The House met at 10 a.m.
STATEMENTS BY THE MINISTRY
Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, this morning hon. members have been advised of the release of the four-volume report of the royal commission on the Toronto Jail and custodial services, conducted by His Honour Judge B. Barry Shapiro. In accordance with the new provisional rules under which the Legislature now operates, I have had copies delivered to the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. S. Smith), to the leader of the New Democratic Party (Mr. Cassidy) and to the government House leader (Mr. Welch). Other hon. members have received a notice of the availability of the report in the mailroom.
In general, I would say His Honour has brought forth a readable and thoughtful work, which reflects the diligence with which he pursued his mandate as it pertained to specific allegations concerning the actions of some staff at the Toronto Jail, as well as examining general procedures and practices. A number of the recommendations involve only this ministry, while others pertain to the Ministry of the Attorney General. I am prepared to discuss these recommendations both in the House at any time and/or at length in committee during the course of my ministry estimates.
The report has considerable educational value to the student of the correctional process. It should be noted that time has had a dating effect on some of the specific recommendations, as a result of the many changes which have occurred within the ministry over the past several months, especially with the closing of the old section of the Toronto Jail and the opening of two new detention centres in Toronto.
It is with volumes three and four of the report, where the commissioner makes his findings against members of the ministry’s staff, that I am primarily concerned today. I also want to underline the findings of the royal commission in volume one that there was no designated group or squad of correctional officers assigned to systematically discipline inmates by any use of unnecessary force.
The commissioner found that 27 officers had used or condoned the use of unnecessary force in the handling of inmates during the period from 1968 to 1975. Of these 27 staff members, seven have left the service. In light of Judge Shapiro’s findings, my ministry is taking the following disciplinary action against the 20 staff who are presently employed: reprimands against eight staff members; seven will be suspended without pay for two days; one will be suspended without pay for five days; and one will be suspended without pay for 20 days. Three staff members will be dismissed.
In addition to these penalties, the Ministry of the Attorney General is reviewing the commissioner’s findings to determine if criminal charges are warranted against individual’s presently in the service, as well as certain individuals who have left the service of the ministry. My ministry, of course, has no authority to discipline or punish persons who have left the employ of the ministry. Brutality towards inmates in correctional institutions will not be tolerated by the public; it will not be tolerated by this government; nor by the Ministry of Correctional Services and its staff; and I will not condone it.
In the seven-year period reviewed by the commissioner, more than 500 staff were employed at the Toronto Jail. I take the opportunity, as minister, to commend the overwhelming majority who performed their duties in a reasonable and humane manner under often trying circumstances. As the commissioner noted, the average number of inmate days spent at the Toronto Jail has averaged over a quarter of a million for each 12-month period in recent years.
It is also significant that Judge Shapiro’s report states: “If one were to generalize about the correctional staff at the Toronto Jail, one would have to say that the majority were doing a commendable job, carrying out their duties in less favourable surroundings and circumstances than existed in most other correctional institutions in Ontario.”
I have already stated that I will not condone brutality by staff toward inmates, and I have indicated the action which this ministry is taking in regard to Judge Shapiro’s findings against staff who used unnecessary force. I believe, however, the public expects that order will be maintained within correctional institutions which serve to protect the public from dangerous or potentially violent individuals. On occasion it is necessary for staff to use a reasonable degree of force to restrain violent inmates or to prevent them from injuring other inmates, themselves or correctional staff.
In every page, Judge Shapiro’s report completely justifies the position I took upon becoming minister, that the old Don Jail was an unsuitable, unsanitary and degrading edifice which should be closed forever as a correctional institution. As members know, this outdated jail was closed on December 31, 1977.
Hon. Mr. McCague: I wish to inform the hon. members that today I am announcing guidelines restricting the use of waste oil which may contain low levels of the contaminant polychlorinated biphenyls, commonly called PCBs.
A few weeks ago I reported that preliminary tests completed by my ministry had found low levels of PCB in waste oil intended for industrial use, which was stored at several locations in Ontario. Accordingly, and reflecting our concern for this problem, I advised the House that my ministry would conduct a major investigation to determine the source of this contamination and to further study the extent and effects. This investigation is now well under way.
Though my ministry has been advised that the low levels of PCB detected in this waste oil pose no immediate or direct risk to health, we are concerned with the long-term implications of the overall burden of PCB in the environment and the possibility of human intake through the food chain. Reflecting that concern, I am setting three specific interim guidelines for the three major uses of waste oil in this province.
As members are aware, road oiling for dust control is a principal use of waste oil. Approximately 6.5 million gallons are spread on about 2,000 miles of unpaved road each year. With the road oiling season now approaching, I am setting a guideline limit of 25 parts per million of PCB in waste oil intended for road use. As part of the guideline, waste oil collectors engaged in this practice must make samples of their waste oil available to the ministry. By this time next year, the owners of these waste oil collection systems must be prepared to submit a certified PCB analysis of waste oil in storage.
I am also setting a guideline limit of 25 parts per million of PCB for waste oil which is refined or used in the manufacture of chemical specialty products. Approximately 1.5 million gallons of waste oil are used for this purpose each year in Ontario. Again, users must make samples available to us. The ministry has been sampling and analysing waste oils currently in storage and destined for reuse. We will continue this program.
The third main use of waste oil is as an industrial fuel in processes which are carefully examined by my ministry before approval is granted. The interim guideline for this application has been set at 100 parts per million.
To underscore the caution that my ministry is exercising with respect to road oiling and re-refining, I point out to the hon. members that the US Environmental Protection Agency has adopted a standard of 500 parts per million of PCB as a definition of PCB and PCB waste mixtures under the US Toxic Substances Control Act. Our guideline is 25 parts per million -- far less than the US level. Environment Canada is considering a guideline of 50 parts per million for PCB content in waste oils and has put in place an inventory system to determine the sources and quantities of PCB existing in Canada.
In conclusion, I wish to further assure the members and the public that my ministry will continue to exercise concern with respect to the environmental implications of PCB contamination. We intend to do all we can to prevent future problems while we continue to deal with the problems inherited from a time when little was known about the effects of PCBs and similar industrial chemicals.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: I’m not prepared to let my seatmates get all the action this morning.
Mr. J. Reed: Is this beer in the ballpark?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: I have a short but, needless to say, as always less controversial statement than my colleagues.
Mr. Cassidy: Beer in the ballpark.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Not on a Friday morning. We’ll save that for a Tuesday.
Later today, as part of our efforts to reduce red tape and duplication and to streamline legislation, I will be introducing for first reading an Act to amend the Corporations Act. The changes, in four areas, are all of a housekeeping nature.
Section 17 of the existing Corporations Act permits a business other than a corporation, namely a person, partnership or association, to notify the minister of the name under which the business is carried on and requires the minister to note this on his records.
However, an amendment to the Partnerships Registration Act in 1973 requires the filing of declarations by persons and partnerships with the registrar of partnerships. This makes the recording of such business names under the Corporations Act superfluous and simply creates an unnecessary expense, particularly to small businessmen. Because there is no culling system, these files go in perpetuity. For this reason, the amendment repeals section 17 of the present Act.
Secondly, the establishment of the fire mutuals guarantee fund, provided by the Insurance Amendment Act 1975, permits an insurer the option of ceasing to issue insurance on the premium note plan by becoming a member of the guarantee fund. Consequently, the Superintendent of Insurance has asked for a change in the Corporations Act to extend to participants in guarantee funds the same powers the Act grants to premium note plan insurers.
Thirdly, Mr. Speaker, the Corporations Act, in several areas refers to the Criminal Code. Subsequent amendments have changed the section numbers of the code and the references in the Act should be changed accordingly.
Finally, as the Act now reads the minister is required to table before the House an annual report showing the extraprovincial licences issued under the Act, the authorized capital of each corporation licensed and the fee paid for each licence.
The amendment would repeal this section, primarily because the statistical information contained in this report is available elsewhere and we feel that the expenditure of time and money involved in collecting the data and producing the report could be put to more productive use during this time of restraint.
While these amendments in and of themselves may appear minor, they are part of our ministry’s thrust to eliminate duplication, streamline procedures and save the taxpayers money.
Mr. Foulds: A short statement as befits the minister.
Mr. Warner: I have a point of order; if not, it is a point of privilege.
Mr. Kerrio: How about a point of view?
Mr. Warner: On December 16 of last year, the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations made a statement to the House pertaining to the inquiry into the safety of aluminum wiring, and in part he said that due to the government’s grave concern, he would guarantee a statement to this House no later than today.
Mr. Speaker: Order. That is neither a point of privilege or a point of order; it may be a point of view and it could probably be brought in during question period.
Mr. Warner: But, Mr. Speaker --
Mr. Speaker: It is neither a point of order nor a point of privilege. You can raise it at the appropriate time, either in question period or in the budget debate.
Mr. Deans: But today is the operative day.
Mr. Speaker: It is not urgent. It is something which refers to December 16, of 1977. You can raise the matter during question period. I now recognize the hon. the Leader of the Opposition.
Mr. S. Smith: I will direct my first question to the Minister of Culture and Recreation. In view of the letters that have appeared in the Globe and Mail this morning, written by the minister and the Chairman of Management Board (Mr. Auld), and in view of the budget of the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) which was tabled in this House a month or so ago, can the minister, first of all, explain to this House, the meaning of the line in the Treasurer’s tables C11 and C12 which says, “cumulative funds available,” which shows for Wintario, interim 1977-78, $21 million; and for the Provincial $31 million; and estimates which are somewhat higher than that for 1978-79? What exactly do those words mean in the Treasurer’s budget?
Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, the letters to which the hon. member made reference appeared, of course, in the morning paper. They have an unfortunate headline --
Mr. Breithaupt: I’ll bet they do.
Hon. Mr. Welch: -- for which neither the Chairman of Management Board nor the Minister of Culture and Recreation is responsible. The contents of the letters stand on their own and I think they are quite clear.
I think the very simple way to attempt to make this explanation is to indicate that whatever the total Wintario revenues are, in the amounts that are set out in the letter, they are either spent or committed. Indeed, there is no accumulation from the standpoint of being available for other purposes. It is as simple as that in so far as the Wintario account is concerned.
We have taken in so many dollars. We have actually spent, by way of honouring commitments, so many dollars; the rest is in the way of commitments, and people are either still attempting to fulfil or about to fulfil the conditions of the commitment. So, in a bookkeeping sense, what has come in will eventually go out.
Mr. Renwick: What are you going to do with the money that is received from now on?
Mr. S. Smith: The question has not been answered, Mr. Speaker. So, by way of supplementary, I will put it into other words for the minister.
I will ask again: In tables C11 and C12 of the Treasurer’s budget what does the line “cumulative funds available” mean? There is a section saying “funds available from prior years” and “this year’s proceeds,” from which they subtract those funds that are spent and those funds that are committed, and they end up with a line saying “cumulative funds available.” Would the minister please explain to an ordinary layman like myself what that means?
Hon. Mr. Welch: Perhaps I could direct the attention of the Leader of the Opposition to the letter from the Chairman of Management Board, which simply says: “These tabulations show $77 million as ‘cumulative funds available’ in both lotteries” -- and I point out, both lotteries -- “at the time that the budget was prepared. This $77 million is simply a memorandum accounting the proceeds and expenditures. The cash itself” -- as the Chairman of Management Board says, is in fact part of the budgetary process.
The point I am making in so far as the Wintario accounts are concerned -- and I think this is the important point to make -- is that there is no surplus from the standpoint of funds being available for other purposes. All of the Wintario earnings since the first draw on May 15, 1975, at this moment are either spent or committed.
Mr. Renwick: But you are getting money every week.
An hon. member: You’ve really been spending it in the last week or two.
Mr. Cassidy: Would the minister be prepared to table in this House a list of all of the arenas being replaced, the research projects and the other capital facilities in various parts of the province on which work would actually have to stop or be deferred or abandoned completely if the funds now committed on Wintario were to be redirected, as the Leader of the Opposition suggests?
Hon. Mr. Welch: I would be very pleased to do that.
Mr. Deans: Why didn’t you think of that yourself?
Mr. Bradley: You are mellowing over there.
Mr. S. Smith: While the minister and his peculiarly chosen friends are making this plan, perhaps we could get back to the question. In table C11, and in the updated version of that table which has come from the ministry, it is perfectly clear there is a figure that remains after one has taken into account both expenditures and commitments. That figure in the Treasurer’s budget is called “cumulative funds available.”
I would ask the minister this specific question: In the Treasurer’s budget, the interim estimated 12-month figure for 1977-78, as of the end of February, was such that there would be $21 million left over in the cumulative funds available. And yet the minister is now saying that all of that has been accounted for. In fact, his own ministry does say that there will be only $1 million left over. I would presume from that the ministry has made commitments over and above what it predicted would be commitments during the month of March 1978 -- over and above the predicted commitments, the ministry has made an additional $22 million in commitments. What did the minister do? When he heard the Treasurer was after his money, did the minister give it to everybody who passed by the door -- $22 million in a month?
Hon. W. Newman: That’s a cheap shot. Get mad, Bob.
Hon. Mr. Welch: I must assume that the hon. Leader of the Opposition is serious, Mr. Speaker. It is very difficult to say even that. The letter to the editor is very clear in stating that there was a lag in the initial stages of Wintario as the Wintario grants program followed the actual introduction of the lottery by several months. I would point out that at the moment there have been nearly 16,000 successful applications as far as Wintario is concerned. As the leader of the New Democratic Party has indicated, it would be very interesting to review those. Certainly over a period of time the commitments have caught up with the resources that have been available and the approach has been a very responsible one.
Mr. S. Smith: Yes; $22 million in one month.
Hon. Mr. Welch: I respect the fact that the hon. Leader of the Opposition and others may indeed feel that lottery proceeds should be allocated for other purposes. May we simply indicate that we have an honest difference of opinion? The principles that govern this lottery are enshrined in section 9 of the Ontario Lottery Corporations Act. They are allocated for sports, fitness, recreation and culture.
Mr. S. Smith: That’s $22 million in one month.
Hon. Mr. Welch: As to the particular period of time, these applications are in process over a long period of time. The simple fact that the people of Ontario should glean from this exchange is that through the generosity of those who have been involved in Wintario, substantial sums of money have gone to culture, recreation, sports and fitness, all of which at the moment are either spent or committed and therefore are not hanging around available for some other purpose.
Mr. S. Smith: Supplementary: Dealing with the Provincial lottery and recognizing that is not Wintario, the minister will undoubtedly agree that the estimates for this particular lottery in terms of proceeds that are still available and uncommitted for 1978-79 will be about $50 million. Does he agree therefore with the letter from the Chairman of Management Board that says that that money, from the Provincial, which has not yet been committed to anyone, is in fact available for whatever purpose the government may wish to use it, if it so chose? Or does he agree with Management Board that somehow or other this money has been taken into the cash flow of the government and has in some peculiar manner disappeared and become unavailable for the government to spend on chosen purposes? How does he explain the point of view of the Chairman of Management Board on that matter?
Hon. Mr. Welch: The Chairman of Management Board is being quite direct when he points out that, in so far as the Provincial lottery is concerned, the government made it quite clear at the time of the introduction of that particular lottery that it would designate projects from time to time as certain priorities became clear. At the moment, the proceeds from the Provincial are dedicated to health research and health-related environmental projects. Through an order in council that particular designation has been established. The first $25 million of those earnings have been earmarked for that purpose. There may well be some sum now in that particular account not yet either spent or committed.
Mr. S. Smith: That’s right, $50 million.
Hon. Mr. Welch: What that would be, as of my answering the question today, I am unable to say. There are moneys at the moment designated for health research and health-related environmental projects.
Mr. S. Smith: I’ll ask a question of the Minister of the Environment. I draw to his attention that a previous minister in 1970 made the following statement: “We shall deal with the problems presented by the disposal of liquid industrial wastes. These are problems which up to now have been largely unresolved because almost everyone has avoided any responsibility for their proper handling. If industry fails in setting up adequate and acceptable machinery, there should be no complaints if government is forced to do the job.”
That was in 1970. How do we find ourselves now in a situation where we have no place to put industrial waste and where there is virtually an open invitation --
Hon. Mr. Kerr: Look around you at the people that have objected to and opposed every application. Look around you at the back benches.
Mr. S. Smith: -- to people in the middle of the night to pour this dangerous material down any sewer they happen to find? All the minister is able to say is he’ll keep it in drums until he can figure out what to do with it. Where is there a policy regarding liquid industrial waste?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: Every application before a board has been turned down with your support and the support of your members and those over there as well.
Mr. Kerrio: The polluter will pay; who said that?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: How many applications have been turned down?
Mr. Speaker: Order.
An hon. member: Who is answering? Who is the minister?
An hon. member: No prompting, George. Let him answer for himself.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: You don’t want deep well disposal, you don’t want incineration, you don’t want anything, you want magic.
Hon. Mr. McCague: I’m not sure which Minister of the Environment that question was addressed to.
Mr. Kerrio: We haven’t had an answer from either one.
Mr. Speaker: I assume it’s the present minister.
An hon. member: Will the real minister please stand up?
An hon. member: Let’s go back to the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. W. Newman). He was the best Minister of the Environment of all.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: The member for Windsor-Walkerville (Mr. B. Newman) is worrying about Detroit over there.
Mr. Conway: Which George is speaking? Is it Jean-Pierre Kerr?
Hon. Mr. McCague: Would the hon. Leader of the Opposition please repeat that? I’m sorry, I hope he can understand that I missed most of his question.
Mr. S. Smith: I’ll repeat the question. I can appreciate the minister’s request.
I quoted for the minister a statement, which I believe he heard, which was a statement by a previous Minister of the Environment in 1970 basically saying that if industry failed to set up adequate and acceptable machinery there should be no complaint if government is forced to do the job. That’s eight years ago, in 1970.
I asked the minister, how do we find ourselves in the present situation where we have hazardous materials, such as PCBs and other materials, where we have liquid wastes still being produced very rapidly all across Ontario, and no place to put it, so that we’re now going to tell people to keep it in drums for a while, and basically we are left in a situation where we are practically tempting people to go out in the middle of the night and dump it down a sewer somewhere, because there’s no obvious way we’re dealing with liquid wastes. Why has there been no policy developed in the last eight years?
Mr. Breithaupt: And you’re even going to deregulate them.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: I don’t know how you stand yourself.
Mr. Riddell: It seems to me the same minister said “the polluter will pay.”
Hon. Mr. Kerr: It does happen, amazingly --
Mr. J. Reed: You’re very sensitive this morning.
Mrs. Campbell: Can we hear the answer?
Hon. Mr. McCague: If the Leader of the Opposition would wish to check into it, I think there have been some positive moves made in past years. As he well knows, we are disposing of PCB-contaminated wastes -- we have tried to dispose of them at the St. Lawrence Cement Company, we have used them for road oils, we have used them for recycling.
What I am simply trying to do is to bring to the attention of everyone some sensible way in which we might move in the next year. I acknowledge it’s a large problem, and so does the Leader of the Opposition. We think that if we proceed in the way my statement says we are certainly on the side of caution. If the EPA allows 500 parts per million and we’re down at 25 parts per million, I think he would agree that’s realistic.
I agree we don’t know all the implications of this. Since 1970, as the hon. member indicates, we have found out about many other chemicals and gained a lot more knowledge about PCBs than we had at that time. These things are evolving all the time. I can assure the hon. member that I am trying to do my best within the ministry to come up with a solution to the problem. I hope hon. members opposite will go along with us.
As I said in the estimates, I don’t think it’s really a political issue. I think it’s a real problem that we’ve got in this province and I think we all should get together and try to solve it. This is our best estimate based on some technical knowledge we have at this point, and based on the promise of further studies through which we are going to seriously look into this problem. I would just ask the members’ co-operation. I think we’ll get along fine.
Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, has it not yet dawned on the minister that the only hope of dealing with these highly toxic and hazardous products is the refining of waste oils and the chemical treatment of all toxic wastes? Surely that has been obvious to every thinking person these many years and we can’t just continue to pour it into the environment. Why has there been no policy? Why do we find ourselves now suddenly shocked because the Americans have closed their borders and the Beare Road pit site is closed and all we can think of is putting it in drums until we think of some other expedient; or pouring it on the roads when we know perfectly well it ends up in the environment anyhow?
Hon. Mr. McCague: I don’t think that’s a very valid statement at all. There is a lot of work being done on the fixation process.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: They’ll turn that down too.
Hon. Mr. McCague: There is burning at Tricil in Mississauga and in Sarnia. Some waste oils are being recycled at 1.5 million gallons a year.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: Excellent, excellent.
Hon. Mr. McCague: St. Lawrence are using waste oils. There is some contention as to whether there are PCB contents or not. As the member knows, we tested crankcase oils. In three samples we found two to be zero and one to be 17. We as a ministry, along with Environment Canada, are convinced that PCBs can be destroyed at St. Lawrence at levels up to 250,000 parts per million. The rate of destruction is 99.986 per cent. In our opinion, that’s the maximum and the most we could ever hope for.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: That’s not good enough.
Hon. Mr. McCague: I don’t advocate that we shouldn’t give the citizens a right to investigate our proposals. All I say is that there is citizen opposition to everything we try to do. We don’t mind that, but we want to get down to the crux of the thing.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: -- the certificate from the St. Lawrence Cement Company.
Hon. Mr. McCague: Keep quiet. Mr. Minister, please.
Hon. Mr. McCague: If I could hear the advice the former Minister of the Environment is giving me, I’d be happy. I can’t hear it, and that’s what is bothering me.
Mr. Foulds: Stop mumbling, George.
Mr. Gaunt: He’s just telling you the polluter will pay.
Hon. Mr. McCague: Anyway, I think if we all work together we are making progress.
Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary: Given the fact that the minister’s reply to this question a week and a half ago had very little to offer confidence to the Legislature about the government’s ability to solve the problem of PCB disposal, and given the fact that he has been doing everything in his power to undermine our confidence further in his reply today, can he respond to the one area of real vacuum in his particular statement today, which is what is the government intending to do when it discovers in the program of sampling and analysis of waste oils in storage that there are waste oils that contain more than the minimum tolerable levels of PCBs which have been announced today?
Hon. Mr. McCague: They may well have to go into storage until we are able to show the public that the methods of destruction that we have are, in fact, 100 per cent.
Mr. MacDonald: Along with nuclear waste.
Mr. Warner: What is the minister going to do?
Hon. Mr. Rhodes: You give us the answer.
Mr. Kennedy: Supplementary: Mr. Speaker, I welcome the clarification of the statement with respect to the use of the waste oil product we have, but as a supplementary; the minister will recall that we had discussions in his estimates a couple of weeks ago with respect to the Tricil plant. In the light of the charges pending, the control order hearing before the appeal board, and the other related matters, could the minister give us an update now? There was a deferral of four to six weeks, and nearly four weeks have gone by. Can the minister update us on the present status of that situation with Tricil in Mississauga, please?
Hon. Mr. McCague: It is my understanding that the matter will be heard. It was four to six weeks they were talking about. We have had some very positive indications of co-operation from the industry, from Tricil, and I think the period now is 10 weeks.
Mr. Kerrio: Is the minister aware of the fact that the Minister of Transportation and Communications (Mr. Snow) is considering the deregulation of the trucking of those very dangerous wastes; and does it concern the minister that we will have less and less control over these dangerous chemicals?
Mr. Philip: No, he never heard of that.
Hon. Mr. McCague: It certainly doesn’t disturb me at all that the Minister of Transportation and Communications is considering it. That’s exactly what he’s doing. The member is presuming certain things --
Mr. Kerrio: Are you aware of it? That’s what I asked.
Hon. Mr. McCague: I’m very much aware of it, yes.
Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Beaches-Woodbine with a final supplementary.
Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, I don’t detect any real sense of urgency in the minister’s responses to this very serious problem. I would like to ask when he is going to depart from the policy of issuing only guidelines and getting to the matter of controls. For instance, what happens on this road oil if it does exceed the 25 parts per million? There is no control order and therefore he can simply say, “You have exceeded the guidelines.” Also, has he looked at all at the Swedish answer to this problem, which is to have a joint municipal-state government agency which handles all liquid industrial waste through one company which then resells the products and recycles them?
Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Utopia again.
Hon. Mr. McCague: Mr. Speaker, we are looking at all the possibilities. I haven’t personally looked at the Swedish system. I know my staff are well aware of it.
Mr. J. Reed: Store it in Sault Ste. Marie.
Mr. Cassidy: I have a question for the Minister of Labour arising out of the nine-week strike of 24 bank-note examiners in Ottawa who went on strike because of the fact that women were earning $5.09 an hour after years of service in a demanding occupation while male floor boys could earn $6.46 an hour after a few months, with no need for prior skills. Is the minister aware that the arbitrator in this particular dispute came in with an award which took no account of the reason for which the women went on strike in the first place, which was equal pay for work of equal value?
Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I am aware of the decision in this case.
Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary: Is the minister further aware that the arbitrator gave as one of the reasons for his decision that the existing law of the province of Ontario did not apply to these employees because they were not performing substantially similar work to the men employed in the same plant, and that is why he refused to consider the question of equal pay for work of equal value?
Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I am not sure that the arbitrator did not take it into consideration. I am aware of the fact that he made that statement, however.
Mr. McClellan: Your commitment is overwhelming.
Hon. B. Stephenson: If I might clarify, Mr. Speaker --
Mr. Cassidy: You had better.
Hon. B. Stephenson: -- he made the statement about the fact that there was no law in the province of Ontario regarding equal pay for work of equal value, only a law regarding equal pay for equal work.
Mr. Warner: The law is at fault.
Mr. McClellan: Your lack of commitment is evident.
Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary: Are the minister and the government prepared to act in the area of equal pay for work of equal value, or is the minister simply going to say that women must continue to have these long and frustrating strikes despite the recommendations of the Status of Women Council, the recent conference on equal opportunity that was sponsored by the ministry, and people across this country? When are they going to act?
Hon. B. Stephenson: I would be hard pressed to say that all of the participants in the conference on equal opportunity were in support of enforcement of specific legislation --
Mr. Warner: You weren’t there.
Hon. B. Stephenson: -- on equal pay for work of equal value. There were many approaches suggested to this problem, and that is precisely what the Ministry of Labour, particularly the women’s bureau and that group which is specifically responsible for making recommendations in this area, is looking at right now.
Mr. Mackenzie: Supplementary: When is the minister going to stand behind her women’s bureau and bring in legislation that is going to give some equality to women workers in terms of the work they do?
Mr. Warner: That’s what’s needed.
Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, the staff of the women’s bureau of the Ministry of Labour is probably one of the best groups of civil servants anywhere.
Mr. Warner: Bring in some legislation then.
Hon. B. Stephenson: I stand behind them constantly.
Mr. Mackenzie: With words only.
Mr. Swart: A mile behind.
FLECK MANUFACTURING COMPANY
Mr. Cassidy: I have a second question also for the Minister of Labour. I had the privilege of joining the workers at Fleck Manufacturing, who have been on strike for almost two months, up in Centralia today. I was there in order to give them support from the New Democratic Party.
Mr. Cunningham: Solidarity forever.
Mr. Cassidy: Can the minister give a progress report on the work of the dispute’s advisory committee in that particular labour dispute, and can she also report on the progress of any other attempts to reach a settlement against a management which is being so intransigent in the efforts of the workers to get a first contract?
Hon. B. Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, the members of the dispute’s advisory committee are continuing their work. There has not been a face-to-face meeting of the participants in the strike this week. I anticipate there may be one in the very near future, but I can tell the House that both of the members are working diligently. They have developed one or two interesting proposals, which I hope are being considered seriously by both sides, because I think they might provide the route to a solution. They won’t provide the solution but they might provide the way to that solution.
Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: In view of the fact that this situation at Fleck Manufacturing Company is comparable to many other situations across the province, where management are instructed by people who counsel them about ways in which to avoid giving workers a first contract, is the government now prepared to bring in legislation to ensure the workers do have the right to get a first contract in Ontario?
Hon. B. Stephenson: The law in Ontario provides the facility for workers to organize and to attempt to negotiate a first contract. The experience in other jurisdictions, where a first contract has been imposed -- and we have done some of those in Ontario as well -- has not been particularly good. I believe the free right to decide to organize and to bargain is probably the best way in which to establish meaningful, long-lasting and supportive labour/management relations in this province, and I would continue to support that.
Mr. Warner: Nothing to help the workers, though.
Mr. Renwick: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Would the minister, if she hasn’t already done so, give consideration to speaking directly, herself, with Margaret Fleck, the owner of one-half of that partnership, for herself and her children, and with George Gardiner, the president of Sonor Investments Limited, the owner of the other half of the partnership comprising Fleck Manufacturing Company, to find out what their attitudes are and why they are abdicating their responsibilities as owners in the face of this disastrous strike?
Hon. B. Stephenson: I am not sure that would be entirely appropriate. I do not believe I should intervene directly in most labour/management disputes.
Mr. Warner: You wouldn’t want to assist the workers.
Ms. Gigantes: The minister has too much delicacy.
Hon. B. Stephenson: The dispute’s advisory committee has been given this responsibility and I think it is discharging it very well and very effectively. Hopefully it will be a successful conclusion which they reach. I should like the hon. members to know that I have met with the striking workers --
Ms. Gigantes: We read about that.
Hon. B. Stephenson: -- and I have met, as well, with the workers who are not striking.
Mr. Swart: We heard about that flip-flop.
Mr. Mackenzie: Why not meet with the owners, then?
Hon. B. Stephenson: I have not met with management directly, but I have had some telephone communications with those who are related to management --
Mr. Deans: You mean like husbands of the management, wives of the management?
Hon. B. Stephenson: -- and I think we are working as diligently as we can to try to resolve this difficult dispute.
Mr. Mackenzie: Why the double standard? Why not management, as well?
FIRING OF UNION OFFICIAL
Hon. B. Stephenson: I am sorry that the hon. member for Sudbury (Mr. Germa) is not here. He asked a question on Monday of this week, I think, suggesting that Mr. Dworski, who had been removed from his employment with Inco, had been interrogated by one of the staff of the Ministry of Labour -- a Mr. Thomas. It was suggested that this inspector of the Ministry of Labour was the Mr. Thomas about whom the hon. member had raised some questions before.
The actual questioning of Mr. Dworski was carried out by a Mr. Gerry Thomas, an inspector of the mines inspection branch of the Ministry of Labour. The interrogation was entirely about one subject -- it was about Mr. Thomas’s handling and mishandling of explosives, and it had nothing at all to do with the other subject, which the hon. member suggested.
Mr. McClellan: Thomas was mishandling explosives?
Mr. Deans: I have a supplementary for clarification purposes. Am I correct in understanding that Mr. Thomas was questioning Mr. Dworski about Mr. Thomas’s mishandling of explosives?
Hon. B. Stephenson: Of course not. If my language was that inaccurate, I apologize profusely. It was Mr. Dworski’s mishandling of explosives which was under question, and that apparently was a part of the reason why --
Ms. Gigantes: His handling is under question, not his mishandling.
Hon. B. Stephenson: -- his handling and his mishandling of explosives were in question.
Ms. Gigantes: The alleged mishandling.
Hon. B. Stephenson: I am informed that, indeed, this has been supported not only by some of those who have been working with Mr. Dworski but also by management and by the investigation which was carried out by our inspectors.
Mr. Warner: Those people must be happy to know that they’ve got a voice down here.
Hon. B. Stephenson: I am aware that there is a grievance launched in the case of Mr. Dworski; whether it is related directly to this problem only, I am not aware at this point. But that was the burden of all of the investigation carried out by Mr. Gerry Thomas during that five-hour period which was mentioned by the hon. member for Sudbury.
Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary: Not only are the minister’s comments gratuitous, but I suspect they would also be actionable if they were not uttered in this Legislature --
Ms. Speaker: Question?
Mr. Cassidy: -- when she makes an allegation like that.
Mr. Speaker: Question? Question?
Mr. Warner: She wouldn’t repeat them outside.
Mr. Cassidy: I would like to ask the minister, as a supplementary, whether it is the custom of officials of the Ministry of Labour to take workers and haul them over the coals for periods of four or five hours on allegations like that, or whether it is only directed against workers whom the company has picked out as being people they want to push out?
Mr. Mackenzie: It is not the first time.
Hon. B. Stephenson: I’m sure I’m not alone when I say there are times when I resent rather strongly the allegations made by these hon. members opposite --
Mr. Swart: Kind of embarrassing, aren’t they?
Mr. Cassidy: We resent your allegations against workers.
Hon. B. Stephenson: -- that any of the actions of those dedicated people who are attempting to serve the workers of this province in the area of occupational health and safety are prejudiced by some kind of relationship with one group or another.
Ms. Gigantes: Five hours of harassment.
Hon. B. Stephenson: They attempt vigorously to be neutral and they attempt only to do the job for which they are employed --
Mr. Warner: Rubbish. Make your statement outside the House. You’ll find yourself in court.
Mr. Mackenzie: That is not true.
Hon. B. Stephenson: -- that is, to ensure as best they can the health and safety of the workers of the province of Ontario.
Mr. Mackenzie: You’ve never had anything to do with workers.
Mr. Cassidy: How many other times has the ministry had a worker over the coals for more than an hour or two at a time? You should table that.
Hon. B. Stephenson: If I may respond to that, there are times when we have had employers over the coals for longer than five hours.
Ms. Gigantes: For good reason.
Mr. Lewis: Supplementary: Does the minister realize this is the second time within one week that she has prejudiced the standing and the possibilities of an appeal for a worker in Ontario -- once in the instance of the Workmen’s Compensation Board, now in this instance in Sudbury -- by drawing definitive conclusions about mere allegations and asserting her opinion in a way which prejudices the rights of the worker involved, so that as Minister of Labour she is no longer neutral, she is an adversary; and when is she going to stop the practice?
Hon. B. Stephenson: On Monday, the hon. member for Sudbury asked specifically whether the interrogation that was carried out was related to the allegations which had been made about the inspector of the Ministry of Labour. I specifically requested the information about the burden of that interrogation and that discussion and was informed totally that it was related directly and only to problems of handling and mishandling of explosives.
Ms. Gigantes: You aren’t answering the question.
Hon. B. Stephenson: I have reported factually to the House. I am trying to do my job --
Mr. MacDonald: You’re doing it again. You’re breaching the sub judice rule. Mr. Speaker, she is breaching the sub judice rule.
Hon. B. Stephenson: -- in response to the questions which are directed at me by the opposition. If they don’t want this kind of truthful statement in the House --
Mr. Mackenzie: You’ve got to quit destroying the workers.
Hon. B. Stephenson: -- then let them stop asking those questions.
Mr. Cassidy: It is an allegation.
Mr. MacDonald: You could say something about alleged mishandling.
Mr. Lewis: Roy McMurtry should take you to task.
Mr. Bradley: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of the Environment and it deals further with the question of polychlorinated biphenyls. I know the minister would be aware that the cost of disposal of PCBs by American firms has just been doubled very recently and that there are no American sites now accepting Canadian PCBs -- I think there’s one site accepting solids containing PCBs. In light of this, would the minister care to inform the House of the specific results of the meeting that he had, I believe, in his office last Friday with the officials of the largest disposal firm of PCBs and Environment Canada?
Hon. Mr. McCague: I’m not aware of the meeting to which the hon. member is referring.
Mr. Bradley: As a supplementary, would it be safe to say that perhaps some of the minister’s officials have met with these two parties and that, as a result of that, discussions took place concerning a potential site in Canada?
Hon. Mr. McCague: It would be safe to say that perhaps they met.
Mr. Bounsall: Supplementary: In the talks the minister is having with Environment Canada, has he discussed the idea of a jointly-sponsored burning plant operation between his ministry and Environment Canada at some suitable location in Ontario, or if not that, then at least a co-operative venture between the two levels of government and anyone in the private sector who would wish to get into what’s going to be a rather lucrative business of disposing of PCBs and other harmful wastes with private industry in a suitable location in Ontario -- some sort of two-part or tripartite joint venture?
Hon. Mr. McCague: Mr. Speaker, I have not personally had discussions with Environment Canada, nor with any firm which might be interested in setting up a facility for the whole province. I know there have been ongoing discussions on that matter within the ministry. Although I don’t think it’s appropriate for a member on this side to ask a member on the other side a question --
Mr. Kerrio: It’s done all the time.
Mr. Warner: That’s not the way it works.
Hon. Mr. Drea: Where were you last night?
Hon. Mr. McCague: -- I would like to have the hon. member clarify for me where he thinks an acceptable location might be for such a facility?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: Moosonee.
Mr. Warner: There was a question to the member.
Mr. Speaker: He can ask, but you can’t answer.
Mr. Cassidy: You don’t have the right to reply.
Mr. Gaunt: Supplementary: Since the minister’s statement this morning concerned PCBs in waste oil, and since several recommendations have been filed with the ministry to ban road oiling in the interests of safety, I’m wondering what has the ministry done with respect to heavy metals in waste oil, such as lead, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, some of which are carcinogenic? Has the ministry done anything in this respect? Secondly, what has the ministry done, and has any progress been made, with respect to oil re-refining or recycling?
Hon. Mr. McCague: On the first part of the hon. member’s question, I will get the answer for him. On the second part of the question, there is refining going on now, as the hon. member knows.
Mr. Gaunt: In a limited way.
Hon. W. Newman: Give us your oil. We will recycle it for you.
Hon. Mr. McCague: I’m answering the question, are we doing it, and yes, there is some of it going on now; about 1.5 million gallons are being recycled. That is being investigated, not only by us but by people out there in the market.
Mr. Renwick: In the absence of the Premier (Mr. Davis), I have a two- or three-part question for the House leader of the government. What is this document on constitutional reform that the federal leader of the Conservative Party handed to the Premier of Quebec on behalf of the Premier of Ontario and the four other Tory Premiers and which is supposed to pose a dilemma for Premier Levesque? Will the House leader ask the Premier to table the document immediately and to tell us what, if any, authority it has about the government’s policy on constitutional change?
Hon. Mr. Welch: I suppose the simplest way to answer the question is, I would be very glad to draw the Premier’s attention to the point raised by the hon. member this morning.
Mr. Deans: Come on. You’re the Deputy Premier, for heaven’s sake.
Mr. Gaunt: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of the Environment concerning the Oakville fire. In view of the comments by Mr. George Wallace of Pioneer Pools Limited in the wake of Tuesday’s chemical and pesticide fire in Oakville that he was disgusted at the lack of any official coordinated procedure to deal with chemical fire emergencies and to warn people of possible dangers, why wasn’t the Ministry of the Environment at the scene of the fire and why hasn’t the ministry given any leadership in advising people what should be done, what they should do, and the dangers to which they might have been exposed?
Hon. Mr. McCague: Mr. Speaker, that was a long question. Can I give a long answer?
Mr. Speaker: Yes.
An hon. member: No.
An hon. member: That would be a change.
Mr. Deans: You just happen to have it in front of you.
Hon. Mr. McCague: I appreciate the fact that the Speaker gave me permission for a long answer, but I think I won’t give one.
Our people spoke with the medical officer of health at 2:15 on Wednesday, April 26, and advised him that smoke might be causing problems for people working in industries on the south service road east of Chartwell Road. The staff of the medical officer of health and Halton regional police then advised the occupants of these buildings that it would be a good idea for them to send their employees home for the remainder of the day.
Mr. Gaunt: May I get specific? Does the minister know what temperature was present at the fire? Were the chemicals breaking down or were they vaporizing? How far did the fumes spread? Was any air monitoring done? Were the firemen protected? Can the minister answer those specific questions?
Hon. Mr. McCague: I can’t give the temperature; it was very hot, they tell me.
Mr. Deans: It depends where you were standing.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: A hell of a smoke, Murray.
Hon. Mr. McCague: Yes, there was air monitoring. The samples taken are now at the lab for testing. The firemen were advised by their own chief not to enter into the smoke without inhalator equipment on. The fire department was well aware of the chemicals being stored there. They did have an emergency action plan, so I think everybody was well informed. The company had lived up to what was required of them under the Pesticides Act. I should have the results of the air samples on Monday.
Ms. Bryden: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Would the minister be prepared to table the reports of the air monitoring following the fire and also any reports that he has on file as to what chemicals were actually stored in the building? From the press reports, it was indicated that people did not know and that there is no compulsory law in this province requiring storage firms to notify the ministry of what is in storage. Could the minister table for us what information he has on what was in storage and what the air reports are?
Hon. Mr. McCague: I’ll be glad to discuss this matter with the hon. member.
In the Pesticides Act, section 100, under vendor storage, the vendor must have a licence to store pesticides and there must be an area with several warning signs prominently displayed at the entrances thereof indicating the presence of pesticides.
It also says, under section 103, which is vendor fire department notification, that every holder of a limited wholesaler vendor’s licence to store or sell any pesticide or a class one or two vendor’s licence to store for sale “shall notify the local fire department having jurisdiction in the area in which such pesticides are stored of the presence of the pesticides on the premises in form two.”
It is my understanding that those two sections had been complied with and that the fire department was well aware of what was in that building.
Ms. Bryden: Were they all pesticides, though?
Mr. B. Newman: Mr. Speaker, in view of the fact that firemen may be going to the scene of a fire without having consulted with the chief and knowing that certain types of toxic chemicals may be stored therein, would the minister not consider having some identifying mark on the outside of the building? Then when the firemen do come to the scene of such a fire, they would immediately know there are toxic and dangerous chemicals contained therein. I know the firms have to report to the fire department but the crew that may go down may not know that the toxic chemicals are stored therein.
Hon. Mr. McCague: I believe, unless I am misunderstanding the member, that I just finished answering that very question by referring to the Pesticides Act which says that there must be areas with a warning sign prominently displayed on the entrances thereof indicating the presence of a pesticide.
Ms. Bryden: What about other chemicals?
Mr. Cassidy: What about other toxic substances?
Mr. B. Newman: It could be an inner entrance and it would be posted on the inner entrance and not on the outer entrance of the building.
Hon. Mr. McCague: I have never seen an inner entrance of a building.
Mr. B. Newman: You can have two rooms in a building. It could be stored in one room with the sign posted just outside of that room, and not on the entrance to the building.
Mr. Speaker: Order. Order. Final supplementary, the hon. member for Wentworth.
Mr. Deans: I wonder if the Minister of the Environment would speak to the Solicitor General with regard to the problem which does not come from the fire department not knowing, as was indicated before, about the problem area, but rather from their not having, first, sufficient manpower to meet those kinds of emergencies that arise from time to time; and second, a sufficiently intimate knowledge of the surrounding area to recognize that, if there is a grass fire outside, there is indeed the possibility that the hazardous area may go on fire and create a major problem?
Mr. Mackenzie: What about the explosives in the building?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: They knew that. They’ve fought grass fires.
Mr. Deans: They don’t. They didn’t even go to the grass fire, for heaven’s sake, and that is why you had the mess.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: They were fighting another one.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. Deans: If they were fighting another one, they should have other people there.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. Ashe: Blame the government for the fire department.
Hon. W. Newman: Don’t forget, I used to be a volunteer fireman too.
Mr. Deans: Setting up with the same regulations -- that’s what the fire --
Mr. Speaker: Will the hon. member for Wentworth please keep quiet? He has asked his question. Does the hon. Minister of the Environment have a response?
Hon. Mr. McCague: Mr. Speaker, I think the hon. member makes a good point if what he is saying is that railroad and town employees should be notified of the dangers in nearby buildings when they are setting grass fires -- if that is what happened. I do not have a specific answer as to how the fire started. There seems to be some doubt. I guess that will remain a matter for somebody else to settle at some time. Certainly, it would be a good idea to inform workers of such dangers.
I think the other problem the member mentioned is the lack of firemen, if I am reading him correctly. I am not sure of this point -- it really doesn’t come under my ministry -- but I presume there are mutual aid fire agreements in that area. The hon. member says there aren’t. I think they have mutual agreements.
Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Solicitor General. Could the Solicitor General talk to the Fire Marshal’s office and have them investigate why George Wallace of Pioneer Pools Limited said he practically had to throw a temper tantrum in order to get the firefighters to protect his building which was adjacent to this fire in Oakville which contained 100,000 pounds of calcium hypochlorite, a highly explosive chemical? Until he phoned around and, as he said, practically threw a temper tantrum, he couldn’t get any action to protect his building.
Also, could the Solicitor General discuss with the Fire Marshal the development of a co-ordinated plan for notifying all the people affected by chemical fires of this nature as to the health hazards, the possible hazards of contamination of food and water, and let us know what the plan is for such co-ordinated action?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: My information is, of course, as most people know, that this was an extraordinarily large fire --
Mr. Breithaupt: Hot, too.
Mr. J. Reed: Very hot.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: -- and it developed very quickly. As has been indicated this morning, there was a grass fire in the area which I understand some of the personnel from the Oakville fire department were looking after. This, therefore, reduced the manpower and equipment that was available for the large fire that took place at this particular warehouse.
Mr. Deans: Priorities. Priorities.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: I also understand there was some problem regarding water pressure in that area, that there has been some delay in installing suitably-sized piping for that particular industrial area.
Mr. Deans: Why did they allow industries to go in there?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: You’d better speak to the town of Oakville about that.
Mr. Deans: These are the problems.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: That was another handicap faced by the firemen in that area. To deal with the hon. member’s particular question, every available man and every available piece of equipment, including equipment from Burlington, was pretty well looking after that main large warehouse, which was the cause of the fire in the first place and resulted in a great deal of smoke and the chemicals being released that have been discussed here this morning. I don’t think there was any intent on the part of the firemen to ignore the particular gentleman to whom the hon. member refers, but I would be happy to get a report from the Fire Marshal for the hon. member.
Mr. Eakins: Mr. Speaker, a question of the Minister of Industry and Tourism. Could the minister expand on his recent announcement concerning the possible establishment of an Ontario hostelry institute? Is he planning to use existing facilities such as the various community colleges that are currently offering courses or will this involve a new facility?
Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Speaker, the intention at the very beginning, of course, is to use existing facilities until we can get the whole thing organized and get the particular courses into place. We are working in conjunction with the hospitality industry, with both the restaurant association and the hotel and motel association. The intention is that we could start with an existing facility, like George Brown College here in Toronto, but the goal is eventually to have a complete facility similar to the one that exists in Quebec.
Mr. Eakins: Supplementary: Does the minister have any further information as to the funding of the planned institute?
Hon. Mr. Rhodes: it is very early in the game to start talking about total dollars, but obviously the funding of that institution would be like the funding of any other educational institution in this province. I feel the funding would have to come from the government. This sort of program is something we should be doing more of; that is, to train people for the types of jobs that are available in that industry, where they are having a great deal of difficulty getting qualified people to serve in those various establishments.
Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary: Is the government considering an apprenticeship scheme or expanding the present apprenticeship scheme to take advantage of the large amount of skills which are in the hostelry industry right now and in particular in the area of cooks and people like that who can benefit from people who have trained abroad and have now brought their talents to this country and who could pass them on to Canadian workers?
Hon. Mr. Rhodes: That’s exactly what we are intending to do. As the hon. member knows, there are programs now in the various community colleges. However, our analysis of what those programs are providing and the number of students they are graduating has shown that they are just not meeting the needs of the industry. It is our intention to set up this sort of program and do as has been suggested by the hon. member: to use as instructors the very experienced people who have a great deal of ability and to produce qualified cooks, qualified maître d’s and many other of the skilled trades that are needed in the hospitality industry.
Mr. Bounsall: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Labour relating to the tuberculosis infection of the workers at Greenacres Home for the Aged in Newmarket back in February and March; they were infected by a patient who at some point turned active herself and thereby infected the workers -- 32 of them, in fact.
For those 32 workers who turned from negative to positive in their skin-test reactions, has the ministry offered to those workers the possibility of a drug program using drugs such as INH or others as a means of minimizing the possibility of their becoming active cases of TB?
Secondly, as the Workmen’s Compensation Board does not list those workers who have turned from negative to positive in skin tests but only those who become active treatment cases, would she consider having the Workmen’s Compensation Board keep a separate list of those who do not have an active case yet, just a positive reaction, since they could become susceptible to an active case any time in the future as a result of the infection, so that when that time occurs they can easily be transferred over to compensation as a result, rather than going back through some long, complicated process to discover and prove that they were at Greenacres at that time?
Hon. B. Stephenson: I am sure the hon. member is aware there is a great deal of difference between the change from a negative to a positive intracutaneous tuberculin reaction and the development of an active case of tuberculosis. Therein lies the whole crux of the matter. Those individuals who have changed from negative to positive will, of course, in the routine manner in which this is done constantly throughout the province of Ontario with workers in health care facilities of any kind -- or chronic care facilities -- receive a surveillance program which will ensure that they have not, over the next several months or years, developed an active case of tuberculosis.
If there is any sign they are becoming active cases of tuberculosis, they will of course, immediately become the charges of the Workmen’s Compensation Board in that instance, and will receive the drug treatment which is necessary. In some instances where, for reasons of personal medical history, pre-existing disease, there is sufficient concern to warrant the provision of pharmaco-therapeutic agents in order to prevent further development within that case, then that will be provided as well.
I don’t think there is any problem as far as this is concerned, except the concern expressed by the hon. member that a positive IC tuberculin test means an active case of tuberculosis. It doesn’t.
Mr. Bounsall: I didn’t say that
Hon. B. Stephenson: I would be willing to bet right now that half the people in this Legislature have positive tests.
Mr. Breithaupt: Only on your side.
Hon. B. Stephenson: It’s because they have been exposed at some time to cases of tuberculosis and have developed an immunity to it, but their tests are positive.
An hon. member: Are you going to bill us for this medical information?
Mr. S. Smith: You should confine your remarks to Grossman.
Mr. Bounsall: Supplementary: I am quite aware of the difference. The minister is no doubt aware that the medical literature indicates that over a five-year period three to five per cent of those persons who have had positive skin tests develop active cases. I’m concerned about that three to five per cent of the workers.
Mr. Speaker: I haven’t heard a question.
Mr. Bounsall: My question is, for those workers over that five-year period or thereafter who become active cases and have left the employment of Greenacres, or whatever institution is involved, I am concerned that the Workmen’s Compensation Board be able to pick those workers up and get them on compensation immediately. They may well be at some totally different occupation.
Finally, on this matter at Greenacres, since the information handed out by the administrator at the first meeting about the death and the infection date of the patient who caused the infection differed from the date which the medical officer of health discovered in both cases --
Some hon. members: Speech, speech.
Mrs. Campbell: Mr. Speaker, how long has he got?
Mr. Bounsall: -- would the minister ensure that in her occupational health and safety branch they quickly develop rules of procedure to tighten up the administration of any of these health-related institutions, so that they discover --
Mr. Speaker: The question has been asked.
Mr. Kerrio: High time.
Mr. Elgie: Is it a question or a speech?
Mr. Bounsall: -- and relate to the workers in due course so that they can be protected?
Hon. B. Stephenson: I will remind the hon. member that the responsibility in this area lies at this time with the Public Hospitals Act and with the institutions that come under its jurisdiction.
I would again remind the hon. member that an individual may, as a result of exposure to a case of open tuberculosis, develop a positive skin test. That does not mean he or she has developed tuberculosis.
As to the surveillance of those individuals, if they comply with the requirement which is made of them to have their tests and their x-rays done with a degree of regularity through the ensuing three or four years and have not developed active cases of tuberculosis, they could in no way be said to have developed tuberculosis as a result of that exposure. Should they develop it 10 or 11 years later, it will not be specifically because of that exposure at Greenacres, but because they have again been exposed, probably to another case, or to some other problem which has precipitated the development of active tuberculosis.
I am aware of the hon. member’s concern. I shall look at what has happened at Greenacres and see if there is anything that we can do to encourage the improvements of a surveillance program in those institutions. But this is not at this point a problem which is not being handled properly. I believe it is being handled properly and with a good, sound, medical, scientific basis for the handling.
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS
CORPORATIONS AMENDMENT ACT
Hon. Mr. Grossman moved first reading of Bill 77, An Act to amend the Corporations Act.
Motion agreed to.
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ON NOTICE PAPER
Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, before the orders of the day, I wish to table the answers to questions 6 and 31 standing on the notice paper.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Perhaps I might use this opportunity to indicate that it would appear the standing committee on social development will not be meeting on Tuesday afternoon next and that the standing committee on resources development will not be meeting on Tuesday evening. That time would then be available to the standing committee on the administration of justice to consider, or to commence its consideration of the legislation standing in the name of the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Grossman). I’m not sure those details have necessarily been worked out yet with the committee, but in view of the fact that there seems to be a fair amount of work referred to that standing committee, that is, the administration of justice committee, it might well want to meet on Tuesday afternoon and Tuesday evening of next week in view of the fact that those other two standing committees will not be in session at that time and perhaps it could get under way. I take it that the committees would want to make their own arrangements, however, with those involved.
ORDERS OF THE DAY
BUDGET DEBATE (CONTINUED)
Resumption of the adjourned debate on the amendment to the motion that this House approves in general the budgetary policy of the government.
Mr. Bounsall: Mr. Speaker, I will take this opportunity in these, my initial remarks in the budget debate, to provide the answer to the Ministry of the Environment’s question of me during question period: Where in Ontario would I see the industrial establishment for a plant to burn polyvinyl chlorides, and all the other hydrocarbon products of a nature which must be disposed of or can best be disposed of by burning in a facility in which they can be burned safely?
Mr. Kennedy: How about Windsor?
Mr. Bounsall: I might say definitely not. We fought very hard to prevent the Peerless Cement Company on Zug Island in the Detroit River from burning PCBs, with the prevailing wind blowing from the west carrying any spills that may occur right on to the populated area of the west side of Windsor.
Mr. Kennedy: They need a central plant to look after it all.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: Ted, come on. You have to have a plan.
Mr. Bounsall: There’s the former Minister of the Environment. I hope he stays here.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: I will, I will.
Mr. Bounsall: I hope he stays in this House because I’ve got a suggestion for its location. I’m sure he will take advantage of it. He would be the person most anxious to take advantage of the location of it --
Hon. Mr. Kerr: Where?
Mr. Bounsall: I’ll get to it right now.
Mr. Foulds: Shut up, George. Right now you are becoming a nit-picking heckler.
Mr. Bounsall: There is yourself and there is the -- not so much the present Minister of the Environment (Mr. McCague), but some of the top staff in his ministry, and certainly some of the engineers who have claimed throughout that it’s absolutely safe.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: In Thunder Bay?
Mr. Bounsall: When you pin them down on the absoluteness of the fail-safeness of the operation they cannot and do not say -- and they do not say it because they are honest individuals, the technical and engineering staff -- they can guarantee that. All right. At both the federal level and at the provincial level in meetings surrounding this, I have said, “Therefore, you wouldn’t mind living in the immediate vicinity,” and I have got very few takers. Some have said yes. Others have not said anything but looked a little shaken by it. My suggestion is that we build this in a lightly populated area of this province and if it takes a little more capital --
Hon. Mr. Kerr: What about transportation costs?
Mr. Bounsall: We will get to that too. Quit shifting the focus.
Hon. B. Stephenson: That is not shifting the focus. That is homing in on the focus.
Mr. Bounsall: That’s another point to it, Madam Minister. That’s another point connected with it. Let’s answer one at a time. We won’t play the minister’s game, which is to shift points continuously and, when she does get caught, say, “Well, the proper question wasn’t asked. If they had asked this other kind of question, maybe I could have given them that sort of answer.”
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order.
Mr. Bounsall: That is the game they play all the time. Order over there, Mr. Speaker. Thank you.
Mr. Kennedy: Don’t simplify it.
Mr. Bounsall: If it costs a little bit of extra capital --
Hon. Mr. Kerr: A little bit, yes.
Mr. Bounsall: -- to buy the surrounding farm houses of those farmers who wish to retain the farming part of the farm in the vicinity of it but perhaps are not as eager as some of the minister’s staff to live in the farm houses --
Hon. Mr. Kerr: Look at the trouble we are having with sanitary landfill.
Mr. Bounsall: -- she can place in those farm houses herself, the member for Mississauga South, who doesn’t object to living in the area of PCB burnings, and any other officials from the ministry who feel quite happy to do that.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: You won’t accept the responsibility.
Mr. Bounsall: They will have no problem with it if they build it in the lightly populated area of either Toronto or Ottawa, so those people within those respective ministries who feel and argue that it’s quite safe --
Mr. Kennedy: Where is a lightly populated area in Toronto?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: We don’t say it is safe. The technicians, the scientists, the experts say it is safe.
Mr. Bounsall: They are saying it’s okay to build it in a built-up area and pollute the west side of Windsor, and it’s okay to build it in a densely populated area of Mississauga, but if there’s a failure it will affect a lot of people. I am making a reasonable proposal.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: Whom do you ask if it is safe?
Mr. Bounsall: Find a location in the near vicinity of where the Environment officials and the minister could live, if that was what was required, in the vicinity of Ottawa or Toronto, and the nearest neighbours therefore can be --
Mr. Kennedy: Where in Metro is it lightly populated?
Mr. Bounsall: Is the member for Mississauga South saying he is quite happy to have the St. Lawrence Cement Company burn PCB-containing oils --
Mr. Kennedy: I never said that.
Mr. Bounsall: All right. Then he should take a stand --
Mr. Kennedy: I said where is a lightly populated area around Metro?
Mr. Bounsall: He should take a stand one way or the other. We can find a lightly populated area. There are many people in this province who commute 60 or 70 miles to their place of work, and that’s what I am saying. It would not be an unreasonable distance for those members of the Ministry of the Environment to drive in order that they can live in a farm house and be the nearest neighbours of this particular plant, because there are other people in the province who are nervous about it.
Mr. Kennedy: But the thrust should be toward total destruction of the material.
Mr. Bounsall: Of course it should. One of the objections to both the St. Lawrence Cement Company burning and the Peerless Cement Company burning by environmental engineers, not ones from the ministry, but those who are just as capable outside the ministry, is the industrial type of location of that particular burning. There’s no question that temperatures are high enough to complete the burning in cement companies, and because it’s sort of a by-product, a by-use, of the temperatures that are engendered in the mixing of the initial ingredients to arrive at cement, it’s an efficient way of using those high temperatures. The problem is, and still will remain, with the main activity of cement companies being the production of cement and this being one of the rather lucrative by-product type activities they are engaged in, And under the rather dusty conditions which generally prevail -- in all the process operations in cement plants not perhaps 100 per cent of the time, but at certain times -- the conditions for fail-safe burning -- that is, no spills either at the entrance level or at the exit level -- cannot be guaranteed. It is simply crazy to put that sort of establishment in any kind of built-up area.
There may be only one spill in 200,000 or 300,000 tries, but that’s one too many in a built-up area. I don’t want to be scary about this, but there are certainly possible carcinogenic effects. If there were a spill from the upper end it would be hoped that it would not be widely dispersed and that the number of people affected would be fairly small, and the concentrations would hopefully, not be such that would produce -- either in the short term or the long term -- an effect that would cause a fatal cancer. But why take the chance, that’s the question; why take the chance at all?
Mr. Kennedy: How far out do you think you’d have to go from Metro to find that?
Mr. Bounsall: You don’t have to go very far in the northeast, northwest direction -- and not so far north on Yonge Street -- to find only farm land, I say to the member for Mississauga South. I’m really saying that, probably, about two concession areas in the vicinity of the industrial plant would be best. I, as a minister, would prefer to have people living happily on farms about two concession areas in all directions from where the plant is, to accommodate the fact that the winds do change and could blow in any direction. Really, that is the proposal I am making in terms of distance, if it were not a very high stack, then we would not be concerned with a wide dispersal problem. The stack should be kept fairly low so that if there is a spill it comes down in the close vicinity.
I am giving my answer to the question asked of me by the Minister of the Environment, but I will continue with the other question that I asked him, Here in Canada, but mainly in Ontario, we have environmental engineers and plant design engineers who know all of the conditions required for the burning of any substance, including PCBs and all the other hydrocarbons, We know and they know the technology which can be put into that plant to cause that effective burning. Because it is a widespread problem, there is a need for disposal, and this need will continue over the years, even when PCBs are entirely out of industrial use and all those that have been in industrial use in transformers are completely burned. We still have many other substances requiring burning; and as our technology advances we will have, I would suspect, even more substances that must be disposed of in this manner, substances which are not yet in the workplace.
The construction of an industrial chemical disposal plant for burning would, as time goes on, be extremely lucrative for the operators, if it isn’t already. If right at the moment, because of money tightness there isn’t a private firm willing to take the total risk of the construction and operation of such a facility in order to meet the particular disposal problems we have now, both levels of government -- the Ontario government and the federal government -- either could underwrite such an establishment.
As for the charges to industries and municipalities for the disposal of such wastes, these could be on a non-profit basis, if the two levels of government only did it. It could be the type of situation which the government gets into in the construction of government buildings, a cost-plus operation, in which the bill will vary depending upon the costs, and then there’s an add-on to ensure the profit which the private part of the concern feels fair. In that plus component there could also be, depending upon how much that plus is, reimbursement for those municipalities and industries which must, because of their location, bring the material to be disposed of a considerable distance.
I would suspect that if that were an idea that was accepted that possibly all organizations in a 150-mile radius that have material to be disposed of would not be reimbursed for some portion of their travel expenses; anything over 150 to 300 miles would get a certain rate; anything beyond 300 would get another rate, and so on -- whatever turns out to be fair for reimbursement of transportation based upon the overall initial charges of cost plus factors to provide a profit and to provide reimbursement for travel expenses. Indeed, if one wanted to add on another plus -- and this is probably as valid as either of the first two -- there could be one to provide research funds for continued research into the burning and disposal of harmful chemicals.
That’s all I’ll say on this particular matter, Mr. Speaker. It certainly is of concern to those of us in the Windsor area that nothing ever gets built there which, in the event of one incident of non-failsafe operation, could cause a spill which affected the population of a built-up area.
Mr. Kennedy: It concerns us too, you know. It concerns everybody across this province.
Mr. Bounsall: That’s right. I think we can probably get at a solution if we wish to put our minds to it and approach it reasonably. We’ve got the technology among our engineers and scientists to do a good job. In fact I’m not really against it if, at that same establishment where the burning is done a cement plant is built as well. It doesn’t have to be just the one product.
Mr. Kennedy: I think we can beat it if we all work at it.
Mr. Bounsall: If we work at it, that’s right.
I appreciate both the attitude of the member for Mississauga South and the interest shown here this morning by the member for Mississauga North in my remarks. What is not very helpful is the attitude of the former Minister of the Environment, the now Solicitor General (Mr. Kerr), as he contributed to the debate here this morning. It was not conducive to finding the best solution to the problem.
I want to make a couple of remarks in the area of the Colleges and Universities portfolio. I would like to say the ministry and the minister are long overdue in implementing the recommendation of the Council of Regents which came out last fall that there be a student on each of the boards of our community colleges. When asked in the estimates last October why he did not implement this recommendation and pass a regulation which expanded the board by one, and so on, the minister said he did not believe in ruling by regulation and, therefore, wished to bring in a bill. When invited to bring in a bill therefore to implement the student grant loan changes he, of course, demurred because he knew that some of those changes would not meet with the favour of the members of this House, particularly on the opposition side.
Having chosen to go the legislative route, why have we waited so long? It doesn’t take very much of an amendment to the various Acts or the main Act in the province of Ontario to accomplish this fact. People with whom I continuously speak in the college and university field have been telling me that the college community would be very delighted with a change which required that one member from the faculty association, one member from the support staff and one student be placed upon all of the local college boards. I suspect that all one needs to do is, not reduce the other membership, but simply provide for the addition of representatives -- one from each of these three groups -- and you would not only have a better, more responsive board of all colleges in the province, but satisfy everyone within the colleges by so doing.
It isn’t as if the Minister of Colleges and Universities (Mr. Parrott) has a tremendous legislative workload in this House. There are virtually no bills coming through in the area. Why the minister has not chosen to bring forward and implement this recommendation from his own Council of Regents with respect to colleges is, I believe, simply an attitude, again, that students and faculty are somehow the enemies of the colleges and he doesn’t want the enemy on the boards.
What’s a college composed of if it isn’t faculty to teach the students and students who are at those colleges? Why the minister continues this attitude of viewing them as enemies of the system, which causes him to not take any action in this field, is very hard for anybody at any level of those institutions to understand. Certainly, it is an attitude I think most members of this House would find difficult to appreciate.
I could go on for quite a while about the lack of funding and the very tight renovation situation universities find themselves in, as well as the problems with operating grants around this province. This is so well known. One could dig up so many details of all this, university by university, that one could keep the members here all morning on this topic alone. Suffice it to say that our university financing has been cut to the bone for quite some years. With the small increases in the basic income units granted to them for this coming year and the expected decrease in numbers of students, most universities in this province are in a very tight financial situation, one which is going to cause many of them to lay off faculty and staff.
They’re already going through zero-base budgeting to accomplish this end and it’s a very, very painful experience across our university campuses. A very great many talented, mainly young, staff, because they are not tenured will be finding themselves without a job, without a means of updating or putting into practice the skills which they have in research. This is going to be not only a short-term loss of revenue to the province from their salary earnings, and certainly an immediate short-term loss to those faculty members affected, but it is also going to be a long-term, forever-lost opportunity in the development of research skills by productive members of our society, the effect of which cannot be measured in dollars and cents but which certainly will be substantial and which will have a substantial on-going effect.
The one other specific area of universities I want to refer to is the ministry’s suggestion that they will not fund the pre-year at the institutions for this coming year, at those institutions that have them.
Certainly this is a very detrimental step backwards. The basic income unit for pre-year students is 0.7 rather than the normal one. Yet to look at it dollar per dollar in terms of ministry expenditures and local school board expenditures, it is less expensive to have. It is less expensive per capita to have a student in Ontario in the pre-year program of our universities than going into the grade 13 school board situation. But of course the whole argument about having a pre-year -- I believe the three institutions that have them are Toronto, Ottawa, and Windsor -- is that it fulfils a real need for particular students in the province.
I certainly have seen the need for this. Virtually every student who was in the pre-year program in the University of Windsor was there for a specific reason. Almost invariably, it was some major perturbation of their education for one reason or another, either because they came from a different country, or had spent some time in a different country and could not adjust easily to the Ontario school system when they came here or when they returned here. In the latter case, they might have been sufficiently young that they could not be classified as adult students and needed to get a grade 13 equivalency in order to enter first-year university, or there might have been a particular emotional problem that required treatment in institutions which took them out of the normal mainstream of schooling. This now might have been resolved, but at their age they could not easily again go back into our grade 13 high school program.
These are real problems which the students have in those pre-years and makeup years made it particularly appropriate for them to be there. In fact, there is no easy other route. I am not talking about those students who simply chose to take pre-year, their grade 13 year, in a university setting rather than back in the high schools. The number of students in those pre-years who simply chose to do that are very much in the minority. They are very much the exception. There are always some who, for whatever reason, they or their families have decided that instead of going through their natural progression out of grade 12 in the high school setting into grade 13, they will go to a university setting.
Where this has occurred, interestingly enough, it’s because that particular person is exceptionally bright and the parents and the student have concluded they would learn a lot more in the pre-year at university. This is not so much because of the content of the pre-year but because of the additional educational opportunities that can be discovered and found and developed on any university campus. That is usually the reason you have those students, because they are particularly precocious. But most pre-year students are there because they have a problem going into grade 13 anywhere in this province.
The pre-year certainly meets the educational need of this province in this regard, and if you put it into dollars and cents terms and find out that that is the less expensive way of educating that student because of the grant system, it is criminal to withdraw the grant funding for that year at our universities. That would cause the program to falter.
It is a concern at the University of Windsor where it was found to be an exceptionally useful program, particularly in the sciences, for those students who must have the equivalent of grade 13 sciences and math in order to progress into the first-year science program. It might be a little less important for those who were going into some of the first-year arts and social sciences programs. It has often been stated at a couple of campuses with which I have been in contact that the English writing and training gained in that pre-year program better equips them for all of their work in the arts and social sciences. It is worth going there simply for the English writing and training part of that pre-year program at the university level.
I want to turn to one other area which is of concern to many persons in Windsor and touches upon the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, and that is the continued development of the E. C. Row Expressway. I won’t bore the House with the details and history of the E. C. Row Expressway, except to say it is a large-median, divided, four-lane, expressway-calibre highway. I won’t bore the members as to whether or not the highway is needed at all or not. Having commenced work on it quite some years ago and building it in small stretches, we have caused industry to do some siting in the locations of the proposed expressway and near-completed portions of it, so that there now appears to be a need for it when there wasn’t in the first place.
The problem is, the reason why we are continuing to have this highway being built to this particular calibre of construction is because the city of Windsor gets 75 per cent of the cost of this highway. Two years ago even their 25 per cent portion of the highway caused them to have to cancel construction for the whole year because they couldn’t even afford the 25 per cent.
There is a rather strong feeling, I wouldn’t say a majority feeling, but a feeling among many of the Windsor residents who are interested in the E. C. Row Expressway that in point of fact what we want is a much less ambitious highway, certainly four-lane, certainly limited-access -- perhaps a bit more access than is planned for this great wide expressway approach -- but certainly everyone’s in agreement that there should be no commercial development along it, so there are no cars coming in and out of shopping plazas, et cetera, that develop along some of our other four-lane roads in Windsor.
One can certainly do without the median down the middle, one can certainly do without the great numbers of feet required on each side of the highway, because what is really required is simply a good four-lane highway in which one is not bothered by local traffic getting on to it from local shopping establishments. We could save money, both to the province and to the city, by decreasing it to that particular standard, simply a safety barrier-divided, four-lane road, with limited access and no commercial development along it.
The problem with it, though, is that for that type of road the ministry will only pay 50 per cent of the cost, and the city then can’t afford to put this proposal forward reasonably, because its 50 per cent of the cost of that road is greater than 25 per cent of the cost of the much more expensive road, as it works out.
Really we would be saving money both to the city and to the province if we built the lesser road but had the province still pick up its 75 per cent. That would still save money to both of the levels of government involved and still produce for the city of Windsor the type of road which it needs to move the traffic. I would hope the Minister of Transportation and Communications (Mr. Snow) would seriously consider this and respond with at least a study of whether or not this would be feasible for the city of Windsor. The reason it has never been seriously proposed by the city is because of the shift from 75 per cent to 50 per cent.
If the minister would say. “It is going to save the province money if we step down to this lower road; our 75 per cent share becomes less, therefore we will still offer you the 75 per cent and we will both save money; how about it?” I would suspect that suggestion would be found to be quite attractive and certainly result in less acquisition of property, as a huge swath of land is required to be acquired as this expressway progresses east and west across the southern part of the city of Windsor.
One other area of great concern to the city of Windsor which touches directly on the budget is their real disappointment -- which was shared by most members of the House and particularly those on this side -- that the budget produced no extra moneys for municipalities in this coming year of very high unemployment so they could complete more of their capital works projects.
Windsor as a city having done very little for many years in terms of storm and sanitary sewers and then in the mid-1960s having amalgamated with a large part of Sandwich South and Sandwich West townships, which did not ever plan to do any such work at all, we find that we have a city which the Ministry of the Environment is saying must complete its storm and sanitary sewer programs but which simply does not have the money to progress at any rate at all.
The lack in this budget of moneys for capital works projects to complete and go ahead with projects of very high interest in the municipalities is very detrimental not only to the employment sector but also to the long-term prospects and operation of that city.
Because of the types of money and the problem with grants from the provincial government to the city of Windsor, I would like to read out a list of capital works projects in the sewer area which Windsor has had to strike from its budget; as far as I know, this list is still in effect. A half-million-dollar project still has to be done; it will be done when they can get to it, when money is available in future years. These are five priority items they can hardly leave off but they had to make very tough decisions about in terms of the cutbacks. There is the Lennox-Ferek sanitary sewer, a $500,000 project.
Another project is the Prince Road storm sewer, a $3.15-million storm sewer project on the far west side which is of particular importance because entire streets of basements in that area flood each spring, and a complete overhaul and replacement of the storm sewer system in the Prince Road area is needed. Virtually all the residents in the whole Prince Road area have their basements flooded every spring. The cost to the residents in that area each year of damaged furniture and goods is fairly considerable in addition to the constant irritation and knowledge that this is going to occur.
I don’t have the figure to complete the St. Paul drainage district project, but again that has had to be set aside, as was the Riverside Drive project in the Pillette-Strabane area. There is also the Little River Road development at $2.25 million.
That list does not touch the major project which keeps inching its way along, sort of like the E. C. Row Expressway -- because of lack of funds you build another half mile each year -- and that is the Grand Marais drain project, which up until a few years ago was simply a ditch into which storm sewers drained. Because this is in the old Sandwich West area, where it never was intended to have any sewers of any kind and virtually everyone is on septic tanks -- or was until we got a few pieces of sanitary sewer laid -- there has been a constant addition to the problem over the years in terms of the drainoff of all the septic tanks.
What has been done there, of course, is that the ditch has been made into an actual open sewer bed with a concrete base and sides set up to accommodate all of the storm sewer runoff that will occur in the area it services when the sewer system is complete. It inches its way along. I shouldn’t say inches -- I suppose they get another half mile laid per year. But it desperately needs completion and, at this point, in current dollar terms, it needs another $6 million to complete it, over what they’ve decided they can afford to spend this particular year.
This whole sanitary and storm sewer drain system desperately needs completion. It got into the budget and this year had to be cut off, which is very disappointing. This is, of course, a fairly high employment project, not as much as others one can think of, but certainly it would continue to lessen, to a certain extent, the unemployment situation in the city of Windsor.
I was very much in favour of this project and very disappointed in the Treasurer’s budget which really had, as one of its aims, a decrease in employment opportunities in Ontario where we have so many projects of a very urgent nature in all our municipalities, such as the sanitary and storm sewer situation in Windsor which should be progressing. The funds from the government are not enough to allow it to progress at the rate at which it should be progressing -- not at the desired rate but at the rate at which it should be progressing.
I can’t leave this portion of my remarks about the Treasurer’s budget, Mr. Speaker, without referring to the same topic that the member for St. Catharines (Mr. Bradley) mentioned last night -- about all those areas of our province which very much need a transitional grant from the province of Ontario in the municipal grant structure system because of the disadvantaged position they find themselves in by working with an old grant formula. Windsor is by far the most disadvantaged in total dollars of all the municipalities in the province, and the Treasurer again has so stubbornly refused to give one inch in this area -- as he so stubbornly refused in the initial stages to give one inch on OHIP -- to revise the municipal equalization grant formula until full market value assessment is in place. He refused to recognize so many of our communities in Ontario that are severely disadvantaged by the adherence to an old, unrevised, grant equalization formula and refusing to do anything about it until the whole market value assessment schmeer has taken place.
This is another example of the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) being absolutely rockheaded on this topic. But for simple equality and fairness -- and that’s a fallback position now, Mr. Speaker, because I’m not even suggesting that the Treasurer spend more money at this point, if that’s his decision, to be granted by the equalization grant formulas to the municipalities in Ontario in total -- at least, it should do what it purports to do, equalize the assessment by these grants across the province. This it does not do. The city of Windsor is the city most severely disadvantaged in total dollar value in the province.
The per capita disadvantage is as high in Sarnia as it is in Windsor, the only difference being that in Sarnia their population is much smaller so the total doesn’t seem as large. But in the city of Windsor, if we had a proper revised equalization grant formula, residents of the city of Windsor would be paying around $200 less per year for the average residential household, and that situation surely, from the point of view of justice, should not continue to be tolerated. As I say, Sarnia and Windsor have about the same per capita disadvantage. St. Catharines comes into the picture not too far below on a per capita basis. Many of the communities in southwestern Ontario are severely disadvantaged. Why the Treasurer chooses to take out his hard-headedness on the area of the province whence he comes is also a mystery to me, Mr. Speaker.
I was inclined to make some remarks about the equal opportunity report just tabled yesterday, “The Issues and the Options,” but I think I will hold those for another day, the time being what it is, and just conclude with some of my thoughts on the auto parts industry.
I was kind of amused again yesterday when the Treasurer said that his government had taken the lead in this matter and, in their study of the auto pact, had been the first in the field, and when he pointed his finger at the opposition parties. I simply remind the minister that I could quite appropriately give today, with only a few figures which he provided yesterday changed, the same speech I gave in March 1972 and repeated in April 1974. This summary paper and these position papers tabled yesterday about the study which was done tell me nothing new at all. The situation is virtually the same as it was.
In the summary sheet that was provided it’s pointed out that we now have about nine per cent of the share of the market in sales of North American cars in Canada. That figure has been inching upwards over the years. The second point which emerges is that our production activity in all forms, from all sectors, is still 20 per cent below our sales, and there’s nothing new in that. That’s been the situation right along. When we had eight per cent of the sales of North American cars in the province, we had six per cent of the production dollars in all terms, from all sources.
We have consistently kept that amount below what the auto pact and the letters of intent from the auto companies indicated we were going to do. There is nothing new at all in the paper. They talk about the fair share output targets and have estimated exactly what we have found over the years and which I specifically remarked on way back in 1972. We are roughly 25,000 jobs shy of what we would have here, mainly in the province of Ontario, if the auto pact was lived up to and honoured on a year-by-year basis, something which hasn’t been done.
I am a little bit amused. I am delighted to see the Treasurer is finally coming forth with stuff like this. He’s six years late in developing a concern about it. I can point to questions asked, a couple of them each year, all the way back to early 1972, as to why the Treasurer wasn’t saying and doing more about it, bringing it more forcefully to the attention of the public and the federal government, and putting pressure on the federal government directly and indirectly through the pressure which an informed public would put on them.
Certainly, he talked about monitoring, and there are different opinions on the statistical basis for that activity, but the interesting thing was -- and I mentioned it way back at the beginning of 1972 -- that if we want facts about auto production and auto sales and the ins and outs of the auto pact we are dependent on that information coming from a committee of the United States Congress, a committee which each year looks at the whole activity in the auto field and reports the findings to Congress.
Our major source of statistics here in Canada -- there’s nothing derived from the federal government or its activity, or the province of Ontario or its activity, although it is certainly clear that with most of the jobs affected being here in Ontario we should be doing some of that -- is out of a US congressional committee. That’s who we have to rely upon in Canada for the facts surrounding the auto pact and the whole auto industry. It’s a completely deplorable state.
I appreciate in a sense the Treasurer’s dilemma. Anyone who has gone up to the federal government and talked to officials in Industry, Trade and Commerce finds that he is talking to people who have just the haziest idea about what’s going on. There has never been, up to this announcement of some committee in the last month, anyone in the federal government who paid much attention to it at all or could answer any question in depth; not one person within the department whose job it is to keep an eye on and supervise this particular area of interest and endeavour, and certainly job-production and economics for Canada.
It is no surprise to me that we are in such a deficit position with respect to the auto trade pact. It is no surprise to me that there has been no one in Canada concerned and constantly surveying the market to see what particular type of auto parts manufacture should be encouraged here in Canada, so that we can get out of the great deficit position in the auto parts supply area. I might say that’s the least the Canadian government could do, and certainly Ontario could do it on its own.
Publicize this fact, as this paper coming out of the Treasury has helped to do. Take a market survey within the auto industry and find out what small parts it is feasible to produce here in Canada, and make that known to the auto parts manufacturers and see what kind of capital can be gathered together from them to produce that particular small part.
I quite agree with the statements of some of the auto company executives, particularly Mr. Hurly of Chrysler Canada. He said it is ridiculous to have the whole roof pressings, or what have you, done here in Canada, because of the size of the capital equipment involved to do that. What is important though, and what could be done in Ontario, is the production of many of the smaller pieces which are by and large shopped around for at many and various locations, Canada again obviously not getting its fair share.
If the market showed that it would be feasible to build a carburetor housing here in Canada for the entire auto industry, company by company, which I suspect they might in so many areas, with a commitment to go ahead on that we would certainly reverse some of this trade imbalance and produce a whole host of jobs.
That’s the kind of help governments would be able to give, sitting with the overall view they have, to the auto parts manufacturing sector, I am sure some of these ideas which they would put forward would be quickly snapped up by the auto companies themselves, as they decided, “Yes, indeed, there’s an area. If we built them all in one spot, all at one location for the entire industry, it would be a great saving and a very lucrative position,” and they would, in fact, get into it themselves. This is what Canada and Ontario can be doing in assisting our deficit position in the whole auto industry.
Again, at the end of the paper from the Treasury yesterday, they talk about current industry performance. They talk about the recovery which took place at the end of last year, particularly the strength over last year in commercial vehicles. My auto industry sources tell me that the commercial van has, in fact, peaked and although we are not going on the downslide for a year or two, it certainly has levelled off.
Talk about the net deficit, which we’re all aware of -- $1.1 billion -- with most of that coming in the auto parts. We have about $1.5 billion excess in 1977 in the actual assembly of trucks and cars, but around a $3 billion deficit in auto parts. That’s well known, resulting in an overall deficit of $1.1 billion and roughly 25,000 taxpaying jobs.
The interesting thing which they also note, but make no comment about -- and this is one area which I have never failed to bring to the attention of the House -- is the spread between the Canadian and US factory list price. This widened yet again in 1977 and is there for the 1978 models as well.
I am currently conducting a survey -- I can’t do it all myself, but I’m having other people collect the data for me -- shopping around for prices and listed prices in Windsor, Essex county and Detroit, to determine just where and on what basis -- if they can find any rabbit going into the hat which has not already gone in in the past -- there is a factory price list difference.
One finds at the retail level there is a certain price for a car or a truck in Detroit which includes all of the options. There are five or six of what might be called standard options which are really no longer options. That is all in the list price, For that same vehicle back in Windsor or Essex county -- although those options really aren’t options, they’re necessities -- the list price is for the stripped vehicle, containing no options, and is higher than in the United States. At the same time all those options included in the basic list price in the United States are all add-ons at the Canadian retail level.
If one looks at why there should be a factory list price difference at all, one still arrives at the same conclusion that was arrived at in 1972, which researchers from other organizations had arrived at in 1970 and previously -- there is absolutely no reason whatsoever for a wide price variation.
The price differential fluctuated over all those years, yet when you subtract the differences in the American dollar, when you subtract the differences in taxes which are paid, you find that for the lower-priced cars, there is a direct price difference at the most, of only around $250 to $280. For the most expensive vehicles, that is those selling in the $9,000 to $10,000 range, there’s a difference only in the vicinity of $800 or $900. In fact, those price differences are almost quadruple the differences between the USA and Canada we accounted for from all those other factors.
Back in 1969, 1970, 1971, one of the reasons put forward by the auto companies for prices having to be higher in Canada was the cost of producing television ads in French, producing promotional material -- the translation of promotional material in French and the run of that material to service the Quebec market. They relied on that.
The calculations showed then, and I’ve done further rough calculations just this past week, that the actual cost at the very outside, and I’ve added a factor of two on to this, the most that is added to the price of a vehicle sold in Canada because of the problems and extra costs involved in translation and having French promotional material, both written and for television and radio is 10 cents -- 10 cents, not the $1,500 to $3,000 difference that we perceive.
The reason -- I’ll state it without fear of contradiction -- the reason we are paying this additional cost is purely and simply because the auto companies have decided, as a corporate decision, that they are going to pay completely their costs of any expansions they have in any of their facilities in Canada not as an expense to the entire Canadian-US operations but solely out of the Canadian operation. So they charge this extra price and continue to gouge the consumer here in Canada for those extra moneys in order that all of the production facilities which are required under the auto trade pact be taken out of our pockets totally, rather than shared across the entire corporate field.
If that isn’t discrimination, I don’t know what is, and that’s what our two levels of government here in Ontario and in Canada should be talking about. In fact, every Canadian should be talking about that -- concerned, upset and not willing to stand for not only the fact of the difference, which can’t be justified, but the reason for which they are doing it.
I want to end up mentioning briefly the particular situation that’s most disturbing Windsor and that is the disappearance to Jefferson Avenue in Detroit of the half-ton truck line from Windsor. One thing is quite clear -- it was a decision made by the Chrysler Corporation that seems to be irreversible. It’s a decision which will without question, result in loss of jobs in the Windsor area. Chrysler says, “Oh, yes, we intend to have everybody who gets laid off on July 1 back by next January, so no one will be without jobs any longer than six months.” But they are counting on 350 jobs disappearing from the plant due to attrition in that time, and as a very minimum that means 350 permanent jobs lost from the Windsor area.
The other 400 jobs which they hope to have recovered by January is wishful thinking that the demand for vans made at the new truck plant in Windsor will expand rather than level off as predicted. When you tie them down and say, “Give us a guarantee that these 400 jobs will, in fact, be needed because of increased van demand,” they say, quite rightly so, “Well, we can’t make a guarantee in that area.” Yet they continue to talk about -- and to a certain extent the Minister of Labour (B. Stephenson), the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Rhodes), the Premier (Mr. Davis) and the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) continue to buy that simple argument -- no jobs being lost.
There are certainly jobs lost -- 350 that are going to be picked up through attrition are permanent jobs lost to the area; one individual who’s been laid off replacing another one who retires. There’s no guarantee at all on the other 400, and all the predictions show that 400 is an unreasonable expectation, that van demand in North America is not going to increase this coming year. They’ll sell as many in the months ahead as they’ve been selling in the months recently passed, but there will be no increase in the yearly demand for vans and no extra jobs therefore for those workers laid off.
It’s a clear-cut case of Canada’s and Ontario’s negligence in the past in not insisting that those jobs stay here in Ontario and that we have our equal share. The truck plant is disappearing because we have not protected our interests. We have simply let the situation slide.
I urged the present Treasurer back in 1972 to take action in this regard and speak out, in a sense, the way he’s now speaking out. We have let a little too much time slide, I would think, to help those workers in Windsor. Not that they are not trying to help themselves; they will be drawing this matter ever more forcibly to the attention of the Canadian public through their demonstrations, I gather, at various sites around the province. They are just nicely started on their program, I would think. They have had two major demonstrations at the moment, and this is just the start.
They are being very responsible in channelling their activities in this direction rather than, because of their fear, frustration and uncertainty, towards any sabotage or lack or workmanship in the half-ton pickups and what have you that they are still building in that truck plant until July 1.
In addition, Chrysler appears to have decided that the six-cylinder engine line will disappear from the Windsor plant and will be replaced, after only a short layoff, by the eight-cylinder line. That doesn’t make me or any of the people of Ontario feel very happy, let alone the workers in that plant, when they realize that what is going into that plant, with presumably the same work force -- I don’t think there is too much of an argument there -- is an engine which, as the designers have to meet the US standards for gas mileage, will become obsolete.
There may be no loss of employment in that truck plant this year, but I will bet there won’t be many, if any, eight-cylinder engines being produced in three years’ time in the North American auto industry. In fact, there will be no jobs at that plant in three years’ time; there will be just a repeat, over a slow two- or three-year period, of what we are seeing at the truck plant. This is exactly what has to be reversed in Ontario.
Having spoken somewhat longer than I intended, Mr. Speaker, I thank you for your indulgence and will desist at this point.
Mr. Jones: Mr. Speaker; I was listening to the comments of the member for Windsor-Sandwich (Mr. Bounsall) --
Mr. Cunningham: I’ll bet you were.
Mr. Jones: Oh, indeed I was. He was just finishing off about --
Mr. Ruston: He said two or three times he was finishing in half an hour.
Mr. Jones: That’s what I thought; each time I thought, “This is it.” When he moved into the small cars, I thought, “Here we go through the different ones and the different consumption rates perhaps.”
I did appreciate the comments of the member for Windsor-Sandwich as he offered some specific suggestions to the minister and expressed his very real concern about the PCBs. As I am sure he is aware, the members from Mississauga -- the member for Mississauga East (Mr. Gregory), the member for Mississauga South (Mr. Kennedy) and myself representing Mississauga North -- share his concern in a very real way about the PCBs.
I think we are all aware it is a problem of large magnitude; in fact, I dare say it’s a problem of world magnitude because jurisdictions around the world are wrestling with this very same problem. I was reading some very recent reports about the issue with the member for Mississauga South, and we saw that even in the Arctic there is concern about PCBs that are there naturally. It is something of large import to us as the community of Mississauga on the western fringe of Toronto, with the population density that the member referred to, and so we will be joining him as members of this House in supporting the ministry as it works towards solutions that can be satisfactory.
I notice that as we have shared other committees, the member and myself, we have always had a relationship that has been amiable. We have had some sharing of information. One of the subjects I would like to touch on this morning has directly to do with the budget and an area in which I, as the parliamentary assistant to the hon. Provincial Secretary for Social Development (Mrs. Birch) and the person responsible for the Youth Secretariat have some responsibility. Sections in the budget deal with a matter we feel to be extremely important -- the youth employment issue. The member for Windsor-Sandwich with his analytical mind helped us when we were designing that, pointing up concerns he had about some of the surveys the government has been completing to give it a rather informed basis on which to build its programs -- programs that have been designed, supported by the Premier (Mr. Davis) and the government as a whole, and of course, carried forth by the Treasurer in his budget.
So in joining the debate on the budget, I want to say there were certainly concerns in my riding of Mississauga North as the debate tended to swirl so much around the OHIP increases and the whole health care issue. Serving on the social development standing committee, I had an opportunity, as did other members of the House, to get a new insight into the very large issue of cost containment as I did through many other parts of the debate on the importance of maintaining the high standard of health care that we have in this province, yet making certain that the dollars -- with this the biggest of all the budgets within the budget -- be dealt with in the most efficient manner possible.
In our riding of Mississauga North, we have hopes for a new hospital which is needed because of the tremendous growth that is taking place there. We are presently served by Mississauga Hospital, and they have concerns as they wrestle with constraint and restraint. The other two Mississauga members join me as we deal with the ministry to help the board of that hospital in every way we possibly can to ensure that the constituents of the Mississauga area are well served.
One of the things I found unique and I would like to share it with the House, touching on health costs as we are -- is that when I was first elected -- the first year as a new member in a new riding -- I was introduced to a group of ladies, the women’s auxiliary of that particular hospital, and discovered that they had raised the largest single amount of money by any auxiliary in a given year. It happened that year I was first elected. Contributions were from hospital volunteers and from people of the community making their contribution in the critical area of health care as centred and represented in their hospital. These women raised no less than some $92,000 in that one year, directly for the hospital. So I take great pride that those types of people, and that kind of community spirit, exist in Mississauga and directly come forward in dollars and cents to help join government in demonstrating that kind of interest.
I mentioned that I would like to refer to parts of the budget that had to do with a section of our society today that I feel has very high priority, namely our youth. I do have the privilege of working with the young people of the province with their current concerns of the day. As my minister and I work in these areas, we do have a chance to see some very exciting young people. I know we tend to see headlines all too often about singular cases here and there where young people are in trouble -- the negative things that they are dealing with; and, yes, indeed, we have occasion to deal with those. But there are an awful lot of exciting, positive young people in this province who form the future of this province and indeed of this country.
As a matter of fact, we have a relationship in the Youth Secretariat with a group called BOOST -- for young blind people; and I feel compelled to share with the House that last night I learned that two of these handicapped young people -- a husband and wife, recently married -- had just returned from a trip with their seeing eye dogs. They had travelled a great many countries in Europe and put down their thoughts and their experiences of how they were received in different parts of the European theatre, the different countries, and the different handicaps they had. Perhaps they had an insight in seeing a city or a country in a different way than sighted people would. They wrote a book out of that experience and are back here now working with their blind friends in self-help groups across the province, being assisted by the Youth Secretariat. I am very pleased to see the government in an assisting role rather than having handicapped people rely entirely on the government.
Those same young people also shared something with me. They said that of all the countries they had visited, with the particular sensitivities you can appreciate they would bring to their trip, they were so glad to be back in Ontario and to be able to sense some of the rather considerable things that have happened for blind people -- small things, some of them -- such as when this Legislature changed the legislation to permit their dogs to be taken into restaurants. This is a thing that they noticed in other areas.
I would be remiss at this stage of the year -- and it has been mentioned in this debate by other members -- when we know that we have probably not as an island unto ourselves, but sharing with other jurisdictions, a particularly large problem, that of youth unemployment. I think that as we deal with the record of this government and of this Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) --
Mr. Cunningham: Wait a minute now. Hold on.
Mr. Makarchuk: Better get yourself another backscratcher.
Mr. Jones: I wouldn’t have any caution on that. No, no, I wouldn’t have any caution at all.
Mr. Cunningham: You better stick to the dogs.
Mr. Jones: As a matter of fact, this particular budget committed no less than $78 million directly to job creation for youth. As we look at that, we could compare it maybe with what the federal government is doing with five times the budget of Ontario. I can tell you that $994 million for the whole of the country, against the $78 million by this one province -- they are two different figures.
But we are working on a non-partisan basis with the other levels of the government. As members may know, the very successful OYEP program last year was worked in co-ordination with the federal government through their Manpower student centres and Manpower offices across the province. It’s important for the members to know that while we are about to launch into the new program on May 1 of this year, important lessons were learned from that program last year. Most of all, it was a success, and measured in terms of numbers, it actually created jobs far beyond our expectations.
You may remember when the legislation was brought forward, Mr. Speaker, it was with a proposed budget of some $10 million and we were talking in terms of some 20,000 young people getting very meaningful work experience in the very real work place. Of course, those figures were exceeded as some 36,000 positions were made eligible and well over 20,000 young people actually did work and did gain that critical experience. That was, of course, a result of the $1 an hour subsidy that was used as an inducement for employers to create new employment for those young people.
I say it is important at this time of year not to take away from other times in the year nor to take away from other age groups and their unemployment problems in this province or across the country, but just to have it in perspective as we look at the March unemployment figures. There we see that the 25-and-over age group have 6.3 per cent of their numbers showing in the unemployment statistics; but as we look at those 25 and under, we see that they have a full 15 per cent of their numbers in the unemployment statistics. The youth unemployment problem is, as we can see from those figures, double that of the other age groups. I don’t say that to diminish the problem of the older age groups but merely to bring into perspective the priorities which have been recognized in this budget by the Treasurer as he made that considerably increased commitment.
Mr. Makarchuk: So how come we’ve got more unemployed after the budget?
Mr. Jones: That’s not necessarily so.
Mr. Makarchuk: It necessarily is so.
Mr. Jones: No, it isn’t. Let me explain. As far as the youth are concerned, I can tell the member for Brantford that there are --
Mr. Makarchuk: If you guys keep working harder you will have more unemployed. Every time you decide to do anything you end up with more unemployed.
Mr. Jones: -- compared, say, to last year, in 1977 -- if the member is interested I’d be happy to share some of the things that we’ve gained.
Mr. Makarchuk: You just dropped 6,000 jobs on the OHIP thing.
Mr. Jones: Versus their proposals which we heard came forward in that social development committee, where we would merely tax the corporations -- and, of course, never mind what’s going to happen south of the border and in other jurisdictions that we’re in competition with -- which actually create and make those jobs available for young people, there are some initiatives that have been taken on this side, such as this particular subsidy program I was talking about.
We see, for example, in March of this year, something that tends to be forgotten and we can get out of balance, that we have no fewer than 43,000 higher in participation numbers in this province than we did in the same month of last year. So let’s not pretend that there are more out of work or distort the facts.
Mr. Makarchuk: How many more unemployed have you got as opposed to February?
Mr. Jones: Don’t forget you have a different set of statistics. I was talking about the unemployed. I was talking about their numbers as a percentage and I can talk about their figures. As it happens, I can say that for the first time in this province, as I stand here today, we have over one million in the employed factors of young people in those ages. I just mentioned 43,000 in numbers -- I deal in numbers too -- of actual people working who weren’t working in that same month last year.
Mr. Makarchuk: You’re very selective in the use of statistics.
Mr. Jones: I don’t diminish the problem and I never have pretended that.
Mr. Makarchuk: How many more came on the labour force?
Mr. Jones: We deal with the statistics and turn them into dealing directly with real young people as we do in the Youth Secretariat. For those members who may not be too familiar with the workings of the Youth Secretariat, it was created in 1972 by the Premier (Mr. Davis) after his travels through the province, which led him to feel that there should be a vehicle for young people to have a say from a youth vantage point in the decision-making process of government.
As that mandate is carried out in a host of ways -- in meetings, in constant co-ordination with the president of student councils, with a youth agency network dealing at a grass-roots level with young people, with advisory groups across the province -- we take very real heed to all of their concerns and their particular pressures of the day. We find employment and career development, and the guidance for their future that is foremost in their minds at this point in time, are very real. They are being listened to, they are being reflected in the budget and the programs of this government, as has just been mentioned.
As I look in the gallery I see some young people -- a group of Brownies from Fergus, Ontario, whom the member for Wellington-Dufferin-Peel (Mr. Johnson) mentioned would be visiting with us -- and it’s their future that we’re thinking about as we design programs into the future and as we help to unravel some of the employment problems that are there today and will be there in the near future.
I would share with the House that on OYEP, for example, it’s interesting to hear some of the remarks of employers who actually put young people to work so they could gain that very real and important needed experience factor. One employer wrote, for example, that essentially it’s a good program, and, remember, employers are not big on applauding government at any time for our involvement, but this employer is probably typical of the types of replies -- no less than 10,000 -- that the Premier received in reply to this program. He said: “It’s essentially a good program. It’s well run. It gives a small firm such as ourselves the opportunity to hire necessary help to clean up the backlog of work that we run into in our busy season.”
Another person wrote and said: “If the subsidy had not existed, we would not have hired the young fellow we had during the summer; and by having him on staff, we were able to provide better service to our customers which, by the way, we still feel the results of today.”
An Ontario farmer wrote: “Under the program, I was able to put up 7,000 bales of hay in order to feed 70 head of cattle, and I was very pleased with the work performed by the two students I employed for those eight weeks.”
In particular, Mr. Speaker, you would appreciate perhaps even better than some others of us, a note from one small businessman who recognized the value of this program in a different way. He writes: “I consider the program a real boon to the small family-owned business such as ours. It enables us to offer employment to young people, giving them valuable experience to perhaps nudge them to apply themselves to their schooling. It also allows our family a little time away from the business, a little time to enjoy the summer, a chance to act like a normal family, which seldom occurs in our business.”
There is a man who saw it in yet another light; it was serving many purposes. He was perhaps having some important help he wouldn’t otherwise have, a young person was gaining experience he would need for further credentials and, of course, something as important as the family as we celebrate family month, this particular month -- a comment that struck me as being extremely pertinent.
OYEP also created positions that extended beyond that 16-week duration of the program. A retailer noted in his comments that small businesses such as his, “which do not have the capital in the initial stages to support the services of additional employees, appreciate the assistance which these programs offer in giving those people in the age bracket of the youth program the opportunity to gain experience to the degree that we can afford to pay them once the initial learning period has been completed.”
I share that particular comment because in the debate as the legislation was being passed in this House, many members did wonder whether there would be any long-term benefits to the young people taking part or perhaps the businesses that were taking advantage of the program. There were several remarks -- that was a typical one -- indicating that the businessmen themselves did gain long-term benefits as young businesses. We all know what a big factor small business is to our economy and, as we expect to see the full vitality of our economy come back, we must not ignore the fact that young businesses and small businesses are a very critical and important part of that strategy.
Mr. J. Reed: Terry, we hope you will support our Small Business Act.
Mr. Jones: As a matter of fact, I was here last night listening to the member for St. Catharines (Mr. Bradley) as he referred to the Small Business Act after he had talked about some municipal things and credited the government and the Treasurer for some things that have happened in this budget for senior citizens, and he referred to his seven or eight years as a municipal politician. He then moved into the Small Business Act, but I don’t know that he ever mentioned some of the added bureaucracy that might come from that.
As a small businessman, I can share with him, and with the member for Halton-Burlington, a concern about and interest in any proposal in that direction, but I am mindful also that bureaucracy can be a plague and that any proposal that comes forward has to be carefully weighed. In OYEP, for example, which affects small business because they tend to utilize it more than large ones, we have purposely improved yet again this year the streamlining of the program so that it doesn’t have red tape and bureaucracy.
One of the hon. member’s colleagues called me this morning before coming to the House and asked the procedure this year. I was able to explain to him that a telephone call from anywhere across the province directly to one number in the subsidies branch of TEIGA would see a personalized, numbered application go out to that person. Then, when it came back, there was less chance of it going astray; it’s also married up and approved more quickly, and the process takes effect in a quick way, which had to happen.
Since I noticed the member for St. Catharines last night actually saying some words in mild applause of the government on OYEP, I thought I would share it with the House, as the member for Halton-Burlington brought it up. Yes, we are streamlining and the government has very much in mind the needs of small business in this program. We are also approaching with an open mind any other assistance that will bring them the full benefit that they need to have, being the big part of our economy that they are.
I would mention one thing in passing, and I promise not to be partisan, because I think the subject is too big and it transcends partisanship. I heard a lot in the last election about what I understood would be long-term proposals for subsidies to business. I remember a percentage, 20 per cent I think it was. I applied that against some of the minimum wages that young people these days increasingly have to be prepared to consider. Their expectations have to be somehow brought into line so that they will have a short-term game plan and a long-term game plan. We all know this. I heard the Treasurer last week talking about the fact that no less than 5,000 offshore workers will be coming to our province, and yet we do have this youth unemployment problem.
I just would caution that when you apply some of those 20 per cent grants against the minimum wage, for example, you can be very considerably less than a dollar. We have made no small amount of study into why a dollar was chosen last year and why $1.25 this year in order to make the program work.
Also, I think any long-term programs of two or three years, as a subsidy, has some very real pitfalls. The closer you come -- and I share this with you from our constant exposure to young people -- to propping up, from a government point of view, any kind of a subsidy program -- worthy as it may be -- if you reach a situation where young people have a perception that it is a propped-up job -- and we can think of other programs that have been sadly hurt by that -- you run the risk of it being perceived closer to a make-work project. Then it doesn’t have the very real experience factor and you will find that it will not serve the younger people as something of this design here, which was carefully designed after communication with no less than 10,000 employers and 7,000 young people going into the work force.
I think it was said, and I hope it was said in jest, by the member for St. Catharines last night when he referred to the right wing of the Conservative government as being the “chamber of commerce.” I didn’t want to let that stand on the record without making a comment on it, because I think it is of critical importance.
In this whole issue of youth unemployment, they do represent some large employers -- and not all big employers are bad employers, I must tell you that. I was a little disappointed in that remark, but I think perhaps he was being facetious. As it happens, the chamber of commerce has joined the government in a very wholesome way, a very sincere way, with all their capacities -- and you may be familiar with some of them -- the Youth Secretariat, representing the government in that process; we’re joining with the federal government, Manpower; we’re joining with the career guidance people. I see the Minister of Education here -- he is very much aware of the program.
This is being done to bring together potential employers to look at the streams of young people coming out of the school system, and as they approach the transition from school to work -- helping identify what the employment and careers are going to be; helping to signal the young people as early as possible so that they can make their career choices in a more informed way.
I didn’t want to leave on the record that the chamber of commerce wasn’t very much an important part of this process, and I have to tell you that unions are going to have to play a very real role. They have participated in some of these across the province from Kenora to Ottawa to Windsor. The member for Windsor-Sandwich shared with some of the ministers of this government an all-day session where we dealt with very specific programs, where a commitment was made by the chamber of commerce as employers on behalf of young people of this province, in concert with the government, towards bringing more career development in a very real way into play for the benefit of young people.
Mr. Speaker, I wouldn’t like not to mention that there are other forms of very important experience that young people need and these programs -- no less than seven -- you see outlined in the budget have been carefully designed. They run, as you know, all the way from summer special employment programs, known as Experience ’78 -- increased by the government this year to no less than some 13,500 jobs -- through to programs in OYEP, and of course we know the programs the Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. Norton) has with young people working with the senior citizens and working with Indian groups across the province. It’s an all-year-round program and part of this package in the budget.
We also know, for example, that we do have OCAP, and I wouldn’t want to leave that unmentioned. That’s an all-year-round program through the Ministry of Colleges and Universities which administers it. It’s been a tremendous success. We had a 73 per cent success factor when it was in the public, area. We moved it to the private sector and, as members may know, this is a program where a $100 stipend is paid and it helps young people break through that circle that can be asked so often when they apply for a job: “Do you have experience?” They say, “No.” “Well, you can’t get the job without the experience,” and vice versa. The circle has to be broken.
I merely want to demonstrate that in the design of these programs it hasn’t been by accident. I’m happy to say that in the Youth Secretariat we have an onward-going role of sponsoring some of these programs and helping in their design. As we do that, we reflect the advice of young people, a close sensitivity to the issues of the day that they are dealing with in this tight market. We see such pro- grams coming out of this as, for example, the program known as venture capital.
We all read some headlines the other day where the suggestion was that young people were abusing a program by another level of government -- not paying back their loans. It’s not for me to comment on that. In this program we give a $1,000 loan to young people so that they can gain actual experience of entrepreneurial adventure, I guess one might say. They are able to go out into the business place and make their way, rise or fall as any businessman has the right, and learn that critical thing called experience and then continue their education or be better equipped to make the transition from school to work.
It’s a very exciting program. Maybe members heard about the one where the fellow took the rejects of the waffles from one of the pancake manufacturers and fed them to some cattle he was fattening for the summer. As a matter of fact, the suggestion is that the cattle became hooked on these; they had salt and protein content, and they were excellent for finishing these cattle.
The inventiveness of young people, I wouldn’t want us to forget, is given a hand. That’s what the intention of this government is, to help youngsters in turn to help themselves, whether it be those blind people I was mentioning, or many of the other youth groups we work with across the province, or the entrepreneur who is learning with the assistance of government the loan and payback system that he is going to live in in a free enterprise province that it is always going to continue to be.
Mr. J. Reed: You don’t have the divine conception on free enterprise. Just remember that over there.
Mr. Jones: No. As a matter of fact, sometimes the member bothers me a little, when I hear some of these references, as I did in the great OHIP battle, that somewhere the tooth fairy is going to bring some of these funds and we should move away from premiums --
Mr. J. Reed: We are the only party that presented a credible alternative.
Mr. Jones: Oh yes, I acknowledge that. I was there, and as the member well knows, I made the proposal that his leader bring forward his proposals. That was done with sincerity.
Mr. J. Reed: Don’t be provocative, Terry. I am really trying to support you.
Mr. Jones: No, we shall not do that. I would like to continue in the remaining moments, in a non-provocative way, because I for one am more than a little disappointed that sometimes when we do go into those committees things become pretty partisan. Mindful as we are of a debate that took place here and one that I was close to, which had to do with some of the negative problems affecting young people, such as youth and alcohol -- and we see that coming back, as we all know it will -- I hope that the same non-partisan flavour, differing as we may in our approaches to such a sensitive, controversial area will prevail and the problems will be looked upon in that same vein and in concert, incidentally, with some of the things the government is doing in a very positive way with this package of employment assistance to young people -- and, yes, to large measure the summer months, because that is an important time.
As you know, we have these percentages that we talk about -- as high as 15 per cent of their numbers -- unemployed in the month of March. We know we have a potential 650,000 young people coming out of our high-school system -- a high participation rate in the employment market for the summer -- as well as our colleges and universities, So this is where the government has made a very major focus, as you can see represented by those dollars we were talking about in the budget.
One thing I would share with you is that on the OCAP program where the government assists with a $100 stipend, we are running success rates that are up in the high 80 and 90 per cent, as it’s administered by Colleges and Universities. It’s a program for young people who are early school leavers or who have left the work place and need that vital component called experience. As they take that program of assistance they are flushing through the system much quicker than expected, making room for many other young people to have the benefit of that as a stepping stone into a job and then on into a meaningful career.
So in addition to the added dollars that the Treasurer put in his budget this year under that particular program, where he went from $7 million to $9.3 million, I think he was addressing himself to a very common-sense, needed area that has proved to benefit young people.
Incidentally, a lot of small businesses in that program have benefited too. And I would share this percentage -- 86 per cent of people who took part in that OCAP program in industry have been successful in carrying on with that employer or taking that experience along with another employer.
There are a few things that have been mentioned by speakers ahead of me. The previous speaker mentioned apprenticeship and we heard it in question period today. It’s a very real concern. I noticed the Minister of Colleges and Universities in a speech the other day, touched on a percentage which shocked me and causes me to realize that we have some important work to do with a section of our society these days. In our skilled trades, for example, only three per cent of employees are under 30. This must be telling us something -- that we’re going to need a lot of co-operation from those trades in helping to change that, because we all know that it’s a different world than that, with this bulge of young people coming through the system as a result of a baby boom that was worldwide in its proportions.
So in concluding, I would merely like to remind the House that there is a section of government called the Youth Secretariat that is working diligently in many different ways, in many different programs in concert with the ministries. Of course, on some of the major issues such as youth employment, we’re delighted to see the Treasurer reflect that concern. I would also reflect that if we are to help young people to, in turn, help themselves, it takes a lot of careful planning and careful design, all the way from the programs that we have for “the job of looking for a job” that people might hear advertised currently, to trying to give young people the story of the way it is, and reflecting this government.
So I close the debate by saying that this budget reflects what young people have been calling for in a very real, sincere way -- and this government is responding.
Mr. J. Reed: Your next job will be to streamline the cabinet.
On motion by Mr. McGuigan, the debate was adjourned.
On motion by Hon. Mr. Wells, the House adjourned at 1 p.m.