mind that Ontario’s growth of gross provincial expenditures has been among the lowest, the rate of growth diverted to social welfare is, I believe, significant. This growth rate has been among the highest, namely a 6.2 per cent growth rate. It is exceeded only by Manitoba by a fraction of a point at 6.3 per cent.

Admittedly, part of the relatively rapid growth for social welfare expenditures in Ontario is due to the fact that in the base year, 1970-71, Ontario was among the lowest, with only 8.1 per cent of our provincial expenditures going to social welfare. In other words, we started very low, but we have grown rapidly and now stand in third place.

Mr. Reid: And that’s where the cutbacks started.

Mr. Baetz: The percentage of all provincial expenditures going to education across the country averaged 23.9 per cent among the 10 provinces in 1976. In relation to other provinces, Ontario’s expenditure in education as a percentage of the total provincial expenditure is third highest at 26.8 per cent and is exceeded only by New Brunswick with 28.4 per cent and Quebec with 27.4 per cent.

These expenditures overall are down from 27.3 per cent in 1970-71, which likely reflects the plateauing off of our student population and a reduction in expenditures on capital equipment and property. Ontario’s relative costs for education have declined more slowly than the national average, being down two per cent as compared to the national average of a 3.4 per cent decline.

Quebec’s costs for education as part of its total provincial expenditures stand in sharp contrast to other provinces, having increased over the seven-year period by 1.3 per cent. The trend in Quebec is opposite to that in Ontario; it started at a lower rate than Ontario in 1970-71, namely 26.1 per cent, as compared to Ontario’s 28.8 per cent, but ended with a higher percentage of 28.4 per cent as compared to ours at 27.4 per cent.

Mr. Wildman: What’s the point?

Mr. Baetz: The sharpest decline in the percentage of provincial expenditures going to education took place in Alberta. It dropped from the highest at 31.3 per cent in 1970-71 to among the lowest at 22.9 per cent in 1976-77. The drop of 8.4 per cent in expenditures going to education in Alberta was matched only by Manitoba, where the drop was 7.7 per cent during the same period.

In the next session of the debate on the budget, Mr. Speaker, I hope to continue with these comparative expenditures. In the meantime, they will be available for members of the Legislature. I released them today to the press. Frankly, I feel that they paint for us a very significant picture.

Mr. Haggerty: Yes, that the Tories have got to go.

Mr. Baetz: It is the first time some statistical material and comparative material has been made available and published. I suggest that this kind of an approach, in spite of its limitations, has a great deal more merit than some of the mush we’ve been listening to in this House for a long time.

Mr. Germa: Mush? What are you talking about?

On motion by Mr. Baetz, the debate was adjourned.

On motion by Hon. Mr. Parrott, the House adjourned at 10:29 p.m.