31e législature, 2e session

L006 - Tue 28 Feb 1978 / Mar 28 fév 1978

The House met at 2 p.m.



Mr. Laughren: Mr. Speaker, on a point of personal privilege: Yesterday afternoon in this chamber, the member for Halton-Burlington (Mr. Reed) stated the following:

“The new Minister of the Environment (Mr. McCague) went on record, two days after he was sworn in, as saying that pollution standards would have to be relaxed in the coming months in order to facilitate employment. I had the experience of being with one of the NDP members, speaking to the Environmental Law Association, who also espoused the same kind of philosophy. It was interesting to see the NDP and the Tories in bed together.”

There was an interjection and the hon. member followed up by saying:

“Well, the hon. member should ask the member for Nickel Belt exactly what he said. He should also ask his friends from the Ontario Federation of Labour; the treasurer, who was there, talked proudly about marching with the demonstrators at the Darlington site.”

In the interest of the truth, I would like to clarify what was said at the annual meeting of the Canadian Environmental Law Association. What I did say was that I understood the dilemma of workers when they were faced with the cruel choice of either unemployment or participating in a job that contributed to the destruction of our environment.

Ms. Gigantes: A false choice.

Mr. Laughren: I also know, given the economic policies of this government and of the federal government, that workers will increasingly have to make that rather cruel choice.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for the opportunity of correcting the record.

Mr. Martel: Some people are careless with the truth.



Hon. Mrs. Birch: Mr. Speaker, several questions were asked yesterday about a fire at an unlicensed boarding home in Chelmsford. Five elderly residents died at that time and a sixth person died Saturday night in a Sudbury Hospital.

An inquest has been set for Monday, April 10, and it is to be conducted by Dr. Donald McGowan of Capreol. I share the concerns of my colleagues regarding the circumstances under which this tragedy took place and I will pursue this with my colleagues, the ministers of Health (Mr. Timbrell) and Community and Social Services (Mr. Norton).

I can confirm for the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. S. Smith) that space was available at the Pioneer Home for the Aged in Sudbury, about seven miles away. I am sure he would agree that the role of government is to protect those who are not competent. It is not the role of government to tell people where they should live.


Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, I am introducing today, bills that would revise the Securities Act, enact a new Commodity Futures Act and make corollary amendments to the Business Corporations Act.

Last fall, I announced we would not proceed with this package of bills until the spring session in order to provide both the new chairman of the Ontario Securities Commission and myself with an opportunity to review the legislation. This is now done.

Additional review and consultation with interested organizations has resulted in a number of changes in each of the major bills. The principles of these changes have been discussed with most of the provincial securities commissions and I am optimistic that the bills I am tabling today will establish the precedent for uniform securities and commodity futures legislation across Canada.

A number of areas of the new Securities Act are revised to enhance effective investor protection. The most significant changes include: detailed provisions requiring timely disclosure of material events in the affairs of reporting issuers; more detailed rules concerning takeover bids; a new pattern of exemptions from prospectus filing requirements; more detailed rules establishing civil liability for inadequate documents -- including, for the first time, specific statutory liability of underwriters.

In addition, there are a number of changes of a technical nature that will improve the practical application of the Act and its efficient administration. Past versions of this bill have been described to this Legislature, but I should refer to the significant changes that have resulted from the consultation of the past couple of months.

Most important is the area of takeover bids. The Securities Act defines “takeover bid” in wide terms, but includes an exemption for bids carried out by private agreement. A number of problems have arisen as a result of this exemption, the most important among them being that holders of a control block have disposed of it at a premium price unavailable to minority shareholders.

Past versions of this bill would simply have deleted the private agreement exemption, but it has become apparent that this approach would be unduly restrictive, would increase the administrative workload of the commission and would force businessmen to apply to the commission for its approval of many transactions, even though they would have no element of a control block premium. As a result, flexibility of trading would be decreased and costs of administration and compliance would be increased.

Accordingly, the proposed bill would reinstate the private agreement exemption, although in a narrower form than in the present Act. Where this exemption is relied upon to purchase control at a premium, the vendor would be obligated to offer the same or an equivalent price to minority shareholders within 180 days after the acquisition of control.

Concern with costs of compliance and of administration has also influenced the second significant change. Under earlier proposals, mutual funds, their management companies and their contractual sales plan service companies would have been required to register with the commission and would have been made subject to additional substantive rules.

These proposals had their genesis in a 1969 report that was written when certain abuses or potential abuses were detected. Major changes have occurred since then; the mutual fund industry is now much smaller and less able to withstand unnecessary administrative costs. Further, the securities commission has established effective control over the industry through the prospectus filing and other requirements contained in the present Act and in the bill now before you. In these circumstances, the proposal is that the new registration requirements and certain of the substantive rules be deleted.

The third significant change is of a more technical nature. As I have already mentioned, the bill contains statutory filing disclosure requirements applicable to reporting issuers. It also contains a new set of exemptions from the prospectus filing requirements, based on the assumption that the new timely disclosure requirements will make it appropriate to distribute certain securities to the public without the benefit of a prospectus.

I agree with this approach; again, it will reduce costs of compliance and of administration but on a basis consistent with investor protection. However, there should be an opportunity for practical experience with the new timely disclosure rules, and the proposal is that the new exemptions come into force 18 months after the rest of the Act becomes law. The amendments to the Business Corporations Act are to move all elements of investor disclosure into the Securities Act where they belong.

Turning to the Commodity Futures Act, the broad structure of the Act, again, remains unchanged. It contains registration requirements and related rules for the protection of investors in commodity futures. Since the protections of the Act are not needed for persons whose business requires them to trade in futures, an appropriate exemption is provided.

In the prior version of the bill, this exemption took the form of an elaborate and detailed definition of “bona fide hedging transaction.” In the bill now being introduced, that definition is deleted and a much simpler definition of “hedger” is substituted.

You will note that we have not tabled any compendia to this legislation. The compendia were made available last spring and any changes to the legislation which have evolved since then were covered in this statement.

I commend each of these bills through you, Mr. Speaker, to the hon. members. They will significantly improve the pattern of investor protection in this province and will enable Ontario to keep its lead in this area within Canada.


Hon. Mr. Grossman: Just 12 weeks ago this House enacted a bill to combat the tax discounters. These people charged some citizens about 50 per cent of the value of the tax refund due back to them. We have learned a tremendous amount in the ensuing three months. We know they are operating in open defiance of the law. We have discovered that the existing statute is simply not enough to deal with this problem.

With the concurrence of this House we expect to tighten up the offence sections of the bill. In our effort to be constitutionally respectful, we drafted a section which made a transaction where the consumer got less than a 95 per cent refund invalid. We now want to go further. We want to make it a clear offence to pay less than 95 per cent. We want to make this section read, “No discounters shall pay less than 95 per cent.” We still wish to be constitutionally correct, but we are not going to be easy with these firms. An offence clearly it should be and an offence it will be, and charges will be laid.

We have learned that one enterprising firm has taken to giving the taxpayer 50 per cent in cash and a note for the remaining 45 per cent. They tell the customer he can have the remaining 45 per cent if they lose in court. We propose to deal with this problem in the forthcoming amendment.

I have further been advised that a firm in Ottawa with a branch in Hull does the first portion of the paperwork in Ottawa, and then sends its clients to the Hull office to pick up the cheque. The discounter receives the power of attorney to claim the refund in Quebec. This manoeuvre effectively takes jurisdiction over the transaction out of the province and therefore beyond the reach of prosecution and civil action in Ontario. I frankly do not know what I can do here but clearly this illustrates the need for federal involvement.

I recall clearly my predecessor pushing the federal government on the Borrowers and Depositors Protection Act. We pressed for a long time the idea that the federal government should move swiftly against those buying government cheques at a discount. Instead they are including this thrust in a bill which deals with a much broader package of measures covering the lending field. The whole effect of this has been to slow down action in these areas where action is sorely needed.

These usurious border games would not be taking place if the federal government had simply moved ahead and tackled these specialized deals with specific legislation. In the face of this non-action, five of our sister provinces have moved one way or another on tax discounters. Everyone got fed up waiting for something to happen, but let me say this. We are in now and we are going to deal with these situations. We are going to lay charges everywhere these people operate, if we must. We are really looking forward to the confrontation up to and including any constitutional arguments, though, as I have just finished saying, if the federal government had moved when they should have, we would not be fighting that issue at all.


Through you, Mr. Speaker, I would like to urge the hon. members of all parties to cooperate in pushing this amendment through without delay. We are just entering the peak of the tax return season and we must act now.

Mr. Speaker: I would urge the hon. members to keep their private conversations down, including the member for Sudbury East (Mr. Martel).

Hon. Mr. Grossman: He is missing a lot of good stuff.


Hon. Mr. Grossman: Today I’m introducing for first reading the Vital Statistics Amendment Act, 1978. The purpose of this bill is twofold: To permit the names of children to be registered with any combination of the parents’ hyphenated surnames and to allow the designation of sex to be changed on a transsexual’s birth certificate.

At the present time, the Vital Statistics Act permits hyphenated or combined names provided the surname of the father precedes that of the mother. In other words, the issue of John Jones and Sally Smith must be named Jones-Smith, if a compound surname is desired. The amendment would permit, at the discretion of the parents, either Jones-Smith or Smith-Jones.

Subsequent children of the union must bear the identical combination of surnames, and there are provisions in the bill to change the birth certificates of children born prior to the amendment.

Mr. Deans: Now the Minister of Labour (B. Stephenson) can use both her names.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: It gets better.

Mr. Nixon: I hope so.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: It’s worth waiting for. When the Vital Statistics Act was amended in 1976 to permit hyphenated names, there was some editorial outcry over the possibility of Betty Brown-White marrying Bobby Black-Green and naming their children Black-Green-White-Brown. This possibility still exists, of course, although the deputy registrar general assures me there have been no line-ups to register even hyphenated names.

In any event, the government cannot be put in the position of legislating against silliness, and Lord knows we should sometimes. We hope the Major Major Major syndrome remains confined to Joseph Heller’s fiction.

The government feels this amendment is very much in keeping with the contemporary social mores, and we can see no reason to deny parents this option. The recommendation is contained in the Ombudsman’s report of 1976-77 but, even prior to that my predecessor (Mr. Handleman) said that when the amendment to permit hyphenated names was originally brought in, he would have been prepared then to make the order of surnames optional. But, at that time, the issue was never even raised.

The second part of the amendment provides a method for individuals who have undergone transsexual surgery to have the sex designation on a birth certificate changed to reflect the results of the surgery performed. This change may be made when the operation is complete and in conjunction with the presentation of a certificate signed by a licensed medical practitioner. Until now, sex designations have been amended only if there was a mistake made at the time of issue.

We feel the inability of an individual who has undergone a transsexual operation to obtain a birth certificate showing the new sex could be very disturbing to someone engaged in the difficult task of establishing a new lifestyle. Since Ontario recognizes the medical necessity in proper circumstances for this type of surgery --

Mr. Roy: He’s got more guts than his predecessor had.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: -- it should be prepared to facilitate the transsexual’s transition to his or her changed circumstances.

Mr. Handleman: Does the member for Ottawa East want to apply?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: I should add that we are not stating that the legal status of the transsexual has been changed. This is a matter for the courts and there is no Canadian precedent for it, although according to British and United States decisions, the status of the individual is not changed. Again, I should point out that this matter was raised in the Ombudsman’s report for 1975-76. As I pointed out during the meeting of the select committee on the Ombudsman in February 1977, six months before I assumed this portfolio, the ministry had already agreed to amend its legislation to coincide with that of other Canadian jurisdictions.

Roth parts of this amendment are desirable in that they reflect contemporary social standards and conditions. I commend this bill to the hon. members and urge its speedy passage.


Mr. S. Smith: May I have the attention of the House for a moment, because the hon. gentleman has to leave shortly, to introduce in your gallery, sir, the Leader of the Opposition of the province of Newfoundland, Mr. William Rowe.

Mr. Peterson: And the next Premier.

Mr. Nixon: And to wish him well.

Hon. Mr. Davis: What party is that?


Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, in a few moments I will be tabling a report of the commission of inquiry into Provincial Judge Harry J. Williams, together with a copy of the order in council removing the provincial court judge from office pursuant to section 4 of the Provincial Courts Act. Very briefly, the conclusions of the Hon. Mr. Justice Sydney L. Robins, the commissioner, are as follows:

“Now, regrettable as it is in view of his past service on the bench it is inescapable that his position as a judge is untenable. Plainly stated, he has destroyed his effectiveness and usefulness as a judge. In all the circumstances it must be concluded that Judge Williams’ misbehaviour has been such that it does not serve the best interests of the administration of justice in Ontario that he continue as a provincial judge of the provincial court, criminal division.”


Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I also have a further statement in relation to additional information for members of the Legislature in relation to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Ontario Health Insurance Plan.

Members will recall that last fall I provided a statement and a memorandum on dealings between the federal police force and OHIP. At that time, I had been given certain information by the RCMP to the effect that the force had obtained non-medical biographical data from OHIP files. The RCMP reported that after searching their files and canvassing their staff they had found one exception to this practice. In this ease, the force had verified information of a medical nature with OHIP on a highly sensitive counter-espionage investigation involving a communist-bloc intelligence service operating in Canada.

My office has now received additional information from the RCMP in this regard and I want to share it with the members. I have been informed by the RCMP that further information from their members revealed they had obtained information of a medical nature from OHIP in two cases involving security screening of federal employees. I would now like to quote from a letter to me, dated February 17, 1978, from R. R. Schramm, chief superintendent and acting commanding officer of the RCMP’s “O” Division in Ontario. There is also a follow-up letter from Chief Superintendent Schramm, dated February 24, which I will also be referring to. Dealing with the February 17 letter, I quote:

“These cases deal with two investigations conducted by the RCMP security service in connection with our security screening responsibilities in which we are required to undertake field investigations requested by federal government departments which wish to give selected employees access to sensitive information. The results of these investigations then become part of the overall departmental decision to grant or deny such access.

“Among other things, one of the requirements laid down by government policy in security screening matters is that we are to investigate and report on any indication of mental instability. In both these cases, information was received through investigation that indicated the employees had undergone previous psychiatric treatment. OHIP was subsequently contacted and confirmed such treatment and provided details of what treatment was received.”

This is the end of the relevant quotation from that particular letter. In the letter, Chief Superintendent Schramm informed me that the RCMP’s earlier information to me was incorrect but said he had only learned of the two cases I have mentioned on February 14, 1978. After receiving this letter and discussing its contents with the Minister of Health (Mr. Timbrell) as well as senior officials in my ministry, I sought a clarification of several points in it. I now have a letter dated February 24, 1978, from Chief Superintendent Schramm. This letter indicates in more detail the type of information obtained by the RCMP, and I will quote to members this information in its entirety.

In relation to the first case, the letter states, and I quote:

“Our member learned through investigation that the federal civil servant being considered for a position where he or she would have access to sensitive information had received previous psychiatric treatment. He then contacted OHIP for confirmation. He was told that OHIP had been billed by the physician under two code numbers, namely 300 and 303. He was further told what categories of illnesses were included under these two codes. He was told that code 300 covers 16 primary illnesses, which were detailed to him, with some sub-categories, while code 303 covers two primary illnesses, which were also given to him with some sub-categories. He was not told specifically which illness or illnesses the person had been treated for. Additionally, he was provided with the dates on which the treatment had been received.”

In relation to the second case, the letter states as follows, and I quote it in its entirety:

“Our member learned through investigation that the federal civil servant being considered for a position where he or she would have access to sensitive information had received previous psychiatric treatment. He contacted OHIP for confirmation. He was told that OHIP had been billed by the physician under code 300 which contains the primary and secondary categories as indicated previously. He was not told specifically which illness or illnesses the person had been treated for. He was also told that this person had been treated under code 780 which denotes ‘signs and symptoms not yet diagnosed’ and code 799 which denotes ‘no diagnosis.’ At this time, our investigator was also told that the spouse of the person being security cleared had received similar treatment. Additionally, our investigator was provided with the dates on which treatment had been received.”

That is the end of the quotation from this latest letter.

I am advised that these incidents happened before the Ministry of Health considerably tightened its procedures in this regard last fall.

Mr. Lewis: Incredible.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I bring this information to the attention of the members to set the record straight, as I am aware of it as of this date, and to keep the members fully briefed on this matter which is, of course, of great concern to us all.

The commission appointed by this government to investigate the confidentiality of OHIP records and headed by Mr. Justice Horace Krever of the Ontario Supreme Court has been advised of these cases by Arthur Pennington of the federal Justice department, who is representing the RCMP before the Krever commission.

Mr. Lewis: You should have told them what you thought of them for seeking that kind of information.


Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I would like to add my comments to clarify the extent of medical information received by the RCMP. I also want to emphasize that the access gained by the RCMP occurred before matters of confidentiality of medical records were brought to the attention of the House last fall and before my ministry tightened up provision of information to police agencies.

In the two incidents referred to, the RCMP, apparently during the course of investigations, received information that two individuals received psychiatric treatment. The RCMP then approached OHIP for confirmation and OHIP confirmed it had been billed by physicians under certain code numbers. The RCMP were informed of the categories of illnesses included under these two codes. There was no access to psychiatric files. In fact, OHIP does not maintain psychiatric files.

Mr. Lewis: That’s just ridiculous; you’ve given the illnesses.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: On December 1, I announced in the House that we had further tightened our procedures for access to information in medical records. Since early December, our policy has been that we will not supply any information from OHIP records to police forces without a court order.

Mr. Roy: You should have done that before.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I believe that as far as is humanly possible, the safeguards now in place should maintain confidentiality of records.

Ms. Gigantes: Court orders for job applications.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I am determined to ensure, to the best of my ability, that the principle of confidentiality of medical records is not violated.

Details of the two incidents clarified by the RCMP have been passed to Mr. Justice Krever, and we are looking forward to any further improvements that he can recommend to maintain the confidentiality of medical records, whether they relate to a specific part of my ministry, a branch, a particular office or hospital, or to the system itself.



Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, the Public Officers Act requires that within the first 15 days of every session I advise the assembly of all securities furnished on behalf of public officers and of any changes made to such securities since my last statement, which was on June 30, 1977. There have been no changes in either category.



Mr. S. Smith: I would like to direct my question to the Attorney General, Mr. Speaker. If I understand his statement correctly regarding the RCMP and the OHIP information, and I read the third paragraph of his statement, he says at that time he had been given certain information by the RCMP to the effect that the force had obtained non-medical biographical data. He goes on to say that the RCMP reported, after searching their files and canvassing their staff, that they found one exception to this practice, a case of a highly sensitive counter-espionage investigation et cetera.

I may be incorrect, but I do not recall the Attorney General ever telling us of the existence of this exception. I have in front of me the Hansard record of November 25, in which he assures us that “at no time has the force in Ontario sought or obtained medical files from OHIP” and so on; I recall that quite well. Can the Attorney General tell us whether in fact he had this information of the one exception at the time that he spoke to us in the House and chose, for security reasons, not to divulge it? Or is this something which has just recently come to his attention? If so, when?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I do not have copies of statements that I made last fall, Mr. Speaker, so I am relying entirely on my memory. My recollection, first of all, is that I have had that information for some period of time. My recollection is further that I advised the House of this information, probably not in great detail.

I certainly will be pleased to check on the statements I made to the Legislature last fall in this respect, but I would like to repeat that it is my recollection that I had mentioned this matter to the Legislature.

Mr. S. Smith: I guess we will have to wait for the Attorney General to look back in his records. I do not recall it, but I could be wrong.

As a supplementary, may I ask the Attorney General what action he has taken with regard to the original information that he received from the RCMP, which apparently left out this obviously vital and very shocking matter, that merely being treated in a psychiatric facility apparently is considered to be of some importance by the RCMP and that such information has been given out by OHIP?

Since that is directly in contradiction with the information which the RCMP gave to the minister and which he gave to this House, what action has he taken to express the displeasure, the anger and, in my opinion, the outrage of the province of Ontario at the way in which this has happened and, furthermore, at the way in which the Attorney General has been misled by the RCMP originally?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I made it abundantly clear in all my discussions with the RCMP that as far as I was concerned they were to conduct their activities within the law in the province of Ontario. I could not have made my position more strongly in that respect.

I further indicated at all times to the RCMP that in the event any information came to their attention which would indicate that some member of the force had acted illegally, I expected to be so advised. After the Minister of Health (Mr. Timbrell) and I learned of this information, I think the Minister of Health has made it abundantly clear that he has instructed officials in his ministry, particularly those in relation to OHIP records, of course, that in no circumstances are any records of any kind to be delivered to any police officer without a court order, without a subpoena. I think we have made our positions as strong as is humanly possible in that regard.

Ms. Gigantes: Lay charges.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary: Has the minister sought and received assurances from the RCMP that no other such breaches of confidentiality, beyond the three cases that are now documented, have taken place; or does the minister intend to come back with further incidents over the course of the coming months where the RCMP sends further letters telling what it has been doing in the past?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, again I am simply repeating what I have said before: I have requested the RCMP to advise me of any such cases and the RCMP have indicated they will advise me of any such cases at such time as they come to light. As Chief Superintendent Schramm stated in his initial letter of February 17, it was only on February 14 that these two cases first came to his attention as the acting commanding officer.

I am confident that when Chief Superintendent Schramm gives me his personal undertaking that he will bring any such matters to my attention that he intends to honour that commitment.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Since the Attorney General will recall that the reason the charges were not laid with regard to the giving out of this OHIP information was because there was a procedural manual within the Ministry of Health, which advised certain employees to give out these bare-bones biographical or demographic data, now that he has discovered that more than such data has been given out -- in fact information concerning diagnosis and place of treatment has been given out -- will he consider pressing charges against those employees, or those responsible for those employees, who permitted this information to be given out in contravention of the law?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I just want to correct the Leader of the Opposition in one respect; it is my information that dates of treatment were given out, not places of treatment.

Mr. S. Smith: Diagnosis.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: In my view the appropriate course to follow at this time, in view of the commission headed by Mr. Justice Krever, is for Mr. Justice Krever to review these cases. He has indicated to me, and I have also advised Mr. Justice Krever directly, that I intend, of course, to bring any such cases to his attention. In my respectful view, Mr. Speaker, the appropriate forum to investigate these matters at this point in time will be the Krever commission; and any decision as to whether any charges should be laid in my view, should await the deliberations of the Krever commission, rather than suggest some parallel investigation be carried out.

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Speaker, by way of a supplementary question: First of all, when did these two latest incidents in fact occur; and secondly, what assurance, if any, has this minister sought, or his colleague the Minister of Health sought, that as a result of these investigations the persons who were being investigated did not suffer adverse reports because of this information?

Mr. Lewis: It is witch-hunting in psychiatric records, that’s what is going on.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Again, I think I can only repeat what I said a moment ago. In my view Mr. Justice Krever has a mandate to investigate these matters. He is in a better position to investigate them than any individual police officer or police officers, because he has the power to subpoena witnesses and to require them to testify. In my view this is the most effective forum to bring this additional information to light; and as the Minister of Health stated, to make recommendations to avoid any such recurrence in the future.

Mr. Roy: May I ask the Attorney General, isn’t it a fact that no authorization was obtained to obtain this information -- no authorization at least from the individuals themselves; and there was no court order? In view of the fact that the law prohibited this -- the present law existing now -- why does the minister have to wait to transfer the matter for investigation to the Krever commission, when in fact it would appear from his discussions with his colleague the Minister of Health that somebody in the Ministry of Health has breached an Ontario statute? Why do we have to wait for someone else to look into this? Isn’t the minister’s responsibility to do that now?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, it is my judgement, at this point in time, again I repeat, that the most effective way to deal with this is through the Krever commission.

Mr. Lewis: I ask the Attorney General, has he inquired of the RCMP whether the information extracted from OHIP records in Ontario prejudiced the employment of those applicants whose psychiatric background was under investigation? What effect did this have on the jobs for which they were applying and what happened in the final analysis?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: No, I have not inquired, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Lewis: Would the minister do so?

Mr. S. Smith: Well, we won’t find out whether he intends to, so I’ll ask a question of the Premier.


Mr. S. Smith: According to an article in the Sunday Star, it is alleged that there has been some arrangement made whereby Metro Toronto will in one way or another reobtain ownership of land that would have been used for the Spadina expressway had it been extended past Eglinton. Can the Premier tell us whether that article has come to his attention? In any event, can he tell us whether some arrangement has been reached regarding the Spadina expressway corridor south of Eglinton and in particular how that relates to the three promises that he made to the city of Toronto at the time that he spoke on this matter some years ago dealing with the paving of the portion as an arterial road, the portion that went down to Eglinton?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I think there were several parts to the question. I am really not sure of the origin of the story in the Star. My best recollection is that there were three areas where the government was involved in terms of the “Spadina Expressway”.

One was the three-foot reserve. There has been some difficulty, I gather from the legal people, in terms of where that three-foot reserve is geographically located. I think it was felt initially that it would go right along the southern limits of Eglinton Avenue with -- and I’m going strictly from memory -- a part of it, perhaps, in York; and so there was some consideration of altering that three-foot reserve to some other geographic location.

Another part of the consideration, as I recall, was the proposal made for the construction of some parking facility. There has been very extensive discussion with the city of Toronto, with Metropolitan Toronto, firstly on the question of having a parking facility, which a study in the Ministry of Transportation and Communication indicated was viable, I think. Then, of course, the discussion moved to where that parking facility might be geographically located. The province is still interested in pursuing that. I can’t tell the Leader of the Opposition just where it stands in terms of timing at this moment.

On the question of Metropolitan Toronto in some way gaining title and having -- I guess the story was suggesting this -- perhaps the legal ability to move ahead with the expressway -- if that is what the Leader of the Opposition is concerned about -- I can assure him that I have no such indication; and from my limited knowledge of the subject, I don’t really see how it would be possible with the impediments that are there.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, can the Premier explain why he would now consider -- as, frankly, he did mention in his original statement -- giving this land back to Metro when in fact it was originally taken from the city of Toronto? Why not cede it back to the city of Toronto from which it was taken in the first place? What possible logic can there be to returning it -- albeit allegedly for housing purposes and so on -- to Metro?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I must say I am going strictly by memory, but I think at the time -- and the hon. member can correct me if I am wrong -- that it was the Metropolitan Toronto Housing Corporation that had jurisdiction. I have a feeling that is still the case and I think that is the rationale for having it go to the Metropolitan Toronto Housing Authority, because they were the ones who had this responsibility. I don’t think there was a city of Toronto Housing Authority per se; I think it was Metro, and this was the rationale for it. I see the member for St. George (Mrs. Campbell) is nodding her head in an affirmative fashion, so I assume that my recollection is fundamentally, reasonably correct.


Mr. S. Smith: The land is Toronto’s, not Metro’s.

Mr. Warner: Supplementary: Could it be that that three-foot strip of land which needs to be deeded over to the city of Toronto is not being so deeded because there are forces putting pressure on the government not to do it so that the Spadina expressway can be extended further south of Eglinton?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I really don’t know where the hon. member gets his information or rumour, et cetera.

Mr. Warner: Sam Cass.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I have had no pressures exerted on me on this particular issue for some time and I know of no plot afoot in terms of extending the expressway south of Eglinton Avenue.

Mr. Grande: You’re right, you don’t know what’s going on.

Mr. Reid: Supplementary: Did I understand the Premier to say that he had not, or the government had not reneged on its commitment in regard to the parking garages, that the 75 per cent funding for those garages was still in the works and that he was going to go ahead with that when he could find a place to put them that would satisfy everyone? I understand that the Premier or the Minister of Transportation and Communications (Mr. Snow) had told Mayor Crombie in a meeting that he was not going to go ahead with that commitment.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I don’t recall saying we would not go ahead with that commitment.

Mr. Cunningham: You’re going to slow it clown.

Hon. Mr. Davis: The discussion has been as to the geographic location of the proposed parking facility. I think that’s where it rests at the moment.

Mr. S. Smith: Final supplementary: Given that the city of Toronto would like to have this parking garage at Glencairn and that there seem to be reasonable arguments in favour of that, why does the Premier continue to deal with Metro? Why not put the garage at Glencairn to fulfil the promise he made? Since the land that the housing south of Eglinton is on belongs to the city of Toronto -- albeit that the housing was under Metro administration, the land was the city’s -- why not give the land back to the city and settle the matter that way?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I know the Leader of the Opposition is sometimes a little contradictory; I guess we all are. The attempt of the government has been to reconcile the sometimes conflicting points of view of Metropolitan Toronto and the city of Toronto. The Leader of the Opposition is wont to say these days: “If I were in charge of running things” --

Mr. Mancini: It won’t be long either.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- “I would impose my will on these local autonomous municipalities.”

Mr. Nixon: The Premier never did that, did he? He was very careful about the Spadina expressway.

Hon. Mr. Davis: He has travelled all around the province in the last several months saying just how much power he’d give them and how sympathetic he is to the local municipalities. He says all of these great things to them when he’s with them. But then he comes into the House and says: “Mr. Premier, why don’t you lay down the law to Metropolitan Toronto and build the garage at Glencairn?” He can’t have it both ways.

Mr. S. Smith: You took away the land.

Mr. Roy: The Premier tries to have it both ways all the time.


Mr. Cassidy: I have a question of the Minister of Natural Resources. Can the minister explain his advocacy for selling our Crown land for cottage lots to foreigners when this is so obviously at odds with his colleague, the Minister for Northern Affairs (Mr. Bernier); and when it was the sale of Crown land to foreigners which led to the freeze on Crown land sales seven years ago?

Mr. Laughren: Shameful.

Hon. F. S. Miller: I’m sure it will come as a real shock to some of the hon. members, but once in a while before cabinet has had the opportunity to consider a matter some of us aren’t of the same opinion.

Mr. Warner: Aren’t informed.

Hon. F. S. Miller: That very seldom happens but once in a while individuals do have different opinions.

Mr. Wildman: Misinformed.

Mr. Warner: Shocking.

Hon. F. S. Miller: This matter has not been resolved by cabinet. Yesterday I happened to be asked straightforwardly what my opinion was and I offered it. It was not shared by other colleagues; it may well not be shared by cabinet; but I gave an honest answer as to the way I felt at that time. It was as simple as that.

Mr. Laughren: It better not be. It’s a sell-out.

Mr. Cassidy: In view of the overwhelming opinion in this province that Crown land should be reserved for Canadians, will the minister say how the rift in cabinet is going to be healed; and will he resign when the decision goes against him?

Hon. B. Stephenson: Oh, hold it. You were on CBC this morning. When you say “overwhelming opinion,” in whose opinion?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Solidarity all the way.

Mr. Speaker: I’m sure everybody wants to hear the answer to that.

Hon. F. S. Miller: In reply, I’ll probably have to deal with the “rift-raff”.

An hon. member: It’s not very often the Minister for Northern Affairs is right.

Mr. Warner: The rift would be healed if the minister resigned.

Mr. Wildman: Which ones over there are riff-raff?

Mr. Makarchuk: Which are the “riff” and which are the “raff” over there?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, our party has a great ability to approach a problem with differing points of view and to come up with a solution that we can all enjoy. We are doing that right now. My ministry has been charged with the job of coming up with a series of alternatives. It is doing so. They will be explored by the policy field. They will be either changed or accepted by them and then examined by cabinet. When all of that is done we will have a policy which I will support and make public.

Mr. Reid: I find it difficult to understand how these policies are arrived at when the minister does not know the ramifications of it.

Has the minister or cabinet, or whoever wrote the Speech from the Throne, considered the aspect of taking away the land’s 20 per cent land transfer tax that now applies to non-residents? Is this part of a package that we are looking at or are we merely talking about selling Crown land to non-residents of Canada, with which I do not agree?

Hon. F. S. Miller: I do not think the two things are connected at all. The Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) has had a 20 per cent tax on the purchase of land by foreign, non-resident Canadians, and I do not feel that this is in conflict at all.

Really, the basic decision was to sell Crown lots, particularly to improve the economy of that part of the province which the member represents.

Mr. Martel: Which you support?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Yes. We believe -- and I hope the member’s party can believe -- that people who have ownership of land will feel more secure in their tenure, will be more likely to put up better homes; they will, we think, be contributing more to the economy of the area and, therefore, will create a demand for supply of goods and services to stimulate the economy, particularly of northwestern Ontario.

Hon. B. Stephenson: It’s the only honourable thing you can do.

Mr. Cassidy: He is selling the store; the store and then the mortgage.

Mr. Martel: A supplementary question to the minister: I am wondering if the riff-raff he is talking about are his six colleagues who signed the select committee report of four years ago, when in fact a land study was done pertaining to recreation land. Is it the minister’s intention to follow the recommendations of the select committee of four years, which said the committee recommends that Crown lands for cottage lots be leased only to Canadian citizens and landed residents resident in Canada? That was signed by the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. W. Newman) and five more of the minister’s colleagues.

Hon. F. S. Miller: Once the alternatives have been considered we will have a policy.

Mr. Speaker: Final supplementary, the hon. member for Algoma.

Mr. Wildman: Could the minister indicate to us whether or not his ministry has any figures on how much recreational land is presently owned in Ontario by non-Canadians, and will this be part of his study in determining what his policy might be -- when it comes to deciding what it might be?

Hon. F. S. Miller: I am not aware of the figures. As they are available I am sure they will be given to me during this next two weeks.

Mr. Breithaupt: If the minister is unsure as to whether there is policy in this area, could he explain how the original comment got into the Speech from the Throne at all?

Hon. F. S. Miller: I can explain that quite easily. Two ministries were very concerned about different aspects of land management and the economy of this province. The Ministry of Northern Affairs, charged with the responsibility for seeing that the north has a better economy, was concerned that it needed ways and means of stimulating employment.

Mr. Reid: It doesn’t want to sell.

Mr. Warner: It’s a “buy Canada” program.

Hon. F. S. Miller: On the other hand, my ministry, charged with the administration of the land of the province, felt that leasing of land, as pursued for the last few years, did not have all the advantages originally foreseen for it. Between those two, we concluded that the sale of certain lots, for a period of time at least, should be followed.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Scarborough Centre with his second question.

Mr. Cassidy: Scarborough Centre? Not him, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: Ottawa Centre.

Mr. Cassidy: You have combined the best features of the member from Scarborough West and myself, but that would not have yielded a member from Scarborough Centre.


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Premier. Given that the Ontario Economic Council’s projection of employment for the next 10 years falls 50,000 jobs short of the Premier’s promise in the Bramalea “charter” of last summer, given that Ontario has not reached its target rate of job creation in the past year, and given that the government has made no significant proposals for job creation in the Throne Speech, does the Premier now share with me and my party the feeling that this government will never reach its own target for job creation?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, not only do we not share his party’s view on this -- we don’t share it on most important issues --

Mr. Martel: Thank God.

Mr. Renwick: Thank goodness.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- we are still committed to 100,000; we have come very close, and that remains our target and our objective.

Mr. Martel: If you had two trees for one, you might reach it.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary: In view of the fact that the Treasurer’s own document indicates a creation 27,000 jobs below the Premier’s target in 1977, given the continuing weakness of our manufacturing sector, and given the projections by the Economic Council that the share of employment in manufacturing will continue to drop precipitately over the course of the next 10 years, does this government intend to bring any policies to strengthen the resource sector and the manufacturing sector in this economy?

Hon. Mr. Davis: We have already brought proposals to this House, proposals which the hon. member’s party has consistently opposed; and anyway his party would be on the other side of any proposals we had to inhibit the economic growth of this province. He knows that; we know it.

An hon. member: Why don’t you answer the question?

An hon. member: Bring out something worthwhile.

Hon. Mr. Davis: We will be discussing the resource industry later on this afternoon. His party’s panacea for the resource industry is: “If it’s making a dollar, let’s nationalize it.” Soon they will be saying it about McDonald’s Restaurants.

Mr. Renwick: It’s no panacea; it’s a solution to a real problem.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Who knows where they will end up in their approach to economic growth? They don’t have the answers; we do. We are going to make it work.

Mr. Martel: What are your answers? Why are these 300,000 kids unemployed?


Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Renfrew North.


Mr. Conway: A question of the Minister of Health, Mr. Speaker: Can the minister share with this House any results of a ministry investigation which he may or may not have commissioned into the particulars of the billing procedures of a Dr. Takahashi, which was raised in this House on Friday and reported to some degree in the papers of this week?

Mr. Cassidy: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: I understood the member for Renfrew North was getting up on a supplementary. It took some time to fathom what he was talking about --

Mr. Reid: Yon were finished and did not know it.

An hon. member: You were sleeping again, Michael.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Renfrew North was the only one who stood.

Mr. Cassidy: You must agree, Mr. Speaker, it is an obscure question.

Mr. Roy: He’s going to tell you how to run your job now, Mr. Speaker.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: In fact, Mr. Speaker, I do have an answer for the hon. member; I had intended to give it later in the question period.

On February 24 the member for Renfrew North asked if I was aware that -- and I quote from Hansard of that day -- “under the present OHIP legislation it is possible for a doctor who has opted out of the direct payment scheme to refuse with impunity to submit to OHIP the bills his patients have paid, thereby preventing the patients from being reimbursed for the moneys they have paid to that doctor?”

Under the Health Insurance Act 1972, section 21, the physician prepares, on a claim card provided by the plan, the necessary information to have the claim processed and paid.

Ms. Gigantes: We can’t hear you.

Mr. Makarchuk: Stop mumbling.

Mr. Roy: Tomorrow, “instant” Hansard will show your whole answer was inaudible.

Mr. S. Smith: Speak distinctly.

Mr. Samis: The minister is as bad as Conway.

Mr. Roy: Can we revert back to statements? I’ve got a feeling that’s what is coming.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: The hon. member’s feelings are usually misguided, but we will see.

Mr. Roy: Don’t worry about my misguided feelings -- just run your ministry.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: In April 1977 OHIP became aware, through numerous complaints from subscribers, of a particular physician who refused to provide claims to the patient or to forward the claims directly to the plan on their behalf in order that the patients could be reimbursed by the plan.

In April the Toronto district OHIP office contacted the doctor by telephone and asked that the claims cards be forwarded. The doctor said he would comply. OHIP obviously cannot make any payment if it has nothing on which to base a claim. We cannot spend public money without proof of provision of service.

In July 1977, when the claims cards were not forthcoming, the director of our insurance claims branch wrote to the doctor -- and I quote from that letter to Dr. Takahashi: “Under section 21(1) of the Health Insurance Act, you are required to submit a claim for these services to the plan on a claim card as supplied to you or, alternatively, give your patient a completed card for submission to the plan.”

OHIP approaches to the physician were to no avail and in September 1977 the case was referred by the director of the insurance claims branch of OHIP to the secretary of the medical review committee of the College of Physicians and Surgeons for disciplinary action.


In addition, the colleges see the large number of complaints from subscribers and each was referred to the complaints committee of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, and in turn the complaints were referred to the discipline committee. The discipline committee arranged for a hearing on February 6, 1978, but due to a procedural problem the hearing was deferred until March 13, 1978, two weeks hence.

The legislation does not, as the member for Renfrew North indicated, grant impunity. I want to assure hon. members that as soon as the doctor in question submits his claim cards, the patients will be reimbursed accordingly.

This is the first case of its kind that the plan has ever experienced since its inception. As a result of this matter being brought to our attention, the current proposals to amend the Health Insurance Act will oblige opt-out physicians and practitioners to submit the required claims documentation to the patients or directly to the plan within six months of the date of service and provide for a penalty for failure to comply.


Mr. Lewis: Mr. Speaker, I’d like to put a question to the Minister of Health, to revert to the statement made originally by the Attorney General.

Since the information given was clearly given illegally, since it was partial, incomplete and loaded with nasty, prejudicial possibilities, does the minister not think he should intercede with the federal government to find out what happened to those two applicants and to attempt to have the matter reopened if the OHIP material had a specific disqualifying effect on their job applications?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I will take that suggestion under advisement.

Mr. Lewis: Supplementary: Doesn’t the minister think he and the Attorney General could respond with a little less passivity to the illegal gathering of information from Ontario records for the purpose of an explicit invasion of privacy in a way to which this whole Legislature obviously objects? Has he no passion at all about this thing, no feeling about what they’ve done to these two people?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I think I’ve made clear on more than one occasion in this House, and outside of the chamber, how much I detest the abuses of the system which are coming to light. I think I’ve made equally clear my intention, in the declaration of policy, to keep the OHIP system, as much as is humanly possible, and all aspects of the health care system, secure on the question of confidentiality of medical records.

I may not go around frothing at the mouth or ranting and raving, but that doesn’t mean that my outrage, my personal outrage, is any less than that of any other member.

Mr. Roy: No, you are certainly not doing that.

Mr. Lewis: No, you are not.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: On a point of order or a matter of personal privilege, whatever is appropriate: I’d like to have the opportunity to respond to the allegation that I have been passive about this. I want to make it very clear that I feel deeply shocked --

Mr. Warner: You didn’t answer the question.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: -- about the nature of this interference with the rights of individual citizens; and I think it is shocking --

Mr. Laughren: So what are you going to do?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: -- both on behalf of the RCMP, but perhaps even more so on behalf of the federal government that would instruct the RCMP to interfere in this manner. While the OHIP employees must share some responsibility too, the role of the federal government and the RCMP, obviously --

Ms. Gigantes: Come on now; they’ve exercised a bit of leeway, haven’t they?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: -- is one that would outrage, I think, any reasonable citizen.

Mr. Makarchuk: Are you going to lay charges?

Mr. Lewis: If I may, speaking to the point; that’s exactly what some of us hoped some of you would say occasionally, and then follow it up to find out what happened to these people.


Hon. B. Stephenson: On Friday morning I was asked to give the names of some of those eminent economists who have written articles related to the minimum wage. I have to apologize, Mr. Speaker --

Mr. McClellan: Wonderful.

Mr. Lewis: They are not so eminent.

Hon. B. Stephenson: -- for my faulty memory and my incapability to remember the names of a list of economists.

Mr. McClellan: It took you four days to find it.

Mr. Cassidy: Your research staff must have been working all weekend.

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I have a very short list at the moment which I will be glad to present to this House. There is Mr. Kenneth Boulding of the University of Colorado; Professor Jacob Mincer of Columbia University; Mr. E. G. West of Carleton University; and Dr. Edward Gramlich of the University of Michigan. The journals in which they have written and the articles which they have written are in this list as well, for the benefit of those who wish it.

Mr. Laughren: They’re a pretty selective group; boy, you selected them carefully, didn’t you?

Mr. Lewis: And we are checking the records of them all.


Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, last Friday the hon. member for London North asked me a question concerning contributions to the teachers’ superannuation fund. I would like to answer that question.

As the hon. members will recall, an amount of $102.8 million was approved in supplementary estimates that were passed earlier this fiscal year and this amount represented the remaining portion of the amount that was identified in the 1975 actuarial evaluation as owing to the teachers’ superannuation fund in respect of calendar year 1976.

The original intention was to follow a procedure of slip-year financing, which involves making payments one year in arrears, and included in it was the provision that interest be paid on the amount. Subsequent to the supplementary estimates it was deemed to be more prudent fiscally to proceed with payments in this year of the amount that was due in respect of calendar year 1977, plus, at this time, to pay the interest in respect of the 1976 payment which was due December 31, 1976, and was paid December 31, 1977.

Therefore, this means there will be a double payment this fiscal year, which will now put us on schedule as far as the payments required under the actuarial report, and that means there will be another supplementary estimate of $107.2 million to go into the teachers’ superannuation fund in this year.

Mr. Van Horne: I appreciate the minister’s answer, but I am concerned that from time to time when we deal with these large amounts of money we get replies --

Mr. Speaker: Question?

Mr. Van Horne: -- suggesting that we are, in fact, over our heads, and I think I am quoting exactly the words of the Treasurer.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: We see it all the time.

Mr. Van Horne: The obvious question, in the light of the report of the actuaries, which was, in fact, available in July 1977 when we dealt with the estimates, is why was this amount not included with the supplementary estimates when we reviewed them in December? The minister knew that information. In my opinion it makes the whole estimate process a mockery and I would like to be satisfied now to hear the minister tell me why this was not discussed on December 12, 1977.

Hon. Mr. Wells: First of all, Mr. Speaker, I am afraid my friend must have been drafting his question rather than listening to my answer, because I explained in my answer why it was not included in the supplementary estimates that we brought forward in September. We were adopting a program of slip-year financing.

Mr. Wildman: Slippery financing.

Hon. Mr. Wells: We were going to pay the 1976 payments that were due and we were then going to pay 1977’s in the next fiscal year along with the interest on the amount. We have now decided that it would be more prudent fiscally to pay on the current year and so therefore we are putting in the amount required plus the interest on the 1976 amount, which will bring us completely up to date, and the amounts that will be in the next fiscal year’s estimates will be the amount that will be required.

Let me also say to my friend that he knows, and I have told him many times, the actuarial statement was not publicly available for us to consider when we considered our original estimates in committee in July. It was not available and had not been completely considered by the fiscal authorities and the people who had to consider it here in this government when we considered those estimates, and he knows that.

Mr. Van Horne: I also know, Mr. Speaker, if I may be permitted a supplementary, it was available on December 12, the date to which I referred a few moments ago.

Mr. Speaker: That’s not a question.

Mr. Van Horne: Having said that, I would like, Mr. Speaker, to ask one final question of the minister --

Hon. Mr. Wells: As I recall, Mr. Speaker, I made a copy available.

Mr. Van Horne: There will be a new chairman appointed, hopefully within the next few days, to the social development policy committee --

Mr. Speaker: I still don’t hear a question.

Mr. Van Horne: You will hear it if you listen, Mr. Speaker, and that is --

Mr. Speaker: Order, order. I have given you two opportunities and I still don’t hear a question. I will hear the hon. member for Hamilton West.

Mr. S. Smith: Can the minister tell us where the additional $100-odd million will be coming from? Will it increase the net cash requirement, or the deficit, depending on which of the languages one wishes to use? If not, if he is able to find that money and other expenses at the end of the year, can he explain to this House how he can so easily come up with $100 million from his very tight budget?

An hon. member: It’s called fiscal bilingualism.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, perhaps I might refer the hon. Leader of the Opposition to the December 31, 1977, Ontario Finances, which indicates where the money was being paid and where it was being found. Essentially, it has been found along with, as I recall, another $92 million in savings which have been accomplished by Management Board and others during the course of the year.

Mr. Cassidy: A supplementary, if I may, to the two-headed respondent to this particular question. Is it the government’s intention to take this $100 million as a further credit to municipalities and thereby as a further means of undermining the Edmonton commitment about municipal finance?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Obviously, anything which goes into the Teachers’ Superannuation Fund will reflect as part of the commitment.

Mr. Cassidy: Does this mean that the municipal taxpayers of the province will now be required to come up with a further $100 million in increased property taxes this year, because of the government’s misinterpretation of its commitment under the Edmonton statement?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: The answer to that question, of course, is no. The answer is that this is something that is going on during this current year, during the year ending for the municipalities, really, December 31 last. Obviously it will not affect in any way what the transfers are to them during their year beginning January 1 last, our year beginning April 1 next. There is a table which shows all this in the budget which will be tabled in the House, as I understand it, a week from today. It will be fully set out. I would hope then that those people over there could get through their heads the efficacy of slip- year financing.

Mr. Ruston: Slippery financing.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: You just don’t understand slip-year financing.

Mr. Stong: We understand you. Keep ‘em in the dark as long as you can. Having emptied the store you might as well turn out the lights.

Mr. S. Smith: Yet another $100 million, in fact, in your budget.

Mr. Speaker: Order. Time’s a-wasting.


Mr. Stong: I have a question of the Solicitor General. Now that it has been three weeks since the Justice secretariat sponsored a seminar on rape, could the minister indicate what policy or programs he intends to implement to reduce the incidence of this crime and decrease the trauma in victims in reporting and following through and preparing evidence for trials arising out of this crime?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Mr. Speaker, to answer the second part of the hon. member’s question, of course the answer is basically law enforcement. As to the first part and to the conference, there will be a report in respect to that conference. As the hon. member knows, it was a consultation, rather than a conference. It wasn’t an open meeting. We hope to have a report from that meeting which will be given to the participants. Then as a result of that we will make certain recommendations, after which we will have, hopefully before the summer, another meeting.

Mrs. Campbell: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker --

Mr. Speaker: If the original questioner has a supplementary, he should get the first opportunity.

Mr. Stong: I do have a supplementary. In the interim, would the Solicitor General confer with his colleague, the Minister of Health (Mr. Timbrell), with respect to proper reimbursement of doctors who are required to conduct medical examinations, and who at the best of time are reluctant to give evidence and get involved? Would he reconsider reimbursing them properly under OHIP so that they will conduct these examinations more thoroughly and give proper evidence in court?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: I realize one of the findings of that particular conference was the reluctance of doctors to get involved in examinations of that kind -- even the reluctance of some hospitals to admit that type of patient. I would think that would be involved in the whole OHIP fee structure, rather than any specific fee for a specific examination.


Mr. Stong: Supplementary: Doesn’t the minister think it’s more important or important enough that he can --

Ms. Gigantes: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: Does the hon. member for Carleton East have a supplementary?

Mr. Germa: That’s why she’s standing.

Ms. Gigantes: Supplementary: I wonder if the Solicitor General, instead of consulting with the Minister of Health about payments for doctors, might consult with the Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. Norton) about funding for the real victims of violence against women -- the women --

Mr. McClellan: For rape crisis centres.

Ms. Gigantes: -- the funding that we don’t have now in Ontario that we should have, for rape crisis centres.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Again, that was one of the issues that was raised at the consultation. There were a number of people there who are with the crisis centres, not only in Metro but in different parts of the country. They are concerned about continuing their operations, the lack of funds.

Ms. Gigantes: What are you going to do in Ontario?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Again, that, as the hon. member knows, is separate and apart from what the hon. member for York Centre was talking about.

Ms. Gigantes: I know.

Mr. Stong: That was my next question -- the real question.

Ms. Gigantes: That should be the first question.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: I would be happy to talk to the hon. minister who would be involved in that type of remuneration.

Mrs. Campbell: Supplementary: In view of the fact that it was abundantly clear from the statements of the police officers at that workshop that there were difficulties with the medical profession due to the difficulties in the whole machinery of administration of justice, has the Solicitor General discussed the matter at all with the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) to see what can be done to reduce those cases which are concluded to be unfounded by reason of the failure of medical evidence?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: Yes, Mr. Speaker, our justice policy committee has discussed the results of the rape consultations. We’ve had a report from the deputy provincial secretary. There has been a general discussion as to where we should go from here in respect to the findings and to the submissions that were made, particularly by the police officers. As the hon. member knows, there have been some changes in the Criminal Code that certainly are a marked improvement as far as the whole trial procedure in respect of rape is concerned, and there are still further improvements or further amendments that we feel are necessary. That will be the subject of ongoing discussion and our final report.


Mr. Mackenzie: I have a question to the Premier. Is the Premier aware of the nasty situation that’s developing at the Brampton Daily Times in his own riding where the news editorial staff have been recently certified and are attempting to achieve a first contract, and where the newly appointed publisher and general manager brought in from another province, Mr. Clarence Wiseman, has come to the negotiating table in a most antagonistic manner, delivering ultimatums and rejecting proposals as basic as the Rand formula?

Would the Premier intervene in the dispute on behalf of the employees to see that management does bargain in good faith or use his good offices with the Minister of Labour to see that it does bargain in good faith with the employees of the Brampton Times?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am aware that there are some difficulties at that particular excellent newspaper.

Ms. Gigantes: Yes? Yes?

Mr. Martel: What about the second half?

Mr. Mackenzie: Supplementary: Is the Premier willing to use his good offices to try to achieve some bargaining in good faith in this particular situation?

Mr. Roy: What good offices?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I think that while I have always endeavoured to solve problems within my constituency, as do all members in this House, there are appropriate times.

Mr. Laughren: Give us a straight answer for once.

Hon. Mr. Davis: The timing itself of interventions of this nature is fairly important.

Mr. Laughren: Just say “no” and be done with it.

Mr. McClellan: Just say you couldn’t care less.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I really can’t give any undertaking to the hon. member except to assure him that I am aware of the difficulty.


Mr. Cunningham: I have a question for the Minister of Transportation and Communications. Would the minister clarify what was meant by “selective deregulation” as outlined in the Speech from the Throne, and would he be inclined to assure this House that any changes would not be implemented by regulation but rather through legislation in this House?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, the selective deregulation that was referred to in the Speech from the Throne I think will be quite obvious when the amendments to the Public Commercial Vehicles Act are introduced. I can assure the hon. member it will be by legislation, not regulation.

Mr. Cunningham: Supplementary: I would like to ask, is the minister aware that changes to the definitions respecting fruits and vegetables currently contemplated will jeopardize a large number of Canadian trucking companies currently operating in the Niagara Peninsula?

Hon. Mr. Snow: I would suggest that we wait until we see what is being contemplated before we make any rash decisions.

Mr. Haggerty: A supplementary to the minister: Can he indicate whether any study has been done in this particular area of transport --

Mr. Wildman: The select committee.

Mr. Haggerty: -- reciprocal agreements with the different states and the province of Ontario? Has any study been done at all in this area as to what effect it will have on employment; whether it will increase or decrease employment in Ontario?

Hon. Mr. Snow: I presume the hon. member is referring to the reciprocity agreements being entered into with a number of states of the United States.

I believe we have signed agreements with six or eight states and we have negotiations going on with a considerable number more. It was recommended in the select committee report that we establish a reciprocity office within the ministry and that we negotiate such agreements -- and I might say we have been quite successful in doing so. We have done this, I believe, with the support of certainly the majority of the trucking industry.


Mr. Bounsall: A question of the Minister of Labour, Mr. Speaker: Would the minister indicate clearly to this House exactly what sources of provincial or federal funding she had in mind Friday last “which would be available to the families of injured workers in receipt of low-level WCB pensions,” inasmuch as the final WCB pension determination occurs long after the worker would be eligible for any UIC benefits, and even to qualify for a federal CPP pension benefit? The degree of disability would have to be so high as to have already qualified those workers for a high WCB rating and pension with, of course, neither of these pensions --

Mr. Speaker: The question has been asked.

Mr. Bounsall: -- having a family size or family need component involved in them.

Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to have the hon. member’s editorial comment about those funds which are available --

Mr. Cassidy: Answer the question.

Hon. B. Stephenson: -- but indeed those funds are available.

Mr. Deans: They are not.

Hon. B. Stephenson: The disability portion of the Canada Pension Plan and UIC have been used in many instances for supplemental support. DVA allowances are also available --

Mr. McClellan: What has that got to do with it?

Hon. B. Stephenson: -- for those injured workmen who are veterans. And, indeed, there are family benefit programs available as income supplement from the provincial government.

Mr. Cassidy: You are the slipperiest Minister of Labour we have seen.

Hon. B. Stephenson: But I was speaking specifically of those which are available through the federal government and as a supplemental income program through the provincial government.

Mr. Laughren: What a disgrace you are as the Minister of Labour.

Mr. Deans: Family benefits and welfare. Absolutely clears up what we didn’t understand yesterday.


Mr. Epp: I have a question of the Minister of Revenue.

An hon. member: The minister has to answer his first question.

Mr. Reed: He was afraid of that.

Mr. Epp: Given that the Numismatic Association has expressed concern about the imposition of provincial sales tax on the purchases of gold coin classified as legal tender by the Canadian Mint, is he aware of any petitions that have been submitted to his ministry? If so, did he obtain a legal opinion on these petitions, and what is his opinion about the matter?

Mr. Gaunt: Your big chance, Lorne.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: Do you want me to bow?

Mr. Speaker, this is a problem that has been brought to my attention on quite a few occasions -- not necessarily in the form of petitions but through form letters and other letters from people who collect coins. We have looked into this in some detail but we can’t really see where there is anything wrong with us charging sales tax. It’s quite legal to charge it. We feel that if we are going to charge sales tax on antiques and paintings and so on there should be no difference between that and coins that are collected. I have adopted the position that sales tax will remain on the coins.

Mr. Sweeney: How about new dollar bills? Do you tax them too?

Mr. Epp: Mr. Speaker, does he not agree that gold coin is legal tender and therefore it is not legal to tax currency?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: The legal branch in my ministry advises me that it is quite legal to collect sales tax on these coins. It has been looked into.

Mr. Martel: When are you going to learn to go round about? You should learn from Bill Davis -- he knows how to say nothing.


Mr. Wildman: I have a question of the Minister of Energy. In view of the meetings that his officials have had with the officials of Ontario Hydro, the royal commission on electric power planning and the Ministry of the Environment, regarding Hydro’s request that the terms of reference of the Porter commission be changed to remove consideration of the needs for Hydro’s priority projects and that these projects be turned over to the Environmental Assessment Board, can the minister indicate what the status is of these discussions and what his position and that of his ministry is on Hydro’s request?

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions. There have been no changes and no changes are planned to be made, as far as the terms of reference of the Porter commission on this particular aspect are concerned.

Mr. Wildman: Supplementary: Does that mean that there will not be any changes or there just haven’t been any changes up to this point? Is the minister saying that it is his policy that the Porter commission terms of reference will not be changed in relation to the priority projects?

Hon. Mr. Baetz: I am saying that certainly at this stage in time no changes are being actively considered.


Mr. Gaunt: Mr. Speaker, a question of the Minister of the Environment: Could the minister indicate when his officials intend to meet with the ratepayers’ association with respect to the Beare Road landfill site?

Mr. Laughren: Yes, it’s about time too.

Hon. Mr. McCague: Mr. Speaker, no, I am not aware of a date being set. There was a meeting about February 15. I thought maybe somebody from our ministry was there but I wouldn’t be certain of that.

Mr. Gaunt: Supplementary: Is it fair to assume that ministry officials are prepared to meet with the ratepayers’ association at their earliest convenience to resolve this rather thorny problem?

Hon. Mr. McCague: Oh, most certainly.

Mr. Gaunt: Mr. Speaker, I have another supplementary that he can respond to in the same manner if he wishes.

Mr. Roy: He is so co-operative you should give him another try at it.

Mr. Gaunt: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Could the minister indicate what procedure the ministry has in mind to resolve the problems of odour in that particular area?

Hon. Mr. McCague: I think it would be a matter of advice to the municipality as to what should be done. I think the problem is that there is a high water level there because of heavy rains last summer and fall. The water is escaping and allowing gases to escape also. There probably can be some vents put in and as the water levels go down we think the problem will be less. But it’s really a municipal responsibility.



Mr. Young: I have a question for the Minister of Education in respect to the report that the courses for driving instructors are to be cancelled over the coming summer. I’d like to ask the minister if these reports are accurate and, if so, are they related to the concern expressed by the select committee on highway safety that the results of the present system of driver training are not what they ought to be? Is this a preliminary to the upgrading of not only the syllabus for the driving instructors, but of the quality of the whole system of driver instruction in Ontario?

Hon. Mr. Wells: It is correct that there will not be any driver education summer courses given this summer. The reason is not exactly as the member has stated. The reason basically is that it’s one of the economy measures that we have decided to undertake in order to keep the budget of this ministry --

Mr. Lewis: That’s a good economy measure. That is smart stuff.

Hon. Mr. Wells: -- within the very real restraint measures that all of us in this government are following.

Mr. Swart: That means more people out of work.

Mr. Warner: You guys are going to have to drive now.

Hon. Mr. Wells: The reason that this was done is that this is one of the higher-cost summer courses and it was our feeling it could be given every other year. I think the additional benefit will be that the kind of things the hon. member mentioned will be able to be taken into account before the course in 1979 is given. It will be given in the summer of 1979. I understand my colleague, the Minister of Transportation and Communications (Mr. Snow) has a white paper on driver education that will be coming out shortly that may also be helpful in this area. The member is quite correct: there will be no courses given this summer.


Mr. Davidson: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to present a petition addressed to the Lieutenant Governor and members of the Legislative Assembly of the province of Ontario. The petition reads as follows:

“We, the undersigned, are in favour of a change in the Coroners Act of Ontario to allow removal and use of the pituitary gland where mandatory autopsies are required by law. This will improve the supply of growth hormone serum in Ontario.”

Attached to it are 5,164 signatures.



Hon. Mr. McKeough moved first reading of Bill 5, An Act to amend The City of Timmins-Porcupine Act, 1972.

Motion agreed to.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: These amendments would enable the Ontario Municipal Board, upon the application of the council of the city of Timmins or a formal petition of the electors, to redivide the city wards, alter or dissolve the wards and vary the composition of the council. Until the Ontario Municipal Board makes any such alteration, the minister’s order which determined ward boundaries and council size will remain in effect.


Hon. Mr. McKeough moved first reading of Bill 6, An Act to amend The Shoreline Property Assistance Act, 1973.

Motion agreed to.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: This amendment clarifies the repayment terms of debentures. Members will recall that the Shoreline Property Assistance Act came into being in the wake of fierce spring flooding in 1973. The Act enabled shore property owners to borrow from their area municipalities to repair buildings damaged by high water and build breakwaters to prevent further damage or erosion. To finance these loans, the municipalities issued debentures to the province. Both the loans and the debentures have 20-year terms.

In all, approximately 465 loans have been made, averaging $3,000 to $5,000 each. Since 1973, many of these small loans have been repaid to the municipalities and their accrual has presented a problem in that the municipality cannot reinvest such small sums in any reasonable manner and our consolidation provisions for the debentures prevent the municipality from prepaying its liability before the 20-year time designated. This amendment will permit partial as well as full prepayment.


Hon. Mr. Grossman moved first reading of Bill 7, An Act to revise The Securities Act.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Grossman moved first reading of Bill 8, An Act to regulate trading in Commodity Futures Contracts.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Grossman moved first reading of Bill 9, An Act to amend The Business Corporations Act.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Grossman moved first reading of Bill 10, An Act to amend The Discounting of Income Tax Refunds Act, 1977.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Grossman moved first reading of Bill 11, An Act to amend The Vital Statistics Act.

Motion agreed to.


Mr. Swart moved first reading of Bill 12, An Act to provide for the Designation and Retention of Foodlands.

Motion agreed to.

Hon. Mr. Welch: How many more?

Mr. Foulds: About a dozen. This one should not be postponed.

Mr. Martel: We are trying to save your seat for you.

Mr. Swart: Mr. Speaker, this bill provides for the classification of Ontario agricultural foodlands in the classifications one to four of the Agricultural and Rural Development Act (Canada); and for the surveying, designation and preservation of such foodlands.

Mr. Deans: Why don’t you just accept it?

Hon. W. Newman: Listen, you are the one who wants to cut up the best fruitland.

Mr. Deans: Me? On a point of privilege. The minister is interjecting --

Mr. Speaker: Order, order. There is no point of privilege.

Mr. Havrot: Put pavement on it.

Hon. Mr. Kerr: I can show it to you in writing.



Mr. Cassidy: I move, Mr. Speaker, seconded by the member for Sudbury East, that the orders of the day he set aside in order to debate a matter of urgent public importance, namely the government’s decision whether or not to permit Ontario Hydro to proceed with the contract with Denison Mines Limited for the supply of uranium valued at a minimum of $4.2 billion by the deadline at midnight tonight.

Mr. Martel: Don’t give it away, Reuben.

Mr. Speaker: Proper notice has been given under standing order No. 30 and I will listen to the mover for up to five minutes.

Mr. Cassidy: This matter is a matter of urgent public importance. It is urgent because this is the first opportunity that the Legislature will have to debate the contract which has been under negotiation in secret by the government for a matter of five years and was referred before a select committee of this House less than two months ago.

It is urgent because the deadline that has been placed on the contract by agreement between the government and Denison Mines is midnight tonight, and therefore if the House does not comment on the proposed contract now it will not have a chance to comment before the deal is either consummated by the government or has been rejected.

It is a matter of enormous public importance because the government and Ontario Hydro are involved and because of the magnitude of the contract of $4.2 billion.

It is a matter of public importance because of the stake that we all have in the future of Ontario’s nuclear power industry, which depends on the security of supply.

It is a matter of importance to this Legislature because of the clear indications that the government intends to ignore both the advice of its own advisers within Hydro and the recommendations of this Legislature as expressed by the select committee.

It is a matter of importance because such varied authorities as the former chairman of Hydro, George Gathercole, the Hydro staff, and the people on the Hydro Project Wellesley all recommended an alternative route, namely the acquisition of these uranium assets by the people of the province of Ontario in order to benefit everyone in this province in terms of a lower price, in addition to ensuring security of supply.

There have been flimsy promises to tax excess profits by the government, but in fact Ontario stands to get less than $7,000 in licence fees and land taxes from the land on which it is proposed, through this contract, that $1.6 billion minimum in windfall profits be given to a private mining corporation.

Those are the reasons, Mr. Speaker, for which we say that this contract is not in the public interest and that it is a matter of urgent public importance that the opinion of the Legislature be expressed now before the government proceeds.

Mr. Deans: It is also a sellout.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Brock, if he so wishes.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, the government certainly has no objections to this debate and, indeed, I think it is in keeping with the spirit of the way this matter has been handled up to now. The widest possible discussion has been sought by the Premier (Mr. Davis), as indicated by his letter to the chairman of the select committee on Hydro, dated December 19. I think it is important to have this debate, if it is your wish.

Certainly the government has no objection to the debate. It is really in keeping with and an extension of what the Premier himself put in motion when he wrote to the chairman of the select committee a couple of months ago. In that letter of December 19 the committee has had very full discussion. I’ve never heard anyone suggest that the committee felt in any way handicapped, as far as time was concerned, to go into all the issues; but that matter may be discussed during the course of the debate.


On December 19, not long after the committee had been established, the Premier of this province wrote to the chairman, the member for York South (Mr. MacDonald), and this is the letter:

“Since 1974, Ontario Hydro has been negotiating with Rio-Algom-Preston Mines Limited and Denison Mines Limited for longer term uranium supplies from Elliot Lake to meet its requirements and its obligations under federal government policy guidelines. Negotiations with Denison have been finalized and a contract has been signed by Ontario Hydro subject to approval by order in council.

“Prior to seeking the approval” -- and I think this is important -- “of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, however, the Ministry of Energy undertook a detailed review of the Denison contract with the assistance of independent consultants and has concluded that the overall terms and conditions are favourable to Ontario Hydro and are in the general public interest. Accordingly, the Minister of Energy is prepared to recommend that an order in council be issued under the authority of section 24 of the Power Corporation Act, authorizing Ontario Hydro to acquire the supply of uranium.

“While all the terms of the contract with Rio-Algom-Preston have not been finalized, it is expected that they will be settled in time for the ministry’s consultants to complete their review early in January. When the ministry’s review is complete and the second contract signed by Ontario Hydro, subject again to approval by order in council, the government proposes to send the documents related to both contracts to you for consideration by the select committee which you chair. Given the need to supply nuclear fuel to existing and committed reactors in Ontario, and because of the size of these contracts and their implications for the people of Ontario, I should like the select committee to consider the findings of the consultants retained by the Ministry of Energy in order to confirm that entering into the above agreements is in the public interest of Ontario.”

Mr. Wildman: They said it wasn’t.

Hon. Mr. Welch: “Those findings were based on a consideration of the world’s uranium outlook, the federal government’s uranium policy guidelines, and a comparison with other uranium supply contracts. It would be my hope that this review could be undertaken as quickly as possible and be completed before the end of February 1978.

“The prime responsibility for providing details of the contracts to the select committee would rest with Ontario Hydro, and I can assure the select committee of the full and complete co-operation of both Ontario Hydro and the Ministry of Energy.” That was signed by the Premier.

So, in keeping with the spirit of that particular letter and the assignment of this matter for the consideration of the select committee, the government certainly at this date would have no objection to having the matter further debated this afternoon.

Ms. Gigantes: How long did it take you to set up the committee?

Mr. Reid: The contract hasn’t been signed.

Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, my Liberal colleagues believe that it is quite appropriate to set aside the ordinary business of the day in order that these contracts be debated. We have expressed our views, as members of the committee, that the contracts are not in the best interests of the public and we will be putting those views forward further this afternoon, with your permission.

Mr. Speaker: As this matter is of urgent public importance, and due to the time factor involved, I deem the motion to be in order. The question before the House now is, shall the debate proceed?

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Speaker: I would like to remind you that the debate will conclude at 6 o’clock or prior to that if all members wishing to speak have spoken, and each speaker will be restricted to 10 minutes.

Hon. Mr. Welch: One point before the clock starts: I wonder if we might have the general agreement in concurrence with the House that in keeping with the spirit of provisional order 25, which is the one providing for the minimum number of days for the Throne Speech debate, that notwithstanding the fact that this afternoon is not available for Throne Speech debate -- and we will get back to the Throne Speech debate this evening -- that, in fact, the House concurs that rule 25 has been complied with, notwithstanding, as I say, the fact that this time is taken out of the debate.

Mr. Speaker: Is that agreed?



Mr. Speaker: Do we have a speaker? The hon. member for Ottawa Centre.

Mr. Cassidy: The basic reason for having this debate is that the hands of Ontario Hydro were tied when it came to negotiating for the security of supplies for uranium for the nuclear power program which is now under way. Hydro was not permitted to seek the best deal that was available or to act on sound business principles in ensuring the security of supply because the option of acquiring uranium assets or acquiring Denison Mines was closed off by government action and Hydro was not allowed to proceed down that particular route. Hydro’s hands were tied because of the determination -- in fact, the obsession -- of this government with giving handouts to its friends in the monopoly sector of the mining industry rather than ensuring that the best interests of the people of Ontario were served in the uranium deal.

Mr. Martel: The Duke of Kent.

Mr. Laughren: Stephen Roman and his friends.

Mr. Cassidy: They interrupted my train of speech.

There is a pattern here which I find very, very dangerous and distressing. Just today we had the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. F. S. Miller) say that he intended to recommend to cabinet that it ignore recommendations of the select committee on economic and cultural nationalism related to the sale of cottage lots and Crown land to Americans. We have had just recently the government deliberately undermine recommendations of the select committee on Inco in relation to protecting the jobs of miners up in Sudbury. Now we have a situation where the government is clearly preparing to ignore the vote of the select committee on Hydro as to whether or not this particular uranium deal was in the public interest.

The Premier’s letter to the select committee, which was just quoted, indicated the government’s position. The indications we have are now that the government intends to hold a hasty cabinet meeting at the conclusion of this debate and then to proceed with the ratification of the contracts, despite the clear opinion of the Legislature as a whole that this is not in the public interest.

That action by the government makes a mockery of minority government when they have a pretence of consultation after five years of secret dealing and then refuse to listen both to the advice of the committee and to the advice of the majority of members of this Legislature representing a majority of the electorate who voted in the last provincial election.

While the committee has been able to discuss this particular deal at some length over the course of the last six weeks, its proceedings have inevitably had to be carried out under great haste and great duress. I would contend that there has not been adequate time for the people of the province of Ontario to grasp the enormity of this enormous deal. It is the largest single sale of uranium in Ontario’s history -- in fact, in world history. It is the longest contract for uranium in the world’s history and it is the biggest sellout of Ontario’s natural resources that has ever been carried out whether by this government or any government before it.

Mr. Foulds: Positively shameful.

Mr. Cassidy: We in the New Democratic Party are convinced that this uranium supply contract between Hydro and Denison Mines is absolutely not in the public interest of Ontario. It is a sellout. It is a contract of $4.2 billion that will yield to Denison Mines a windfall profit of a bare minimum of $1.6 billion.

The result will be to inflate the cost of generating electricity for all hydro-electric consumers for a lifetime. The contract will inevitably raise the cost of electrical energy that is used by industry as well as by individuals and it will, therefore, have an adverse impact of an economy which is already damaged by successive oil price increases prescribed by federal policy and which has already been undermined by the failure of any sensible industrial strategy or policy of the Davis government.

To sign this contract tonight will amount to an abandonment of the long-standing policy, an honourable and a fine policy, of power at cost which was introduced to this province 70 years ago when a Conservative government created Ontario Hydro in order to bring the hydro-electric resources of this province into the public sector.

I want to point out several specific arguments that we have about this particular deal. First, the profit that is being accorded to Denison Mines is utterly without justification. There is no risk for the corporation because it is committing this entire mine on a contract which is as good as the word of the province of Ontario. There is no risk on capital because the capital is being advanced interest-free. The costs of management in this particular case are entirely guaranteed because it is a cost plus contract.

The only cost to which Denison Mines is committed is $7,000 a year in mining fees and land leases. It is highway robbery to get $7,000 back and give $1.6 billion in windfall profits.

Mr. Makarchuk: You are minding the store.

Mr. Cassidy: We also believe that this deal is completely unnecessary because there is an economically feasible alternative to the contracts, namely, for Ontario Hydro or for the Ontario Energy Corporation to acquire Denison or to acquire Denison’s uranium assets.

This is as good a deal for the taxpayers of Ontario today as it was three or four years ago. According to both the staff of the select committee and to such unimpeachable Conservative sources as the former chairman of Hydro and the former president of Consolidated Edison of New York, the uranium can and should still be exploited for purely public benefit. I didn’t mention Sinclair Stevens, the Conservative finance critic in Ottawa, who also believes it should be brought into the public sector.

We will be setting out that case in more detail over the course of this afternoon, but it is worth noting that if Denison were to be acquired and brought under the public sector now the profits from its committed sales to Japan would be enough to pay for the takeover, and it would not be in any way a charge on the people of Ontario.

Third, we believe that Ontario has many levers at its disposal to secure Denison’s compliance with this course, despite the arrogant refusal of the federal government to acknowledge that uranium should now be in the provincial sector as our only remaining domestic energy resource. We have the power under section 113 of the Ontario Mining Act to refuse to grant export permits for unrefined uranium, and we should be prepared to use those powers.

We have the power to raise the annual acreage fee on those particular uranium leases to a level that would wipe out Denison’s windfall profits. We have the power to raise provincial mining taxes to a level that would wipe out the windfall profits. But a promise from a Minister of Energy who has been in office for less than two weeks is not enough to guarantee to the people of this province that we will get that back if the Conservatives are in power five or 10 years down the line. And I for one, Mr. Speaker, intend to ensure that they are not.

Finally, we have the power to terminate Denison’s mining leases, most of which come up for renewal between now and 1986, and a government which was determined to protect the people’s interests in the uranium natural resources of this province would use that particular lever in order to ensure that it is the public, and not a private mining corporation, which would get those benefits.

I want to conclude by talking for a moment about the urgency of signing the Denison contract right now. It is urgent to debate that contract today, but in fact the first deliveries under that contract will not take place until 1980. By 1984 only four million pounds, or about three per cent of the entire contract, is slated to be delivered, and by 1990, 12 years from now, only 16 million pounds are to he delivered. There will in fact be, during the entire period of the 1980s, a shortfall on Ontario Hydro’s uranium needs of 10 million pounds of uranium under these particular contracts.

In other words, if the government argues that the short-term security of supply of uranium is at stake the figures clearly prove that the government is wrong, because we will be out on the open market, or with the federal government, trying to borrow uranium during the 1980s. This contract is not dedicated to short- and medium-term security of supply, and that is why we should use the time that is available in order to ensure that that uranium is brought into the public sector.

We conclude that the acquisition of Denison’s uranium resources would provide Ontario Hydro with the assured supply of fuel that is necessary to meet its $14 billion investment in nuclear-power generating facilities over the long term; that that acquisition of those uranium resources would provide that security of supply at prices which are considerably below those that are provided for in this particular contract; and that in doing so Ontario’s hydro users would have their needs met and would be relieved of the onerous burden of a completely unwarranted $1.6 billion tie to the Conservative government’s friends in the mining industry.

To do anything else but bring these assets into the public sector --

Mr. Deputy Speaker: The hon. member’s time has expired.

Mr. Cassidy: I am just concluding -- would be an unforgivable betrayal of the people and of the industries of the province of Ontario.


Hon. Mr. Baetz: This is a day of decision, Mr. Speaker, and I am pleased to open this debate for the government on these historical contracts for Ontario Hydro and the people of this province.

Let me make it very clear from the outset that I do believe the Hydro contracts with Denison Mines and Preston Mines to be in the public interest of Ontario.

Mr. Wildman: What about the select committee?

Hon. Mr. Baetz: I have therefore signed the formal recommendations and conveyed them to the executive council, asking that the necessary orders in council be issued. I have done so because, firstly, they do provide long-term assurance of uranium to fuel Hydro’s nuclear reactors which are already in operation or committed to be built -- an investment of more than $14 billion. They will assure Ontario Hydro of its required electrical power for the foreseeable future.

Secondly, they contain pricing and other terms which are favourable to Hydro and its consultants, yet provide reasonable incentives to the producers.

Mr. Makarchuk: Reasonable? It’s a ripoff.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Thirdly, they will generate many new jobs in Elliot Lake -- don’t forget this -- and in supporting industries, thereby providing the economy of Ontario a badly needed boost.

Mr. Foulds: So would the public sector. Elliot Lake is going full blast; you couldn’t get another worker in the community.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order.

Mr. Wildman: There are lots of jobs in Elliot Lake already.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Fourthly, it would provide a significant measure of provincial control over a federally dominated resource industry.

I have been impressed by the thoroughness of the review which has been carried out in recent months by the Ontario Hydro staff and their consultants, by my ministry and its consultants and, as an ultimate measure, by the select committee and its consultants’ reports.

Mr. Warner: Were you impressed by Stephen Roman?

Hon. Mr. Baetz: I have examined these voluminous data and can find no compelling evidence which would change my mind that the contracts are appropriate and should be allowed to proceed.

Mr. Cassidy: You’re pretty blind. They all recommend against the contracts.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: I have also considered the alternatives to the contracts that were reviewed by Ontario Hydro and rejected by the Hydro board on solid business grounds. It did not surprise me, therefore, that the select committee staff reached the same overall conclusion. The evidence was there, and it is there and it is clear.

Mr. McClellan: Yes, that it is a sellout.

Mr. Cassidy: What about the select committee members? Aren’t they important?

Hon. Mr. Baetz: What was surprising, and in my mind irresponsible, was the dog-in-the-manger attitude of the opposition. They could not and would not agree on what was in the public interest, but refused to support what the government believed to be the only sensible course of action. In my view, government and the public at least could have expected a credible alternative from the opposition, and we did not get it.

Mr. Cassidy: We provided one.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: We have listened to the Leader of the Opposition fantasize as he has created his dream-world scenarios in which he would have controlled all the actors and written the perfect contracts. But surely he must know that the real world is not totally a controlled, clinical environment.

Ms Gigantes: The real world is a rip-off.

Mr. Warner: It’s full of corporate creeps.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Circumstances over which we have little or no control must be faced squarely and the best possible decisions reached.

Mr. Wildman: It’s vicious out there.

Mr. Swart: The real world of Steve Roman.

Mr. Foulds: You contaminated the real world.

Mr. Warner: Greedy corporate creeps.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: The Leader of the opposition’s make-believe dream world also has no taxes.

Mr. McClellan: What about windfall profits? Are they part of the real world?

Mr. Warner: Steve Roman and other octopuses.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: It’s a dream world that has no taxes; at least that is the only conclusion we can draw from the extravagant and alarming claims he has made from the beginning of the select committee hearings about the excessive or bonanza profits which would be made, and we heard it again this moment from across the House.

Mr. Peterson: You talk about taxing them?

Mr. Breithaupt: Of course they are profits. What do you think?

Hon. Mr. Baetz: It was suggested that my statement to the select committee on the taxing powers of the government was a gimmick -- an afterthought made, as we have just heard, by a rookie.

Mr. Makarchuk: Absolutely.

Mr. Cassidy: It certainly was.

Mr. Martel: Like afterbirth.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: I’ll tell you why I made the statement, Mr. Speaker --

Mr. Makarchuk: Your record speaks for itself.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: It was in response to the wild speculation about the excessive profitability of these contracts to the producers. I felt it necessary to remind the committee and the general public of Ontario of the reality that the government has the power to tax.

Mr. Makarchuk: That’s a profound statement.

Mr. Foulds: Darcy and Frank Miller have forgotten that.

Mr. McClellan: This was news, was it?

Hon. Mr. Baetz: I stated the obvious truth, which was blurred by the opposition, that if, as and when circumstances dictated, it would be up to the government of the day to change the system of taxation to redress any unforeseeable imbalance in the distribution of revenue from this source.

Ms. Gigantes: Who pays the taxes?

Mr. Makarchuk: So far the system has been putting it on the property owner.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: I did not start the speculation, but I had to respond simply to maintain some reasonable perspective on the subject.

Mr. Peterson: You are weasling out.

Mr. Foulds: Bring back Jim Taylor.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: The Leader of the Opposition charges that we haven’t tried hard enough to change the federal government’s position.

Mr. Makarchuk: The system has been putting it on the property owner.

Mr. Kerrio: Right on.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: He fails to recognize the intransigence of his federal counterparts, and naively says we should have done more.

Mr. Nixon: You didn’t do anything.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Another case, Mr. Speaker, of a make-believe world. Where was the support of this Legislature to the government’s stand against the federal energy pricing policy of moving crude oil and natural gas to world prices?

Mr. Peterson: Who wrote this junk?

Ms. Gigantes: Where are the world prices, for heaven’s sake?

Hon. Mr. Baetz: The consistent demand by the leader of the NDP to expropriate the mines --

Mr. Martel: You didn’t have a policy in those days, for heaven’s sake. It was a sellout. The Premier negotiated and didn’t know what he was negotiating. Nobody told him the difference between well-head price and pump price.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: -- is, for reasons which have been fully documented, so ludicrous and so unrealistic as to warrant no further comment from this side of the House. The policy of the Ministry of Energy is to ensure an adequate supply of energy to Ontario at prices that people can afford --

Mr. Warner: You have abandoned the people of Ontario.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: -- and with a minimum effect on the environment.

Mr. Cassidy: And with a maximum sellout to private companies.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, on the basis of the mass of information available --

Mr. Warner: Did Steve Roman write this?

Hon. Mr. Baetz: -- I believe these uranium contracts satisfy all three objectives.

Mr. Warner: Particularly Steve Roman’s.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: It also makes good sense for Hydro and the companies. It stimulates jobs and investment, especially in northern Ontario. It is, in short, in the public interest of Ontario to press ahead.

Mr. Warner: You don’t even know where northern Ontario is.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: While the opposition may wish to continue ad nauseam their partisan political posturing, this government, being responsive and responsible, must act and must act today.

Mr. Warner: Progressive Neanderthal.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: That is why as Minister of Energy I have signed the formal recommendations to ask cabinet to approve the issuance of the order in council. Thank you.

Mr. Cassidy: Being a minister has gone to your head.

Mr. Makarchuk: Shame. You are giving the country away.

Mr. Reed: Mr. Speaker, the arguments that are being put forward here this afternoon, of course, have been developed and put forward in the select committee, and I choose this afternoon, if I might be permitted, to try and shed whatever new light could be shed on the position which my party has taken --

Mr. Laughren: Some hope.

Mr. Reed: -- and with which I concur most wholeheartedly. I would like to, first of all, inform the Minister of Energy that the way the contracts are constructed at the present time, and the way I understand them, and the way I am sure he does too, the taxation that the province of Ontario is empowered to impose in case of excess profits is written into the cost of uranium. Because it is written into the cost of the uranium the people who buy the electric power in Ontario are going to pay for those taxes and no one else.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: He is at least talking about taxes.

Ms. Gigantes: Recycling our own money.

Mr. Reed: The minister referred to the fact that the mining of uranium in Elliot Lake would generate jobs, and it certainly will. Mr. Roman has also pointed out to us that if we choose not to buy the uranium he will sell it somewhere else. So the jobs are there so long as the uranium is there, and I should make that quite clear.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: And Ontario stays in the dark.

Mr. Reed: I’ll get to that in just a minute. There were a few premises upon which the government based its argument for accepting the contracts. One was the security of supply. That was one of the paramount arguments that were put forward by Hydro under consultation through Robertson Associates, who painted the picture that precipitated their position or their decision.

The security of supply is a very interesting thing to contemplate, since for many years, as we know, the uranium business was in the doldrums. It has only been in the last couple of years that there has been any active exploration.

I was asking one expert the other day about just how extensive the exploration had been in Canada. He said: “We have covered Canada from aerial surveys at 25 kilometres.” I said: “Could you find the Denison mine with a 25-kilometre survey?” He said: “No.” I said: “What are you doing now?” He said: “We have started to cover it aerially at five kilometres.” I said: “Could you find the Denison mine at five kilometres?” He said: “Not unless you flew right over it.” I said: “How do you find the uranium?” He said: “You have to go in on the ground to find it.”

It was interesting to note that since the exploration has intensified in the last year or so the finds have started to come in. We know that during the time the select committee was sitting, announcements were made of finds -- one in Australia near Darwin which is so close to the surface it will be mined open pit. It’s very rich and it is considered by experts to be five to 10 times larger than anything found in Australia to date. In Canada, Hydro-Shell, that combination exploration effort, announced a find in Labrador as we were sitting. It was quite interesting.

The Globe and Mail, February 25, 1978 -- another little article: “Interest is Revived by Uranium Deposit Find” -- “The discovery of yet another significant deposit of uranium mineralization in northern Saskatchewan has revived interest in a number of companies…” I would dare say that we will probably have a dozen or so new mines or new ore bodies come into being or be assessed in this next year.

That is entirely in contrast to the position taken by Hydro under the advice of their experts who painted the picture that the Denison Mines and the Preston Mines and the Elliot Lake ore bodies were all we were going to get. That’s what they said, and that was the premise upon which they went into those negotiations. The government’s other premise was its own fundamental philosophy which basically opposed any alternatives to outright purchase of the yellow cake after it was processed. It is interesting that that philosophy pervaded the whole picture right through the years of negotiation.

I must agree with my friend in the NDP that Hydro went into those negotiations with its pants around its ankles. You have to remember that; they went in negotiating out of fear.

Mr. Nixon: That was just the chief negotiator.

Mr. Reed: The whole picture has turned over since then. Look at the size of the contract, to begin with. The staff of the select committee told us that there was an over-purchase in it over the 35 years of about 55 million pounds.

Hydro is about to revise its load forecast downward and by 1986 shows a downward forecast of 3,000 megawatts. If you spread the consumption of a reduced load forecast of 3,000 megawatts over that period of time -- I’m not counting for any further reductions or anything at all; just what Hydro is doing itself -- we can write another 30 million pounds into that over-purchase.

Ms. Gigantes: Right.

Mr. Reed: Now we’ve got an excess purchase of uranium under these contracts of 85 million pounds and that is almost the capacity of Preston Mines. So just let the minister remember that when he is making his recommendation to the Premier.

The value of the front money was another thing which we discussed at length in the select committee. According to the expert who testified on the last day -- on the Friday -- we asked him what the value was of front-ending those two mines to the tune of $300 million-odd and how did that relate per pound in uranium -- what value could be applied? The answer was -- and it surprised me -- was upwards of $6 a pound. If you take the contract and add the $5 and you add your 50 cents and you do your split between your world price and you take another $6 input, Mr. Speaker, you are coming so close to world price you can eat it.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: You didn’t convince your staff of that.

Mr. Reed: I want to talk about two more things before I am told to sit down, if I can. First of all the world price of uranium -- and these things are tied to world price. The world price right now is supposed to be around $42 or $52.50 a pound. It’s interesting to note that I have a little article here that appeared in the paper last July 14 which says, “France is buying 1,000 tons of uranium from Africa to begin delivery in 1980” -- at, guess what? $27 a pound. That’s a long way from $42.


I challenge the minister to explain to this House what the world price of uranium really is. He doesn’t know and I don’t know. We discussed in great detail about how the so-called club or cartel could have precipitated the escalation of prices and so on. We see prices, according to the world-price charts, of so much a pound. Then I read an article like this that an actual sale was made at $27. So where does the minister stand? He has no way to assess it. Yet he’s tying it to a fictitious figure. How can he do that?

Ms. Gigantes: You are going to get hosed.

Mr. Reed: There is one other thing that I would like to put on record, that is, the Denison mine itself. It has come to my attention, and I probably should have paid more attention to it a little earlier in the game, that certain parts of that ore body, as we get down through the extraction of the uranium, contain an ore that is -- and you’ll have to forgive me, Mr. Speaker, because I’m not too up on my technology here -- a highly chloritized ore. Apparently, there is a whole vein of highly chloritized ore that runs through part of this. I have the map here, if the minister would like to see it, that shows that during part of that excavation there’s going to be a tremendous high cost awarded to the extraction of that uranium. I will quote from a book, A Geological Survey of Canada, 1969: “Highly chloritized ore was intersected in Denison’s drill hole No. 29, a few thousand feet west of Can-Met workings.”

Mr. Deputy Speaker: The hon. member’s time has expired.

Mr. Reed: Mr. Speaker, thank you very much. I hope I shed some new facts in this debate and I pray that the minister will advise the Premier to reconsider these contracts.

Ms. Gigantes: I would like to support the position being taken by the opposition against ratification of these contracts by looking at the contracts in terms of the business deal involved. First of all, I’d like to talk about the quantities being purchased by Hydro under these contracts. The amounts that are being offered to Hydro in both these contracts are the amounts that the companies want to sell. We know for a fact from testimony from the directors of Preston Mines that the sale of this amount to Ontario Hydro will relieve this corporation of its obligation to provide any other reserves for the domestic market. That is very convenient for the companies. The amount we are being told to purchase is very convenient as far as the companies are concerned, but it is too much as far as Hydro’s needs go.

With Darlington included -- and I would join with some of my colleagues here in the Liberal opposition in feeling that Darlington may not be necessary before the period of 1990 and perhaps not at all if we get into a decent conservation program in this province -- we are buying under these contracts too much uranium, 25 per cent too much, as my hon. colleague has mentioned; 55 million pounds too much.

Within the contract, the conditions for curtailment of delivery are too narrow and the resale conditions are too restricted. We may be stuck with 55 million pounds too much, or more, depending upon what we do with Darlington. The deliveries of these amounts do not match Ontario Hydro’s needs in terms of time.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Do you want to take the whole thing?

Ms. Gigantes: We have a cumulative projected shortfall in deliveries of uranium to Ontario Hydro up to the year 1992 under these contracts of 10 million pounds.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Do you want the whole thing?

Ms. Gigantes: Somewhere Ontario Hydro is going to have to find that 10 million pounds if we’re to believe the projections of requirement between now and 1992. That’s the amount being offered in the contract.

If we turn to the price side of the contract, we see that under the Denison contract, which is the one which we face most urgently right now, we, the Ontario public through Ontario Hydro must advance to Denison -- in 1978 dollars, let me point out -- the $178 million capital for Denison to invest in the expansion of its facilities. We know that some of that expansion will obviously enable Denison to more easily meet its current export contract with Spain and with Japan.

The capital advances are repayable to Hydro within the contract period but they are interest free. If these capital investments were made by Denison, as opposed to Hydro, the pricing formula contained in the contract would mean that the cost to Hydro of each pound of uranium would be lower.

What is that pricing formula? Roughly speaking, it is something called the “actual cost of production” -- which we are supposed to be able to monitor, pray God -- plus all taxes charged against that production, plus environmental costs. So that is what we call the basic actual cost of production. But to that, this contract adds 50 cents a pound for exploration charges -- and that, Mr. Speaker, will be escalated over the period of the contract -- plus $5-a-pound profit, also escalated over the contract period, plus one-half the difference between that total amount and the world price. That is their formula under this contract.

Now what will our price be? We do not know -- there is no way we can know -- but there are many reasons to fear it will not be to our benefit.

Let’s look first at what world price is.

In 1973, Mr. Speaker, the world price was $6 a pound and there had been, as my hon. Liberal colleague points out, very little exploration for new sources of uranium in the previous 14 years.

Mr. Nixon: You couldn’t give it away for $6.

Ms. Gigantes: From 1969 to 1974, Mr. Speaker, the US uranium market was closed to all foreign sellers by an American government embargo, thus creating a cartel-like influence on 70 per cent of the world market. And overlapping this period, from 1972 to 1975, the major producers of uranium outside the US, including those Canadian producers of uranium, like Denison and Rio, operated a counter cartel. We know that. We have documentary evidence of that.

The price of uranium inside and outside the US rose rapidly in the period 1973 to 1975; and new exploration had not produced “producing” mines by mid-1975, when Westinghouse Corporation declared that because of rapid price increases it could not afford to meet its contracts to supply US utilities.

When the Westinghouse renege hit the market, there was a supply panic as the US utilities that had contracted with Westinghouse scrambled to try to cover their immediate requirements. Most of those US utilities -- and we have testimony before the select committee indicating that this is the case -- have now covered their immediate needs, and it is interesting to note that the world price has remained steady or even declined in real terms, even while this Westinghouse supply scramble was going on.

But to come back to the contracts for Ontario, we want to know how they relate to world price. Will they be better for Ontario than world price? Again, we simply do not know; but it is fascinating to note that within the Denison contract there is a specification that if world price dropped below the contract price by the year 1980, Ontario Hydro could not get out of the contract until 1992.

I note that with interest because it indicates that Denison Mines certainly considers it a possibility.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: You would take over the whole mine for a lifetime.

Mr. Reed: You lose the front money too.

Ms. Gigantes: So we have to ask ourselves: is it likely that the world price will fall significantly in the future? Most of the testimony we have heard from the experts who came before us was negative. But it is important to underline that the track record of some of these very experts on price predictions for uranium, some of the most significant of the witnesses we have heard, is at least abominable. They have not been able to predict the price for uranium in the very near past, and I do not have much confidence in their ability to do it now. It is important that until 1975 there was not significant exploration going on and we couldn’t expect to find new supplies coming on to such a degree that the price would have fallen since that time.

In summary, we are being asked to lock into 40-year contracts which do not cover our uranium needs up to 1992, which deliver us at least 25 per cent more uranium than we require under the overall contract period; we are being asked to take all the financial risks on a purchase that is coming at the height of a sellers’ market, and we have no guarantee that we will not find ourselves paying more than the world price for uranium in a very few years.

I believe no businessman who had to report to shareholders would dare sign such a contract. We in this Legislature represent the shareholders of Ontario Hydro, the public of Ontario, and we have to say to this government loud and clear, these contracts represent bad business for the public of Ontario. They must not be approved.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Durham West.

Mr. Mancini: I’m surprised at you, George; real surprised.

Mr. Ashe: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. It is indeed a pleasure to participate in this debate this afternoon. As a member of the committee for the past seven weeks, I have had an opportunity to be, and have been, presented with a tremendous amount of testimony from recognized experts in the field. Most without exception they have stated in no uncertain terms that the contracts negotiated by Hydro with both Denison and Preston are among the best that have ever been obtained by any public utility or private corporation.

Ms. Gigantes: For another company.

Mr. Ashe: Almost to a man they have said unequivocally that these contracts are in the best interests of the people of Ontario. It is also worth noting that the staff assigned to the select committee in their report to the committee a week ago very strongly supported the contracts and urged the committee to sign them because they are in the best interests of the people of Ontario.

What we have today is a situation in which, after several years of intense negotiations by Hydro, after independent analysis by experts of these negotiated contracts, after seven weeks of intense examination by a select committee of this Legislature, there are two opposition parties who say in the face of all this evidence, “Don’t sign the contracts.”

The position of both parties is, in my opinion, completely indefensible. The position of the Liberal Party, in fact, would be laughable if the question under discussion were not so serious. Almost from the first day of the hearings, the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. S. Smith) decided that here was a chance to make some political hay. As he does so often, he let fly with a barrage of comments to the press before he even knew half the facts -- as a matter of fact, a quarter of the facts. On the first or second day the committee met, before any facts had been presented --

Mr. Mancini: Did Darcy write that for you?

Mr. Ashe: -- he went on record as being against the contracts. It was so obvious, that after two days of hearing of evidence I read a statement to the committee, which I would like to quote in part. “Consequently I suggest we stop rattling our sabres in the halls, stop trying to serve political expediency with the press and TV, with suggestions that these two contracts are going to be rejected.” That was the atmosphere after only two days of the committee set up by this Legislature.

Then, as witness after witness gave testimony as to why the contracts were good, and why they should be signed, Dr. Smith found himself having to do his usual flip-flop as he tried desperately to get himself and his party off the hook. In this end he just could not quite pull it off.

Mr. Reed: Be careful; he has yet to speak.


Mr. Ashe: What a spectacle we witnessed, as the members opposite flip-flopped back and forth, just like a herring right out of water. First we had the member for Halton-Burlington, the Liberal energy critic, who by his statements obviously doesn’t understand the contracts and doesn’t understand the federal guidelines, saying in all seriousness to the committee on February 2e “The question of acquisition as an alternative is one that, so far as I am concerned under the circumstances, can be a very real alternative.” Five minutes later the member for Niagara Falls (Mr. Kerrio), from the same party, disagreed with his party colleague. He said: “Acquisition would take the pressure off the federal government, so we shouldn’t go that route.”

Mr. Nixon: You couldn’t even vote along with your members. You couldn’t even scare up a vote.

Mr. Ashe: Here is the best of all.

Mr. Reed: Why don’t you read those statements in the proper context?

Mr. Nixon: He is still smarting because he wasn’t asked into the cabinet.

Mr. Ashe: A very short time later, the Leader of the Opposition said that if he had been Premier he wouldn’t have wasted five minutes before acquiring Denison in 1974. Mind you, Mr. Speaker, he did say that considering him as Premier was “perhaps an outlandish fantasy to the point of either a nightmare or insanity.” In that, he’s exactly right, and probably it was the only relevant thing he said during the whole debate.

Mr. Kerrio: You’re running out of time, too.

Mr. Ashe: That’s because you’re taking up my time by interjections. Again we have a situation where the Liberals do their famous “I say I will and then I say I won’t.”

Mr. Reed: No, we’ve been consistent from the start.

Mr. Speaker: The member for Halton-Burlington has already participated in the debate.

Mr. Ashe: Then they have another approach. They say: Let’s blame the Ontario government for the stupidity and ineptitude of their colleagues in Ottawa. They suggest the Ontario government should try harder to get the federal government to change its policy on uranium. The member for Halton-Burlington says of the federal Liberal uranium policy: “It is out of date, it’s old-fashioned and has to be changed.”

Mr. Reed: Right on.

Mr. Ashe: The member for Niagara Falls says to the committee: “We have to put pressure on the federal Liberal government to look after the best interests of Ontario.”

Mr. Kerrio: Right on.

Mr. Ashe: The Leader of the Opposition says of his colleagues’ federal policy: “It is shortsighted and utterly, in my opinion, unprotective, and that’s the most charitable word I can use of the federal government with regard to uranium.”

Mr. Kerrio: That’s pretty consistent.

Mr. Ashe: Out of date, shortsighted and old-fashioned are good words and are excellent to describe any Liberal policies. Far be it for this government to disagree with those statements. This government has moved heaven and earth to try to get the federal Liberals to change its policy.

Time after time this government has made urgent representations to the federal Liberal government seeking to have this policy changed and time after time the federal Liberals have refused even to consider it. Let there be no mistake about it. The federal government can never be accused of having the best interests of Ontario as a priority because time after time they have proved that they don’t. This is just one further example.

Mr. Reed: Now you are agreeing with us.

Mr. Ashe: The committee heard all of the evidence on this point, and it was documented beyond question that the Ontario government has tried to have this policy changed. The Minister of Energy (Mr. Baetz) sent the federal Liberal minister a telegram on February 4, 1978, and the reply left no doubt as to the federal position on this matter. I quote from Mr. Gillespie’s answer: “A two-price system for uranium is not being planned by the federal government. While changing conditions in the industry might require the formation of a marketing board at some future time, the existence of such a board would not necessarily affect the domestic pricing regime. Even if it did, there could be no assurance that it would result in a more favourable price or security of supply situation than now possible through the contracts awaiting your approval.”

The facts speak for themselves and the facts I are that the federal government will not change its position. If the Leader of the Opposition and his colleagues think they can bring about a change, then why haven’t they done so? What kind of conversations have they had with their federal colleagues, and have they heard or seen anything that would indicate that this change might be brought about? The fact is, they know it can’t and won’t be done.

To advocate that the contracts not be signed and that the government try to get a better deal from Ottawa is the cheapest and most dishonest political ploy imaginable. Such an argument is specious and misleading to the citizens of this province. They know it hut they have to run somewhere, so they try to hide behind the red herrings that were contained in six pages of gobbledegook. The truth is that the Liberals have no answers. They obviously have no policies and they have no credibility.

Mr. Reid: Oh, come on now!

Mr. Bolan: Are you serious?

An hon. member: What’s your name, Margaret Scrivener?

Mr. Ashe: They have no credibility whatsoever on this issue.

An hon. member: The new Margaret Scrivener.

Mr. Ashe: It is fine for them to say, “Don’t sign the contracts,” but from the beginning, they have had no alternative and have put forward no constructive policy whatsoever.

Mr. Kerrio: The Premier didn’t ask us for an alternative. He asked us what we thought of the contracts.

An hon. member: You asked us what we thought of the contracts.

Mr. Ashe: The members opposite have used the term “windfall” in connection with these contracts. If the people of Ontario had to rely on the Liberal Party to provide future energy needs in Ontario, it would be a windfall, but it would be windfall for the candlestick makers and a disaster for the hydro users in the province of Ontario.

Mr. Bolan: Selling out to Steve Roman again, eh?

An hon. member: George, you don’t believe that yourself.

Mr. Ashe: Mr. Speaker, the evidence is overwhelming in favour of these contracts and their signature, and I would recommend to my cabinet colleagues that the contracts be signed.

Mr. Bolan: It is overwhelming in favour of a sellout.

An hon. member: It’s a sellout, an absolute sellout.

An hon. member: Give them hell, Bob.

Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, to begin with I should tell you, sir, that I had the greatest respect for the Hydro negotiating team who came before the select committee to explain their procedures, and to more or less organize and orchestrate the presentation of the factual material which was considered by the committee. I don’t often praise Hydro and in fact there may be times in the near future when we can be very specifically, and I hope effectively, critical; but in this instance I felt the negotiating team had taken a very valuable and healthy stance in their dealings with the people who own the uranium resources. They had said to Denison and later to Rio-Preston that they were prepared to pay the audited costs, plus a reasonable profit, which they assigned at $5 a pound, plus in one instance an additional 50 cents for further exploration for uranium, and some of these details have been very effectively put before us by the hon. member for Ottawa-Carleton --

Ms. Gigantes: Carleton East.

Mr. Nixon: Carleton East, one of those important ridings.

Mr. Foulds: That you held so briefly.

Mr. Nixon: They were continuing with those negotiations, not getting very far, when we were told in the committee the Premier, in another situation in which he was talking to the chairman of the board of Denison, had suggested that Mr. Roman should stop sticking to his side of the argument, which was world price. The Premier is very proud of the fact that he was able to get what he called a better deal under these circumstances and persuaded Mr. Roman to agree that rather than world price, whatever that is, he -- Mr. Roman -- would be prepared to accept the formula base price plus one half the difference between that and the world price.

I think, sir, you would be interested to know that although the Premier did not talk to the authorities at Rio-Preston, Rio-Preston had meanwhile negotiated with Hydro to accept the base price plus, not a half, but only a third of the difference between that price and world price.

But I wanted to say this. While we hope and trust there are going to be extensive discoveries of uranium ore in the immediate and mid-range future which will be used to provide electrical energy here in Ontario and in Canada, my own feeling is that the logic of using uranium from the Elliot Lake deposits is almost irrefutable; I believe that this is one of the most extensive and richest deposits in the world. It’s not only in Canada but it’s in Ontario.

This House has concerned itself with the development and the stability of Elliot Lake on more than one occasion when we couldn’t give the uranium away, when government policy at that time might very well have considered either acquiring the assets of the mine or even acquiring some substantial amounts of uranium to fulfil our future needs. But my own feeling is that this is a logical source for the uranium which we obviously need for the plants that are already built and that are specifically planned; that it’s part of the terms of reference of this select committee to review the future plans of Ontario Hydro in this connection and certainly that will be a very interesting, and I hope, productive program.

My main objection to the contract and the one which gives me, let’s say confidence, along with my colleagues in the Liberal Party, in saying that the contracts are not in the best public interest, has to do with the terms of the contract which associate the price we will be paying over the next 30 to 40 years with world price. This world price is as artificial, in my view, as the oil price which has been dictated by the OPEC nations.

At one point I brought to the attention of the people in the committee that if you were going to buy a gallon of gas in Abu Dhabi, you don’t pay $1 a gallon. In fact, you can get it for 12 cents a gallon because that’s where the oil comes from and the government there is not going to be so benighted as to feel that it is in the best interests of those people to pay a world price or anything that is even connected with it. They know that, in that instance, world price is meaningless; and it is just about as meaningless with reference to uranium.

Not only has there been a cartel in action, sponsored in part by the government of Canada, but there have certainly been restrictions by almost every nation that has uranium, either for use in its own reactors or for sale on the international market. Even the United States, which is still the largest producer of uranium, had an embargo situation for many years which certainly had an artificial effect on the price of uranium.

Let me say this: I have no objection whatsoever to the government of Canada, together with other uranium producers, establishing some sort of club which would establish a cartel pricing situation for world markets. I believe this is an important and extremely valuable resource, that we in Canada are very fortunate to have this resource, and I believe that it is our duty not to hold it away from the rest of the world but, for the development of our own nation, to see that we get the very best price for it. I see nothing wrong with that at all.

I do, however, object to any kind of contract which Ontario would enter into by its own free will, which would have us as a part of the pricing mechanism -- in my opinion -- a concomitant part of that price based on cartel operations, or even the artificial pricing situations that I have referred to very obliquely and without detail. Therefore, I would agree with those other members who have spoken, that the world price as a phrase or even as a concept is completely meaningless, and that Ontario Hydro was entirely correct --

Ms. Gigantes: They’re going to have to pay it.

Mr. Nixon: -- when they were attempting to negotiate with the producers in northern Ontario on the basis of audited costs plus a reasonable profit, which they deemed to be $5 a pound. That was the area for negotiation; nowhere else. If they want to tack on a few sweeteners like an additional 50 cents a pound for exploration -- a few additions to the contract such as the Denison people insisted on, having to do with other safeguards which may or may not be meaningless -- that’s fine. That’s the procedure of negotiation.

The Premier introduced his good offices in a friendly conversation with his friend, Steve Roman, when really, I think they were talking about the possibility of the Premier going to Ottawa as the federal leader, or something like that -- and the Premier said, “Listen, Steve. I really think you should come down on this world price.” Steve, as the president of Denison, with his great generosity and because of good corporate citizenship, decided they would do that. Of course, they didn’t come down nearly as far as Rio-Preston came. And I’ll tell you, Mr. Speaker, Rio-Preston, controlled by the Rothschilds, is never considered to be some kind of a giveaway corporation in their emanations and decisions and actions in the world market.

I believe that the Premier should ask for and should still be insisting on the original concept of Ontario Hydro; that is an audited contract plus reasonable profit. This is surely the only reasonable alternative for the province of Ontario, or in fact for any jurisdiction in Canada; but particularly us.

It is probably wrong to say, “That’s our uranium,” and yet we feel that is so, because it is up there. Sure, it’s owned by Denison. The thing that is hard to take is that in 1946, by an Act of Parliament, the government of Canada took over the jurisdiction of uranium because it was a strategic material. We sold hundreds of thousands of pounds to the United States -- half the uranium that is presently sitting in those warheads in silos in the United States came from Ontario. That’s an appalling thought; but that’s a fact.

The whole thing was taken over as a strategic material in 1946. But now, we hope that the strategic importance has somehow decreased, and for us the importance is as an energy source. It’s ours; it’s right here, not in Alberta. It’s not in Saudi Arabia; it’s here. And we have led the world. With the greatest respect to the people in Hydro, to the Atomic Energy Commission -- whatever we read about them from time to time -- and, further, with respect to the initiative of the government of Ontario at the time, I believe most of the credit belongs to the Hon. J. R. Simonett, who made the announcement here that the government was prepared to go forward with the establishment of the Pickering reactor.


My feeling is that the only legitimate policy for the government of Ontario is the one I have enunciated. I believe that there is sufficient power remaining in this government and in this House, in co-operation and in conjunction with the government of Canada, to see that an audited cost plus reasonable profit is the basis for the operation of our uranium reactors, both now and in the 30- to 40-year future.

To closing, I want to say to the Minister of Energy that his interjection, about the lights going out, I consider to be unacceptable -- in fact, irresponsible -- because the uranium will not leave Canada unless it is approved by an order in council in Ottawa --

Hon. Mr. Baetz: You know how responsible they have been.

Mr. Nixon: -- and I would submit to you, Mr. Speaker, that orders in council by this cabinet are necessary for the uranium to leave Ontario. There may be legal implications that would force those orders in council --

Hon. B. Stephenson: There sure as hell are.

Mr. Nixon: -- but certainly they could be used as an effective bargaining agent.

The Minister of Labour is interjecting --

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member’s time has expired.

Mr. Nixon: She probably doesn’t even know that she was part of the cabinet that approved those orders in council --

Ms. Gigantes: Did you know, Bette?

Mr. Nixon: -- which now are seeing hundreds of thousands of pounds of uranium going to Japan and Spain; and it would be with her tacit approval.

Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, in this whole scenario, what puzzles me the most is why a government such as a Conservative government, which has prided itself on the ability to manage things in Ontario, has rejected so obviously and so arbitrarily what was a good business deal -- why they rejected the acquisition route so summarily. I want to speak specifically on that point.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: They didn’t reject it. The premise is wrong. Correct your premise and go on.

Mr. Foulds: The Minister of Energy intervenes and says, “Correct your premise.”

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Get back to the correct premise.

Mr. Foulds: What I want to point out to him is that the Tories like to talk about the so-called real world in which a contract has to be signed. Like the former speaker, I give Hydro’s officials full marks for negotiating a contract in that so-called real world. But I want to point out to the Minister of Energy that he and his predecessors and the cabinet contaminated the real world because they cut the ground out from Hydro by not allowing them to pursue the acquisition route.

On December 10, 1973, George Gathercole, chairman of Ontario Hydro, wrote to the Minister of Energy: “In our view, we should proceed with the purchase of the uranium assets at Denison Mines, which are understood to have the largest, low-cost reserves available, as quickly as possible.”

Mr. Lupusella: He lost the letter.

Mr. Foulds: Following that, on June 4, 1974, J. G. Matthew, manager of fuels and supply resources development at Hydro, wrote: “Acquisition of the Denison reserves is the key to Ontario Hydro’s bargaining position now and in the future.”

Then, in 1975, after a thorough investigation, Project Wellesley reported: “There is a significant, absolute dollar saving in acquiring the company.” They also said: “It is recommended that Ontario Hydro enter into negotiations to obtain a majority interest in Denison Mines Limited through the purchase of shares.”

As well as that, we had a number of witnesses before the committee; most impressive was a firm from Washington. The firm is called Donovan, Hamester and Rattien Incorporated --

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Who liked the deal.

Mr. Foulds: Two of the principals in that company, one of whom had been a former president of Consolidated Edison in the United States and the other a consultant, clearly told the committee that acquisition was a desirable and acceptable route to any private utility company.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: They also liked the deal. They liked the contract.

Mr. Foulds: I’d like to quote directly from the Hansard of the committee on February 8, where my colleague, the member for Carleton East, said:

“We are buying a supply today. We are doing it in a $7 billion contract. And what Wellesley suggested is the same as you suggest, that in principle the better way would be to own a source.”

“Dr. Donovan:” -- and I quote directly -- “No question about that, provided it can be obtained at a favourable price…”

Hon. Mr. Baetz: That’s the big question.

Mr. Foulds: What is interesting in the whole economics of the situation --

Mr. MacDonald: You blew it, the way you fiddled around.

Mr. Foulds: -- is that what was economically sound and feasible in 1975 is economically sound and feasible today, in 1978.

Mr. Cassidy: Right on.

Ms. Gigantes: We know that.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: It ain’t necessarily so.

Mr. Foulds: We know from the evidence that the staff of the select committee put before the committee that the economics have not changed at all since 1975.

What is interesting also is that Sinclair Stevens, the Conservative finance critic at the federal level, admitted to the committee that if he had been on the board of directors of a private utility seeking these contracts he would have recommended that they go the acquisition route because it was economically sound.

What it would involve is an expenditure of approximately $800 million. That interestingly is less than half the profit that Denison gets from the contract. Not half the price of the contract, but half the profit that Denison gets from the contract.

Not only that, but as one of the speakers has pointed out previously, we could finance the acquisition of Denison Mines through the revenue we would get after the second year from the Japanese contracts that are already in existence with Denison.

Mr. Cassidy: That’s right. Boy!

Mr. Foulds: I submit to you, Mr. Speaker, that if it is good enough for the private sector, why isn’t it good enough for the public sector?

Mr. Swart: Because they are doctrinaire.

Mr. Foulds: When it is economically advantageous for the people of Ontario, the residents of Ontario, why do they reject arbitrarily -- by the then Minister of Energy, now the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) -- the acquisition move? And I put it to you that we put that alternative as a real alternative, as a possible alternative, as an economically sound alternative.

Given the framework within which the Conservatives operate there are certain seductive elements in saying we must sign the contracts, because they have rejected every other alternative.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Such as jobs, the economy.

Mr. Foulds: They are hidebound to the contract route alone and they are hidebound only to the long-term contract route. They reject every other possibility.

Mr. Cassidy: That’s right.

Mr. Foulds: But that framework has been imposed upon them. It is not a real world; it is a contaminated world. And it is a world that is contaminated by a doctrinaire, dogmatic position of the Conservative Party, and it is one that is damaging the people of Ontario.

Ms. Gigantes: It’s bad business.

Mr. Foulds: One of the main reasons I reject the contract route is because by signing contracts of this length and of this magnitude we are by this seal not only committing the people of Ontario to huge and unnecessary expenditures, we are confirming, aiding and abetting an artificially inflated, so-called world price for uranium.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Turn over the whole pie and eat the whole thing.

Mr. Foulds: The Minister of Energy -- the five-day wonder -- comes into the committee and says, “We could tax the windfall profits.” What I would like to point out to him is that the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Treasurer have never taxed the mining companies the just economic rent that we deserve.

Mr. Renwick: They never will.

Mr. Foulds: When they were in trouble between 1969 and 1973 we financed them by stockpiling through the federal Liberal government, by stockpiling to assure them a profit. We can assure a company a profit when they are having a downturn, but we won’t use stockpiling to assure jobs at Sudbury. And I just cannot stomach that dichotomy any more, Mr. Speaker.

We have received a mere $55,000 in economic rent over the years from those natural resources at Denison. I want to say, like Peter Finch in the movie “Network”, I am mad a hell and I just don’t want to take it any more. And I think the people of Ontario --

Mr. Nixon: You know what happened to him.

Mr. Foulds: Is Morty behind me? And I think the people of Ontario should be mad as hell --

Ms. Gigantes: They are.

Mr. Foulds: -- and not take that pittance of an economic rent any more. One of the hecklers from the Conservative side at one point indicated that --

An hon. member: Warner.

Mr. Foulds: -- jobs were the key. I want to point out that the jobs will be there under public ownership just as equally as they will be there under private ownership. In fact, Ontario Hydro -- a public corporation -- has directly or indirectly 25,000 employees, and those are some jobs -- they pay well. As well, in the public sector --

Hon. Mr. Baetz: And you want to make it bigger -- one day you complain it is too big and the next day you want to double its size.

Mr. Foulds: -- we could plan for the job so it is not subject to the boom and bust of the Sudbury situation, and so that we could protect the health and safety of the workers and we could pay just as well.

I reject the idea of the contracts, because it is the single most expensive way to assure us of a supply of uranium.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Why did your experts accept it?

Mr. Foulds: I suggest that the government pursue acquisition because it meets our long-term need. It meets our necessity for an assured supply for the $14.1 billion investment in the nuclear power stations that already exist. And it assures us of a continued supply of electricity for the manufacturers and the home users in Ontario.

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, as Minister of Natural Resources I would like to look at a different aspect of this contract rather than the issues of profit and of cost that have been looked at carefully by all parties up to date. I have listened to those arguments with interest and attention, but I would like to really relate this contract to other elements that are related to the responsibilities my particular ministry has.

My ministry is responsible for the discovery and the exploitation of minerals, and for the mining industry in Ontario. We believe that it should be done by the private sector. We have supported that attitude for many years.

Mr. Cassidy: Even Con-Ed disagrees with you.

Hon. F. S. Miller: We have had one of the healthiest mining industries in the world. I believe Canada rates either number two or number three in the whole world in terms of the value of mineral exports.

I would like to look at the world situation for a second --

Mr. Deans: Why don’t we relate it to the value of the minerals?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Remember that until an ore is taken out of the ground it has no value --

Mr. Deans: That is not so. That is nonsense.

Hon. F. S. Miller: Ore becomes wealth when labour is applied to it.


Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order.

Hon. F. S. Miller: There are some fundamental differences in attitudes --

Mr. Deans: Until you cut the tree, it has no value? Until the mineral is taken -- oh, come on. You don’t believe that nonsense.

Hon. F. S. Miller: The wealth is created when the labour is added to the resource.

Mr. Deans: Good heavens -- is that your contribution?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, this kind of debate does spark real ideological differences, as the member for Wentworth is interjecting now. But if you look at the world mining situation at this present time you realize that there are problems in world mining right now.

Mr. Deans: There certainly are.

Mr. McClellan: Sounds like your Inco speech.

Hon. F. S. Miller: I was lucky enough to get a copy of the Financial Times this week, which has a supplement on the world mining situation.

Mr. Deans: Written by whom?

Mr. Warner: Steve Roman.

Hon. F. S. Miller: While we have heard a great deal of talk from the opposition about the fact that Canada or Ontario doesn’t tax enough, it is interesting to see how we are seen by other eyes. “And in Canada, for example, there has been the spectacle of Ottawa and the provincial governments competing for mining taxes to the point at which royalties have been levied without regard to cost and profit.”

That’s the way it’s seen from another point of view -- in another part of the world.

Mr. McClellan: What has that got to do with the issue?

Mr. Makarchuk: That’s the kind that comes out of there all the time.

Hon. F. S. Miller: I heard some of the other members before me say that in fact we did have the best exploration in the world. I believe the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk said that, or one of the members from the Liberal Party in any case, who was talking about exploration. It wasn’t you?

Mr. Nixon: No, that wasn’t mine.


Hon. F. S. Miller: We do have the best exploration in the world and as the demand for any particular ore improves, as the markets improve, of course we’ll find more mines. The idea that this country or this world has found all the mineral resources that are around is far from true.

Mr. Swart: Are you going to vote for it?

Hon. F. S. Miller: This is one of the interesting points because I think I’m going to agree with some of the things the hon. members brought up in the course of the issue. But let’s look at the history of the mining industry in Elliot Lake, or in fact look at the history of the mining industry in Sudbury.

It’s only a few short weeks ago I was being belaboured by some of the hon. members opposite to find some mechanism by which we could guarantee employment in the nickel industry in Canada, and certainly I would like to. Yet here we have a mechanism by which we’re guaranteeing employment in the Elliot Lake area in the uranium industry in Canada.

Mr. Reid: At what cost?

Hon. F. S. Miller: All right. One can always argue. I said I was staying away from the cost aspects today. I’m going to leave those members who sat in the committee and explored it to look at those.

Ms. Gigantes: What is $1.6 billion, eh?

Hon. F. S. Miller: I would like to look at the fact that in a world that’s becoming increasingly short of energy, one of the keys to all industrial success in the future is an assured source of energy in your own bailiwick.

Mr. Cassidy: At the best possible cost.

Hon. F. S. Miller: At the best possible price.

Mr. Makarchuk: And you hand it over to somebody else.

Hon. F. S. Miller: This contract will guarantee employment for decades to come in the Elliot Lake area at a relatively uniform rate. It will help us stabilize our balance of payments because --

Mr. Cassidy: You’re going to guarantee a profit of $27 a pound.

Hon. F. S. Miller: May I suggest that the leader of the NDP do what I did: listen.

Mr. Swart: It didn’t do you any good.

Mr. McClellan: The minister didn’t learn a damn thing.

Hon. F. S. Miller: I’ve just been in another country and I realize how sharp the energy needs of the world are.

Mr. Nixon: Were you in Florida?

Hon. F. S. Miller: No, I was in Yugoslavia --

An hon. member: That was Jim Breithaupt.

Hon. F. S. Miller: -- studying their energy sources, and I can tell the hon. members that as we go around this world -- that trip was on me -- as we go around this world, the industrial growth will depend upon assured energy sources. There’s no question about that.

Ms. Gigantes: Who is arguing that?

Mr. Swart: Nobody is arguing against that.

Hon. F. S. Miller: Therefore, if one sits here today and makes certain commitments to guarantee employment in the mining industry --

Mr. Makarchuk: Assuming you can provide power at a good price.

Hon. F. S. Miller: -- to guarantee assured sources of supply, perhaps the argument about whether the cost is the best possible one, which will not be resolved until future -- in other words, in historical hindsight we’ll know -- becomes a little less critical. The key thing is to have Canadian employment, Canadian sources of energy, and an assured source of energy so that we can go on. There are going to be about $300 million invested in the construction of the new mine. There are going to be about 1,400 jobs created in the expansion of the mine. There are going to be, I think, 2,500 jobs for miners as the mines are expanded. This gives us somewhere in the range of 2,500 permanent jobs in the future in the mining industry --

Mr. Makarchuk: And you could do it without giving away the province.

Hon. F. S. Miller: -- and at the very minimum we’ll have 10,000 to 12,000 other jobs in the service industries. All of those will come provided this contract is signed.

Mr. Deans: No. No.

Mr. Reeds: They’ll come anyway.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. Order.

Hon. F. S. Miller: Don’t count on it. Some of the hon. members were making comments about other sources of energy coming on stream at lower costs, but they aren’t sure of that. In this case, Hydro is committed to buy, Elliot Lake is committed to deliver, the jobs are in Canada. That’s a thing that we should keep in mind.

Mr. Reed: They would be either way.

Hon. F. S. Miller: As to acquisition, I think it was the member for Port Arthur who said acquisition by private companies has been always a natural route. But acquisition by private companies is not the same as acquisition by government.

Mr. Cassidy: Why not?

Hon. F. S. Miller: I didn’t expect the NDP to have any other position but the nationalization position, and I respect their point of view. I disagree with it.

Mr. Samis: It’s not nationalization.

Mr. Cassidy: It makes good business sense.

Ms. Gigantes: It’s making your investment pay off.

Hon. F. S. Miller: At the same time, I am surprised to hear my friends in the Liberal Party --

Mr. MacDonald: Oh, for the Tories of yesteryear who at least understood these things.

Hon. F. S. Miller: -- the people who have been selling the free-enterprise line more than any other group in the last few years, stand up and say, as their leader did: “It wouldn’t have taken me five minutes to nationalize the mining industry if I’d been Premier in 1974.”

Mr. Samis: He didn’t say “nationalize.”

Mr. Reid: Not the mining industry, the uranium industry.

Mr. Reed: The uranium industry.

Hon. F. S. Miller: The uranium industry.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. Order.

Hon. F. S. Miller: But if you start taking the uranium industry because it suits you today, what will you take tomorrow? What will you take tomorrow?

Mr. Reid: Who nationalized Hydro?

Mr. Nixon: Today, uranium; tomorrow, the world.

Mr. Reid: Who nationalized Hydro?

Hon. F. S. Miller: The leader of the Liberals said -- just calm down, Pat.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order, please. This isn’t the question period.

Mr. Nixon: George Ashe did it better.

Hon. F. S. Miller: Our friend, the leader, said he would eliminate the profits. He would, believe me, but he would not have cut the costs because government-run organizations do not run as efficiently as private organizations.

Mr. Swart: That is not true.

Mr. Makarchuk: Are you saying that Hydro is more poorly run than Consolidated Edison?

Mr. Reid: We missed you.

Hon. F. S. Miller: Now let me tell you this: Just for your information, within the mining corporation area --


Hon. F. S. Miller: You know, I must be getting you fellows upset.

A review of Ontario’s mining tax rates and corporation tax rates would show you that corporation tax is about 46 per cent -- is that right? Forty-six per cent is currently the combination of provincial and federal --

Ms. Gigantes: We have to pay that.

Mr. Makarchuk: What do they pay, though; what is the final payout?

Hon. F. S. Miller: And in addition, Ontario has a mining tax of up to 40 per cent on profits of the mining --

Mr. Cassidy: That is part of the base price.

Hon. F. S. Miller: -- non-deductible for federal tax calculations. Today, incremental tax rates in profitable mines can be as high as 60 per cent of total profit.

Ms. Gigantes: According to whom?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, I would say that this government --

Mr. Haggerty: What are you going to do about it, Frank?

Hon. F. S. Miller: -- this Parliament, should ensure the future economic stability of this province by ensuring that our energy sources are supplied by these mines and by ensuring that Ontario will have a sound, healthy economic future, both in the mines and the industrial sector.

Mr. Makarchuk: The only stability will be Denison’s.

Mr. Kerrio: The top line, of course is, do you think these contracts are in the public interest? That is what the Premier has asked us to evaluate. Some of the implications that have been read into what has been happening here today simply should not be before us; we should address ourselves to the question; and I suggest that the contracts as they are presented to us are not in the best interests of the public. The government and the government members are basing acceptance of these contracts on the evidence of experts who appeared before us in the committee. I would just like to relate to you a couple of instances of testimony given by these experts.

In one case, there was an expert, who happens to be one of the top people in the world, supposedly, who suggested to us in the committee that he was certain, by some 90 per cent, that by 1980 the world price of uranium would not be over $15 to $16.

Mr. Haggerty: You got that, Reuben? Get that down. That’s from an expert.

Mr. Kerrio: Another expert came before us and suggested that if we put front money up to the tune of $300 million the interest cost to the people of this province would amount to a similar sum, something like $300 million. Very shortly thereafter he changed his mind and suggested it might be $400 million or maybe $450 million.

Mr. Haggerty: You could have bought the mine.

Mr. Kerrio: As an individual who had been quite hesitant in speculating before I saw the expert change his mind two or three times, I suggest to you sitting in your places over there the front money is going to cost the people of Ontario $1 billion or better, because you cannot borrow what might end up at about $350 million in front money, when you get the back end of it back after 30 years for less than maybe two-and-a-half or three times the principal sum.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: With that kind of mathematics, you better not bid.

Mr. Reed: In 1978 dollars.

Mr. Kerrio: So now I would suggest to the minister that on that kind of evidence -- and everyone who appeared before suggested that because of the circumstances in the United States of America, where they have some 17 per cent of the necessary fuel to fuel their reactors, they would jump at the chance to sign these contracts; and I agree wholeheartedly with them, when you are prepared to pay any kind of a price to get the supply. But we were not in such circumstances. The uranium was under our feet. We put Hydro in a very narrowly confined box -- we, the federal government and the provincial government.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Kissing cousins.

Mr. Kerrio: You take that and do anything you want with that term. It is a bunch of garbage and you know it.

Now I say to the minister on this particular issue I am only concerned about the interests of the people of Ontario.

Mr. Cunningham: You need each other, I will tell you.

Mr. Kerrio: I care little for the way he wants to match me up with the people down in Ottawa. I suggest to you that in these very contracts that are before us, to show the figures that the government has set aside for the domestic users of Ontario, in this set of contracts we have used up all the supply dedicated to domestic users. It just points up the fact of how inadequate government policy was to protect the consumers of Ontario.

I am suggesting that the policy was made at a time when the federal government was more intent on exporting uranium than on seeing that the domestic users had a supply. I say that is why we suggest there should have been much greater pressure brought to bear when the whole scene changed as it has. That is what forced Hydro to put up the front money. Because it is happening all over the world it is not a fact that that is the way to go. It is a fact that those people have no option.

Because they were not guaranteed domestic supply, Hydro had to put up front money to open the mines and develop them. The federal government did not see to it that the guarantee to domestic users was coming off the belt and not just being left in a hole in the ground where hydro consumers of Ontario could be told there’s the part that was dedicated to their use, it is in the back corner of the mine. That is what the federal policy does in as far as it protects the domestic user of Ontario, and that is the reason Hydro had to put up the big front money.

I would like to suggest to the minister that in incorporating the front money in the price, we are talking in terms of roughly $20 a pound as far as the cost of developing the uranium is concerned to the mines, and then we give them $5 profit, which makes $25. We are also looking at a cartel-inflated price of $40 for a difference of $7.50 which we add on. I suggest also adding $5 to $6 a pound for the interest on the front money. Isn’t it strange that we should then end up paying maybe $88.50 a pound for uranium that is in this country of ours?

I suggest that some of the arguments that have been made are sound. They were made by people who have looked this thing over and I think have assessed many of the people who appeared before us. I would also suggest in talking about this government -- and my associate from Brant-Oxford-Norfolk made this comment -- the government signed export policies to send our uranium to Japan. The Ontario government had to agree. Whether it was in the works that they would have been forced to export it regardless of signing or not, certainly the position of this government should have been that they would see that anything that went out of the country was at least refined to the greatest degree we could. But the suggestion was the Japanese would not buy it under those circumstances; they dictated the terms and this provincial government signed the exemptions so that uranium could be exported.

While we are on that subject, it just seems the policy of the government is whatever suits it. I have heard the Minister of Natural Resources say that the government would not go the other route of public ownership. We are not suggesting that a public company should run it either. We are talking about free enterprise, that is, to bid, to run it legitimately and to take a legitimate profit. I would suggest this government uses policy to suit itself because it happens to be in the biggest construction business in the province of Ontario in Ontario Hydro. That certainly is not free enterprise. That is only because it suits the government to do that; in this instance it does not. The minister can muse on that particular situation if he will.

I would suggest that when I raise the question with the Premier as it relates to the conversation that he had with Denison, that in keeping with some kind of consistent policy he might well have called Preston, because while we had half the difference to the world price on one hand, we had a third of the difference on the other. Who says what might have transpired with the same kind of a conversation? This also points up the inconsistency of the price range in the two contracts.


Hon. Mr. Baetz: They’re quite different contracts, though.

Mr. Kerrio: Absolutely, they’re different contracts. One is one-third of the difference and the other is a half. That’s quite a difference.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Then don’t compare them.

Mr. Reed: That’s the first admission we’ve had of that.

Mr. Eakins: It is the Bermuda triangle.

Mr. Kerrio: I would suggest then, in summing up my submission here, that in 1973 when we were talking $6 to $7 per pound for uranium as being a viable price for mines to function and make a decent profit, it seems inconceivable that the government members will not admit that, at this stage of the game, this short number of years later, that just in the spiral of inflation as it exists, in the percentages over those few years, they could take $6 and elevate it to $40 and really convince themselves that there hasn’t been something at work that influenced this price to those dollars.

I suggest that if there was a two-price system and we were getting the best dollar for uranium on the world market and that what was used within the province of Ontario was given at a fair profit to the mines, or the corporations, and that a fair royalty was put into position, that when the time came that the supplies were deleted we’d have something in the public purse to show for having had one of the great deposits of that particular ore in the world.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: The hon. member’s time has expired.

Mr. Kerrio: Thank you very much. I would just make one comment in closing and that is that I also have had great reservations about the kind of time they’ve given to the disposal aspects of the nuclear fuel wastes, and I hope they are going to do something about that.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: The hon. member for Wentworth.

Mr. Deans: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This applause is a practice which has to stop around here. It takes up time.

Mr. Conway: You’re a special case.

Mr. Cunningham: It is also getting very phoney.

Mr. Deans: Yes, I must admit that. Whoever said that was right. There’s a limit to how much of that you can stand.

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Natural Resources made one accurate statement during his contribution. He said we must take steps to have assured energy sources in the province of Ontario. With that I agree. From that point on it seemed as if his contribution deteriorated significantly, since he didn’t appear to understand what it was that we were talking about.

First of all, we have to decide why we need these assured energy sources and we’ve got to try to determine what the obligation of the government of the province of Ontario is, not only in terms of energy but in terms of long-term economic planning and how one goes about it. I think we’ve got to begin by the clear understanding that we’re speaking about a resource that belongs to us, a resource of the people of the province of Ontario and a resource which we’re prepared to share with the rest of Canada; a resource which we know, though it has a particular value today, is likely to become even more valuable as time goes on as we find ways of dealing with the waste that naturally accumulates from nuclear reactors.

We need not and we should not pay exorbitant prices for these resources that belong to us. We have to be sure that we utilize those resources in the best possible way to bring about the kind of economic planning and development in the province of Ontario that will not only maintain our position in the world as an industrial force but assist us in developing even further the industry of Ontario and, therefore, the industry of Canada.

We have to use these resources that are available to us, not only this uranium resource, but all of the resources to build our economic future. We have to use them to develop the diversity of employment opportunities that we all understand we’re going to have to have if we’re going to be successful in world terms over the next 25 to 50 years.

Why would we then decide to pay more than we absolutely have to in order to secure that energy source when we could, at this point in time, undertake the very appropriate measure suggested by my leader of acquiring that resource in the public sector in order that we not only are able to use it at the cheapest possible cost but to make sure that it is used in our best interest? I think that’s what we’re talking about here. There is clear evidence in this contract of the attitude of the government towards the private sector, and the attitude of the government towards the private sector, and the attitude of the government towards the utilization of public funds.

It seems that this government has adopted a view that it is appropriate to tax the people of Ontario, whether it be by way of direct taxation or whether it be by way of energy costs, and to pass that money on to the private sector. It seems as if the government of the province of Ontario has adopted a view which says that anything that is in the public sector is bad and anything that is in the private sector is good, notwithstanding what the evidence shows. That’s the attitude that this government is putting forward.

Mr. Foulds: Shameful.

An hon. member: A dogmatic, doctrinaire, straitjacket.

Mr. Deans: We have had 35 years of Conservative rule in this province. In that 35 years the opportunity has been before the government on so many occasions to utilize the resources of the province in the best interests of the people of this province -- not only in terms of immediate gain in tax dollars; not only in terms of immediate gain in the sale of the product; but in using those resources to develop the economy of the province of Ontario in the short- and long-term best interests of the province. If it is true that we should have the guarantee of this uranium in order to assure ourselves that we will have it available to us if, as and when we require it for the production of electrical energy, then surely the obligation is to make sure we will get that resource at ‘the cheapest possible price and therefore make our economy more competitive in world terms.

Here we have mineral resources which we could have been using for the development of the secondary manufacturing sector that we all understand we are going to need. Here we have a uranium resource which we believe, and I believe, will at some point be developed for the production of electric power in the province of Ontario and, using those two sources alone, we could be infinitely more competitive in world terms.

We don’t have to be in the world market. We don’t have to adopt the Alberta position that the world price for that resource is what has to be achieved. We don’t have to adopt that. We have that resource. We are rich, infinitely rich, in world terms. We have the capacity right here in the province of Ontario to make ourselves even more competitive in world terms. We have available to us a resource which, if used properly and wisely, could allow us to develop and to manufacture at prices which would be even more competitive than the prices at which we are able to manufacture now.

Why in heaven’s name would we then turn around and enter into a contract which will guarantee to these two particular corporations excessive profits based on world prices, when in fact what we are really doing is saying to the consumer of the province of Ontario that he will have to pay the additional price in order to guarantee the almost $2 billion of profit? Why would we do that? Why is it necessary?

If it’s true what the Minister of Natural Resources says, that there are some 2,500 permanent jobs to be gained in the province as the result of the development of this resource; if it is true that there are some 12,000 jobs in the service sector related directly to the utilization and the development of this resource, then that is true whether it is developed in the private sector or the public sector. And if that is true, then why would we spend an additional $2 billion to get those benefits?

What in heaven’s name is wrong with the government? Why would it want to hand over $2 billion of public funds, of taxpayers’ dollars, of consumers’ dollars --

Mr. Makarchuk: Tell us why.

Mr. Deans: -- when it can get the same results without spending the money?

Mr. Makarchuk: Don’t just sit there, Reuben; say something.

Mr. Deans: Why would you not --

Hon. Mr. Baetz: I am trying to be a gentleman and not interrupt.

Mr. Deans: Please don’t, because it’s uncharacteristic.

Why doesn’t the government utilize the resource as it now is? Why doesn’t it develop it as part of the overall Hydro development? Why doesn’t it guarantee to Hydro, because they own it --

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Why didn’t you convince all the experts who have been working on this for months?

Mr. Deans: -- the utilization of that resource?

An hon. member: Hand it to the experts.

Mr. Conway: Deans for leader.

Mr. Cassidy: They never even looked at the Project Wellesley report.

Mr. Deans: I’m telling you now, Mr. Speaker, what I believe to be true and what I have believed to be true all along. When the minister signed over the approval to have that order in council approved, he effectively said to the consumers of the province of Ontario: “I, the Minister of Energy, am prepared to levy on you $2 billion more than you need to pay” --

An hon. member: Why don’t you speak the truth?


Mr. Deans: -- “in order to give that money to Denison and to Preston.” I would like to know something about the relationship that brought that about.


Mr. Deans: How in heaven’s name can the minister fly in the face of all the evidence, including the evidence before the committee? How can he stand in his place and say that he is prepared to tax the consumers of Ontario that additional $2 billion, in spite of the evidence of the former chairman of Hydro, in spite of the evidence put forward by his own subcommittee group which looked into it, in spite of the evidence of many of the key witnesses who appeared before the select committee? How can he then stand up and tell the province of Ontario that he believes it appropriate to hand over public funds to private corporations, even though he knows it is going to result directly in higher costs to those people?

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Because we listen to people who know a lot more about it than you do.

Mr. Deans: That’s what he is doing. Not only that, but he is alienating from the public sector something which is vital to its very well-being in the future. He is turning over, on a long-term lease, a resource which, if properly used and properly developed in the public sector in accordance with the needs of Ontario Hydro, could provide for this province in the long run energy at a price considerably below that which other parts of the world are going to be required to pay.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: That sounds great, but you can’t prove it.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: The hon. member’s time has expired.

Mr. Deans: That is what is wrong with this policy. It means we are selling out to other parts of the world. We lose jobs, we lose economic development, we lose the opportunity for secondary manufacturing --

Hon. Mr. Baetz: You are getting carried away with your rhetoric.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Your time has expired.

Mr. Deans: -- we lose the opportunity for diversity. The minister is wrong.

Mr. Jones: Mr. Speaker, I would like to express my appreciation for the opportunity to take part in this debate. I think in all this rhetoric we mustn’t lose sight of the question before us this afternoon, and that is basically the future energy needs and how to provide them for every citizen in this province, and what is at stake and what will be affected by the decision that is taken today.

I, too, want to emphasize, as my colleagues have done, the importance of the expert testimony we heard during the hearings of the select committee. We have heard some of that taken out of context this afternoon. The fact is that the weight of the evidence that was presented was overwhelmingly in favour of these contracts, and I believe we have to listen to that evidence that was presented to us. It seems obvious to me that during the several years in which negotiations took place, Ontario Hydro did an excellent job in protecting the interests of the citizens of Ontario while ensuring what would be an adequate uranium supply to meet our energy needs.

The New Democratic Party has opposed the contracts on the grounds that it would like to expropriate or otherwise acquire control of Denison Mines. We just heard from the member for Wentworth underscoring that. We heard the leader of the NDP saying nationalization “makes good business sense.”

Mr. Foulds: Just as Hydro asked.

Mr. Cassidy: That’s what Hydro said, too, only the government wouldn’t listen.

Mr. Jones: I respect the NDP for at least having an alternative, for being consistent, I suppose, with the party philosophy in that alternative.

Ms. Gigantes: And good business practice.

Mr. Cassidy: Good business for the people of the province.

Mr. Jones: I personally, though, can’t accept the premise that Ontario should follow that route, and I reject it on philosophical grounds --

Mr. Foulds: Philosophical grounds that cost the people of Ontario money.

Mr. Cassidy: Why don’t you sell off Hydro as well?

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order, order.

Mr. Jones: -- because I sincerely believe the government should not be active as a partner in the marketplace. I am just not convinced that government could operate a uranium mine nearly as efficiently or as well as those can who have specialized in that field.

Mr. Cassidy: Then sell off Hydro.

Mr. Makarchuk: Where is the evidence?

Mr. Renwick: It is not so, and you know it.

Mr. Jones: All of my experience has taught me -- and it’s a fact that government involvement in ventures is usually more costly and less beneficial than allowing private enterprise to do the job.


Mr. Makarchuk: Where’s the evidence?

Mr. Renwick: It is not so and you know it.

Mr. Jones: The contracts, as negotiated, give the government the right to closely monitor --

Mr. Cassidy: There are exactly 25,000 Hydro employees.

Mr. Foulds: Are you implying you can run this government but you couldn’t run a mine? Is that what you’re saying?

Mr. Jones: -- the operations of both Denison and Preston, and to intervene if it becomes necessary to protect the public interest --

Mr. Foulds: The Minister of Correctional Services (Mr. Drea) nods in the affirmative.

Mr. Jones: -- and that’s sufficient protection. We need only look at Saskatchewan to see that government is better off not getting involved in such ventures. There we have an example of an NDP government investing hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ dollars in potash plants. And what has been the result? Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent without in any way changing the course of industry and without generating any additional revenues. If we paid for these mines, as you people propose, how do you suggest we --

Mr. Makarchuk: They’re making money, aren’t they? They are providing jobs. They’re keeping the money in Canada.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. The member for Brantford may have a chance to speak later.

Mr. S. Smith: I hope not.

Mr. Jones: Mr. Speaker, I merely ask this question of the NDP and their proposal --

Mr. Cassidy: You prefer the Inco proposal.

Mr. Jones: -- how would they propose to pay for them. With increased taxes on an already over-burdened public? Or should we cut back health or education or social services?

Mr. Foulds: With the profits we get from the Japanese contracts.

Mr. Jones: It would be very interesting to hear how they answer that question.

Mr. Cassidy: Where are you finding the $300 million?

Mr. Jones: Of course, in the case of the Liberal proposal, there really hasn’t been an alternative proposal, despite all the rhetoric. There simply wasn’t.

Mr. Kerrio: We weren’t asked.

Mr. S. Smith: That’s not true and you know it.

Mr. Jones: “Don’t sign,” they say; but no answers and a lot of political posturing. That’s the simple fact that prevailed in the committee and here again on this floor.

Mr. S. Smith: That’s right -- don’t sign and declare a public policy you have never heard.

Mr. Jones: Mr. Speaker, I urge this government to, indeed, sign these contracts --

Mr. Makarchuk: Give away the province.

Mr. Jones: -- as they are clearly in the best interest of the people of Ontario; and that’s also as the staff spoke in committee and also, of course, resulting from the extra testimony that can’t be ignored.

Mr. Cassidy: That’s not what the committee said. The committee voted you down.

Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I have spoken on this topic many times; to the select committee on several occasions, to this House during my reply to the motion after the Throne Speech and now, once again, I have a chance -- and I’m grateful for the opportunity -- to reiterate the point of view of this party.

Let me be very clear that we believe that the nuclear policy adopted by Ontario Hydro is not a question here, nor at question is the matter of exploiting the uranium resources of this province and creating jobs here. All those are obviously acceptable, at least within the framework that they have so far been approved. Our concern, however, is that there has not been a public policy in Ontario to declare that the uranium used to generate electricity for the consumers of Ontario, provided that uranium is found in the soil of Ontario, would be priced at nothing more than the cost of production plus a fair profit to the owners involved.

Mr. Turner: What’s a fair profit?

Mr. S. Smith: That public policy has never been stated by the Premier of Ontario, although he has been invited to do so many times. Apparently, it does not represent the public policy of this government. This government prefers to settle for something that the Premier referred to during the time he was at the committee as “something less than world price.” That was all he asked for. He never asked Hydro whether they had been demanding nothing more than the cost of production plus a fair profit, and he never asked Mr. Roman to settle for the cost of production plus a fair profit.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: That’s a questionable premise.

Mr. S. Smith: Instead he admitted -- and he will be here to speak for himself -- that all he asked of Mr. Roman was to come up with something other than, something less than, world price.

We believe that the people of Ontario should not have to pay a price that is tied in any way to the world price for us to use in our own Ontario Hydro system uranium that is found in the soil of Ontario. We do not understand why we should have to worry about what escalation might occur in world price in the future when it is our own resource in this province. The only arguments that we have seen are, first of all, the fact that Ontario doesn’t have control of its uranium.

What I would like to know is why this government has not fought hard, once it realized that we had in mind such a massive purchase of Ontario uranium, to regain provincial control of uranium. All other energy sources are under provincial control, and this one is out of provincial control only because of its possible relationship to defence problems and the creation of atomic bombs and weapons. The fact of the matter is, however, that we could have found many ways to provincialize the resource which is presently federalized. We could have found many ways to do that without impinging on the matter of national defence and the creation of atomic weapons. Yet the government has never fought for that.

What should have been done in 1974 was to have had a definite policy to acquire the uranium resources. At that time, the government had a willing seller and might have been able to handle the situation without the present problems. The present problems are constitutional because we can’t expropriate. The problems are that the prices have gone up and the government doesn’t have a willing seller. The problems are that it has to deal with the minority shareholders. Those are all real problems, even though the members of the New Democratic Party prefer to ignore those particular problems.

Ms. Gigantes: Come on! You are just scared.

Mr. S. Smith: We believe the government should have acquired that resource. I say in all honesty since the Premier is in the House that had I been in his place -- and I know he doesn’t like me to talk like that --

Hon. Mr. Baetz: It is fantasizing.

Mr. S. Smith: -- we would not have hesitated five minutes to acquire those resources for the people of Ontario. Failing that, the next step is to demand a public policy of the kind I have outlined. The question is, what does one do now that they didn’t do it, now that Hydro was sent in to negotiate with Mr. Stephen Roman? Hydro was given nothing in the way of support from the government in the way of a declaration of public policy. They were forced to negotiate with virtually no weapons of their own in what seemed to be a seller’s market at the time. They are lucky to come out with anything at all. In fact, I don’t fault Hydro at all in any of these negotiations. But I do fault the government in these negotiations. I fault the government severely and I fault it at both levels, provincial and federal, but in particular it is up to the government of Ontario to protect the interests of Ontarians.

Mr. Roy: Especially the former minister.

Mr. S. Smith: The question is, what to do now? Look at this contract. Hundreds of millions of dollars are being put up by the people of Ontario for Stephen Roman to expand his mine, his production capacity, which he has to do to meet his Japanese contracts. He will use that production capacity, that you and I are going to pay for, interest free to send the best uranium in the mine to Japan for some years to come.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Come on! You are getting carried away now. You can’t prove that.

Mr. S. Smith: Then and only then will he use that interest-free provided production capacity to produce uranium for us from poorer grade ore at the bottom of the mine. That is the deal that this government wants us to endorse.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: You can’t prove that.

Mr. S. Smith: I tell you, Mr. Speaker, that this failure to defend the interests of the people of Ontario is something that the people of Ontario will have their opportunity to speak about at some time in the future, I suspect. I am saying to you that this has been a failure on the part of the government to defend the interests of our people. I would say to the government, don’t sign.

The member for Mississauga North and the Premier have from time to time mused on the idea that we haven’t given what they call an alternative. We haven’t said “nationalize” and we don’t say “nationalize.”

Hon. Mr. Baetz: What do you say?

Mr. S. Smith: The alternative is that the government doesn’t sign. It makes a declaration of public policy that the cost of uranium here is to be the cost of production, plus a fair profit.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Control yourself.

Mr. S. Smith: It demands renegotiation of the contract with Stephen Roman and then it sees what happens.

Mr. Deans: Then you nationalize.


Mr. S. Smith: The government says what is going to happen is that Mr. Roman -- and listen to them quaking in their boots -- might sell the uranium to Japan tomorrow.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: The lights have gone. You have got no electricity. That’s what will happen.

Mr. S. Smith: They are afraid he might turn around and sell the uranium out from under our feet to Japan tomorrow. They are afraid they don’t have the power to bring him to the bargaining table and strike a fair and reasonable bargain with this so-called wonderful corporate citizen.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Get another picture taken with Pierre. You looked lovely. What did you whisper in Pierre’s ear?

Mr. S. Smith: Let me tell the ladies and gentlemen in this chamber that Stephen Roman does not run the province of Ontario and, if he does, he should not be running the province of Ontario.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: And neither do you.


Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order.

Mr. S. Smith: If Denison wants to sell out our uranium from under our feet, and if the Premier is powerless to prevent it from doing that, then I say it is a sorry day for Ontario to learn who really is running the show here. If I were Premier of this province --

Hon. Mr. Baetz: If!

Hon. Mr. Bernier: That will never be.

Mr. S. Smith: -- and Stephen Roman threatened to sell this uranium out from under our feet, I would move heaven and earth to block that contract.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: You’re bringing a little humour into it now.

Mr. S. Smith: I would fight the federal government to prevent an export contract. There are many legal ways in which you could make it impossible for Roman to extract that uranium. There are a good many ways.

Mr. Handleman: Is that what you were discussing with himself last Saturday?

Mr. S. Smith: I remind the former member of the cabinet from the Ottawa-Carleton area that when he was a member of the cabinet, I suspect, his cabinet actually gave approval to certain of those export contracts that Denison wanted in order to send uranium to Japan.

An hon. member: You didn’t even know what you were doing.

Mr. S. Smith: None of them know what is going on.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: You’re the only one who knows.


Mr. S. Smith: The fact of the matter is that the government has to stand up for the people of Ontario.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: By golly, Mike, you’ve get a fight on your hands.


Mr. S. Smith: The government must not let Mr. Roman bluff them or threaten them or in any way frighten them. Have some guts, I say to the gentlemen in the cabinet. Stand up to him. Don’t sign the contracts.

Furthermore, I would like those gentlemen to know that if they follow the way things are going nowadays, there have been some very significant discoveries of uranium in Saskatchewan. There is a lot more exploration going on right now for uranium.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: And much greater use being made of it.

Mr. S. Smith: It is no longer going to be a seller’s market in the next few years to come. Don’t quake in your boots, I say to them. Don’t get down and lick the shoes of Mr. Roman or anyone else. Don’t sign the contract. Demand a shorter-term contract under the public policy that says, “We’ll pay for uranium the cost plus a fair profit -- and no tying it to the world price. We in Ontario have that uranium in our soil. We should not have to pay any price related to the world price for uranium. That is our policy.”

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: What is your position on oil? Tell us about your oil position.


Mr. MacDonald: Mr. Speaker, when a week ago as chairman of the select committee on Hydro I wrote to the Premier indicating that a majority of the committee did not feel that these contracts were in the public interest and therefore orders in council should not be promulgated to legalize them or to authorize them, the press reported that the Premier was disappointed.

He acknowledged that a majority of the people on the committee felt, and expressed the view, that the contracts weren’t in the public interest. But he expressed disappointment that they offered no alternative. May I say to the Premier, who is within earshot, that is not quite wholly true. I want to indicate why. It’s partially true but not wholly true.

Mr. Handleman: It’s either true or it’s not true.

Mr. MacDonald: It is true that members of the Conservative Party indicated they were in favour of approving of the contracts. They used for their arguments a rather judicious choice of the summary and the synthesizing of the evidence that the staff presented to the committee a week ago Monday.

What the staff did was, on balance, to come to the conclusion that Hydro, within the restrictive parameters which were imposed upon Hydro by the two senior levels of governments, had negotiated good contracts. Within those parameters they negotiated good contracts. They were toughly negotiated; they were skilfully drafted. The majority of the committee didn’t accept the contention that the contracts wore acceptable because they questioned the parameters imposed by government on Hydro; and I want to focus on those for a moment.

For example, the staff argued that you could sign the contracts and then go to Ottawa and continue to press to get a two-price system. In fact, if you got a two-price system and that price happened to be lower than the price that is negotiated under the contract, it would apply because it would be the posted domestic price authorized by the government of Canada. However, as late as a week or so ago we had a letter from Mr. Gillespie in Ottawa indicating that the government of Canada has no intention at all of changing its policy.

Hon. Mr. Davis: You’re right. And you didn’t even read your friend’s letter.

Mr. MacDonald: There is no intention at all of changing its policy.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Your buddy -- your friend.


Mr. MacDonald: Therefore, I suggest that to argue that this is a way to escape from the restrictive parameters of the contract and that you should go ahead and sign it is a false conclusion.

Secondly, it was argued that if you signed these contracts at lower than the world price --


Mr. MacDonald: Have I got the floor, Mr. Speaker? Very good.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: Looks like it.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: I recognize you.

Mr. MacDonald: If you sign these contracts at less than world price, the capital value of the mine would be less than if you didn’t have the contracts and they were selling their uranium at world prices; therefore, go ahead and sign it at something less than world prices and the capital value would be less, so that if you wanted to proceed with acquisition presumably you might be able to get them for even less. That, I suggest, with all the respect I have for the staff of this committee -- the best staff I’ve ever seen in any select committee -- is also not a very convincing conclusion.

Mr. Reid: That doesn’t say much for the other staff.

Mr. MacDonald: The reality is that these contracts, if they were signed would remove the dynamic for moving towards something of a lower price than Ottawa is going to impose upon us. Secondly, it would remove the dynamic for moving towards acquisition.

Let me pause right there to address another point. There has been a very false impression created -- assiduously cultivated, I would add -- that if these contracts aren’t signed, suddenly we’re going to get into deep trouble. The light won’t go on; the lights will go out down at Hydro.

Mr. Speaker, will the House please recognize this reality? The first delivery on the Denison contract is in 1980. By the year 1985, the total delivery will be 3.7 million pounds. By 1990, the total delivery on the contract will be 15.9 million pounds. These contracts aren’t meeting our short-term needs. There’s no crisis going to burst upon us with the lights going out if we don’t happen to sign these contracts.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: You need lead time.

Mr. Nixon: What about shortfall?

Mr. MacDonald: In fact, the situation is even worse. These contracts don’t meet our immediate needs. There’s a shortfall of some 10 million pounds which Hydro has got to go out and borrow from the federal stockpile, or to purchase on the international spot market; in either case at world prices. So they do not meet our immediate needs and there is no urgency for signing it now. We have got time to negotiate; that is the point; we have got time to negotiate.

Hon. Mr. Davis: That is not what you were saying in November, Donald.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: We need lead time.

Mr. MacDonald: Don’t let anybody panic you into believing that we’re going to have a crisis on our hands. There won’t be a pound of uranium delivered for two years from Denison. Indeed there will only be 3.7 million pounds by 1985 and 15.9 million pounds by 1990.

So I come back to the really tragic thing, the missed opportunity that this government has imposed upon the province of Ontario for the last five years. In 1973, Task Force Hydro -- not a group of socialists, not a group of ideologues -- said that it was in the interests of Hydro to secure its long-term supply by acquiring a mining complex. And in precisely that year, Denison was a willing seller. Indeed, they sold their mine and then the federal government vetoed it and they had to take it back and they cancelled the sale.

In that year, as has been pointed out by two or three of my colleagues, you had the beginning of a scenario. You had George Gathercole, the chairman of Hydro, writing to the Minister of Energy, and indicating in his view that we should proceed immediately with the purchase of uranium assets. In June 4, the next year, you had J. G. Matthew indicating that the key to Ontario Hydro’s bargaining position now and in the future was the acquisition of uranium assets. Not an ideological position --

Ms. Gigantes: Business.

Mr. MacDonald: -- a cold, hard business proposition presented to the government by Hydro.

Mr. Cassidy: You can’t run Ontario any more.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: The member has never made a business decision yet.

Mr. MacDonald: And what were you getting back from the government? You have it magnificently summed up by Darcy McKeough’s letter to George Gathercole at one point, when he plaintively said, “Surely there must be an alternative to acquiring the mines?”

Ms. Gigantes: Yes; some alternative!

Mr. MacDonald: Ideological position? There it was: “Surely there must be an alternative to acquiring the mine?” This government has consistently opposed it. When Project Wellesley indicated that there were economic advantages in it, they did not even look at Project Wellesley. For something like three and a half years they didn’t look at Project Wellesley.

Mr. Nixon: They did not even show it to Jim Taylor.

Mr. MacDonald: They did not show it and, indeed, the government did not even get a copy until a week before the committee began to look into it.

May I just finalize this scenario, Mr. Speaker? The staff of the committee, from which the government members are willing to pick and choose for their analysis -- and they choose to ignore this -- the staff has pointed out that the economic advantages for acquiring Denison are as great today as they were five years ago; as great today as they were in 1975, when Project Wellesley was reported.

Ms. Gigantes: Better.

Mr. MacDonald: So, Mr. Speaker, there is an opinion that there is a viable alternative. Here is where the Premier has half a measure of truth.

Hon. Mr. Davis: We never deal in half truths over here.

Mr. MacDonald: Just a minute now; just let me make my speech. The Premier is not in this debate. I am a little puzzled by where the Liberals stand, because the leader of the Liberal Party said in the committee, and he repeated it here this afternoon, that if he had had any say back in 1974 he would not have delayed five minutes; he would have moved to acquire the Denison assets. Now he says it is too late.

Mr. Breithaupt: That is correct. You’re getting it.

Mr. MacDonald: There has been no documentation by the Liberal Party as to why it is too late. The only other alternative that they have given is the alternative that we should have from the government, a declaration of public policy.

Mr. S. Smith: I will give you three reasons.

Mr. MacDonald: What is that declaration of public policy? It is that the resources in the ground of Ontario should be available to meet Ontario needs. Are they going to get that from the federal Liberals? Of course they are not. Their policy is contrary to it. It is going to be at world prices and with guidelines that are no sure guarantee. The only viable way of implementing that policy is by the acquisition route and I only wish the Liberal Party had shared it and the government would not be able to twist the story. We would have had a clear alternative.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: The hon. member’s time has expired.

Mr. MacDonald: Mr. Speaker, may I just say to the Premier, quietly, in conclusion, if he goes down University Avenue and takes a look at the Adam Beck statue he will find in the base of it, or he will find over in the Hydro building, a motto. Does he know what the motto of Hydro is? “Dona naturae pro populo sunt” -- “The gifts of nature are for the people.”

Mr. Deputy Speaker: The hon. member’s time has expired.

Mr. MacDonald: There used to be Tories who understood that. There used to be Tories who recognized the viability of public ownership --

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order, order.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I find it a little difficult to sum up the discussion of the past two-plus hours in the very few minutes that are left. I must say to the honourable members, if they felt I was not listening, in fact, I was. I had my volume turned up in my office when the member from Wentworth was speaking, I could actually turn it down and still hear him, but that does not diminish his contribution in any way.

I would like again at the outset, as I did when I appeared at the invitation of the committee, to express my appreciation to the members of the select committee. We did ask them to assume this responsibility and I guess, as I have said at the committee and I have said since, that on occasion one must expect that the human reaction will be such that sometimes partisan politics will be placed ahead of, shall we say, objective points of view. I understand that.

The distinguished member who is the chairman of that select committee wrote me a very interesting letter. He did say the only area where there was a consensus was that opposition members said don’t sign. He is quite right. There was no alternative agreed upon by the majority of the committee. The fact of the matter is that the select committee in reviewing these contracts in its judgement said don’t sign, with no alternative supported by the majority of the members of that committee.

Mr. MacDonald: Not to let you off the hook.

Hon. Mr. Davis: That is the fact that faces the government. I would say to the new Liberal House leader that I listened to his observations -- and I would never accuse him of misinterpreting the facts -- but he perhaps did not portray them with the accuracy that the facts really represent. I would say to the very distinguished member, who has had a lot of experience in this House and on these matters, if he tries, as he is, to oversimplify by saying that it was as simple as Denison asking for world price, and Hydro asking for the cost of production plus a reasonable profit -- and no one has yet defined what he means by a reasonable profit -- that was not the alternative. Denison had refused to discuss it and there was no question that that was not going to happen. That is when I was asked to intervene. As I said at that committee, I am a very modest person.

Mr. Cassidy: A modest apologist for business.

Mr. S. Smith: Oh my God.

Mr. Kerrio: You’ve got a lot to be modest about.

Hon. Mr. Davis: That is right. I would say to that very able member from wherever he is who knows it all and who knows it all on every issue, that if my intervention led to the terms that have been agreed upon and did result in savings of hundreds of millions of dollars to the consumers of this province, I am not taking any credit for that.

We talk in very large sums, and I hope the media put this in some form of perspective. We are talking about two contracts which are worth a lot of money, $6 to $7 billion. I think the public should know that if we are talking about other forms of energy or fuel to produce the same comparable amount of energy, if we are talking about US coal, which is something which is not indigenous to this province, we are talking $50 billion. If we are talking about coal from our western provinces, we are talking about $65 billion.

Ms. Gigantes: What a red herring!

Hon. Mr. Davis: If we are talking about oil, that Liberals want at world price -- and if I have ever heard a more inconsistent policy in the history of my time in this House, it is the policy of the Liberal Party that says, “World price for oil and natural gas, but let’s have a two-price policy for uranium”.

I have decided that is the Greer formula. I have decided to name it the Greer formula. At world price for oil, do members know what the oil bill would be for the same amount of fuel? The member for London Centre (Mr. Peterson) should be interested. He is a businessman, he keeps telling me, and his family keep telling me.

Mr. Peterson: I have told them not to speak to you.

Mr. Breithaupt: It is our uranium.

Mr. Nixon: You will give away what is ours.

Hon. Mr. Davis: The member’s mother and father came through the receiving line the other day.

Mr. Peterson: They needed the free coffee.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I say, how could their son be so misguided?

Mr. Speaker, do you know what that figure is? It is $67 billion under their formula to produce the same amount of energy that $6 or $7 billion in nuclear power will produce for the people of this province. Those are the figures that should be put in perspective.

Mr. Makarchuk: What’s a billion dollars in oil?

Mr. S. Smith: You’re right; we should not burn oil in nuclear reactors.

Hon. Mr. Davis: That is right. You cannot burn oil in nuclear reactors. We cannot control the price of oil because they want it to go world price.


Hon. Mr. Davis: Let’s put it into perspective for my wife. I have dealt with the hon. member’s family.

Mr. S. Smith: She does not want to burn oil in nuclear reactors either.

Hon. Mr. Davis: She pays the bills in our household. She may be listening. Let’s put it in perspective for the consumer. We are talking about 75 cents a month or two cents a day. That is what this contract represents in fuel cost for the development of this amount of energy. That is the perspective it should be put in. What this House should be concerned about is the security of supply that these contracts may afford. Members opposite talk about nationalization or confiscation. If they had any sense, do they know what they would have done?

Mr. Roy: As usual, you are not listening.

Mr. Martel: You cannot nationalize what belongs to the people.

Hon. Ms. Davis: You would have accepted it. You would have made your position more credible. You should have said: “Sign the contracts and then see if you can’t take it over.” That would have been a more intelligent position to take. That’s what your staff told you.

So, Mr. Speaker, to sum it up: the government is left with this -- and we’re going into cabinet very shortly -- we have the judgement of seven intelligent people in this House. I don’t quarrel with that. We have their judgement based, I think I can say honestly, on somewhat partisan and perhaps even on somewhat philosophical points of view.

Mr. Martel: Doctrinaire.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am taking a look at that. On the other side of the equation, Mr. Speaker, and this is what we have to consider in our responsibilities.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: What do the Steelworkers say?


Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: They said to sign it.

Hon. Mr. Davis: We have the report of your own staff, which I think is one of the excellent reports that have been presented. You have the objective advice of the adviser to the Ministry of Energy. You have the objective advice from the people retained by Ontario Hydro. And I would say to the former Leader of the Opposition, there was one man there at least whose judgement you should accept, one Mr. MacIntosh --

Mr. Cassidy: What about George Gathercole?

Hon. Ms. Davis: -- who impressed me, really, in a very singular sense. His advice is to sign these contracts, and the former leader can’t dispute this because that’s the same man who in 1975 was going to arrange for the take-over by the Nixon administration of the affairs of this province. That’s the same Alec MacIntosh. That’s the same man in whom you had this great confidence. I must say I didn’t know him before, but I now share that confidence in his judgement.

Mr. Cassidy: You don’t understand the parliamentary system, you know. You are flouting minority government.

Mr. Nixon: We are keeping him on.

Hon. Mr. Davis: So, Mr. Speaker, we’re left with the interests of the public, consumers, the employment opportunities, the security of supply and --

Mr. Nixon: Why haven’t you been able to attract able people?

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- one very relevant factor that some members in this House forget. Mr. Speaker, since Hydro began -- and I know the motto; I spent a little time down there -- that corporation has provided the cheapest power to the people of this province. They have provided security. We haven’t had brownouts; we haven’t had the problems. We can supply this ore for our economic growth.

Mr. Makarchuk: Do you mean our government operation can work efficiently?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I still have to make up my mind as to whether or not that order in council can be signed, but I would say to the members opposite that nothing they have presented this afternoon adds anything to the discussions in the select committee. The policy of nationalization or confiscation by the NDP -- and I say it --

Mr. Roy: You’re not listening. As usual, you’re not listening.

Mr. Martel: That’s a lot of crap. You can’t nationalize what belongs to the people.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: The time has expired.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Come on. The member for Sudbury East knows full well the reason he wants me to nationalize it. It’s so he can run Denison. He wants to run Denison.

Mr. Foulds: That’s a complete fabrication and you know it.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: He wants to be president of Inco.

Hon. Mr. Davis: He would be signing everything overnight if he could run that company.


Mr. Martel: I have never heard so much crap in all my life. You couldn’t even spend $15 million to save 8,000 jobs. Don’t tell me such nonsense. You’re incredible.

Hon. Mr. Davis: And Mr. Speaker, the totally incredible, incredible position of the official opposition who claim, “Don’t sign it; things will sort themselves out; we will buy it in Saskatchewan, buy it in Australia,” with no finality, no solution.

Mr. Roy: Show some guts.

Hon. Mr. Davis: And I say, that does not present a viable alternative as far as the government considerations are concerned.

I want to assure all members of this House --

Mr. Reed: You should have been listening to what I said.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- that the government will make a decision taking into account the public interests, the consumers, the cost, and we will make that determination sometime before midnight tonight.

Mr. Makarchuk: You are vandalizing the province. That’s what you are doing.

Mr. Martel: You don’t need a cabinet meeting. Just sign the document. Give it away.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: You social workers and teachers are all the same.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order.

Mr. Martel: You ex-cops are all the same: finks.

Mr. Makarchuk: You are giving away the province.

The House recessed at 6:03 p.m.