31e législature, 2e session

L008 - Thu 2 Mar 1978 / Jeu 2 mar 1978

The House met at 2 p.m.




Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, the hon. members will recall the Speech from the Throne announced a special northern program to allow the purchase of Crown land for private recreational use. This, we believe, will help increase jobs in several ways.

For the past seven years summer cottage lots on Crown land were only available on a lease basis.

Mr. Martel: That’s because there wasn’t enough land available.

Hon. F. S. Miller: During the first year after registration of a subdivision, only Ontario residents were eligible to lease land. During the second year, Canadians from other provinces have been permitted to lease, and after that non-residents could apply for any remaining lots.

The new program approved by cabinet will follow the same timetable, except that for Ontarians and other Canadians lots in a subdivision may now be purchased. Non-residents will still be able to lease lots after the second year.

We believe that ownership will stimulate cottagers to invest more money in the buildings erected and will encourage improvements which will create employment in the local communities.

We have received many inquiries about this program since it was announced. Details on its administration are being worked out and will be announced in three or four weeks’ time.

Mr. Martel: What a cop-out.

Mr. Mancini: Are you asking us to wait a little longer?


Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, last week I announced to the House that I had decided to hold a judicial inquiry into the Kim Anne Popen case of child abuse and the role and operation of the Sarnia-Lambton Children’s Aid Society.

I wish to inform the House today that the terms of reference and the appointment of a judge to conduct this inquiry have now been made under the provisions of section 3 of the Child Welfare Act.

In this regard, I have named his honour, Judge H. Ward Allen, of the county and district courts of the counties and districts of Ontario to conduct the inquiry and report his findings and recommendations to me.

The terms of reference are as follows:

1. To investigate all matters relating to the care of Kim Anne Popen by the Children’s Aid Society of the city of Sarnia and the county of Lambton, including: (a) the circumstances relating to the removal, care, return and supervision of Kim Anne Popen by the said society; and (b) the actions of and the performance of duties by the said society and its officers, employees, agents and of any other person or agency relating to such removal, care, return and supervision.

2. To review any matter arising out of this investigation of the care of Kim Anne Popen by the society in relation to the ability of the society to perform the powers and duties assigned to a Children’s Aid Society under the Child Welfare Act.

3. To report his findings and to make such recommendations as he may deem fit to the Minister of Community and Social Services.

I wish also to advise the House that his honour Judge Allen is in your gallery this afternoon following a meeting that we had recently.

Mr. Lewis: We wish him well; it is not an easy job.

Mr. Speaker: Point of privilege?

Mr. McClellan: Would you remind the ministry that the House requires copies of ministerial statements to be provided to party leaders or their representatives at or before the time of the statement.

Hon. Mr. Norton: I apologize that that was not done. It was intended that that be done during the lunch hour. If they did not reach the critics and the leaders of the opposition parties, I apologize and I will certainly find out why they did not, because I specifically inquired and was told that they were being delivered.

Mr. Warner: Don’t apologize, just resign.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Will you change the gramophone needle?


Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, later this afternoon I will introduce proposed changes to the Mental Health Act.

As the members are aware, while there have been significant changes in the philosophy of mental health services and their delivery in the past decade, there have been no changes in the corresponding legislation.

The senior advisory body to my ministry, the Ontario Council of Health, is undertaking a thorough review of the Mental Health Act. After the council’s study is completed, in mid-1979, I should be able to submit legislative proposals for a complete revision of the Act.

However, certain aspects of the Act require immediate consideration. The members will recall that on April 14 last year I advised the House of my intention to introduce proposals for interim changes to the Act. On December 13 last I did so.

There are three principal areas being addressed at this time: civil commitment, confidentiality and the role of the public trustee. The first of these, civil commitment, involves involuntary hospitalization and the rights of patients. Under the present Act, anyone found to have a disease or disability of the mind severe enough to require hospitalization, either in the interest of his or her own safety or the safety of others, can be confined for a period of up to 30 days on the application of a single physician.

While use in the present Act of the word “safety” may give physicians latitude in judgement, the lack of legislative clarity has resulted in some confusion. At the crucial phase of the process of incarceration, when a commitment decision is made, relevant parties are uncertain as to their rights and obligations. The confusion over the meaning of the word “safety” underscores the necessity for speaking clearly in an area that obviously deals with the freedom of the individual. To achieve maximum clarity in directing physicians and others in society who have a moral or social investment in fair and equitable treatment of persons found in this condition, we are proposing to set out in detail the nature of the evidence required and the grounds for action by a physician, a justice of the peace or a peace officer.

Specifically, the bill provides that “where a physician examines a person and has reason to believe that the person has threatened or attempted or is threatening or attempting to cause bodily harm to himself; has behaved or is behaving violently toward another person or has caused or is causing another person to fear bodily harm from him; or has shown or is showing a lack of competence to care for himself; and the physician is of the opinion that the person is apparently suffering from mental disorder of a nature or quality that likely will result in serious bodily harm to the person, serious bodily harm to another person or imminent and serious physical impairment of the person, the physician may make application in the prescribed form for a psychiatric assessment of the person.”

Since I first introduced this bill in December, concern has arisen that the criteria in the bill may exclude from commitment many people who are mentally ill but refuse to seek help, even when it is urgently needed. Many of the examples drawn to my attention are, in my view, covered by the criteria set out in the bill. Other examples should be confronted and resolved by placing greater emphasis on community and family support and resources.

This is a trend that has been under way for several years in the field of mental health, of which the members are already aware. Many patients who would previously have been admitted are now being looked after on an out-patient basis. Many of the issues raised are already being addressed, through our current programs and practices. For some years now, we have been treating the most acute cases as involuntary patients in our psychiatric hospitals. The emphasis has been on treating as many people as possible in the community. There has been a substantial growth both in the establishment of mental health units in public hospitals and in community mental health programs.

I firmly believe that many examples drawn to my attention as not covered by the criteria should be dealt with on an out-patient basis or as voluntary in-patients. Other examples can be dealt with through existing legal mechanism, such as the Mental Incompetency Act, which provides for a committee or guardian of the person being appointed by the court. I believe that as much as possible society must rely on alternatives, like community and family support, and use involuntary hospitalization only when warranted.

The bill further provides that when a physician completes the commitment certificate, the patient can be taken into a psychiatric facility for psychiatric assessment and can be detained there for a maximum of 72 hours. During that 72-hour period the individual must be either released, admitted informally, that is voluntarily, or admitted involuntarily. It is important to note that if a certificate of involuntary admission is to be issued, a physician other than the one who completed the application will have to conduct the assessment. When a certificate of involuntary admission is completed, the patient or his or her representative will have an immediate right of appeal to a regional review board. This proposal contrasts sharply with the provisions of the present Act, under which an individual can be held for up to 30 days on the certificate of one physician, with no right of appeal for that period.

With the larger number of people now working with psychiatric patients, the potential for improper disclosure becomes more critical and legislative action is needed. In a public hospital, for example, no distinction is made today between psychiatric patient records and others. The officer in charge of government psychiatric facilities has broad discretion in releasing information. The sensitive nature of psychiatric data demands that stringent controls govern its release. In any event, this legislation affects only public hospitals or government facilities. Many other facilities under the Mental Health Act lack guidance in this area entirely. This section of the bill will now remove this issue from the area of hospital administrative discretion and put it in primary legislation affecting the interests of psychiatric patients.

Along with these provisions, appropriate forms will be included in the regulations. These forms will set out the requirements for gaining access to records for research purposes, and for obtaining consent to the release of information.


Further, provisions have been included in the bill granting a court discretion to keep out of court any clinical records that could result in harm if disclosed. The great value of medical privilege lies in the inviolable nature of medical confidences, recognized by law and secure from controversy and interference. Legislative action now will bring recognition of such privilege.

Psychiatric units of public hospitals already have been asked to require requests for patient information to be in writing and to keep a log. The ministry also has issued directives, consistent with the spirit of this legislation, designed to reduce significantly the discretionary powers of our psychiatric facility administrators under the present Act.

Currently, individuals admitted to a psychiatric facility must be examined as quickly as possible to determine their competency to manage their estates. Where they are incompetent, a certificate of incompetence is issued to the public trustee, who assumes responsibility on behalf of the patient. However, many outpatients also need the help of the public trustee because of their incompetence but are unable to qualify. By extending the application of the certificate of incompetence to outpatients, the services of the public trustee now will be available to more people.

A notice of continuance now permits the public trustee to continue to act on the patient’s behalf for three months after hospital discharge. Often this is not long enough, so a provision is included in the Act to allow the public trustee to maintain control over the estate of discharged persons by applying to the Supreme Court of Ontario.

Present legislation permits patients to ask a regional review board to inquire into their competence to manage their estates when a certificate of incompetence or a notice of continuance is issued. This provision has been retained. However, current legislation permits only yearly applications by the patient thereafter. This has been reduced to once in any six-month period.

I believe that the proposed amendments will serve well as interim reforms until the Health Council report provides the basis for a major overhaul of the Act. The field of mental health is a personal priority of mine, Mr. Speaker, and I intend to do all that I can to see that it receives the attention it deserves.


Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, in response to a question from the hon. Leader of the Opposition (Mr. S. Smith), I believe to the Minister of Culture and Recreation (Mr. Welch) on Friday, I would like to make my position clear regarding the establishment of a multilingual television station in the Toronto area.

When the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission held its hearings on this question, the government of Ontario supported the introduction of a multilingual TV station. The CRTC has approved the concept in principle and we strongly welcome this positive decision.

The idea of one television station broadcasting in several languages to a number of selected audiences is a unique idea in North America. As such, it is a new specialized television service which can play a role in maintaining cultural identity and the provision of information to third-language groups in the Toronto area.

There is one concern I do have about the licensing of a multilingual station. That question is whether it should be placed on the basic cable service or on the augmented channel service when it is delivered to the home by cable.

My concern has nothing to do with the introduction of a multilingual TV station in itself. I am concerned about the nature of the product that consumers in the Toronto area can expect when they want to purchase the basic cable service but not a converter.

In the past, Ontario has agreed with the CRTC policies that give priority to Canadian television channels on the basic service. Now, however, the establishment of any new television services in the Toronto area threatens to change dramatically the nature of the basic service.

Mr. Warner: Channel 2.

Mr. Lewis: Some loss!

Hon. Mr. Snow: If the new station is placed on the basic service, 28 of the 49 affected cable systems will be left with one clear American channel on the basic service.

I believe that the primary purpose of the basic service should be to deliver Canadian broadcasting signals. I think it is fair to say, however, that over the years most subscribers in Toronto have come to expect that they will receive some limited choice of American channels without having to buy a converter. This is particularly true of those with fixed and low incomes.

Mr. Warner: We want to make it more limited.

Mr. Cassidy: The minister was going to lose Wide World of Sports.

Mr. Warner: He wants to protect the Americans -- the great defender of NBC.

Hon. Mr. Snow: if the CRTC continues with its present policies, I am concerned that the consumer in the Toronto area will be required to purchase a service which is radically different from the basic service available in Ottawa, Edmonton or Halifax, for example, where a selection of American stations is available.

In view of this situation, and since the multilingual TV station will be providing specialized service, I indicated to the CRTC that it should be placed on the augmented channel service, as should any new specialized service. The three applicants for the new station naturally indicated their preference for the basic cable service carriage, but stated they would be willing to accept carriage on the converter service.

As far as general impact is concerned, we have estimated that a rather small percentage of Toronto area cable subscribers will be watching the multilingual station at any one time, even in prime time. My conclusion is that the overall economic cost to cable subscribers of all language groups will be much higher if the new station goes on the basic as opposed to the augmented channel service.

Mr. Cassidy: A slap in the face to people in the city.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Finally, Mr. Speaker, I would like to reiterate that at the time of the hearing on this issue, I recommended to the CRTC that it conduct a policy review of the nature of the basic cable service. I feel even more strongly now that such a review is necessary.


Ms. Gigantes: On a point of personal privilege: It appears that the Toronto Star, according to today’s paper, has access to a report which has been commissioned by the Ministry of Education -- the report of the Jackson commission on declining enrolment in Ontario schools to which members of this Legislation do not have access. As a member of this Legislature, I would like to let this government, and particularly the Minister of Education (Mr. Wells), who is responsible both for the ministry and for the commission, know that I resent this access given to the media before it is given to the Legislature. I would ask, through you Mr. Speaker, if the minister would be kind enough to table that interim report of the Jackson commission in this House.

Mr. Speaker: In the absence of the hon. Minister of Education, I will bring it to his attention, and perhaps he will respond to it at the first opportunity.


Hon. Mr. Snow: In the Speech from the Throne, the Lieutenant Governor, the Hon. Pauline McGibbon, announced that all ministries will undertake a thorough examination of statutes, regulations and related policies with a view to selective deregulation.

In respect to the highway transportation of goods, the Throne Speech specifically mentioned amendments to the Public Commercial Vehicles Act, which regulates the for-hire trucking industry. We have devoted some considerable attention to reviewing government policy in this area as a result of the comprehensive series of recommendations made to the government last year by the all-party select committee on the highway transportation of goods.

My purpose in reporting to you today, Mr. Speaker, is to outline in more detail the measures announced in the Speech from the Throne and at the same time to provide the House with a comprehensive government response to the final report of the select committee. I also want to outline the content of amendments to the public Commercial Vehicles Act and the Public Vehicles Act which I am introducing later this afternoon.

When the interim report of the select committee was made public, I indicated it had endorsed the basic regulatory structure in Ontario. Today I want to stress that it is not the government’s intention that the policy announced in the Speech from the Throne should jeopardize this structure. The reference to selective deregulation in the Speech from the Throne refers to certain specific areas of regulation, where a relaxation of the controls offers some very real benefits in terms of energy conservation, efficiency, services and user costs.

Specifically, the government proposes that this selective deregulation apply to for-hire transportation within the boundaries of an individual regional municipality and to certain specified commodities, many of which are of the sort which could conveniently be carried to fill empty backhauls.

Turning to the select committee report with its more than 300 recommendations, I am tabling with this statement a compendium which outlines the current status, and in most cases the government’s response to each of the recommendations.

In reviewing the report, I have been guided by a number of the principles stated in the Speech from the Throne, including the need to stimulate the productivity of Ontario’s economy, restrain government spending, simplify rules and regulations, and conserve energy.

The legislation I will introduce later today reflects the application of these principles to the report’s recommendations, as well as the substantial advice and comments received since last summer. As suggested in the report, we are proposing amendments to both the PV and the PCV Acts to provide a means whereby government policy can be transmitted to the Ontario Highway Transport Board.

Those amendments will also contain substantially increased penalties for offences under the PCV Act, perhaps the most effective measure which can be taken where enforcement is concerned. Later in this session I intend to introduce additional proposals relating specifically to the select committee’s enforcement recommendation.

I have given serious consideration to the committee’s recommendation that the ministry’s licence issuing, investigation and enforcement functions should be transferred to the board. Here I have decided that these functions should remain with the ministry, which I believe will allow more efficient use of government forces and permit the board to concentrate on its judicial role.

Today’s amendments will remove the north-of-North Bay restriction on existing licences and exempt the transportation of lumber and lumber products from the provisions of the PCV Act. The removal of the north-of-North Bay restriction, along with the deregulation of lumber and related products, will provide opportunities for new carriers to provide service to and from northern Ontario points. I am therefore asking the board to monitor the impact on the levels of competition and service in northern Ontario of these initiatives and to take them into consideration in reviewing any future applications by such “A” carriers for additional operating rights in this corridor.

My reference to selective deregulation applies to the exemption for lumber and related products. It will also apply to a proposed amendment which will extend the present exemption covering the direct transportation of farm and forest products to include all fresh fruit and vegetables. I hope this will improve export opportunities to the United States for Ontario growers and provide additional opportunities for backhaul as a means of combatting empty-truck movements.

An additional benefit will be the freer movement of US produce during those times of the year when the Ontario consumer has to rely on imported fruits and vegetables. The amendment will also simplify the task of PCV enforcement and assist in the success of reciprocal agreements with the American states.

The exemption from the Act of a list of farm and construction supplies is aimed at improving transportation efficiency and reducing energy consumption by decreasing the number of empty or partially empty backhauls returning to the rural and northern areas of Ontario.

In addition to the commodity exemptions outlined, the government’s policy of selective deregulation includes the relaxation of controls over short-distance for-hire trucking which takes place in a single regional municipality. Regional boundaries have been selected to allow the operation over a reasonable geographic and economic area in those parts of the province where urban concentration and growth are conducive to increased competition.

This bill creates the authority for the ministry to issue a new class of operating licence for the transportation of goods within the boundaries of a specified regional municipality. Applicants will not be required to go before the OHTB to prove public necessity and convenience. An integral part of this system will be an authority for exempting from the PCV Act those specified regional municipalities which operate or propose to operate a licensing system for trucking services similar to those proposed in the bill.

Where a regional municipality opts to assume the licensing jurisdiction, complementary legislation will be required in the appropriate regional Act to create the necessary authority. I should note that the current situation in Metro Toronto will be unchanged by this proposal, which in fact is aimed at establishing a similar system in other regional municipalities.

Although this bill constitutes the first major legislation in response to the select committee’s report, we have already taken steps to deal with other specific recommendations which are outlined in detail in the attached compendium. Two additional matters provided for in this legislation include the enfranchisement of certain unlicensed carriers and a uniform bill of lading, both recommendations of the select committee.

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I think today’s presentation is a fair indication of the considerable amount of work that has gone into our review of the select committee’s recommendations. It also clearly demonstrates the concerns about productivity and restraint in government intervention in the economy which were highlighted in the recent Speech from the Throne.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Aren’t you going to support it, Margaret? There are a lot of truckers in St. George.

Mrs. Campbell: I know. They were all here yesterday.



Mr. S. Smith: A question of the Minister of Health: Could the minister tell us whether he now has found out who it is in his ministry who gave out the information to the RCMP that we discussed in this Legislature, and exactly what punitive steps his ministry has taken with regard to the individuals involved?


Hon. Mr. Timbrell: We believe we have, Mr. Speaker. A hearing will be held under the Public Service Act and, depending upon the outcome of that, further action may be possible. But, certainly, any and all information will be turned over to the commission under Mr. Justice Krever.

Mr. S. Smith: Does the minister agree that there has been an apparent breach of the law; and also even a breach of the manual of practice, which was used in this House to excuse the other breaches of the law with regard to the so-called bare bones information? Why will he not, in fact, immediately turn over this information that he has in his possession to the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) for his consideration?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I am advised that in the circumstances we are wise to hold a hearing under the Public Service Act; and as I said, depending on the outcome of that hearing such further action is possible. I think we should wait until we have that completed.

Mr. Lewis: Supplementary: Has the minister yet found out what happened to the two people who were investigated within the federal civil service? Does he intend to inquire what impact the OHIP information may have had on their job applications?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I haven’t had an opportunity to do so. I intend to discuss it with my colleagues to determine what course we might follow.

Mr. S. Smith: Supplementary: Could the minister tell us at approximately what level in the hierarchy were the individuals who gave out this information; and which of the more supervisory personnel were consulted about this, who knew about it? Did anyone give approval of this? Can he also tell us exactly when the incident occurred?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Each and every detail that we have uncovered to date and that we will uncover will be turned over to the commission headed by Mr. Justice Krever. In fact, today I spent a better part of an hour with the counsel to that commission discussing events that led up to the creation of the commission and the material that has come to light since, and indicated to Mr. Strosberg that he can be absolutely certain that we would be co-operative in every possible respect.

Mrs. Campbell: Could the minister tell us who advised him of the facts which he gave to this House, which apparently were in error? Has he examined that individual or those individuals as to how they came to give misleading information to the minister himself?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: As the hon. member knows, to a great extent we have relied on, or have been guided by, the assistance and co-operation of the RCMP in providing information from their side. From my side, I can tell you that representatives of the commission of inquiry are speaking with staff at all levels of the organization within the ministry and within OHIP. And yes, I have talked to the individuals who advised us, based on their own surveys of our staff. Certainly, I have my own concerns about this, but the commission may very well recommend certain actions within the organization of the ministry itself, and I am prepared to consider such things.


Mr. S. Smith: A question, Mr. Speaker, of the Minister of Energy: Is the minister aware, and does he agree with the comments of the former Minister of Energy -- the member for Prince Edward-Lennox (Mr. J. A. Taylor) who we certainly miss on this side of the House?

Mr. Foulds: Never know your luck until you lose, Jim.

Mr. S. Smith: Can this minister comment on those remarks of the former minister as quoted in the February 23 edition of the lntelligencer of Belleville, concerning rural Hydro rates -- which I believe are 36 per cent higher than urban rates -- when the former minister said: “The rural consumer has no voice”; “Large corporate consumers can negotiate -- they have clout”; “It is the energy minister’s responsibility to protect rural consumers?” Does this minister agree with those comments and what is he going to do about it?


Mr. Speaker: Order. Would you like an answer?

Mr. S. Smith: Yes.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: I am well aware, and also very much concerned, about the fact that rural Hydro rates are indeed larger than those of industrial users and other municipal users.

Mr. Bolan: What are you going to do about it?

Hon. Mr. Baetz: There is at the present time a study under way to see what can be done about this --

Mr. Kerrio: Not another study?

Mr. Peterson: We have enough studies in this government.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: -- and to see what kind of equalization can be brought about. When that report comes in and we have had a chance to look at it, I will report in full detail to his House.

An hon. member: The same old game.

Mr. Stong: We call it paralysis by analysis.

Hon. Mr. Davis: You people should know about paralysis.

Mr. S. Smith: Supplementary. Does the minister not recognize that the gap between the rural and urban rates gets larger with every increase in Hydro rates and that this discrepancy has now been on the books for some considerable period of time? Can he not take some remedial action while he is waiting for yet another of his famous studies to come before him? Why must the people suffer while he and the other ministers go about doing studies in the province of Ontario?

Mr. Bolan: How about another study for northern Ontario?

Mr. Bounsall: Equalize the costs.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: First of all, this is not yet another study of mine, this is my first one.

Mr. S. Smith: We can expect more?

Mr. Foulds: I thought Darlington was your first study.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Secondly, the Leader of the Opposition is not altogether correct when he says the gap is widening between the rates of all rural hydro users and the rates of other users.

Mr. Wildman: They are all going up.

Ms. Gigantes: It’s true.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: There is a whole variety of differences. When we get our report we will bring it in here. In the meantime, we would like to assure rural hydro users that we are very much concerned and aware of the differentiation.


Mr. Wildman: Supplementary: Could the minister indicate to us when he expects to have the results of this study; and will it affect consumers of electricity throughout the province, whether or not they are rural consumers of Hydro, that is of some of the private utilities which are supplying electricity in rural parts of Ontario?

Hon. Mr. Baetz: We are expecting a report this summer.

Mr. Eakins: Just in time for the cottagers.


Hon. Mr. Baetz: At that time, as I said, I will be reporting back further. Also, in the meantime, as the members of this House know, through the restructuring of Hydro utilities more and more rural users are being included under the municipal rates. So there is some mitigation of the problem taking place right now.

Hon. Mr. Davis: All of Bramalea is in now.

Mr. S. Smith: Supplementary: Since the minister apparently doesn’t agree entirely with the former minister about the urgent need for reform in that area, does he agree with the statement that the former minister was quoted as making that in the Prince Edward-Lennox area: “We have been paying for a probably insecure, not entirely reliable electric utility for many years. We may have paid for that system by now?” Does the minister think he is correct in that statement?

Mr. Nixon: It sounds correct to me.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: I do not know the answer to that question.

Mr. Foulds: That’s the first admission of fallibility we have had from this minister.

An hon. member: It won’t last that long.

Mr. Makarchuk: Supplementary: In view of the fact that the minister at this time has in his possession information indicating that the average spread between rural and urban municipalities is 34 per cent, doesn’t he feel that this is a very disproportionate charge upon the rural people and therefore he should start doing something about it?

An hon. member: The Tories don’t care about rural Ontario.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Again, I would not accept the fact that there is a 34 per cent differential across the board. That is not correct.

Ms. Gigantes: On the average; has the minister heard of an average?

Hon. Mr. Baetz: I am as much concerned as the members opposite are about this. It is one thing to recognize the problem. We cannot solve it quite as quickly as we can recognize it, but we are working on it.

Ms. Gigantes: That’s what the minister said three years ago.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: I wish the members opposite would exercise some patience and we’ll come up with an answer.

Mr. Makarchuk: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker, I have a letter here from this ministry saying: “On the basis of this comparison, the spread between rural and municipal rates would therefore be about 34 per cent.” What does he mean that he doesn’t have the information?

Ms. Gigantes: He doesn’t know what an average is.

Mr. Martel: Come on, Reuben.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: As the hon. member, I’m sure, knows or should know, the Hydro rates vary very substantially from municipality to municipality.

Ms. Gigantes: Have you ever heard of an average?

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Some are very high, and where they’re very high, as for example in Nepean township --

Mr. Makarchuk: What are you doing sending out letters like this then?

Hon. Mr. Baetz: -- the rate between Nepean township and the rural users there is not 34 per cent.

Mr. Wildman: What’s he talking about, Nepean?

Mr. Reed: Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the minister would take the opportunity, when this study is completed, and use it to introduce a new pricing structure for electric power in Ontario, possibly an inverted rate structure or something related to that --

Hon. Mr. Davis: You don’t even know what the word means.

Mrs. Campbell: Don’t sell him short on energy.

Mr. S. Smith: He knows more than you --

Mr. Reed: -- which would improve our conservation efforts in the province of Ontario and make this whole business of pricing electric power more fair? The Premier will pardon my stuttering, but it’s the best I could do this afternoon.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, I will take the suggestion under advisement. In reply to the latter part of the question, if I heard it properly, I would like to remind the members opposite that the rates of Ontario Hydro are among the lowest in the whole western world.

Mr. Makarchuk: That’s called socialist enterprise.

Mr. Breithaupt: They won’t be for long.

An hon. member: A billion here and a billion there.

Mr. Bounsall: That’s what comes from not having the right program.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: No supplementaries?

Mr. Speaker: Would you like five or 10 minutes to complete your little private conversation? If not, I’ll hear from the hon. member for Ottawa Centre.


Mr. Cassidy: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have a question for the Minister of Health. Can the Minister of Health assure this House that the proposed restraint program for hospitals announced this week will not affect the quality of health care available to the residents of the province; and what information does the Minister of Health have on which to base any such assurance?

Hon. B. Stephenson: What a dumb question.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Oh, I’m ready for this one.

An hon. member: When did you stop beating your wife?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I think the experience of the last several years, during which time we have been living with restraint in the health care system --

Mrs. Campbell: Except your own ministry.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: -- that is to say lower rates of growth in spending than a number would otherwise have hoped for -- and to answer the member for St. George, I should point out that over the last number of years the number of staff in the Ministry of Health itself has been reduced by 1,600 --

Mrs. Campbell: I have your figures.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: -- so that the ministry itself has taken the lead --

Ms. Speaker: Order. That wasn’t a part of the original question.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: You’re right, Mr. Speaker; I’m sorry, you’re right.

There is no question that with a four and a half per cent average increase in most of the hospitals, and a six per cent in the very small hospitals in rural and northern Ontario and to the chronic hospitals and related facilities such as crippled children’s centres and so forth, there are going to have to be adjustments made. In some areas, that will mean reductions in some services, amalgamations of services with adjacent hospitals, perhaps the phasing out of some beds or perhaps converting them from active treatment care to chronic.

In addition, the hospitals are going to have to continue the trend of the last four or five years of getting into more programs that are not the usual, traditional, institutional kinds of programs where you assume that everything has to be done in a hospital bed in a ward -- that is to say, to get more and more into such things as day surgery --

Mr. Deans: What will we use to fund that, pray tell?

Mr. Warner: Tell that to the Hospital for Sick Children.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: -- and the less expensive forms of care. I think it’s fair to say that the quality of health care in this province has not suffered in the last few years and is not going to suffer in the future.

Mr. Deans: Another good answer considering he was waiting for the question.

Mr. Foulds: Why don’t you ask those who have died?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: We must all of us turn every possible stone to ensure we are finding and following every possible way to make the best use of the available funds. Mr. Speaker, when you consider that my budget in the coming fiscal year will be just shy of $4,000 million, that surely is significant proof of the continuing commitment of my party and my government to quality health care.


Mr. Cassidy: That’s somewhat feeble applause, Mr. Speaker. Since the minister is not prepared to put forward any specific information about the reduction in quality of care, or otherwise, can the minister indicate whether he’s prepared to put his money where his mouth is and say what additional funds above the two per cent now available he is prepared to devote to the development of the community-based services which he indicates are the wave of the future?


Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Budgetary letters went out in the last week or so to the health units and to the administrators of home care programs indicating a six per cent increase in that area.

Mr. Foulds: That is a cutback.

Mr. McClellan: That was a three per cent cutback.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: We are trying to also protect additional sums for expansion in such things as chronic home care and what has become the more traditional kind of home care, because that load, first of all, has been increasing and it is one that we want to see increase faster than perhaps other areas in the health care system.

Mr. McClellan: That doesn’t even keep pace with inflation.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Members must recognize that they can’t have it both ways.

An hon. member: Neither can you.

Mr. Warner: You can’t have better health and cut back.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Members must recognize that in order to free sums of money to do these things, it means it has to come from areas of the budget that would otherwise go to the more traditional forms.

Mr. Swart: Like hospital and doctor care.

Hon. B. Stephenson: Most certainly this has nothing to do with how healthy you are. I suppose you have a yearly physical examination.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: We are in a period in this province, and it is not peculiar to Ontario, where the health care system is very much in a state of transition as we change to meet differing needs of the future and as we live with the official realities of our time.

Mr. McClellan: From bad to worse.

Mr. Warner: You can’t run this system and you know it. It’s mismanagement.

Mrs. Campbell: Could the minister advise us, since he says that we can’t have it both ways, is the government prepared to ensure that it doesn’t get it both ways, by on the one hand cutting off meals-on-wheels programs and other support services while it cuts the hospital costs? Has the minister discussed the matter of these support services with Community and Social Services?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, let’s, first of all, put this thing into its proper context. It is difficult to understand how an increase in spending on hospital programs, existing programs and additions and enrichments in the coming year, of $109 million can be referred to as a cutback.

Mr. Breithaupt: It is called inflation.

Mr. S. Smith: The government never keeps its spending within the inflation rate. How will hospitals do with so much less?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Secondly, all of these matters are discussed thoroughly at the social development committee of cabinet at full cabinet, so that yes, the implications of our actions and of our programs on our sister ministry in ComSoc, are very much on the table.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary Mr. Speaker: Since the funding for community services is predicted to rise at six per cent, which is less than the rock bottom increase projected in costs, how many hospital workers or health workers will be laid off in community services as a result of this program of restraint? How many hospital workers in general will be laid off because of the minister’s program of restraint and what programs has the ministry got for retraining of those people who are laid off?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I think it is very premature to be talking about possibility of layoffs.

Mr. Samis: That’s what Inco said.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: First of all, I would make an additional point, that for the first time ever we have given the hospitals two years’ notice of financing --

Mr. Sweeney: It’s completely irresponsible.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: -- the four and a half per cent average increase for 1978-79. I reiterate, for the first time ever we have indicated that for the following fiscal year they can expect a similar amount.

Members may argue with the amount, but the fact is that they do now, for the first time, have the ability to plan for two years. It is extremely premature. I think that the bulk of the transitions, the changes that will have to be brought in, can be accommodated through attrition.

Mr. Warner: Now tell us who’s going to be sick for two years?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I hope that also can be kept to a minimum but I certainly don’t discount the possibility of it. I think it is far too premature to be talking about specific numbers and throwing up scare headlines.

Mrs. Campbell: In view of the determination to deal with the matter on the basis of attrition, could the minister, since he has shown such equanimity for cutting of programs, advise what he is doing perhaps to deal with possible attrition in administrative staffs in hospitals?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I am not entirely sure of the point of the question. I hope that the hon. member is agreeing with the position I have taken, and that is that hospital boards and administrators, in looking at their organizations, once they have exhausted all the possibilities of amalgamations of services and the elimination of duplications perhaps with adjacent hospitals, will look at all aspects of their operations, administration on down, for any changes.

I have a note from the member for Huron-Bruce (Mr. Gaunt), I don’t know what it says.

An hon. member: Is it suggesting suicide?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: At this point, I would only repeat that it is far too premature to be talking about the numbers of layoffs. I think the bulk of this can be accommodated through attrition, but as I said I don’t discount the possibility of some layoffs.

Mr. Speaker: Final supplementary. The hon. member for Ottawa Centre.

Mr. Cassidy: Will the minister agree that he has put his duties as hatchetman for the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) ahead of his responsibility for the health of the people of the province of Ontario?


Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Having sat on that side of the House at one time with that hon. member he never had that much respect for me in the first place, but when he comes out with that kind of nonsense, surely he doesn’t expect me to respond to it. That is the most ridiculous thing he has ever said; and he has said some stupid things.

Mr. Cassidy: It is not nonsense; purely accurate.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: But you’ll do worse, Michael. Don’t let that disturb you.

Mr. Speaker: The member for Ottawa Centre with his last question.

Mr. Cassidy: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The Minister of Health is guilty of hyperbole, apart from everything else.

Mr. Peterson: The minister is wrong, that isn’t the most stupid thing the member for Ottawa Centre has said.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Let’s have a vote.

Hon. Mr. Davis: There have been several. It is hard to assess which is the one.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: On a point of order, the hon. member for London Centre is quite correct. That is not the most stupid thing the member --

Mr. Speaker: That is not a point of order.


Mr. Cassidy: A question for the Minister of Energy: Can the minister confirm that Ontario Hydro contracted for approximately 1.5 millions tons of coal-equivalent in electrical power to be delivered to American utilities, and also diverted 25 carloads of coal a day from a non-union mine to a Cleveland utility; and can the minister explain why Hydro was profiting from the US coal miners’ strike at the expense of striking workers down there?


Hon. Mr. Baetz: Rather than accept the fact that this was some sort of undue exploitation on Ontario Hydro’s part of our American brethren when they were in trouble this winter with a shortage of electric power, I felt this was a gesture of hands across the border.



Mr. Bounsall: It’s called strikebreaking.

Mr. Foulds: International strikebreakers.


Mr. Speaker: Order, order.

We are 125 member in this Legislature. We are supposed to be setting an example for everybody in the province of Ontario. We have many students as guests in our galleries today. I am sure you wouldn’t want them to be going back making a report to their respective schools, saying what a bunch of oafs we were in this Legislature. You have given them plenty of ammunition here this afternoon. I would just like you to reflect upon that for a moment.

Now if we could have some order, I will hear from the hon. member for Ottawa Centre.

Mr. Lewis: You are not an oaf, Reuben, you are an unctuous fop.

Mr. Cassidy: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Can the minister then say whether this is a further step in the privatization of Ontario Hydro that this great public corporation could act only in the interests of private enterprise in the US and not in the interests of workers as well?


Hon. Mr. Baetz: First of all, I think Ontario Hydro by doing what they did -- and I fully endorse it -- helped the workers of Ontario to remain employed.


Some hon. members: How?

Hon. Mr. Baetz: How? By not cutting down on our hydro.


Hon. Mr. Baetz: They were exporting their hydro to the one state that required it, namely Michigan. If by circumstance those happened to be private companies, what was so dreadfully wrong about that? The people of Michigan got the hydro they needed. They weren’t in the cold and dark this winter, thanks to Ontario Hydro.

Mr. Foulds: They might have been if they had got the coal from those suppliers.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: And they continued to work too.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary: Will the minister assure this House that Ontario Hydro will develop a policy in the future of refusing to participate in this kind of strike-breaking activity?

Some hon. members: No.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: No, I will not.

Mr. Cassidy: There are four million working people in this province. It’s not good enough for the minister to turn his back on Ontario workers.

Mr. Martel: Why doesn’t the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Rhodes) go up and talk to them like that in Sault Ste. Marie?

Mr. Cassidy: Let him not try to pretend he is the friend of the workers any more. He has the Minister of Energy on his back.

Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Huron-Bruce.

Mr. Gaunt: I can’t make myself heard.

Mr. Speaker: Order. I’m not going to warn the House again. I will recess if I hear any further outburst.


Mr. Gaunt: I have a question of the Minister of the Environment. Have the pulp and paper mills of Domtar at Red Lake and Great Lakes Paper at Thunder Bay complied with the March 1 control orders dealing with the completion of the construction of domestic sewage treatment facilities in the case of Domtar and the installation of the Rapson-Reeves system in the case of Great Lakes Paper?

Mr. Peterson: He has got you on that one.

Hon. Mr. McCague: Excuse me, did the hon. member say have they?

Mr. Gaunt: Yes, have they.

Hon. Mr. McCague: I don’t know the answer to the hon. member’s question at this point but I will get it for him.

Mr. Gaunt: When the minister is checking into the matter, could he determine what the ministry is going to do if the companies haven’t complied? Does the ministry intend to lay charges under those circumstances?

Hon. Mr. McCague: I will be glad to find that out also.


Mr. Foulds: I have a question of the Minister of Natural Resources. Can he share with the House what initiatives his ministry and his government have taken with regard to the postponement of the development at Bending Lake near Atikokan?

Hon. F. S. Miller: That’s not just within my ministry, I’m sure the hon. member knows.

Mr. Foulds: That’s why I asked about the initiatives of the government.

Hon. F. S. Miller: It’s a matter that has been discussed as recently as today, as a matter of fact. I can assure him that this government would have been delighted to see a project of that importance in that particular area of Ontario go forward.

We had been quite willing to provide certain infrastructure to assist the project, but even so the world market for iron ore is such right now that, as I understand it, there were no willing buyers for the product from that proposed mine. That, plus a very marginal operation, was the reason the company decided it couldn’t go forward at the present time. We would very much like to have found ways of carrying on production at the two existing operations in Atikokan, but I don’t know if there is any economic way those can be carried on past the present completion times.

Mr. Foulds: Supplementary: First, on a point of clarification, did the minister indicate that the Bending Lake development itself was a marginal operation or the present existing mines? Given the fact that there are approximately 600 workers in Atikokan who eventually face permanent layoff by approximately the end of 1979 should no new form of work be found for them and could he tell the House whether his government has taken steps to find on its initiative, through the Ministry of Industry and Tourism, possible markets for ore mined at Bending Lake?

Hon. F. S. Miller: I’m not sure it is as simple as that. One of our problems is that currently there is a great slump in iron production in the world. It happens that Canadian sources, particularly Ontario sources of iron ore, have been amongst the higher cost sources for a long time. There is a complex arrangement by which companies procure their reserves. They usually buy interests in mines in various parts of the world. Some of these are long-term commitments that couldn’t easily be reneged upon and rediverted, to a Canadian source in some cases or to an Ontario source in others.


We certainly are aware of the problem in that area. That’s one of the reasons, I believe, the Ministry of Energy and Hydro are going ahead with the construction of an electric generating station in that area. I also understand the Minister of Northern Affairs (Mr. Bernier) felt that the cottage program I talked about should get some degree of support in that area in the hope that we could provide some employment.

But the fact remains that those mines sooner or later, I am optimistic, will be needed. I am hoping there will be an increase in the demand for iron, steel and iron ore and therefore that we will have, maybe in another year or so I hope, some indication that the Bending Lake proposal and the Lake St. Joseph proposal will go forward.

Mr. Foulds: A final supplementary, if I might, because the minister referred in his original answer to infrastructure: Does this mean that the statement in the Speech from the Throne about the completion of the Ignace-Atikokan link will still go as proposed last December via Bending Lake in the hope that development will eventually take place? Can the minister see no possibility besides hope at this stage of speeding up that development?

Hon. F. S. Miller: I think that should really be redirected to my colleague on my right, the Minister of Transportation and Communications.

Mr. Speaker: If the minister wishes to answer, he may.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, as stated in the Speech from the Throne, it is the government’s intention to proceed with the Atikokan-to-Ignace highway; we are working on the engineering on that project now. I doubt whether the project will proceed with as high a priority, as far as number of contracts per year, as if the mine project were going ahead. But we do expect to continue with the construction.


Mr. Hennessy: Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister of Natural Resources. On the Crown land issue, would the minister clarify if there is any limit on the amount of land to be leased by a non-Canadian?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, I hope that the three-step sale or leasing system mentioned in my comments today would have been heard by the members of the House. If we create a subdivision, in the first year of its registration only Ontario residents will be eligible to purchase land. In the second year, residents from other provinces will be eligible to purchase land, and past the second year foreigners may lease land. So you have actually, on any given subdivision --

Ms. Gigantes: The answer is no.

An hon. member: Maybe.

Hon. F. S. Miller: -- a full two years, as we have had in the past, before anybody other than a Canadian could have the option. To give you an example, out of about 2,200 lots created in the past five years, only 85 have been leased by non-Canadians.


Mr. Hennessy: Supplementary: I would like to ask the minister if it would be possible to get more clarification. It was just mentioned today in the House and it is very difficult for me, being a resident of northwestern Ontario where this is going to take place. I would appreciate it if perhaps the members of this House could receive more information so we would know what direction we are going.

Ms. Gigantes: You didn’t let him know, eh?

Mr. Bolan: Come on over.

Mr. Nixon: You should never have gone with the Tories, Mickey.

Mr. Stong: They won’t tell you anything.

An hon. member: They just got a policy act together, Mickey. You can’t expect them to have the details

Hon. F. S. Miller: And it isn’t even the ides of March.

Unless I misunderstood the quotation attributed to the hon. member in the paper in Thunder Bay this week, I have done exactly what he said. He said Ontario and Canadian residents should have a priority and should be protected before any non-residents could have a chance.

Ms. Gigantes: For one year -- 12 months -- 24 months.

Hon. F. S. Miller: I have done just that. I read the Thunder Bay paper.

Mr. Kerrio: Mr. Minister, I wonder if you might share with us what you are considering in terms of length of lease for the non-residents?

Hon. F. S. Miller: I will have to check this back but it strikes me that the terms of lease in the past have been 30 years, plus 10 plus 10.

Mr. Martel: Supplementary: Has it not been a problem of too few lots becoming available for lease that has reduced the amount of employment that the minister anticipates, and could he indicate to the House how many lots were offered for lease since the lease policy started and not taken up by the public?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Just by coincidence, 2,261 lots have been offered. I would agree it is not enough, but we still have an inventory of 195 lots not taken up by anybody in spite of the 2,261 being a relatively low figure.

Mr. Lewis: So why do you have to sell?

Hon. F. S. Miller: It would be one of our objectives to increase the number. In fact, my staff tell me they have had a number of subdivisions on the drawing board which for one reason or another have not been proceeded with. A number of these were because the Ministry of the Environment had certain qualifications on a lease basis. We will be reviewing these qualifications with the Ministry of the Environment and with other ministries in the next two or three weeks.

Mr. Martel: Then why do you have to sell?

Mr. Speaker: Order. The hon. member for Fort William with a further supplementary.

Mr. Hennessy: Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Natural Resources mentioned that he had to read the Thunder Bay paper to learn what I said. I would like to advise the minister I had to read the Globe and Mail to find out what he was going to do.


Mr. Speaker: Order. I think that if the hon. minister will check Hansard, that was not a question.

Hon. F. S. Miller: I know, Mr. Speaker; I’m up on a point of order or privilege. I say to my friend, does he necessarily believe that?

Mr. Foulds: The minister had to read the Globe and Mail to find out what he said himself.

Mr. Deans: A supplementary question, Mr. Speaker: I wonder if the minister could tell us two things: First of all, what becomes of existing leases with regard to the new purchase policy; and, secondly, what provisions will there be with regard to the resale of these lots to other than Canadians?

Hon. F. S. Miller: In my announcement today, I dealt with only one aspect -- and I ask my friend to let me only answer that aspect today -- that was the ownership --

Mr. Deans: Why does the minister dribble this out day by day? Why can’t he give us the whole program?

Mr. Wildman: He still hasn’t developed a policy.

Mr. McClellan: Drool it out all at once.

Mr. Speaker: The question has already been asked.

Hon. F. S. Miller: I thought the issue deserved a prompt answer, in terms of ownership, because of my comments to the press the other day. Therefore, I promptly --

Mr. Deans: You shouldn’t have made the comments in the first place.

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, can you not keep this gentleman in order?

Mr. Martel: The cabinet couldn’t keep the minister in order.

Hon. F. S. Miller: There has been a concentration, in a nuclear sense, of a sound critical mass in the front row of the third party recently.

Mr. Speaker: That has nothing to do with the question.

Hon. F. S. Miller: It has a lot to do with the interference.

Those matters are being considered, Mr. Speaker. In my statement today, I said that within three to four weeks the full details of the administration of the program would be answered.


Mr. Sweeney: Mr. Speaker, a question to the Minister of Health with respect to the Psi mind-benders, to use his words: Given the minister’s statement of last Saturday that the province has no intention of outlawing the mind-benders, what action does he intend to take to protect the health of the people of Ontario, in view of his own statements of concern, those of George Matheson of the Clinical Hypnosis Society, and those of Dr. Powell of London Psychiatric Hospital?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate very much the hon. member’s raising this question. Having been the one who gave those remarks last Saturday and similar remarks a few weeks ago to the Psychology Association, and having in fact indicated to the Globe and Mail reporter present that copies were available -- and presumably he picked up a copy -- it is beyond my comprehension how someone sitting in the Globe and Mail office could write that headline.

In fact, I did not say -- and the member’s colleague from St. George was present -- that a decision had been made not to try to bring them under control. Quite the opposite. What I have been saying in connection with the recent proposal of the Psychology Association, whatever one might think of that particular proposal -- and there are many who have doubts and concerns about it -- one of the goals which I support is to try to frame in legislation some means of bringing under control those quacks, those charlatans who for financial gain abuse the minds of innocent people.

Mr. Bolan: You mean the Tories.

Mr. Warner: Sounds like Steve Roman.

Mr. Sweeney: I am delighted to hear that.

Supplementary: Can the minister verify that the recent OPP report, although not being able to make the case with respect to fraud, did raise other issues of serious concern and ask for further investigation?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I can confirm for the hon. member that there are a number of concerns, some of which arose out of that particular investigation, others from other sources that are under active consideration by a number of ministries.

Mrs. Campbell: Supplementary: I would ask the minister, in view of the status of this matter at the moment, if he will now seriously consider looking at the current legislation with reference to the use of hypnosis as it may relate to Psi -- something that he has not been prepared to do in the past. Would he do it now?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: That has been done, Mr. Speaker, within our ministry. We’ve looked at the possibility of prosecution under the Hypnosis Act, which is a very old statute, as you know, and under which no prosecution has ever been carried out, to my knowledge. That forms part of the overall consideration involving a number of the ministries which I referred to a few minutes ago.


Ms. Gigantes: My question is to the Minister of Education. Is the minister aware that the Metro school board is in the process of reallocating funds from the $1 million he gave during the election for the protection of special education programs, and that the reallocation will mean the loss of special education teachers within the Metro system?

Hon. Mr. Wells: I haven’t been informed of that by the Metro school board. I’m sure my friend agrees that school boards in this province have a high degree of autonomy and they know that they get, in effect, what is practically a block grant except for certain cases -- French and special education -- and must exercise that autonomy in the interest of the people who live in their jurisdiction. I certainly would regret it if the city of Toronto is again finding it difficult with its special education. We have allotted much more money for special education this year than we did last year, in the form of a weighting factor, and I would hope that the --

Mrs. Campbell: In Toronto?

Hon. Mr. Wells: -- Metro school board would accept this responsibility and would indeed improve their programs, as we expect all boards in this province to do.

Ms. Gigantes: Supplementary: Would the minister provide us with an accounting for this $1 million which would reveal what long-run benefits, if any, have been achieved for Metro children in need of special educational help? Will he, at the same time, indicate how his ministry intends to account for the money, the $20 million that it looks like the new legislative grants will allocate for new special education programs in 1978?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Of course, we’ll have a chance to talk about this at great length in our estimates which will be beginning soon.

Ms. Gigantes: You’d better look after the $1 million now.

Hon. Mr. Wells: But, of course, we expect boards, in order to qualify for the extra money -- as my friend knows -- to have the program in place. They must have a certain number of teachers and a certain number of programs.

Ms. Gigantes: What’s happening in Metro then?

Hon. Mr. Wells: If they have those programs in place they qualify and generate the extra money. We keep a constant monitoring on this information and, thus, we know what programs they have in effect.

Ms. Gigantes: What’s happening in Metro right now?


Mr. McCaffrey: My question is for the Minister of Community and Social Services and it deals with an article that appeared in the Globe and Mail recently. The heading of the article was, “Union will use fear campaign to stop change-over to group homes.” In particular, the Ontario Public Service Employees Union and their spokesman, a Mr. Slee, were expressing concern that closing of institutions might jeopardize some of their jobs -- I think, a legitimate concern. But what prompted my question is his reference to their tactics, and a specific quote of Mr. Slee’s: “The union is clearly going to undertake --

Mr. Cassidy: Speech, speech.

Ms. Gigantes: Question?

Mr. McCaffrey: -- to disrupt, within the community, any attempt to move” --

Mr. Speaker: Question.

Mr. McCaffrey: -- “patients in need to a group home.” Since this flies in the face of the government’s program, would the minister comment on that?


Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, initially there I thought that perhaps it was the hon. member for Fort William (Mr. Hennessy) who was coming at me from the other side.

Mr. Kerrio: No, he has gone into hiding.

Mr. Eakins: He is under the shower.

Hon. Mr. Norton: I must say first of all that I am not certain of the accuracy of the statements that were attributed to the representative of OPSEU in that report. In have had no formal communication from OPSEU or from the individual quoted to support those kinds of statements.

However, if in fact that is an accurate rendition of the statement, I must say I am just shocked at the apparent lack of responsibility on the part of an individual who has a responsible role to play in our community.

I don’t have an indication that his statements in fact reflect the views of the government employees for whom he purports to speak. If I recall correctly, I do know that in the one particular case he made reference to -- namely Oakville -- the views he expressed are not the views of the employees of this government working in the Oakville Centre. In fact there have been some efforts on the part of the employees there to dissociate themselves from the statements of this gentleman. It has been my experience that the employees of this government involved in the programs with the mentally retarded and with the children of this province, see their responsibility in a much broader role than is reflected in the statements of Mr. Slee -- if these are, as I say, accurate renditions of his statements. I just refuse to believe our employees would support that kind of irresponsibility.

Mr. McClellan: May I ask the minister, by way of a supplementary, since I share his views -- and he knows it -- whether he would think it wise to arrange a meeting with OPSEU officials to discuss this matter before it goes any further? Secondly, would he think the fear campaign in Oakville is being waged by OPSEU or by the Minister of Transportation and Communications (Mr. Snow)?

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: We know who is waging it all right.

Hon. Mr. Norton: That is the unkindest cut of all.

Mr. Foulds: Largely because it is true.

Hon. Mr. Norton: That is certainly not true.

Mr. Foulds: He has certainly aided and abetted it.

Hon. Mr. Norton: I would be prepared to meet with Mr. Slee and any other officials from OPSEU at any time. If one looks at the sequence of events relating to the Oakville Centre it would appear that the escalation of concern, or fear if you wish, that was generated in that community --

Mr. McClellan: By the minister.

Hon. Mr. Norton: -- began with a press conference that had been called by one, Mr. Slee. I would point out also that to the best of my information Mr. Slee has at no time set foot in the Oakville Reception and Assessment Centre either before or since these events. I don’t know on what he bases his information.

He made, again, some very irresponsible statements there in reference to the clientele group who might be in the reception centre, totally ill-informed and erroneous statements that did create fear in the community. The Minister of Transportation and Communications I am sure is not associated with those kinds of views and would feel as I and repudiate them.

Mr. Nixon: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Since the matter under discussion is related at least in part to the cabinet decision to close certain institutions associated with the Ministry of Correctional Services, would the minister not join with Minister of Correctional Services (Mr. Drea) and have the matter referred to the standing committee on social development so that these matters may be brought before the members of the Legislature, and those people directly concerned, either as employees of the ministry or in the communities concerned, might express their views?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, the answer simply is no. I will at all times be open to input from members of this Legislature and members of the communities that might be affected.

I have taken steps to assure communities across this province that might at some point be affected by the policy, that we will make every effort to consult with them in advance and, in fact, also make arrangements for alternative uses of such facilities, as might be closed, to assist employees in either relocation or alternative training for continuation in the total program for children in this province. But I would be very reluctant at this point to consider any proposal that might either delay or impair what I think is an essential move that we should make in the interests of children in this province.

Mr. Nixon: Why not use it to inform the community?

Hon. Mr. Norton: And I could foresee the kinds of proposals that the members have made here as being something which could delay for many months our being able to move ahead with what I think is a forward step.


Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, last week the Premier (Mr. Davis) was asked a question by one or two members concerning the drilling for uranium in Lake Wanapitei and it was my understanding that I was to answer that question.

The Ministry of Natural Resources had in the beginning stated that it would permit drilling on Lake Wanapitei and it discussed the matter with cabinet. We are still of that opinion. However, up to this point we have not issued a work permit for the drilling on Lake Wanapitei because of the fact that there was a good deal of discussion going on.

I believe the hon. member for Sudbury East (Mr. Martel) -- who was one of the people posing the question -- and I had agreed that the drilling per se was not the risk but the development of any potential mine which could possibly affect the quality of the drinking water supply for the city of Sudbury. This is one thing which our ministry and he shares in common; we want to protect that water supply.

As few as five or six holes were planned by the one company intending to do the exploration activity. An injunction was obtained, as I am sure the member knows, against the drilling, in any event. The proceedings related to the injunction were heard in Osgoode Hall, I believe, on February 24. The judge hearing the matter decided that in fact a trial should be held and he continued the injunction until such time as that hearing was held. This will be in the early part of the spring and precludes any drilling taking place in the balance of this winter.

Mr. Martel: Supplementary: Given the fact that the Sudbury region has responsibility for drinking water under your legislation and the fact that over 10,000 people, without any type of real advertising program undertaken, petitioned the government to alter its position with respect to drinking water being tampered with by drilling, would the government not reconsider now -- particularly in view of the fact that it has backed off in Elliot Lake -- the drilling for uranium in the source of our only drinking water supply, that being Lake Wanapitei?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, I don’t think the statement that we have backed off in Elliot Lake is correct, either. I don’t think a work permit has been issued there. But on the other hand, there has been no statement by our ministry to any people in that area that we would or would not permit the drilling. I can only assure you that if drilling in that lake was carried out, under the 12 or 13 requirements of the Ministry of the Environment and their monitoring, it would not do what apparently some of the members of the public have been led to believe it would do, and that is to release large quantities of radioactive matter into the lake.

There are some people who have apparently been led to believe that radon gas is something like a natural gas, or that there would be large quantities of radioactive material freed up in the process. That, I am sure the members know, is not so. There are radioactive sediments in the lake now; there have been for many years, simply because the rock in that area contains a small amount of uranium.

There have been many people who say that drilling would be fruitless; that may be the case. The fact remains that the people who were exploring for uranium were willing to take that gamble and, in our opinion, would not in any way through the drilling process be risking the quality of the water. Based upon their assays they would require some kind of environmental impact study or assessment if they found any viable amounts of ore. That’s the point at which the protection acts would be taken to ensure that the water supply would be protected. If adequate protection could not be guaranteed, no mine would be permitted.

Mr. Germa: To what purpose would the drilling be allowed when there is evidence already recorded that, even if an ore body is found, it is technically impossible to develop that ore body outside of the watershed and consequently the ore body could not go ahead at any point, even if it is found?

Hon. F. S. Miller: I think the hon. member has jumped to a couple of conclusions. I think people who say they --

Mr. Martel: Not according to the engineers we’ve talked to.

Hon. F. S. Miller: Right. The fact is that exploration in any part of this country is very much like a poker game.

Mr. Martel: Yes, but don’t play poker with our drinking water.

Hon. F. S. Miller: One drills in the belief one might find an ore. If it were a definite science, then in fact this type of exploration would not be needed.

Mr. Wildman: What happens if you want to protect the water supply?

Hon. F. S. Miller: However, I’m sure those people willing to risk their money have assumed that --

Mr. Martel: We’re not willing to risk our drinking water.

Hon. F. S. Miller: -- if ores were found, they would have to comply with our requirements.


Mr. Van Horne: I have a question for the Minister of Education: In view of his answers on Tuesday of this week concerning the government makeup of payments for the teachers’ superannuation fund, would the minister agree that he and the members of the standing committee on social development should meet, along with the members of the superannuation commission, to consider the operation and administration of this food as soon as possible?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Yes, Mr. Speaker. I think I indicated in this House that I’m willing to do it any time and in fact I have been attempting to facilitate this meeting. I wrote a letter to the former chairman of the committee. Of course, he may not be chairman this year; there may be a new chairman for this sitting. But certainly any time that the members wish, the superannuation commission would be very pleased to appear and discuss the whole thing fully with the members of the committee.

Mr. Van Horne: Supplementary: Would the minister agree that this should happen before the new estimates are discussed for the fiscal year 1978-79?

Hon. Mr. Wells: I certainly would have no objection to that, but I think the hon. member should discuss that with his House leader and it should then be discussed by the House leaders --

Mr. Foulds: It already has.

Hon. Mr. Wells: -- because as I understand it, the matter of scheduling estimates is a very delicate and organized matter. If this is going to be done, it’s fine with me.

The only thing I draw the member’s attention to is that the members of the superannuation commission come in from all over the province and we have to give them adequate notice and time to get down here for the meeting.


Mr. Swart: My question is to the Minister of Revenue, if I may have his attention.

An hon. member: Lorne. Are you awake?

Mr. Makarchuk: Pie in the sky.

Mr. Cassidy: This is your debut.

Mr. Swart: Is the Minister of Revenue aware that private property assessment companies have been formed -- I. I. Nash Associates Limited, A. B. Gray, and Vercan Associates Limited, to name three -- which are promoting assessment appeal services to major industrial and commercial corporations on the basis of splitting the taxes saved in the first year if they are successful, and that the same people are acting as both agents and witnesses in the same appeal hearing?

Does the minister not consider this practice somewhat improper, in view of the fact that accountants, lawyers and appraisers prevent similar practices in their professions and when, in fact, it means that large corporations are being successful in getting reductions where the ordinary property owner cannot?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I am aware of that situation. We have looked into it. Obviously there’s nothing really illegal about it. It’s done by other --

Mr. Wildman: It’s unethical, though.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: Yes, it is unethical as far as I’m concerned, but it isn’t illegal.

Mr. McClellan: That makes it all right then.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: The only time it would be illegal would be if the legal profession, who are representing these people, were taking a percentage, but they are not. It’s my understanding that the legal people who go through the claims situation are being paid on a per diem basis, which is quite within the legal profession’s code of ethics. We have investigated it but while I don’t really approve of it, I can’t find anything that’s illegal about it.



Mr. Speaker: It is my understanding the hon. Minister of Education has a response to the point of privilege raised by the member for Carleton East.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Yes, Mr. Speaker. I understand the member for Carleton East was claiming that the report of the Jackson commission on declining enrolments had been made public in some way and in some other place than in this Legislature.

I would like to point out to members of this House that the interim report of the Jackson commission which was to be ready February 28 has not been received by me at this point in time. Therefore, the allusion in the Toronto Star that I had received it on Tuesday is incorrect. As far as I know there are no copies of the Jackson report ready yet at all, so it is probably very unlikely that the Star or any other newspaper has any copies of it either.



Hon. Mr. Timbrell moved first reading of Bill 19, An Act to amend the Mental Health Act.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Snow moved first reading of Bill 20, An Act to amend the Public Vehicles Act.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Snow moved first reading of Bill 21, An Act to amend the Public Commercial Vehicles Act.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, before calling the orders of the day, may I take this opportunity in keeping with the provisional rules to indicate the order of business for next week.

On Monday afternoon next, we will complete the Throne Speech debate with a vote on the various motions to be held at 5:50 p.m.

On Tuesday afternoon, we will take into consideration second reading of Bill 10 and then go into committee, if there is any committee work to be done on Bill 10. This would be followed by the commencement of the consideration of Bill 59 in committee of the whole House. Tuesday evening, of course, is the budget. Wednesday is committee day and there is no meeting in the House.

Thursday afternoon, we will take into consideration private members’ bills 2 and 3, standing on the order paper in the names as indicated there. Thursday evening, we will go back to legislation and I assume carry on with consideration of Bill 59 in committee of the whole, as will be the case on Friday morning.



Hon. Mr. Welch moved resolution No. 1:

Resolution: That in accordance with the agreement announced on Thursday, December 15, 1977, the ballot taken for private members’ business at that session will extend to the present session subject to the following: A supplementary ballot will be taken for those who did not or could not take advantage of that first ballot. The order determined by that additional ballot will be added to the order indicated by the previous ballot.

Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, I am speaking on the Speech from the Throne later on today and therefore would not speak to the motion now, but I want to reserve the right to talk about it.

Resolution concurred in.


Hon. Mr. Welch moved resolution No. 2.

(Reading dispensed with)

(See Votes and Proceedings)

Resolution concurred in.


Hon. Mr. Welch moved resolution No. 3.

(Reading dispensed with)

(See Votes and Proceedings)

Resolution concurred in.


Resumption of the adjourned debate on the amendment to the motion for an address in reply to the speech of the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor at the opening of the session.

Mr. Cooke: On Tuesday evening when the debate was adjourned I was just beginning to talk about some of the problems in my city in the auto industry. Since it is a very important topic for the Windsor area I would like to continue on that.

I should point out that since January of this year, there have been 7,000 employees laid off at Chrysler Canada in Windsor for a total of four weeks -- temporary layoffs, but nonetheless they are layoffs and the prospects for further temporary layoffs are very likely. As I pointed out on Tuesday evening, the rate of unemployment in Windsor is 11.4 per cent, and therefore I think it is very incumbent upon this government to take a look at Windsor and cities like it which are based on one industry and try to diversify.

If I may offer a suggestion for my particular area, I should point out that Windsor is surrounded by two lakes and the Detroit River. We should have a very thriving tourism industry, but at present the tourism industry is not what it should be in Windsor.

In the middle of my riding there is a provincial park called Peach Island, which the provincial government bought, I think back in 1973, for approximately half a million dollars. They then developed a plan for that provincial park at a cost of about $50,000. The plan that was developed has never been approved by the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. F. S. Miller) and there has been absolutely no development to this park at all. At present the only access to this park is for those people who live in Windsor and those Americans who have boats. Therefore, the great majority of the people in Ontario who have paid for this island and paid for the plan to be developed can’t use that island. I think that is a very unfair situation.

I have written to the Minister of Natural Resources on several occasions and his response is that due to the restraint program they just can’t do anything about it. I would like to point out that the plan is there. All it requires is some amendments and at least we could get a plan for Peach Island to have a provincial park in my area developed and we could start to develop it. The cost would not be a tremendous amount.

I would like to talk briefly about the auto pact as that also affects jobs in my area to a great extent. In the Throne Speech the government said it was going to continue to pressure the federal government for changes in the auto pact and a renegotiation of the auto pact. I really don’t have too much faith in that promise because I have been hearing about it for quite a few years now. The fact is that there is a $3 billion deficit in the production of auto parts and an overall deficit of $1.1 billion. That represents approximately 15,000 to 20,000 jobs that we should have here in Canada.

If the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) used some of the energy he uses in this House occasionally in yelling at the opposition -- he gets quite upset at times and directed it at the federal government, I would think the federal government possibly would understand Ontario’s position and that we in this Legislature demand immediately the renegotiation of that auto pact to make sure that the 15,000 jobs we have owing to us are developed here in Ontario. I hope the government will take a much more aggressive stand on the renegotiation of the auto pact.

With regard to youth unemployment, the fact is that youth unemployment in Ontario remains extremely high even though the provincial government brought in a program last year which really amounted to summer jobs. That was their answer to youth unemployment last year. The fact is that youth unemployment is still extremely high. And now all they plan on doing is throwing some more money into the same type of program. It is still going to be an extremely dangerous issue for this government and I would suggest that unless the government takes very concrete steps to attack the youth unemployment problem, this province and this country are going to see some very serious things happen over the next few years.

Just as important as youth unemployment is youth underemployment. Of course, that refers to the many teachers, nurses and so forth that we have trained in this province for whom there are absolutely no jobs. I don’t see the government, and in particular the Minister of Colleges and Universities (Mr. Parrott), taking any concrete action to make sure that we are not overproducing more teachers and more nurses and having to export some of the nurses to the United States. We in Ontario pay for the cost of educating these professionals, and what’s the result? We have to export them to Texas and other places in the United States that are demanding nurses. I think that’s the wrong approach.

What we can look for, if the government doesn’t attack youth unemployment very seriously, is increased crime and, maybe in the future, civil disobedience, because I just don’t think our youth are going to stand for this.

The government is going to be bringing in a package addressing the problem of alcohol abuse. If they were serious about addressing this problem, they would look at some of the social problems that cause alcohol abuse among our youth; and one of them is the unemployment problem. Unless they’re willing to really look at the source of the problem, raising the drinking age by one year or eliminating lifestyle advertising is not going to have any dramatic effect.

In the Throne Speech the government also addressed itself to developing an education system that would encourage skilled trades. I want to make one suggestion in that area: With declining enrolment at the secondary school level, we have the facilities and the teachers available in this province. I hope the government won’t build new facilities. I also hope they won’t completely restrict this type of program to the college level because we have the facilities at the secondary school level. If we could somehow convince this government and boards of education across this province to be a little bit more flexible and to look at alternative forms of education rather than the regular classroom structure that we have now, these types of programs could be offered in the regular classroom setting. I hope the government will consider that type of thing.

One area of the Throne Speech that quite pleased me was that at least the speech addressed itself to and mentioned the problem of job satisfaction. Now that we are looking at occupational health -- a bill will be brought in and I hope there will be amendments made to make it very satisfactory to the workers of this province -- the next problem that the Legislature has to address is job satisfaction and stress in the work place. There are more days lost in the work place as a result of stress and psychological problems than there are because of strikes or even injuries in the work place. I was pleased the government recognized that as a problem, and I certainly will be looking forward to seeing a committee report back to this Legislature with some concrete recommendation.


I did want to mention one other thing. The Throne Speech also mentioned that there will be increased money for school boards for children with learning disabilities. I don’t think we know the full extent of what the Minister of Education (Mr. Wells) is proposing, but from what I have been able to gather so far from boards of education in my area the grant regulations as announced really do not encourage boards of education to provide this type of education.

What it amounts to is that the minister is putting the responsibility for educating these children on the boards of education, as he probably should, but he’s not providing the amount of money that is necessary. If the minister is really serious about providing education for these students, what he should be doing is offering 100 per cent funding for programs for these students. That’s the only way that boards of education are going to be able to provide those programs.

Mill rates have increased to such an extent -- in my area in Windsor over the last three years the mill rate has gone up 30 per cent -- that boards of education are just not going to be willing to raise the mill rate any further to create new programs. They just can’t because ratepayers are paying too much already of that regressive tax, property tax. I encourage the Minister of Education and I encourage the government to look at this problem much more actively and much more sincerely and come up with a realistic solution to the problem.

My colleague from Bellwoods (Mr. McClellan) mentioned the other night about the hypocrisy in the Throne Speech when it talks about strengthening the family. I had to mention it because I read that and I laughed because it sounds very good in the Throne Speech. I understand one of the Conservative members has introduced a private member’s bill to create a new holiday called family day. That too is a joke.

If this government was serious about strengthening the family, it would be looking at expanding day care. In my city we don’t even have infant day care while here they are with a green paper from the children’s division talking about expanding day care to cover up to, I believe, age 13. To heck with expanding it. Let’s talk about providing for the kids we are already not providing for and about the freeze that they have put on new daycare centres. Just 215 new places in the province amounts to a freeze.

The home care program the government announced back when the election was on is another area where, if they were really serious about strengthening the family and in particular the extended family, they would have provided a very adequate home care program. In the long run, it would save this government money because we wouldn’t have to expand nursing homes and we wouldn’t have to expand chronic care hospitals to the extent that we are going to have to in the future. The government has to address itself to the problems that will be facing the people of Ontario as more and more of our people retire and grow old because that time is coming when a larger percentage of our population will fall into the retirement age bracket. We have to start providing adequate programs and services for those people.

On single parent families, I would suspect that other members of the Legislature are facing the same problem that I am. The increased number of complaints I have had in my constituency office of people being refused welfare is just unbelievable. In Windsor last year, in 1977, there was something like a 300 per cent increase in the number of appeals in front of the social assistance review board. I won’t get into the social assistance review board because, as far as I am concerned, it’s a very unfair system that is used and needs to be improved very very much. People need to have either lawyers with them to protect their rights --

Mr. B. Newman: Kangaroo courts.

Mr. Cooke: -- or we shouldn’t have to have members of the Legislature going with them. There should be a provision built into that system to protect the people who go in front of that social assistance review board because the odds on winning a case right now --

Mr. Wildman: Every third family in Blind River is on welfare.

Mr. Cooke: -- are stacked against them right from the beginning. If this government was serious about strengthening single-parent families, they would be looking at an adequate guaranteed annual income. They wouldn’t be just increasing it when they feel it’s politically advantageous for them to increase welfare payments.

In any case, I would expect that we will get into those types of things in great depth when the recommendations from the green paper from the children’s services division come before this Legislature. I look forward to that because my initial impression of the green paper is that I am not overly impressed with it at all. There are some very good recommendations, but I really don’t think that the government is willing to do what is necessary, that is, exert its authority over Children’s Aid Societies and some of the other agencies in this province that the Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. Norton) is responsible for.

He takes that authority when he wants to. A good example of that is when the anti-inflation program came in. All of a sudden, Children’s Aid Societies were public agencies and they came under the anti-inflation program. But when it comes to putting into effect other policies on their group homes, all of a sudden, when I talked to the minister about that, the Children’s Aid Societies are private agencies and there is nothing we can do about it. So when it is politically popular the government calls them public agencies, and when it doesn’t want to exert the control then all of a sudden they are private agencies.

There are two other items that I would like to touch upon, and I will be very brief. In my area, in Essex county, when the French-language secondary school was being discussed it was quite an issue. I would just like to point out to this Legislature that since my election I have discussed with many people in Essex county as well as in Windsor, my riding, the French language and the French-language secondary school.

First of all, I am very pleased to inform any members of the Legislature who don’t know, that the tenders for that particular school are going to be let very soon and it would appear that that school will be built. Construction will start this spring.

Secondly, I would like to point out that the biggest complaint that the people have in my area, and I think all across Ontario, isn’t that they want to stop French-language secondary schools, they want equal access to French language for their students. Even if they are English families they want equal opportunity for their kids to learn a second language, and I don’t think the government is moving quickly enough in that area at all.

In our area recently an English family, a Protestant family, went before the Windsor Board of Education and wanted permission to send a child to a separate school in order for the child to get a French immersion course at the elementary level. The Windsor board refused them that; it would not pay the tuition on their behalf. Therefore, there is not equal opportunity in this province for English children to learn French as a second language, and I think we have to move in that direction, If the government would move more quickly a lot of the hostility that has been expressed across this province would be lessened. I hope the Minister of Education and the government will move much more quickly in that area than they have in the past.

The final thing I want to talk about is the resource equalization rights from the Treasurer to cities. As I think most members of the Legislature know, that is a very important issue in Windsor, in Sarnia, and in other ridings across this province. We in Windsor are presently being penalized because our assessments are up to date and we are not getting our share of the resource equalization grants. In 1978, we are losing $8.5 million; that amounts to 10 per cent extra for the ordinary ratepayer on the property tax.

Just as important, we must consider the effects it is having on new industry coming into Windsor. Any corporation, any industry that is looking at us is going to look at the property taxes that it is going to pay. We know that in Windsor we are paying higher taxes than most other cities in the province because the provincial Treasurer refuses to make the system fair. With an unemployment rate of 11.4 per cent in Windsor, it is about time that the provincial Treasurer did something to make the system fair.

I understand that there are problems with bringing in the tax reforms and bringing in market value assessment, but I would suggest that if he doesn’t want to do that, if he honestly believes in a fair tax system and making grants fair, then we should get a transitional grant. That transitional grant should be made immediately and should be part of the 1978-79 estimates. I know the provincial Treasurer has refused that up to this point, but in the interests of fairness I hope he will reconsider. I hope that his colleagues in caucus will persuade him that it is in their best interests and in this province’s best interests.

As I said the other night, although the Minister of Labour (B. Stephenson) has suggested at one point that we shut down Windsor, and I believe the Minister of Education at one point suggested, probably jokingly, that we could raise the American flag over Essex county --

Mr. B. Newman: But you didn’t say that, did you?

Mr. Cooke: I would suggest that Essex county is part of this province and we intend to stay part of this province. We don’t elect any Tories and I think that --

Mr. Cunningham: That’s to your credit.

Mr. Cooke: -- demonstrates the intelligence of our voters. But I would suggest that if they want to treat all parts of Ontario fairly they should extend a grant to Windsor, to Sarnia and other cities that are not getting these resource equalization grants. This would lower our property tax and encourage industry to move into cities like Windsor where unemployment is much higher than the provincial average.

Mr. Speaker, I have appreciated being able to express some of my views and express some of the concerns of the people in my riding, and I thank the Legislature for listening.

Mr. Handleman: It’s remarkable -- here we are in the second session of the 31st Parliament, and I have my first opportunity to congratulate Mr. Speaker on the assumption of his office. While he is represented in the chair by his alter ego, the Deputy Speaker, whom I also congratulate on the assumption of his office, I know that somewhere in these hallowed halls he is listening to my words with great eagerness and interest.

Mr. Wildman: Don’t be too sure.

Mr. Handleman: Somewhere the message will get through, because I do want to comment on some of the remarks that were made here today. We had an example, I think, of the kind of atmosphere in this chamber that we sometimes pride ourselves in. We say this is the most unruly Legislature in the Commonwealth -- or even of the western world when we’re really being magnanimous.

Mr. Nixon: Some people say it with pride.

Mr. Handleman: Quite frankly, it is sometimes with pride that we say this. I sympathize with you, Mr. Speaker, in your efforts to try to achieve that balance between decorum, which you would like to see the school children of the province observe, and the parliamentary tradition of interjection, heckling and barracking. I hope that we will never cease to have the latter. The type of interjections which come from one side of the House are not always as bright as they might be, pertinent, or intelligent. But Hansard seems to miss the brilliant interjections that come from this side of the House on occasion and I really do wish --

Mr. Cunningham: Always nice to know you are here.

Mr. Handleman: -- that we could get those on the record and not be stopped from making them. I noticed today, sir, after you stood on your feet and warned us, that this place became a pallid imitation of a parliament. It was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. Even the Minister of Natural Resources commented on the artificially quiet atmosphere which resulted.

I just want to say that I think some of the types of behaviour that we indulge in are really in order and that they should not be too severely curtailed. At the same time, I recognize the need to maintain some kind of order. I recall when I was in another capacity -- I don’t know that I was being provocative -- but because of a certain amount of interjection that was coming from members of the House you did recess for 10 minutes. When we resumed I stood on my feet and said, “In conclusion, Mr. Speaker.” I felt the recess was somewhat premature because I was ready to wind up.

You have another role besides presiding over this chamber and that is as the guardian of the members’ rights. In that capacity I have appealed to you on a couple of occasions for some assistance. In the last session of this parliament, I believe it was, I raised a point of order and it stemmed from certain actions of a committee of which I was a member, and since the committees have not been restruck, I don’t know whether I will be a member of it again.

But I want to refer to that point of order, because I do feel that when the committees are struck it should be pointed out to them quite clearly that they are creatures of this Legislature. Their terms of reference restrict their activities. Committees are not free to determine their own courses of action, except within their terms of reference as granted by this Legislature. When they exceed those terms of reference they infringe on the rights of the individual members.

Today a resolution was brought before the House -- a government motion. It was passed and carried. That makes it the rule of the House, and I accept that. I do feel, however, that the agreement that was made by the House leaders without the sanction of the members of this Legislature was not in order. It did require this kind of a motion today to carry on the ballot order as determined in the last session. Because the rule is quite clear: “There shall be a ballot in each session.” When that session ended without there being a resolution of this Legislature to extend the ballot, it ceased to exist. We have carried on as though it continued, without any order. The motion today, which was carried, does validate it; and I don’t argue with it.


Mr. Nixon: It tacks former cabinet ministers on at the end of the line.

Mr. Handleman: I just want to question that rationale, which I understood was agreed to by the caucuses, because there were some members of this Legislature who chose not to participate in the ballot in the last session, for whatever reason; they may have had very good reasons. There were five members of this Legislature who were not able to participate in the ballot. I must say that I do object to being put in the same category -- because I was unable to participate -- as those who failed to participate.

Mr. Nixon: Yes, but there were certain compensations.

Mr. Handleman: The compensations, of course, are long gone --

Mr. Nixon: Well, if you are a spendthrift!

Mr. Handleman: The compensation exchange, I suggest -- and I did put this to our House leader -- should have been that those five members should precede in the ballot order those who did not take advantage of their opportunity to participate in the last session.

Mr. Nixon: A new type of precedent.

Mr. Handleman: The member for Scarborough West (Mr. Lewis) categorizes this kind of argument as nitpicking. I wonder if he has ever talked to his friend Stanley Knowles, who does this kind of thing on almost a daily basis in Ottawa -- and I think rightly so, Mr. Speaker, because you are the protector of the lowest of us all; that is, the private member.

Mr. Wildman: Don’t say Stanley Knowles is the lowest of us all.

Mr. Handleman: I am saying we -- the backbenchers, the private members -- have to have the protection of the Speaker. Our privileges are quite precious to us and should not be infringed.

You also have another capacity, Mr. Speaker, and that is chairman of the Board of Internal Economy. I want to appeal to you in that capacity to help continue the intern program which has been introduced in this Legislature. I understand that some members of the private sector may be withdrawing their support, and there will be a request put to the board to continue the program.

For the first time in my new capacity I have had the advantage of using the services of one of the interns, and I think these bright young people should be encouraged to learn something about the operation of this Legislature. I think it is important for us to know there are people of that intelligence going out of the Legislature to tell people that we do do a good job once in a while and that we do work hard, because we need all of that kind of help that we can get.

Mr. Breithaupt: You’re sure that’s what they are saying?

Mr. Cunningham: Sounds like we need more interns.

Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, it has been customary in speeches during the Throne Speech debate to comment on one’s riding. I recall my maiden speech -- which seems so long ago that it is back in the dark ages --

Mr. Nixon: Tell us about Andy Haydon.

Mr. Handleman: -- in which I did go over the hills and valleys of Carleton and mentioned the great attractions of my riding; and I received a congratulatory note from the then Leader of the Opposition after he had heckled me through half my speech. I want to review briefly the history of Carleton again because it is one of the seven ridings in this province which have an unbroken history since Confederation.

In the glow of Confederation in 1867 the people of Carleton, for some reason which has never been understood by anyone, elected a Liberal for four years. They then started to elect members of my party -- and since 1871 they have continuously returned a member of this party to the Legislature. There was one slight aberration in 1919: A member of the UFO was elected and immediately appointed to cabinet; therefore, he became the first Carleton cabinet minister, and he was promptly defeated in the next election.

Mr. Breithaupt: Your riding is so Tory they even voted for George Drew.

Mr. Foulds: That should have been a lesson to you, Sid.

Mr. Handleman: Since then we had an unbroken string of distinguished representatives, starting with the legendary Holly Acres -- and I know some of the members of this House remember him. One of my predecessors with whom I had the privilege of sitting in the House was the recently retired Don Morrow. I met Mr. Morrow yesterday in the hall and told him I would be going through this review again. I wished him well as he left for Florida. He is in very good health, I want members of the House to know.

Mr. Nixon: His pension cheques are arriving regularly?

Mr. Handleman: My immediate predecessor, who is known to some of the members opposite and to some of the members here, was Erskine Johnston. He has not been well recently, but I want hon. members to know that he is holding his own. I see him from time to time, and I know that all hon. members would ask me to bring him their best wishes.

Mr. Nixon: one of the finest members ever to come from eastern Ontario -- and a good farmer.

Mr. Handleman: Absolutely.

Since 1971, Mr. Speaker, I have been through three elections against six different opponents. In the sports world they generally give you permanent possession after you have gone through that kind of exercise. I don’t expect that kind of privilege here.

Mr. Foulds: I should hope not.

Mr. Handleman: I would like, at this time, to pay tribute to my most recent Liberal opponent, Eileen Consiglion, who passed away a couple of weeks ago. She was a woman who had a very difficult task in trying to win a riding such as mine, and I think she carried off her task with wit, great humour, great fortitude and patience. She was a very worthy opponent indeed and the people of Carleton mourn her loss at this particular time.

It is also customary to touch on a couple of local problems. I want to speak about the school accommodation problem in the Ottawa-Carleton area, because at the present time it’s probably the most urgent situation facing the people of my constituency.

Mr. Nixon: The matter of French-language schools?

Mr. Handleman: We have a classic situation. Carleton, for a variety of reasons, is not losing school population. It’s one of the few areas in this province where the school population is rising and rising rapidly. At the same time the city of Ottawa with a separate school board -- I mean separate and distinct school board -- has a declining school population and a number of schools which are only partially occupied. The answer would seem simple; the solution is, of course, for the city of Ottawa to take its excess school space and allow the board of education in Carleton to use it for the growing population in Carleton.

It makes so much sense that this was proposed when I was a school trustee back in 1968; even before that, when we were forming the Carleton board, and the Ottawa Board of Education was in existence at that time. The chairman, a Mr. Ken Boucher, agreed entirely with the rationale of that solution. And it seemed so easy. His board overturned his recommendation, and here we are in 1978, still facing the same problem, except that it is becoming more critical every day. At the present time the Carleton Board of Education has 2,200 students -- 2,200 students -- attending the schools of other boards. The parents of those students have absolutely no democratic rights in determining the course of their children’s education. The trustees they vote for --

Ms. Gigantes: That has been going on for years.

Mr. Handleman: -- have no say in the administration of the schools they attend.

Ms. Gigantes: What has your government done about it?

Mr. Handleman: The Minister of Education, who came to Ottawa, met with the trustees --

Ms. Gigantes: Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Mr. Handleman: -- and the most surprising thing is that here is a problem of 10 years standing and the member for Carleton East (Ms. Gigantes) says: “What has your government done about it?”

Ms. Gigantes: Yes, for 10 years.

Mr. Handleman: There are two boards of education, locally elected, presumably made up of intelligent people. They are not little rural school boards with primitive, unsophisticated systems. They know what the problems are.

Ms. Gigantes: Financing is such that you can’t work it out.

Mr. Handleman: You would think that boards of that nature would be able to come to a decision on the basis of sound common sense. And I think the minister was quite right to go to Ottawa and say to them, “For goodness sakes, you have this problem. Solve it.”

Ms. Gigantes: You also have to give them some money.

Mr. Handleman: What the member for Carleton East would like us to do of course, is to pass legislation in this Legislature compelling a board to do something that they should be doing on their own. I don’t believe that that has to be done.

Ms. Gigantes: You have to give them some money to build. They have had $300,000 since 1975; that’s it.

Mr. Handleman: The province can go ahead and give Carleton $25 million to build schools when there are empty school spaces in the city of Ottawa? That doesn’t make sense. It can’t make sense.

Ms. Gigantes: Your solution doesn’t either.

Mr. Handleman: And I don’t suggest for one minute that the minister do that. There are a number of immediate problems and the minister --

Ms. Gigantes: Are you going to give them the money or not?

Mr. Handleman: -- granted them the money to meet the most urgent need, and that is for the junior vocational school.

Ms. Gigantes: Aha, finally.

Mr. Handleman: There are a number of other schools that are required. However, I would not propose that this government encourage the overbuilding of schools when there are empty school spaces.

Ms. Gigantes: Who said that?

Mr. Handleman: There are a number of solutions. He has asked the board to consider the possibility of those solutions. I myself have asked my constituents to comment on them. They are four-fold. But at the moment the boards are deliberating on the solutions which the minister proposed; and they are not all as hysterical as some of the press reports would indicate.

I have before me a letter from the chairman of the Carleton Board of Education, addressed to the Minister of Education and referring to that meeting. I would just like to read one short paragraph: “Monday’s meeting provided a forum for a very frank and open exchange of views. Indeed, the honesty was almost overpowering at times. I think we all need to reflect on just what transpired and bring it all into focus in the interests of the students and the communities affected.”

Now, that in my view, Mr. Speaker, is a reasonable response to the minister’s proposals.

Ms. Gigantes: It’s been reasonable for years. That board has been reasonable for years.

An hon. member: That’s right.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order.

Mr. Handleman: No question about it. The Carleton board has been reasonable for years.

Ms. Gigantes: Just what has the minister done in response?

Mr. Handleman: But there is no point in the Minister of Education taking over the administration of the Ottawa Board of Education.

Ms. Gigantes: Nobody suggested that. There are a number of solutions.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order.

Mr. Handleman: Well, there are a number of solutions which can be adopted.

Mr. Ruston: Name them.

Mr. Handleman: I would say that the options are well known to both boards, and I feel that as intelligent people they will come to a decision.

Ms. Gigantes: It involves money from the ministry, and you know it.

Mr. Handleman: I don’t understand why it is that money seems to be the solution to all problems in that party. “Spend lots of money and all your problems will go.” All problems eventually resolve themselves in terms of money.

Ms. Gigantes: Are you going to have to build new schools or not?

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. The member for Carleton has the floor, not the member for Carleton East.

Mr. Ruston: Name her.

Mr. Handleman: We don’t have to build two secondary schools below the green belt. There are schools outside the green belt that will have to be built, and the minister agreed to that. There was no question about it. The priorities have to be established by the Carleton Board of Education and nobody else. Those priorities have been established. The requests are in. The capital funding will be made very shortly. However, long-term solutions still have to be found and, in many cases, it may require changes in school boundaries, changes in attendance boundaries, which can be done in this Legislature. The minister is fully aware of the various options which are open to him.

There is one other point I’d like to dwell on of a local nature before I go on to some of the other things that have happened here. It is something which may be a completely local matter, that is, the debenture on the Queensway, which is a matter of some concern to those of us who are outside the city of Ottawa. When the Queensway was first constructed in the city of Ottawa, the then mayor, Charlotte Whitton --

Mr. Wildman: A good Tory.

Mr. Handleman: -- floated a debenture -- no problem there -- which paid for the Queensway. Then the province, as it usually does with progressive moves, took over the complete maintenance of the Queensway, the policing of the Queensway and the ownership of the Queensway. However, that debenture was transferred from the city of Ottawa to the regional municipality of Ottawa-Carleton, which meant that instead of the people of Ottawa paying for the debenture on the Queensway within the city limits, all of the people in the regional municipality are paying for it. I think that’s fair enough because we all use it.

However, in other parts of the province, the government has taken over the debt on what they consider to be provincial highways. There’s no question at all that the Queensway forms part of Highway 417, part of the provincial network. I understand the Minister of Transportation and Communications (Mr. Snow) is looking with some sympathy on taking over that debenture which will relieve the people of the entire region of a fair financial burden. I look forward to an announcement on it as quickly as possible. I have no inside knowledge as to when that may be or if it will be.

I sat here on February 22 to listen to the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. S. Smith) respond to the Speech from the Throne. I didn’t sit here, I must say, as I don’t want to mislead the House. I went out into the lounge and listened to it on the loudspeaker. I felt something like Mark Twain when he first heard the music of Stravinsky. His comment was “It can’t be as bad as it sounds.” So I came back in to listen to it. I waited here for a motion to be made by the Leader of the Opposition because he really was passionately angry with the government. There was no question about it, the indignation was so obvious. He rejected the government’s proposals and programs.

Normally, since I have been here, that has been followed by a motion of some kind moving an amendment to the Speech from the Throne. I went back and looked through Hansard from 1971, since I’ve been here, and I found that is in fact the case. Only on one occasion, November, 1975, the then leader of the New Democratic Party, who was Leader of the Opposition, did not move an amendment but gave notice of the fact that he would do so at a later opportunity. In this case, the Leader of the Opposition did not move an amendment to the Speech from the Throne.

I listened to him again in the emergency debate on February 28, in which he said that the people of the province would some day have an opportunity to review these measures of the government. I said, “How soon?” I don’t know whether Hansard caught the interjection. The member for Renfrew North (Mr. Conway) said: “Sh! Don’t challenge him.”

It seems to me that when he is talking in terms of important decisions of this government and is criticizing them with passion, anger and indignation, that he should use the opportunity he has as Leader of the Opposition to move an amendment and put his future where his mouth is. There are worse things than an election. Nobody wants one, everybody agrees to that.

Mr. Nixon: Then what are you talking about? We had one less than a year ago. Surely this is a place where we can put forth alternatives.

Mr. Handleman: Exactly. All I’m saying is that a motion would have made this House vote.

Mr. Nixon: Talk about an irresponsible comment. It is shocking to all of the members of the House who are here.

Mr. Ruston: All the other two Conservatives who are here.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order.

Mr. Nixon: There is no more than a quorum.

Mr. Ruston: It should be noted that there are three Conservatives in the House.

Mr. Handleman: I didn’t think I was being provocative. If the former member for High Park were here he might draw your attention, Mr. Speaker, to a certain problem we are facing at this moment, which I am not doing.

Mr. Nixon: We have our share of the quorum.


Mr. Handleman: If I may, Mr. Speaker, I would like to borrow a favourite phrase of the Leader of the Opposition.

Mr. Gaunt: Oh, oh, one more story.

Mr. Handleman: He uses it quite frequently in his speeches. He says, “If I were Premier”; and of course the chances of my doing it are just as great as his chances, maybe even better.

Mr. Gaunt: I don’t think so.

Mr. Handleman: He keeps saying, “If I were Premier, this is what I would do.”

Mr. Cunningham: You can say, “When I was a minister.”

Mr. Nixon: It is all downhill from now on.

Mr. Handleman: If I were Premier, I would ask this House for a vote of confidence on the uranium contracts.

Mr. Cunningham: You wouldn’t get it.

Mr. Handleman: I might not get it. The member is absolutely right, I might not get it; but I would ask for it because I do feel, unlike C. D. Howe, $6 billion or $7 billion is a significant amount of money, and I think the Leader of the Opposition makes Howe look like a piker when he doesn’t think the $6 billion to $7 billion expenditure is worth bringing in a motion for an amendment or some kind of motion to challenge the government on it.

Mr. Nixon: Why didn’t you bring forward a no-confidence motion? It’s clear a majority of the House thinks you are making a mistake.

Mr. Handleman: All I am suggesting is that if I were Premier, I would do that. I am not and that will be up to the Premier to do.

Mr. Ruston: He never will do it.

Mr. Handleman: That’s right. As I say, I borrowed the phrase from somebody else who never will either.

Mr. Gaunt: Obviously your pocketbook is affecting your judgement.

Mr. Handleman: There was another part of the speech which I listened to very carefully and that was the comments that the Leader of the Opposition had on minority language rights, because --

Mr. Nixon: We know your views.

Mr. Handleman: Yes, you do, and I’m going to give them to you. I’m going to give you my views.

Mr. Nixon: You’re an embarrassment to your party.

Mr. Handleman: I am going to give you my views because this has been a major issue in Ottawa-Carleton ever since Lester Pearson introduced the Official Languages Act. I want to say that if the Official Languages Act was introduced in the House of Commons today it would again receive the unanimous support of all parties, as it did when it was first presented.

There are no problems whatsoever with the principles in the Act. What happened was, when you pass legislation you suddenly find yourself in that very difficult position of having to implement it, and it was the regulations and the administration of the Act that gave rise to an ugly backlash, the kind of backlash that nobody in this House wants to see.

Ms. Gigantes: It was the public service language training program, nothing else.

Mr. Handleman: Having seen the ugliness of the reaction of some of the people -- there was a backlash and there has been one -- I would like to again put on the record the position that I put to the Alliance for Bilingualism in Ottawa on December 2, 1976; and I would like to make sure that this appears on the record exactly as I put it to that organization, which is a very admirable organization designed to promote the acceptance of the bilingual program of the federal government.

What I said to it then was this, and I quote: “As an elected representative from this area, I receive my share of complaints about shoving French down people’s throats. As a school trustee and school board chairman I was often attacked as one of the people doing the shoving. The fears are often irrational and sometimes they are downright silly, but they are real fears nonetheless. We must try to eliminate the fears but we will ignore them at our peril.

“What I have learned in my political life is that confrontation does not resolve these fears, it magnifies them and makes justice harder to achieve. It creates backlash. For those who believe in the principles reflected in the Official Languages Act, as do all recognized political parties, there are two courses of action we must pursue simultaneously.

“First, we must implement practical measures to provide more services to French-speaking people in their own language where it is necessary, where it is practical and where it is affordable; and secondly, we must work to create a new majority in Ontario which actively supports the principles of the Official Languages Act.”

That is only part of the problem, of course, and that is services to francophones in their own language. The government’s policy is to provide services in French where needed, where practical and where affordable without reference to any minimum percentage of the population, and that was part of the problem in the implemention of the Official Languages Act. As soon as you set up a formula, you immediately create problems.

Ms. Gigantes: It was the language training program that was the problem.

Mr. Handleman: We in Ontario are limited only by the cost and our concern that progress must give the community time to adjust. This is a policy of patience rather than sudden successes. We do not have to dramatize the steps that we take. I hope the great majority of Ontarians are willing to accept this policy, provided steady progress continues. The only thing we have to fear is extremism from either side of the problem.

Services to Franco-Ontarians is only part of the question. I was pleased the member for Windsor-Riverside (Mr. Cooke) referred to French instruction to English-speaking people -- the teaching of French as a second language -- because he related a situation where there was a problem in Windsor. I want you to know, Mr. Speaker, that in my part of Carleton in any case we have been teaching French from kindergarten for the past 15 years. We have had French immersion for the past eight years. It is a matter of a board of education being willing to do that kind of thing.

Mr. Cooke: It’s a matter of funding.

Ms. Gigantes: Why doesn’t the province provide that kind of funding?

Mr. Handleman: I don’t believe the provincial government should come in and mandate that to any board.

Ms. Gigantes: What about the funding from the federal government?

Mr. Handleman: It was done long before the federal government program ever came into effect. When I was a trustee the federal government didn’t even know we existed. We implemented French immediately in a three-room school in a rural area in old Orange Carleton, and we did it willingly. There was no problem whatsoever. That is the way it should be done, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Cooke: There has to be adequate funding.

Mr. Handleman: Again, when I was speaking to the Alliance for Bilingualism, I put that point to them too. I want to read that portion of the speech that I gave that day:

“I continue to believe that most parents would rather have bilingual than unilingual children. I continue to believe that most citizens would prefer a province which is fair and just to its French-speaking members. We must reach out to these people, the people that support the program, for support and understanding. In the end our success will be determined, not by the boldness of our plans or the justice of our cause, but rather by the number of the ordinary people of Ontario who are willing to follow the program.”

There has been a great deal of talk about my position and other members’ positions on the French-language program. I wanted to be sure that that was on the record because I feel that my position has been distorted from time to time, probably without full knowledge of the position that I have taken.

I also read the speech of the new leader of the New Democratic Party. It is too bad he is not here because I would like to have congratulated him on achieving his ambition. I would like to congratulate his party too, but I don’t think I can do that. I feel sorry for them but that’s it.


Mr. Davidson: Don’t worry about us We can look after ourselves.

Mr. Handleman: He achieved his ambition. I would congratulate the Liberals and the Conservatives on his having achieved his ambition.

I said two days after the convention to a member of the NDP that I felt the convention had reflected the almost unconscious acceptance of the NDP that they will never form a government in this province, and that they felt that they should have somebody --

Ms. Gigantes: So little you understand, Sydney; so little you understand.

Mr. Handleman: -- who could use his fair share of the debating time in the Legislature as their leader, rather than one who would give the kind of what I thought was impassioned leadership that I heard from the member for Wentworth (Mr. Deans) the other day in the special debate, which I thought was one of the best presentations of any member who spoke on that matter.

For six and a half years now I have had the privilege of being on a sort of three-way program -- with the member for Ottawa Centre (Mr. Cassidy), the member for Ottawa East (Mr. Roy), and myself -- commonly known as the Mike, Sid and Albert show. We have done the tour of the media. The night of the election in 1977 we appeared on a local program agreeing to disagree about the great benefits of minority government.

Mr. Breithaupt: These aren’t the Marx brothers or anything?

Mr. Handleman: No. The member for Ottawa Centre talked about sharing responsibility. I have seen little evidence of that in this Legislature. There has been a great deal of criticism of decisions taken here, but no sharing of the responsibility for them.

Mr. Mackenzie: Who is the government? We are not going to do your job.

Mr. Handleman: I quite agree with you. I don’t think there should be a sharing of responsibility.

Ms. Gigantes: We tried to tell you what to do on uranium. You won’t listen. Don’t ask a question you don’t want an answer to.

Mr. Handleman: Because if you want to have a share of responsibility, it is quite easy to achieve. It is quite easy to achieve a majority government. All you need is a coalition and you’ll have a majority.

Mr. Mackenzie: You have already got that with the Liberals and Tories.

Mr. Handleman: There is no reason for the opposition to share it. What I’m saying, Mr. Speaker, is that the member for Ottawa Centre talked about how it would be great to share in the responsibility of government and that that would make this type of government work.

Some of the things I heard during the convention and read in his speech reminded me of a crib sheet that is being sold to political science freshmen on a campus not far from here. I would like to just tell you what this crib sheet says. It reads thus: “When answering any question on NDP policy, one of the following is always the correct answer: (a) expropriation; (b) confiscation; (c) legislation; (d) nationalization.” There is an asterisk after (d) and it says, “If you’re stuck for an answer, nationalization will be correct 75 per cent of the time.”

Most of those students who follow that crib sheet are going to pass, because that is obviously the correct answer every time the NDP comes up against a problem --

Ms. Gigantes: You live on blather.

Mr. Handleman: -- it’s: “We’re going to buy Inco. We’re going to buy Falconbridge. We’re going to buy Steve Roman. We’re going to buy everything.” Every time we have a problem it’s: “Let’s take it over.”

Mr. Davison: We’ll buy anything; but what are you selling, Sydney?

Mr. Mackenzie: You have got an even simpler approach: government freebies for the corporate sector.

Mr. Handleman: The hon. member who was with me on that committee may remember a line from a document which was presented to us in evidence and on which he relied greatly. It said something like this: “Passing a law cannot make economic sense out of economic nonsense.” It was a very good line. It was one which the members of that party ignored because there were other lines in it that they preferred. Unfortunately, there seems to be, at all levels of government, a philosophy of “when in doubt legislate.”

I must say that the Speech from the Throne was pleasant to me because it does de-emphasize government action in favour of allowing individuals to make more of their own decisions. We need more and more individual decision-making in our society and less and less of this collective government imposition of rules and regulations.

Mr. Mackenzie: Like the decisions Inco would make, Sydney?

Mr. Handleman: If we could keep on that kind of a path for a few years --

Ms. Gigantes: Floating along, floating down the drain.

Mr. Handleman: -- Orwell’s dire prediction for 1984 might remain only entertaining fiction. I hope, of course, that will happen.

Mr. Davison: You are not going to be anything until 1984?

Mr. Handleman: Mr. Speaker, if I may be somewhat personal for a moment, because my position in this Legislature has changed. One of the most amazing things about resigning from cabinet is the rumour and speculation that seems to abound -- not only here but everywhere, particularly in the Ottawa area -- about my plans for the future and what my reasons were. The former House leader of the Liberals came up with an amazing concoction on a moment’s notice.

Mr. Davidson: Why don’t you run federally and lose?

Mr. Breithaupt: I hear you are going to the Senate.

Mr. Handleman: It never entered my mind. But I’ve collected some of these rumours and I’d like to put some of them forward and comment very briefly on them.

Mr. Ruston: But you’re interested.

Mr. Mackenzie: They haven’t told you what you are going to get, Sydney. Maybe somebody else wants the job that you want.

Mr. Handleman: The first rumour -- and unfortunately the member for Renfrew North (Mr. Conway) is not here -- was from a member who was very adamant that this was absolutely true. The rumour was that I would seek the federal Conservative nomination of Ottawa West. That’s not true, Mr. Speaker. It’s not true. I’m sorry that the member’s not here.

Mr. B. Newman: Ottawa East instead.

Mr. Handleman: Then Ottawa Centre came up.

Mr. Davidson: They don’t want you.

Mr. Handleman: All I can say is that it’s not true. In fact, it’s not true of any federal constituency. I will not be participating in the federal election.

Mr. Makarchuk: This is not a good year for them.

Mr. Handleman: However, those rumours came to the ears of some people in the federal government and they started some other rumours about my being offered a major federal appointment. I’m still trying to trace that one down, to find out if there’s any validity to that at all because I haven’t been offered anything.

A rumour was started a few weeks ago because the reeve of Nepean township with whom I’ve been on the very best of terms over the past few years, is running for the Progressive Conservative nomination of Ottawa West. The rumour immediately started that I would run for reeve of Nepean township.

Mr. Davidson: Doesn’t that say something to you?

Mr. Handleman: I have totalled up the salary attached to that position, counting regional government, executive committee, Hydro commission, police commission.

Mr. Breithaupt: What’s holding you back?

Mr. Handleman: I tell you, Mr. Speaker, it’s a very attractive option and I’m keeping my option open on that one.

Mr. B. Newman: Press, please note.

Mr. Handleman: Absolutely. There is also a rumour, because of a statement which was made, that I would be a shoo-in for the chairman of regional council for Ottawa Carleton. I’ll have to wait and see what happens in the municipal election, because the flavour of that regional council at the present time --

Mr. Mackenzie: Heaven help Ottawa-Carleton.

Mr. Handleman: -- I’m afraid, does not represent my philosophy. However, I may have enough friends to do it. Again, we’ll wait and see what happens about that one.

There is also a rumour that I will be running again in Carleton, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Mackenzie: Sounds more like you are bargaining, Syd.

Mr. Handleman: I want to say to you that at the moment that is probably the most likely of all. I hope to run again, I hope to win again; I hope to be back in this Legislature to talk to you all again. And maybe I’ll be seeing you two or three years from now. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Cunningham: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Normally it is the custom to involve one’s self in discussions of one’s local riding in the Throne Speech debate; I would like to make a departure in that regard, and possibly a radical departure, insofar as I’m going to talk about the Throne Speech itself.

The Throne Speech last week came as somewhat of a surprise to me. I see it moves for selective deregulation in the trucking industry and the rationale that such a selective de-regulation would go a long way in removing the inequities that exist within regulated transportation in the province of Ontario itself.


I am sure you are no doubt aware, although you weren’t here as a member at the time, that the Ontario Legislature, at the direction of course of the government, directed that a select committee be struck to examine the entire nature of highway transportation of goods within the province of Ontario, recognizing the number of difficulties that have gone on since regulation was implemented in the year 1934. At that time it was recognized that there was a great deal of excess competition. There were a number of bankruptcies; certainly a great deal of instability in the transportation industry, largely due to the economic dislocation that was going on in the 1930s and to a tremendous amount of over-competition.

In 1934, the transportation system was regulated through the Ontario Municipal Board. It remained within the jurisdiction of the Ontario Municipal Board until the Transport Board was established.

The rationale for the establishment of the select committee that I refer to, came I suppose during debate on a rather infamous piece of legislation, Bill 4, which unfortunately carried in the House but was never proclaimed and has since become obsolete. It carried with the blessing, I suppose, of the NDP at the time, who I guess very sincerely hoped that it would add some regularity and some rationale to regulated transportation.

Fortunately, our party voted against it with the view that it was a somewhat arbitrary piece of legislation that would have put a tremendous number of small business people out of business overnight, and at the same time would have caused a great deal of dislocation to the manufacturing sector that they served, the sector that relied on them.

It was a rather extensive and heated debate at the time and I recall I suggested we establish a select committee to look at, not only that particular issue, the issue of leasing and gypsy truckers and unregulated transportation, but also all facets of transportation. The select committee in fact was formed and announced on May 25, 1976.

My House leader at the time, the member for Kitchener (Mr. Breithaupt), called me at my constituency office and indicated to me that the government had seen the wisdom in the suggestion we had put and felt that it was time to take a look at this whole issue in a rather non-partisan sense. To that end I can suggest, Mr. Speaker, that the select committee did just that. We set aside our partisan feelings and directed ourselves to the rather arduous and complicated task of examining regulated transportation.

As directed, we tabled an interim report, which I believe was tabled in November or December of 1976; and in that interim report we indicated some of the basic principles to which we adhered. On no occasion were there any dissents to the reports. They were on time and they were unanimous. They were unanimous, Mr. Speaker, in the adoption of the principle of regulated transportation.

Most specifically, I think in our final report, which was ironically tabled just several hours before the call of the last election on April 29, 1977, we indicated the necessity to retain the principles of regulation. With your permission, Mr. Speaker, just for the benefit of the House, because I don’t believe we have debated this particular report, and it is not my intent to do so today, but I would like to record the fact that we said the following:

“Fundamental to the recommendations of the committee is the assumption of continued provincial control over commercial vehicles on provincial highways; that transportation as a development tool has the ability to assist in the bringing of equity to people, communities, to producers and to our society in general; that it is in the public interest to ensure that Ontario has: (a) The ability to move goods; (b) the flexibility to expand, contract or shift that ability in recognition of changing market conditions; (c) the flexibility to move goods to assist in the achievement of objectives outside the transport system; and (d) the ability to control the movement of goods so it will be: (1) safe, (2) energy efficient, (3) equitable in its availability, (4) regular and stable, and (5) affordable. It is the desire of this committee to establish objectives together with policies designed to achieve these objectives.”

Of course to accomplish those particular and rather worthy goals can only be done in the context of a regulated system of transportation. In fact, appreciating the importance of that, the Minister of Transportation and Communication (Mr. Snow) said on the occasion of April 6, the second reading of Bill 4 which I previously referred to: “I think that this is one of those industries -- ” the trucking industry “ -- which would be in complete chaos without regulation.” That I think, in a nutshell, indicates probably the concern the minister at least had at the time for the principle of regulation.

It is with, I suppose, some concern that I view some of the suggestions in the Speech from the Throne. As of today, with regard to some of the suggestions made and the legislation tabled, although I haven’t had a chance to go over the legislation in detail at this time, I must say I am concerned about what appears to be some radical departure within the government, and by that same minister himself who has been a great adherent in the past of regulated transportation and who is now moving in a selective way to deregulate transportation in this province.

It has been some time since we had the tabling of both the interim and the final reports, and both members of the New Democratic Party and members of our party have been concerned about the delay in the implementation of the report. I think inherent in our concern was the fact that we hoped the report itself would be accepted and implemented. It was widely acclaimed by the industry and the consumer public alike, who felt it was an appropriate report and one that was worthy of implementation.

On the occasion of the last convention -- I think it was the 51st annual convention -- of the Ontario Trucking Association, the Premier (Mr. Davis), on the front page of their book -- and with your permission, Mr. Speaker, I read this into the record, because I know you would like to have the Premier’s words of wisdom on the record as it relates to his comments in this letter. He said: “Your association has long demonstrated a regard for maintaining the highest of standards in safety and courtesy on our highways, and the initiation of your campaign to promote greater safety awareness by both public and commercial drivers deserves our highest commendation.

“I would also like to express my deepest appreciation for the Ontario Trucking Association for their efforts on behalf of energy conservation, a concern which is of paramount importance to us all, and for their continuing contribution to the economic growth of our great province.

“On behalf of the government and the people of Ontario, may I express to all my very best wishes for a stimulating and productive convention in 1977 and for every success in your future endeavours.”

I am just wondering now why he has suggested through the Speech from the Throne that we are going to have some selective deregulation, and I will get into the minutiae of that in a moment. I wonder what he will write if he is asked to write a letter on the occasion of the 52nd annual convention, if in fact he is the Premier at that time.

On the occasion of the 51st convention, both myself and the critic for the New Democratic Party indicated our concerns as they related to the very serious importance of implementing this report and getting on with the business of regulated transportation with regard to hauling of freight by for-hire carriers.

On that occasion, I said to the association -- and again, with your indulgence, I would quote: “I am referring now to the problems identified by the select committee, which will not go away.” And, Mr. Speaker, they will not. Many will remain like cancerous sores unless some immediate attention is given. To that end, I sincerely hope that the minister will be able to convince, not only his cabinet colleagues but more significantly the bureaucrats in his ministry that effective legislation is needed now.

I am sorry he is not in his seat here today, because on behalf of his party I know he does share my concern, the member for Etobicoke (Mr. Philip), the NDP critic, who said: “The select committee tabled its report on April 24, 1977, yet we have seen little evidence of legislation being brought forth as a result of it.”

The minister himself did on that occasion acknowledge that in fact they had been dragging their feet. I think the reason they have been dragging their feet is that the bureaucrats, the very bureaucrats who have caused this problem in the first place, have been ignoring the report, ignoring the suggestions of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party caucus, of which there were a number of members who signed that report -- again a unanimous report -- and most important ignoring the excellent advice they’d been getting by the Ontario Highway Transport Board itself, and of course the Ontario Trucking Association.

The minister went on to say that though there were some obvious problems he didn’t want to get into Band-Aids or confusing, ad hoc regulations. He indicated that some legislation would be forwarded to us for debate in December. I want to say that is definitely not the case. We have not seen the legislation. It is only today that we have seen some legislation, and I believe we are long overdue for that.

What did he do after the tabling of the report of the select committee? He set up a task force of these very bureaucrats who have thumbed their noses at the Ontario Legislature and at the thesis inherent in the report that we have made. While there have been some suggestions in the compendium today that indicate that some of our suggestions will be adhered to, for the most part a number of them are going to be ignored.

Mr. Breithaupt: It’s not a Band-Aid, it’s a total amputation.

Mr. Cunningham: In the Speech from the Throne they said: “The government has concluded that the adoption of a policy for selective deregulation of the trucking industry will go a long way to removing the inequities that remain.” It almost sounds as if Professor Norman Bonsor and the Ontario Economic Council have somehow found the ear of the great laissez-faire economist, the Hon. Darcy McKeough, and that somehow he has now taken on, in addition to his municipal responsibilities and that of Treasury, the responsibilities of Minister of Transportation and Communications. There are times when I could say that might be an improvement, but this is not one of them.

Mr. Foulds: Quote more from Norman Bonsor.

Mr. Cunningham: We just may. I just happen to have his report right here. The member for Port Arthur, I know, is probably a great adherent of Professor Bonsor.

Mr. Foulds: No, no; he’s a great adherent of mine but doesn’t know it.

Mr. Cunningham: The Bonsor report, of course, is in the latest report by the Ontario Economic Council. If I could digress on the Ontario Economic Council -- was never attracted to the feelings that the former member for Hamilton Mountain had with regard to that organization, that they were in any way subversive. Not too bright sometimes, but I never thought they were subversive.

The rather strange adoption or embracing of Bonsor’s report, which I must say is not exactly a scholarly piece of literature in any way -- were I a university professor grading Economics 20, I’m afraid I’d have to flunk Professor Bonsor. I am not, so I guess he can pass for the time being.

What really bothers me, if I could digress again, is that he is teaching our children somewhere. People are going through universities and are actually being taught by guys like this. They have tenure and they’re compensated at a level probably in excess of the level that we compensate the hon. member for Port Arthur, notwithstanding the fact that --

Mr. Foulds: Higher, much higher.

Mr. Cunningham: Much higher.

Mr. Bounsall: About the same again.

Mr. Cunningham: He probably has a pension too.

Mr. Foulds: He’d probably flunk you too.

Mr. Bounsall: You’ll never draw yours.

Mr. Cunningham: I’m not looking forward to having to draw a pension.

I’d like to indicate the concern of a couple of people in the industry. I know from time to time certain members of the Legislature brook no favour with the private sector. But in our select committee report, certainly the members of the committee were unanimous in their appreciation for the job done by the private carriers in Ontario. Many of them have been in business for 30 or 40 years, and day after day attempted to do business in a very fair and ethical way -- sometimes making profits of one or two per cent, sometimes making no profit at all, hoping that the next year will be better. Year after year some of them live almost on a shoestring to do business.

Here’s a letter that I got. It was directed to the hon. Premier (Mr. Davis), and I would like to share at least parts of it with you. It’s from R. J. Franks Transport Limited, Alliston, Ontario. I guess that would be the constituency of the hon. Minister of the Environment (Mr. McCague), who unfortunately can’t be in his seat today. It says:


“Dear Sir: It is a great shock to read the extract from the Throne Speech, February 21, 1978. I have been in the trucking business for the past 20 years, having come out of the air force as a leading aircraftsman after six years of service, borrowed money from the local parish credit union and bought a truck with limited D and F PCV operating authority.

“I have struggled and worked hard since that time, acquiring operating authority in both Canada and the USA bit by bit and at great expense to operate” -- and I want to stress this -- “within the laws, laws which this government put upon us and enforced whenever it suited them. I have spent time and money trying to do what the government said we must do in the trucking industry.

“I have now built a fleet of 43 tractors and 45 trailers, obtained a two-acre parcel of land and made an offer for two more acres. We employ” -- I want to stress this part -- “52 people and are in the midst of opening a branch in Timmins, Ontario, as well as an office now operating in Farmington, Michigan. We are constantly purchasing new equipment so we can run as safely and economically as possible, and this becomes a great financial responsibility.

We have appeared before the select committee. We have appeared before the PCV board. We have appeared before the ICC in the United States. We have appeared before the Quebec licensing board. We have tried to operate a successful business which I can pass on to my two sons, and I am becoming more frustrated by the government themselves, by the slipshod way that things are done.

“I am enclosing letters from myself to Mr. Gregory of the enforcement branch about some carriers that operate outside the law. If you note the dates on my letters and Mr. Gregory’s letter, and the dates on the reinstatement of the so-called offenders, you will see why I shake my head in disbelief. I use this only as one example.

“Then I look at the extract from the Throne Speech which says that the high costs are a concern and that selective deregulation will go a long way to removing the inequities that remain. I wonder, will the government cut the cost of fuel going up north so that the price will be the same in Hearst as Toronto to help the so-called situation? Will they help the Toronto Star deliver its papers as economically to Thunder Bay as to Alliston and so on? Will they deregulate all the freight that Ontario Northland carries, as it is a government-owned trucking company and we can use the freight for an uphaul and probably do it cheaper?

“The select committee recommended that truckers who operate legally from October 1974 to 1976 be allowed to obtain licences under the PCV Act. If this is true, then the only smart trucker is a crooked one. Maybe the operators that stayed within the authority were damn fools. Maybe we can rob banks for two years and that will be okay.”

There is a further point farther down here. He talks about a further amendment in the Act to exempt transportation of lumber and lumber products -- and the word “byproducts” should be of great concern to these people in this industry.

He says: “Even as this goes on here, there are hearings concerning lumber and lumber byproducts being held at the Ontario Highway Transport Board at great expense to the trucking industry and at great expense to the Ontario taxpayer because we pay for the operation of that board and last year the cost was in excess of $600,000 or $700,000. I can’t help but think why in hell I am paying approximately $20,000 a year for PCV plates, never mind all the other taxes and fines imposed upon us.”

Then last, but not least, he says: “When a governing body then can say exempt lumber and lumber byproducts entirely, why not exempt everything, because you see, sir, I have built a business on trucking lumber and lumber byproducts and have outlived the gypsies that you wish to license so easily? If the government is prepared to do away with licensing in total so we can all operate on the service basis or price war, it will not work. Why license someone just because they broke the law? Why deregulate a product to accommodate a few?”

I think the people of northern Ontario and the smaller communities in the province of Ontario should be very concerned about the possibility of selective deregulation, I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, if such a thing occurs it will be the lucrative areas, the highly populated areas, that will become the areas that the trucking industry is inclined to serve for basic reasons of economics, and the smaller communities will receive very little service whatsoever.

I would further suggest that the large “A” carriers, many of whom are owned and dominated by foreign interests, especially in the United States, will be able to get involved in monopolistic practices through predatory pricing and the small operations -- and this operation that I refer to here is really a small operation in the context of regulated transportation -- will go under. The Ontario consumer will be at the peril of these large international interests and will go under.

I suggest that after that has happened, we would be then at the mercy of these large international concerns and that we would pay through the nose. The areas that are going to get it even worse, and they are being subjected to a great deal of difficulties at this time, are those outlying areas and the areas of northern Ontario. They, in fact, will face much higher freight rates than they already have now and it will become even more expensive to live in those particular communities.

Those in a nutshell are some of the ramifications of deregulating. Certainly we can look at people who have operated in the past on a rather legitimate leasing or buy/sell arrangement, and pursuant to our select committee report consider that they may be able to make applications to the Highway Transport Board and if they meet the requirements, as we have suggested within the report, and generally the suggestions we made in our report were accepted by the industry, then in fact that particular group should be admitted and thereafter operate under law.

I am concerned about the legislation that we had tabled today, and quoting from some of the explanatory notes, these are areas that in fact may receive, if the House so desires, some consideration for deregulation: fresh fruit or fresh vegetables; logs; timber; rough or dressed lumber; wooden ties; poles; plywood; particleboard; waferboard; fibreboard; veneer; wood chips; shavings; sawdust; wood; floor; farm or forest produce other than livestock or milk; ready-mixed concrete; waste, including ashes, garbage, refuse, domestic waste, industrial waste, municipal refuse; hay; straw; livestock; feed; grain; seed; turf; sod; et cetera; blocks of clay, concrete or cinder; bricks; cement; masonry cement or lime; tile or pipe. These are all things that effectively could be deregulated if the legislation were to receive approval and be passed into law.

A very serious number of companies would go down the drain. Communities and people that they serve would be put in a serious position of disadvantage and a number of people who have gone out of their way to invest their own money in the private sector, recognizing that we live in a regulated system and that they would operate within the law, those very people who lived up to the obligations of Ontario law and regulation would be put in a position of disadvantage.

This is another letter that was sent to me from Keith Faritz, of Faritz Brothers Limited. This is an individual, I want to say to you, Mr. Speaker, who accepted very maturely I believe the recommendation by the select committee and subsequently the regulation by the government that we involve ourselves in a program of reciprocity with the United States. We are the only major province in North America that has not effected intelligent reciprocal legislation with the United States. We have been dragging our rears for a long time.

Finally, after the report of the committee, the government saw the necessity to do this. Of course, the implementation of this cost this gentleman some money, but he realizes this idea had a time that had come and that it was important that we have some freer movement of goods across the border, and this cost him some money. He accepted that but what he doesn’t accept -- and it becomes clear in his letter when he says:

“Gentlemen, over the 25 years Zavitz Brothers has become a specialist in the movement of bananas. Our 80 trucks and 110 families depend on Zavitz Brothers Limited trucking bananas. If some sort of deregulation is inevitable in order to retain reciprocity with Georgia, South Carolina and Florida we are very concerned that bananas not be included in a blanket clause definition of fruits and vegetables.

“Our case is as follows: By nature bananas are different from other fruits and vegetables because they do not grow in the continental USA or Canada. Our extraprovincial operating licence” -- which he attached here -- “states that we can move bananas provided the moment is made in conjunction with the complementary authority of the ICC in the United States.” They made application for that and it was granted. “Bananas are not an exempt commodity in the United States. In the composite commodity list of the ICC they are specifically mentioned as not exempt. Bananas are not classified as a fruit or vegetable in Quebec. They receive special status.

“In summary, we would like to submit that in any legislation to be tabled in Ontario, bananas should be treated as a separate commodity and not included as fruit and vegetables.”

I see here that they will be, and if such legislation were passed that would be the end of Zavitz Brothers Limited and tough luck to the 110 families that rely on Mr. Zavitz to sign pay cheques.

It must be difficult sometimes to be a member of the government party and not have the pleasure, I suppose -- and maybe the fiscal gain -- of sitting on the executive council. I really can’t tell you how frustrating it would be to go to a government caucus meeting, having signed this report. And here are some of the members who signed: the chief government whip signed the report, the member for Mississauga East (Mr. Gregory); the member for Algoma-Manitoulin (Mr. Lane) signed the report, and worked very hard to see that we had an intelligent report. A hard-working member of the committee was the member for Durham --

Mr. Foulds: East.

Mr. Cunningham: -- East, who is no longer here. Mr. Moffatt worked very hard. In fact, probably one of the reasons -- if he’d just taken a week off of the committee and spent a little more time back home, we’d be tied --

An hon. member: To win Durham East.

Mr. Cunningham: -- we’d be tied, and the present member for Durham East (Mr. Cureatz) wouldn’t be here. He is not in his seat. He shouldn’t heckle when he’s not in his seat.

Mr. Foulds: You’re seldom here anyway, Sam.

Mr. Cunningham: The former member may be back anyway and inject a little common sense into his party.

An hon. member: I don’t think so. He has got such a good job at OTS.

Mr. Mackenzie: His contribution doesn’t compare either, in the House.

Mr. Cunningham: The member for Oriole (Mr. Williams), whom I never see here, signed the report. The member for Prescott and Russell (Mr. Belanger) signed the report.

Mr. Foulds: Certainly no homeowners’ grants with the former member.

Mr. Cunningham: And the hon. -- I want to stress this -- the hon. member for Scarborough Centre (Mr. Drea ) -- he too signed the report. It was, in short, a unanimous report. And in this report -- all 11 pounds of it -- we have, I think, an effective and intelligent start, at least, for a transportation policy -- finally, after 30 years in the province.

But what do the hon. Treasurer and the hon. member for Oakville, the Minister of Transportation and Communications, tell these people who worked so hard and spent so much of their time? What do they tell these people who signed this report? What do they tell Mr. Franks of Franks Transport, and Zavitz Brothers? I guess he tells them that in some laissez-faire approach to free-enterprise and the open competition aspect of things in this province that we’re going to deregulate things and it’s going to be tough for them.

It just is a fundamental disappointment to me. I would like to have seen that caucus in operation. I would have liked to see the concerns put by these members. I know they’re concerned because they attended these meetings day after day and experienced -- I left out the distinguished member for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell --

Mr. Villeneuve: Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry.

Mr. Cunningham: I’m sorry. Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry -- who worked so very hard on it. He indicated concerns about some inequities as they relate to the Ministry of Revenue and some of the problems that milk producers were having, and the problems of collecting gas tax. I rather doubt that the Ministry of Revenue has still addressed itself to the difficulties that the hon. member for Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry expressed on behalf of his constituents.

I can only say it is a tremendous disappointment to see a report that was as costly as this, but accepted unanimously by members of the committee. We set aside all of our partisan feelings and we have come up with two intelligent reports embracing not only the idea of reciprocity but the maintenance and the continuation of an intelligent regulatory system in this province.

To come in here today, as the Minister of Transportation did -- largely, I would suggest, at the direction of the hon. Treasurer who seems to be the guy who runs things around here -- and suggest that overnight we’re going to put these people who truck these commodities that I’ve mentioned, Mr. Zavitz or Mr. Franks or many of the other companies who rely on this freight and have for a number of years -- to put them out of business overnight, I can only say I’m repulsed.

Mr. Davidson: Unlike some who have risen in their places to speak to the Throne Speech and claim to have done so with pleasure, I can find very little to stand here and feel pleased about after having read the Throne Speech a little more closely. I thought it lacked substance when I heard it read from the throne, but once having read it and having had the opportunity to fine-screen it, I found that like grains of sand everything disappeared through the screen and there was very little left for anyone to take out and put into operation.


I did find, however, a couple of things in it that I thought I’d like to discuss with members today. One of them appears on page eight, and it says: “While we recognize that certain sectors of our economy will benefit from freer and fairer trade, we remain concerned about the likelihood of real reciprocity being achieved.”

I would like to know how much that concern is. I say so because I go back to October 1977 when the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) went to a federal-provincial conference in Quebec, and he, along with Jacques Parizeau told reporters that reduced protection is necessary to enable Canada to argue for lower tariffs on other products on which it can compete during current world trade

That statement as it appeared in the papers created a great deal of concern among many industries in the province of Ontario. I say “industries” because in most cases we get accused of protecting only the workers in the province. Let me assure the members that while I am far more in favour of protecting the worker, I can assure them also that I am in favour of protecting a company that must hire workers, particularly at a time when here in the province of Ontario we have over 300,000 seeking employment and very few jobs available for them.

What really would have happened had Mr. McKeough’s and Mr. Parizeau’s statement been implemented immediately? The Canadian Textile Institute points out that had that taken place, some 200,000 jobs would have been lost in Canada in the textile industry alone, a large number of those being here in the province of Ontario, where between Ontario and Quebec, the greatest textile business takes place. Two hundred thousand jobs in one industry -- because of Mr. McKeough’s proposal to reduce tariffs.

Let’s see what some of these people have had to say on this. “Reduced or phased-out tariffs in the textile and clothing industry could cost 200,000 jobs nationally because the industry cannot compete with cheap imports.” That’s not my statement -- that’s the statement of William Barry of Montreal, who is the director of the Canadian Textile Institute.

Let’s take a look at some local people. W. H. Cline, who owns W. H. Cline Company Limited in Kitchener, said: “It’s bloody earth-shaking. It should cause us great concern as Canadians.” He goes on to say, “The politicians are threatening the viability of the industry.”

Again, here we have a situation where in the province of Ontario we have in excess of 300,000 unemployed. We have no job creation programs being implemented by the government of the province and yet we have the Treasurer of this province advocating a policy that would throw people out of work and put more people on the lists of unemployed in the province.

That just doesn’t make sense to me. It doesn’t make sense at all. So when the Throne Speech came out, I thought perhaps somewhere in this document it would say what this government is going to do to create jobs, to put the people who are displaced because of this kind of a proposal back to work.

Maybe they’re right. Maybe eventually we do have to approach a freer trade policy. Maybe we can’t always offer the protectionism that is being offered at the present time, but let’s not do anything of the kind that Mr. McKeough is proposing until jobs are available for the people who will be displaced.

If we don’t have jobs available for them, we would have headlines such as this one from the Kitchener-Waterloo area: “Proposed textile tariff cut threatens 5,000 area jobs.” That headline would spread right across the province of Ontario into each little community where textile mills exist; and that is in one industry. One could also include shoes, plastics, small appliances. Lord knows how many people would be thrown out of work by the kind of a policy that the Treasurer of this province is advocating.

So I picked up this document and I thought there must be something in there to tell me what they are going to do; there has to be something there to show me where they are going to create jobs. And lo and behold, what do I find? I find that this government, in the richest province in the country, is going to create 36,000 jobs at a cost of $26 million, most of that being short-term summer work for students. Even at that, there are to be thousands of students unemployed during the summer months, because that comes nowhere near meeting the requirement that is needed for student employment.

I thought that disappointed me. So I thought maybe they are right. Maybe we shouldn’t protect these places anymore. Then I found out something very interesting, that the textile industry alone paid out in wages in 1976 some $850 million. I said to myself this money is going to be taken out of our economy. These people aren’t going to make $850 million. That money is not going to be spent. Once again, our economy is going to be driven to the back wall.

I became a little more concerned when I read further on in the report of the Canadian Textile Institute. I read there is a growing market for textiles based on increased consumption in Canada. The share of the market served by domestic producers has dropped from 64 per cent in 1964 to 39 per cent in 1976. That is rather funny, because the United States, which is a large producer of textiles but is also a country into which imports are allowed, has set a policy whereby it is producing and using domestically 85 per cent of its requirements. Here we are at 39 per cent and we have a Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) in this province telling us that he is going to reduce tariffs even further.

Let me tell you something, Mr. Speaker, I worked in the textile industry for 25 years. Outside of the large conglomerates that exist, most of the textile industries in the province of Ontario are owner-operated by small businessmen employing in many cases anywhere from 20 to 100 people. They exist in the smaller communities throughout the province; and in many small towns and communities throughout Ontario they are the only industry in those towns and the only industry that provides employment for the people living in those towns.

Mr. Kerrio: You finally found some common ground.

Mr. Davidson: If this proposal is implemented, we are not only going to have 200,000 people out of work but we are going to have plant closures throughout the province of Ontario; we are going to have small communities in which there are no employment opportunities because the plants aren’t there anymore. We’re going to have all kinds of disruption taking place throughout this province, based on one policy that really should not be looked at or even considered until the government has taken care of the job problem in this province at this time. It hasn’t done so. It is nowhere close to doing so. It doesn’t even have a job-creation program.

Here we are looking at a program that really is not going to be beneficial to anyone, except the large conglomerates. I said in the estimates of Industry and Tourism that the policy of the Conservative government of this province would destroy the initiative of the small businessman in the textile industry in this province and that the government would be selling out to the multi-national corporations at the expense of the Ontario investor.

As a matter of fact -- and this is again a quote from Mr. Cline, a small businessman with a plant in Kitchener; I don’t know how many people he employs, but it’s not a large plant: “It’s an abrupt about-face on everything the government has said in the past.” The Canadian Textile Institute said almost exactly the same thing. They said: “It is essential that the announced federal and provincial government goals of restoring employment in these industries be achieved.”

Somewhere along the line, both the federal and provincial governments have led these people to believe they would have the protection that was necessary for them to continue their business, to try to build it up and to make it once again a viable industry. Instead, we have a Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) over there, who is prepared to throw everything like that down the drain, to throw people out on the street or whatever.

I looked again, because I thought I might be wrong on that one -- nine times out of 10 I’m not always right. Then I read an announcement by the Minister of Labour (B. Stephenson) about the minimum wage. After months and months of both opposition parties asking when the minister was going to bring in a new minimum wage, and after hearing for months that she was waiting for some study or some report, when that report finally did come down we found that she has increased the minimum wage to $2.85 an hour and then, as of January 1, 1979, to $3.

When one looks at what is happening in this province today, people yell and scream about $2.85. Employers are saying, “That’s too much. How are you going to make it $3?” What is $2.85 an hour? Based on the normal 40-hour week, that’s $114; by the time you take deductions off it, it comes to about $90 take-home pay. I ask any one of the government members, “Would you be prepared to live on $90 a week?” Better yet, I should ask, “Could you live on $90 a week?” I doubt very much if they could.

Mr. Mackenzie: Some of them have enough stored-up fat.

Mr. Davidson: Even when it goes to $3 an hour, that is $120 a week; with deductions, it’s still less than $100 take-home pay. To squeeze even that amount out of this government has taken months of opposition pressure to get some kind of movement in that direction. Even at that, we’re still fourth or fifth in the country in terms of minimum wage.

What have we done in the minimum wage? They’ve used the same old rigmarole about people working in restaurants and places where alcohol is consumed and are still relying on tips to pay those people. They rely on tips to say: “We keep their wages down to $2.50 an hour because they get tips and that shouldn’t be looked at in terms of wages.”

Hon. Mr. Baetz: There’s nothing wrong with tips. I worked my way through college on them,

Mr. Hodgson: What do you recommend for a minimum wage?

Mr. Mackenzie: A lot more than you’re willing to pay.

Mr. Davidson: The hon. member knows our policy on the minimum wage. We fought it in the last election campaign. If he can’t remember the figure, I would suggest he go back and read some of the statements that have been made.

Mr. Hodgson: I can remember very well. It was $4 an hour.

Mr. Mackenzie: You’re darn right. We’ve never backed off it either.

Mr. Davidson: Here again, in terms of the minimum wage, the government can’t do anything without discriminating against somebody. Here they’re discriminating mainly against women who work as waitresses and in many cases single-parent women who require that income in order to maintain their families. But the government takes the attitude that they all get tips. It may be true in some of the high-class joints the government members go to, where high tips are paid, but there are a heck of a lot of women working in small, side street restaurants somewhere who perhaps pick up nickels and dimes but they sure aren’t getting any high wages. Yet the government can’t seem to take that into consideration.


Even worse, the government maintains the student level at $2.15 an hour. Most student employment takes place in the summer months. Most of the students go to work because they are trying to accumulate some money so that they can go back and attend their school in the next semester, pay their tuition fees, do whatever it is that is necessary to find accommodation, et cetera, but the government says, “No, no, they are only worth $2.15 an hour.”

I find it a little tough to think that in most plants that I have had the opportunity to go into -- textile plants and steel plants -- there’s a job to be done and if they get a student in there to do that job it may very well be that there’s a full-time employee doing that same work for $3 or $4 or $5 an hour, but what the government is saying is that the company has the right to hire some kid to do exactly the same work for $2.15 an hour, and at the same time it raises tuition fees and cuts back on grants to students. Boy, oh boy, the government has it all under control and I only wish it knew what it was doing with it. Here we have a minimum wage program that really isn’t the best to begin with and it discriminates against various people in our society.

I was going to talk a little bit about the lack of mention of property tax in here. Most members have heard the story about the problems that have existed in Cambridge, problems that were first recognized in 1976, in terms of tax inequities, where many people are paying anywhere from 40 to 50 per cent above what their normal taxes should be The ratepayers association, the city council and myself have been trying since 1976 to bring a permanent solution to that problem.

Last year we were able to get a Band-Aid solution and some of them got rebates which really didn’t amount to much, but this year we thought we had the solution to the problems. They met with the former Minister of Revenue. The city did. The ratepayers did. I held discussions with some of her staff. We got the entire region of Waterloo to request that they implement market value assessment, put it in as a trial program so that these inequities would be solved, at least within the Waterloo region, and at the same time the government would have had the opportunity to see how market value assessment was going to work, or whether it was going to work. Every municipality in the Waterloo region sent letters to the government requesting that this be done.

I find today from the new Minister of Revenue (Mr. Maeck) that they are not going to do that. They are once more going to get out the first-aid box and apply another Band-Aid. The answer to that is this, I am afraid: We don’t need any more Band-Aids, the amputation is too big. The people can’t afford to pay any longer and the government had better start now coming up with a permanent solution to the problem or the municipality may find itself in very serious difficulty, because those people have threatened to withhold their taxes. It affects over some 1,000 households, so one can put that in terms of dollars.

I think I have probably taken almost all of the time I should have, other than to say there is a bit of a discussion taking place in our area now between the Minister of Transportation and Communications (Mr. Snow) and our city regarding a highway bypass. The city of Kitchener also wants a highway bypass. There is a little bit of argument at the regional level as to which one should be built first, the argument being that this government doesn’t provide sufficient funds to the region to build both.

I would suggest that perhaps in terms of producing some jobs in that area, perhaps in accommodating both municipalities, that the government invest a little money into capital projects that allow municipalities to carry out the work that has to be done. That will put some of our people back to work, particularly those in the construction industry, and they will once again have money in their pockets. They will be able to go out and buy the new refrigerator or television set that they had been hoping to get before they were laid off. That, in turn, will create work in other areas and in other industries. And, who knows, if that kind of thing happens, maybe the prophecy of the charter for Ontario will come true. Maybe the government will create 100,000 jobs; but as a government, it has to invest first. And unless it invests, it won’t happen.

In closing, I would like to say one thing about the Glendale ATC -- the adult training centre. Three colleagues of mine, the member for Hamilton Mountain (Mr. Charlton), the member for High Park-Swansea (Mr. Ziemba), the member for Brantford (Mr. Makarchuk) and myself, toured the Glendale ATC. It is our opinion that it is a mistake to be closing that facility, because we feel it does the job it was set up to do. We received many letters from people within the community, and what impressed me more than anything else were letters from the inmates themselves, who were pointing out the benefits that the program had given them during their time there. We feel it is a mistake for it to be shut down.

Along with some of the Liberal members, we attended on Monday morning a meeting with the Minister of Correctional Services (Mr. Drea), and we left that meeting with an understanding that an effort would be made to have the ATC closing brought before the committee on justice. I am given to understand today that that meeting is not going to take place; for some reason the government doesn’t want to bring in people before a committee of this Legislature to question the closing of Glendale -- people who perhaps have more information than we have available. So that meeting will not take place, and it is most unfortunate. I can only suggest that if the government was so sure that the closing of Glendale was in the best public interest, they wouldn’t hesitate to allow the public to come in and sit before that committee to state their reasons.

I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to sound off, Mr. Speaker. As I said earlier when I began, I didn’t find too much in the Throne Speech to be pleased about. But I guess I should be pleased that you have allowed me the opportunity to stand in my place and say what I felt. Thank you very much.

Mr. MacBeth: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, for recognizing me at this great distance; I am now sitting further from you than in the past. I want to extend my felicitations to you, as you again occupy the Speaker’s chair. Last time I was speaking -- I think it was in the budget debate -- I complimented you on your sonorous voice and the way it echoed through this chamber. I think I compared it to the whistle of one of our great northern steam engines in days gone by, as it used to whistle across the pre-Cambrian shield. And in view of the fact that you have recognized me today at this distance, I am now going to compliment you on your eyesight, sir, and say that you have the eyesight of one of our great Canadian eagles. I wish your stay in the chair to be a long one.

I also extend my best wishes to your Deputy Speaker for keeping this House in order and to all those who make the work of this House tick. That includes, of course, those at the clerk’s chair at the table, the Deputy Speaker and the chairman of the committee of the whole. To all of you, I extend my best wishes.

I also want to say a word to one or two who have recently been appointed to the cabinet, the government of this province. They take on a very onerous responsibility. Sometimes I think that the press and others are too critical of them and don’t necessarily give them a chance to function. But in any event, that’s the way our democratic system works. Having had some experience with the weight of cabinet responsibility, I extend to those four new members of cabinet my very best wishes as they in turn take up this responsibility. I know they’ll do it to the best of their ability.

Likewise, to the new parliamentary assistants. The post of parliamentary assistant is proving a very worthwhile training ground for members of cabinet, and I wish them well.

I have agreed with the member for Nipissing (Mr. Bolan), who cannot be here this evening -- as I cannot be -- that we would split the time remaining before 6 o’clock, so I’ll only deal with one subject and I’ll move along quickly. I wish to speak on a theme that I have spoken on in this House before. That is the subject of the British North America Act.

The Throne Speech, of course, is concerned with the immediate problem of Canadian unity and of the economic conditions in which we find ourselves at the present time. I have faith in this country. I have faith that Canada will remain together and I have great faith that we will come out of our economic plight.

However, I am concerned with a longer problem that I see in connection with the British North America Act. I think that this government and the federal government, and perhaps the governments of all the provinces are not paying the attention that should be paid to getting on with the work of looking at our constitution in a spirit of co-operation and a spirit of trying to remedy the problems that exist today in Canada. There are problems and we all know that.

I think that a review of the constitution is needed. I know attempts have been made at a review before, but I am afraid those attempts have been made too much on a partisan basis, too much on a local basis -- either provincial or regional -- and not sufficiently on the basis on which the Fathers of Confederation originally looked at the problem: What can we do to have the best country for all of us and still have the best economic facility and the best cultural facility and all that goes with it? If we approach it too much from a regional basis, of course, that won’t happen.

The original Fathers of Confederation, I think, built better than they realized and better than some of us have given them credit for in the interval. It concerns me today that there is such overlapping in the responsibilities that Ottawa assumes and the responsibilities that we at the provincial level assume and the responsibilities that the municipal people assume. Co-operation is a good thing; it’s good for all of us to cooperate. Yet sometimes there should be no need for co-operation.

In other words, if we were all masters in those fields that we are purported to be in control of, then we wouldn’t need to cooperate with the municipalities and we wouldn’t need to co-operate with the federal government. We could each bear the proper responsibility that we should if our individual responsibilities were set out.

In other words, if we want to do some housing now, it’s not only the municipality that’s involved, it’s the province, and there may be some federal grants as well. That means that you’ve got to co-operate. But if for any reason you don’t, or can’t, co-operate the project comes to a standstill.


It seems to me when the Fathers of Confederation drafted the BNA Act, sure there were some places where they talked about joint responsibility, such as in agriculture and transportation, but they did try to set out fairly clearly those matters that should be a provincial responsibility and those that should be federal. I think we have to return to a clearer picture in that regard. I think we have to sit down and decide, “All right, what should the provinces be looking after, what should the federal government be looking after, and what should the municipalities look after?”

In addition to redrafting those responsibilities and trying to make clearer lines -- and I know you can’t make them absolutely clear -- we should also give to those governments the power to support those responsibilities that we may eventually saddle them with.

In other words, it is a poor kind of business to say that the municipalities shall have the responsibility of collecting the garbage and the many other close-to-the citizen jobs that municipalities do, and not give them adequate means to look after those things.

Similarly, we in the province have to go to the federal government for handouts when we want to do certain things. The medical field, I suppose, is a prime example. We are saddled with the necessity of fitting ourselves into what the federal government wants us to do if we in turn want to carry out our responsibilities in the field of health. That means the federal government is trying to fit us all into the same mould across this country, whether there is a need for us to fit into that mould or not.

I am suggesting that this country of ours is sufficiently diverse -- and the Fathers of Confederation recognized that diversity -- that what is good for Nova Scotia is not necessarily good for Quebec, and what is good for Quebec is not necessarily good for Ontario. Originally, in setting out the division of powers, the Fathers of Confederation when it came to education said: “Yes, let Quebec run its own education system; let Ontario run its.” But now, because of the taxation system, if we want certain things, if we want to obtain certain grants from the federal government, then the federal government says: “Yes, if you do it this way, the same way as it is done in British Columbia or Quebec, we will give you those funds.” That to me is one of the flaws in the way our constitution has developed.

It wasn’t always this way. I think it has happened for a variety of reasons. First of all, I think the First World War, when the federal government got into the income tax, was the first move in that direction, For the sake of Canadian unity, and for the sake of the war effort at that time, the federal government got into income tax and, as we all know, it never got out of that field. But it proved, in the way the economy of the world developed, to be one of the most fertile fields to obtain money from the citizens, and I suppose, one of the fairest means.

Following the First World War, we got into the Depression -- and we remember the problems we had in those days -- and we decided that if only we had some cross-country unemployment insurance scheme managed by Ottawa, in that way we would be able to solve some of the problems that we had. So changes were made in the constitution to allow Ottawa to manage unemployment insurance, which under the original Act was a matter for the provinces to handle; so that became Ottawa’s.

Then, of course, there were a variety of court decisions that seemed to centralize the authority in Ottawa as opposed to provincial rights. Those court decisions have continued over the years, even though there was the suggestion recently by the present Chief Justice that he is certainly not a centralist when it comes to his decisions. I think the record of the Supreme Court of Canada in recent years -- certainly since the First World War -- has been towards centralizing power in Ottawa rather than on the basis of provincial rights.

Then came the Second World War, when the federal government doubled its taxation through the income tax and, of course, has kept that up.

The provinces have lost a great deal of their independence by reason of their becoming dependent on the handouts from the federal government for income tax. I think one of the faults we are currently suffering from in our constitution relates to the power to tax for the necessities that we have. In other words, the spending power should be the taxing power and the taxing power the spending power. We should have the authority to tax for those things that we have responsibility for administering. As I say, at the present time if we want to get certain grants from Ottawa, such as we do in health, then we have to fit ourselves into the common mould. The original BNA Act didn’t see it that way. It tried to set out very clear responsibilities and, as we all know, most of the monetary responsibilities set out under section 92 of the BNA Act, those things such as education, such as health, such as highways and transportation, those things that take the majority of the public expense, were given to the province. Yet those things that were given to the federal people to administer, such as the post office, should be self-supporting, self-sustaining; there are things given to the federal level that really call for very little expenditure, apart from national defence. Look at section 91, the big expenditure there would be national defence. Apart from that, those things that the federal government is financially responsible for by the constitution are a very small proportion of our public expenditures.

To bring my short talk on the constitution to a close, I am suggesting that we as legislators are remiss in not sifting down to look at the long-term future of this country and its constitutional problems. So many of us support Quebec in its theories. In other words, Quebec, through all of this, has been the one province that has stood up for provincial rights. So many of us have taken the attitude that we are Canadians first and provincial people second. That is good to a point, but in doing so, becoming centralists as so many of us have, we have tended to overlook the rights of the minority. We have tended to overlook some of the rights of the people of the province of Quebec, and Quebec has really been the one province that has shown us the way on this matter.

I am not speaking in any way against this great country of Canada, but I think Canada’s future would be better assured if we were looking at the division of the responsibilities more from a provincial way. I am sure it would keep Quebec happier. I am sure it would keep Alberta happier. I am sure it would keep Manitoba and British Columbia and some of the other provinces happier. The problem is some of the smaller provinces have had to go along with centralism in order to get the handouts that they have needed from the federal government to run this country.

I am not speaking in any way against the necessity for equalized payments. We must have equalized payments to the less fortunate provinces, but they should not be conditional payments. They should be the same kind of payments that the municipalities want us to make to them. They should be payments based on their various needs, based on a revamped formula, but it should be at their discretion how they expend them. Ottawa should not be in a position to dictate to those other provinces, “If you want this money you spend it this way.” There should be no strings attached to that.

What I am saying to this House is it is time that we as a nation, not to deal with the immediate problems but I think with the long-term problems, should be sitting down and in some constructive, non-partisan way looking at how we could bring our constitution up to date with a view to returning to the provinces those things that I think properly belong to them, and at the same time assuring both the provinces and the municipalities the taxation resources to look after those responsibilities that go with them. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I think I have taken about half the time.

Mr. Bolan: Before proceeding with the remarks which I have to make this afternoon I would like to thank the hon. member for Humber (Mr. MacBeth) for allowing me the opportunity of sharing his time. I have to be in North Bay at a meeting this evening; this was conveyed to the hon. member for Humber and he kindly relinquished his remaining time to me. I might say, through you, Mr. Speaker, to the hon. member for Humber, that having been involved over the past few years in the courts and having dealt with the various agencies of the office of the Solicitor General, I can say to him that the people with whom I have dealt thought highly of him as a minister.

Mr. Speaker, before I get on with the few remaining moments that I have I would like to pay congratulations to you for the manner in which you have handled this House. I might say that your stentorian voice has reverberated through these halls. It certainly has brought to this House and to all parties a definite feeling of impartiality. Again, I congratulate you on that.

Mr. Foulds: He had good early training.

Mr. Nixon: At least he keeps the NDP in order.

Mr. Foulds: Name him. He shouldn’t insult the Speaker like that.

Mr. Bolan: Unfortunately, I have run out of platitudes. In dealing with the Speech from the Throne, this rather pallid document which was read to us by the Lieutenant-Governor of this province last Tuesday --

Mr. Foulds: It’s full of platitudes.

Mr. Nixon: She’s doing a good job too.

Mr. Bolan: -- I did feel in a sense that she must have kept wondering to herself, “My goodness, what am I reading? What is this?” I did feel somewhat sorry for this honourable lady as she tried to --

Hon. Mr. Norton: Are you suggesting that she didn’t write it?

Mr. Bolan: -- grope through this document, which I really considered to be not a Speech from the Throne but rather an act of resignation by the ruling party.

Mr. Mancini: That was well put.

Hon. Mr. Norton: That is an insult to Her Honour.

Mr. Bolan: In fact, it goes beyond that. It is an act of abdication because when the government of the day cannot come up with more than is in this document, then it has forfeited the right to govern.

I would like to restrict my comments to those remarks in the speech which affect my area. I would like to deal, first of all, with the question of Crown land. Through some form of mysticism, the Minister of Natural Resources somehow was able to read into my mind and to put in this statement which he read in the House today a press release which I actually made yesterday morning to the North Bay Nugget. It’s amazing the similarity of the policy which he came out with and the policy which I said the Liberal Party should take.

Without breaking it down into the three stages which are set out in the statement by the minister, what I did say was that yes, Ontarians should have the right of ownership of Crown land; yes, other Canadians should have the right of ownership of Crown land; and no, non-residents should not have the right of ownership, but rather should be given an opportunity to lease Crown land in certain areas and in certain percentages after it has gone through a process whereby Canadians are first given entitlement to it. This is precisely what the minister has related to us in his statement.

However, as I say, I had said practically the same things yesterday morning in a release to the North Bay Nugget. The question was asked of the minister what he would do with those properties which are presently under lease. It would be my suggestion to the minister that those lots which are presently under lease to Canadians be transferred to them outright so they do have complete ownership of these lots. Those lots which are presently owned by non-Canadians should remain under lease, with the end result being that non-Canadians would not have the right to acquire permanent ownership of Crown lands.


One must remember that if a non-Canadian is interested in acquiring title to land, there are vast quantities owned privately by individuals right across the province. So if they are interested in acquiring title to land, it can be done.

Dealing with another subject which is very close to my heart -- the situation which exists in northeastern Ontario -- I would like to refer to page 11 in the Speech from the Throne. This is where the government proposes measures to alleviate the problems which exist in northeastern Ontario. The second paragraph reads as follows:

“New measures relative to regional and resource developments are proposed to provide direct assistance to northern and eastern Ontario as priority areas and the overall economic thrust of Ontario’s growth and development.”

And that’s it. This is the proposal of this government for an area which it very well knows is already suffering from economic disparity. This is the proposal of a government which has failed to even try to implement the six studies which have come from this government since 1958. There have been some six studies made as to how to deal with northern Ontario -- some specifically with northeastern Ontario -- and all of these have resulted in complete failure. I am not aware that any significant aspects of any of those particular reports were implemented. I understand there is another one coming out as well some time this month, and it must be very questionable just what that document will contain.

I look at northeastern Ontario just as you, Mr. Speaker, have looked at northwestern Ontario. I look at the resource industry town, a town which grows up based on a certain resource being available, I am speaking particularly about a non-renewable resource.

As the town grows the taxpayers of Ontario, of Canada, and of the municipality, invest millions of dollars to set up the infrastructure to support that community. They build schools, they put in sewage, they put in water, they put in treatment plants. They set up what is known as the infrastructure. They build roads for it. Then when the day comes that the non-renewable resource runs out, the town fails and the very expensive capital investment in that community all goes for naught.

This is one thing I have noticed in my short time here, there does not appear to be any type of plan by this government to try to protect its investment. Basically that’s what it is. When you put millions of dollars into the infrastructure about which I have spoken, you are investing in that community, and a responsible government should certainly try to protect its investment by having alternate plans when the day comes when the non-renewable resource is no longer there

I would like to address myself also to another point which is very close to me, the question of French education in the province of Ontario. Fortunately, I am bilingual. I am so because I was raised in a small community in northern Ontario -- Cobalt.

Mr. Nixon: You’re true blue.

Mr. Bolan: This was done in the days when the French-speaking person in a community really didn’t have much going for him. You have to remember that this is the aftermath of what I call the dehumanization of the French culture in the province through the introduction of the famous regulation 17 in the year 1915. From that date until 1930 that was the rule of law in the province of Ontario. Everything possible was done to, as I say dehumanize the French-speaking people in this province; but they stuck with it because they believed in their culture and they believed in their language.

Then in 1930 there were some relaxations with respect to that regulation and it stayed that way until about 1960.

But I remember as a child going to an elementary school called Ecole de Ste. Therese; it was run by the very kind and very charitable Sisters of the Assumption. As we went along we noticed varied differences between that school and the other separate school which was called the Irish school and the public school. One difference was this: Aside from those fine nuns who were there to teach us, there was nothing; there were no facilities for sports, there were hardly any facilities for education in terms of supplies and what have you. I remember when we used to play hockey against the teams of the two other schools, they had sweaters, nice fine school sweaters. We had nothing. We had to buy our own hockey sticks; theirs were given to them by the school board. The one item which we received to play with in the schoolyard once the snow went was a softball, one softball for one year; and when somebody had knocked the hide off the ball, we couldn’t play for about a week while the dear sisters sewed it up.

So you go along this way and you start asking yourself some questions: “What gives here? Why is it?”

Mr. Nixon: What year was that?

Mr. Bolan: It was 1946, 1947.

Mr. Nixon: Those were tough Tory years.

Mr. Bolan: Yes.

At that age, when you are 12 or 13, you more or less take it for granted that that is the way it is in life, that there are differences. And then you start to ask yourself more questions. You start to ask your parents questions: “Why is it this way?”

Well let me tell you that is the way it was in those days. Fortunately, it has changed, and it has changed because of the foresight of people like John Robarts; and I must also say that the present Premier of Ontario (Mr. Davis) has taken it upon himself to try to rectify what I consider to be a system which still needs great improvement.

I remember I was on a school board in 1967-68 in North Bay; there was a big fight going on at that time about acquiring a French high school. Do you know we got a French high school before Bill 141 was even passed? How we did it, mind you, is very questionable, but we did it and we did it because the people wanted it. Then, of course, this was an example to the rest of the province that there was a demand for secondary education in the French language.

Mr. Martel: It didn’t work in Sturgeon Falls.

Mr. Bolan: It worked in Sturgeon Falls. Unfortunately, I was not on the school board at that time. Had I been there, it would have worked much better

My reason for mentioning this is because I read with interest what the Speech from the Throne contained about the French services, and I have been following with great interest what the Premier of Ontario has been saying about it. I think it is sincere; but by the same token I am suggesting to this House that what I consider to be a formula laid down by the leader of the Liberal Party of Ontario is appropriate, is reasonable and is the policy and the procedure to follow to see to it that there is an improvement and a raising in the standard of the French language in this community.

In the last few moments which I have, I am going to quote from yesterday’s Globe and Mail which had an editorial and which was headed, “Ontario and French.” I’ll read it in case there are some of you who have not. I’ll read it because I want it to appear, not only in an editorial, but I want it to appear in a historical document; I want it to appear in Hansard. It reads like this:

“To the sometimes confused, sometimes misleading and often awkward discussion at Queen’s Park of the provision of government services in French to French-speaking residents of Ontario, Liberal leader Stuart Smith has contributed a voice of consistent principle, reason and leadership.”

Mr. Reed: Listen to that. Listen to the truth.

Mr. Bolan: “And now that the debate seems in danger of deteriorating into a destructive, or at best futile, argument over the meaning of words like ‘bilingualism,’ it is again Dr. Smith who offers a useful proposal to help get it back on a more productive course.”

Mr. Martel: Signed by Bob Nixon.

Mr. Bolan: “He suggests, simply and sanely, that Ontario should first find out exactly where it stands now in this important area, and then go on to decide in an orderly manner where it should go from there.”

Mr. Lewis: It’s called retreat, skillful retreat.

Mr. Bolan: “The vehicle for this exploration, Dr. Smith argues, should be an all-party committee of the Legislature. Its mandate should be to review such programs as now exist, assemble the information gathered into a clear statement of the services now available in French, decide what further services should be provided, and propose a timetable for getting them in motion.

“What Dr. Smith proposes, in short, is nothing elaborate or esoteric, but one of those suggestions that, once made, seems so obviously reasonable that we are left wondering why they did not fall into place long ago without having to be specifically spelled out.

“As things now stand there is a great deal of misunderstanding about the nature of the need, the demand, the availability and the cost of French-language services in Ontario.

“Former Premier John Robarts, in his time, committed his government firmly in principle to recognition of the needs and rights of Franco-Ontarians. Premier William Davis has, with some fumbling and foot-shuffling, done the same thing.”

Mr. Nixon: Right.

Mr. Bolan: “But progress has been slow and bumpy.”

Mr. Reed: Held up by the Minister of the Environment.

Mr. Bolan: “A sober and balanced study on the subject, commissioned by the Ontario Arts Council, came to this conclusion: In summary, the Franco-Ontarian community has had to acknowledge the limitations of the provincial government’s action on its behalf. Outside the realm of education where there is still much to be done, and the realm of cultural and artistic matters where government agencies have taken some positive measures, the government of Ontario hesitates to commit itself towards the Franco-Ontarian minority.

“We need to do better. And Dr. Smith has given us good advice on the place to start and the way to go about it.”

Mr. Nixon: Great editorial.

Mr. Bolan: I say to the Premier of Ontario, if he is serious about trying to improve the services of the French language in the province of Ontario, if he is serious about doing it in such a way so as not to show partisanship or aggravate old wounds, what he should do is select a committee consisting of all parties. Let all of those parties look into it. Let all of those parties report back to this House and, then Mr. Speaker, perhaps we will be on the right way.

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

The House recessed at 6 p.m.