The House resumed at 8 p.m.
ONTARIO FRENCH LANGUAGE SERVICES ACT
Mr. Cassidy: I rise on a point of privilege. I think the privileges of this House have been abrogated by the actions of the Premier (Mr. Davis), who was not present at the debate this afternoon, when we had a historic occasion with the adoption of Bill 89, introduced by the member for Ottawa East (Mr. Roy), which affected French-language rights in Ontario.
While the words of the debate were being uttered and while members from all sides were indicating support -- and as you recall, there was a unanimous decision, Mr. Speaker -- the Premier was, in fact, preparing a press release, which he even translated into French, which took away from the Legislature what the Legislature had done just a few minutes before.
I think he has left the ministers who spoke in favour of the bill in a completely impossible situation. I think he has left the House leader in a completely impossible situation because, while the House leader was stating that the bill should go to the standing administration of justice committee, the Premier was issuing a press release saying that the government had no intention of proceeding with the bill.
The Premier has chosen to stand in the way of the unanimous view of the Legislature by deciding unilaterally that he will listen not to the Legislature but to the people of Ontario by some other way. I am extraordinarily disappointed at the fact that the good feeling and the sense of the Legislature this afternoon should have been ignored in this particular way. I am afraid that the Premier has acted with arrogant disrespect.
In protest at the deliberating flouting of the unanimous will of the Legislature, I wish to move the adjournment of this House.
Mr. Ashe: It was not unanimous.
Mr. Speaker: I am not convinced that the honourable member has a prima facie case of privilege. However, I think it is only appropriate that we continue with the business of this House until the Premier has an opportunity, if he so desires, to respond to the alleged point of privilege raised by the member for Ottawa Centre.
Mr. Cassidy: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: I concluded my remarks on the point of privilege by moving the adjournment of this House in protest at the action of the Premier. I do now so move again the adjournment of this House.
Mr. Speaker: A motion to adjourn is in order at any time without debate. I have no alternative but to put the motion.
The House divided on Mr. Cassidy’s motion that it adjourn, which was negatived on the following vote:
Ayes 26; nays 54.
Mr. Martel: That is how sincere they were about their bill.
Mr. Warner: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege: I believe a member of this assembly has made a statement which has affected the privilege of this member of the assembly and, I would take it, of any other member of the assembly, by pre-empting a judgement of this assembly.
Mr. Rotenberg: Resign.
Mr. Warner: I refer specifically to the words, “The government will proceed no further with this private bill.”
Mr. Rotenberg: Oh, sit down.
Mr. Warner: This afternoon this Legislature did, in fact, decide to proceed. The member for Ottawa East asked if this bill would go to a committee and the House leader of the government said it would go to the justice committee.
Some hon. members: No, he didn’t.
An hon. member: Read Hansard.
Mr. Warner: I take that to be a direction of the assembly that the bill would in fact proceed to a committee of this assembly.
A member of the assembly, the Premier, has said the government will not proceed. I would ask the Speaker if he would look into this matter as to whether or not the Premier has pre-empted a direction of this assembly and report back to us at his earliest convenience.
I am disturbed by what I take to be an insult to this assembly and to myself as a member of the assembly.
Mr. Breithaupt: I have had the opportunity of reading the press statement which has been issued by the Premier.
If I recall the events of this afternoon, the member for Ottawa East suggested the bill in question be sent to the justice committee and the government House leader acquiesced, so that in fact that bill, as I presume the Votes and Proceedings will show, has been sent to the justice committee.
It will now depend upon the activities of the justice committee as to how this bill proceeds through the committee stage. My presumption at this point is that if that bill is reported back to the House with amendments, complete as it was, or might be or otherwise, then, of course, the bill will return to the order paper.
It is then the obligation of the government to decide whether or not that item will be called further because obviously, under the rules, as all members are aware, it is the prerogative of the minister of the Crown to call the order of business.
Whether or not the bill proceeds to third reading is entirely another matter. However, I suggest to you at this time, Mr. Speaker, if the committee in its wisdom chooses to deal further with that bill, it may indeed do so.
The government has made its position clear and we, the official opposition, in calling for this bill and the principles on which it is based, have made our position clear. As a result, the Speaker may rule as to whether the privilege of the member has been compromised. I suggest to you, sir, that if the committee chooses to deal or not to deal with that bill, it is entirely a function for the committee.
It is up to the Premier, no doubt, to announce government policy, and if the bill were or were not to be called for third reading, that would be something which this House would deal with in due course.
Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, perhaps the House leader can elucidate as to whether his statement of this afternoon that the bill is going to committee is the correct one or whether the comments of the Premier are the ones which we now have to heed. Which statement is correct and what is the government’s intention as far as this bill goes? Perhaps the House within the chamber could be informed?
Mr. Pope: What is this, question period?
Mr. Breaugh: Point of order, Mr. Speaker: With all due respect to all members who have spoken to the point of privilege, I think even in the wildest consideration of a matter of privilege, there is no question that anything is out of order.
Mr. Breithaupt: How can there be a point of order?
Mr. Breaugh: This afternoon a bill was debated in this House. The bill was moved to the justice committee and that motion was carried by this House. Notwithstanding any sentiments on the part of the Premier or the government House leader or anyone else, this House has clearly spoken and that bill is now before the justice committee without question.
Hon. B. Stephenson: That is what Jim Breithaupt just said.
Mr. Rotenberg: That’s what he said. So what are you getting up and yakking about?
Mr. Speaker: I will consider the comments of the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere and the member for Kitchener and I will report back to the House in due course.
Mr. Van Horne: It’s a waste of time. The Premier has treated us all with contempt.
Mr. Martel: It’s like Bill 70. The House voted on that too.
Mr. Speaker: The only question before the House right now is second reading of Bill 83. I recognize the member for Waterloo North (Mr. Epp).
Mr. Breaugh: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege --
Mr. Breithaupt: The matter is dealt with.
Mr. Speaker: I have already said that I will take it under consideration. I gave everybody who wished to at that time an opportunity to be heard. I will take it under advisement. The only question before the House now is the second reading of Bill 83 and I recognize the member for Waterloo North.
Mr. Martel: On a point of clarification, might I ask the Speaker, in fact, what his intentions are in terms of what specifically he’s looking at because the rules indicate that this bill automatically goes to the justice committee. If the Speaker is going to look at my colleague from --
Mr. Breithaupt: Obviously, there’s nothing to look at.
An hon. member: You wasted an hour and a half.
Mr. Martel: That’s right. If it’s a breach of privilege that my colleague from Scarborough-Ellesmere (Mr. Warner) raised, then that’s fine. But I don’t think the House should be asking Mr. Speaker to rule whether or not the bill goes to the justice committee because that was ordered this afternoon.
Hon. Mr. Welch: That’s where it is.
Mr. Breithaupt: It’s gone.
An hon. member: It’s there.
Mr. Martel: I would just ask the Speaker for his clarification on what part he’s looking at.
Mr. Speaker: I am looking at whether the events today, and what is alleged to have been said, breaches any privilege of any member of this House and I am not prepared to make a decision at this point in time.
MUNICIPALITY OF METROPOLITAN TORONTO AMENDMENT ACT
Mr. Ashe, on behalf of Hon. Mr. McKeough, moved second reading of Bill 83, An Act to amend the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto Act.
Mr. Epp: Mr. Speaker, there was some noise earlier when the member for Durham West (Mr. Ashe) was speaking. I understand that he doesn’t have a ministerial statement this evening on the matter on Bill 83. Could we hear it if he has one, Mr. Speaker?
Mr. Speaker: By all means.
Mr. Ashe: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Just very briefly, I do have a statement relating to Bill 83.
Number one, of course, the bill as proposed is carrying on very similarly to the Regional Municipalities Amendment Act. Again, I have to reiterate as I did the other night that in fact this bill is not a response in any way to the Robarts report or the white paper on the Robarts report; that will come in due course. I feel that any altering of this legislation relating to any issues dealt with directly or indirectly by the Robarts report, should, in my opinion, be ruled out of order by the Speaker. The House should look at the legislation on the basis and in the spirit that it is in front of the House tonight.
I would very respectfully ask the members opposite to hopefully get through second reading on both Bill 83 and 84 as quickly as possible, and any future determination of this bill and the regional municipalities bill can be dealt with in the committee stage.
Mr. Epp: As you can appreciate I am not trying to hold up any business unduly. I would like to speak to an amendment that the member for Welland-Thorold (Mr. Swart) is going to introduce a little later. I am just wondering whether you can advise me whether I am going to have a good opportunity to do that or whether I should speak to it now because I have it before me.
Mr. Speaker: The purpose of second reading of any piece of legislation is to debate the principle of the bill before you. If you wish to discuss amendments, the only opportunity you will have is during the committee of the whole House.
Mr. Epp: Mr. Speaker, thank you very much. As far as we on this side of the House are concerned, we will be supporting Bill 83 in principle. As you know, it deals with an Act to amend the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto Act and this bill is essentially the same as Bill 81 which dealt with the municipalities. It has a number of minor changes in it. It has helped to clarify some of the issues in it and we feel that these are necessary in order to bring the legislation up to date with respect to the Municipal Elections Act which was passed last fall. So I will try to conserve the time of the House right now by terminating my remarks and making my remarks, with respect to some of the other changes, when it’s at committee of the whole, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker: The member for Welland-Thorold.
Mr. Swart: Mr. Speaker, as the parliamentary assistant has indicated, this bill is very similar to Bill 81 which amends amendments to the other regional governments in the province of Ontario. However, there are two exceptions in the bill and one other item that I want to deal with.
This bill does provide, unlike the other bills, for the boroughs or other local authorities to maintain the surface of the roads over the overpasses, over the Metro roads. Of course, I have no objection to that. I’m sure that’s a matter of clarification from a bit of controversy that had taken place over this matter.
Section 10, however, deals with the principle of payments to the police commission. It does so in a way that is at considerable variance from the way it was dealt with in the other regional government bills, and in a manner which I cannot support.
Very briefly, this bill provides that all members of the police commission, with the exception of the appointee of the federal judge, shall be paid for serving on the police commission. The change in Bill 81, which deals with 10 regional municipalities, provides that the members appointed by the regional council “may be paid” by the regional council. This bill says they “shall he paid.”
I think when we debated the other bill on second reading on Tuesday evening, I pointed out that the option should be left to regional council to determine whether the members of regional council who sit on the police commissions should receive extra remuneration for sitting there.
With many of the regional municipalities in this province, when a member is appointed to the police commission he’s appointed there in lieu of some position on some other committee, usually an onerous position on some other committee. The fact that people serve on the police commission does not mean in any way that they have any more responsibilities or have to put in any more hours or do any more work than the other members of the regional council. Yet this bill which we have before us will provide that even if Metro is arranged in that same manner, those who sit on the police commission must receive the extra remuneration.
I could make these quotes from the various acts. Bill 80, commendably, made a number of changes with regard to remuneration for all members of council who may serve on boards. The method which is now used under that is that local council, regional council, has full authority to provide remuneration for members of council on the committees or on outside boards in any way they see fit. That, I support.
Although this bill, Bill 88, provides also for that section of the Municipal Act to apply to the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto Act, nevertheless it still leaves in the other motion which makes it mandatory that those regional councillors serving on the police commission receive additional remuneration. Obviously, they would get the same amount as those other people who serve on it, and serve on it as a special job or a job in addition to their normal job.
When we come to that point I will be asking that this be referred to the committee of the whole House and will move an amendment at the appropriate time.
The final item I want to mention is one the principle of which received considerable discussion in this House on Tuesday night. That was Bill 81. Section 1 of this bill deals with subsection 5 of section 5 of the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto Act, which states how the council shall be organized and how the chairman of the metropolitan council shall be selected.
I have to say immediately that since Tuesday night this has come into the picture front and centre in all respects, in my view, because of the tremendous enthusiasm shown by my colleagues, particularly the members for Oshawa (Mr. Breaugh) and Bellwoods (Mr. McClellan), and the members of the Liberal Party, particularly the members for Ottawa East (Mr. Roy) and Wentworth North (Mr. Cunningham), for the election of the chairman from among those members of council who are elected by the people of the area.
This issue is now very central to this bill. I would point out that there is considerable and apparently unanimous support among the Liberal Party for this principle. I would quote from Hansard on Tuesday night from the member for Ottawa East when he said, “I must say that I will be in full support of these views” -- he was referring to the election of the chairman of the council from among the elected members of that council -- “that the regional chairman, in fact, be elected at one level or the other and that the most important politician in all of these regional areas should be responsible to a group of people who elect him and not only to the members of the regional council.”
Further, the member for Wentworth North, though not in respect to the incumbent chairman, speaking about the Hamilton-Wentworth regional council, made the comment: “That individual has yet to be reaffirmed or ratified by the public, and I suppose there is sometimes at least potentially a lack of accountability that may flow from that circumstance. Personally, I find this somewhat distressing.” On and on, there was support from the Liberal Party for the idea that the chairman of a regional council must be elected from a constituency before he can run for that very important office.
This House knows that we share that view with the Liberals. I don’t think there is too much difference in our views on that. I would point out that as long ago as 1966, when I presented a brief to the study commission in the Niagara region, I took the same view that that person should be elected. I took the view that the Liberal Party has held for many years that he should be elected from the whole constituency, the whole region. I quote from my brief which was presented to the study committee on the Niagara region. I said: “It naturally follows that I should also recommend that the head of the regional council be elected at large. On this there must be no compromise.”
In 1976, I presented a brief once again to the regional council when there was a study being done in the Niagara region by Mr. Archer. I pointed out there that it is exceedingly important in the interests of democracy and for many reasons that the regional chairman be elected. I stated in my brief:
“There are supportable philosophical reasons to show why large governments whose members have direct accountability to only a small section of a region create decision-making processes which tend to promote excessive spending and local parochialism. When regional funds are used for local projects by councillors accountable only to the local voters, the log-rolling and back-scratching overtly or covertly distorts decision and financial control. When, as is the case with our regional governments, the chairman is appointed and not accountable to the public in any way the process is further distorted.”
I just want to put clearly on record, that we within this party share the views and have always shared the views that this very important person should be elected.
After Tuesday night’s debate I examined the bill further. I had consultations with a wide variety of people and found that this bill puts the issue of whether the chairman shall be selected from within the elected member council or without properly before us in every sense. In other words, that section of the act clearly puts the issue before this House of how we select the chairman of the metropolitan council of Toronto.
The parliamentary assistant has stated that we should wait to deal with this issue until we get a Metropolitan Toronto act. We don’t know whether we’re going to get a Metropolitan Toronto act at all. Those of us who are concerned about whether the chairmen of regional councils are elected or are appointed, people who are not elected by any of the public, have the opportunity now to make a decision. We now have an obligation, those of us who are concerned about that, to make a decision because this is properly before us in this House. I suggest that we can’t pass it over as the parliamentary assistant, the member for Durham West, would like us to do. It’s before us and we express an opinion on it here, one way or another.
It’s fair to say that it may be inadvertently before us. The government may not have meant to put that before us. There are other ways, from my investigation, that they could have brought in amendments which wouldn’t have put it before us at this time. But the fact still remains that it is before us here to be dealt with by this Legislature. Because it is, I have to live up to my convictions and the convictions of my party and move an amendment which will provide, when the opportunity arises in the clause-by-clause debate, that the regional chairman of Metropolitan Toronto this year and hereafter will be selected from among the elected members of the Metro council.
I recognize that there are within the bill certain incongruities -- I think perhaps that’s the right word -- that will exist if we pass this amendment to provide for the election. But this is the section that provides the substance of whether the metropolitan chairman is going to be from the elected people. The other sections can be changed by the government if they so wish. If they don’t wish and the incongruity remains, it’s still workable. It’s not the way I’d like to see it, but it is still workable.
The amendments are not very serious ones that would have to be made. In fact, I have them already made out here. I’d be glad to hand them to the parliamentary assistant so that he can -- in fact, he already has them -- so that he can move them afterwards if he sees fit. In any event, we intend in this party to see that there will be no chairman of Metropolitan Toronto in the future that does not have support at least of a segment of this tremendous city.
An hon. member: That is democracy at work.
An hon. member: Elect Paul Godfrey.
Mr. Swart: I’m not going to go into the principles of it now, or I should say the details of the reasons why I think that he should be elected rather than appointed. I just want to say that those reasons are sound. They are recognized, I hope, by the party on the right. Certainly, all of their utterances and their speeches have been in that direction. I will bring those points out when we come to the amendment.
With that, Mr. Speaker, I say we will support second reading of this bill with two amendments to be put by us.
Mr. McClellan: Mr. Speaker, I am very happy to join the debate on Bill 83 and to express, as a member representing a Metropolitan Toronto riding, my thanks on behalf of my other colleagues from Metropolitan Toronto to the member for Welland-Thorold for having the foresight to realize there was an opportunity in this bill to accomplish what the vast majority of members from Metropolitan Toronto want to see happen.
There is no doubt whatsoever that the majority of people, an absolute majority of people in Metropolitan Toronto, are dissatisfied with the present method of appointment of the metropolitan chairman and that an absolute majority of citizens of all boroughs in Metropolitan Toronto desire very much that the regional chairman be elected; that the regional chairman be a member of the metropolitan council and continue to run for election for as long as that person holds the position of metropolitan chairman.
The reason for this is very simple. The chairman of Metropolitan Toronto is the de facto head of one of the largest governments in Canada. The government of Metropolitan Toronto is larger, in terms of budget, staff, service and real power over people’s lives than the governments of the majority of Canadian provinces. No single person should have the power of heading up that kind of a government without seeking re-election, without being accountable to the people.
I know the member for Sault Ste. Marie (Mr. Rhodes) agrees with me on this. I can feel it right here.
Mr. Martel: A former mayor.
Mr. Warner: A former Liberal.
Mr. McClellan: As a former mayor, the member for Sault Ste. Marie would understand the principle of accountability at the head of government for the people. All of us believe in that. All of us believe in that.
Mr. Warner: A former minister.
Mr. McClellan: Why have we denied that right to the people of Metropolitan Toronto? It is beyond comprehension. The fact that the chairman of Metropolitan Toronto has not been accountable to the electorate has had real and palpable consequences for the kind of government that has developed at the metropolitan level.
Mr. Stong: You are not suggesting that Paul Godfrey hasn’t done a good job, are you? You wouldn’t suggest that.
Mr. McClellan: Paul Godfrey. I would suggest that on virtually every opportunity, my friend.
Mr. Warner: He’s a turkey with two right wings.
Mr. McClellan: The fact is that the government of Metropolitan Toronto, the bureaucracy of Metropolitan Toronto is a remarkably insensitive and impervious bureaucracy. It is not the kind of bureaucracy that responds to the demands of the citizens because it doesn’t have to, because it isn’t accountable.
There is a remarkable difference between the responsiveness of municipal government within Metropolitan Toronto at the area level and at the borough level and at the metropolitan level. The borough governments have learned over the last 10 years to listen to citizens who come to them for redress of grievances or to argue on a particular issue or to represent their interests. Borough government within Metropolitan Toronto has grown to be remarkably responsive to the legitimate requests of citizens to make their views and their interests known and to get action from their municipal governments.
At the metropolitan level the situation is exactly the opposite. It is virtually impossible to get through the bureaucracy at the Metro level. I have participated for example, in my own riding on a project, the Frankel-Lambert housing project. I participated together with a group of citizens from the area, with representatives from the city planning boards, with representatives from the city of Toronto housing department, Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the Ontario Ministry of Housing, and the Metropolitan Toronto department of social services.
The only group which seemed not to understand at all the dynamics of a participatory planning process that incorporated citizens, politicians and all levels of government, and didn’t seem to have the slightest interest in participating in that kind of a planning process was the representatives of the metropolitan corporation.
That is typical. They don’t have to be accountable. They’re not accountable. They are accountable solely, as public servants, to the administrative head of the metropolitan government, who is an appointed official who never has had to face the people, ever. The situation is growing worse and worse and worse as the metropolitan government gets bigger and bigger and bigger.
Sooner or later we have to draw a halt. The government of Metropolitan Toronto, is, as I said, one of the largest governments in this country. It controls services that affect the men and women of this city more directly than any other level of government. They are running, after all, the social services department and the roads department so they have to be rendered accountable. The only way that can happen is by the marvellous invention of democracy -- we must introduce democracy into the government of Metropolitan Toronto. It’s not such a terrifying prospect.
Mr. Grande: It’s a fundamental principle of society.
Mr. McClellan: The roof isn’t going to fall down if the head of the metropolitan government is democratically elected.
Mr. Rotenberg: It is.
Mr. Martel: No. What’s your idea of democracy?
Mr. Grande: Here comes the expert. I want to hear you.
Mr. Warner: The member from the insurance bureau.
Mr. McClellan: The member from the insurance industry says that the roof will fall down. Hopefully it will fall on him if it does fall, but of course it won’t because there’s nothing wrong with democracy. There’s nothing wrong with electing the head of a government. There’s nothing wrong with requiring that the head of a government face the people and be accountable for his actions at a regular interval. Why he should have to be standing here arguing that case is beyond me.
Mr. Grande: Responsible government. That’s what it’s all about.
Mr. McClellan: It’s incomprehensible, it’s unfathomable that he should be standing here in 1978 asking that the head of his government not be elected.
Hon. Mr. Maeck: You don’t have to. You don’t even have to speak. Sit down.
Mr. Martel: Sure we have to.
Mr. McClellan: We have to.
Mr. McClellan: I may say to the member for Parry Sound that the parliamentary assistant has threatened to withdraw the bill if the member for Welland-Thorold’s amendment is passed.
Mr. Martel: Parry Sound -- Merle Dickerson.
Mr. Warner: Who said that?
Mr. McClellan: The parliamentary assistant did.
Hon. Mr. Maeck: Don’t misinterpret what I said. I said you don’t have to speak at all if you don’t want to.
Mr. Martel: I thought you were looking for Merle Dickerson as the regional chairman for Parry Sound.
Mr. McClellan: I don’t have any doubt at all that my constituents are behind me when I’m speaking here; and that the constituents of all my colleagues from Metropolitan Toronto are behind them in supporting the amendment of the member for Welland-Thorold. I say to you, without any doubt at all, that there isn’t a constituency in this city that would not, in the majority, approve of the principle of an elected chairman for the metropolitan government. There is no doubt about that at all.
Mr. Rotenberg: That is just your opinion.
Mr. McClellan: And I hope at least my colleagues in the Liberal Party will support the amendment.
Mr. Speaker: Please don’t refer to the amendment. There is no amendment yet before the House.
Mr. McClellan: I hope my colleagues in the Liberal Party will agree with our view that the bill is deficient as it has been introduced and needs to be improved, and that the amendment which we will be offering serves to improve it simply by requiring that the chairman will continue to be a member of the council for as long as he serves, and that he will continue to face the electorate regularly with all other elected officials throughout the term of his office.
We’ll look forward to a stimulating debate on the clause-by-clause when the bill gets to committee. But I say to the government, I hope they will not be so foolish, so arrogant, so silly as to try to defy the will of this House and of the members from Metropolitan Toronto -- and of the people of Metropolitan Toronto -- by refusing to accede to the will of the House when this bill passes in its final form.
Mr. Warner: Mr. Speaker --
Mr. Rotenberg: Resign.
Mr. Warner: -- I hope you will appreciate that while I am most concerned about this particular bill and wish to speak on it, I find it quite difficult this evening because of the events which took place prior to this particular order of business. I found it quite disturbing. While I’ve been here as a member only for a short time, I would have to label it nothing short of contempt by the Premier of this province.
Mr. Speaker: Perhaps if you confined your remarks to Bill 83 you will find it much easier.
Mr. Warner: I will. It’s quite ironic that we’re dealing with Bill 83 tonight because it deals in part, as my colleague from Bellwoods has discussed, with the responsibilities of the head of a government, in this case the head of the Metropolitan Toronto government. It says that the person who is in charge of the Metropolitan Toronto government should be elected and not an appointed person, elected to carry out his or her responsibilities in a fashion which is ultimately responsible back to the people. That’s extremely important. Obviously tonight some of that responsibility was forgotten.
I think it’s extremely important to keep in mind that municipal governments are creatures of the province, they’re not creatures of the federal government. It’s part of our obligation here to ensure that those municipal governments as they’re created will function in a democratic fashion. That’s extremely important. Therefore, I don’t understand how it is that the government can say that we don’t want a democratic fashion, that we don’t want the head of the Metropolitan Toronto government to be responsible to the people in an elected way.
I don’t understand, for example, Mr. Speaker, why the government would threaten to withdraw the bill if we managed to make sure that the chairman of Metro Toronto would be elected. Again, I would take that to be quite parallel to earlier events today -- contempt for the people of Ontario and, in this instance, the people of Toronto. The people of Toronto want to have an election of their chairman.
Mr. Rotenberg: How do you know?
Mr. Warner: That is what they want.
Mr. Rotenberg: How do you know?
Mr. Ashe: He is an expert on everything.
Mr. Warner: I have never said I am an expert. I appreciate the fact that the government says I am.
An hon. member: They wouldn’t elect you.
Mr. Grande: Oh, you don’t think so?
Mr. McClellan: That is why they threw you out.
Mr. Warner: Mr. Speaker, you have heard the comments of the member for Welland-Thorold and the comments from the member for Bellwoods, both of whom spoke quite eloquently and strongly in favour of a basic democratic principle.
I would hope that the members of the Liberal Party heeded the words because, unlike what normally takes place in this assembly, they should understand we are measured, not by our words, but by our deeds.
Earlier this evening they felt that it was sufficient to be measured by their words only and not by their deeds, and so did not have the courage to stand up for principles. I would hope, at least in this instance, they could find the principle worth supporting -- that people who represent the public should be elected, and I ask for their support. I ask that at least once they stand up on a matter of principle and support the position of electing people to government, not appointing them.
Mr. Stong: Mr. Speaker, I rise to speak on this bill and I agree basically with what the members for Welland-Thorold and Bellwoods have said about the bill and the lack thereof of the right in the people to elect the chairman of one of the most powerful political bodies that we know of.
But I would also like to remind the members and the party opposite that our critic, the member for Waterloo North, addressed himself to this problem and to the very issue the other day in this House. I would refer to Hansard, Mr. Speaker, because I know that our critic would not want to quote himself. He brought this matter to the attention of the House in this bill and in the other package of bills earlier, the very same issue -- the election of the chairman of regional government.
He pointed out that it was our party -- and we had held this view for many years -- which had spoken in the House on this issue on previous occasions.
Mr. Warner: This is the test.
Mr. Swart: Now is the moment of truth.
Mr. Stong: And I would say, Mr. Speaker, that when the party to my right -- left, sorry. I don’t want to make that mistake.
Mr. Martel: Sorry.
Mr. Stong: They will never be to my right. You want to believe that.
Mr. Martel: You are right. Even Genghis Khan couldn’t be.
Mr. Stong: We hold all of the principles that they have enunciated -- accountability to the people and true representation by the people -- and we have spoken on those.
Mr. Warner: We are measured by these principles.
Mr. Stong: But, Mr. Speaker, there is one fact of political life that is overlooked at all times by the party on my left -- the third party -- and that is that the Conservative Party is in control of the legislation that comes before this House and when it comes before this House, they are the only ones in control.
Mr. Warner: Here we go. Gutless wonder.
Mr. Stong: And in so far as they are in control, they can exercise upon us a form of blackmail. That blackmail can take the part of all of what is before us tonight.
Mr. Warner: And you give in.
Mr. Stong: There is a package of bills before as -- not just Bill 83, but several bills. One of the bills affects my riding very seriously and the government has full control and authority and we recognize this.
Mr. Warner: The strength of a plate of spaghetti.
Mr. Stong: It is only because of that recognition of the fact they can withdraw these bills that we have to face the fact they are in control. It may be a negative control. It may be a control by denial, a denial of our parliamentary privilege, if you will. It may even be government by veto but, nevertheless, the Conservative Party exercises that veto and that control over us.
Mr. Warner: You have no self respect.
Mr. Stong: It’s not a question of self respect.
Mr. Warner: It sure is.
Mr. Stong: It’s not a question of trying to defeat the government.
Mr. McClellan: We are not trying to defeat the government. We’re trying to get it to face up to it. It’s a principle you won’t stand up for.
Mr. Speaker: Order. Those members who are interjecting have had an opportunity to speak to this bill.
Mr. Stong: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker: Exercise a little courtesy.
Mr. Kerrio: They didn’t say anything.
Mr. Stong: I would say that what we are trying to accomplish here is the situation of trying to get some small thing done rather than nothing done. It’s a choice between trying to accomplish something or trying to accomplish nothing. If we follow the route suggested by the third party, absolutely nothing will be accomplished in this House. It is more important that this bill get through with what it offers than by accepting an amendment and having the government withdraw the bill and the package of bills, particularly Bill 81 that affects my riding. I don’t think there’s any question about where we stand on this very important principle.
Mr. Warner: There is. You have turned tail. You have turned right about.
Mr. Stong: There is no question about where we stand on the issue of the election of the chairmen of regions, but we would rather accomplish something than follow the third party and accomplish nothing.
Mr. Warner: Just gutless.
Mr. Martel: I hadn’t intended to speak to this bill until I listened to that mish-mash from my friends to my right who are --
Mr. Stong: You tell the people in my riding that it’s mish-mash.
Mr. Martel: -- in fact to the right of Genghis Khan.
Mr. Stong: What you offer is mish-mash.
Mr. Martel: If the member’s party is prepared to accept that the government can intimidate this Legislature, it would have to do it on all bills. It has already waffled on Bill 70. It is now prepared to waffle on this bill.
Mr. Stong: I am not waffling on anything.
Mr. Martel: You sure are. You are waffling on Bill 70 and you are allowing the Minister of Labour to have her day as she plays games.
Mr. Speaker: Order. We are on Bill 83.
Mr. Martel: We are now talking on Bill 83 with respect to the appointment by the councils of someone who is not accountable to anyone. You hide behind some ridiculous -- I don’t want to use the word. Let me find a new word, Mr. Speaker, for what I feel.
Mr. Martel: I too come from an area that has a regional council. I recall to the Legislature that we had the benefits of a regional chairman appointed by this government who ultimately resigned after he tried to fire the administrator who was someone the government of Ontario appointed and not he himself. You talk about effrontery when the regional chairman will take it upon himself to fire the administrator appointed by the government of Ontario.
Mr. Speaker: There is nothing about Sudbury in Bill 83.
Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, with the greatest of respect, I am simply putting forward what can and does occur when regional chairmen are appointed. In the case of Sudbury, I am dealing with the appointment of a regional chairman, which is covered in this whole series of bills.
Mr. Laughren: It is called an analogy.
Mr. Martel: It’s an analogy. I just draw the analogy to the Speaker’s attention.
Hon. Mr. Drea: That is the longest word you’ve ever used.
Mr. Martel: I am not sure. I used recidivism once. It’s a word you have learned about recently.
Hon. Mr. Drea: You are a man of experience in that field.
Mr. Martel: I learn quickly. I am not a slow learner like some of you.
Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, when I show you the analogy I want to tell you what happens when these appointed individuals are not answerable to anyone and the extremes to which they can go to force their wishes on a council. They are not even answerable to the council ultimately. In the regional council they can play sides. If there are 20 councillors, if they are from the party faithful they can usually pick up support from the party faithful if there are enough of the party faithful on council. They don’t run on party labels but they are there.
Because the government of Ontario might have appointed this individual -- that council will not take it upon itself to unload the scoundrel if he’s no good -- because they defend Bill Davis. So they allow him to stay around.
Hon. Mr. Welch: He’s not a bad guy.
Mr. Martel: Oh, a lovely fellow. He proved himself tonight.
That’s why I say to my friend that one can’t allow oneself to be intimidated by threats of withdrawal of bills. Either the principle is sound and we have people in those very key positions, covering hundreds of thousands of people in Toronto -- millions --
Mr. Stong: There are lots of things we need right here.
Mr. Martel: Oh, we all need things. But unless you start --
Mr. McClellan: Get up off your hands and knees.
Mr. Martel: If you don’t start at the top to establish the principles, the rest doesn’t matter. It just doesn’t come about.
Mr. Stong: When you’re not in control, you have little to lose. You make with the talk.
Mr. Martel: No. Talk has nothing to do with it. I’m just trying to get you fellows I up off your knees for a change.
An hon. member: Speak to the bill, Elie.
Mr. Martel: My friend spoke about this party over here wanting to bring the government down. That has nothing to do with it. We want to establish the principle that those -- like all of us in this Legislature --
Mr. Stong: Do you want any legislation at all?
Mr. Martel: -- who represent people do so by the ballot.
Mr. Rotenberg: Why won’t you support direct election to Metro council?
Mr. Martel: And has the appointment of our friend, what’s-his-name, as the chairman got anything to do with the democratic process? He reminds me of Dick Dow, who was the mayor of Copper Cliff for 14 years. He never had a vote on his behalf once.
Mr. Kerrio: There’s never been an election --
Mr. Martel: Never has been an election in the town of Copper Cliff in all the years that my friend from Sudbury came from there. Confidence? He was ordained. They just laid the hand on and nobody ran against him. That’s what happens when you have that type of democratic process.
That’s what you’ve got in Toronto. That guy can play around with ball teams instead of, maybe, housing for people; instead of going to San Francisco. He’s not accountable. He can do those things without anyone really --
Mr. Stong: A little compromise.
Mr. Martel: Compromise? Which way?
Mr. Swart: Sellout’s the word. Sellout.
Mr. Speaker: Order. Order.
Mr. Martel: In other words, what my friend from the Liberal Party is saying is that despite all their prattle the other night -- he mentioned his friend from Kitchener -- despite his prattle --
Mr. Epp: On a point of order.
Mr. Laughren: Nothing is out of order.
Mr. Epp: On a point of privilege. I think the member for -- where’s he from anyway?
Mr. McClellan: Where are you from?
Mr. Martel: Sudbury East.
Mr. Epp: On point of privilege. Since the member from Sudbury wants to waste a lot of time tonight, maybe we should try to correct the record, anyway. The fact is that I'm not from Kitchener. I’m from Waterloo.
Mr. Martel: Oh, Mr. Speaker, may I offer my friend from Kitchener my humble apology?
Mr. Martel: But I want to go back to the principle -- you’ve got my apology.
Mr. Kerrio: You haven’t been there, Elie. What do you mean, get back to it?
An hon. member: Words without action are prattle.
Mr. Martel: I just heard the last Liberal speaker say that his colleague was the first one to speak about this principle --
Mr. Eakins: When do you start, Elie?
Mr. Martel: -- and then he went on for 10 more minutes and gave all kinds of reasons why they weren’t prepared to support it. That’s having it both ways. But that’s typical Liberalism.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Flexibility.
Mr. Martel: Flexibility. That’s my friend, the government House leader, putting it in proper perspective -- flexibility.
On motion by Mr. Martel, the debate was adjourned.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Hon. Mr. Welch: Just before moving the adjournment of the House, I wonder if I might make some comments with respect to the business next week? In doing the order of business for next week, particularly with reference to what we might be considering in committee of the whole on Tuesday --
Mr. Martel: We got lots now, Bob.
Hon. Mr. Welch: -- I neglected to mention Bills 66 and 91. The House leaders, perhaps, may be allowed the opportunity to arrange the order in which legislation may be called, but I wonder if I may serve notice that included along with those already mentioned earlier today we would include Bills 66 and 91 as well.
On motion by Hon. Mr. Welch, the House adjourned at 10:30 p.m.