31e législature, 2e session

L054 - Thu 4 May 1978 / Jeu 4 mai 1978

The House met at 2 p.m.



Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order -- and I raise this as the House leader for the Liberal caucus. It was brought to my attention by my colleagues who attended on Tuesday afternoon, May 2, in the standing justice committee.

At that time a civil servant of this province, wishing to present the members of the committee with background information for a submission that was being presented by a private citizen was silenced by the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Grossman). He was interrupted by the minister after only a few words, and was reminded that he was a civil servant and that this legislation was government policy. He was asked: “Does your minister know you are here today?”

The civil servant was obviously shaken and replied that he would leave the brief he had prepared -- informational in nature -- with the committee members, and he concluded his remarks. The man was not there to criticize the legislation -- which was Bill 7; he was I there to provide committee members with information on an activity that was about to be regulated by the bill, an activity that is new in Canada, although quite established in the United States.

Surely the minister should not intimidate a civil servant who is providing information for the benefit of the committee members, and I believe our privileges as members have been abrogated in that this information was not available to us.


Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, you didn’t say anything about the point of order that I raised. The hon. member (Mr. Swart) who just spoke got up on a point of privilege. I would like, sir, for you to comment on the matter that I put before you.

Mr. Speaker: I will have to take into consideration the alleged point of privilege that the hon. member for Brant-Oxford--Norfolk raised. I can only remind him though that it is something that took place in a committee, and if the committee wants the House or a presiding officer of this House to take some action they should do it in the formal way. However, I will undertake to look at your point of privilege and report back to the House on it.


Mr. Swart: I rise on a question of privilege, Mr. Speaker. I believe that my privileges and the privileges of the other members of this House were breached by the Minister of Agriculture and Food on Monday of this week when he said that there was a normal negotiated price between farm producers and chain stores, when we know now that Loblaws extracted a two per cent discount from the growers, and Dominion Stores are demanding it. Will you direct him to give the proper information to the House?

Mr. Deans: Absolutely. Resign.

Mr. Speaker: Order, you can’t construe something that took place outside of the House as being a breach of the privileges of members of this House.

Mr. Swart: Point of order: It took place inside the House, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. di Santo: It took place inside the House.

Hon. W. Newman: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege: I have every intention of making a statement in the House today regarding the matters involved.

Mr. S. Smith: The minister’s finally finding out what is going on in his ministry.



Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to announce that today I will be tabling the paper, Program Priorities for Children’s Services in 1978.

This document is one of the results of the reorganization last year which unified services for children into one division of my ministry.

We realized that with the number and diversity of services already existing, and the ever increasing demand for more services to meet the special needs of children, we must give careful consideration to our priorities.

We began by contacting groups involved with children’s services at the local level such as children’s aid societies, social planning councils, municipalities, colleges and universities and youth organizations. This local input helped us to develop our program priorities for 1978. These priorities involved three overlapping dimensions -- regional needs, special groups, and program content. Our highest regional priority is the north. We plan to increase spending there by approximately $3 million this year.

Two groups have been identified as having high priority for program developments because of their special needs for children’s services. They are Franco-Ontarians and native people. Specific programs are now being developed to meet those requirements.

In terms of the content of our programs, we have made prevention our first priority. By doing this, we ultimately hope to reduce the demand for specialized, expensive services such as residential treatment programs and training schools.

Our second priority for the content of programs is temporary restraint. We will promote the development of programs to help children considered to be “out of control” and in conflict with the law to function in their home environments wherever possible. At the same time we are beginning to reduce the number of training schools in operation.

There are many other children and families with problems that do not involve conflict with the law. Our third priority therefore is crisis management services which assist children to resolve their problems without having to leave their homes.

Our fourth priority is treatment. This year we will focus on developing programs to serve Ontario’s French-speaking and northern peoples, as well as those people in areas where there is an absence of treatment resources.

Because of our commitment to involve people who require services, people who provide services and municipal representatives in the planning and delivery of those services, we welcome comment on this paper. A future paper describing program priorities for 1979 and beyond will be based on this feedback as well as on an analysis of the new information we obtain on the special needs of children.

This paper was not intended to contain specific decisions on individual programs for 1978. Those decisions will be announced in the very near future based on the priorities identified in this paper.

This paper does not represent a step in -- pardon me, this paper does represent a step --

Mr. Foulds: You were right the first time.

Mr. S. Smith: The truth will out.

Hon. Mr. Norton: -- in a long-range plan to provide a balanced spectrum of services for children with special needs in Ontario.

Copies of the paper, Program Priorities for Children’s Services in 1978, along with a summary, have been distributed to both opposition leaders and critics, and are available on request from my ministry.


Hon. W. Newman: Mr. Speaker, my staff in the Ontario Food Council have reported to me on some information I promised the House on Monday.

Members will recall we were discussing reports of a two per cent special discount on produce sold to retail chains. My staff have been looking into this matter since last week and reported to me yesterday.

I am informed, Mr. Speaker, that such a discount did exist but it was not widespread. As far as we know --

Mr. Deans: Oh, they couldn’t find it.

Mr. Warner: Discount? It’s a kickback.

Mr. Makarchuk: Just call it what it is, a kickback.

Hon. W. Newman: -- only two chains were involved in this discount.

Mr. S. Smith: How many are there?

Ms. Gigantes: Not widespread?

Mr. Warner: It’s a small cancer.

Hon. W. Newman: I was advised late yesterday afternoon that these two chains have discontinued the practice. They are in the process of advising their suppliers that the discount has been eliminated.

Ms. Gigantes: Do you really believe that?

Mr. Mancini: Are they going to pay it back?

Mr. Kerrio: Are you going to make it retroactive?

Hon. W. Newman: Of course, buyers and sellers will continue to negotiate prices freely in the normal manner.

Mr. Deans: As you said they did before.

Mr. Nixon: I thought the two per cent was normal negotiation.

Hon. W. Newman: I wish to emphasize, Mr. Speaker, this discount has nothing whatever to do with the Ontario Foodland campaign.

Mr. Semis: That wasn’t the question.

An hen, member: That was never asked.

Hon. W. Newman: Wherever costs are shared for a Foodland promotion, the arrangements are clearly negotiated with the marketing boards or commodity associations.

Mr. MacDonald: Oh no, they weren’t, they were imposed.

Hon. W. Newman: The supermarkets’ participation has been entirely voluntary and I must say we appreciate the co-operation they have given us in our food promotions.

Mr. MacDonald: Oh, go away.

Mr. Kerrio: That’s a relief.

Mr. Warner: What nonsense!

An hon. member: Gangsters.

Mr. Martel: They got you.

Hon. W. Newman: Why don’t you ask me a question on that today?

An hon. member: You’ll have to apologize again tomorrow.

Mr. S. Smith: We asked you last time and what did we get for it?

An hon. member: Nothing.

Mr. Nixon: You said it was normal negotiation.



Mr. S. Smith: A question for the Treasurer, Mr. Speaker, regarding the statement that he made to the press earlier today, in the white paper on the Robarts report. Would the Treasurer agree that basically there is one statement in his white paper on the Robarts report which sums up his attitude towards local governments in the Toronto area? I’d like to quote the statement.

He says: What will clearly change for the better is a delineation between the Metro and area municipal levels. A by-product of this is that there would be an increase in the number of people who offer themselves for local service without the prospect of finding themselves on Metro council as an accident of the present electoral system. Speaking as Treasurer, I see it as an advantage to have part-time people around. You don’t have to pay them as much. More seriously, I think it would be a real tragedy if we continue to develop fulltime politicians exclusively.”

Does this quote capture the spirit of the Treasurer’s white paper, which effectively spells the beginning of the end of local governments in the Toronto area?

Hon. B. Stephenson: What? I just don’t understand his logic.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: No, Mr. Speaker. I think if there is a word which sums up what we said this morning, it would be “accountability.” The proposals which we put forward this morning are an evolutionary step to that end, to try to improve the accountability of the electoral process to the people. I don’t think this always has to be done by fulltime politicians, no.

Mr. S. Smith: If, in fact, the beginning of the end of local governments is not what the Treasurer has in mind, why has he evaded the issue of term of office in this paper, in rejecting the almost unanimous position presented in some 227 briefs, I believe, to the commission calling for a three-year term of office? Why has the Treasurer failed to do anything to protect the position of the city in Metro, especially on the executive committee?

Can he explain one other quote from his paper, which says: “In our view, the local elected members of council have important contributions to make as representatives or sounding boards for their constituents in very local functions, such as local roads, local planning issues and recreation, among others. Local representatives can respond to the very local concerns of their immediate neighbourhoods”?

Mr. Foulds: Is that called sarcasm or stress?

Mr. S. Smith: Why doesn’t the Treasurer admit that this is another example of his philosophy that bigger is better, centralization is everything, and local government is just about dead?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Ridiculous. That’s very foolish.

Hon. B. Stephenson: You can’t read.

Mr. Roy: Paternalism.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: There were several questions there and I’m not sure that I noted them all. Let me go through this again for the Leader of the Opposition. We have not spelled out, nor did Mr. Robarts -- let me put it that way -- Mr. Robarts, in his report, which I think surprised a number of people, myself included perhaps, did not significantly change the functions between the upper tier in Metro and the lower tier. He proposed to leave things more or less as they were, and what we have said this morning would leave things more or less as they are. Undoubtedly, there will be shifts from time to time. My guess is more of them will be initiated by Metro and its parts than by the province.

What we have attempted to improve, as I have said, is the accountability of government to the people. Whether the Leader of the Opposition has read Mr. Robarts’s report or not, I’m not aware. The fact is that he has documented -- and it has been documented elsewhere -- that those people elected in Metropolitan Toronto who serve on the Metropolitan Toronto council spend very little of their time at the Metropolitan level. They tend to spend most of their time at the local level.

We think that a government which is spending in the neighbourhood of three quarters of a billion dollars deserves more attention and a greater degree of attention without entirely taking away the linkage between the two. We think that a level of government -- for example, the city of Toronto -- which is spending somewhere in the neighbourhood of $200 million needs people who are devoted to that task as well.

Mr. S. Smith: Part-time people?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Not necessarily. If they choose to be full time, they can be full time. I’m interested that the position of the party opposite is that they should be full-time politicians at both levels. That is very interesting, indeed.

Mr. Nixon: We are interested in your position that they should be part time.

Mr. S. Smith: They believe in local government, you know.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I’m afraid I just don’t understand the member’s concern about the city of Toronto.


Mr. Speaker: The hon. member for Ottawa Centre with a supplementary.

Mr. S. Smith: It’s nine to one on the executive committee.


Hon. Mr. McKeough: I’m sorry, I still haven’t heard the member.

Mr. S. Smith: It’s nine to one on the executive committee.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: It’s not necessarily nine to one on the executive committee. I suppose it could be four out of 10 from the city of Toronto. It should be very evident to those of us on this side of the House and those in the third party that the Leader of the Opposition really only has the city of Toronto to concern himself about and only one part of it at that.

Mr. Roy: That is why the government backed off last week.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I would encourage the member to go out to North York or Scarborough or Etobicoke and say that after 25 years perhaps it is time we moved somewhat closer to the idea of representation by population that was originally conceived for the position of the city of Toronto in the federation, as the first step. They were much larger, both in terms of population and assessment. If he feels that the city of Toronto forever should have some sort of preferred and special position, I would agree somewhat, but I think it is time that we came somewhat closer to representation by population.

Mr. S. Smith: On the executive committee.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Yes, on the executive committee.

Mr. S. Smith: But you don’t guarantee that.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: No. We are saying that they are guaranteed one out of the 10. They may have four out of the 10, but I would think twice, frankly, before I’d push the member’s line of reasoning too far and I’d listen to a little bit more than the member for St. George (Mrs. Campbell).

Mr. Peterson: We want the Treasurer’s political advice.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I recognize the Leader of the Opposition has some trouble talking to his Toronto caucus but he should try.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a supplementary for the Treasurer. In view of the fact that the board of trade and the former Metro chairman, Fred Gardiner, were almost the only people who called for amalgamation in their briefs before the Robarts commission, can the Treasurer explain why the government has adopted proposals which will, in fact, weaken the lower tier of government, the borough tier, in Metropolitan Toronto and will take this region so far towards the amalgamation which was so clearly rejected by most of the people submitting briefs to the Robarts committee?

Ms. Gigantes: Might as well go all the way.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I regret the notion that we are making some radical change. I recognize that the member’s solution to everything is bigger government and, I suppose --

Mr. Swart: You are the guys who put in regional government.

Mr. Breaugh: Darcy, there isn’t room for any more government.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: -- not only bigger government but more government. We are hardly changing the functions, the responsibilities, at all, at either the metropolitan level or the local level. We are leaving them pretty well as they are.

Mr. McClellan: You would like to be czar.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I suspect there will he changes over time. Those changes are not evident from the responses to date. What we are doing is trying to make the Metropolitan council a little bit more accountable to the people, which I think is important.

Ms. Gigantes: The invisible link.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: That is not weakening the local level. Not at all.

I recognize the member would say to add on people, both elected and appointed, ad nauseam. We reject that.

Mr. Martel: Why doesn’t the Treasurer come down to earth?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: We think there is a way of making government more accountable without necessarily making it bigger and larger, which the member would have.

Mr. Martel: That’s what you have been doing.

Mr. Lewis: It is a good thing the Treasurer was humbled last week or he would be insufferable today.

Hon. B. Stephenson: just like the member for Scarborough West always is.

Mr. Peterson: The Treasurer is still insufferable.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary: Since, as the Treasurer says, he has done nothing to provide more responsibility to the local levels of government and since, for that matter, no powers have devolved to Metro either and he is, to use his words, “leaving things more or less as they are,” does he admit that basically all he is making is an electoral rather than a substantial or functional change? And does he admit that in making a fourth level of election now necessary and making Metro a directly elected body, what he is in fact proposing will shift the focus to Metro and ultimately result, as is evident from the wording he uses, in local governments occupying themselves with very minor concerns indeed basically, little by little moving toward a much stronger Metro so that it will be the only site of real action in the area?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I reject that completely. I would be very interested, though, in knowing what the position of the Liberal Party is. Is the Leader of the Opposition suggesting that some of the powers which are now exercised by the Metropolitan council should be returned to the local level? I’d be very interested in hearing his list of those things.

Mr. S. Smith: Social services, yes. The Treasurer didn’t ask me.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: In view of the fact that there will be controversy over the Treasurer’s proposal; in view of the fact that the Treasurer gave no opportunity to municipal representatives to express their views or to look at the proposals this morning; and in view of the fact that he has taken 11 months to prepare the proposals after the submission of the Robarts report, will the government undertake to refer the bill, when it is introduced, to a standing committee of this Legislature where the opinions of municipal people and other interested people can be heard before this is enacted into law?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, what the member has just said of course is completely wrong. I didn’t think it was the most appropriate time to sit down and discuss intelligently, which I like to do with elected representatives --

Mr. Swart: The municipal people thought it was.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: -- a piece of paper which had been put in their hands 30 seconds before. Undoubtedly they are going to read it. Undoubtedly they are going to think about it. Undoubtedly they are going to talk about it. Then we on this side will be more than ready to sit down and engage in a dialogue and see whether what we have proposed is acceptable or not, or whether or not it can be modified and made acceptable. But I don’t think that process should start one minute after we have tabled the paper, and I don’t think the member seriously thinks so.

Mr. Martel: Why don’t you answer the question?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I know the honourable member has regretted on occasion -- on more than one occasion -- speaking too quickly. I didn’t want to put anybody in that process this morning.

Mr. Swan: What about the 37.5 per cent?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: In response to the second part of the question, I would say this: There are some very basic questions to be answered -- whether the councils or a majority of the councils are in favour of some modified or beginning form of direct election; whether they are in favour of the abolition of the board of control. There are two or three decisions to be made. They have been well articulated. They have been discussed, through the auspices of the royal commission, in a series of public meetings and in meetings held by my colleagues in the Metropolitan Toronto caucus -- good meetings. I think the arguments are out. I would suspect it’s a time either to make up our minds or not I don’t think we are going to change many minds in the next three or five weeks but if longer time is necessary, so be it.


Mr. S. Smith: I will direct this question to the Minister of Agriculture and Food, regarding the two per cent practice about which he made a statement earlier today. Can the minister tell us whether he has been in contact with his colleague the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations, or his colleague the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry), regarding whether or not the two per cent charging was an unfair trade practice?

I would direct the minister’s attention particularly to today’s news release from the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association which says: “Loblaws has been deducting two per cent from the cheques it issues to pay growers, shippers and packer-shippers for Ontario produce. No explanation was given on the cheque for the deduction. Loblaw’s buyers have been charging this fee on behalf of the chain for over the last year.”

What kind of practice is this? Has the minister asked for it to be investigated by either of his colleagues?

Hon. W. Newman: Mr. Speaker, as far as the legality of it is concerned, I have checked with the appropriate legal people on the suggestion of what has been done.

Some hon. members: Who? Who?

Hon. Mr. Kerr: They sound like a bunch of owls over there.

Mr. Renwick: Who are the appropriate legal people?

Mr. Breaugh: Who did you ask?

Hon. W. Newman: Legal people in my own branch who work for the Attorney General’s ministry. Doesn’t the honourable member realize that?

Mr. MacDonald: Yes, but the ethics of it.

Mr. Renwick: We just heard this in Ottawa.

Hon. W. Newman: Mr. Speaker, I would like to make it very clear that we were on this situation last week when it was drawn to my attention, long before any question was asked in this House. I want to make that very clear.

Mr. MacDonald: Oh, no, you weren’t.

Mr. Peterson: You really are fat.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Warner: The minister knew about it and did nothing.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Now you are getting provocative.

Hon. W. Newman: I also indicated when I answered my question in the House on Monday that I would look into it. I was aware last week that something was going on. We have checked into it.

Mr. Foulds: You misled the House then last week.

Hon. W. Newman: No, I did not. There are conflicting stories --

Mr. Breithaupt: As late as last week? Hon. W. Newman: There are conflicting stories. The buyers are saying the discount was offered to them because it was being provided to chain store B. The suppliers are indicating it was strongly suggested that a two per cent discount be given. None of these suggestions actually was placed on paper that I have been able to put my hands on.

Mr. Lewis: That’s worse.

Mr. Makarchuk: I don’t think they would put them on paper, would they?

Hon. W. Newman: I think the important matter is, as a result of the work of my staff and myself, the practice has been discontinued.

Mr. Warner: It took a whole year.

Mr. Foulds: Why didn’t you stop it a year ago? You’re not even aware of what’s going on.

Mr. S. Smith: Supplementary: Will the minister undertake to table in this House the legal opinion he has received, with all the attendant details, so that we can judge for ourselves whether or not further action should be taken in terms of this possibly being an unfair business practice, or being handled under some other aspect of the law?

And can he comment on the other aspect of the fruit and vegetable growers’ association release which says, and I quote: “Dominion is just launching its discount program. It is asking suppliers to sign a form giving it authority to deduct two per cent from the purchase price of Ontario produce for ‘earned cost reduction.’ Whatever could that be?”

Apparently the growers are negotiating with Dominion in hopes of getting that chain to put an end to the program.

Mr. Speaker: The question has been asked.

Mr. S. Smith: Can the minister assure us that this chain will not engage in such a program? And has he personally been in touch with all the chains in Ontario to make sure that no such program exists, nor shall one exist?

Hon. W. Newman: We have been in touch with all the chains that we bow of in the province --

Mr. T. P. Reid: That you know of.

Hon. W. Newman: -- that’s right, well I don’t know. We’ve been in touch with them all.

An hon. member: Nobody knows.

Hon. W. Newman: We were notified yesterday that the practice would be discontinued as a result of our investigation, and that includes Dominion Stores. Letters are en route to my office confirming this; probably they will be in my office tomorrow.

Mr. S. Smith: Will you table the legal opinion?

Mr. Sargent: Ask your barber, he will tell you about it.

Mr. Swart: Supplementary to the Minister of Agriculture and Food: In view of the minister’s statement on Monday last, and I quote: “I would deplore any sort of kickback at all, and I would certainly get right on it,” will the minister tell the House how the farmers are going to get the money back which they have had taken away from them by this discount? Will he table in the House how much money was involved as far as the farmers are concerned? And will he table the legal opinion which he said he had on this matter?

Hon. W. Newman: I don’t know the total amount; I don’t know what discounts were offered and for what particular commodities --

Mr. Deans: Why?

Hon. W. Newman: They could have been dealing with dealers, they could have been dealing with marketing boards --

Mr. Deans: What do you know?

Hon. W. Newman: -- they could have been dealing with processers, they could have been dealing with them all --

An hon. member: We’re sure glad you’re checking on it.

Mr. Foulds: Are you the Minister of Food?

Hon. W. Newman: -- as far as the two per cent discount is concerned. I am informed by our legal people that as far as we know at this point --

Hon. W. Newman: I am not going to ask for a written report; but it certainly will have any information the members want in it to point out whether it is legal or not legal.

Mr. Mackenzie: If it’s as complicated as you said, how could you make a decision on it?

Mr. Peterson: How could you straighten out a problem that you do not understand?

Hon. W. Newman: The only legal problem -- Does the member want to listen?

Hon. B. Stephenson: No, not ever. He just talks.

Some hon. members: We want some answers.

Mr. Hall: We’ve got a farmer from London now.

Mr. Sargent: Start over again.

Mr. Speaker: Order. Order.

Mr. Mackenzie: Why don’t you let Bette answer for you?

Hon. W. Newman: The Combines Investigation Act already indicates that if a discount is offered by one group it should be offered by all groups under the Combines Investigation Act.

Mr. Roy: Can I ask a supplementary on this, Mr. Speaker? I would like to ask the minister if he feels he has a legal opinion indicating there was a breach of the Combines investigation Act --

Hon. W. Newman: I didn’t say that.

Mr. Roy: What is he talking about, Mr. Speaker? That it is against the Combines Investigation Act?

Hon. B. Stephenson: You weren’t listening.

Mr. MacDonald: Oh, you are backing off on that, Eli?

Mr. Roy: Let me rephrase the question. If you have --

Mr. Mackenzie: What kind of a legal opinion did you have?

Mr. Roy: My record is as good as your people’s.

As I understand it, the minister has a legal opinion indicating that sort of practice is contrary to the Combines Investigation Act. Am I right or not? And if that is the ease and this practice has gone on and some people have paid this kickback, is the minister going to see to it that charges are laid?

Hon. W. Newman: As I said, nothing was put in writing. We have no legal proof at all as far as the two per cent discount is concerned.

Mr. Swart: Will you table it?

Mr. Makarchuk: Supplementary to the minister: Would the minister carry out a similar investigation in the poultry processing field, and ensure --

Mr. Speaker: That’s not supplementary.

Mr. Makarchuk: Of course it is.

Mr. Speaker: I have said it isn’t. The honourable member for Kitchener.

Mr. Breithaupt: Has the Minister of Agriculture and Food had any involvement with the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations as to how this would affect consumer interest in this particular problem? And have any suggestions been made as to a rollback of prices to benefit the consumers who have obviously been at some loss because of this practice?


Mr. Deans: They were being ripped off, as it were.

Hon. W. Newman: I’m not sure that the consumers were affected at all in this matter because if the member looks at the profits of the chain stores here, it’s Isis than one per cent of gross sales,

Mr. Speaker: The honourable member for York South, with a final supplementary.

Mr. MacDonald: A supplementary for the minister: Since the Ontario Food Council, under the minister’s jurisdiction and not his colleague’s, is responsible for examining unethical practices in the business world that comes within the food industry, and he’s been on top of this, so he tells us, why has this been going on for a year? Can the minister’s counsel tell him how much money was extracted from the processors or the growers or anybody else? And if it was extracted illegally, can he tell us Whether charges are going to be laid, or at least whether the money Will be paid back?

Mr. Roy: Some detective you are.

Hon. W. Newman: To my knowledge, they were not extracted illegally.

Some hon. members: What?

Mr. Roy: What does your legal opinion say?

Hon. W. Newman: Second, it was brought to my attention that we had the processors, we had the dealers who deal with these people, and unless they’re prepared to come forward -- and the member saw this other news release this afternoon, He’s quoted --

Mr. MacDonald: Right.


Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. W. Newman: Oh come on now.

Mr. MacDonald: Where did the minister get the information? Loblaws have all the bills.

Mr. di Santo: Why don’t you melee a clear statement?

An hon. member: Have a proper investigation.

An hon. member: You’re in deep trouble, Bill.

Mr. Makarchuk: Is there collusion?

Mr. Speaker: Order. The question has been asked.

Hon. W. Newman: As far as I’m concerned, we worked on the Whole matter very quickly when it was drawn to my attention and we have resolved the matter.


Hon. W. Newman: Oh yes, we have.


Mr. MacDonald: It’s been going on for a year. The minister is asleep.

Hon. W. Newman: I have no reason to know that it’s been going on for a year.


Mr. MacDonald: The fruit and vegetable growers’ association state that it has.

Hon. W. Newman: Okay. They say somebody’s put out a release saying it’s been going on for a year. If they knew about it a year ago then they should have come to me and told me about it at that point in time. They’re the people who are dealing with them.


Mr. Lewis: You are in trouble on this one. You are not handling this well.


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, we’re not happy with the answers the minister has just given. We’ll pursue that in a few minutes.


Mr. Cassidy: I want to ask another question of the Treasurer. We have a number of objections to the proposals on metropolitan government which were brought forward this morning. We will be raising them over the course of the coming weeks --

Mr. Speaker: Question.

Mr. Kerrio: That’s not a question.

Mr. Cassidy: I’d like to ask a question, though, which pertains to the single most objectionable feature of the proposals and one which seems to sum up the government’s whole attitude in relation to the Metropolitan Toronto council.

Some hon. members: Question.

Mr. Cassidy: Can the minister explain why, in view of the statements that he himself made today that it is important to his government that in a free society those who govern are elected to office and are accountable for their actions, the government has chosen to continue after 25 years the undemocratic process of appointing the Metro chairman who is the chief executive and most powerful politician in metropolitan government?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: We discussed that with the press this morning when I went over to answer questions. I don’t take anything away from the words which are written generally. When we come to the specifics I think the feeling is that we have made enough changes in terms of moving to the direct election and that for the time being the process for the election of the chairman -- who, incidentally, each time has been an elected person -- should remain; I don’t say forever, but it should remain for the time being.

Mr. Cassidy: A supplementary: Would the minister not agree that when I he says in the report that retaining the existing selection of the Metro chairman would also permit a continuity of leadership during the reorganization period, that that means that the Conservative government of this province has chosen to pre-empt the decision of the electorate of Metropolitan Toronto by continuing Paul Godfrey in office, despite whatever their wishes may happen to be?

Some hon. members: Shame.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: No, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Can the minister explain then why in his own presentation he said: “We are a long way in Ontario from completely rationalizing local government as a responsible, responsive political institution,” why, in view of that particular opinion, the government chose to continue to remain a long way from making Metropolitan Toronto council responsible and responsive by leaving the Metro chairman in an appointed capacity and not making him elected?

Hon. Mr. McKeough: I’m glad to hear my own words quoted so much today. If the member would take the time to read the whole statement and my statement, he would see what I have described and, I think, what Mr. Robarts described and, indeed, what Mr. Goldenberg said a few years ago -- that we are undergoing a process of change; and just where it will end, I’m not sure; and I’m not sure that it will ever end. I don’t think we ever find the perfect solution. The important thing is that we on this side of the House, at any rate, are ready to contemplate -- as are many people in elected government in Metropolitan Toronto -- a certain degree of change. That doesn’t mean to say that it needs to be revolutionary. Rather, as I’ve suggested, it can be evolutionary.

The member chooses to overlook the fact that Metropolitan Toronto --

Mr. S. Smith: Change if necessary, but not necessarily change.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: -- and we, on this side of the House, are very conscious of the fact --

Hon. Mr. Davis: We’re in favour of evolution. You people want revolution.

Mr. Foulds: You are in favour of fossilization.

An hon. member: If you’re around much longer, we’ll need revolution.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Well, that’s all right, too.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: -- that the system of metropolitan government, which this party instituted 25 years ago, and which this party has kept up to date over those 25 years, is working very well --

Hon. Mr. Davis: That’s right.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: -- and we are not prepared, simply for the sake of --


Hon. Mr. McKeough: -- playing to rhetoric to make the sort of large scale changes on a wholesale basis which the leader of the third party wants. We think we are taking some deliberate steps.


Hon. Mr. McKeough: Let’s try those out, then let’s move ahead with something else, if that becomes necessary. But let’s do it one step at a time. I have some real doubts and we have some real doubts about making --

Mr. Martel: Stop your posturing.

Hon. Mr. McKeough: -- a lot of changes to something which is working as well and which is as world renowned as Metropolitan Toronto.

An hon. member: Has the Treasurer forgotten last week already?

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: Order. I must remind honourable members that we have spent 29 minutes on the first three questions and over two thirds of those have dealt with one issue, and that’s Metropolitan Toronto. I think in fairness to all members of this House --

Mr. Lewis: A minute per seat.

Mr. Speaker: -- why don’t we split up the time of the question period for the benefit of all members of this House? And with that in mind I’ll now hear the second question from the leader of the New Democratic Party.

Mr. McClellan: Ask Darcy why he’s quitting.

Mr. Cassidy: Just on a point of order, Mr. Speaker, I am not responsible for the amount of time that was taken on the questions from the Leader of the Opposition. However, I will ask my second question.

Mr. Speaker: I most remind the honourable member that he had two of the supplementaries.

Mr. Foulds: And good supplementaries they were, too.


Mr. Cassidy: I have a question -- I’m afraid it’s on the same subject -- to the Minister of Education. Can the Minister of Education explain to the House why, in view of the government’s profession of support for local autonomy and accountability, in view of the recommendations of four of the six area boards of education in Metropolitan Toronto, and in view of the recommendations of the Metropolitan Toronto School Board itself that that Metro school board be disbanded, that the government has chosen to continue and, in fact, to strengthen the Metropolitan Toronto School Board, despite all of the problems that it has created in the past and promises to create in the future for education in this area?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I’m afraid that to answer adequately and fully and in a way that it deserves would take me another 29 minutes, because the Metropolitan Toronto School Board --

Mr. Martel: Make a statement then.

Hon. Mr. Wells: -- an educational organization in Metropolitan Toronto, has been another one of those success stories for this area.

Mr. Lewis: You are afflicted with McKeough disease.

Hon. Mr. Wells: For my friend to suggest that they have caused nothing but problems, and indeed will cause problems in the future, I suggest he go around and talk to people in Scarborough and North York and Etobicoke and Toronto --

Mr. McClellan: Not in Toronto, thank you.

Hon. Mr. Wells: -- and find out.

Hon. Mr. Davis: That’s right.

Hon. Mr. Wells: If he reads the Robarts report, as I’m sure he has, he knows that it states that one of the premises upon which I it suggests the abolition of the Metropolitan Toronto School Board is so that greater local economy, accountability and voter understanding of local government can be achieved. But I suggest to him that there are three other overriding principles that must apply in this special unit called Metropolitan Toronto, a political entity unlike any other in the province of Ontario. Those other special principles are equality of educational opportunity, fiscal equity and the centralized coordination of issues on a Metro -- wide basis.

This, indeed, is what has been achieved here over 25 years by an evolutionary method by the Metro school board and the six area boards in later years working together to provide a very viable educational organization.

My friend knows that the Metro school board passed a motion which suggested that it be done away with, but it said only if three conditions were met. Those conditions were that the Metro area completely bear all the debenture costs that are outstanding, that the province equalize grants among the six boards through its formula and that there be a coordinating mechanism for Metro-wide problems.

Ms. Gigantes: Why not?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Those three qualifications, I suggest, if we really study what’s happened and what needs to happen in this Metro area, would lead anyone to believe that within five to 10 years we would be recreating a Metro school board if, indeed, we did away with it today.

Mr. Warner: Not according to John Robarts. He disagreed with you.

Hon. Mr. Wells: I say that from a depth of experience which I am sure my friend lacks in Metropolitan Toronto organization.

Mr. Martel: You have all the experience over there; the fountain of wisdom.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Let me also point out, and I think it is important that this be said --

Mr. Mackenzie: You are biased.

Hon. Mr. Wells: -- that notwithstanding the fact that four Metro area boards wanted to do away with the Metro school board and the board voted to do away with itself, we listened I as a Metro caucus of the members of the Progressive Conservative Party from Metropolitan Toronto, to a wide variety of briefs presented publicly to us. I might point out that the Social Planning Council of Metropolitan Toronto, the Labour Council of Metropolitan Toronto and the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Toronto all suggested in varying forms that the Metropolitan Toronto School Board and some form of organization like we have now remain. I suggest those are the people of this area speaking to us about what they think is viable for education.

Hon. Mr. Davis: There is one you shouldn’t ignore, Michael.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Taking all of those together, 25 years of experience --

An hon. member: What do they know.

Hon. Mr. Wells: -- on the real needs of education in this area, we think that an improved Metro school board can best serve education.

Ms. Gigantes: Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask a supplementary of the minister. Given that the minister is paying grants for approximately 170 more English-as-a-second-language teachers in Metro than have been allocated for September of this year, how does he find any consistency with the suggestion in the white paper that area boards would benefit even more financially if they didn’t expend moneys provided to the Metro Toronto board for such special programs?

Hon. Mr. Wells: I would be glad to discuss with my friend in more detail some of the answers to the discrepancies and who is paying for what as far as English as a second language is concerned --

Ms. Gigantes: Yes, it is pretty important.

An hon. member: Where is your quality of service?

Mr. Grande: That’s the way Metro works, you see.

Hon. Mr. Wells: -- except that I must state to her that in the intervals since the committee hearings I find there has been a sizable decrease in the number of students who are qualified for English-as-a-second-language programs in Metropolitan Toronto, a decrease from 59,950 --

Mr. McClellan: Under the Metro definition?

Hon. Mr. Wells: I’m sorry, a decrease since 1946 from 45,576 to 29,720.

Mr. McClellan: Whose definition? Metro’s definition?

Hon. Mr. Wells: The same Metro definition was in effect in both those years, so that I suggest --

Mr. McClellan: That is the problem. Hon. Mr. Wells: -- that’s probably part of the answer to the problem we are discussing and we will discuss it fully.

Mr. Foulds: It is not a very good answer. Hon. Mr. Wells: Let me say this, we can find the answers to those and other problems and do it in a far better way with a system working like the Metro school board and area boards working in this area than we ever could if we had six boards competing, one with another, without a proper co-ordinating mechanism.

Mr. Martel: They should have a school board for the whole province.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker --

Mr. Speaker: We have spent 36 minutes now on the leader’s questions. Surely you can order your questions in such a way that you can dispose of the first four questions during question period in less time than 36 minutes?

Mr. Martel: Maybe you should try to be fair about it.


Hon. Mr. Wells: On a point of order: I would like to indicate that in the answer to a question from the member for Carleton East, in reading from some notes here, I think I left the wrong impression. The figures that I quoted were the figures for the immigration into Canada, those immigrants coming to Metropolitan Toronto -- 45,576 for 1976 and 29,720 for 1977. The figures that I should have quoted for those enrolled in the English-as-a-second-language program in Metro were 1976, 6,008; and 1977, 3,281.

Ms. Gigantes: That’s where the problem is.



Mr. Nixon: A question of the Attorney General, Me. Speaker: Has he been requested by the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. W. Newman) to provide a legal opinion associated with whether or not some action should be taken on the matter of the two per cent deduction that has been taken off the cheques payable by chain groceterias to the producers in the province? If he has not been so requested, will he take it as his responsibility to look into this matter to see if any of our provincial laws have been broken or if any federal laws have been broken; to see whether charges should be laid, or what action can be taken by the ministry to see that those producers who have loin out on this two per cent for at least a year have some procedure whereby they can recoup this payment?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, it appears quite evident that the Minister of Agriculture and Food has had the benefit of legal advice from law officers of the Crown that are seconded to Isis ministry.

Mr. Deans: I would like to see that advice.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: As far as I am concerned, he has the assistance of very able law practitioners. I was not personally aware of the issue until it was raised today, but because of the obvious interest of the members of the Legislature I will be happy to discuss it with the Minister of Agriculture and Food.

Mr. Nixon: Supplementary: Since the Attorney General is the thief law officer of the Crown, and he has now accepted this responsibility, will he be sure that the members of the Legislature get a full report from himself on the legal mailers; particularly so that we can fulfil our function, which is to see that the producers who have been ripped off by this two per cent are going to have an opportunity to recoup?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I will certainly respond to the best of my ability to the legal issues that have been raised.

Mr. Swart: A supplementary to the Attorney General: Will he instruct the Minister of Agriculture and Food to contact the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association, which appears to have a great deal of information on this matter, and ask the association to supply the information end then determine whether there are grounds for laying charges? Further, will the Attorney General inform, or have the Minister of Agriculture and Food inform, the fruit and vegetable growers’ association that he will do everything in his legal and moral power to see that the kickback is paid back to them?

Mr. Mancini: The same question.

Mr. Roy: Repetition.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I have never found it appropriate in the past to instruct the Minister of Agriculture and Food, --

Mr. Swart: It looks as though it is now.

Mr. Cassidy: It is about time you started.

Mr. Warner: He has known for a whole year.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: -- nor do I expect that it is appropriate now; nor do I anticipate that it will be necessary in the future.

Mr. S. Smith: You underestimate his learning capacity.


Mr. Deans: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Education. Does he have available information -- statistics, strikes; or for that matter a learned opinion -- on the impact of the action taken by the Wentworth county board in locking out its teachers of grade 12 and 13 students, many of whom are in the process of attempting to get acceptance at universities, both inside Ontario and outside Ontario? Has he information on the impact of the lockout and the possible remedies which might now be available to bring about some resolution of this impasse?

Hon. Mr Wells: I don’t have any research such as the member indicates to show what the effect of a lockout of half a day or one day might be.

Mr. Deans: At this time of the year.

Hon. Mr. Wells: No time is a good time for a strike or a lockout, but I draw to the member’s attention that both are legal under the collective bargaining act we have for teachers.

Mr. Deans: The minister didn’t have to go into that; I knew that.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Both are equally legal end both can be applied under certain conditions.

The teachers and the school board have within their power the means to reopen the schools by reaching an agreement or deciding voluntarily to send it to final offer selection or arbitration. I am going to be in touch with the Education Relations Commission immediately after this question period to talk to them about the situation. I agree it is very serious for the students, particularly those going on to university. I will see what the commission has in mind to help get a settlement in the Wentworth area.

Mr. Deans: Supplementary question, if I may: Since the teachers have already offered to send the matter to arbitration and have already offered to negotiate this coming weekend all whatever length is necessary to find a resolution to the dispute, and since the board in its normal position has refused to even talk about it, would the minister agree that it might be helpful if he were to say to the board that in the interests of the students and the education system in the area that the board accept that it might well be appropriate that the hoard send the matter to arbitration and got it resolved?

Hon. Mr. Wells: At this point in rime I would like to hear from the Education Relation Commission exactly what the situation is.

Mr. Speaker: Final supplementary; the honourable member for Wentworth North.

Mr. Cunningham: I am wondering if the minister is aware that certain teachers and students alike are so concerned that they are contemplating a class action at this time. Does the minister have any opinion as to the legality of such a direction at this time?

Hon. Mr. Wells: I’m not sure what my friend means when he says “class action.”

Mr. Cunningham: They are going to sue them.

Hon. Mr. Wells: You mean they are going to sue?

Mr. Roy: You’ve heard of that? Law? Sue?

Mr. Cunningham: They are going to sue; they might even sue the minister.

Hon. Mr. Wells: I was assuming something a little more productive, like they were going to set up classes and teach the kids in some other place --

Mr. Sargent: How stupid can you be? Hon. Mr. Wells: -- which would sound to be a much more profitable thing. I would suggest, with my knowledge of the courts, that any action such as that probably wouldn’t solve the problem in a very quick manner.


Mr. Blundy: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Premier.

Mr. Roy: Hang on.

Mr. Blundy: Given the fact that Prestolite Limited in Point Edward has announced another layoff of some 150 people, with the very real possibility of a complete shutdown of the plant in the fall; and given the fact that this layoff is only one of many such layoffs throughout Ontario in plants manufacturing parts for the automobile industry; is the Premier prepared to do one of two things on behalf of the auto workers of Ontario: On the one hand, is the Premier prepared to offer incentives to these companies to make it more attractive for them to continue to produce auto parts in Ontario? Failing such action, is the Premier prepared to go back to the federal government and demand on behalf of the people of Ontario that Canada be given a fair share of parts manufacturing and car assembly in proportion to the number of cars sold in Canada by the Big Three, through introduction of legislation to this effect, if necessary, by the federal government?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I’m trying to remember all parts of the question.

Mr. Conway: You should ask the governor of Ohio.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I sense that the honourable member who suggests we get into the question of offering incentives is really talking about taxpayers’ funds, which we have discussed in the House and which, of course, would have to be substantial, to both the Big Four -- I always include the fourth -- and the parts manufacturers. I am not going to suggest that this has become a policy of the official opposition. I think members of the opposition party would want to think that through very carefully before they suggested it was a policy.

Certainly we are concerned about some aspects but, if one looks at the figures, while the particular plant the honourable member refers to obviously causes the government concern, and I am sure it causes him some concern, it is also fair to point out that in terms of numbers of employees there has been an increase in some plants in the parts manufacturing sector of the auto industry. So far, from the information we have been putting together, it appears there probably is an overall increase in employment in the automotive industry, although we haven’t finished our final assessment yet; so, while we don’t minimize the difficulty that the honourable member refers to at that particular plant, I think he has to look at it was some perspective as well.

Without answering the question any further, the question of incentives gets one into a very basic consideration as to whether we get into this bidding war that is going on for the location of facilities -- and not just in the automotive industry. I don’t know how we would confine it to a single industry; I think that would be difficult.

I can’t offer the honourable member any government decision on that matter today. We will be finishing our assessment in the next couple of weeks, and as I said to the leader of the New Democratic Party, I would hope to present some information to the House.

I think it’s also fair to point out that it was this province which initiated the present debate with respect to the auto pact. It was this government -- certainly in the past year or so without any question -- that has been pressuring Ottawa, first for a valid assessment and secondly that there be some productive alterations in the auto pact in terms of seeing increased employment here, not only in terms of numbers hut in the kinds of employment that are offered. I suggest that we will be continuing to press this with the government of Canada.

I would suggest to the honourable member that if he is genuinely concerned -- and I assume he is -- he too can have some impact. I have known Bud Cullen for many years, as has the member opposite. The member is probably five minutes away from him on the weekend. He is the minister responsible for Manpower. He must have an even greater concern than the member has with respect to the employment situation generally --

Mr. Samis: Order, order.

Mr. di Santo: Speech, speech.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I would say to the member for Sarnia that he might productively spend a weekend alerting Mr. Cullen to the facts of the situation and see if he can’t prevail upon him to prevail upon some of his federal colleagues for a little degree of concern and initiative on this issue.

Mr. Conway: Or talk to the governor of Ohio.

Mr. Blundy: I have a supplementary question to the Premier on this matter, but first of all I will assure him that I am meeting with Bud Cullen on Saturday afternoon at 4 o’clock.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Will the member give the House a full report on that?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: That’s like spitting into the wind.

Mr. Blundy: My supplementary question stems from the headline story in this morning’s Toronto Star. When the Premier goes to Detroit for the football game the next time, will he consider getting together with some of the industrialists there with a view to putting in a word for the auto workers of Ontario who find themselves in such a crucial condition at this time?

Mr. Kerrio: The governor of Ohio stole the ball.

Mr. Roy: Don’t brag that you are a Toronto fan.

Hon. Mr. Davis: No, I won’t.

Mr. Conway: There’s not much to brag about there.

Mr. Sargent: You and the Argos are born losers.

Hon. B. Stephenson: I wouldn’t talk if I were you, Eddie.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I can only say if the Argos lost with as much success as we’ve had on this side of the House, even in our limited fashion --

Mr. S. Smith: They would be a minority football team.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- they would certainly be better than what they have produced to date.

Mr. Samis: That’s not saying much.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I read the story the honourable member is referring to and I won’t take exception to it in any controversial way, although I understand the story perhaps will demonstrate a little better journalism in the later edition and perhaps a little greater degree of accuracy.

Somebody asked if I’d ever been to Ohio. I’ve got to tell the honourable member that you don’t go to Ohio to find out what’s happening in the automotive industry. In the past six years -- I confess this to the Toronto Daily Star -- I have been to Ohio three times, no question about it. I think what the story neglected to point out was two things.

Mr. Samis:a Time.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Firstly, the plant that was located there really was never, as I understand it, on the list for discussion for location here anyway. It was probably lured out of Michigan into Ohio.

I think it’s also important to point out that these discussions have gone on, and in some depth, with the Canadian organizations. I sense that in terms of their commitment they have just as great an interest in getting the new capital expansion in this province as any of us. While I know it is great to suggest that I travel to Dearborn or Flint or wherever, I would say with respect unless one has the interest of the Canadian portion of the automotive industry that would not be the most productive way of doing it.

I should also point out though, for the honourable member’s edification, that if he reads the story carefully he will have some understanding of the type of competition. This is one place -- perhaps the only place -- where this story was accurate, and that was the degree of incentives that were offered by the state of Ohio, probably in competition with Michigan and New York.

Mr. Samis: Time.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I happen to know there were one or two other inducements offered by the state of Ohio. I’m not sure the members opposite, even in their enthusiasm, which I share, to get new capital investment here, would be prepared to offer some of the inducements that the state of Ohio has offered.

Mr. Conway: Titillate us and tell us.

Mr. Speaker: The Premier is straying far from the original question. The original question was would you speak to certain people in Detroit.

Hon. Mr. Davis: It was a longer answer than I intended, but I had to point out certain facts.

Mr. Speaker: The member for Niagara Falls.


Mr. di Santo: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: Do you have a supplementary?

Mr. di Santo: Yes.

Mr. Speaker: Why don’t you speak up? The member for Downsview.

Mr. Lewis: The Speaker knows how we are in Metro Toronto. We’re very bashful, we’re very reticent.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Remember the good old days?

Mr. di Santo: Keeping in mind that the auto pact is a federal responsibility, and in view of the fact that all of us are concerned --

Mr. Ruston: What kind of a car do you have?

Mr. di Santo: -- with the situation of the industry in Ontario, where 90 per cent of the total industry is, doesn’t the Premier think that his government at this point should explore another alternative in the renegotiation of the auto pact, since until now all the reviews and the analyses that his government has made and the federal government has made have not produced any positive effect in Ontario? As he knows, in 1977 we had a $3-billion deficit in auto parts alone.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I think before we finalize any figures we might be better to await the material that we will be presenting. The honourable member has made one accurate observation that I can remember. This matter is of critical concern, obviously, to the people of this province. It was also relevant in his question that he pointed out that the relationship between the country to the south of us and our own is the responsibility of the government of Canada. I listened with interest to the member for Sarnia, who obviously doesn’t have a great deal of constitutional experience, contemplating legislation in this House that would relate to that.


Hon. Mr. Davis: As even the member for Ottawa East might advise us, that would not be totally constitutional and --

Mr. Cunningham: That’s never stopped the Premier before.

Hon. Mr. Davis: -- might not even be legal.


Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Davis: The answer is that we will continue to press it, I assure the honourable member, but we do not have the ability to renegotiate or alter the auto pact.

Mr. Roy: I would keep it away from the Attorney General.

Mr. Peterson: Why doesn’t the Premier appoint Judy LaMarsh to look into the matter?


Mr. Lewis: I’d like to return to the Minister of Agriculture and Food. If he were sufficiently disconcerted to consult his legal branch for advice and sufficiently unhappy about the discount kickback practice that he had it revoked as soon as it was drawn to his attention, allegedly; why does he refuse now to conduct Ian investigation into the background of the practice over the number of months at least that it apparently took place and to take action based on the findings of that investigation?

Hon. W. Newman: Let me make it very clear to the member that I’m quite prepared to look into this further and to get further legal advice, if he wants me to, and to repost back to him if that will satisfy him.

Mr. Lewis: By way of supplementary: Since we are walking the fine line here of possible criminality, I point out to him that he went to his legal advisers about it, he was that sufficiently concerned. Why is he not prepared to turn it over to the special investigations branch of the QPP, or to acme major investigative effort, to find out how, over the period of time, supermarkets -- major, dominant supermarkets in Ontario -- were able to engage in this practice which everyone finds offensive and which may have contravened the law? Will he conduct a serious investigation of the behaviour of the supermarkets starting, if I may say, and I bring this question to an end, by bringing the operators of the supermarkets into his office and taking the records that they have of all the discounts which they imposed over the period of those months?

Hon. W. Newman: I said a minute ago that I would consult the crown officers again to get more details on the legality of the situation.

Mr. Warner: The minister has had months.

Hon. W. Newman: I would also point out to the member who is so anxious to jump on these sort of situations -- and I admire him for it -- that we were on this situation, we have corrected the situation and we will look into this.

Mr. MacDonald: It has been there for a year; the minister never knew it was going on.

Hon. W. Newman: The member never brought it up nor did anybody else. He stood over there in his pious attitude. I get a little tired of his pious attitude. We’ll look into it and we’ll get more information for the member.


Mr. Speaker: Order. The hon. member for Essex South.

Mr. Warner: You should have acted. You wait until the opposition brings it up.

Mr. Mancini: I have a supplementary, Mr. Speaker --

Mr. Lewis: If it’s wrong now, it was wrong several months ago.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Mancini: I have a supplementary to the minister --

Ron. W. Newman: Don’t sit over there with your pious attitude.

Mr. Lewis: Well imagine if a small businessman did it how the minister would turn on him. Loblaws does it and the minister turns the other cheek.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: Loblaws is one of your sponsors, be careful.

Mr. Lewis: They are not one of my sponsors.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: I heard they sponsored a show the other morning.

Mr. Lewis: You didn’t because I’m off.

Mr. Speaker: Order, order.

Hon. B. Stephenson: What about Torstar?

Mr. Speaker: Order, order.


Mr. Speaker: I will be back in 10 minutes. Mr. Speaker suspended proceedings for seven minutes.

Mr. Speaker: Order. When we recessed we had five minutes left in the question period. I will now recognize the member for Grey-Bruce with a new question.


Mr. Sargent: Mr. Speaker, this question is to the Premier. I’d like to say that last night I spoke to several thousand people regarding the Niagara Escarpment, among many other excellent speakers --

Hon. Mr. Davis: Your modesty is too much.

Mr. Sargent: -- and I want to congratulate the member for Wellington-Dufferin-Peel.

Mr. Speaker: Order. Will the honourable member please take his seat? I must remind him that this is a question period; it is not for congratulating members of the Legislature or drawing to our attention that there was a meeting someplace. If you have a question to ask, will you please put it.

Mr. Sargent: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Having said that, we spoke to many thousand people last night in Orangeville regarding the escarpment, where hundreds of documented cases of persecution --

Some hon. members: Question.

Mr. Speaker: Order. Order.


Mr. Sargent: I will not, I want to put this question.

Mr. Speaker: Order. Will the honourable member please take his seat? I have recognized you on two different occasions in the last two minutes for the purpose of putting a question. I ask the member, if he has a question to put, put it forthwith and directly.

Mr. Sargent: On a point of privilege --

Mr. Speaker: What is your point of privilege?


Mr. Sargent: Sit down and I’ll tell you.

Mr. Speaker: You don’t have a point of privilege. This House --

Mr. Sargent: Why can’t I ask a question about the escarpment commission?

Mr. Speaker: You ask why can’t you ask a question?

Mr. Sargent: Give me a chance.

Mr. Speaker: Why can’t you ask a question?

Mr. Sargent: All right. I'll try it.

I want to ask the Premier, in view of the fact there were thousands of concerned people there because of the persecution of the escarpment, when I asked for a vote to demand that the Premier abolish totally the Niagara Escarpment Commission, thousands of people stood up and said they wanted him to abolish it. I say to the Premier, before this serious situation explodes and him being a respecter of people power, what is his position?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I understand the member’s colleague has introduced a private hill that really doesn’t go quite as far as the member is suggesting. I have met some of those who share this concern. Portions of the escarpment are within the town of Caledon, part of my former riding. I recognize the concern of the --


Hon. Mr. Davis: I am trying to answer the question. I’m trying not to be provocative. I would only remind the member for St. George (Mrs. Campbell), if she wants to be a little bit snide, that her party supported the Niagara Escarpment legislation. They supported it in principle, and voted for it, let her not ever forget it. Her party was part of the legislation that was passed.

We know there’s a problem. We know part of it is misunderstanding, and part of it is the process going on. This government is aware of it. We’re concerned about it. We think there are some solutions that are reasonably acceptable.

When the Gertler report came down, when the debate went on in this House and we were pressed by both parties opposite in terms of the Gertler report, in terms of the protection of the escarpment as being a unique part of the province of Ontario, some of you people made speeches on the subject. No one anticipated that it would be without some difficulty. No one wants to see property rights interfered with. No one wants to see limitations.

Mr. Sargent: How can you say that?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I’m trying to answer without becoming upset. I know what the honourable member wanted to say initially in his question and was precluded from saying, although I know he said it last night. This government, through the legislation, appointed the commission and I guess it was to have been anticipated that there would be some people who would feel the initial report of the commission was, in fact, what would be the ultimate result.

I want to assure the member for Grey-Bruce, and the other members who are affected by this, that this is not the end result. There will be reports and recommendations from the commission. I think there are ways of seeing that the general objective of preservation of the escarpment is maintained, while at the same time, minimizing the impact in terms of the individual owners within the escarpment area.

What I said in my letter to Mr. Shepherd last night, and I know it’s not easy to do before a crowd of some 2,500 or 2,600 people, is that we should try to exercise a certain measure of patience. The commission will be coming forward with certain recommendations and that will be the appropriate time to deal with it.

To answer the honourable member as to whether this government is prepared to scrap the commission, write off the Niagara Escarpment, and say that because of the very understandable political pressure we’re going to opt out totally of our responsibility as legislators to do something about one of the very important and unique areas of the province of Ontario -- that would be irresponsible.

There are solutions. I’m relatively familiar with the problem. I can assure the honourable member I know nearly as much about it as he does. Not quite as much, but nearly. I’m just as sensitive to the concerns of those owners as he may be. I can’t tell him today that we’re going to abandon the commission and write off the escarpment. I would feel very badly if the majority of members opposite were to suggest to the government that that’s the approach we should take.



Hon. Mr. Baetz tabled a discussion paper on Perspectives on Access to Sunlight.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, I am today tabling a discussion paper on Perspectives on Access to Sunlight, which outlines the existing law on the subject of solar access and examines a number of possible legal methods to protect solar access in Ontario. These include private agreements, restrictive covenants, and solar zoning.

My hope is that later this year my ministry might be in a better position to introduce legislation on this subject matter, which might well be of crucial importance to our society in the years ahead.

Mr. Wildman: Did you consult with the member for London South (Mr. Walker)?


Mrs. Campbell from the standing members’ services committee presented the committee’s report which was read as follows and adopted:

Your committee recommends that the three policy secretariats and the legislative administrative office located in room 151 be moved from the legislative building no later than August 30, 1978, and the space allocated to Mr. Speaker for reallocation.

Your committee is of the opinion that the Minister of Government Services (Mr. Henderson), when allocating the funds in his budget, should give first priority to the relocation of these offices.

On motion by Hon. Mr. Welch, the debate was adjourned.


Mr. Breaugh from the standing procedural affairs committee presented the committee’s report which was read as follows and adopted:

Your committee has carefully examined the following applications for private acts and finds the notices as published in each case sufficient: the City of London; Hamilton Civic Hospital.

Hon. Mr. Welch moved that standing order 62(a) be suspended for Bill Pr21, An Act respecting the City of Cornwall, so that the bill which is to be introduced later today may be considered by the standing administration of justice committee tomorrow.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Welch moved that the reporting date for the general government committee’s review of sessional paper 13, a report on Policy Options for Continuing Tenant Protection, be extended from June 1 to June 15.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Welch moved that the time for consideration of the estimates of the Ministry of Health be reduced from 20 hours to 11 hours.

Motion agreed to.



Mr. Samis moved first reading of Bill Pr4, An Act respecting the City of Cornwall.

Motion agreed to.


Mr. Speaker: The member for Downsview (Mr. di Santo) filed the required notice of his dissatisfaction to the answer given by the Provincial Secretary for Social Development (Mrs. Birch) concerning multiculturalism last Tuesday. This matter will be debated at 10:30 this evening.

Similarly, the hon. member for Oakwood (Mr. Grande) was dissatisfied with his answer on a related matter and this also will be debated after 10:30 this evening.


Hon. Mr. Welch: Before the orders of the day, I wish to table the answer to question 10 and the interim answer to question 31 standing on the notice paper. I wish to table the response to petitions presented to the House sessional papers 64, 61, and 68.

During my absence, an answer was tabled on March 28 to question 18, order paper no. 11, and unfortunately, there was an error in the answer. I am today tabling a revision to that answer.



Mr. Samis moved second reading of Bill Pr4, An Act respecting the City of Cornwall.

Motion agreed to.

The bill was also given third reading on motion.


Mr. Rotenberg moved second reading of Bill Pr10, An Act to revive Congregation Beth Am.

Motion agreed to.

The bill was also given third reading on motion.



Mr. Elgie, on behalf of Mr. Turner, moved second reading of Bill Pr15, An Act to dissolve the William Hall Peterborough Protestant Poor Trust.

Motion agreed to.

The bill was also given third reading on motion.

Mr. Nixon: It seems a shame.



Mr. Breaugh moved second reading of Bill 64, An Act to amend the Legislative Assembly Act.

Mr. Speaker: The honourable member for Oshawa, for up to 20 minutes.

Mr. Nixon: Oh my.

Mr. Breaugh: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I knew you’d like that.

I hear little grumblings in the House this afternoon, Mr. Speaker, about some avid support of this bill dwindling somewhat. I hope it is not substantive.

I don’t want to go on at great length because this matter has been debated, of course, by the Camp commission itself, and has also been debated by the Morrow committee which is a committee of this House investigating the matter. In both instances a clear consensus was evident and that was that this building per se ought to be under the control of the Speaker of the House. I might say there has been I think, a relative consensus among almost all members that some form of this ought to happen. In a variety of ways at a variety of committee meetings, in discussions on the Camp commission and in various other estimates that have been brought before the House, members on all sides of the House have expressed this one common goal. The Speaker is our representative, our person, collectively as a group of parliamentarians in this House. He represents us, and we would like to see the building under his control.

In essence, what we have arrived at so far, are various forms of compromise on that matter. It seems to me a simple matter if we take one perspective on it. I know, for example, the present Minister of Government Services (Mr. Henderson) has gone in large measure toward accommodating this request. I understand there are some difficulties, and I am not suggesting that support for this bill in principle solves all of the problems. Nor am I really suggesting we will have a massive changeover in terms of who actually does what around this building. But I am suggesting the principle of the bill is important to us as members of this House. That has clearly been established by a commission outside of the House, by a committee in the House, and by this House in actions taken last spring. From all sides of the House we have heard this. The problem seems to be when we get to that point where we attempt to make a decision, we can’t seem to arrive at the formalities of it all.

I don’t really understand all of the complexities of modern government, I guess, but I would put forward this argument. I think it is important in ran historical sense. I think it is important in a parliamentary sense that this House and its environment belong to the members of this House and that we put all of those things under the jurisdiction of the Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, you represent all of us, and we feel on most days -- sometimes not all days, but most days -- that you represent our interests fairly. You make decisions which have to be made, not always popular decisions, that is true, but decisions which must be made. I put the case to the House that it is our collective judgement that you ought to be the one who has sole jurisdiction over this building and the grounds. In essence, this is a very simple bill which does just that.

In practical terms, there will be a need for a great many assistants. All I am saying is that as a final arbitrator and as a decider, you are very often asked to make decisions over properties, rooms, whatever, that you really don’t have control over. You are asked to make the decision and yet you don’t have the control. I think this House ought to rectify that.

I appreciate there are some problems. I appreciate that those who are entrenched in various offices around here happen to be in positions of great influence and power which they exercise quite freely. Though they might be prepared to say that a simple piece of legislation like this is all well a: d good in terms of parliamentary tradition or in terms of historical context or in terms of what is right, when you get right down to the nitty-gritty of saying let’s do that there seems to be great reluctance under way. I’m not making an eloquent case, or any case at all, that members of this House ought to have decent office accommodation. I think, by and large, that’s irrelevant. I would put to you that there are members on the government bench who couldn’t get in and out of my particular office; if you put animals of any kind in there with no daylight and no air the humane society would get after them.

Mr. Foulds: That used to be my office.

Mr. Breaugh: I am going to set aside that rather inelegant argument about the accommodation for various members and attempt to deal with the straight principle of the thing, that this building quite properly -- and we all recognize it -- ought to be under the sole jurisdiction of the Speaker. I’m not accepting the argument that little coloured maps showing portions of the building under the control of the Speaker and other portions under somebody else is an acceptable compromise to me. It strikes me that it is not. It strikes me that we do it all a great disservice when we fuddle the argument with such contradictions and good common sense as that

I note the work of the members’ services committee, which I think has done a great service to the House in attempting to wrestle with the practical problems, hut I want to say, in concluding my opening remarks, Mr. Speaker, that I think it is a simple basic principle that we ought to have control of this building. ICs as simple as that. And we, collectively, will he expressed in terms, as it is in this act, of Mr. Speaker.

I think there is ample justification in every parliament in the world to have it done in that way. I am saying it avoids the inconveniences and the awkwardness of having a government minister, for example, as the present Minister of Government Services does, make decisions that are a little too sensitive perhaps from time to time and that cause problems elsewhere. That is properly, in my view, the role of the Speaker of the House and I think we certainly have the precedents on this.

We can’t strike any more committees; it’s not possible. We can’t have another royal commission; we’ve already done that. We can’t reinvent the wheel, though I suspect we might try to do that We are down to that point where even as part of our provisional standing orders the government has been asked to make known its position, It hasn’t really done that yet. It strikes me that this is a simple matter, but one that should be important to members of this House, one that would solve a few administrative problems, that’s true; one that may cause a few others, that’s true as well.

I’m not suggesting that there will be a massive change tomorrow. If my sense of support for this bill comes through and we do get it passed through this House and off to committee, I’m not suggesting there will be a radical change in anything around the place. I am saying we would simply have established a basic principle that the members should not be subservient to anyone else, that this Parliament stands by itself and that the building and its grounds come under the jurisdiction of Mr. Speaker. It seems to me that case has been made in as many forms as I could conceive of, in as many ways as I could conceive of, by members from all three political parties in this House and from people outside of the political process itself.

It strikes me that we are then left with a very simple and basic decision: Should the Speaker have control over the Legislative Assembly? It seems to me we have already got agreement on that matter. What will interest me, I am afraid, this afternoon is the action of a government which has agreed to that, which had one of its fairest and most formidable proponents, Dalton Camp, do a study on it, which had another very distinguished member of its own party, Don Morrow, chair a committee; both recommendations were identical. I think we have heard government members say at great length that they agree with the concepts expressed in this bill and the principle that it contains. I wonder, will we see them now this afternoon move to that?

If they have problems or if they are reluctant for some practical reasons to say that we can’t do this now, I would remind them that it is not necessarily law tomorrow morning, that there are provisions for working it out. I would like to point out that in the bill I did suggest a reasonable amount of time, a little better than six months, to give everyone notice, and it’s hardly any surprise that this bill was coming or that at some point in time this House would have to deal with the matter.

I think I have put the case as simply as I can, which was the purpose of the exercise, and not to get into a long diatribe about the privileges of the members or the traditions of parliaments throughout the world. I do think it is important for us to restate simply that we are one of the few parliaments in the world that does not have this, that it’s something that we clearly all recognize and I think it is time that the members of this House, in the form of this private bill, gave support to that to establish that principle.

I will reserve some remarks for the closing of the debate, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, frankly, the bill before us is a premature bill. I can’t think of anything that is more premature than what’s been brought forward today.

Mr. Breaugh: It was five years ago when Dalton recommended it.

Mr. Walker: No one doubts, Mr. Speaker, that at some point in time the complete Legislature area --

Mr. Martel: Here comes the guillotine.

Mr. Walker: -- is going to be turned over to the Speaker. There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that that will occur before too many months have gone by.

Mr. Wildman: Before sunset?

Mr. Martel: Where did they dig you out of, Gord?

Mr. Walker: But I cannot think of anything that’s more premature than the bill that’s been presented before us.

The question really is when will the turnover occur? At the moment, Mr. Speaker, I would have to say that the jurisdiction is, of course, a shared jurisdiction.

Mr. Mattel: Are you being re-elected?

Mr. Walker: One has to ask, “What’s wrong with the shared jurisdiction?” That’s the first question one might ask, and why not? What is the problem with the shared jurisdiction? It seems to have worked in the past. In fact, it seems to have worked going back to when this building was erected at about 1892 or so. Somehow, the nails --

Mr. Mattel: You stay around and listen, Gord.

Mr. Walker: -- seem to be driven into the areas of the building that need to be fixed, and somehow the paint seems to go on the walls, and somehow the Minister of Government Services or his predecessor who looked after the jurisdiction of his area, seemed to resolve the repair problem and seemed to resolve most of the difficulties without any difficulty at all.

There is a shared jurisdiction. I have to cite the member for York South (Mr. Mac Donald) who screamed across at the gentile Minister of Government Services just last week.

Mr. Wildman: Did you say gentile minister?

Mr. Walker: Genteel.

Mr. Breaugh: You were perhaps more accurate the first time.

Mr. Walker: The member for York South yelled over at the Minister of Government Services last week and said, “It’s none of your damned business about this House.” But the problem is, Mr. Speaker, that it is the business of the Government Services minister. The jurisdiction is shared.

There is an order in council which gives the Minister of Government Services responsibility over a certain portion of the building. There is no question, Therefore, it is his business. It is by law his business. It may change. It may change at some appropriate time but, surely, at this moment, at this time, for the member for Oshawa to be suggesting that the whole legislative building should be seized from the Minister of Government Services --

Mr. Breaugh: Seized?

Mr. Martel: Throttle him by the throat, no less.

Mr. Breaugh: Seized is the legal term.

Mr. Walker: -- and yield it over to the services of the Speaker, certainly raises questions about whether or not he’s framed this bill properly.

Mr. Wildman: Let’s nationalize the Legislature.

Mr. Breaugh: Some days you give some credence to that notion, though.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: The truth hurts.

Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, the minister, just a week ago, appeared before the committee on members’ services, chaired by the member for St. George, and presented to the committee a number of proposals that would ultimately bring all members into this building, perhaps, or perhaps the Whitney building, but anyway these matters were discussed at that point in time. Sketches were prepared and presented as to how members might have their accommodation, how they’d be sharing certain common services in the secretarial area and have separate offices that are befitting the office. The member for Oshawa very properly pointed out that the facilities provided in the north wing for members of the opposition are certainly not adequate at the moment. That is very much the case. No one would argue that that is not the case.

Mr. Martel: Margaret, can you see what is happening?

Mrs. Campbell: Yes.

Mr. Martel: Why don’t they give the member for London South a room in the basement?

Mr. Walker: They are totally inadequate facilities up there --

Mr. Martel: But the bill is premature.

Mr. Walker: -- but the minister has appeared before us and has presented a proposal which would bring about the ultimate relocation of all members to either this building or parts of this building and other buildings.

It would be very difficult to give the members all the necessary space in this particular building. There are some real physical problems, although I tend to think this is a more appropriate place for all members to be located. I know that all the caucuses are considering the matter and wonder whether they wish to be located in this building or located in another building, such as the Whitney building. The whole thing, Mr. Speaker, is in a state of flux and the minister is presently making plans and showing how the building could be renovated to provide facilities for all the members.


There is, of course, a very high cost attached to any additional renovations that may go into this building. It would be very costly to do; even to lift a board around this building is an extremely costly affair and it’s going to involve an awful lot of money. I think the government would want to be very sure that the facilities and the moneys were available and properly warranted before any official change occurred. Nevertheless, if there were to be a change, as we assume there will be, then at some appropriate time the Speaker would take the jurisdiction for the members’ facilities that are located right here in this building.

The debate today is premature, and I say that for a number of reasons. We have before us this very day a report, put forward by the members’ services committee, that was accepted by the Legislature. The debate on it was adjourned, but that would see the policy secretariats moving out of this building by August 31 and the property then being ceded over to the Speaker for jurisdiction. That’s to be debated sometime in the future. That’s a committee on which colleagues of the member for Oshawa served and they, I am sure, were part of this morning’s deliberations that brought forward a recommendation from that committee for the transfer of the policy secretariat areas.

Mr. Speaker, it is certainly premature at this point in time to be discussing any of these things.

Mr. Cassidy: Perhaps you think this province is premature after only a century of existence.

Mr. Walker: No, the only one around here thought was premature was the member for Ottawa Centre.

Mr. Speaker, the government is responsible For the expenditure of money. It is held accountable for all the expenditures of money. It’s held accountable by the public in particular for whatever money is spent by the assembly itself. While it is very easy to say that the assembly spends the money or the Board of Internal Economy may make a recommendation, the fact is that the government of the day is held accountable for it; and if there are to be members’ offices, it will involve probably several millions of dollars that are going to have to flow through the system. It’s a very large expense --

Mr. Martel: It is $20 million to be precise.

Mr. Walker: -- and I think the government is going to have to be extremely sure of the funding base for that money. The Board of Internal Economy is made up of members of all parties of the Legislature, but there is a majority of members of the government party on it and they must approve all the expenditures. Perhaps the building at some point in time may be ceded over to the Speaker for total jurisdiction, but I would remind the members opposite that in this particular ease all the approval for expenditure would have to go through the Board of Internal Economy; so the government will have some certain say in that regard.

I would like to thank the Leader of the Opposition. who is not here at the moment, hut who last week publicly backed up the views of the Premier in cautioning members of committees against excessive expenditures, and this might be one of those situations where we must be very cautious. The members’ services committee should be careful that it doesn’t involve the government in a great deal of expenditure, as indeed all the committees of the Legislature should be very cautious about it.

Mr. Warner: We are always trying to help you.

Mr. Foulds: What does that have to do with this bill?

Mr. Walker: The bill is premature because there are deliberations going on at the moment, relative to the report accepted just 10 minutes ago or 15 minutes ago by this House, that would see a future debate on the question of some areas of the House. It’s premature because the Minister of Government Services is actively involved at present with the members’ services committee of this House to establish the proper types of accommodation for all the members of the House; when that accommodation is ultimately established and ultimately in place, I don’t think the Minister of Government Services would wait a moment to turn over the actual jurisdiction to the Speaker.

The question at this moment in time, Mr. Speaker, is whether or not we should approve Bill 4, as presented by the member for Oshawa. It is a premature bill. Six months from now it may not be a premature bill, but at the moment it certainly is.

Mr. Breaugh: That’s when it comes into effect -- six months from now.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order.

Mrs. Campbell: Mr. Speaker, I am a little perturbed at the suggestion that the bill, which is not to take effect immediately, should be deemed to be premature.

Mr. Warner: The member didn’t read the bill. He’s going to read the bill now.

Mrs. Campbell: I have before me the actual date on which the original commission was appointed, and that was Friday, June 9, 1972.

Mr. Martel: Do you hear that, Gordon?

Mrs. Campbell: That commission was one that did a very extensive study, and then the Morrow committee was set up to study the study, and that committee reported. I am certainly wondering when one gets to the time when something is not premature in this House --

Mr. Walker: When it is not premature.

Mrs. Campbell: I suppose 34 years is not premature, if we take it to that ultimate conclusion.

I don’t want to be controversial in this matter. I simply want to be realistic, if I can he realistic on the subject. We are saying that there is a principle involved. The principle is that this House should operate in the same fashion as the House in Ottawa, in that there the House is under the jurisdiction of Mr. Speaker. Of course, so also are the buildings of Westminster. I wonder why it is that it is so difficult to accept that principle. As I read the bill, that is what we are doing today: We are accepting the principle, and I thought that the principle was one that was supported by all of the members of the members’ services committee.

It is true that the timing is something that that committee has been deliberating. We have tried to struggle through the various problems. But I think what we have to recognize is this: It seems obvious that there is a very serious misunderstanding between the minister and the rest of us as to what his Functions are.

He refers to “his” committee rooms. I think the only committee room which we can say legitimately at this point is his, is room 228. It has been used for committee purposes but has been retained by the minister under his jurisdiction and has not been transferred to Mr. Speaker so that the Clerk of this House could actually function with that committee as part of his ongoing space allocation.

There is no doubt at all, surely, in the mind of any member of this House that we are seriously short of committee room space to accommodate all of the committees which are sitting from time to time. Yet we cannot, even where there is a real: consensus, get on with the removal of the offices of the Legislative Assembly to provide another committee room for one of the small committees which is functioning, or attempting to function, from time to time in all sorts of space.

I suggest that we are wasting space in the building. We are relying on the old committee rooms which are unnecessarily large for members’ services, for example, perhaps for procedural affairs, or perhaps for statutory instruments. But when we see that there is a complete misunderstanding of the meaning of the precincts of this House, we have to get down to adopting the principle. The precincts of the House have great importance for all the members.

We know there are certain things which cannot be done within the precincts of the House. A member cannot be served with legal documents within the precincts of the House, except in a criminal matter, when one could be served with the consent of Mr. Speaker.

It is important that we, as members, have in mind at all times what really does constitute the precincts of the House. Philosophically, of course, it must mean this entire building.

One of the things which has bothered me about the approach of the Minister of Government Services, and I understand his problem, I really do, when he suggests he must bring forth proposals for the allocation of space to the members is that this is not the function of the minister. The allocation of space to members, as the allocation of space for committees, is the function of Mr. Speaker and the Clerk.

Yet we seem: to be trying to get through an almost impossible barrier to explain that this is the very real situation. You may recall that a previous Minister of Government Services was called upon to report to the House on the fact that she had engaged the services of a consultant to look at this building without considering the role of Mr. Speaker at all. This creates problems for all of us.

As a matter of principle, there shouldn’t be any question of any member in the House that this is the legislative building and really belongs to the legislators and the support staff.

Mr. Haggerty: Right on.

Mrs. Campbell: Surely that can’t be questioned.

Mr. Haggerty: Right on.

Mrs. Campbell: No one has questioned the right of the Premier or the right of the cabinet to be in this House because that is a function of the House. But when we find we have a Minister of Government Services suggesting we should move over to the Whitney Block, one has to wonder where the precincts of the House will be in those circumstances.

I would like some clarification from the minister, because to the depths of my soul, I really don’t believe he understands the situation.

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

Mrs. Campbell: May I just say, by way of an apology for the last remarks, that I recognize he’s new in this position.

Mr. Martel: I regret that my friend from London South has vacated the premises after he gave us his little premature statement because I want to talk about this select committee --

Mr. Warner: Gone to the Whitney Block.


Mr. Martel: -- and its report, which said this building should come under the Speaker. I want to quote from the report to show the minister what has happened in this building. This was an all-committee report which was unanimous. Let me give him just one of the illustrations that came out of the unanimous report.

It said: “Maintenance has been piecemeal and the resulting deterioration of the core is obvious. Worn carpets, exposed wire, cracked ceilings, peeled painting, poor lighting and makeshift repairs are visible in every area of the building.” And get this: “Apart from the ministry suites, the furnishings are dreary, worn and ill-suited to the legislative needs.”

That’s why, Mr. Speaker, you must get charge of the building, because from the Speaker we as legislators on this side of the House expect something called fairness. I must indicate to you that it has not occurred to date when this has rested with the Minister of Government Services. I’ll document that rather carefully, Mr. Speaker, with your indulgence.

Later on it says: “The offices are inadequate and uncomfortable to work in. They are cramped, poorly lighted, poorly ventilated, and they are too small to receive delegations. In addition, there is little administrative flexibility.”

My friend says we’re premature in wanting that. He says we don’t have the money. The select committee, which was headed up by a former Speaker, Mr. Morrow, said the following: “In 1971, a major plan was prepared for the installation of air conditioning in the building. Although the plan did not include any rehabilitation of the structure, given the age of the building, the plan included replacement of the electrical system and, therefore, considerable redecoration. The plan was deferred at the time for economic reasons.”

That’s what the member for London South gave us again this afternoon. He said it was premature and then that we don’t have funds. Those of us who studied the building know full well that the Tories met their needs. I’ll give you a few examples which we documented, Mr. Speaker. Let me give you the space allocations in the building. The government members and staff -- there are 19 of them outside of the cabinet, I believe -- have 11,000 square feet. The Premier has 14,800 square feet. My friend shakes his head -- 14,000.

Mr. Havrot: It is unbelievable.

Mr. B. Newman: That is bigger than your office.

Mr. Martel: The member is wrong. The cabinet has 9,606 square feet and the sessional offices for ministers have 5,262. The Tories have 40,000 square feet in this building. The New Democratic caucus, at the time we were the official opposition, had the sum total of 13,933 square feet and the Liberals had 13,938.

Mr. Worton: That was pretty even.

Mr. Martel: It was pretty even with us. The Tories have triple the space of any one of these parties. They have one and a half times the space with 10 fewer members than these two parties combined. That’s why it can’t stay in Government Services any longer. That’s why it must come under the Speaker, so that there is some equity.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: It’s the ability that counts.

Mr. Martel: Ability, yes, ability to manoeuvre and wheel and deal and ignore this side of the Legislature. The minister has done it with numbers and ignored need totally. He can sit here and say it’s premature, as my friend from London South has, but these were facts calculated by calculators with staff available to the Morrow committee:

Mr. Haggerty: It is a fact.

Mr. Martel: I suggest to my friend, who’s leaving and says it isn’t factual, that former Speaker Morrow, the member for Middlesex (Mr. Eaton) and the new Minister for Revenue (Mr. Maeck) agreed with the report. That’s what’s wrong with the system.

Mr. Havrot: I don’t believe them.

Mr. Martel: There is equality in here but there are degrees. There are those who are more equal than others. If it’s so premature, I suggest to the Tory backbenchers, who will get up to guillotine the bill today, that they change offices and space allocations with us over here.

Mr. Wildman: They can have our offices.

Mr. Martel: We’ll give them our offices gladly. They are ill lighted, aren’t ventilated and are a mess.

Mr. Wildman: No windows.

Mr. Warner: They’re a little quiet over there.

Mr. Martel: But no, we will all get up and say sanctimoniously that it is premature.

Not only the space for members is terrible. I recall the Health debate downstairs, just a couple of weeks ago, the day the Treasurer was there. There were people sitting on the floors; there were people who couldn’t get into the committee room. The committee rooms aren’t big enough; they aren’t properly equipped. The whole place reeks -- it really does -- because of the inactivity of this government.

Let me tell you what the select committee also said. Again, my friend from London South said that there was no money, but at the same time the committee noted that there was money for the preservation of historic buildings such as Osgoode Hall, Victoria Hall in Cobourg, the city hall in Kingston, Norfolk county court in Simcoe -- all good Tory ridings, of course. We could find money for that. We can find money for Tory offices, but we can’t find money for the legislative building, We can’t give it authority where there will be neutrality. That’s what this is all about. We should make this a legislative building which functions for all. It must be a building where we can do the work, not in splendour, no one is suggesting that at all, but in adequate facilities.

Let me give you another example, the caucus space that has been allocated -- I want the member for Timiskaming to hear this, if I could just get his attention for a moment -- the caucus space down in the basement. The Liberals used to have that caucus space. It is very badly designed because there are pillars all over which you can’t get around. We had the caucus space that the Liberals now have, which is too small. But the Tories have 1,200 square feet. Oh, isn’t that lovely? The Tories have 1,200 square feet. Again, they manage to look after themselves well. It comes out of that fairness called the Ministry of Government Services. I am not suggesting that this minister is responsible; he is relatively new. He might bring with him a sense of fairness, but I think the only one we can really, ultimately, look to is the Speaker, to get the type of fairness which will, in fact, improve conditions.

I have mentioned committee rooms. When the select committee went to Ottawa, they looked at the Senate room which is a very spartan room but certainly much more adequate than what we have here.

Mr. Speaker, with your indulgence I just want to read the final passage of the select committee’s report. It will only take me a moment. It says in this report -- and I remind you that it was signed by three Conservatives. It was a unanimous report. “As indicated in appendix X, the total office and meeting room space available is approximately 117,000 square feet, about 11,000 more than the projected requirements for offices and committee rooms for the current 125 members.”

Did you hear that? There is space for every member in here to have adequate facilities, to have adequate committee rooms, to have adequate caucus rooms. It just takes a desire. This government hasn’t demonstrated that.

“The Speaker should allocate this space to the additional needs of the library, to the press and to the legislative support services. This 11,000 square feet does not include the space in the basement or on the fifth floor, nor does it include the media studio, the Speaker’s apartment or the 7,500 square feet that the Lieutenant Governor has.”

I want to suggest to you that as they repair this building -- and it will be done in a three-year stage -- at that time we should purchase for the Lieutenant Governor an appropriate residence and take that 7,500 square feet and add it to this facility which is primarily for members, leaving, of course, the Lieutenant Governor an appropriate amount of space, but certainly not 7,500 square feet.

It is going to be an interesting vote this afternoon.

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

Mr. Martel: One final point. It is going to be interesting this afternoon to see how those members who served on the select committee, and those people who have voted on the committee report this morning, are going to vote this afternoon when it comes time to guillotine the bill.

Mr. Williams: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to participate in the debate on the bill before us this afternoon.

I think that we as elected people are guilty of doing those things which people in other professions are guilty of; namely, of looking after their own needs last. We often hear of a situation where the doctor is the last one to go out and get a medical for himself -- he is concerned more with looking after the needs of his patients -- or the lawyer who Is the last one to make a will for himself. Sometimes we put aside our own needs in the genuine interest and intent of looking after the needs of the people we are trained to serve.

I suppose in that sense we are, as legislators, guilty of committing that offence in that the members of this Legislature and our predecessors have been slow and hesitant to try to improve the physical working conditions within the legislative building and the circumstances under which they would be administered. So in that sense, I certainly disagree with my colleague from London who suggests that a discussion on the topic is premature. But perhaps the presentation of this bill at this time is, in the overall context of the discussion and the attempts to deal with the problem, premature.

I think what I am saying is that there is a right way and a wrong way to go about trying to solve the problem. Indeed we have been slow looking after our own needs. Consequently it is understandable why a great deal of impatience has arisen in some quarters because we have been tardy in attending to these matters.

But I think it can be said to be complimentary of us that we spend so much time attending to the needs of our constituents and the people of Ontario that we have been neglectful in this area. The reports of the Ontario commission on the Legislature have come forward with some very pertinent and relevant recommendations which are difficult to quarrel with. In fact substantively they have well justified some of the recommendations they have put forward.

However, when it is stated in the second report from the Ontario commission on the Legislature that as the Speaker is head of the administration his office should be surrounded with a new sense of prestige and status I question whether this necessarily means that that would require a granting to him or her, as the case may he, of greater geographic territorial domain.

At the present time, while we are trying to come to grips on an all-party basis with this complex problem, we do have an existing set of checks and balances in the form of the Board of Internal Economy under the present legislation. That, I think, provides the sounding board for disagreements, for expression of concern, and for recommendations as to how we can improve our existing lot under the existing physical and other constraints that we have.

I would suggest that we may be labouring tinder some difficulties, but certainly not under a hardship. I am sure a lot of the members in the Legislature have had an opportunity to visit other legislatures. When you compare those with what we have here. I think that we are not hard done by, although it doesn’t do away with some of the difficulties under which we presently operate.


Mr. Speaker, the main concern I have, as I stated a few moments ago, is there is a right way and a wrong way to go about it.

I don’t think forcing the issue at this time, albeit it may be well intentioned, is the right way to go about it.

Mr. Foulds: What is the right way?

Mr. Williams: I don’t think getting up in the House and engaging in rantings and ravings and accusations is the right way to go about it. I don’t think, Mr. Speaker, that reducing the debate to one of picayune argument as to which member of the Legislature for which party has so many square feet as contrasted to the other is really coming to grips with the fundamental issues before us. I think these type of approaches are the wrong way to go about it and sets things back rather than endeavours to bring the issues forward as slowly as it may be moving.

I have noted with interest, as has been commented upon by the other members, the recommendations that came forward today from the standing members’ services committee. They set out a specific set of recommendations, albeit that they are consistent with what is stated in the Camp Committee recommendations. I suggest to you, with respect, Mr. Speaker, that here we are dealing in a piecemeal fashion with the overall problem. It would be far better to deal with these matters in a comprehensive type of presentation, whether it be by legislation or some other form. But to do it in this piecemeal fashion is not really coming to grips with the problem in a comprehensive sense.

The remaining point I wish to make, Mr. Speaker, is to put to rest the suggestion that has been made by the sponsor of the bill that most other jurisdictions provide for the Speaker to have complete control over the legislative building and environs.

I would like to turn to, Mr. Speaker, the present situation in the nine provinces.

Mr. McClellan: Ten.

Mr. Foulds: There are 10 provinces.

Mr. Williams: I would point out to you, Mr. Speaker, that indeed there are only two provinces wherein the Speaker has full control of the legislative building.

Mr. McClellan: Name them.

Mr. Williams: They are the provinces of Newfoundland and British Columbia.

Mr. Breaugh: Here we go, parity with Newfoundland.

Mr. Williams: Short of that, Mr. Speaker --

Mr. Mattel: What about the House of Commons?

Mr. Williams: -- the other legislative assemblies --

Mr. McClellan: Why are you always attacking Newfoundland?

Mr. Williams: -- and the legislative facilities of the other provinces are more parallel to what we have in the province of Ontario.

Mr. Speaker, because I think it should be put on record, I would like to point out exactly what the situation is in the other provinces, just to lay to rest the general accusation that has been made that we are behind the times, and the other governments in Canada, outside of the federal government, are doing things differently from what we are presently doing.

In the province of Prince Edward Island this has not become a contentious issue, although I can’t understand why because --

Mr. Martel: There are all of 76,000 voters.

Mr. McClellan: More people in Bellwoods than there are in PET.

Mr. Williams: -- they probably have the most inadequate facilities of all for their legislators. Having visited their facilities and the legislative chambers, I guess you could fit their legislative chamber three times over into what we have here.

Mr. Martel: I have more people in my riding than they have voters.

Mr. Foulds: It is like a good city council meeting.

Mr. Williams: The clerks of that Legislative Assembly work out the allocation of office space in that particular province.

In the province of Nova Scotia, Mr. Speaker, the Speaker does have jurisdiction over the legislative building except for the space on the first floor which is occupied by the Premier and the Executive Council. Hansard and the members’ offices are, in fact, not in the legislative building in that province. They do have a board of internal economy and the Speaker, as the chairman, and members of the government, in effect determine the allocation of space for the members, as is presently the basic situation here.

Mr. Warner: Are you going to be part of the guillotine today?

Mr. Williams: In the province of Manitoba the Speaker has jurisdiction over the chamber and the committee rooms. Committee rooms are considered too he an extension of the chamber. However, the Speaker has jurisdiction, along with the Minister of Public Works, over the legislative building services for the members, such as the caucus rooms, the library and the members’ offices. Again, decisions are made by a board of internal economy with a membership similar to the membership of our Board of Internal Economy, so the concept of checks and balances is provided in that situation. And indeed, any recommendations of that board of internal economy in the province of Manitoba are also implemented by the Minister of Public Works.

We come to the province of Saskatchewan where, again, responsibilities are shared between the Speaker and the House.

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

Mr. Williams: I regret I can’t put on the record the position with regard to the other provinces, but I think I’ve clearly demonstrated that by and large, provinces throughout Canada are operating under a shared arrangement such as we have today in the province of Ontario. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Conway: I, like my colleague from St. George, rise in support of this particular initiative for basically the same reasons she outlined in her very excellent remarks earlier this afternoon.

I find the remarks of people like the honourable member for Oriole who has just spoken, so incredibly fatuous that it is difficult to take them seriously in this chamber. To hear someone stand up at this time in this legislature’s history and talk about the complex problem being spoken of in this particular regard, to talk of a right way and a wrong way, is just a little short of incredible.

There is no question in my mind that we have before us a piece of legislation which speaks directly to one of the most significant and, indeed, one of the most central recommendations of the very important Camp commission on the Ontario Legislature. I must say, like the member for Sudbury East, I am most interested in sitting here later this afternoon and watching the response of members opposite to this particular bill and the royal commission from which it flows.

Because, as I said earlier, it is a central recommendation on a very important matter relating to this legislature. It is central for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the role of the Speaker within and with regard to this particular parliamentary institution.

To the student of Ontario politics and political science, one of the most interesting observations that can he made about the role of the Speakership in this chamber in this province is that up until not so very long ago, the Speakership did not enjoy the prestige and the power it should enjoy in any parliamentary jurisdiction. This is one apparently small but nonetheless significant measure which speaks very directly to the enhancement of the role of the Speaker of the Ontario Legislature. I, for one, feel very strongly in support of that kind of an initiative.

When I hear the honourable member opposite talk about the right way and the wrong way and about the kind of ongoing dialogue which is necessary for the source of changes which members on this side of the House want to see in regard to changes in space allocation, I am reminded of one very recent occurrence in the standing committee on social development where we had a matter concerning the OHIP premiums being discussed for some three weeks in committee room 1. As a member of the Legislature and a member serving on that committee, I found it quite offensive to be herded into what was almost a shack of a committee room where the minister and his staff could scarcely communicate with one another without tripping over various and sundry interferences, where members of the committee could scarcely talk to one another, where the clerk’s staff could not hand out paper, where the very distinguished members of the press gallery could not find space, where members of the Legislature not sitting on the committee couldn’t find space to listen in to an important deliberation of this Legislature.

I want to say to the member for Oriole, if he thinks that kind of structure, if he thinks that kind of accommodation is satisfactory, then his view of how this Legislature should operate is fundamentally different. This bill speaks to the fundamental priority of the Speaker in the chamber and, flowing from that, to the fundamental importance of the members of the Legislature. I find it rather offensive to see bureaucrats in this building who enjoy far greater office accommodation and in some cases, far better office accommodation than very distinguished members of this chamber. Those bureaucrats deserve the space. Members of the civil service and attendant staff deserve to be well looked after. But where this building is concerned I have to say and I have to believe that members of the Legislature, under the guidance and direction of the Speaker, must come first.

I have got to say, in perhaps a very partisan moment, that I wasn’t particularly pleased about the possibility of significant change in the matter before us here today with the recent cabinet shuffle which brought the honourable member for Lambton into the position of Minister of Government Services. While I think he is a very fascinating politician, and no doubt a very effective member of the government, I do not think -- and this is a personal opinion entirely -- that be shares in any way, shape or form the directions that the Camp commission would have this chamber go or indeed the directions of Bill 64.

I am, I must say, not at all happy to hear the comments the minister made before the members’ services committee last Thursday when he came before the committee and said that he could not perhaps give a full assurance of an earlier commitment to move certain secretariats out of the building before August 1978, a commitment he had made earlier, because of certain restraints which bad been the result of a renegotiated budget.

I think that too is fatuous. I think that too is insulting. I think that too is an indication of how some members opposite wish to treat this building and this Legislature. I enjoin the Minister of Government Services to reconsider that kind of position, to understand that where members of the Legislature are concerned, all members should be given equal consideration.

When I think of the logistical problems that are involved in providing the kind of space allocation we all want, I don’t find it a particularly complex or difficult problem. I find that more than anything else it is a testament to the 35 years’ dominance of one particular party where the executive within this political process has come to dominate this Legislature and up until not so very long ago, I regret to say, to dominate the Speakership in a way which I find repugnant in the extreme. I think Bill 64 and the Camp commission go a long way to changing that particular attitude in this building.

To have the honourable member for Oriole stand up and tell me, among others, that when you compare what is done here with what’s going on in Prince Edward Island, and to expect that kind of argumentation to be taken seriously, why I know that not even the Minister of Energy (Mr. Baetz) would subscribe to that kind of laughable logic.

I am the first one to admit that things have changed. I see the member for Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry (Mr. Villeneuve) here today, and he must be saying to himself, “There are members opposite who, in all of their youthful wisdom, don’t remember what it was like when perhaps members were elected here in 1948.” I would be the first to admit that substantial improvements have been made.

My grandfather tells me that when they came here in the late 1920s, there wasn’t very much given to them outside of their desk in this chamber, and I know the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk could embellish the historical aspects of this to a far greater degree than I could --

Mr. Nixon: I was born in 1928.

Mr. Conway: When we have the Minister of Government Services saying, as he did not so very long ago, that he would not in any way, shape or form consider moving any part of the Premier’s entourage, that he would guarantee to the Premier’s office all the space they would ever require, I have to ask and I have to wonder, given the empire-building that is natural with the prime ministerial ambitions that seem to be afoot in the land, whether in Ontario or otherwise, just what the natural and logical extension of that kind of argument is going to bring us. I am sure that not even the honourable member for Perth (Mr. Edighoffer) or the Speaker in years to come, would be afforded space if the Premier’s entourage was to expand at the exponential rate that it has demonstrated in the recent past.

It is clear that this bill speaks to the fundamental priority of this chamber, the members in it and, most important, of the Speaker and his control. I do not believe there can be a member in good standing of this chamber who would take issue with that fundamental principle.

I will watch with great interest all members later this afternoon to see their response -- a considered and calculated response, as I know it to be -- to this particular bill” because it speaks to a central argument of this parliamentary place and the parliamentary tradition which has brought us all here. It will be an extremely important vote on a matter which I feel strongly in support of. I am pleased to join with other members on this side of the House. I know certain members opposite are in support of it.


Mr. Nixon: The Conservatives wouldn’t dare block this one.

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. The member for Oshawa reserves the balance of his time. The debate completes at 4:40, so he has the balance of the time if he wishes.

Mr. Breaugh: I will defer a couple of minutes to the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere.

Mr. Warner: I gather that Bill 64 is such a great threat to the survival of the Tory government that it must rally the troops and muster the troops to guillotine the bill.

Mr. Nixon: You will see them coming out of the woodwork in an hour.

Mr. Warner: It’s pretty astounding. I have the distinct feeling the first speaker for the government side, the member for London South, neglected to read the explanatory note about the purpose of the bill. The purpose is a very clear one and in keeping with the parliamentary traditions which I assume the government holds up as firmly as we do on this side. That is, we come to this assembly as individual members elected from our respective tidings, and we are to discharge our duties and responsibilities in as forthright a manner as we can, while having respect for the democratic process for the chamber itself, and for the parliamentary traditions which have been developed over more than a hundred years.

We do that, it seems to me, only by having all of our functions come under the rule of the Speaker and done in an open and as equitable a fashion as possible. It should be dealt with that way. Obviously it hasn’t been done to date. If any of the members across the chamber aren’t acquainted with the severity of the problem they should visit our House leader’s office. I shouldn’t use the word office, I should call it a closet. Some members on that side, I am sure, have larger closets in their homes than the space our House leader has for an office. It really is quite appalling. Yet he is expected to carry on the business of this party, and to work, in a fashion, with the government House leader and the House leader of the Liberal Party.

Mr. Martel: it’s smaller than your toilet, Lorne.

Mr. Warner: He could not conduct a meeting in his office with the other two House leaders. There isn’t room for it.

Mr. Nixon: He never invited us.

Mr. Warner: The remarks of the member for London South were well in keeping with his basic principles, because during the committee meetings he stated quite clearly he really didn’t care. He said he didn’t care, and it wasn’t important to him whether the building came under the Speaker or not. I would say that obviously he doesn’t understand the parliamentary traditions of this assembly or perhaps of any other parliamentary assembly.

I think it is also important to note that when the Minister of Government Services came before the members’ services committee he mentioned he couldn’t quite guarantee that the secretariats would move out in August because of the $2 million he had had to give up to the Treasurer. However, he could bring in a supplementary estimate if the members were willing to move to the Whitney Block.

If we were willing to move to the Whitney Block, he could bring in a supplementary estimate to cover that. But he couldn’t bring in a supplementary estimate in order to help move the secretariats out of the building. I don’t know what kind of fair dealing that is, but I object to that, on a matter of pure principle. With respect to the parliamentary traditions of this province, I support the bill. And it will be a moment of sadness in our history when the government guillotines such a basic principle of our parliamentary traditions.

Mr. Acting Speaker: The member for Oshawa. I will remind the member he has three minutes.

Mr. Breaugh: I want to respond to some of the comments that have been made.

The comment was made that the bill is premature. The gestation period for this bill is just over six years now. Almost anything can get born in six years’ time. We’ve had a royal commission, we’ve had a select committee, we have a standing committee of the House, all pointing in the same direction; all saying the same thing. We have had provisional order 43 in the standing orders of this House for over a year now, asking this government to make its position known on this matter.

The plain and simple truth is that this thing is due for a hill in this form. It appears that only a hill will achieve what so many of us, for such a long period of time, have said is worthwhile.

I want to close by making reference to a little book called Parliament and Freedom, by a former Speaker of the British House, Horace King. He detailed in some rather interesting ways the traditions of the House and things that parliamentarians have gone through to get to the privileges and the state of the art as it is today. It goes back to the days when the Speaker was chosen from among the members to say what they thought should be said to the king and reluctance to assume the Speaker’s chair was not merely one of the traditions, you were afraid for your life.

When members spoke in the House they weren’t always sure they would get a chance to speak or that they wouldn’t wind up in the Tower or have their head removed. I am fearful of the guillotine which seems to he suggested again and it reminds me of the early days of the British Parliament I just want to quote this one small passage:

“Queen Elizabeth managed her Parliaments with skill, making concessions when the struggle grew dangerous for her and asserting her power ruthlessly at other times. She was succeeded by the Stuarts, James I and Charles I, both of whom made stubborn and obstinate attempts to break the growing power of Parliament because they believed in the divine right of kings to do what they liked.”

Mr. Martel: So do the Tories.

Mr. Breaugh: Mr. Speaker, I put it to you this afternoon that if we see this bill guillotined, the divine right of kings is alive and well in the province of Ontario. The king is William of Brampton and it would be a sad day for this Parliament to see that happen.

Mr. Warner: Right on. Divine right of Tories.

Mr. Acting Speaker: The time for debate on this item has expired.

Mr. Warner: The divine right of Tories.


Mr. Havrot moved resolution No. 11:

Resolved: That in the opinion of this House the government should give consideration to legislation that would prohibit the transfer of leased crown lots in the province of Ontario to anyone other than Canadian citizens.

Mr. Havrot: I’m pleased to be presenting my resolution under the new rule governing private members’ business The new system is very valuable because it allows all of us to bring forward ideas and have them discussed. Not all the bills and resolutions get approved, but they all get a chance to be discussed. That is precisely the case with the resolution I propose at this time.

I believe strongly in the principle of leasing crown lots for cottages, particularly in the north. Leasing makes it a lot more possible for Ontario residents to have a cottage and enjoy our natural surroundings. But I’m getting a bit ahead of myself.

What is important here is that I have an idea which may or may not have full support here in the Legislature but it is an idea that has the opportunity to be debated this afternoon.

The present policy with regard to leased crown lots was established by legislation in 1971. The central features of the policy are contained in Ontario regulation 246-71 under the Public Lands Act. Section 8 of the regulation prohibits the sale of crown land for private use.

The first crown lots to be leased under this system came up in 1972 and the leases run for 21 years. The present system calls for the Following procedure: When a block of lots comes up for leasing only Ontario residents can bid for them in the first year. In the second year, only Ontarians and other Canadian residents can bid. In the third year anyone can bid for the leases.

Once the lease is registered in the name of the successful bidder, a cottage must be built on the land within two years. That sounds fine to this point. However, once a cottage is constructed, the lease can be transferred to anyone. In answer to those who might say that my suggestion of limiting the transfer of leases to Canadians is overly restrictive, I would say we are not dealing here with private land. We are dealing with crown land, land that belongs to all of us here in Ontario.

I’m sure others will ask: “What about Canadians who buy property in the United States?” Here again, we are not dealing with crown land. The great majority of Canadians who buy in, say, Florida are buying private property that has been developed for that purpose. Here in Ontario the number of lots available for lease is somewhat limited. There is much more demand for the lots than there are lots to go around. I see these lots as a resource that could be exploited for Canadians only.

The interesting fact about leased lots is that the fees are very reasonable. In a sense then, the lots are being subsidized by the people of Ontario. When the lease is transferred to others, we end up subsidizing the lease holders from other countries. In the main, it has been my experience that those people who come up here from the United States are better off than many of the residents of northern Ontario. They can afford to travel great distances to reach their summer cottages, whereas many of the people in my riding can’t afford to go very far afield for theft holidays. It seems only fair to me that more people in Ontario -- particularly northern Ontario -- should be in a position to lease a crown lot.

One other aspect of leasing that is particularly appealing to me is the fact that it is much less expensive than buying a lot. When an individual leases a lot, he does not tie up so much money and is, therefore, freer to build a cottage. There are a great many people who simply can’t afford to buy a lot and build a cottage. I would like to see as many people as possible enjoy the benefits of living in a cottage in our province. I think leasing is the answer and I want to see the leased lots stay available to Canadians once they are developed.

I don’t want to be misunderstood. I repeat that I’m only concerned about crown lots that are a resource of the people of this province. There is plenty of private land around for development and sale, and I don’t think there should be too many restrictions on its use. But crown lots are relatively scarce and I think they should be kept in our hands.

I would like to point out that I just had a directive from the Real Estate Board of Ontario where thee cottage lots in my area were sold privately -- one at $5,000, one at $5,500 and another lot at $9,000. That gives some indication as to the costs of a lot to an individual who would like to own a cottage. By leasing, this would free the funds to build a cottage.

I am the last person to be worried about an invasion of people from other countries. We welcome them at all times. Tourism is a great boon to this province and this country. I know, as well, that large numbers of Ontarians head south for holidays, especially In the winter. I wouldn’t want anything to interfere with the goodwill and partnership we share with our neighbours. In fact, I would like to see our relationship enhanced. But here we are talking about a limited resource that should, in my view, be reserved for the pleasure of Canadians. I might add that I’ve spoken to quite a few people in my riding who have been fortunate in obtaining leased crown lots. They tell me that if it hadn’t been for the fact that they could lease these lots they would not have been able to afford to build a cottage.

I have not taken very long to explain my resolution. I think most honourable members understand its main thrust. I would like to hear what others have to say about the resolution and I would reserve what time is left to me to sum up at the end of the debate.

Mr. Bolan: First of all, I’d like to say to the member for Timiskaming that it certainly is with great courage he brings forward this resolution.

Mr. Foulds: That’s kind of refreshing.


Mr. Bolan: I say that because it’s quite obvious he is flying completely in the face of what is the policy of the Tory party. I think that has been clearly expounded in the Throne Speech and in the House as well as on previous occasions just as to what his party stands for as far as this type of property is concerned.

However, I suppose the hon. member for Timiskaming realizes how weak his position is, and I say this with the greatest of respect to the member, because he doesn’t frame it in the form of a bill but in the form of a resolution. I suppose with a motherhood resolution like this one, the government should give consideration to legislation that would prohibit the transfer of these crown kits.

Anybody can consider anything, but the question to be determined is, how is that consideration given and just how legitimate is it? So again I say it is brought in the form of a resolution because if it were brought in the form of a bill the 20 little white guards would be paraded out and they stand up and vote it down. Here the member probably has a better chance of having his own party adopt this resolution, only for the reason that all we have to do is give it consideration and it would die some place along the line.

I would not want to see this resolution die because I think it has merit. I think the honourable member for Timiskaming has spoken quite well on the fact that we have a limited resource of land and that this should be available to as many people as possible. As many people as possible in the province should have access to these properties and it is through the leasing system that as many people as possible in this country can enjoy that type of living.

On the assignment of a lease -- I throw this out to the member for Timiskaming -- he could put a control in there. There could be a covenant in the lease between the Crown and the lessee that the lease is not to be assigned without the consent of the Ministry of Natural Resources. That way the Minister of Natural Resources could control the assignment of leases to people other than Canadians, so it really is not a very difficult thing to do. It is not a cumbersome thing to do nor something that will create all kinds of bureaucracy.

For example, in my area we have several lots that were created by the Department of Indian Affairs in Ottawa. In those particular instances, the leases on the lots are assigned to Canadians. They cannot be reassigned to anyone else unless the Department of Indian Affairs consents to the lease. It is a very inexpensive and a very easy way for the Ministry of Natural Resources in this case to keep their finger on who is to be the assignee.

I have nothing against our friends across the border, If they want to buy a lot in this country, in this province, in northern Ontario, there are all kinds of them available For sale. The price they would pay for it would be whatever is the fair market value. They should not come in and create a situation which would make it that much more difficult for people from Ontario or for Canadians to acquire lots. Once this is allowed to happen -- even the assignment of a lease to someone who is a non-Canadian -- it would automatically increase the values of the properties. As such the Canadians, the people From Ontario, would not be able to get the benefits to which they are entitled.

In closing, I just want to say again that I support the resolution. I hope the party opposite will support it as well and that we would eventually see a situation where all Canadians are entitled to the benefits of our land and at a reasonable price.

Mr. McClellan: That would be a real surprise.

Mr. Martel: Let me congratulate the member for Timiskaming for bringing this resolution forward. He and I haven’t agreed very often in this Legislature over the years, but I want to compliment him. I suggest his way of responding to the announcement from the Speech from the Throne is a way of indicating that he’s not prepared to support the intention of the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. F. S. Miller) to give away the province.

Mr. McClellan: Right on, right on. Stop Frank Miller.

Mr Martel: I’m with him on that and this party will stand behind the member for Timiskaming in that.

You know it’s interesting, Mr. Speaker, that it was only in 1970 that a study was done by the then Department of Lands and Forests entitled, A Report on the Disposition of Public Land for Cottage Purposes in Ontario, Other Canadian Provinces and Neighbourhood States.

The result of that was, of course, the disposition of crown land for cottage lots by lease only, with a one-year preference for Canadians. I have one problem with the resolution. I would have hoped that the member for Timiskaming would have included landed immigrants, because once they’ve indicated their desire to make this their permanent place of dwelling they too should be entitled to the same benefits Canadians have.

There was a problem with that report though. In fact, what it did was to base the availability of the lots on the availability of crown land across the province and on the number of inquiries made in a specific area. This determined whether you would develop lots. I’m going to come back to it in a moment but if we’ve got a problem with stimulating the economy, and the minister likes to pretend that’s what it’s all about, it’s because the government didn’t respond to the select committee’s report two years later. The Premier established a select committee on economic and cultural nationalism and it studied land. It looked at three aspects of cottage property. I’m going to quote from that report in a moment.

We raised the following questions: Should a lease be given to non-Canadians at all; should the preference period for Canadians be extended beyond the one year; and should present policy and practice be maintained?

It was an 11-member committee: Seven Conservatives, two Liberals and two New Democrats. We came out with this resolution. One of the recommendations, on the question of the amount of land made available, is: “The committee is of the view the guiding consideration should not be the interest of prospective lessees as indicated by inquiries received by the ministry, but rather the committee would recommend the amount of land made available and its distribution across various regions of the province be more systematically geared to Canadian demand having regard to the amount of crown land available and the long-term recreational needs of present and future generations in Ontario.”

If we have run into the snag of the economy of the north not developing sufficiently to suit the Minister of Natural Resources, of course, the problem is the ministry didn’t prepare for that improvement in the economy to occur. When we recommended that they bring more land onstream, in fact, they did not. Consequently the cost of leased land started to escalate until it reached about $400 a year in the Parry Sound area. The problem is availability and they failed to meet this need. You know, the six-year period following the introduction of the policy saw the government of Ontario, through the Ministry of Natural Resources, bring only 2,261 lots onstream. Well, naturally, Mr. Speaker, you can’t have a buoyant economy where people are building cottages if you don’t bring the cottage land onstream, and the Tories haven’t done so.

The select committee said, “Do it so that we meet the needs of Canadians.” I appreciated the remarks of my friend from Timiskaming when he said if you start to sell the land it will drive it out of the range of the average person to acquire a lot through lease and build a cottage for recreational purposes. The second part of the recommendation was: “Further, the committee has concluded that crown lands for cottage lots should be leased only to Canadian citizens and landed immigrant residents in Canada.”

The question I want to raise is what has now prompted the government to change its mind when, all of a sudden, it decides it wants to sell this? Why are they prepared to sell the land? Even more important -- well, as important -- why are they prepared to sell the land and not prevent the resale once the first purchase has been made? You and I know, Mr. Speaker, what will happen. The prices my friend quotes will escalate far beyond what they might sell for now.

I ask the question, what study has the government done to support the suggestion made by the Minister of Natural Resources that it should be sold? I am told from within that there is not a civil servant in that minis try who supports the minister’s proposition. It came as a total shock to them over there when the announcement was made, as it did to the Ministry of Housing people who would be responsible for doing some of the planning. There is no support for it except from three ministers who are pushing it to the wall. I hope the vote on the resolution today will indicate that this House does not want the action announced by the minister to proceed.

We based our decision a number of years ago on two issues which prompted us to make those recommendations. Americans had more disposable income than Canadians. Within 100 miles of our border, there are roughly 100 million Americans who would love to purchase land in Ontario. I don’t want to be anti-American or appear to be anti-American but there are 100 million Americans within 100 miles of our border who have more disposable income.

The second point we made was that the Germans had tax laws which allowed them to write off purchases here against their taxes in Germany. It’s been exacerbated since then. The Arabs have more money than they know what to do with. They are throwing it around like drunken sailors because they’ve got to invest somewhere and the Canadian dollar is devalued. Can you imagine what would happen, Mr. Speaker, if we started to sell land and our dollar is worth 86 or 87 cents? They could come in here and there would be a real bonanza and, next year, highjinks us when it went up. The conditions which prevailed when we made those recommendations are thus even more germane today than they were then.

I just encourage all members on all sides of the House to support this resolution so that we can indicate to the minister and those couple of ministers who are trying to shove this through cabinet that this Legislature does not want that piece of legislation which would see the sale of recreational land proceed. I hope all members of the House join us in this battle.

Mr. Eaton: I would like to focus some attention on the resolution itself and both sides of the story. It says, and I refer directly to it: “ ... the transfer of leased crown lots in the province of Ontario to anyone other than Canadian citizens.” We are not talking about the buying or selling of the land.

Mr. McClellan: Just say yes or no.

Mr. Wildman: You are splitting hairs.

Mr. Eaton: We are talking about the transfer of crown lots that are already leased by someone.

Mr. Martel: I hope he is not doing that.

Mr. Warner: The member for Timiskaming is not talking about that.

Mr. Eaton: First and perhaps foremost, we should consider the economic implications Of refusing to lease crown lands in Ontario to non-Canadians. The member opposite did focus some attention on non-Canadians who were landed immigrants. I had that as one of the points that I wanted to raise.

Americans in particular have been visitors in this province for many years, as long as anyone in this House can remember. Their presence has been an asset which has been both needed and cultivated in the past. I question whether we are prepared to say to them in an indirect way that their presence is no longer wanted. I think this would be a rather poor step on our behalf, thinking that these visitors could bring with them many millions of dollars’ worth of tourist-related business and revenue at a time in Canada when tourism is much needed.

Mr. McClellan: Why don’t you stand on your head while you read that speech?

Mr. Eaton: Many areas of this province depend on the tourist dollar for their economic existence. Without tourism, many of the areas would die. A reduction in the tourist trade is a very direct possibility of the negative feeling that legislation like this might generate. Can we afford to take that sort of a chance?


A second and closely related argument concerns the reciprocal relationship that exists between Canada and the United States with reference to the flow of tourists.

Ms. McClellan: Is this the government’s view?

Mr. Eaton: In the summer, Canada’s population swells with American visitors but at the same time, we often forget that there are a large number of Canadians going to the USA. A surprisingly large number of Ontarians who live close to the international border cross into other areas in the US to go to vacation property, not only privately owned to which my colleague referred, but also within some state land locations. I refer particularly to northern Michigan and the northern peninsula.

Furthermore, in the winter months, the tourism flows southward and it does so in increasingly dramatic numbers. Thousands of Canadians make an annual trek to points in the southern United States and are buying houses, trailers and condominiums in such places as Arizona, Florida and Texas in increasing numbers each year. Here’s an area where the negative results produced by barring leases on crown lands to non-Canadians could be felt. The American state government could initiate a similar move and bar Canadians from buying or leasing properties in their territory.

I’m certain many angry letters would be received by the members from their constituents when they realized an action taken by this House had indirectly caused such an action in the US. Even if the US government --

Mr. Foulds: If you can’t stand that heat you’re not much of a member.

Mr. Eaton: -- did not make such a move, the potential decrease in American tourists to Canada would only serve to aggravate an already shaky situation in the tourist industry. Our tourist industry needs help and not hindrance in these days of economic uncertainty.

Mr. Foulds: You don’t have to sell us out.

Mr. Eaton: I’d like to point out that the laws already give us pretty appropriate protection in this case. First and foremost, we must recognize the terms of agreement for land are those of lease and not sale. A lease is an entity that can be, but need not be, renewed at the discretion of the Minister of Natural Resources. The lands remain the property of the province of Ontario. Only their use is being rented out, for a period of time fixed by the minister.

The minister, and hence the people of Ontario, hold all the cards in their hands.

Secondly, the non-resident is the third man in line when it comes to acquiring these lands. As the existing regulations already state, he can only bid for a lease after an Ontario resident and then a Canadian resident have been given this opportunity. The chances are very small that there would be land available for these leases after these two groups have had their chance. However, if one of those people have acquired a lease and then want to transfer it to someone later, they should have that right.

Another picture that presents itself is one of non-residents accumulating large blocks of leased land in a given area. According to the Minister of Natural Resources, this is not possible. A person is only allowed to lease one lot of property in any given area. He may lease several lots in different areas of the province, but the vision of a nonresident having possession of all the properties surrounding a lake or something like that and preventing access is an impossibility.

Furthermore, the chance of a non-resident leasing a piece of property from the province and then transferring the lease, unapproved, to another non-resident is also an impossibility. To effect such a transfer, he must seek the approval of the Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and if and when this approval is obtained, the one who wishes to transfer the land must pay a transfer tax to the province.

All in all, the granting of leases on crown land is a fair and well-regulated system at the present time. It guarantees the right of the people of Ontario and of Canada to have the first chance at leasing these lands. Then, and only then, is a non-resident eligible to bid for the lease on crown land, lands that Canadians do not want to use at that time. Once a non-resident obtains a lease, it can change hands only with ministerial approval.

Furthermore, there is review generated in both the leasing and the transfer of these leases. To forbid the issuing of leases to non-residents is a step backwards. It is unnecessary because in the present system the property never leaves the possession of the people of Ontario. The terms of agreement are all in favour of the lessor, being the province.

Second, the announcement that the non-residents can no longer obtain leases on Ontario lands might drive away a certain number of our annual tourists Third, an action like the resolution proposes might result in a reciprocal action on the part of the US government which would curtail the enjoyment of such rights by Canadians wishing to buy or lease property in the us. on this basis, Mr. Speaker, I would oppose the resolution put forth by my college.

Mr. J. Reed: Most of the arguments that have been put forward to this point have expressed many of the concerns I share. I want to go on record, however, as opposing this resolution. The reason why I oppose the resolution is simply -- and it was very well stated by the previous speaker -- that the land lease stays within the purview of the province and is owned by the province of Ontario. It is one of the ways in which we can continue to foster goodwill and friendship with our American friends to the south and at the same time protect our own interests by retaining ultimate ownership.

The big concern about land being possessed by people outside of the country vas because of ownership and was because of the large tracts of land which in the past had been purchased, essentially by Americans. It was recreation land and, in some cases, there were very large acreages and, very often, tracts of shoreline property which were bought up. The first concerns that were raised about that were concerns expressed in order to try and curtail that kind of large lot purchasing.

However, I fail to see any reason why a lease to someone out of the country should not be considered. As has been pointed out by the member for Middlesex, any transfer of that lease has to have ministerial approval, and the way the structure is at the present time it does not allow for the holus-bolus dispensation of property to people outside the country.

I would just make one more comment and that is that we should all remember that 99 per cent of the land mass of the province of Ontario is owned by the crown at the present time. That’s a tremendous amount of land. To play dog-in-the-manger with it to the extent that we wouldn’t even lease it on a temporary basis to our neighbours who want to come to our country to enjoy this beautiful province and to contribute to our economic well being I think would be a retrograde step.

Mr. Wildman: I rise to support the resolution as presented by the member for Timiskaming and to congratulate him on bringing this matter before the House. I hope that he can clarify, when he responds at the end of the debate, the matter raised by the member for Middlesex. It appeared to me, when this resolution was presented, that the reason it was being presented by the member for Timiskaming was because he was concerned about the disposition of crown lands in general in the province; that this concern probably was spurred by the announcement in the Throne Speech; and that this was his method of bringing the matter before the House for discussion.

I hope that the member can clarify whether he is talking simply about existing lease laws, as was stated by the member for Middlesex, with the announcement made in the Throne Speech there appears to be a very good possibility that the government intends to allow the transfer of those now leased lots to a position of ownership. If that policy is carried out, then there is nothing as far as I can understand to prevent those newly owned lots to be sold or transferred by lease or by any other method to non-residents.

I want to make a couple of general comments, Mr. Speaker, and I know that you could probably speak to this whole issue far better than I, because both our ridings include tremendous tracts of crown land.

I hope the member for Timiskaming will accept the suggestion of the member for Sudbury East that landed immigrants not be prohibited. These are people who have come to Canada who are making a contribution and who have decided to stay here. They should not be discriminated against. I hope he agrees with that, and I am sure he does.

It is important for us to look back at the whole background of this; why we got into the position of leasing. There was a great deal of concern expressed in the late 1960s and early 70s about the amount of land in certain parts of the province which was being alienated -- especially recreational land, which many people felt should be maintained for the benefit of residents of Canada and of Ontario as well as of visitors, for that matter.

For instance, one of the townships north of Sault Ste. Marie, in my riding, is 97 per cent owned by foreigners. That is prime recreational land on the shores of Lake Superior. It has now become the situation that within easy commuting distance of Sault Ste. Marie it is almost impossible for anyone to obtain a lot, if he wants to lease under the present policy, simply because most of that land was transferred from the crown in the late 1950s and 1960s to private ownership. Most of those owners are Americans, because obviously Sault Ste. Marie is the gateway to northern Ontario for the midwestern United States.

This is the situation which led to the studies that proposed leasing as a method of maintaining crown ownership and making it more possible for people to enjoy the benefits of the great resources and beauty that we have in this province in terms of recreational facilities. The problem with the policy of leasing, as opposed to ownership, is more a problem that not enough of them have been put on the market, as the member for Sudbury East mentioned.

We have raised this matter from time to time; certainly ever since this question was raised in the Throne Speech. During the discussion of the Ministry of Natural Resources estimates the minister was queried on this. We tried to find out how many lots have been put on the market during the whole leasing period. The minister replied: “I recall 2,200 was the figure since the policy began [that is, in the early 1970s. The target was 1,000 per year; that target, I believe, has not been reached in any one year.” Then the minister requested that one of his officials indicate how many lots actually had gone on the market. A Mr. Keenan replied: “The number put, on the market last year (1977) was 226, and the number leased was 212.” They expected this year that there would be 700 lots by the end of the summer and an additional 512 by the end of the year.

It appears to me that what has happened is that the ministry finally has come to the conclusion that it hasn’t been making enough lots available in relation to the long waiting lists of people who want to obtain lots. They were finally coming to their senses and putting more and more lots on the market this year. Then, suddenly, it appears that we are going to be selling them, rather than leasing them. I just can’t support that and I’m glad this matter has been brought before the House.


There has been some question about whether or not they should be disposed of through auction or lotteries, in terms of leasing. Originally they were dealt with by first come, first served on the list. There were such long waiting lists because of the few lots being put on the market that nobody had a chance. Then they went to auctions which generally meant that people with the most money were able to obtain lots. Finally they went to lotteries, which is a little more fair, but the problem was there just weren’t enough lots available.

I hope the House will support this resolution, not only to express an opinion on the matter of the alienation of leased lots that we have now, but to give an indication to the government and to the province of our feelings about the proposed changes in policy. It’s pretty obvious that the ministry itself is not in favour of the policy changes. It also is pretty obvious that it was a surprise to the minister; certainly his statements subsequent to the original statement in the Throne Speech indicated that he didn’t know, really, what was being suggested and that he wasn’t sure what the policy was.

The minister stated in the estimates that:

“Every minister will admit that while we send in many suggestions for Throne Speeches we are never quite sure which will be acceptable”; and that it is, “one of the times in each year when the normal process of going through all the hurdles isn’t necessarily followed.” That is, in the Throne Speech “some of the thoughts came a little faster than would normally have occurred, we had to be taking steps in order to go...,” and he explains it.

In other words, this is just an idea of the Premier’s (Mr. Davis) in the Throne Speech. It doesn’t have the support of the Ministry of Natural Resources. The Ministry of Natural Resources right now has brought more lots on stream and were intending to bring more lots on stream this year for leasing. It’s an equitable method, especially when they’re using lotteries, to give everyone a chance to obtain recreational land without alienating it from the crown; and ensuring that our property, the property of the people of this province, remains in Canadian hands -- or again allowing landed immigrants as well, residents of the province or of Canada. If others want to obtain recreational land, surely there are other methods for them to do that.

I hope the member can clarify whether or not he’s just talking about existing leased lots, as is suggested by the member for Middlesex (Mr. Eaton); or if he was bringing this forward to deal with that matter but also to have the House express an opinion about the very ill-advised suggestions in the Throne Speech.

I certainly will support the resolution and I hope that the majority of the House will do so.

Mr. Sterling: It gives me a great deal of pleasure to rise in support of the resolution of my colleague from Timiskaming. I think this resolution is typical of the type of man the member for Timiskaming is --

Mr. Wildman: Now wait a minute.

Mr. T. P. Reid: We all thought it was pretty good up to that point.

Mr. McClellan: It’s actually an aberration.

Mr. Martel: We were all supporting him today; start again.

Mr. Sterling: I believe that one of the reasons that this member has so much support in his riding --

Mr. McClellan: Except within his own caucus.

Mr. Sterling: -- results from his ability to understand what the common, small man in his community desires and needs.

Mr. McClellan: What about tall men?

Mr. Sterling: First of all, I’d like to talk about the concept of what this lease really means. The member for Middlesex referred to it as only being a lease and not dealing with the real transfer of the land. When we deal with a 21-year lease, we’re in fact dealing with the freehold of the land, especially when that lease contains a renewable clause.

This is not akin to the landlord-tenant type of situation which you have in an urban society but it deals, really, with the transfer of that property.

Mr. Martel: Yes, but a London boy wouldn’t understand that.

Mr. Sterling: I would also like to point out that I think it would be impossible for this resolution to change the existing leases which now are in place on those particular lands, as we would be taking away substantial rights from existing owners.

The financial implications of this resolution being put into practice by this government are such that it would allow the less affluent members of our province to obtain good recreational land, which I think can be supported by everyone.

Mr. Wildman: That’s right.

Mr. Sterling: We must remember that these lots are not put on the market and there is no tendering system in order to obtain the right to lease one of these lots. Many rent for as low as $200 per year. It also might be added that this government’s policy with relation to the Land Transfer Tax Act has been to impose a 20 per cent surcharge on foreign land owners. In effect, the transfer of this lease usurps that particular policy in that the transfer of this leased land to foreign owners really skirts around the intent of that particular piece of legislation.

I agree with the member for Middlesex that we should encourage tourism, but in some areas of policy we must look inward and be certain to take care of our own first. I feel that in this particular area we must do so.

Mr. Deans: The question now is which of you can muster 20 members.

Mr. T. P. Reid: I rise to speak on this matter, and having read the resolution a number of times I’m just a little confused as to exactly what the member really is getting at. It’s amazing what this Conservative government can do in trying to make inconsistency a virtue. I would say, for the benefit of the member who introduced the resolution and others, that going back some years I was among the strongest advocates of closing off the sale of Ontario crown land to non-Canadian citizens.

After having sold a large part of the crown land available for recreation lots to non-residents, the government finally came in, after the land was already gone to a certain extent, and cut off the sale of crown land, not only to non-residents but also to residents of Canada, and particularly of Ontario. Now we find, approximately seven years later, that the government turns around and says: “After all the discussion we’ve had, we’re going to allow the sale of crown I land in the province again.” It’s interesting that the Minister of Natural Resources, who is responsible for administering the crown lands in the province of Ontario, was out of the country at the time. It seems as if that particular issue was stuck into the Speech from the Throne to give it some substance, other than the reference to a road in the riding of Rainy River, without the knowledge of the Minister of Natural Resources, whose jurisdiction and responsibility crown land is.

That’s obvious, as my friend pointed out, because during the estimates of the Ministry of Natural Resources the minister indicated that he knew nothing about it. It’s interesting, further, that in relation to that we are now almost two months down the road from the time the announcement was made in the Speech from the Throne and yet we have no indication from the government what, exactly, the policy will be in regard to crown land in the province of Ontario and as to whether it will be made available to non-residents of Canada and Ontario or not.

Mr. Wildman: And resale.

Mr. T. P. Reid: And resale.

I stand in my place, Mr. Speaker, and I say to you that I haven’t changed my mind. I don’t believe we should be selling crown land to non-residents of Canada. Seven years ago the government indicated it couldn’t put any caveats in the titles or in the leases that said that this land cannot be transferred in fee simple, that that was impossible. Seven years later the law apparently has changed and, supposedly, they now can; which is an anomaly that even the Minister of Natural Resources couldn’t explain to the committee.

I, along with my colleague from the north who spoke recently, have a riding where a great deal of the crown land is owned by non-residents, particularly those involved in our tourist industry. There is enough land held privately to provide a real estate market for non-residents if they wish to buy at a reasonable price.

One of my arguments before was that we were literally giving away the country to non-residents for the pittance we were charging at that time for crown land. At least it seems now to have become impressed upon the government that the land is valuable. What gives it value is the people and the kind of government system -- not the kind of government -- we have in the province.

Hon. Mr. Norton: Oh come on, finish what you really started to say Pat, we know.

Mr. T. P. Reid: I want it on the record .that I have a bit of a conflict of interest here. I own some recreation land myself. We have tried to sell it across Canada to Canadians, hut Canadians are not interested in buying.

Mr. Eaton: Yes; you can’t sell it when it’s under water, Pat.

Mr. T. P. Reid: We are now trying to sell to anybody before the hank forecloses on it. My point on all this is that there is enough property already in private hands that if we want to make real estate deals with non-residents -- if they feel more comfortable with private ownership -- then that market exists and they are welcome to participate in that.

Mr. Eaton: You don’t want competition.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: You have a vested interest.

Mr. T. P. Reid: But I don’t believe we should go back seven or eight years and now allow crown land, the leases to be transferred to non-residents of Canada. I think people leased the land with the understanding they couldn't buy it. If the government were to come along now and say you can buy the land, that is going to create a great many problems, first of all for the Ministry of Natural Resources, which perhaps I shouldn’t be so concerned about, but also for the province.

I would support the resolution if it means that it is going to be consistent with the government policy that we are waiting for, and that the Minister of Natural Resources will stand in his place within the next few weeks and make a statement to the House as to which land will now be available for sale and which land will not be for sale to non-residents.

If that is what the minister is going to do, this resolution by the honourable member is, I believe, entirely consistent with that policy and I would support it. I would suggest this resolution may be a little premature, but if it indicates to the government that it is the feeling of the members of this House that crown land should not be sold to non-residents, whether it now be in a lease situation or ultimately in a direct purchase situation, then I am in support of the resolution.

Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, I rise to support this resolution because I share the concerns of the member for Timiskaming that a scarce commodity such as cottage lots and recreational lands should be reserved for our own citizens. Already, too much of this province’s recreational land has been sold to foreigners and it is very difficult to get it back except by very costly purchase or expropriation policies.


There is not enough to go around and we know that there are limits to the amounts of accessible land that can he turned into recreational land. Lakes can only support so many cottages because of the environmental problems. Therefore, when we are facing a situation of a scarce commodity and a growing demand, I think we have to plan for its fair allocation. I am concerned about the danger, if that scarce land is available in a form where it can be leased to foreigners, that they will move in and bid up the price of the leases and it will be taken out of the reach of the average wage earner in this province. We have already priced the average wage earner out of the housing market and we are now going to price him out of the cottage lot market by this policy that has been announced in the Throne Speech.

I am somewhat surprised to see that there appears to be a split in the Conservative ranks on this question --

Mr. Foulds: It doesn’t surprise me.

Mr. Eaton: It’s a private members’ hour.

Hon. Mr. Norton: It’s a mere sham.

Mr. J. Reed: It’s a private members’ debate.

Ms. Bryden: We expect a split on private members’ bills because we discuss these bills as individual members --

Mr. Foulds: Just be patient; it will be guillotined.

Ms. Bryden: -- but in this case the member for Timiskaming appears to be opposing a policy that was announced in the Throne Speech, namely the policy of abandoning the lease system in favour of a sale system for crown lots.

Mr. Eaton: The resolution doesn’t say that at all.

Mr. Wildman: It means that.

Ms. Bryden: He certainly spoke very strongly in favour of the lease system, and I agree with him that it is the most desirable system. In fact, the government’s policy in 1978 is the greatest flip-flop in Conservative policy history, although it takes quite a bit to be the greatest, because they have had a great many flip-flops. But in 1971 the Throne Speech said this: “To further preserve our heritage, crown lands will henceforth be made available only on a lease basic. The government will thus retain control over ownership.” Then in 1978 they completely changed that policy; they didn’t seem to think it was important to retain control over ownership.

I tried to find out the reason for the flip-flop; the only reason I can see is that the Treasurer decided that selling off the homestead was the way to reduce his overblown deficit. Everyone knows that if you sell off the homestead, you’ve got no place to put the crop and to provide for your future needs.

When this question was before the resources development committee, which was discussing the estimates of the Ministry of Natural Resources, I expressed complete opposition to the departure from the lease policy to the sale policy. But I did make the point that if the government is intent on its mad policy of permitting sales, it should at least give this Legislature the opportunity to debate its proposal and the terms on which it’s going to make those sales.

The draft regulations which will set forth the terms on which crown lots will be offered should be brought before this House. The draft regulations should contain a clause similar to the intent of this resolution, namely that transfer of any lot whether it is leased or sold, should be restricted to Canadian citizens or to landed immigrants. There should be restrictions on the number of lots that any one person could get. There should be rules about the fair allocation of any lots that are available and so on.

The minister flatly turned down my proposal that the draft regulations should be brought before the House. I would urge the member for Timiskaming to use his influence in the government party caucus to ensure that these regulations are brought before the House so that we could insert a clause regarding the protection of these lots from being transferred to foreigners. This would also give him an opportunity to go against the entire policy, as it would the other members of the House. It would be very useful to give us that opportunity. Therefore I intend to support the resolution and urge the member for Timiskaming to see we get another opportunity to debate this question further.

Mr. Speaker: Does any other member wish to participate in the debate before the honourable member for Timiskaming winds up? If not, the honourable member for Timiskaming.

Mr. Havrot: I am going to be very brief. I am going to reply to the various comments made by the speakers in support of and against the resolution.

I agree with the member for Nipissing (Mr. Bolan) that the transfer of leased lots should not be made without the consent of the minister, only through the consent of the minister. I support the comments by the member for Sudbury East (Mr. Mattel) that landed immigrants be included in the resolution.

My colleague the member for Middlesex (Mr. Eaton) mentioned that leased lots would affect the attitude of the Americans. I should point out that as I mentioned earlier, leased lots are the property of the people of the province of Ontario. I am not objecting to the sale of private lands. I must remind my colleague there were only 2,261 lots leased during the last few years so there is no great concern of offending the Americans in this regard.

To the member for Halton-Burlington (Mr. J. Reed) I would say that I agree the land is owned by the province, but I should point out with leased lots the fees are so reasonable I am willing to gamble on the statement that these lots are being subsidized by the people of the province of Ontario and for this reason I feel they should only be leased to Canadians.

He also mentioned that 90 per cent of the land is owned by the crown in the province of Ontario. I would like to remind the honourable member that decent shoreline lots within accessibility are very scarce. So let’s keep in mind that the leases should go to the people of Ontario, not to just anyone who comes along.

The member for Algoma (Mr. Wildman) mentioned existing leases. It’s hardly possible to do anything with existing leases, but I agree with him that future leases should contain this resolution.

I concur with the member for Rainy River (Mr. T. P. Reid) that should this resolution not go through the House this evening, it will bring to the attention of the minister the concerns expressed here by the members this afternoon.

Mr. T. P. Reid: You agree with what I said your resolution means?

Mr. Havrot: I would like to thank the members of the House for their support and also their criticism. This is a democratic process and I anxiously await the result of this vote. Thank you very much.

Mr. Speaker: There is still nine minutes. Do any other members wish to speak to the resolution standing in the name of the member for Timiskaming?

Mr. Wildman: How about the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. F. S. Miller); would he like to speak?

Mr. Deans: Maybe somebody could sing while we sit. Could we speak about something else for five minutes? I have other things I would like to talk about for five minutes.

Mr. Ruston: Come on, Frank, you can speak now; you’ve got eight minutes.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, may I use this time to report on the order of business for next week?

Mr. Speaker: Please do.

Mr. Deans: Is that in order?

Hon. Mr. Welch: May I do that?

Mr. Breaugh: It is closure again.


Hon. Mr. Welch: As a business statement for the week of May 8, 1978: On Monday the House will be in committee of supply to consider the estimates of the Ministry of Revenue.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: What time does that start?

Hon. Mr. Welch: The House starts at 2 o’clock on Monday afternoon.

Hon. Mr. Rhodes: I’d like to be here.

Hon. Mr. Welch: On Tuesday for legislation the following bills will be considered in this order. Bills 22 and 20 for second reading and then committee stage.

Mr. McClellan: Have you got your 20 members?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Bill 66, second reading and committee stage; Bills 71, 72, 1 and 16, second reading and committee stage.

Mr. Deans: Speak slowly.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Bills 71, 72, 1 and 76; Bills 69 and 77, second reading and committee stage. If by any chance we were to finish all of that legislation before 10:30, we would then go to budget debate.

On Wednesday, the general government committee, resources development committee and administration of justice committee may meet in the morning. On Thursday afternoon there will be private members’ public business, with Bill 62 standing in the name of the member for Grey (Mr. McKessock), and Bill 73 standing in the name of the member for Windsor-Riverside (Mr. Cooke).

On Thursday evening, legislation will be continued, if not completed on Tuesday. If it is completed, then the time on Thursday evening will be given over to further budget debate.

On Friday of next week we’ll be back in committee of supply to carry on with the estimates of the Ministry of Revenue. Are there any questions?

The Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. W. Newman) raises a question with respect to the committee’s work on Bill 48. It’s our understanding that as soon as the estimates of the Ministry of Natural Resources are completed the resources development committee will then turn to Bill 48. The committee will start that work a week from today in the evening.


Mr. Nixon: That will be a week from Tuesday.

Hon. Mr. Welch: A week Tuesday? I thought it was Thursday.

Mr. Nixon: They finish Natural Resources on Thursday.

Hon. Mr. Welch: As soon as they finish Natural Resources estimates in that committee then they will go to Bill 48.

Mr. Speaker: Order. Order, please.


Mr. Speaker: Mr. Breaugh has moved member’s motion 11, second reading of Bill 64.

Sufficient members having objected by rising, a vote was not taken on Bill 64.


Mr. Speaker: Mr. Havrot had moved private member’s motion 11.

Resolution concurred in.

The House recessed at 5:50 p.m.