The House met at 2 p.m.
STATEMENTS BY THE MINISTRY
Hon. Mr. Rhodes: I would like to present this statement on behalf of the Premier (Mr. Davis) who originally would have been making it. I am pleased to inform the House that Philco-Ford of Canada Limited has confirmed its plans for a $6 million expansion at its Don Mills electronics plant and will be announcing details today.
The company will complete its expansion by late summer this year. About 300 new jobs will be created by the expansion, providing employment for men and women laid off from other Toronto-area electronics firms. The 300 additional jobs bring employment in Ford operations in Canada to more than 20,800, an increase of 2,100 in the past year and the highest level since Ford was established in Canada in 1904.
I bring this to the attention of the House, to emphasize that there are encouraging signs in our economy, and as a reminder that there is still a great deal of confidence in this province as a worthwhile and stable place in which to invest and expand.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I should just add as the member for Don Mills how pleased I am to hear that announcement from my colleague.
Mr. J. Reed: One would think you had done it all by yourself.
Mr. Kerrio: Now if you could clean up your act.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, before I begin my statement may I draw to your attention the presence in your lower east gallery of the former member for Fort William, Mr. Jessiman.
WINDSOR HOSPITAL FACILITIES
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: This afternoon I would like to inform the members about the hospital bed situation in the city of Windsor and, in particular, the Riverview Unit of Windsor Western Hospital.
Mr. Cassidy: That’s right. Your only prop has been collapsed.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: As the hon. members will recall, the 120-bed, chronic care Riverview Unit of Windsor Western Hospital has been slated for closure since January 1976. The services it provides were to be replaced by converting active treatment beds to chronic care beds in two of Windsor’s active treatment hospitals. Our goal was, and is, to improve chronic care and to reduce costs.
However, many people in Windsor including the board of Windsor Western, have resisted the closing of Riverview, saying that proposed savings could not be achieved and that the chronic care program at Riverview would be adversely affected with the moving of beds to other institutions.
To obtain a third-party opinion on the question of cost savings, my ministry engaged the services of the accounting firm of Thorne Riddell and Company to study the financial impact of closing Riverview and of relocating certain other types of hospital beds. When the Thorne Riddell report was completed, my ministry turned it over to the Essex County District Health Council, asking the council to make any recommendations they felt suitable.
The original decision to close the chronic care unit was made prior to the establishment of the council; their subsequent deliberations dealt only with how the chronic care program could best be continued once Riverview was closed. This, then, was the first opportunity the District Health Council had to address the question of whether or not Riverview should be closed.
The Thorne Riddell report provided new information on the whole matter of hospital bed usage in Windsor, and I asked the District Health Council to consider the Riverview issue in the light of the accounting firm’s report.
Thorne Riddell stated that by reclassifying some beds, and by reducing the number of active treatment beds in Windsor hospitals, savings of between $1.3 million and $2 million per year could be effected. Of this amount the closing of Riverview itself and the transferring of patients to chronic care beds in other institutions would save approximately $104,000 a year. However, the report says Windsor Western believes that by keeping the unit open, and by making certain staffing adjustments, an annual saving of $284,000 could be expected.
The Essex County District Health Council has therefore recommended -- and I quote from its report -- “that the Riverview Unit of Windsor Western Hospital Centre, as presently constituted, be allowed to remain open on the understanding that the savings proposed by Windsor Western Hospital of $284,000 per year be achieved immediately.”
Certainly these are reasonable arguments, and we accept the District Health Council’s recommendation. The Riverview Unit of Windsor Western Hospital will remain open on the basis which has been recommended by the health council.
The District Health Council also made recommendations on the relocation of beds in other Windsor hospitals. These changes would, for example, improve pediatric services by concentrating those services in two hospitals, rather than having three hospitals each operate smaller units.
In addition, the District Health Council recommended a number of new services and facilities, including improvements in coronary care and neo-natal care, as well as air conditioning in patient areas at three hospitals in the county.
My ministry is not yet in a position to make final decisions on these latter recommendations, but we will be giving them every consideration, with full consultation and assistance from the Essex County District Health Council.
Mr. S. Smith: I would like to ask the Treasurer a question regarding the matter of property tax reform in the light of the report given to cabinet yesterday by the committee the Treasurer had set up to look at the alternative proposals he had made.
Can the Treasurer make some comment about this question of the passing-through of savings on multiple dwellings to tenants? It seems the committee that looked at the matter decided there should not be any such passthrough.
I wonder if the Treasurer would comment on the seeming reliance of the committee on the continued existence of rent review. In particular, would the Treasurer comment on the fact that only a minority of rental instances go to rent review, that in instances where there was no rent increase there would be no rent review and, similarly, in new apartments there would be no rent review? How can the government ensure that the savings will be passed through to tenants when the rent review process itself applies only to a minority?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, first of all neither the government nor I has had a chance to assess the report or to look at its implications. I’ll take a crack, nevertheless, at commenting on the Leader of the Opposition’s question.
In terms of the alternative proposals, which I suggested on January 4 and which at a 50 per cent level of assessment on all residential units would have meant very large reductions in apartments, particularly here in Metropolitan Toronto and to a lesser degree elsewhere, I think I’m on record as commenting that it seemed to me that gave us an opportunity to facilitate getting out of rent control or rent review, and that if it all happened on January 1 -- and there are a lot of problems in this, obviously, in terms of lease dates and a whole lot of other things -- the two things could be matched together, and that if one wanted to ensure the passthrough then the mechanism would be there, in certain areas or totally, to ensure that it happened. That didn’t evoke much response at the time, one way or the other.
In the meantime, there is as you know a committee looking at rent review and rent controls. As I read what the committee is saying, it is that it would recommend a greater reliance be placed on the market rather than on some interference by a third party.
Mr. Warner: Which is nonsense.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: I think they particularly make that point because, by going to 75 per cent on apartments, they have therefore reduced substantially the amount of decrease to apartment dwellers. This is province-wide. I’m not talking about Metro particularly although I would think that it’s exaggerated in Metro because of the 45-80 split which was suggested.
I think what they may be saying is, really, that they have narrowed it down -- that the savings to the tenants aren’t as great as originally contemplated in the January 4 statement. Therefore, is it worthwhile putting a whole mechanism in place for that amount of money? That’s what I read into it.
I haven’t looked at the figures to see what the impacts are. I would want to consider it in that new light. I think, first of all, you’d have to decide whether the 75-50 split is appropriate -- and I certainly haven’t as an interim measure, as a permanent measure or whatever -- and then come back to the passthrough problem and the rent review, rent control problem.
Mr. S. Smith: By way of a supplementary: Was it the Treasurer’s view that the members of the committee appreciated the fact that the rent review process provided no real forum for these passthroughs to occur with the exception of the minority of instances where the process is triggered and where there are increases and where it applies? Is the Treasurer still committed to finding some way of assuring the passthrough or has he, for reasons of either philosophy or practicality, decided that really cannot happen?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Perhaps I wasn’t clear. I have decided nothing. I haven’t thought about it yet, to be frank, nor certainly have I discussed it with my colleagues and I’m not going to be doing that in the next few days.
Mr. Cassidy: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Can the Treasurer say now whether he’s prepared to refer this report back to the working group in view of the fact that it has offered no long-term answer to the request he made to it on January 4 when he said that “increases in average taxes on single family dwellings are not acceptable to me,” and when he said he was asking the working group to come up with some alternatives for Metro which will avoid this result? In view of the fact that after the initial period of two or three years, the average level of taxes on single family homes in Metro will still be rising by an average of $77, will the Treasurer send this back to the working group to have it come up with a report which fulfils his original requirements?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, no, I would not send it back to the working group but I would fully expect Metropolitan Toronto itself may be making some comments which I will look forward to with interest.
Mr. Cassidy: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Is the Treasurer now prepared to consider Metropolitan Toronto’s request for a longer term special rate rather than just an interim rate in view of the particular circumstances that exist here? Or is he still adamant in the position he took in the committee and which the committee played back to him disregarding his original instructions?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, that is a matter, among others, which I and my colleagues will have under consideration.
Mr. Cassidy: A final supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Perhaps the Treasurer could explain one other rather surprising comment that he had to make in answer to the Leader of the Opposition. Is the Treasurer trying to say to this Legislature that as regards the reduction in property taxes on apartments that would be entailed with market value assessment, this should coincide with the ending of rent review so that the money would be some kind of a sop to landlords? Is that the Treasurer’s statement, because we find that quite unacceptable?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: I am not sure whether the leader of the third party is making a statement or asking a question. But the answer to his question, as I heard it, is no.
Mr. S. Smith: I will ask a question of the Minister of Revenue. I am not really sure how to phrase this, Mr. Speaker -- but can the minister shed any light on why the government has decided not to proceed at this time with the sales tax bill? Is he expecting some change in Ottawa’s attitude? Is there some negotiation going on that he can tell us about or is it merely a procedural matter?
Hon. Mr. Maeck: Mr. Speaker, it’s usually normal for the budget to have been passed by the federal government before that legislation is passed in this House, and that’s the only reason I can think of why we are not proceeding now.
Mr. S. Smith: So, to the minister’s knowledge, there is no negotiation going on between Ontario and the federal government and, possibly, Quebec regarding any possible changes in the sales tax legislation?
Hon. Mr. Maeck: Not to my knowledge. If those negotiations were going on, they would be going on with the Treasurer, not with the Minister of Revenue.
Mr. S. Smith: May I redirect my question to the Treasurer? Is he in a position to tell the House whether there are any negotiations going on between Ontario and the federal government and, possibly, Quebec regarding any possible change in the sales tax matter?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: No, Mr. Speaker, there are no negotiations going on and, perhaps to further answer the question, it was my suggestion to the Minister of Revenue that those bills be held -- perhaps as a matter of some prudence in terms of forthcoming events in Ottawa. It is my understanding that under their rules the final vote on the federal budget is today. I am not sure whether the bills have been introduced; that can happen under their system six or eight months later, as you are aware. But I believe the final vote on the ways and means motion -- I think that’s what they call it on the budget -- is today, and I see no reason after today why the two bills should not be proceeded with.
HANDICAPPED CHILDREN’S ALLOWANCE
Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Community and Social Services concerning the special allowance for handicapped children which was promised last May but which is still being given on a grace and favour basis by order in council. Can the minister explain why it is that Mrs. Bridget Threader of Hamilton had to have her case publicized in the metropolitan press before she could get a $150 allowance for the care of her severely handicapped 2½-year-old child who needs constant care and attention?
Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, I must admit that was a very unfortunate situation. What happened, I understand, in the case to which the hon. member refers, is that the application was taken in September last year, at which time the applicant had the ongoing assistance of the Victorian Order of Nurses on a regular basis, which meant that she, in fact, did have the kind of relief which she doesn’t have now. Once the nurses, who were attending her and her child in the home, had completed their program of training her to use the equipment and care for the child, who is handicapped to a degree that required considerable training, I understand, they withdrew their services.
By the time the special allowance was first paid -- and it was paid retroactively to September -- her circumstances had changed. I am told that she had initially indicated that her extraordinary out-of-pocket expenses were something in the neighbourhood of $45 and it was on the basis of that information that the decision was made that the allowance would be $50 to ensure coverage of her extraordinary expenses. By the time the allowance came through, she no longer had the assistance of the Victorian Order of Nurses.
It first came to my attention as a result of the story in the newspaper. There had been a subsequent letter on her part and I take full responsibility on behalf of the ministry for the fact that the letter had been written. By virtue of the fact that she was already in receipt of family benefits, her letter was written to the correct branch of the ministry, but was inadvertently not referred to the special unit within that branch that is dealing with these allowances. As a result, there was a delay in the processing of that information, for which she receives my apology. I assure the member that she is now receiving the full allowance she is entitled to on the basis of updated information.
Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary: Can the minister explain why, even when somebody is far below the poverty line and is receiving only mother’s allowance, they have to move heaven and earth in order to get the full allowance for looking after handicapped children? Can the minister explain why the six-month delay in granting this allowance is so typical of these applications across the province? And could the minister say when the government is going to move with legislation in this particular area, so that the allowance can be moved to an adequate level and can be available for the parents of handicapped children is a matter of right and not as something that they have to beg for from the cabinet?
Hon. Mr. Norton: First of all, the reference to the six-month delay as being typical is not an accurate reference. It is an assumption that I am sure the hon. member opposite would like to propagate here and across the province --
Mr. Martel: Well over three.
Hon. Mr. Norton: -- but it is not the case as he states it.
I assure him that legislation is not necessary. What I have ready at the present time to go forward to the regulations committee are regulations which would enable the decision-making process to be made by the staff of the ministry, without reference to orders in council. That will be in place very shortly, and should also serve to reduce further some of the delays that have resulted by virtue of the fact that orders in council up to this point have been necessary.
Mr. Sweeney: Supplementary: Given that some parents are now being faced with the decision when a severely handicapped baby is born not to allow that baby even to continue living, is there any relationship between the hospitals and the Ministry of Community and Social Services to offer this kind of assistance immediately, to help the parents to make those kinds of decisions? Those decisions are being made right now at Sick Children’s Hospital in this city.
Hon. Mr. Norton: I am sure there are no workers from our ministry who are in the hospitals, in the pediatric wards or the maternity wards, providing that information at the time of birth. I think that it is well known at this point that such allowances are available for those who qualify. We do not have any formal program involving the hospitals at the present time.
Mr. McClellan: Supplementary: I would like to ask the minister, in view of the fact that it costs, if I recall correctly, something in the order of $26,000 a year to keep a child in an institution, when he intends to raise the level of the special allowances so that they begin to approach adequacy?
Hon. Mr. Norton: As I have said both here and to the hon. member, I believe, in estimates previously, the purpose of this allowance was never to try to, by the use of money, unduly influence parents in the very difficult decision that some have to make with respect to whether they can continue to cope with the severe handicaps of their child.
Mr. McClellan: You have seen the CAS report.
Hon. Mr. Norton: It is to assist those who have made that decision to meet some of the extraordinary expenses they might incur, including in some cases -- as in the case raised by the leader of the member’s party -- perhaps to purchase some parental relief in very demanding situations.
I think any reference to the cost of care of a child in an institution and drawing an analogy between that and an appropriate level of allowance to assist with extraordinary costs in caring for a child at home is completely and totally erroneous. Where parents are either unable or unwilling, for whatever reason, to maintain a handicapped child in their home, the people of the province of Ontario will continue to meet their responsibilities regardless of the cost of providing for the care of that child.
It makes no sense whatsoever to try to suggest that because it may cost $26,000 or $30,000 a year in some instances to care for that child in an alternative setting other than the home, that that ought to be the level, or anything approaching that ought to be the level of assistance within the home.
Mr. McClellan: I said adequacy and the minister heard me.
Hon. Mr. Norton: The member is the one who made the reference and drew the analogy between the two levels.
Mr. Warner: The word is adequate.
Hon. Mr. Norton: It’s because I heard the member that I responded.
Mrs. Campbell: Supplementary: In view of the fact that the minister wishes to proceed by way of regulation in this delicate matter, would he be prepared to table in this House the regulations which he intends to bring into effect, so that we may understand the type of discretion which would be prevailing in his staff in coming to decisions?
Hon. Mr. Norton: I would be happy to inform the hon. member and others, as soon as those regulations are complete, by whatever is the most appropriate method.
QUEBEC POLICY ON CONSTRUCTION HIRING
Mr. Cassidy: I have a question for the Premier, who just came in. I hadn’t expected to see the Premier.
An hon. member: Don’t come any farther.
An hon. member: Keep walking.
Hon. Mr. Bernier: He is always here.
Mr. Warner: He wishes he’d given up and left.
Mr. Kerrio: He was getting his picture taken for lawn signs.
Mr. Sweeney: When are you leaving?
Mr. Nixon: When did you get back?
Hon. Mr. Rhodes: It is certainly a thrill for the member for Ottawa Centre.
Mr. Cassidy: I would like to draw the Premier’s attention to a letter which I sent him last week concerning the situation for Ontario construction workers seeking to work in the province of Quebec and the restrictions that province is now imposing and which will be tightened up on July 1 to the point where it will be impossible for Ontario workers to work in the province of Quebec. I would like to ask the Premier whether the government will now indicate what steps it intends to take to ensure the same treatment for residents of Ontario from the government of Quebec as Ontario grants to Quebec construction workers working in this province.
Hon. W. Newman: He wants us to retaliate.
Mr. MacDonald: The minister is usually threatening retaliation.
Mr. Nixon: Your red neck is showing.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I have read the letter from the hon. member very carefully. The same subject has been brought to my attention by other members from the Ottawa Valley. There are a number of matters I have been planning to discuss with the Premier of the province of Quebec. That, quite obviously, is one of them. I cannot and would not today, in any event, reply in any specific way to the leader of the New Democratic Party. Having listened to his appeal to his delegates at the convention that he recently succeeded in persuading --
Mr. di Santo: Answer the question, don’t be cute.
Mr. Sargent: You’d better be nice to him, you might need his help pretty soon.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I would say to the member for Grey-Bruce that it is my instinct to be nice to everybody.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Hon. Mr. Davis: He tests my instincts on occasion, I have to say that to him.
Mr. Cunningham: Don’t let him do that, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker: Order. The Premier is testing the Chair.
Hon. Mr. Davis: That’s right, I’m digressing here.
Mr. Martel: That’s a novelty.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Recognizing his feelings about the country, I know he would like to avoid, if at all possible, any major confrontation with our sister province of Quebec. Retaliation is one word that could be used, which I would be reluctant to use.
Ms. Gigantes: Reciprocity.
Mr. Nixon: It is the word the Minister of Agriculture and Food would use.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I would only ask the hon. member to understand that we are aware of the problem; we are very concerned about it. It is one of half a dozen problems that have come to my attention and the attention of the government, matters that we will be discussing with the Premier of Quebec. I can’t tell the leader of the New Democratic Party when that discussion will take place, but I do understand the date or time limit that has been suggested.
Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary: Can the Premier say what steps the government is prepared to take in order to ensure reciprocity between Ontario and Quebec and in order to ensure, therefore, the basic principle that the borders between the two provinces should not be a barrier to interprovincial movement of workers on either side of the Ottawa River or between our two provinces?
Hon. Mr. Davis: I say in a very constructive way to the leader of the New Democratic Party -- and sometimes the Leader of the Opposition poses questions in this fashion: “What are you going to do about a situation if such and such takes place?” -- for me to stand up in this House and say I will say to the Premier of Quebec: “If you don’t do this, we’re going to do that,” I think that’s --
Mr. Martel: He didn’t say that.
Hon. Mr. Davis: No, he is asking me to make some sort of statement of that nature and I am saying to him that this is a sensitive issue. I am concerned about the rights of Ontario workers living in the valley and the opportunity to work in the province of Quebec. I am opposed to any sort of barrier, whether it is for construction workers or anybody else, as between the provinces of this country, but I don’t think it serves the purpose at the moment for me to get up in this House and start saying if such and such doesn’t happen, we’re going to do such and such. I think then we really get into questions of threats --
Mr. Martel: We asked what positive proposals you were making.
Mr. Makarchuck: You’ve been dealing with this problem for three years.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Well, I would say, on the supplementary question from the member for Brantford, we know that this has been a problem for a period of time. It is not going to be easily resolved. If he is prepared to encourage his leader to get up and say he is going to introduce a private bill into this House escalating this issue and bringing it to a confrontation, then I suggest that that is a perfectly understandable route for him to go --
An hon. member: That’s a red herring.
Mr. Martel: You sure can play the game, can’t you?
Mr. MacDonald: You’re building a straw man.
Mr. Martel: What positive thing have you got to say for a change?
Hon. Mr. Davis: -- but I suggest that this is something that will have to be discussed, it has to be negotiated in reason and quietly. I don’t think it serves any purpose for me to get up in this House and start threatening one of our sister provinces or its government.
Mr. Kerrio: I have a question of the Provincial Secretary for Resources Development. I imagine that it will also be of interest to the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. W. Newman) and the Minister of Northern Affairs (Mr. Bernier) and the Minister of Culture and Recreation (Mr. Welch), had he been here.
An hon. member: Everybody.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I hope it’s of interest to all of us.
Mr. Kerrio: In view of the accounting discrepancies discovered at Ogoki Lodge by a management consultant’s report to the agricultural minister, that include cancelled cheques reissued to hotels and stores, cheques issued without supporting documentation and duly recorded, uncontrolled credit, $48,000 worth of groceries bought by the project from a store owned by an official of the project and then not recorded as recorded items; in view of this report and in view of the fact that the government is considering, with this kind of management, a 99-year lease on a lodge whose costs went from $300,000 to over $1 million, would the minister put a hold on the granting of this lease until such time as we can peruse the ability of the management to which he is willing to turn this kind of money over?
Hon. Mr. Brunelle: I have a four or five-page statement I will send over to the hon. member.
If I may start with the latter part of his question, I do not believe this is desirable. I would like to mention to the hon. member that it is quite true there have been, and probably has been, some sloppy bookkeeping, but from the information that I have -- and this has been looked over very carefully -- we do not believe that there has been any intentional wrongdoing.
Collins is a small place in northern Ontario. It is west of Armstrong; it is on the CNR, there is no road. This lodge was originally planned in 1972 at the request of the local people. The federal government had agreed to fund it 100 per cent. However, since there were some non-native people it was decided then that it should be on the percentage of 87.5 federal and 12.5 provincial for those non-native people.
Hon. Mr. Brunelle: This was originally a request of the federal government. However, since there were some non-Indians, it was not administered through the federal Department of Indian Affairs, it was administered through ARDA and it was a DREE-ARDA grant shared, as I said, 87.5 per cent federal and the balance provincial.
I would like to mention that it is quite true, as I said a couple of days ago, the cost escalated for various reasons. Originally it was to be built out of logs and the logs were to be given to them. However, this was not done.
The transportation costs are very high. Most of the material came in by rail. There is no road. Some of it had to be flown in.
In reference to the food bill, I’m told that there is only one store and that one store is the post office where you cash your cheques. Also Collins is a small community of fewer than 200 people, and many are related. The Patience brothers, Don and Peter, own the store and they are also the ones who decided to build this lodge with the Ogoki River Guides Limited, which consists of a large number of the local community. I have many letters, and I would be glad to send them to the member, about various organizations which all felt and still feel that this was a desirable project to create employment and to provide training to the local native people. One has to remember that it is a remote area and one can’t apply the standards of Toronto, where you have banks, where you have stores, where you have all sorts of accountability, to the standards in remote northern areas. I would be glad to send the hon. member a statement, and if he has any questions I would be glad to try to answer them.
Mr. Warner: You keep your books like the Treasurer.
Mr. Kerrio: There has been no question in my mind as far as wrongdoing is concerned. If the minister recalls my question of Tuesday last, I was questioning the management ability and I am still raising that very important question. Have we looked into the ability of these people to manage properly, and until such time as we do, is he willing to put a hold on the signing of a 99-year lease?
Hon. Mr. Brunelle: As I mentioned, the 99-year lease is conditional that the lodge be operated for the objectives of the training and employment of native people, and if those objectives are not met it reverts to the Crown.
One of the directors is a Mr. Mclvor, he is a business operator from Sioux Lockout and most of those tourists will be Americans. We have also said we will provide assistance to the local management, but it was felt that it is such a remote area we should allow them to manage it themselves, and we are optimistic that it will be managed.
There were some problems, as the member mentioned, in the report -- the heating problem and also other problems -- but these will be remedied and we will monitor this. We will monitor the occupancy and we will provide every assistance. I would ask the hon. member to please try and give them an opportunity to operate this lodge this summer. We are very optimistic, and the report showed it, that it can be a successful operation, but it will take at least three years before it becomes a viable operation.
Mr. Kerrio: Properly managed, I agree.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Vince, are you looking for a job?
Mr. T. P. Reid: We all might be.
Mr. Eakins: Supplementary: We appreciate the minister’s comments, but to better understand the ramifications of the government transfer of ownership of this lodge I believe it would be in order for him to table the full financial audit which was done on this operation and prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food. I think it is in order to ask that he tables that audit.
Hon. Mr. Brunelle: I have tabled, and the hon. member has a copy of, the report by the accounting firm, but the auditing was requested by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.
WINDSOR HOSPITAL FACILITIES
Mr. Cooke: I have a question of the Minister of Health, and if I may, start by saying I am very pleased to hear his statement this morning regarding the Riverview Hospital unit in my riding. I am glad to hear that it is going to remain open.
Mr. Cassidy: So are the people of Windsor.
Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Despite your objections.
Mr. Cooke: I would like to ask the minister though, would he not agree that having to hire outside consultants to prove his own ministry personnel wrong when they were calculating whether or not the cost savings the minister said would occur with the closing of Riverview has serious implications about the competency of his staff, and certainly put Windsor and the employees at Riverview through a heck of a lot of problems and grief in the meantime, waiting for someone they had to hire outside of the ministry to determine whether or not his figures were correct?
Mr. S. Smith: Imagine what he would say if you were not nice to him.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: As the hon. member knows, the whole business of budgeting for hospitals is a very complicated area. I think it speaks well of our ministry that, in fact, we are prepared to go outside and look for third party arbitration as it were to try and settle disputes. Much better that than to let the mailer fester for years and years, as it might have, with some of my financial analysts saying one thing and others saying something else.
Mr. Martel: Apply that against OHIP.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Let’s not forget, though, that the report clearly shows that, in fact, there would be savings associated with the closing.
Mr. Cooke: Not nearly what you said there would be.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Just a minute. There would be savings. The basis of the recommendation from the health council is the frequently repeated assertion by Windsor-Western that they could save $284,000. Fine, so be it. If they save the $284,000, Riverview stays open.
Mr. Cooke: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Would the minister be willing to table or to inform the House how much it costs to hire this outside consultant to supplement his incompetent staff?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I really do have to take exception to that last part. Given some of the research material which has resulted in press releases and policies and speeches by the member’s party, I really don’t think he can take that kind of a shot.
Mr. Cooke: Tell us how much it cost.
Mr. Warner: Just tell us the cost.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I’ll get to the cost, sure, but I am saying that at any time in the future if I think that we can resolve a problem and can achieve our two goals of maintaining a quality health-care system and saving money by going outside, I’ll do it.
Mr. Warner: There would be fewer problems if you weren’t here.
Mr. Cassidy: You were manipulating and now you are backing down.
Mr. Martel: After all that, you still haven’t given us the cost.
Mr. B. Newman: I have a supplementary of the minister. Now that the minister has seen the light of day, I wonder why he wouldn’t listen to the people years ago when they attempted to point out the error in closing the Riverview Hospital.
But I want to ask of the minister, in the light of the fact that there will be approximately $284,000 in savings as a result of the closing and as a result of staff changes, if he is prepared to invest that $284,000 in chronic home care as a pilot project in the community and in turn save substantial amounts of money for the ministry in having seniors, who need home care, kept in their homes rather than be institutionalized in a hospital? Not all of them, but some of them could benefit by this.
Hon. Mr. Davis: There are some contradictions in that I thought that was part of your $50 million.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I have been told that sometimes I should control my temper, so I am going to come at it in a different way. Isn’t it amazing? Isn’t it absolutely amazing that that party would table figures in the last 48 hours which are based on incorrect figures, on incorrect assumptions --
Mr. Conway: You go on and on and on.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: -- all of which would amount to a severe reduction in the healthcare system --
Mr. O’Neil: We will save you some money, eventually.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: -- and, as is happening so often, what do I hear from Liberal members but: “Add something more.”
An hon. member: You cut back here but you spend more there.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: You can’t have it both ways.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: We are going to get into that, perhaps, next week and I’ll have a lot more to say about it then, but let me come back to chronic home care. We’ve got chronic home care now in three parts of the province --
Mr. Kerrio: You’ve got your debit, but what do you do with the rest?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: -- on a trial basis. I have protected some money in my budget to expand it into three or four other areas of the province. I guess it depends really on what happens as a result of another exercise, whether there is any discretionary money left at all for new programs.
Mr. Nixon: Back to the classroom, Dennis.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I have heard from the Windsor city council and I have heard from the health council. I have heard from most city councils and most health councils saying they want them in their areas. We can’t put the chronic home care into every area this year. It would cost $30 million and we just haven’t got that kind of money. We can’t squeeze it out of anywhere else in the budget.
Mr. S. Smith: I am not sure I should have saved his job.
Mr. Martel: You got $50 million extra out of it.
Hon. B. Stephenson: Stuart is going to find it for you out of his pocket. Stuart has got it in his hip pocket.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: It’s under review, and we will see what happens from there.
An hon. member: We’ll get it for you, Dennis.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
RONDEAU PROVINCIAL PARK
Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, on April 13 the member for Kent-Elgin (Mr. McGuigan) asked the Provincial Secretary for Resources Development (Mr. Brunelle) a question about entrance to Rondeau Park for people who wanted to use it, I believe, for visiting the church or the yacht club.
Mr. Conway: Is there a difference?
Hon. F. S. Miller: One you use one day a week.
First, I should point out that there are two churches in the park; one is Anglican and one is Catholic. At this time of year the churches are not providing services, I am told. This year the park charges have been changed so that an annual pass for a vehicle is $10. Last year an annual pass was $15 but that included the vehicle and occupants.
An hon. member: A spiritual pass.
Hon. F. S. Miller: However, I have been told that we have taken it on faith that people entering the gate on a Sunday morning, claiming they were going to church, were in fact doing so.
Mr. T. P. Reid: As long as they are not Tories.
Hon. F. S. Miller: That is providing, of course, they were wearing a PC button.
Hon. Mr. Davis: That is an RC button.
Hon F. S. Miller: Oh, that’s an RC button. I’ve changed it.
Mr. Mancini: The Anglicans won’t like that.
Mr. Kerrio: If they were, they were going to confession.
Hon. F. S. Miller: As one who has been there so often and who has had so much to confess, I am sure you can advise me.
Mr. Kerrio: Touché.
Mr. Breithaupt: Down one.
Hon. F. S. Miller: Down one, one to go.
Mr. T. P. Reid: Round two coming up.
Hon. F. S. Miller: In any case, my staff will continue to show the same enlightened trust in the human race when they present themselves at the gate on Sunday morning.
Mr. Kerrio: If you don’t get them, the other guy will.
Mr. Sargent: Mr. Speaker, a question of the Minister of Transportation and Communications. It’s very important to get this across in the dying hours of this Legislature.
Mr. Riddell: We’ve already arranged the flowers.
Hon. B. Stephenson: That’s not all that’s dying.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: The only thing that is dying around here is you.
Mr. Conway: You’ll all be in Prince Albert next week.
Mr. T. P. Reid: Not to get anointed.
Mr. Sargent: In view of the federal government’s statement last night that it proposes to spend $4 million to $5 million at the Island airport on the extension of a Dash-7 STOL service -- I congratulate the minister for his stand on this -- and in view of the fact that he is in favour of this, would he put first on the list a STOL commuter service from Toronto to Wiarton as a first extension of this commuter service?
Hon. B. Stephenson: Why? Use your own airplane, Eddie. Fly your own airline, Eddie.
Mr. Sargent: We’re going to do it if he doesn’t.
Hon. Mr. Davis: If you believe in private enterprise, go ahead.
Mr. Sweeney: That’s our first promise.
Mr. Deans: And if you do, Eddie will come in every day.
Mr. Kerrio: The minister can have the seat on the first flight.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: The first campaign promise of many. Unless you disagree with that, then he’ll promise something else.
Hon. Mr. Snow: When the hon. member for Grey-Bruce started to give me a compliment there, I got very, very nervous. I would say that, as was announced in the Speech from the Throne by Her Honour earlier this year, my ministry is going to carry out an air passenger services study for eastern Ontario.
Mr. Conway: How is that coming, by the way?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Very well.
Mr. S. Smith: Are you going to get regulated or deregulated?
Hon. Mr. Snow: In establishing the terms of reference for that study and in getting my staff started in consultation with the municipal people and the airlines people in eastern Ontario, it soon became obvious that we could not look at eastern Ontario without looking at a broader area -- including certain parts of southern Ontario --
Ms. Gigantes: Toronto.
Hon. Mr. Snow: -- or what we might call the close northwest, I guess. So we will be looking at such areas as Muskoka, the proposed Parry Sound airport at Wiarton, and at Gore Bay, as to how they might also fit into a system. This would not necessarily hook up with the Toronto Island airport, but it very well might be part of what we might recommend to the private carriers that they might implement as an appropriate system.
Mr. Breaugh: Is that Gore Bay International?
Mr. Sargent: Supplementary: I’d like to thank the minister for his position on this, but I know how fast he works. In the meantime, he has put a 48 miles-an-hour limit on Highway 10 from Owen Sound to Toronto and it’s a three-hour trip now. We are really in the boondocks. We have no train service and they’re talking about cutting out our bus service. I’m really serious about this -- would the minister in the meantime change the speed limit on Highway 10 from 80 kilometres to 100 kilometres because we cannot make any time at 48 miles an hour?
Mr. Speaker: That’s not supplementary to the question.
Mr. Sargent: That’s what I’m asking it for.
Mr. Speaker: It’s not supplementary.
Mr. Sargent: What do you think about that, Jimmy?
An hon. member: It’s hard to make time down here, I’ll tell you that.
Mr. O’Neil: Mr. Speaker, I’d like to address a supplementary to the minister partly along the same line. As the minister is aware, I wrote to him some time ago concerning the possibility of air service for the Quinte area operating out of the facilities of the Canadian Forces base at Trenton. Can the minister tell me whether this request will be considered in this study?
Hon. Mr. Snow: I appreciate the correspondence and the information the hon. member sent me, having flown in and out of Trenton on previous occasions. It’s certainly an excellent facility. I realize that it would be difficult to establish a totally community-airport-type service on a military field which is one of the major ones. But I still think there is room for some discussions there on which I hope we can come to some conclusion -- where the main runway structure might be used but a private community airport facility would be established completely separate from the military. We’ll be looking at that along with this overall study that we’re doing.
Ms. Bryden: I also have a supplementary on this subject. Was the minister consulted by the federal Minister of Transport before he made this pre-election announcement about the Toronto Island airport? How does this fit in with the overall plans for Ontario’s transportation policy in southern Ontario if there is such an overall plan?
Hon. Mr. Davis: How could you doubt that?
Mr. Cassidy: We know you too well.
Hon. Mr. Snow: As the hon. member knows, there was a lengthy study carried out by an intergovernmental committee involving a great many of the public over a considerable period of time which was finalized last May. One Saturday last May, the final sum-up of that study was concluded. Mr. Lang and myself were at that meeting. I’m not sure whether the hon. member was or not because that took place some time prior to that June 9 date when many of those here would be out doing other things. At that meeting Mr. Lang stated that he would he tabling a study on STOL services within two to three weeks. To my knowledge, that study has still not been tabled to date, although I understand it will be available within two to three weeks.
Mr. Cassidy: Just in time for the election.
Hon. Mr. Snow: I believe it’s at the printers at the present time.
Following that period, at one or two of the meetings I held with Mr. Lang I asked if he was ready to discuss the Toronto Island airport and each time I was told he hadn’t given it enough consideration yet.
I was talking to him on the telephone last week on another matter when he did advise me he would be making an announcement yesterday in Toronto, and the Board of Trade invited me there to hear the announcement. I did not know the exact details of what he might be announcing until I heard it yesterday.
Ms. Bryden: By way of a supplementary, could the minister answer the second part of my question as to how this announcement, now that he has heard it, fits into the overall plan for transportation in southern Ontario?
Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I don’t see at this stage any conflict in the overall plans, although our total study --
Mr. Cassidy: There is no overall plan.
Hon. Mr. Snow: -- our southern Ontario passenger transportation study, which the federal government and ourselves and my own staff have been working on for the past two years is not yet finalized. It won’t be for another two months.
Mr. Warner: What plan?
PROVINCIAL SCHOOL TRANSFERS
Mr. Foulds: I have a question of the Minister of Education. Can the minister explain why, in the discussions that are taking place between his ministry -- in particularly, the special education branch of his ministry -- and the boards about the transfer of ministry schools to local board jurisdictions, and in particular the CPRI school at London, the ministry people talked directly to the board before talking either to the employees or the employer involved, the Provincial Schools Authority Teachers’ Federation or the Provincial Schools Authority?
Hon. Mr. Wells: The only answer I can give my friend is that my staff were in error. They should have spoken to the employees and the employer first and we have indicated that to them. I think it is just one of those regrettable things that they spoke to the wrong people first. They know that they should have done the other.
Mr. Foulds: Supplementary: Can the minister therefore explain why, a week after that when his ministry officials, the Provincial Schools Authority and the Provincial Schools Authority teachers were meeting, at the very time that they were meeting and this agreement the minister is talking about was being hammered out, the special education branch had a person in London again talking about the situation?
Hon. Mr. Wells: I would have to find out about that particular situation.
Mr. Foulds: A final supplementary: Can the minister give assurance to this House and, therefore, assurance to all of the people involved, that this will not happen again, as this transfer is very delicate and it is important that it takes place smoothly and without upsetting parents, teachers or the children involved in these very special circumstances?
Hon. Mr. Wells: We certainly like all these things to occur in a spirit and manner that will take the concerns of all involved into consideration. That’s always our aim. Sometimes it doesn’t quite work out that way but we certainly try to be sure it does.
Mr. Leluk: I have a question for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations. Will the minister tell this House when we can expect to see the promised introduction of the condominium legislation arising out of the recommendations in the Ontario residential condominium study group report?
Mr. Warner: You have got to be kidding.
Mr. Nixon: In the fullness of time.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: As promised last fall when we received the report, I will have legislation before the House this spring. I expect it will be within three to three and a half weeks.
Mr. Martel: Not before Tuesday.
Mr. MacDonald: There isn’t going to be any spring this year.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: With the anticipated co-operation of all parties, I hope to have it into law by the end of this session, that is, some time in June.
Mr. Cassidy: Don’t count on it.
Mr. Mancini: I have a question for the Minister of Transportation and Communications. Now that I have had time to review the road construction book that his ministry has put out, I wonder if the minister could inform me why he’s not continuing with the planned reconstruction of Highway 18 as he has promised myself and the local councils in the area?
Hon. Mr. Snow: I am not aware of any reason why that project is not going on as has been planned. I will have to check into that particular detail and get the member the information.
OHTB STAFF LIST
Mr. Philip: I have a question for the Minister of Transportation and Communications. The minister will recall how during his estimates in December I expressed concern about the possibility of preferential treatment being given by Ontario Highway Transport Board officials to certain lawyers appearing before the board. He will also recall how on April 7 I sent him a list of OHTB staff and their telephone numbers, a list on OHTB stationery, a list which contained not only the names and telephone numbers of OHTB staff but also of two lawyers appearing before the board. I wonder if the minister has yet determined whether this list, which I received anonymously in the mail, is authentic. If so, what explanation does he have that two lawyers appearing before the transport board appear on a staff list of that board?
Hon. Mr. Snow: I am having this matter investigated. I am getting a full explanation on it from the chairman of the board and I will be forwarding it to him in the next day or two.
Mr. Warner: There are all kinds of mistakes over there today. That’s three ministers today. What a bunch of incompetents!
Mr. Philip: Supplementary: As a way of allaying some of the fears and some of the beliefs that exist within transport circles that certain lawyers do receive preferential treatment, at least in terms of scheduling, would the minister be prepared to table a list of all applications before the transport board in this current year, the date each one was received and the date at which it was assigned for bearing? Would the minister also give us the names of the lawyers appearing on behalf of each application?
Mr. Cassidy: Good question.
Hon. Mr. Snow: I am sure all of that in- formation is available. All of the hearings are published. Perhaps the hon. member would put that question on the order paper. Perhaps it will obviously take a few weeks to get the answers.
Mr. Cassidy: Make it available.
Hon. B. Stephenson: Why? You can go get it yourself. Why don’t you get off your butt?
Mr. Philip: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker: What’s your point of order?
Mr. Philip: The minister has just stated that all of that information is available. In fact, the information about the date on which the application arrives at the Transport Board is not available; and that’s what I asked him to table in the House.
Hon. Mr. Snow: I said the information will be available. It will take some time to calculate or research all of the applications; and if the member will put the question on the order paper, where it should be, I will get the information.
Mr. Warner: Table the information -- along with your resignation.
Mr. McCaffrey: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Premier. I think it was early in December of last year the Premier introduced a bill -- I’ve forgotten the proper name of it -- to deal with the Arab boycott. May I ask what is the status of that bill, will it be reintroduced and when?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, after its introduction, we had some representation as to certain parts of the legislation. I have had, I guess, two or three meetings related to it. It is our intention to reintroduce the bill, remembering the support we received --
Mr. Nixon: Again, again and again.
Hon. Mr. Davis: No, not again and again. I would point out to the hon. member that I think it is a bill that probably should be referred to a standing committee, and the hon. member may learn something of the complexities involved in this particular piece of legislation. But it is our intention to reintroduce the bill.
Mr. Nixon: That didn’t bother you; the headline bothered you.
RAPE CRISIS CENTRES
Mr. Stong: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Solicitor General. Now that the report of the Consultation on Rape Conference held on February 6 to 7 has been made public, and in the light of the fact of the minister’s speech at that consultation, wherein he recognized the value of rape crisis centres, would the minister indicate to the House what arrangements his ministry has made to establish such rape crisis centres, and what arrangements he has made to contribute to the funding of those centres?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: As the hon. member will recall at that meeting, and as indicated in the report of the consultation, there will be a second meeting some time within six months of the February meeting; I would expect it would be some time either in August or September.
Since the report has been handed down, we intend to appoint some subcommittees to study the report and deal with all the items in that report, including the financing of rape crisis centres. The recommendations will be made by the subcommittees; then, when we have the second consultation, which as I say will probably be in late summer, the question of financing of rape crisis centres and other aspects dealt with in that consultation -- the amending of legislation and things of that nature -- will be dealt with.
I think there may be some misunderstanding that, because of one consultation, the government would immediately implement some policy regarding financing these centres --
Mr. Foulds: That would be a first, wouldn’t it? To move quickly.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: No. I think that will have to wait until the second meeting.
Mr. McClellan: I have a question for the Minister of Community and Social Services respecting the memo, dated February 28, 1978, which was sent by the director of the child welfare branch to directors of residential treatment centres and group homes in Ontario on -- if you can believe it, Mr. Speaker -- gun safety.
I want to ask the minister what action he intends to take to have firearms removed from residential treatment centres and from group homes licensed under the Children’s Institutions Act or the Children’s Boarding Homes Act?
Hon. Mr. Norton: As the hon. member surely realizes, about 10,000 or more of the children who are cared for by foster parents or group foster parents in their own homes in this province are cared for in a normal home setting. The issue that is raised has to be seen in that context.
Mr. McClellan: Did the minister hear what I asked?
Mr. Cassidy: That wasn’t the question; he asked about group homes.
Hon. Mr. Norton: The abolition of firearms completely would be a step which surely would be quite inconsistent with the practice in some communities in this province, in the rural areas particularly and in the north.
Mr. McClellan: In residential treatment centres?
Hon. Mr. Norton: I think that the hon. member overlooked the fact that the contents of the memorandum set out in considerable details the guidelines for the safe handling and the safe storage of firearms, for whatever reason they may be necessary. It also indicates that if --
Mr. McClellan: You must be nuts!
Hon. Mr. Norton: -- it appears that in any of these homes the practice has been to have a firearm on the premises --
Mr. Warner: A snow job -- that’s ridiculous.
Hon. Mr. Norton: -- the previous experience of the person in charge and their background in the use of that firearm be investigated before placement of children there. I think the procedures set out in this are reasonable precautions to be taken by the employees of the ministry in the placement of children.
Mr. McClellan: In a residential treatment centre?
Hon. Mr. Norton: I would point out that the hon. member may be misinterpreting the --
Mr. Swart: Or you may be evading.
Hon. Mr. Norton: -- organizations to which this memorandum was directed. He may be extending it beyond its intention.
Mr. McClellan: Supplementary: Would the minister table for us in this House the identity of every residential treatment centre and every group home licensed under those two Acts in which there are firearms?
Hon. Mr. Norton: I’m not sure that I could, but if the hon. member wishes to put such a question on the order paper I will see if we can come up with the details of that information.
Mr. Warner: He is asking you right now.
Mr. Blundy: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the provincial Treasurer. In view of yesterday’s release of the report on tax reform and in view of the fact that on page two of the statement introducing the report the inequities of the situation in the city of Sarnia are dealt with, and in view of the fact that this report is now proposing to correct these inequities; is the provincial Treasurer prepared to offer to the municipalities so unequally affected transitional grants until such time as the tax reform proposals are implemented?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, I noted the comment on page two. I think that was lifted directly from what I had to say on January 4, so it was hardly a new statement. The answer to the question at the moment is no. I think we have to assess the whole report.
STANDING PROCEDURAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
Mr. Breaugh from the standing procedural affairs committee presented the committee’s report which was read as follows and adopted:
Your committee has carefully examined the following applications for private Acts and finds the notices, as published in each case, sufficient:
Hillport Motors Limited;
Township of Tilbury West.
Your committee further recommends that copies of the Canadian Parliamentary Guide be purchased for distribution to the members of the Assembly.
STANDING SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
Mr. Gaunt from the standing social development committee presented the committee’s report and moved its adoption. The committee’s report was read as follows:
Your committee has examined certain aspects of the Annual Report of the Ministry of Health, 1976-77, referred to it by the Legislature.
Your committee recommends that examination of all aspects of the Ontario Health Insurance Plan be continued by this committee or such other committee as the Legislature may decide, with a view to recommending major administrative and financial reforms, and particularly with a view to recommending a long-term alternative to the premium system.
Your committee recommends that as an interim measure, until the end of this fiscal year, the 37.5 per cent increase in OHIP premiums effective May 1 be withdrawn.
Your committee recommends that the government give serious consideration to the alternatives to the 37.5 per cent increase proposed by the official opposition and others, and present an alternative financing plan to the Legislature on or before April 25, 1978.
Mr. Speaker: Shall the report be received and adopted?
Hon. Mr. Welch: It is obvious that this report has generated considerable interest and would indeed form the basis for a very important debate in this House. It so happens that today is the regular day on which the House leaders meet and it was discussed. Because this is the afternoon for the private members’ public business, and indeed to provide ample opportunity for preparation for what will be a very significant and very important debate, with obvious implications, we agreed to have this debate on Tuesday next. Against the background of that agreement then, I understand that the usual procedure at this time would be to move the adjournment of the debate.
On motion by Hon. Mr. Welch the debate was adjourned.
INTRODUCTION OF BILL
PORTABLE FIRE EXTINGUISHERS SAFETY ACT
Mr. Stong moved first reading of Bill 67, An Act to regulate the Manufacture, Sale and Servicing of Portable Fire Extinguishers.
Motion agreed to.
Mr. Stong: The purpose of the bill is to protect the public from the fire hazards created by inadequately manufactured and serviced fire extinguishers. The bill requires that any business or person engaged in the business of manufacturing, selling or servicing of fire extinguishers must first obtain a licence. The Lieutenant Governor in Council has authority to make regulations establishing safety standards governing the manufacturing and servicing of fire extinguishers.
The director of fire extinguisher safety may require persons who apply for a licence to service fire extinguishers to complete examinations to ensure their competency prior to being issued a licence. The director has authority to refuse an application or to revoke a licence, with a right to a hearing before the Fire Marshal of Ontario and a further appeal to a court in order to provide recourse to applicants and licensees who wish to revert the director’s decision.
ORDERS OF THE DAY
PRIVATE MEMBERS’ BUSINESS
PREDATOR CONTROL ACT
Mr. Riddell moved second reading of Bill 54, An Act respecting Predator Control in Ontario.
Mr. Riddell: Mr. Speaker, the purpose of this bill is to provide for the control of livestock and poultry predation by coyotes, wolves and wild dogs. The bill will authorize the establishment of local predator control committees throughout Ontario to develop methods and procedures to protect livestock and poultry from destruction by predators.
Until 1972, the main method of protecting livestock from wildlife predation in Ontario was the provincial bounty system. This protection, however, proved ineffective for a number of reasons, the most important being that it did not differentiate between the coyote and the timber-wolf.
It is generally agreed that the timber-wolf, which is located primarily in northern Ontario, does not pose a threat to livestock production in its natural setting. Therefore, this animal should have appropriate protection in wilderness areas. These regions are basically wildlife habitat areas and are unsuitable for livestock production. Predator control for the purpose of the livestock production in these areas appear to be undesirable. Moreover, no attempt was made under the bounty system to control livestock predation in specific production areas of the province where there was a serious problem.
The provincial bounty system was curtailed in 1972 to appease the environmentalists who feared the extinction of the wolf. In that regard, I would like to read an article from the February 28, 1978 edition of Farm and Country entitled, “Wolves Play Havoc with Livestock.” It says: “Reader Joanne Engel cries her eyes out over the so-called wolf slaughter. ‘What are a few sheep,’ she asks, ‘compared to saving the noble wolf?’
“I am tired of this nonsense about howls in the moonlight. I would like to hear her howl when she steps up to the meat counter two or three years from now after most of our sheep have been killed.
“Slowly but surely, Canada’s sheep industry is dying. And there’s little sympathy from the cities. The wolves are far more important. Mrs. Engel says that most farmers and farm country editors are a bunch of rednecks. The only red necks I’ve seen this year were sheep throats slit by wolves. Yes, by wolves, some 70 odd on one farm alone.
“These poor, frightened creatures also had their stomachs ripped out and their hearts and livers eaten. If this does not sicken Joanne Engel, what else will? This carnage occurred on a farm 70 miles north of Toronto, an area where another of your wolf-loving readers says she has a farm. Reader Stephanie Diamant says she has never seen a wolf in her life. I have a feeling she would not know a wolf or a wolf track if she saw one. This is real wolf country. Perhaps she too should have seen the dreadful sheep slaughter. There were 27 killed on one night alone.
“Should Joanne Engel tire of city life in Toronto, perhaps she should take up sheep ranching in rural Ontario. This would not only keep her beloved wolves well fed, but would take some of the burden from some of the already hard-pressed farmers.” That is the end of that part of the article.
I can sympathize with the writer as I kept a relatively large flock of sheep on my farm in the early 1960s. One morning when I went out to the barn to check the ewes which were due to lamb within a very short period of time, I found the sheep scattered all over the farm. If my memory serves me correctly, there were 15 ewes which had either been killed or had to be put out of their misery, due to serious injuries by dogs. A pack of wild dogs had run the sheep most of the night and, as a result, the lambs were born prematurely and badly deformed. Needless to say, I encountered quite a loss that year. Although the municipality reimbursed me for the ewes which were killed by the dogs, they did not take into consideration the flock damage. The ewes aborted and many did not conceive at breeding time.
As previously indicated, the province stepped right out of the picture in 1972 when it curtailed the bounty system. Some municipalities then instituted their own bounty. Other municipalities did not adopt a bounty system of any kind. As a result, wolves were being hunted in one municipality and taken to another to collect the bounty.
An interesting article appeared in the March 22, 1978 edition of the Kitchener-Waterloo Record entitled, “Bruce keeps bounty on wolves, but cuts the rate.” I would like to quote from that article. “Bruce county council reduced its wolf bounties from $35 to $25 but refused Tuesday to go along with a recommendation by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and stop bounty payments entirely.
“Livestock producers feel the bounty must remain if a control is to be kept on predators and the Bruce Federation of Agriculture asked council to continue the payment. It also urged the surrounding counties to post bounties.
“A concern in Bruce is that wolves from neighbouring Wellington, Dufferin and Huron counties, where bounties aren’t paid, are presented in Bruce for bounty. Bruce now pays nearly 10 per cent of all wolf bounties in Ontario. Some townships in Bruce county supplement the county bounty by $10 to $25.”
I feel that there has to be provincial responsibility for the control of predators in livestock-producing areas. For this reason, I have introduced Bill 54. Under this bill, the Minister of Agriculture and Food will be required to zone the province so as to reflect those areas that should be primarily agricultural as opposed to those areas that are suited to wildlife.
In those agricultural areas where increased predator control is shown to be required, the Minister of Agriculture and Food would establish a predator control committee, consisting of a representative of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, the Ministry of Natural Resources, a municipal representative and a producer representative. These committees would be required to designate the location, intensity and method of predator control.
There is no doubt that livestock killings resulting from predation by wolves, coyotes or wild dogs pose a serious problem in many areas of the province. One only has to read articles from recent editions of Farm and Country to see how serious the problem is. Here is one article from Farm and Country, dated December 20, 1977, entitled “Advent of Winter Sees Wolf Trouble.”
I quote: “With the advent of winter, wolf problems have been reported at scores of points across Ontario. Sheep and calves were victims in Lanark, Leeds and Renfrew counties. And near Holstein, in Grey county, brush wolves (coyotes) attacked a 50-ewe flock owned by Donald Lewis.”
Later on in the article it says: “Wolves, allegedly the timber variety, have also been blamed for livestock slaughter on Toronto’s outskirts. Mid-November, a five-month-old foal was killed in a pasture. Comments owner Mel Preston . . .
“Earlier, he had to destroy a three-year-old mare valued at $4,000 after it had allegedly been pursued by wolves and a leg was broken.”
There is another article here from Farm and Country, dated August 16, 1977, and I’ll quote from parts of this article: “An increase in the vicious killings of livestock by wolves and wild dogs has Haldimand-Norfolk farmers alarmed.
“The wolf problem has increased terribly in the past 10 years, says Albert Peart. This year he has lost eight Suffolk sheep, two calves and a Charollais cow -- victims of wolves. The Caledonia farmer says: ‘There was a time when I could pasture sheep in the bush, but not any more’.”
Another article that comes from the Examiner correspondent is entitled Farmers Claim Wolves at their Door. The article goes on to talk about the serious damage that wolves are doing up in that part of the country or up in the Bancroft area.
I could go on and read article after article about some of the problems that livestock producers are having with wolves and wild dogs. But I think the Ministry of Agriculture and Food should be taking a really close look at how we might control this problem and taking some responsibility in trying to control predation throughout Ontario.
While losses occur among many species of farm animals, it is the sheep industry that has been most seriously affected by predation in this province. The number of livestock on which compensation was paid by the province because of predation was as follows: In 1973, there were 1,005 claims for a total amount of $51,866; in 1974, 1,281 claims for a total of $71,699; and in 1975, 1,951 claims for a total of $80,833. In 1973, 530 reporting municipalities paid out $165,759 in livestock damage claims.
It is agreed that sheep raising in Ontario could never be re-established to its earlier level without the implementation of meaningful legislation to control this problem. The market for sheep and lambs in Canada and Ontario is far greater than is presently being supplied by domestic production. The Ontario sheep industry has a value of some $5,135,000. If the threat of predators was reduced, the industry has the potential to rebuild at least back to 1956 levels or over double the present population which could generate $10 million annually to the economy of the province. Imports now supply over 80 per cent of the Canadian market and 90 per cent of those live imports to Canada come to Ontario.
Although predator control should be a provincial responsibility, the government is currently relying upon producers to solve the problem themselves. This practice of attempting to control predators by acting only after losses occur has been ineffective and haphazard. I believe that we definitely need a uniform system of control throughout the province. The indiscriminate payment of bounties by townships, counties, and livestock producers should be discouraged. This method does not solve the problem to the satisfaction of either the farmer or the naturalist.
Finally, I believe these funds that are now allocated by the Ministry of Natural Resources for payment to hunters for predator control should be rechannelled to the local predator control committee programs; for 1977-78, this figure was roughly $100,000.
In conclusion, I would like to say that legislation to control livestock and poultry predation by wildlife in Ontario has been required for some time. The problem, however, seems to have been ignored by the province. In fact, the government itself appointed a mammalian and avian pest management committee back in 1976 to examine this very situation. The recommendation of this committee, however, as contained in their report -- and the report for some reason was never tabled in this House. I think I got the report quite by accident. There are three of these reports, this one happens to be entitled The Report on the Predation by Coyotes of Ontario Livestock. Another has to do with wolves, and I believe there’s a further report that has to do with beavers.
The recommendations of this committee, as contained in their report that was submitted to the government back in June of 1977, have been ignored; the report has yet to be tabled in the House, as I indicated previously.
I believe this bill is urgently required. It incorporates those concerns that were expressed by the mammalian and avian pest management committee and I would hope that all members of this House would give their support to this bill. Let’s get it enacted into legislation and we’ll be able to do something to help the livestock producers in the province of Ontario.
Mr. Acting Speaker: Does the member wish to reserve time at the end? He didn’t use his 20 minutes.
Mr. Riddell: I hardly think it will be necessary. I really feel we’re going to get the support of all members.
Mr. MacDonald: Mr. Speaker, for the edification of the hon. member for Huron-Middlesex, I welcome the introduction of this bill. I welcome it because this is a very vexing problem which has torn communities and has torn groups apart for years. On the one hand, you have people who are passionately opposed to wolves -- and the word “wolf” encompasses wild dogs and every other animal that might be involved in the destruction of livestock -- and then, on the other hand, you have people who are sentimentally in support of wolves, tending to ignore some of the destruction that has taken place.
The thing that rather intrigues me about the government is that they have copped out on this issue. I can remember when Norris Whitney was around here, a representative from Prince Edward-Lennox. Every year there would be a passionate anti-wolf speech delivered in the House and it would be treated with a degree of smiling and chuckling on the part of the government; but nothing happened.
It seems to me that when you have such a division in the community, there is a legitimate need for the establishment of some sort of mechanism that can resolve these conflicts and can provide an opportunity for review of the activities; and that, in my view, is what this bill is seeking to do. There is need for a balanced control of predators, particularly when there is evidence, that can’t be dismissed in total, of pretty wanton destruction.
As I draw the House’s attention to what I believe to be the balance in this area, in some areas I shall raise questions with regard to whether or not that balance will always be maintained; indeed, I suppose, whether it will be established in the first instance. This is where, in my view, one should take a very good, solid look at the bill.
For example, the second section of the bill, where it orders the establishment of predator control committees, indicates who is going to be on these committees. There’s going to be a representative from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food. Then, a little later, it notes that the representative of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food shall be the chairman. So the chairman of the committee is one appointee from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, which quite frankly has tended to be rather hesitant to come to grips with this problem up until now. There is going to be a person representative of the Ministry of Natural Resources; a representative of the local municipalities; a representative of the livestock and poultry producers -- in other words the producers whose animals or whose birds tend to have been destroyed by predation in the past; whether or not that group is always going to have the appropriate kind of balance in coping with this issue, I think experience is going to have to provide us with some guidance.
The local municipalities could be mindlessly anti-wolves and lead to a wanton destruction of them and other animals. Certainly, there would be this tendency, and naturally and understandably so, perhaps more so, on the part of the producers whose livestock are being destroyed. Therefore, it seems to me, one has to take a look at what is the appropriate kind of balance, and whether or not that balance is going to be there generally across the province or in any specific committee, when we have to look at it from year to year.
The added precautions in the bill, in my view, come in the next sections where they point out that within the first year this predator control committee has to develop a plan and has to submit it to the minister and it has to be approved by the minister. So once again you’re going to have some element of control here at Queen’s Park, subject to review by the Legislature and committees of the Legislature as frequently as we see necessary.
On the question of whether or not it is wise to have an incentive to go out for the destruction of these predators, namely whether or not we are going to reinstitute a bounty system, once again this is going to be subject to approval of the minister. That wording clearly indicates there may well be an intention, as far as the bill is concerned, to restore it. For example, it reads:
“No predator control committee shall make any payment in respect of predator control until a predator control plan for the area has been approved by the minister.” Implicit in it is that that is likely to be part of the plan. There cannot be payments, and the plan cannot be implemented until it has been submitted to the minister and approved, but once that’s done we’re going to get back into the fairly extensive payment of bounties again. That, I think, has to be watched rather carefully.
Then one gets into the annual review of the plan, which is required by section 3, subsection 3: “Every predator control committee shall make an annual review of the predator control plan and may amend the plan from time to time with the approval of the minister.” That should provide an opportunity at the local level for a balance of input; though unfortunately what usually happens on this issue is that in any given community you tend to have an imbalance.
If it happens to be an agricultural community where there has been a considerable amount of destruction, the overwhelming view is to move in massively into the destruction of the animals and we may not have an appropriate balance. Therefore, the thing that attracts me and I think is the real safety valve in this bill -- certainly I, personally, as a member of this House will view this as a safety valve and plead with other members of the House to bear it in mind -- is section 4, and let me put this on the record:
“Every predator control committee shall submit a report to the minister after the end of each calendar year concerning predator control methods and procedures in the predator control area, and such reports shall include a report on the level and nature of current predator activity, the amount of compensation paid by the committee, if any, during the preceding 12-month period and an assessment of the effectiveness of the predator control plan in protecting livestock and poultry.”
In other words, there is an obligation on the part of the local committee to make a fairly complete and detailed report each year. That is submitted to the minister. When this bill gets to committee I think there should be some procedure to make certain that those reports are readily made available, to a standing committee of the Legislature or at least to such members of the Legislature as may want to see them, by having them tabled so that we will have an opportunity at this level to take a look at the picture across the province and in any given local committee to make certain that we have got the kind of balanced control that I think experience has indicated is appropriate and justified.
In short, with those reservations about the dangers in this, I end the way I began, I welcome the bill because I think it is coming to grips with a problem that this government has for too long copped out on, and it has copped out in spite of the fact that it is people in its own ranks who have been most militant and aggressive in pressuring the government to do something about it. Here I think we have got the kind of mechanism with adequate controls for coming to grips with the problem and there certainly will be a continuing role down through the years for the Legislature to maintain its watchdog capacity.
Mr. Cureatz: Mr. Speaker, as a matter of fact, I was going to open up with a few comments that yes, indeed, I am going to support the bill of the member for Huron-Middlesex and I sure can appreciate a fine quality of legislation when I see it. If I may say, the farmer’s job is an arduous one. He’s faced every day with the possibility that some chance element of nature will disturb his livelihood and generally he is helpless against these factors.
The destruction caused by predators is another matter. Every year one hears stories of the senseless slaughter of countless livestock, poultry and other animals by wolves and other predators and here’s an area where the farmer can protect himself. He is not entirely at the mercy of nature. This Act proposes to legislate a form of protection for the farmer from these unnecessary and costly losses to stock and therefore to his income. Most farmers cannot afford such a loss. Legislation that will protect them in this area is both a good and necessary idea.
The present legislation -- I mean that existing now, not the bill that’s proposed -- which governs the protection of the farmer against predators appears to me to be somewhat fragmented. Its jurisdiction is divided between several departments at the provincial level and the local municipal level. This overlapping tends to confuse and make the boundaries of each jurisdiction rather nebulous. The municipalities, currently administer the regulations governing wild dogs as predators. The Ministry of Agriculture and Food should be the body responsible for the protection of the farmer. Unfortunately, predators of the kind we are speaking of -- not the parliamentary kind -- fall within the jurisdiction --
Mr. Wildman: Are you talking about McKeough?
Mr. Cureatz: -- of the Ministry of Natural Resources. It is hoped that this bill might obviate some of this confusion.
Mr. Gaunt: Get plenty of all that later.
Mr. Cureatz: If there is a provincial election, there will be enough predators running around.
The bill, it seems to me, attempts to integrate all the various groups concerned at the different legislative levels into one committee, chaired appropriately by a representative from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food. There would be individual committees for each area designated by the Minister of Agriculture and Food. This is an important notion, because it allows the ministry enough flexibility to create a committee only in the areas where there is a direct and immediate need for action against predators. In a period of austerity, this ability to carve down a program to cover areas of immediate concern is an exercise in the economics of both time and dollars.
The present boundary system for predators is inadequate in several ways. First of all, its scope is not broad enough. It is restricted only to wolves and other sorts of animals that inhabit the wild. Wild dogs are not included, and there have been occasions in the past when it has been proven that wild dogs have been responsible for some of these acts of slaughter.
Secondly, there is a danger of over-zealousness in the bounty hunting, the tendency to over-kill the predator species. As much as these predators are a menace to livestock and to the farmer, the wholesale slaughter of such animals is not the answer. The old idea of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth is not acceptable. In many areas the wolf is an endangered species. Annihilation of the predator may solve one temporary problem; at the same time it creates a more permanent one, the extinction of another species of animal life.
Therefore, the establishment of a committee, when needed, to make plans and to effect them in the control of predators is a positive step. Control is an important word because it works in two directions: First, it allows the members of the committee to protect the farmer when there is the direct menace of predation in a specific area; secondly, by its ability to establish the methods of control, it would ensure that the predator species, as a species of wildlife, would not be eliminated by overkill.
It would be easy to create a blanket policy for predator control to allow the wholesale slaughter of all animals designated as predators, but I feel this is not sound wildlife management. Nonetheless, the need for a comprehensive predator control policy is forever presenting itself. I am reminded of an item I read in one of the local newspapers concerning a farmer who was boarding a brood mare and champion colt near Toronto. He went out one morning and found the mare severely mauled; and a colt that had been mauled had died. The act was attributed to either wolves or to wild dogs; either way, it was an act of senseless slaughter. The owners of such animals and all farmers in general have a right to protection against such cruel and destructive acts.
A committee such as that I have described in the bill under consideration would be an effective instrument of control. It would react to an imminent or pressure situation, and would properly implement the proper methods of control which best suit the government’s ongoing efforts at resource management. In the light of the above-stated needs and rationale, I extend my support to the bill.
If I could just make a few other comments: the area that does concern me is setting up another committee; and in the light of debate we have had in the last year with regard to sunset clauses, et cetera, it seems to me we have got to be careful about setting up more government committees. We might have a situation in which, if a committee is instigated in a certain area, we can take a look at a future time to see if that committee is in fact doing its function, and then, if it has been used to its full purpose we might be able to pull it back. I was hoping we might be able to implement the legislation with that in mind.
I believe, too, that this truly is a private member’s bill, more in tune with what I think this hour is for, and I compliment the member on that. When I look back to last fall when I presented my private member’s bill, I felt that it was in the jurisdiction of a private member’s bill, not a general policy statement, which the opposition party and the third party often bring forward as policy statements through a private member.
Mr. Wildman: Don’t spoil what you just said.
Mr. Cureatz: Notwithstanding the fact that the member for Huron-Middlesex severely lacerated me for my private member’s bill by merely calling the clerk of the township and asking what he thought -- as the clerk related to me -- I will be supporting the member’s bill.
Mr. Gaunt: I think the Minister of the Environment (Mr. McCague) is going to support it too.
Mr. McKessock: I rise in support of this bill. I realize, when it comes to the northern parts of Ontario, we have a problem out in the country in the control of wolves and dogs and bears. In my area of Grey county, we have a number of wolves, as has been pointed out by the hon. member for Huron-Middlesex. And in the northern part of Ontario there are a number of bears that attack the calves of the cow-calf farmers. In my area it is more the sheep farmers who have a problem.
Besides the problem of having too many wolves, we have the problem of over-reaction by conservationists. This is why, I think, legislation has to come about to correct some of these problems.
The member for York South pointed out that there are conflicting opinions in the municipalities over whether the wolves should be controlled or not. I have an article here that appeared in the Mount Forest paper of March 29 of this year which points this out very clearly. This was referred to by the member for Huron-Middlesex, about the problem around Holstein.
Here it states, “Egremont Hunters Say ‘No’ to Wolves.
“Egremont wolf hunters refused to go out after a pack of wolves last week because they say there’s too much hassle involved in wolf hunting in Egremont.
“Grace Lush, the Egremont dog catcher, was awakened at 4 a.m. last Tuesday by the barking of her dogs. She said, ‘The dogs sometimes kick up a fuss, but never like this before.’ Upon investigating, she discovered five wolves which had cornered a pregnant doe which sought refuge in the middle of a stream about 400 yards from her home. She said members of her party took shots at the wolves which quickly scattered into the bush. The doe was in such a state of confusion she came out of the stream and walked right up to Mrs. Lush. A few moments later it wandered off down the stream and disappeared.
“The area was covered with backs and the weather good for tracking the following day. However, in spite of the repeated attempts to get a wolf hunter, none would agree. Mrs. Lush said that one of the wolf hunters came to her home to explain why he wouldn’t do the hunting. He told her that the controversy surrounding the proposed trespassing law and the other hassles from township residents had led the wolf hunters to withdraw their services.
“When contacted by phone Monday afternoon, Mr. Eccles confirmed that he and about a dozen wolf hunters are no longer hunting in the area of Egremont township, but not the entire township. ‘We are still hunting,’ he said, ‘but not down around Holstein.’ He went on to say that he and others are fed up with listening to the complaints from residents of the area, as well as reading the negative reports in local as well as city newspapers.
“He said he has lived in the township all his life and hunted for the past 20 years, but he’d never come up against such hassles as he has recently. ‘It leaves a sour taste in our months,’ he commented. Mr. Eccles said that he and his group of wolf hunters have been aware of hot spots where wolves are known to be around Holstein. ‘But as far as we are concerned, they can stay there,’ he said. He concluded that residents in that part of the township are going to have to decide whether they want wolves or hunters.”
I think that very well points out the problem where we get one person for and the other against. I agree with protecting wildlife, but we have to look at the situation realistically. Some say, “Don’t interfere with nature.” Is that what we do when we get an appendicitis attack? I think we move to correct the situation, and I think this is what we must do when the wolf population gets out of control.
Mr. Ziemba: Take out their appendix?
Mr. McKessock: We must move to correct the situation. This bill will allow for a uniform bounty system across the province and will give a systematic approach to the predator control problem.
Mr. Ziemba: I’m afraid I must break solidarity with the previous speakers. Representing High Park-Swansea, I can speak with some authority on this bill -- the wilds of High Park-Swansea.
Let me say that I’m opposed to the death penalty. I’m opposed to capital punishment. I am an abolitionist and I’m opposed to the death penalty on wolves. I think we’ve heard a lot of scare tactics here. We’ve heard the member for Huron-Bruce as well as the member for Grey talk about newspaper articles. We don’t believe everything we read in the newspaper articles. Neither member has seen a wolf attack livestock and I think a case could be made for not only wild dogs but even pet dogs doing the damage the wolves get blamed for.
What I am afraid of in this predator control committee is that we will be setting up a kind of incentive system where hunters will go out to areas that pay the best bounty and take their wolf skins, their tails or whatever evidence they need to collect the bounty, to that particular jurisdiction.
We have heard in the past where hunters have used their snowmobiles to run down wolves in a most inhumane manner. We have passed too many laws in this Legislature. We are passing laws left, right and centre. I think when we get into tampering with nature we’re going a little bit too far.
Mr. McKessock: What do you do when you get an appendicitis attack?
Mr. Ziemba: I see hell as a place that is filled with laws and heaven as somewhere where there are no laws; where the wolf can sit down with the lamb.
On that note, I will sit down, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Lane: Mr. Speaker, I rise to say a few words on Bill 54. I find no difficulty in supporting the bill and I am surprised that the last speaker has so little knowledge of the damage that can be caused by the wolf, especially in the farming areas and to our deer herds in our province.
The only question I would have at this time about the bill is, is it really necessary or do we not now presently have sufficient statutes that could be amended or are already in force that would provide the kind of protection that the member is talking about?
I would like to go back for a few moments to some of the discussion we had in November 1972 when we were repealing the Wolf and Bear Bounty Act and some of the concerns that were expressed by the members of the House of that day about the predator control need.
On November 21, 1972, Hon. Mr. Bernier, who was then Minister of Natural Resources, moved second reading of Bill 219, An Act to repeal the Wolf and Bear Bounty Act. Subsequently, many members got into the act and of course, it is much too detailed to go through the entire discussion of the day because it was long and a lot of concern was expressed. I’ll read just a few of the things that came up and the concerns that were expressed by one hon. member. A portion of his concern was:
“If the ministry can make provision for livestock, ranging from chickens to cattle, in Bill 220” -- which was subsequently introduced -- “I see no reason why the minister can’t bring in accompanying legislation covering the loss that trappers suffer because of wolves.”
There are two sides to the story, of course, because the trapper under the other Act had been taking a fair dollar, but as it was found out, the greater amount of the money was taken in January and February by sportsmen or so-called sportsmen with airplanes up in northern Ontario and other places where there was no great worry about loss of livestock to farmers or loss of deer herds or other animals.
Another member made this statement: “Now let me make my position clear. I am not a hunter. I do feel that the wolf has, and will always have, a place in the scheme of things. But I think if I have to make a choice, I will vote in favour of the preservation of the deer herd.”
That was not my comment but it was very near and dear to me, because Manitoulin Island is one of the best deer hunting areas in the province and we certainly have had over the years a great deal of loss to the deer herd from wolves.
Another comment that was made: “I have to vote against Bill 219 for that reason. I am happy that the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. Stewart) is introducing a bill, or has introduced a bill, that will perhaps lessen the problem to some degree in the farm areas whereby farmers will be compensated for poultry and livestock loss” and so on. He is referring, of course, to the Dog Licensing and Live Stock and Poultry Protection Act, which was amended at that time.
Another hon. member said, “Again, I want to say that if this motion is to pass we are going to have to have positive wildlife management programs. We are going to have to have a predator control program with some teeth in it. We have been told we have a predator control program and only a couple of weeks ago a farmer in my area was plagued by wolves raiding his stock. He took it up with the conservation officer in the area, who in turn took it up with his district and was told to go out and engage an assistant to do some predator control work.” So you can see it was of great concern at that time.
I finally got into the act at some point in time and said:
“Mr. Speaker, I too am against discontinuing the wolf bounty, or at least I was until I saw what bills were on the order paper, particularly a bill to repay farmers for the loss of livestock. In my discussion with the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Bernier) I understand that in areas where wolves become a problem there will be a method used, if necessary, where hunters who are capable of hunting wolves will be hired to do the job for us. If this is the case, I am prepared to support the motion, and if it is not the case, I will vote against it.”
The hon. minister assured me at that time that that was the case and he went on to say: “We intend to remove the bounty completely and, of course, replace it with the Wolf Damage to Live Stock Compensation Act and we will be debating this at a further point.”
So, Mr. Speaker, a couple of days later we brought in that Act -- I think it was on November 23 -- and it was debated here. “The Hon. Mr. Bernier moves second reading of Bill 220, An Act respecting the Payment of Damages Caused to Live Stock by Wolves.” There was a considerable amount of debate at that time, and in summing up, the hon. minister said: “Mr. Chairman, I still must retain my former position that the maximum payments are quite fair -- $500 for cattle, $100 for a goat, $500 for a horse, $100 each for sheep, swine, and poultry, up to a maximum of $500 per year.”
So I have a feeling that we probably have sufficient statutes in the books at the present time to provide the protection the hon. member for Huron-Middlesex is seeking.
Getting back to the bill itself, section 3 provides for a predator control plan, but there is really nothing in the bill to say what force and effect these plans have. A plan under this section cannot impose a mandatory requirement on any person. For example, it cannot require people to make reports, construct fences, shoot predators, et cetera. Similarly, a predator control plan cannot override existing legislation. A plan could not allow something otherwise actively prohibited under an Act such as the Game and Fish Act. Such a plan cannot be anything more than an advisory document, a code of recommended practice. I would think, Mr. Speaker, if this bill gets to committee, and I am sure it will, it would need some amendments to give it some teeth --
Mr. Warner: It will be the first one.
Mr. Lane: -- if in fact we do feel we need the bill. Maybe we just need to amend the present statutes so we get the protection this bill would try to provide.
Mr. Warner: It will be the first one to get to the committee.
Mr. Gaunt: I just want to make a few brief comments with respect to this bill. I am, of course, strongly in support of it coming from an agricultural area which has suffered some considerable damage with respect to wolves and coyotes and what have you.
We certainly have encountered considerable problems with livestock in the counties of Huron and Bruce. There seems to be an increasing problem with respect to damage to and loss of livestock attacked by wolves of one variety or another, and it is long overdue that a bill of this nature be introduced in this House. The government opposite has simply washed its hands of the whole problem, and that hasn’t been helpful at all to areas of the province which are encountering this kind of difficulty.
I can recall back in 1975 I went to an area around Bancroft to speak at a nominating convention. While I had certain things to say at that particular meeting about the government and what they were doing, after the meeting was all over no one wanted to discuss what I had said. All they wanted to talk about was what the government was going to do with respect to controlling wolves in the province. I was beginning to wonder where I was.
But it is a serious problem in many parts of the province and I think that my friend from Huron-Middlesex has put forward a bill which, in my view, would certainly bring some wildlife management into this province which is absolutely necessary. I am one of those people who feel that sometimes nature can get somewhat out of balance. There are forces in nature which really control themselves to an extent, but at times things do get out of balance. I think a bill of this nature simply brings some wildlife management into the areas where there obviously are problems in coping with wolves and coyotes.
I know there are people who would wipe out the wolf if they had the chance. The other side of it, of course, are people who wouldn’t touch a wolf with a 20-foot pole, because they like to hear the cry of the wolf at midnight. Well, those are the extremes. I think we have to strike a balance between competing interests.
Mr. Wildman: What did you mean by a 20-foot pole, over here?
Mr. Gaunt: Well, I won’t define that. I’ll define that for the member at some point later on, but --
Mr. Ziemba: Would you touch one with a 20-foot pole?
Mr. Wildman: So there is no racial slur.
Mr. Gaunt: No, there is no racial slur intended.
Mr. Samis: You are a little slow there on the draw, Murray. It was so quiet back here; don’t arouse us.
Mr. Gaunt: I want to allay any fears in that respect. I certainly don’t want my good friend from Parkdale to think I have a racially prejudiced bone in my entire body.
So, I say to you, Mr. Speaker, that this bill would accomplish what those of us in the rural areas are faced with almost weekly.
I will answer some of the comments of the members. The member for York South mentioned that in his view the reports should be filed with a standing committee of this Legislature so they could be reviewed from time to time. I have no objection to that. I think that would be a good idea. I think that would tend to lend a balance to the whole mechanism that is being set up in this particular bill. I think that would be a thing that could very easily and adequately be done.
I wish my friends would stop passing me notes, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Samis: Read the note.
Mr. Acting Speaker: I’m sorry, I can’t do anything about that.
Mr. Gaunt: The coons are certainly safe for a while.
Mr. Samis: Careful, Murray.
Mr. Warner: Withdraw.
Mr. Gaunt: The member for Durham East mentioned that as far as he was concerned he was in support of the bill. But he felt that perhaps this was an attempt to set up more committees and more groups which in view of the current discussion about our sunset legislation perhaps would not be wise at this time.
Mr. Wildman: Wolves usually come out after sunset.
Mr. Gaunt: Yes, they ordinarily do. But I would say to my friend from Durham East that as far as I’m concerned, I don’t think this would fall into the same category at all.
What my friend from Huron-Middlesex has proposed in this bill is that one representative of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food would be on the committee and act as chairman. I would say that could very easily be the ag rep in the local county; that would simply be an extension of his normal duties. So we wouldn’t be setting any committee in place which would have to be paid an extra per diem and all the rest of it. The ag rep would simply sit as chairman of that committee, perhaps a day or two a month; and I’m sure most if not all ag reps across the province could spare that kind of time to do that. That would be a normal extension of their day-to-day work which would be quite proper.
Another representative on the committee would be from the Ministry of Natural Resources. There again, I see no reason why that couldn’t be a member of the conservation authority or a local staff member of the Ministry of Natural Resources; we have district offices all across the province, and perhaps the Ministry of Natural Resources would lend one of its personnel from the district office to sit on that committee, which again I would consider to be a fairly natural extension of their day-to-day work.
There should be no problem in getting a representative from the local municipality. Nor should there be any problem in getting a representative of the livestock and poultry producers carrying on business in that area or municipality. I’m sure they would be prepared to give of their time a few hours a month to cope with a problem with which they’re concerned and which could potentially cause them some loss.
I see no conflict here with this body’s attempt to set up a sunset committee to deal with commissions, boards and committees that have been set up over the years and which tend to go on and on and on, even though their real function and purpose has long since passed.
What this bill attempts to do, as opposed to what the bill to which my friend from Algoma-Manitoulin referred attempted to do, is to cope with the problem before it becomes a problem. The bill to which my friend referred actually deals with the problem after it is a problem. In other words, the bill provides for compensation after there has been a loss. After livestock has been killed, after the damage has been done, the bill provides for certain levels of reimbursement. But this bill tries to cope with the problem before it becomes a problem.
The kind of thing to which my colleague from Huron-Middlesex alluded with respect to sheep is a good case in point. With one of these committees in place, the wolf problem in the area could be dealt with and some measures taken to limit the number of wolves in the area and the potential damage to livestock as a result.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: The hon. member’s time has expired.
Mr. Gaunt: In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I would just say that this bill is a good bill. I’m sure there might be the odd minor amendment in committee, but I would urge the government to move this bill forward very quickly --
Mr. Warner: Boy, that would be a first.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order.
Mr. Warner: Get tough with him.
Mr. Gaunt: -- because it comes to grips with a very serious and real problem in Ontario, one which the government has washed its hands of completely.
Mr. Nixon: A good election issue.
Mr. Wildman: I am speaking in favour of Bill 54, Mr. Speaker, although I must say I have some questions about the bill. One reason I support this bill is because it doesn’t simply reinstitute a bounty, as some people expected it might when it was first announced on first reading. It sets up committees whose responsibility it will be to study the whole question of the number of predators, the magnitude of the problem in the particular area and look at various methods of controlling the problem if it is, indeed, a major one. For that reason I think it’s a very responsible approach to the bill.
Frankly I think the bounty, when it was in effect, was rather ineffective. Certainly in an area like mine, and the member for Algoma-Manitoulin may have some disagreements, I think it was basically ineffective because what it tended to do --
Mr. Ziemba: You don’t have wolves on Pumpkin Point Road, do you, Bud?
Mr. Wildman: Yes, we do, unfortunately.
What the bounty did was encourage hunters, especially during the winter to kill wolves on sight, wolves that may or may not have been a problem especially in our area where we have a lot of bushland that wolves can be found in.
As suggested by one of the members, I have never seen a wolf kill, but I have seen wolves in the vicinity of my area, near my home. Frankly, I don’t think that wolves are the major problem in my area. I think it’s dogs.
One of the members mentioned bears in the north. True, we do have a lot of bears but they have not, in my experience, been a major problem in attacking livestock. What seems to be the problem are coyotes and wild dogs.
One of the problems is that as more and more people move into the countryside from the city, especially into areas where they have seasonal residences, there seems to be a proliferation of uncontrolled dogs in the area that run in packs and, unlike the wolf, often run livestock and deer to death with no aim in mind except running them. They don’t kill them by attacking them. They just run them until they collapse of exhaustion.
There have been wolves killed in my area in regard to sheep and it has made it very difficult.
I don’t think legislation in regard to compensation is really effective. It compensates the farmer for a loss, but first off he has to be able to show that he has the carcass. If he can’t locate the carcass then he’s got problems because it could have been stolen, I suppose. It’s a problem, even if there’s some evidence of wolf tracks.
But even though he can get compensation it doesn’t compensate him for potential value. For instance, if a lamb is killed, or if a ewe loses a lamb because of being run by wolves, the farmer can’t be compensated for the value that unborn lamb or the young lamb might have had if it had lived to maturity and had been marketable. The same goes for calves, of course. If the calf is attacked, you can be compensated for the value of the calf. Obviously a calf that is a few days old is hardly the value of what it would be if it were a fully-grown cow. So, that compensation isn’t very helpful.
I have some questions, though, of the minister responsible here, the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. W. Newman). In our area we have a situation now where, if it can be shown by the municipality or the farmers in the area that dogs or wolves are a problem, the Ministry of Natural Resources does have predator control programs. They bring in trappers to trap out the wolves and they move into an area, if dogs are the problem, to kill the dogs. I wonder, since this also relates to the problem of preservation of deer, whether or not this should be moved out of the purview of the Ministry of Natural Resources and moved to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food. I hope that will be discussed in committee.
Also, there is the question of zoning certain areas as mainly agricultural. I wonder how that would affect Algoma. I don’t know whether very many southern Ontario farmers consider Algoma as mainly an agricultural area although we have a large number of farmers.
There is also the question of the establishment of the committee. I wonder how this committee will be established. Will they be elected like other agricultural committees in the area? Most of the agricultural committees in my area are elected -- and, for that matter, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food representative on the committee, usually the ag rep, is not necessarily the chairman. He is usually the secretary of the committee, and I wonder why in this case he is not made the chairman, rather than having a locally elected chairman.
I am glad to see there will be a representative of the Ministry of Natural Resources on the committees, and I hope that these committees will be effective. As I said before, the great advantage of this bill is that it deals, I think, mainly with wildlife management. That is, it’s not simply saying we are going to bring in a bounty. It sets up a committee whose responsibility it is to come up with a rational predator control plan which may or may not involve a bounty but may involve other types of control as well -- trapping and so on -- and I commend the bill and I support it on that basis. But I hope that the questions I have raised regarding the committee and how it is to operate can be answered and perhaps dealt with when the bill goes to committee.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Are there any other members wishing to participate in the debate? The member for Huron-Middlesex.
Mr. Riddell: I indicated when I spoke previously that I didn’t think I would need to wind up, but I would just like to say that I do thank the members for their support in this bill. I am sure that if it goes to committee we can iron out some of the problems that were brought to our attention by the various members who did speak.
I would just like to say that the reason that I have put it into the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food is that the minister and his staff should know what areas should come under the predator control committee. In other words, they know best where the agricultural land is, as far as I am concerned, and even if you do get up into Algoma or go up into the New Liskeard area, the clay-belt area, Mr. Speaker, I still maintain that land produces food and so should be established as one of the predator control areas.
Here, again, I think maybe the Ministry of Agriculture and Food staff can do that better than the Ministry of Natural Resources staff. Also if we are going to leave it up to the Ministry of Natural Resources, I think they would tend to try to save the wolves wherever they possibly could and maybe not give as much attention to the livestock as would the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.
As for making the ag rep the chairman, I don’t think it would be necessary. We can work that out in committee. But he seems to be the appropriate person to have as the chairman of this committee because he certainly has the pulse of what is going on in the county he represents. He’s an employee of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food and I couldn’t think of a more appropriate person to have as chairman and to be able to work along with the other members on the committee.
These are just some of the answers. My colleague from Huron-Bruce (Mr. Gaunt) has responded to some of the questions on the committee by other members. I don’t think we are setting up more bureaucracy. I don’t think we are setting up more sunset committees, if you want to refer to them as that. These people who will be working on these committees will certainly not be receiving any kind of compensation. It will strictly be a voluntary service, so I don’t think that it really falls under the classification of those other committees we would all like to dispense with at some time or another.
Once again, Mr. Speaker, I simply want to thank the members for realizing that for the livestock producers throughout Ontario there is a problem with predators. It would appear to me that the members are prepared to do something about it and bring some of these problems under control.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: That completes the debate on Bill 54. We will defer further action until 5:50.
EDUCATION AMENDMENT ACT
Mr. Dukszta moved second reading of Bill 55, An Act to amend the Education Act, 1974.
Mr. Dukszta: Before I speak on the bill, I would like to acknowledge that the concept and design of the right to language bill is the work of many people. I cannot mention everyone, but I want to recognize four people specifically: Trustee Bob Spencer of Toronto Board of Education, who co-authored it; Grant Cassidy, who put it into the context of multiculturalism -- I stole blindly from his unpublished but excellent thesis; David Phillips, the legislative counsel, who told us how to phrase it; and Tony Grande, who before his election pioneered the concept in his work as a teacher.
The right to language bill becomes more understandable if it is put into the context of multiculturalism. Political responses to the concept of multiculturalism are evolving as a result of the growing awareness of the fact that in 1971, census data in Ontario showed that out of a population of 7,703,105 people, fully 2,389,735 are neither French nor English. The fact that one in three people in Ontario is neither English nor French is not new. What is new is our growing awareness that one person in three is becoming increasingly articulate about his needs and aspirations.
Language rights are becoming more important to various ethnic groups. Language is fundamental to the traditions, communal practices and world views that shape society. For Canadians, language is crucial in terms of access to and participation in all significant economic, social and political institutions in society. But what it is important to understand is that for the ethnic group there are two languages; the lingua franca, which is English, and their own language, which we can either call original native or country language spoken at home, or mother tongue.
English is essential for societal participation, while the mother tongue is a cornerstone of the ethnic identity, and a bond between one generation and another.
The interest of ethnic groups in multiculturalism in our society is in terms of whether or not they can live in a society where they can be themselves and pass key elements of their ethnicity to their children. The two languages are the two links for ethnics -- to their children and to Canadian society, and are equally important. The awareness of this changed the socio-demographic nature of Canada. In 1971, the federal government announced its multicultural policy, encouraging the maintenance and development of cultural identity in the Canadian context.
The federal government’s response to book four of the royal commission tabled in the House of Commons on October 8, 1971, stated the government’s position: “We believe that cultural pluralism is the very essence of Canadian identity. Every ethnic group has the right to preserve and to develop its own culture and value within its Canadian context. To say we have two official languages is not to say we have two official cultures, and no particular culture is more official than another. A policy of multiculturalism must be a policy for all Canadians.
“Vibrant ethnic groups can give Canadians of the second, third, and subsequent generations a feeling that they are connected with the tradition and with human experience in various parts of the world and different periods of time. The government regards this as a heritage to treasure and believes that Canada would be poorer if we adopted assimilation programs forcing our citizens to forsake and forget the culture they brought us.”
The policy was welcomed by the ethnics, but recently there is increasing recognition of discrepancy between the stated aims and ideals of the policy of multiculturalism and actualization of those aims and ideals in the attitudes and institutions of Canadian society. On the one hand we have a policy of multiculturalism; on the other there is the reality of a dominant English-Canadian society expressed by our media, our political structures, our cultural institutions, our workplaces and our schools.
Canadian society is organized by the standards and institutions appropriate to the English-Canadian ethnic group. This group is relatively closed to non-members, and it is also intolerant of practices which diverge from its world view. The dilemma of non-English-Canadians is that they are simultaneously confronted with pressures to become like English-Canadians, while at the same time they are aware of the near impossibility of becoming an English-Canadian without totally sacrificing their culture and transferring their ethnicity. Many non-English-Canadians do not wish to make such a change.
Canada is multicultural in that many communities besides the English-Canadian ethnic group have become indigenous to Canada However, there is a hierarchal arrangement with English-Canadians clearly in the dominant position. They have historically accommodated French Canadians by means of federal institutions. They are now tolerating a lengthy process whereby all other ethnic groups will either give up all but the external trappings of their culture and become otherwise indistinguishable from English-Canadians, or alternatively maintain their ethnicity and accept a subordinate position in Canadian society.
Implicit in the notion of multiculturalism and explicit in government policy is the concept that no one culture will so dominate Canadian society that others will not be able to flourish. There is the recognition that Canadian society is shaped by the interplay of many cultures. Building a Canadian nation state in a framework of multiculturalism means the inclusion of institutions and world views beyond those of the two founding peoples. The external trappings of a culture are meaningless unless they are tied to a shared experience and world view. Thus, for Canadian nationalism to be an expression of the collective experience of the Canadian people it must be multicultural, so that it includes the participation of most Canadians in the expression of Canada’s identity.
Besides the members of the two founding nations, there are seven million other Canadians who are neither English nor French and who say that their needs, aspirations and other cultural differences must be taken into account in a discussion of Canadian federation, Canadian identity and the future of Canada. What the federal Liberal government has actually done is to mouth the sentiments of multiculturalism and to deny the structural changes necessary in society to make it into a reality.
Through its multicultural policy, the federal government works to preserve the external trappings of ethnic minorities. Research studies, direct grants to ethnic groups, folklore festivals, aid to ethnic newspapers, the establishment of ethnic archives -- all these programs aim to preserve folklore, traditions which English-Canadians tend to look upon as quaint, charming and decorative, but they do not address the question of the role of alternative lifestyles and world views in Canada.
The cornerstone of one’s identity is language. In many respects, the dietary habits, music and dancing and the traditional way of dressing are external trappings which are only partially relevant to ethno-cultural Gestalt. Artistic and cultural activity is a natural extension of the language but it is the language which is the core of culture. Without the preservation of language, those aspects become nothing but decorative folklore without meaning. The policy of multiculturalism does not recognize the key position of language. It stresses external trappings only in a tokenistic and insincere fashion which ultimately talks multiculturalism, but intends complete assimilation.
A definition from book 1 of the royal commission on bilingualism and biculturalism states it very well. “A culture is a way of being, thinking and feeling. It is a driving force, animating a significant group of individuals, united by a common tongue” -- I stress -- “and sharing the same customs, habits and experiences.”
Ethnics are bound to their country of origin by their language, the written word, shared cultural patterns of thinking and generally shared sets of attitudes and feelings. They are bound to their new county by a parallel set of cultural bonds that are similar in form but different in content or emphasis. Being an ethnic Canadian means adapting one’s traditions, communal practices and world view to the context of Canadian society. To be Polish-Canadian, for instance, you have to have aspects of both those cultures. The core of ethnic values is embodied in language and, when language goes, other aspects of culture follow.
Though I speak of ethnic groups, their needs and aspirations, as if in counterpoint to being Canadian, I want to stress that I speak as a Canadian. I don’t care whether I’m defined as a new Canadian, or Polish-Canadian, or third-language Canadian. I am all this. I am new to this country. I am an immigrant. I am bilingual in English and Polish but, above all, I am a Canadian -- self-aware, self-conscious of my differences and my commonalities with my fellow Canadians. But I am no longer prepared to accept others defining what being Canadian means for me.
I came to this country by choice, fully conscious of the potential for development in this new, exciting country called Canada. I came from Poland, a country which is very old, and the continent of Europe, which was torn apart during my youth by bloody fratricidal war. I came to this country because I perceived it was an open society where I would be able to accommodate my differences. The policy of multiculturalism as articulated by the provincial and federal government fits me and seven million other Canadians who are neither English nor French.
I believe in multiculturalism. I believe that cultural pluralism is the very essence of Canadian identity. I take seriously the sentiments expressed by the federal and provincial governments on the policy of multiculturalism. I want to give notice to everyone that the seven million ethnics whose origin is neither English nor French take those sentiments seriously and the time has come to introduce some structural changes in our society that reflect those sentiments. Since I am an Ontario politician in my own minor way, I am introducing this right to language bill which I believe will begin to make multiculturalism a reality in the education, social and political life of Ontario.
Let us consider some recent statistics in Ontario on mother tongue and on the language most often spoken at home.
In the 1976 mini-census, 16.3 per cent of the population learned a language other than English or French as their first language. When looking at the figures for cities with a population over 25,000, you find that 17.2 per cent of the people in Hamilton, 17.6 per cent in Kitchener, 17.2 per cent in St. Catharines/Niagara, 20.3 per cent in Thunder Bay, 16.2 per cent in Sault Ste. Marie and 25.7 per cent in Toronto learned a language other than French or English as their first language.
Figures are only available from 1971 census data for the language most often spoken at home, but they indicate that 10.3 percent of the population spoke a language other than English or French at home.
Obviously, numbers do not tell the whole story. There are urban centres like Metro Toronto which, because of their role as points of entry for immigrants, feel the pressure of diverse ethnic backgrounds in schools and the workplace. But the heritage language issue is one which must be dealt with squarely by the provincial government, and not merely passed on to school boards already crippled by educational cutbacks, most particularly in special education and ESL programs.
The concept of the heritage language program as introduced by the Conservative government of Ontario is fine, but the third languages are taught after hours, on Saturday, or on an extended school day and consequently are not considered a subject of instruction, but as a frill along the lines of basket-weaving and not an academic credit as they should be.
This concern about language pervades my private member’s bill.
The right to language bill would do two things. One, provide immigrant students, children of immigrant parents, and children of Canadian parents whose language at home is neither French nor English with instruction in their native language for the purpose of transition into the English language.
Two, introduce third-language programs as part of the regular school program -- within the required five hours of instruction -- as a subject of instruction at the elementary school level.
The rationale for the transition program for students and children of parents whose mother tongue is other than English is the program would provide students with instruction in their own language in the interim period while the students are learning English. This would provide uninterrupted education for students without the loss of academic progress and academic years. It would provide the opportunity for the student to gradually add another dimension of communication, the English language, rather than be forced to replace his native language by a new one.
Children from ethnic communities often experience learning difficulties in the school settings. They remain behind in achievement mainly because their oral command of English is not as far developed as that of a child who comes to school from an English-speaking environment. Nevertheless, these children have linguistic and cultural experiences which, if properly used, can work to the child’s advantage and hence facilitate the introduction of the English language. The basic strategy inherent in this approach is the building upon what a child has already learned because that learning forms a positive and stable plateau for future growth. The school would begin from where the child is and with what the child has learned prior to schooling in Canada.
In the case of young children who enter school speaking their native language, the child’s mother tongue would be the language of instruction in the first year, with English being added slowly at first, as it arises out of the children’s experiences. The child would be introduced to reading and writing in his mother tongue, while at the same time oral language development in English would be accelerated in an atmosphere that is relatively secure from the point of view of the child. Eventually, as oral English is strengthened, reading and writing in English would be introduced and shortly after, the complete program would be taught in English.
The rationale for instituting the heritage language program during the regular school day is as follows:
1. To preserve the student’s culture and native language and to afford students the opportunity to study their native language and culture.
2. To give the student’s mother tongue and culture a recognized status in the regular school program and thus contribute to the student development of positive self-concept. Recognition of the integrity and worth of the student’s culture and language would place it in the student’s frame of reference.
3. To increase communication between children and their parents and grandparents. The school should be an instrument of communication maintenance rather than a cause of communication breakdown. Such a program would represent compatibility between the home and the school for both the child and his parents, rather than a cultural competition for the child’s allegiance.
4. To eliminate the physical and family strain of after-school programs and the psychological impact of the message of penalty-for-difference which students may perceive as a result of attending school longer than other children.
5. To promote consistency in the study of languages other than English. It appears illogical to me to prohibit the development of the child’s mother tongue in the elementary grades and, after she or he has all but forgotten it, to actively encourage to study of modern language at the secondary level.
Mr. Grande: Waste of resources.
Mr. Dukszta: In summary, the right to language bill, if passed, would allow: One, the third language to be the language of instruction; two, the third language to be a subject of instruction. The bill, if passed, would show to two and one-third million Ontarians who are neither French nor English that the Legislative Assembly of Ontario is fully committed to the concept of multiculturalism and to full partnership of all Canadians of Ontario irrespective of their origins.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Does the hon. member wish to reserve the balance of his time?
Mr. Dukszta: Yes, please.
Mr. Rotenberg: I rise to speak on this bill and I speak as a long-time supporter of heritage languages long before they were popular, long before they were government-supported, long before people felt we should have a heritage language program. I speak as a participant in heritage language programs -- as a student, as a parent, and as a member of community committees which have sponsored private heritage language programs.
I would say that we are getting to the point, in the first year of the provincial government heritage language program, where we have a pretty good program so far.
Mr. di Santo: No, we don’t.
Mr. Rotenberg: In the first year we have introduced 30 languages into our school system. We have over 50,000 students already into our heritage language program. So for the first year we are not doing badly. I agree it was overdue, and I agree we have to do better.
Mr. di Santo: In North York they have to pay.
Mr. Rotenberg: The member for Parkdale has made some suggestions, and I know he is very sincere in how he feels that the heritage language program should be improved. But I would submit that some these suggestions will not improve the program; some will harm the program -- some are premature.
Ms. Gigantes: What does “premature” mean?
Mr. Rotenberg: I just want to spend a few minutes, and 10 minutes isn’t very long, to discuss some of the principles of the bill from the member for Parkdale.
The first one with which I disagree is to make the heritage language part of the academic day, have it taught during the school day, because when it is taught in the school day, when you get academic credit for it, it has to be taught as an academic subject. Further on in his bill he talks about local committees setting up the curriculum, the course of studies and selecting textbooks. How can you have an academic credit given for whatever heritage language, where there are 40 or 50 different programs throughout the province where each community sets up its own program? It wouldn’t be possible.
Ms. Gigantes: Of course it would.
Mr. Rotenberg: But more important, Mr. Speaker, a heritage language program --
Ms. Gigantes: What do they do now?
Mr. Rotenberg: Because it is not an academic credit.
A heritage language program is far more heritage than language. A heritage language program should not only be teaching the language, it should be teaching the culture, the traditions, the customs, the ceremonies, the history, the geography of the native land; and yes, in some cases even religion. I submit those are things which cannot, and probably should not, be taught in the academic day, be taught as an academic credit, be taught as a regular public school program.
Ms. Gigantes: What?
Mr. Foulds: That’s what they do with Latin these days. That’s how they teach Latin.
Mr. Rotenberg: But even more important, you need a teacher who is not necessarily a certified teacher in our public or high school system and who teaches an academic subject. You need a teacher, first of all, who has a certain love for their particular language, but not just for the language.
Mr. MacDonald: It is a slander on other teachers.
Mr. Rotenberg: A teacher who teaches heritage language.
Mr. Grande: Speak to the principle of the bill, not to the organization.
Mr. Rotenberg: A teacher who has a certain love for the culture, for the tradition, for the language, for the native land; a teacher who can transmit this to the pupil. I want a teacher in my heritage language program who is not just an academic who studies the language as a technical subject. I want a teacher a little bit biased, a little bit prejudiced in favour of that language and that culture.
Mr. MacDonald: You are a romanticist.
Mr. Rotenberg: I want a teacher who can transmit, in an after-school heritage language program, to the persons from that ethnic community, a love for their tradition and love for their language. And I submit, Mr. Speaker, you can’t do that in a government-set curriculum.
Mr. Conway: I think I know why Crombie won.
Mr. Rotenberg: You can’t have different courses of study in different textbooks in an academic credit course in every school in the province.
And then we get to the second point, the second principle of the bill, where the member for Parkdale sincerely wants us to change the thrust of heritage language. He wants to use heritage language programs as transitional programs for the immigrant child who comes to this country speaking a different language; as a transition into the English-language program.
Ms. Gigantes: Or French.
Mr. Rotenberg: Or the French-language program. And he wants to do that through a heritage language program in the schools.
Ms. Gigantes: Right.
Mr. Rotenberg: What he wants to do, in effect, is teach things like mathematics and physics and Canadian history and biology in the heritage language.
Mr. Grande: In the first three grades?
Mr. MacDonald: In the first three grades? Biology, physics and mathematics?
Mr. di Santo: You don’t understand.
Mr. MacDonald: That is the sort of pipe- dreaming you are engaging in.
Mr. Rotenberg: First of all, Mr. Speaker, we now have English as a second language program to help out many, many students. But more important --
Ms. Gigantes: But not as a right.
Mr. Rotenberg: -- more important, Mr. Speaker, you want a --
An hon. member: Unbelievable.
Mr. di Santo: You are right.
Mr. Rotenberg: -- Mr. Speaker, you can’t teach all these academic subjects, to all students, at all different levels, in many languages in the same school, to ease them into English.
Ms. Gigantes: Let them flounder.
Mr. Rotenberg: And, of course, this program completely ignores the next generation. The next generation, who are not immigrants, the generation whose grandparent is the immigrant; who were brought up with English as their first language. They also need the heritage language, not instruction in these other languages but the heritage language, to maintain their traditions.
I don’t discount the fact that English and mathematics and physics, chemistry and biology et cetera should be taught in a heritage language. When you go to that step, and I believe we should --
Ms. Gigantes: Teach chemistry in grade three?
Mr. Rotenberg: -- then we should be going not to a heritage language program as an add-on to the public school system, but to heritage language schools; independent heritage language schools, which I personally very much favour. And these English heritage language schools, many of which are now established in the province, should be encouraged. They should be supported by the government, although not totally. If you really want an immersion course in your heritage, language and culture, then you have to have a total heritage language school and I hope we get more of them.
Mr. di Santo: You don’t understand the bill.
Mr. Grande: You misunderstand the principle in the bill.
Mr. di Santo: You don’t understand it really.
Mr. Rotenberg: We come to one other point of the bill which I find very strange. The member for Parkdale wants to set up a heritage language committee restricted only to those whose mother tongue is that ethnic tongue.
Mr. di Santo: But it is much better than your views on multiculturalism.
Mr. Rotenberg: I would submit that that is contrary to our Human Rights Code. You are discriminating between generations.
Ms. Gigantes: It’s in the Act now.
Mr. Foulds: Have you read the Education Act?
Mr. Rotenberg: You are discriminating between countries of origin. In other words, someone like the member for Parkdale who came to this country from another country would be eligible to be on a committee for the heritage language program.
Ms. Gigantes: Are anglophones allowed on French advisory councils?
Mr. Rotenberg: His children, certainly his grandchildren, would not be eligible to be on that heritage language committee. I think it is contrary to the Human Rights Code, but whether it is or not --
Mr. di Santo: You are a cop-out anyway.
Mr. Rotenberg: -- we should not discriminate between the generations. In some of our communities, for instance, the eastern European communities, the next generation, the Canadian born, are taking over the leadership of their community. It may take the western Europeans and the south Asians another generation. If you restrict those who can run a heritage language program to only those whose native tongue, whose mother tongue, is that ethnic language, that committee is going to have to self-destruct in a generation or two. I don’t think we want that to happen.
Mr. di Santo: You are a cop-out.
Mr. Grande: Hence assimilation. Is that what you saying?
Mr. Rotenberg: What I am saying, Mr. Speaker, is very simply this. I believe we should have heritage language. I believe we should do everything we can, not only for those immigrant children who speak the language, but for the next generation and the next generation --
Mr. Warner: Then support the bill.
Mr. Rotenberg: So they have the advantage of learning not just their language, but also their customs, their ceremonies, their history and their geography. For those opposite, Mr. Speaker, who are two generations behind myself, because I am third generation in Canada -- second generation native Canadian; English is my mother tongue -- the members opposite who sincerely want to make these changes have as their native tongue some tongue other than English, therefore I feel they have a different perspective than I have. I’m not saying I’m right; I’m not saying they’re right.
But the thrust of this bill is really towards only those whose native tongue is not English or French, and I submit we have to have the thrust to both. We have to have a heritage language program which will perpetuate beyond the immigrant generation and beyond the children of the immigrant generation for many generations to come, because I believe that it is not just a case of letting the immigrants have something in their own language. It’s a case of preserving these languages, preserving these cultures, preserving these heritages, preserving these traditions for many years to come; and you do that by a heritage language program, not by teaching the language as an academic subject.
Mr. Speaker, I conclude as I began, by saying that I am very much in favour of heritage language programs.
Mr. di Santo: You’re a hypocrite; that’s what you are.
Mr. Rotenberg: I am very much in favour of preserving these cultures and traditions.
Some hon. members: Support the bill.
Mr. Warner: Are you going to guillotine this one too?
Mr. Rotenberg: The purpose of the bill, as enunciated in the explanatory note, is “to provide for heritage language instruction in Ontario.” I submit that we are already providing heritage language instruction in Ontario.
The purpose of the bill, really, is to change philosophically the direction of our heritage language program, and I submit that some of those directions are going to do harm and damage to our heritage language program. Therefore, while I very much support heritage language programs, I cannot support this bill because of the directions it’s taking; in my opinion it is going to harm and not help our programs.
Mr. di Santo: That’s called hypocrisy; that’s what it is.
Mr. Warner: Darcy put you up to it.
Mr. Grande: I expected much more from you, much more.
Mr. Van Horne: Mr. Speaker, the school system in Ontario has over the years made a variety of attempts to accommodate those people, both young and old, who come to us from foreign lands and whose native language is not English. The English-as-second-language classes or the English-for-new-Canadian classes bear witness to this statement.
As a former director of English-for-new-Canadian classes in the London, Ontario, evening school program from 1957 to 1961, a program which had more than 60 evening school teachers and approximately 1,200 students per year, and as a former superintendent of student services who had responsibility for English-as-second-language day-school classes from the years 1974 to 1977, I think I can speak with some authority about the merit of these programs, the quality of teaching and the feeling of satisfaction of those who participated.
I have many friends in our community -- successful business and professional people, people you might call average working people -- all of whom are former students of mine, and I’m very proud to know them and to see how they’ve come part of our fibre that we call Canadiana. These people, I am sure, are proud to be Canadian and Ontarian. That, as I perceive it, was the purpose of those programs -- to help them to integrate into our community.
Mr. Grande: It’s nice of the minister to drop in.
Hon. Mr. Wells: I am always here.
Mr. Van Horne: It is important to note that while these programs thrived in the 1950s and 1960s, and to a lesser degree they are still continuing, they have done a good job. It was never intended that the people in these programs -- people new to our country or new to our province -- should give up their native heritage or their native language.
On the contrary, and without being derogatory to the minister, I would suggest that the province’s wisdom is a reflection of the goodwill towards these people as much as it is in the minister’s own wisdom; and this goodwill was extended through the introduction of the heritage language program, a program which was heralded and received by practically everyone in the province as a tremendous step forward.
I would like to read just part of the announcement of that program as reported in the publication Dimensions in December 1977: “Many community groups in Ontario have responded enthusiastically to the new heritage language program, which for the first time provides public funds . . .” -- that’s important to note; the intention of the province and the benevolence of the province are evident there -- “. . . provides public funds for the teaching of ancestral languages to elementary pupils. About 40,000 elementary pupils across Ontario have been enrolled so far in hundreds of new classes involving more than 25 languages. Indications are that the program will expand next September as more boards join in the implementation. The heritage language program stipulates that classes must be in addition to the regular school program, as part of the extended school day or after school hours or on weekends.”
I think it’s very clear that there is no question of the ministry’s intention for this program. It was intended to be an addition to and not part of the regular program.
Mr. Grande: What do you think?
Mr. Van Horne: After that program was announced -- and I’m sure all of us got some reaction to it -- I found myself in a position of having to be critical of it. On November 25, 1977, I did issue a press release which was rather critical. In spite of the concept and in spite of the basic contention, there were problems that I saw.
My press release reads in part as follows: “No one can argue with the objective of helping ethnic children communicate with their parents. I sincerely hope this happens. I fear, however, that the Ministry of Education has raised the expectations of the people of Ontario out of proportion to what it can deliver. Just from a cost base . . .”-- not dealing with the social problems or academic problems “. . . the estimated cost of $2 million to implement this program in the first year will likely be, just for the Metro school boards somewhere between $1.5 and $2 million . . .”-- from the information I had at that point in time.
“Although Metro’s separate school ratepayers will likely not realize . . .”--
Ms. Gigantes: Who gave you the estimate?
Mr. Van Horne: -- “. . . an increase in cost to them, some public board ratepayers might not be so fortunate.” Therein is part of the problem in bringing an extension to this program because rate of support varies from board to board within a community.
I go on to say that the cost is only the tip of the iceberg. To get into some of the social implications, ethnic advisory committees are asking for more and more input and control over these programs, which are the board’s responsibility. It is no secret that there are often different power factions within ethnic groups. Some educators fear cultural or ethnic warfare within their school community.
Ms. Gigantes: There are majority groups too.
Mr. Van Horne: Those comments, although they appear in my press release, are comments made to me by some of the ethnic leaders here in Toronto who called me out of concern. They were not people from my own community, but right here in Toronto.
Ms. Gigantes: That’s pretty patronizing.
Mr. Warner: Name names.
Mr. di Santo: Names, names, names.
Mr. Van Horne: In dealing with this bill in the few minutes that I have left, the operative words in the member for Parkdale’s bill can be found on page two, section 271c(3). In part they read: “. . . shall provide the heritage language as a curriculum subject for academic credit during the regular school day classes.”
Aside from the many practical administrative problems, that is qualifications of teachers --
Mr. di Santo: Oh come on, you are not serious.
Mr. Van Horne: I’m very serious -- designing curriculum, timetable --
Mr. Grande: You don’t think the school board can organize either?
Mr. Van Horne: -- there are some social spinoffs, to which I have alluded, which I feel would weaken the fibre of this multicultural country.
Ms. Gigantes: Oh no.
Mr. di Santo: You and the member for Wilson Heights (Mr. Rotenberg) are both the same.
Mr. Van Horne: Let me say I’ve taken the time to check my views with the various teachers’ federations, because they are directly involved if this is happening in the schools. They are the custodial academic representatives, if you will, in the schools, and they have to be concerned.
Ms. Gigantes: Custodial? Do they call themselves custodial?
Mr. Van Horne: Their responsibility is very clear. The OTF have indicated to me that although they endorse the concept in general terms, they feel, however, that the program should be conducted after regular school classes --
Mr. Warner: Do you have that in writing?
Mr. Van Horne: -- and that the school principal should not be expected to be the one responsible for the program and that the --
Mr. di Santo: Shame, shame.
Mr. Van Horne: -- program should be funded from sources outside of the Ministry of Education. I would suggest that those people who are receiving the benefit from the present benevolence of the ministry may well say to themselves, “We have taken enough.” They may well find the point in time when funds will not be forthcoming because of other priorities that the ministry has. In summary, Mr. Speaker, I would suggest that I have a considerable empathy with those people --
Mr. di Santo: It doesn’t do any good for the schools.
Mr. Van Hone: -- who come to our country to be part of it. No one is denying them the opportunity to carry on with the cultural and linguistic heritage they have with them when they come here. I would suggest to you they do have a further responsibility to become members of our community. If they choose to be part of the heritage language program after school hours, more power to them, but in so far as bringing this into the regular school program, Mr. Speaker, I simply cannot --
Mr. Warner: Very disappointing.
Mr. Van Hone: -- vote or speak in support of it.
Ms. Gigantes: Some of the comments that are being made by members of other parties speaking to this bill really quite amaze me. I don’t know how familiar they are with the mechanisms now included in the Education Act which this bill proposes to extend, mechanisms that in the existing Education Act apply to French language instruction and which in this Act would be recognized for transition purposes, or for the study of a heritage language, as a credit course. These mechanisms are very simple, very straightforward and I don’t understand the kinds of points that are being made by some of the previous speakers.
Surely we have understood by now what it means to deal in a civilized manner with the politics of language in this weird and wonderful country. As English-speaking Canadians, we must know that we can’t tell francophones we love them and need them, and most of us can’t say it in anything but English, and then demand that they requite our claims of mutual respect and mutual dependence in a language which their mothers did not speak.
To put it crudely, the first immigrants to this country were French-speaking. They were a political majority. They were proud and independent people. It was never worth the while, and the wars it would have cost, to subjugate them totally when Britain ruled the waves. They have survived with hurt, with dignity bruised and battered, and with righteous anger being vented now in our midst. We seem to be coming to the decision that we want them and we need them just as they are. To express our love and need, we are, those of us who have the chance, sending our children to immersion courses so that they at least can speak to their compatriots in a give-and-take manner.
But as we English speakers in Canada indulge our hopes for the future through our officially bilingual children, we are about to create yet another trap into which civility can fall.
In the last three decades, this country has experienced yet another major social change. The latest immigrants to Canada, the venturesome initiating groups which have joined us from many lands since the war, are individuals who were willing to make sacrifices as our forefathers did to earn their place in this country. In that process, there is nothing much they haven’t suffered on the negative side of our society and there’s nothing much they haven’t succeeded on the positive side.
We English inheritors, we earlier immigrants, often denied them their dignity. But they have survived and sit among us today in this Legislature to assert their dignity, the newcomers to this land of immigrants. Here we must listen to what they say if we care about this country.
It’s all very well, you know, for the Queen’s Park columnist for the Globe and Mail to crusade for French immersion for English-speaking kids. That comes relatively easily to the scion of an English speaking family that’s had money long enough to produce civility. I appreciate the crusade, and I appreciate the civility, but now surely, it is time that such stability stretch itself for new understanding. I speak, of course, of Norman Webster, writing about Bill 55 in a column headed Taking Tongues Too Far.
Mr. Webster cannot, I suppose, be blamed for the title, but he is responsible for the content in which he suggests that the Bill 55 concept is a bit too much, that there is no need to establish heritage language rights in education because the Minister of Education (Mr. Wells) is surely doing a good enough job of overseeing the required adjustments, whatever they may be.
It is a column which might well have been written in 1955 by the Queen’s Park Columnist for the Globe and Mail concerning the fact that francophones in Ontario did not need rights to French-language education entrenched in the Education Act. There probably is such a column in existence, I only wish I had had the time to search it out. The writer would have been wrong, of course, in 1955, we know that today. If we look forward, we can see the necessity of the rights which this bill would establish. The people who want the right to heritage language transition programs and the right to study a heritage language in a normal credit program --
Mr. Rotenberg: You want 30 official languages?
Mr. Grande: What are you talking about, official languages?
Ms. Gigantes: -- are people who believed they were venturing out to join a new and strange society, a difficult and testing society, but a tranquil and English-speaking society. They have paid the price that was asked, but now we tell them we want to renegotiate the price. We have, it appears, some old, outstanding bills to pay, so these latest immigrants had better step back in line; that’s the version they are hearing.
Mr. Rotenberg: That’s nonsense.
Mr. Warner: That’s the reality.
Ms. Gigantes: Do you remember multiculturalism? At the federal level it came into vogue, and I mean real vogue, in 1968. It was part of that enchanting package that was designed to defeat Quebec nationalism.
Mr. Rotenberg: Long before that -- Diefenbaker -- your history is wrong.
Ms. Gigantes: By 1970, when I was employed briefly at the federal Department of the Secretary of State, multiculturalism was considered dead --
Mr. Conway: No.
Ms. Gigantes: -- and Bi and Bi was in.
Mr. Rotenberg: Not in this province, it wasn’t.
Ms. Gigantes: Before my amazed eyes, a multicultural potentate, a Hungarian as I recollect, Dr. X, was shifted out of his private office and over to a desk behind a bookcase in the main office. Even his telephone was removed and he was forced to walk 25 feet to use the telephone on the receptionist’s desk. It sounds a bit like Kafka, but I saw it happen. And it’s not the kind of thing that unites the country, I’ll guess that much.
If we are all so satisfied we are doing well by the newest immigrants to this country, how come we’re so alarmed by the idea of entrenching some minimal educational rights for them in our school system? That’s what’s involved in the bill before us, and it should have our enthusiastic support.
Mr. Williams: I appreciate the opportunity to rise and debate the bill before us this afternoon.
Mr. di Santo: Now the darkness comes down, the darkness of the middle ages.
Mr. Williams: As has been stated by previous speakers, indeed it is an important bill. Important in the sense that should it be enacted, it would have significant consequences and create a distinctive and important shift in the educational process in the urban areas of our province.
Mr. di Santo: Carried, carried.
Mr. Williams: First of all, I would like to address myself to some of the sections of the Act which the sponsor of the bill did not have time to do, speaking totally to the principle thereof. There are a number of concerns I have with regard to the bill, both as to its form as well as to its purpose, and the consequences of the bill should it come into law.
Mr. di Santo: It’s not your fault, it is biological.
Mr. Williams: Firstly, I would like to turn to section 2 of the Act and then come back to section 1, because I find there are a number of inconsistencies that exist in section 2. If we can dispose first to the technical difficulties as I see them, and with which I am concerned, we can move into the areas of the broader concepts of the bill and whether in fact the concepts have been reasonably and responsibly conceived.
It appears, Mr. Speaker, there is some difficulty if one looks at the definition of heritage language. It is stated to mean a language other than English or French. Yet there seems to be an obvious contradiction in the bill when you turn to section 271c, sub clause 5, where in fact it is stated that French and/or English, depending on the makeup of the society in that particular school area or district, would be deemed to be heritage languages. So there seems to be an inconsistency that deserves explanation or failing which, certainly stands to be corrected.
Mr. di Santo: You don’t understand the bill, it’s not your fault.
Mr. Williams: Coming to some of the more substantive concerns with regard to the form of the bill, we look first, of course, to section 271b, sub (b), which provides that the purpose is to provide students with instruction in a heritage language as a means of transition to learning and working in the English or French language.
I would suggest to move to that position and introduce it as an integral part of the curriculum would create impediments rather than --
Ms. Gigantes: Do you know what is being done now; do you know what the research says on it?
Mr. Williams: -- inducements to the students to learn the English and/or French languages. I take it the sponsor of the bill has overlooked the fact there already exists under the present system, and particularly in the city of Toronto schools, sufficient latitude and discretion given to the teachers --
Ms. Gigantes: So where is the impediment?
Mr. Williams: -- to deal with the students in both their mother language as well as --
Mr. Foulds: Progress is so hard for you Tories, isn’t it?
Mr. Williams: -- in the French and English languages, and to develop the language skills of that child in accordance with his or her capacity to develop the English and French languages, while working with them in their own languages at the same time. So there is a discretion which already exists and in which, I think, the Toronto board has shown some leadership, by providing teachers with these skills to work with these students in their mother language in a discretionary fashion, to assist them in this transitional period.
Mr. Grande: Are you going to support the bill then? Are you supporting the bill?
Mr. Williams: But the way this section is worded it would be an impediment and deterrent to encouraging that child or student to increase their skills in the French and English languages, if the language of instruction was totally in their mother tongue. This would appear to be a counterproductive measure. I would suggest it works against the stated purpose of the sponsor’s bill.
Coming then of course to 271c, sub (2), the major concern is once the heritage language program is introduced into the community, with a class of 20 or more students having been put together or assembled, then the program becomes mandatory in nature. It will be very much an integral part of the program and as such could tend to create divisive social settings within the school rather than --
Ms. Gigantes: Don’t you worry about that, don’t you worry.
Mr. Williams: -- the cohesiveness that is the intention today in trying to bring the students of the many different cultures to at least one common language denominator.
Mr. di Santo: Come on, you don’t understand the bill.
Mr. Williams: That really is the essential and important concern.
Mr. di Santo: You’re wasting our time.
Mr. Williams: In order for the students to understand one another and to develop their own education and to appreciate the cultures of others, they have to have a common denominator and means of communication through which to work, which has to be a common language. That is what would be failing and which the Act would be speaking against.
Ms. Gigantes: That’s a new thought.
Mr. Foulds: It’s too bad you don’t speak English.
Mr. Williams: So these are the major hurdles this Act creates. They arouse my concerns and those of others, including the educators in this province, as well as the leaders in the various ethnic communities. A major concern to me is one that was touched upon by my colleague from Wilson Heights when he expressed concern with regard to section 271e sub (2), the eligibility of a person to be a member of an advisory committee. I think indeed it is a section that is offensive to many people because it is quite obviously discriminatory.
Mr. Foulds: Have you read the present Education Act?
Mr. Williams: It would preclude many otherwise well-qualified and interested parents from participating in any such advisory program, as they now participate in the existing heritage language program.
The whole matter that follows under sub-clause (3) as to what powers the advisory committee will have, makes it clear that it is more than an advisory committee. It would be, in effect, the establishment of a multicultural subboard of trustees. The powers given to the advisory committee and the accountability that the existing school board and the Ministry of Education would have to that advisory committee, create a situation where the tail would be wagging the dog.
It is obvious, from reading that section, Mr. Speaker --
Mr. Foulds: That’s a very bad analogy.
Mr. Williams: -- the powers from that committee would be far more than an advisory capacity. You only have to look at subclauses (c) and (d), where the advisory committee would have the power to recruit and appoint the required teaching, supervisory and administrative personnel, to establish the courses of study and choose the textbooks used in the system.
Mr. Foulds: You are really worried about democratizing the school system, aren’t you?
Mr. di Santo: Why don’t you sit down?
Mr. Williams: This committee would make its recommendations to the board, and the board would have to justify in writing why it may not accept, in total or in part, the recommendations of the committee. If the committee did not like the written explanation, the board would then have to account directly to the Minister of Education. The Minister of Education himself would have to account, in writing, as to why he would accept or not accept, in total or in part, the recommendations of the advisory committee. I suggest the whole section is offensive to the teaching profession in that it simply overrides the professionals in the field and permits well-meaning but nevertheless untrained lay people to take command of the multicultural program. I suggest this would not prove in the long term, to be in the best interests of the students or the parents of those students.
Mr. Foulds: You know you remind me of Peter Pan, you live in Never Never Land.
Mr. Williams: These are indeed genuine concerns, Mr. Speaker, and this brings me in turn to section 1 where we come back to the main concept --
Mr. Foulds: This is the longest 10 minutes anyone has ever spoken in the legislature.
Mr. Williams: -- which is to permit languages other than English or French to be taught as an integral part of the curriculum of the elementary schools. While they are provided as courses in the secondary schools, it is suggested that --
Mr. Speaker: The hon. member’s time has expired.
Mr. Williams: -- they be provided here, and I suggest it is counter-productive and contrary to the concept of the original heritage language program.
Mr. Conway: I always feel like my colleague from Grey-Bruce (Mr. Sargent) on afternoons like this. Speaking as a private member, I rise to happily support the bill.
Ms. Gigantes: Wisdom from the east.
Mr. Conway: The contribution of the assembly this afternoon has indicated that the heritage language debate is a relevant one to this jurisdiction. I have listened with particular interest to the objections and the objectors inasmuch as they have made their case here this afternoon. I have listened with equal interest to the member for Parkdale as he so eloquently outlined the rationale for this particular piece of legislation. One of the reasons it is a pleasure for me to support the bill is that I feel I am supporting a crusade which he has led on behalf of the ethnic community of which he is an active member in Toronto.
The opposition offered to the bill at hand this afternoon is based primarily on the administrative impossibility of the bill.
Mr. di Santo: That is ludicrous.
Mr. Conway: That is not ludicrous. I would be happy to admit it is an important consideration. Let everyone acknowledge that he who knows the member for Parkdale knows that these administrative niceties really shouldn’t be a consideration to stop the more important thrust of the bill.
It seems to me that sometimes we are given too much in this place to the “cannots”; I think it is time we really took a look and asked “why not”? I feel the direction of this heritage language bill is a very positive and important one.
I want, without being too parochial, to relate very briefly a personal experience which makes me very strongly supportive of the principle of this bill. I come from a part of Ontario -- the western corner of Renfrew county -- which has been historically one of the most important interfaces of language and culture. More specifically it is that part of the county from which come both the members for Renfrew North and Renfrew South, and the interface is that between the Irish and Polish traditions in this great province.
Mr. Samis: A volatile combination.
Mr. Conway: I must say a volatile combination, as the member for Cornwall has just allowed.
I grew up there not so very long ago, during which time the Polish community was still a very active, very conscientious group, that maintained a language and a culture that I felt were very important.
I have to think, as I get a little older and a little removed from that situation, about the incredible difficulty, about the incredible hardship, that those Polish people faced in that part of an essentially English-speaking province. They maintained a language and culture in the face of enormous pressure; pressure from the ethnic group of which I am a member and to which I belong, pressure which was incredibly obvious, incredibly discriminatory and incredibly traditional.
I have, in retrospect, no small amount of praise and good feeling for that Polish minority. It really was a minority in the provincial sense, but it was a majority there. They were able to continue the traditions brought to that part of Ontario in the latter days of the nineteenth century.
Now, as the member for Renfrew North and living in the Pembroke-Petawawa area, I see the great involvement of the German population and the efforts they are making to maintain their unique contribution to that part of the Upper Ottawa Valley.
I don’t want to belabour the point, but historically in my part of Ontario the multiculturalism that the Germans, the Poles and other groups were able to maintain was possible largely through the vehicle of religious organization. That, as we know from sociologists and others, is a less significant force in our society, whether it should be or not. It seems to me that there is now a far greater onus on our educational system to pick up where the religious mechanism has left off. I think it very important that the educational system in this province pay full heed to the principle of this bill, Bill 55, An Act to amend the Education Act.
One of the things that appalled me as a student of Ontario history and as a participant in Ontario politics is the continuance of what I consider to be the North American attitude to language that is very pervasive in this part of the continent. We have a view that to know and to participate in a second language is somehow uncivilized, is somehow un-American.
I find that to be repugnant in the extreme. I think it to be one of the greatest aspects of our genuinely unique and creative community that we have a multicultural, multilingual base. I do not want to see that multicultural base in any way threatened as I see it being threatened at this point in time.
I share entirely with the member for Carleton East (Ms. Gigantes) the concerns which she directed in her remarks to the state of the French language as it is referred to in this particular debate. I wanted to draw this to members’ attention in that connection, because I often think, as I look opposite, that the history of the language debate, recent and not so recent, as it relates to French language in this province, is not something of which we as members of a so-called civilized community must be very proud. I was reading the 1977 report of the official languages commissioner not long ago, and I found it very interesting that on page 31 he was to say about the role of secondary schools and universities: “These institutions should reflect on their responsibility to provide their students with the best possible tools with which to enter future careers. At this time they are doing their student population a great disservice by not insisting on the acquisition of some fluency in the second official language of the country.”
He goes on to detail the failures of our post-secondary and secondary educational system as they relate to the French language. I realize that is not particularly germane to the broader discussion, but I simply want to point out our failings today in the matters of language policy are serious and they must be remedied. I will not accept from any member standing in this assembly that certain administrative difficulties should deter us from the success in that job, important as I see it.
I see the strength of Canada and I see the strength of this great province in a concept of limited identity, in a concept where all peoples are allowed to function with their given cultural and linguistic privileges. I stand today, with the member for Parkdale, and all other members of this assembly who I hope come forward to support what I think is, in principle, a fine and outstanding contribution to the language debate, which I consider to be fundamental to the future of this province and this country.
Mr. Grande: I would like to address myself to the principle of the bill. I heard the debate and the discussion with the two Conservative members opposite and they really did not address themselves to the principle of the bill, because they know the principle is correct, the principle is right. Whenever anyone wants not to put into effect an idea, they will say the organization is impossible, they say it will cost too much money.
Mr. Rotenberg: We are way ahead of you there. We have had the idea for a couple of years already.
Mr. Grande: Mr. Speaker, I will get to the Conservative member for the riding of Wilson Heights --
Mr. Rotenberg: You won’t get to me.
Mr. Grande: -- a little later on because that particular gentleman certainly surprises me tremendously.
Mr. Walker: He surprises us all the time.
Mr. Grande: Let me begin by suggesting to you and to this House, Mr. Speaker, that the Minister of Education is in agreement with the spirit of this legislation. The Minister of Education has stated on many occasions that he is in agreement with transitional language classes. The Minister of Education has stated on many occasions that he is in agreement with the heritage language program.
Mr. Rotenberg: We have both already.
Mr. Grande: Then why is it the member finds such a stumbling block in putting it in legislation and in giving almost one-third of the people in this province a right which is theirs by birth?
Mr. Rotenberg: The principle is fine but you don’t --
Mr. Speaker: Will the member for Wilson Heights cease interrupting hon. members?
Mr. Lupusella: He deserves that.
Mr. Rotenberg: They interrupted me, nobody stopped them.
Mr. Grande: Mr. Speaker, in 1972 I had the privilege and opportunity of being a teacher under the Toronto Board of Education. I presented a proposal to that particular board which came about, after many years of discussion, as the transitional language program, the mother-tongue-to-English program. Let me say to you, Mr. Speaker, that at that particular time the Minister of Education was quoted in the Globe and Mail as having gone along with the trustees of the Toronto Board of Education. “Apoplectic”; that was the word that was used. It totally floored them. They didn’t know what was hitting them. They had no conception whatsoever of what this multicultural society was about.
I’m glad to say it has become obvious in the last five or six years that the Minister of Education is beginning to listen. If I had any part in that process, to make that Minister of Education and that government listen to the real needs of the different cultural groups in this province, then I stand here very proud of that.
Mr. Walker: Unfortunately, no one seems to be proud.
Mr. Grande: The position of the Liberal Party and the Liberal Party critic really amazes me, because in 1976 the then Education critic for the Liberal Party -- and I’m sorry he’s not in the Legislature at this particular time --
Mr. Lupusella: They have a changing philosophy. There is no problem about that.
Mr. Grande: He went to the Toronto Board of Education at that particular time and presented a brief to the then work group on multicultural programs. I would like to read parts of that brief into the record, because on April 6, 1977, the Liberal Education critic says one thing, and then in 1978 says a different thing, as far as I’m concerned; those particular people just cannot and don’t seem to be able to make up their minds about where they stand.
Mr. Haggerty: You don’t want us to support the bill; is that it?
Mr. Grande: Let me point out what was said at that particular time --
Mr. Haggerty: You don’t want our support. That’s what you are telling us.
Mr. Foulds: We certainly do.
Ms. Gigantes: We welcome your support.
Mr. Haggerty: You won’t get it that way.
Mr. Grande: This is entitled “Submission to the Chairman of the Committee on Multiculturalism and Race Relations, Toronto Board of Education, by the Ontario Liberal Party.” It said: “The students, however, should be facilitated by transitional programs affording the student the opportunity to understand all that is being taught and also avoiding the academic alienation that can occur in a total immersion in a new and unfamiliar language.”
May I suggest to the Liberals that they are in favour of this bill? May I also suggest that the Minister of Education is in favour of this bill? And may I suggest to the Minister of Education that when the vote occurs, he ought to stand up and say: “In principle, I and my party are in agreement with this bill,” because the Minister of Education has been saying for two years now that they are.
Ms. Gigantes: It is time.
Mr. Rotenberg: He said he is in favor of heritage language, not this bill.
Mr. Grande: So when the vote comes, I certainly hope that the minister will stand up and vote accordingly.
Mr. Rotenberg: This is a perversion of heritage language.
Mr. Grande: Mr. Speaker, the intent of this bill is to use the mother tongue as a transitional language so that the children will be able to learn English much better than if they had not had this program. It does not say to continue all the time with the mother tongue. It says to use the mother tongue for a transitional period of time.
The intent of this bill is so that children from the different cultural groups in this province will be able to achieve the type of education commensurate with their abilities. At this particular time, the school system blocks these children from achieving their education potential.
Mr. Foulds: That’s right and that’s shameful.
Mr. Grande: That’s what this bill is all about. The second part of this bill is about a heritage language program. May I suggest that since the member for Wilson Heights has already stated the Minister of Education and the Tories are in favour of this, they should stand up and support it.
Mr. Rotenberg: We have it already.
Ms. Gigantes: As a right?
Mr. Lupusella: Oh, no, you haven’t. It’s only been in for seven months and you want to change it already.
Mr. Grande: The difficulty is that whereas they intend to do it by regulation, they do not want to put it into law -- to finally give to one-third of the people in this province, a place and a feeling that this province belongs to them, because indeed it does.
The heritage language program, as it now stands, and the minister can get up and say if it isn’t so, all it does is allow the school boards to do it. He gives a certain particular percentage of funds to the school boards to accomplish that task. However, if next year, or the year after, the Minister of Education decides to stop the program, it’s totally at the whim of the Minister of Education or the party in power. What we’re intending to do through this bill is to make sure it is in legislation and make it a fundamental aspect of the life of this province.
Multiculturalism, Mr. Speaker, cannot mean anything, it really is a meaningless concept, unless you begin to translate it in very practical terms. One of the institutions through which the government has to begin to translate multiculturalism, is the school system. It is within the school system where you can have some security, that those particular values, that particular language, that particular culture which you cherish, is going to remain and is going to continue and is going to be encouraged.
The members opposite were talking about assimilation. The member for Wilson Heights repeatedly said that in two generations, or in three generations, these people cannot become part of this advisory council.
Mr. Rotenberg: That’s your program. That’s what your program says, that’s why we’re against it.
Mr. Grande: What he intends, Mr. Speaker, is that in two or three generations the language will die anyway.
Mr. Rotenberg: That’s your assimilation.
Mr. Grande: The culture will be wiped out anyway.
Mr. Rotenberg: That’s what your program will do, that’s why I am against it.
Mr. Grande: So therefore what is the point of your heritage program?
Mr. Speaker: The hon. member’s time has expired.
Mr. Grande: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I will state one more sentence as a summary.
Mr. Sargent: Take all the time you want.
Mr. Lupusella: Thanks, Eddie.
Mr. Grande: Let me say to the members opposite and to the members of the Liberal Party, for once, let’s please get up and vote for this legislation in principle. Insofar as the administration and organization goes, we can put our heads together and work it out.
Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Armourdale has the floor.
Mr. Grande: So let’s vote for the principle of this bill today.
Mr. Conway: My, how Phil Givens has lost weight.
Mr. McCaffrey: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I’m going to speak briefly to this, and just to the general principle of the bill, for two reasons, because quite frankly I’m not all that familiar with the details of the bill, and more to the point it is in fact the general principle behind it that gives me some difficulty.
I would be less than candid it I didn’t say the commitment to the program as outlined in this bill would be difficult for some people to accept.
Let me backtrack briefly, if I may, and give a personal illustration within the context of my own family, and where I stand on the whole principle of heritage language, and how far we should go with it.
My wife was born in Europe and, at the age of six, with her younger brother and mother and father, arrived here in this city. She was six years of age, as I say, and was the first member of the family to learn English with any speed. She mastered it quickly and was able frankly, to teach her mother and father fairly quickly as well; also her younger brother. She was born in Holland.
I don’t know whether it was a combination of federal and provincial money but the government of the day provided funding for the teaching of English. They lived in Port Credit at the time. But I think the principle of using general taxpayers’ money to ease the transition into English as quickly as possible is a sound principle which obviously everybody supports.
The point that I’d like to make is that in visiting with my in-laws now, my wife is very fluent in Dutch, as they have maintained virtually every one of their customs and traditions, and no government of that day or this day could have prevented them from doing that. What I wonder about is whether in the case of my young son -- he is now five -- it is a prudent use of public money to have him learn, in the public system during the course of the normal day, this language. I don’t think so.
Mr. Grande: What do you think?
Mr. McCaffrey: I think that the preservation of that language and that culture is something about which my wife and I will use our good judgement and do in our own home, and under the heritage language program, for example, that now exists.
A point made by the member for Wilson Heights I think bears some reflection. I forget his exact expression but it was to the effect that we mustn’t get too far ahead of ourselves and that some aspects of this bill might be premature. How far you can go in this area at this time is not as clear outside as it might seem to be in here. To be brutally candid, there are a lot of people in the general public that do not support the existing heritage language program as much as we do. I think everybody here knows that.
So I think it’s a question of trying to use time judiciously, introduce a program slowly, support it strongly -- I refer to the existing program -- and then monitor that from time to time. I think the program that is in place is a good one. It’s a good use of general funds. In my own case, and living in the borough of North York, I am frankly a little upset that they decided to charge $25 per student, but that is --
Mr. di Santo: That’s the reason for the bill.
Mr. Warner: It’s because of your government’s 25-cent dollars.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. McCaffrey: -- properly a local decision and I think that should stay a local decision. We keep mouthing that we all support multiculturalism, and we do. I think we have bought the concept and I think we just have to use the time judiciously and see how far we go. I think that the general taxpayer is stretched enough at the moment, and I think that this bill is a little bit ahead of itself. Thank you.
Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, the time is limited but I believe the --
Mr. Speaker: The hon. member has until 5:46.
Mr. Nixon: -- subject matter is of such great importance, I didn’t want to let the opportunity go by without standing in my place and saying how strongly I support the principle.
I feel the state of language education in the province is atrociously bad. The Minister of Education, who is present, has heard my views on this before, and his reaction has sometimes been heated and sometimes been passive. But the comments in the press recently about, for example the state of French instruction in the province, reflect my general attitude. It’s nothing more than five years of “bonjour.”
It’s a shame that this province, which for years has felt that it has led, if not the world at least Canada, in the progressive aspects of our education system, has failed so miserably in giving our young people an opportunity to learn the language and appreciate the culture of those peoples who make up the mosaic of our communities.
I can remember very well debating with constituents in my own area -- there are many Ukrainians there, Mr. Speaker, and I understand that there is quite a large community of Ukrainians in your area as well -- where the argument was put to me: “Why should we not be able to study the poetry of Taras Shevchenko at the same time that you can study Shakespeare?” They stated quite clearly: “It wouldn’t hurt you people with an English background to appreciate the quality of the culture of Ukrainian people at the same time as we have an opportunity to read Shakespearean sonnets.”
I have always been completely convinced by the efficacy of that argument. We could speak for a long time about the inadequacies of the French program here and how unfortunate it is that under the leadership of the Ministry of Education and the Minister of Education, there have been excellent reviews done, there have been programs put forward, but the teaching of French is as ineffectual in the province now as it ever was. I notice that the Minister of Culture and Recreation is thinking of taking his seat, and you would think this would concern him even more than it concerns the Minister of Education.
Hon. Mr. Wells: Boy, you don’t know --
Mr. Nixon: I happen to know the kind of education the Minister of Culture and Recreation had. It was very similar to my own. He took French for five years in the high school system in St. Catharines, as I did in the city of Brantford.
Mr. Sargent: He didn’t pass though.
Mr. Nixon: Neither one of us is really what you would call bilingual, and we regret this. I would say that he is almost nodding his head.
What we are concerned with here is not so much the bad state of French education in the province, it’s the inadequate opportunity, not only for our ethnic communities in general but for those people who consider English as their primary language, to learn languages in this province and to have an appreciation of other cultures.
I don’t know of any other community in the world that graduates people from university, or even from a secondary system, and calls them educated when they have only one language at their command, and a very ineffectual command it is even at that.
Hon. W. Newman: Speak for yourself.
Mr. Nixon: There is somehow an attitude in this province -- and I blame the Minister of Education and his predecessors for it -- that anybody who talks about language instruction is somehow out of step with the needs of the community. For anybody to listen to the comments in the community, such as: “Why should we learn French; why should we learn another language?” and to give any credibility to that attitude at all, simply means we are not living up to the responsibility we must have as leaders in the community.
I would hope that this bill will be accepted on all sides.
Mr. Rotenberg: This bill doesn’t solve that problem.
Mr. Nixon: The objections have been properly expressed. There is a real concern, in my mind, that if we make too huge a commitment to the study of many languages we are going to do real damage to the French program we have now. The only thing that puts that aside, as far as a fear, is that the French program is practically useless now and we would be losing practically nothing in the school system of the province.
There is a handful of students, and I would say many good teachers, who are taking advantage of language programs here now. But it passes by the huge majority of our young people. More and more, French, and any language instruction, is simply becoming a dead issue. In my time -- and I didn’t have too many regrets -- we saw the loss of Latin as a language or at least as a study at the secondary and university level. Frankly, I haven’t too many regrets because I think the only formal exam I failed was when I got a 49 in Latin back in 1944. It was a very embarrassing situation.
However, I would say it looks to me as if French, and language instruction in general, is largely going the same direction. We’re going to have a few programs, 15 or 20 minutes a day, about bonjour, Madame; comment allez-vous? Ouvriez la fenétre -- and all that great stuff.
Mr. Laughren: Quit showing off.
Mr. Nixon: In fact, when the students are talking French, they can’t even ask to pass the salt and pepper, or say, “Where is the washroom?” Much more important than that, they do not have an appreciation of the language or an appreciation of the literature. This is a very serious condemnation of the Minister of Education and his policies and those of his predecessors.
I’m not for a moment saying this bill is going to solve all of the problems, but it would provide the kind of thrust and initiative that would involve the whole community and all the school boards in a new approach, which I think is desperately needed in Ontario.
Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Parkdale.
Mr. Dukszta: I defer to the member for Downsview.
Mr. di Santo: In the four minutes left, I would like to join this debate. I have to say I have been appalled by the kind of attitude taken by the members opposite and by the critic of the Liberal Party. Without addressing themselves to the spirit of this bill, they have condemned the whole multicultural program.
It is very easy to speak about multiculturalism. It is very easy to speak about love for culture. But, Mr. Speaker, you know very well that unless you teach the languages to the children in the schools, you destroy multiculturalism and you go towards a society which will assimilate ethnic groups. The government is taking today that responsibility. I see the troops grouping there in order to block this bill as well as the other bills I and making a mockery of what was supposed to be a substantial reform in this House.
The member for Wilson Heights may very well smile but when he goes back to his riding --
Mr. Sargent: He won’t be there long anyway.
Mr. di Santo: -- he has to account to the people who live in his riding because he is betraying their expectations by speaking against this bill and voting against this bill.
Mr. Rotenberg: Your bill is going to destroy it, that’s the problem.
Mr. di Santo: This bill addresses itself to two fundamental problems: One, teaching the ethnic languages during the school hour as a part of the curriculum; and two, in the transition classes.
Mr. Rotenberg: We have it already.
Mr. di Santo: As the member for Parkdale said in his introductory remarks, that will solve not only cultural and educational problems, but sociological problems as well. In those states in the United States of America where similar legislation was passed 10 years ago, in Massachusetts, in Florida and in Arizona, they don’t have any more problems with the minority groups. You’d better get acquainted with that legislation.
Not only have the minority groups been able to learn the English language without traumas, but the rate of criminality among the minors, the juvenile criminality rate has dropped substantially. Dropouts from the schools have reduced dramatically ever since this program was introduced.
We don’t think this is a very revolutionary program. I think it reflects our society. It reflects the many groups who are part of our society; the intent of this bill is to give a chance to the ethnic minorities in our society to get better integrated in the Canadian society by retaining their cultural language while at the same time learning English language and the English culture.
This bill makes an effort in the direction of strengthening the unity of this country, about which government members are always talking and which the government abstractly supports; it is willing to boycott any concrete attempt in that direction.
Mr. Rotenberg: What’s wrong with the present program?
Mr. M. Davidson: It doesn’t work, that’s what’s wrong with it.
Mr. Warner: You’ve got one chance to do something.
Mr. di Santo: I make an appeal to all the members, regardless of their political affiliation, to support this bill, because if this bill is passed all of us will benefit in Ontario.
Mr. Laughren: You’ve stirred up the back benches.
Mr. MacDonald: Thirty seconds to go.
PREDATOR CONTROL ACT
Mr. Speaker: The first question to be decided is second reading of Bill 54. Mr. Riddell had moved second reading of Bill 54.
Motion agreed to.
Ordered for committee of the whole House.
EDUCATION AMENDMENT ACT
Sufficient members having objected by rising, a vote was not taken on Bill 55.
Mr. Sargent: What a bunch of hypocrites.
Mr. Deans: Point of order.
Mr. Speaker: Point of order.
Mr. Deans: Mr. Speaker, I wonder if it might be possible for you to refer to an appropriate committee the whole matter of having bills blocked, systematically, week after week.
Mr. Eaton: What did you do last week?
Mr. MacDonald: He said systematic, did you hear that?
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. Williams: Point of privilege, Mr. Speaker. Last evening in the Legislature, I was participating in the debate, and the member for Cambridge, who has now entered the chamber, accused this member of misleading the House. I consider --
Mr. Warner: You should have withdrawn your remarks.
Mr. Williams: -- that remark to be unparliamentary, Mr. Speaker, and I would ask the member for Cambridge to withdraw the remark.
Mr. Conway: Which House sat on Wednesday night?
Mr. Williams: On Tuesday evening last.
Mr. M. Davidson: Mr. Speaker, having had the opportunity to reflect on the remarks that were made by the hon. member for Oriole I have come to the conclusion he had no knowledge whatsoever about which he spoke --
Mr. Conway: Nothing new.
Mr. M. Davidson: -- and the few facts he did have were totally distorted; I withdraw the remarks that I made on Tuesday evening.
Mr. MacDonald: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order.
Mr. Speaker: On a point of order, the hon. member for York South.
Mr. MacDonald: Mr. Speaker, am I not accurate that if a member wants to have something declared as misleading, he rises immediately, not 24 hours later.
Hon. B. Stephenson: He did.
Mr. Eaton: The member for Cambridge walked out of the House.
An hon. member: He had to think about what he said.
Mr. Speaker: There was exception taken to the remark made by the hon. member for Cambridge and the deputy chairman of committees took the question as noticed. I take it that it has been resolved to the satisfaction of the House in view of the statement made by the hon. member for Cambridge. The hon. member for Brock.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, we use this occasion to indicate the order of business for next week. On Monday, the --
Mr. T. P. Reid: That will be a short one.
Mr. Nixon: Nothing past Tuesday.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Actually, I am prepared to indicate the order of business for the next several weeks if members like.
Mr. Nixon: Must have persuaded the Treasurer to recant.
Hon. Mr. Welch: I took a survey in Lincoln, that’s why I’m so confidant.
Mr. Deans: Does that mean that the House leaders’ meetings are just a façade?
Hon. Mr. Welch: No, they have improved.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Hon. Mr. Welch: I don’t think I got by Monday.
Mr. Kerrio: Is Darcy going to take a sabbatical?
Hon. Mr. Welch: On Monday afternoon, the House, of course, will be in committee of supply.
On Tuesday, it is a little difficult to gauge the time that is going to be taken up on several debates. We will start Tuesday afternoon with the debates on the report from the social development committee, as agreed. Not knowing how long that debate will go, perhaps I can simply indicate what would happen subject to the completion of debates at different times. If the debate finishes before 6, then we turn to Bills 48, 22, and 42. The reason I mention that is if, in fact, we don’t get to that legislation by 6, we can’t do it in the evening because the resources field meets in the evening.
Mr. Nixon: Bill takes his French lesson.
Hon. Mr. Welch: So I put it that way, the debate on the report from social development, Bills 48, 22 and 42 if in fact we were to turn to legislation before 6.
The evening session: When and if we get to bills at that particular time we have Bill 50, Bill 24, and then if time permits, we go to committee of the whole, and do Bills 28, 31 and 49 and any of those bills which may be in committee to which I have made reference.
So legislation-wise, if I can indicate by notice, Bills 48, 22, 42, 50, 24, 28, 31 and 49.
Wednesday, the standing committee on general government and the standing resources development committee will meet.
Thursday afternoon, private members’ public business dealing with the resolution standing in the name of the member for Durham West (Mr. Ashe) and Bill 58 standing in the name of the member for Erie (Mr. Haggerty). Thursday evening will be devoted to the budget debate, and on Friday the House will be in committee of supply.
Mr. Foulds: I understand that we will not proceed with Bill 48 next Tuesday evening. Will we proceed with Bill 22 and Bill 42 that evening?
Hon. Mr. Welch: No. Since that is in the same policy field we wouldn’t do that.
Mr. Foulds: Right.
The House recessed at 5:56 p.m.