The House met at 2 p.m.
Mr. Conway: Mr. Speaker, before the proceedings this afternoon, I’d like to draw to all honourable members’ attention something I don’t think should go unnoticed, that is, that yesterday was the 30th anniversary of the election to this assembly of the very distinguished and hard-working member for Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry (Mr. Villeneuve). I think we should take due note of that this afternoon and congratulate him for that.
Mr. Martel: He must be due for pension.
STATEMENTS BY THE MINISTRY
Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, I have a rather lengthy statement today. Since my statement was prepared, I understand there are a number of other statements from ministries as well. I shall attempt to abbreviate my oral statement, assuring members that there will be copies of it available to every member of the House as well as the members of the press gallery.
Later today, I will be introducing for first reading a set of amendments to reform nine acts dealing with children’s services in the province of Ontario.
These proposed changes result from the Consultation Paper on Short-Term Legislative Amendments, which was released last December, and the province-wide consultation process which followed.
The amendments demonstrate my determination to honour a commitment made to this House last year when a wide range of services to children were transferred into the children’s services division of my ministry, effective July 1. At that time I stated that the long-term task of the ministry, to develop an integrated and co-ordinated approach to the delivery of services to children and families, would not be done at the expense of those pressing issues which must be faced in the interim.
Mrs. Campbell: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: We can’t hear what the minister is saying. Could we turn up the volume?
An hon. member: All he does is mumble. He should speak up.
Hon. Mr. Norton: I’m sorry, Mr. Speaker; I normally don’t have that problem in the House. I don’t know whether it’s some faulty electronic equipment or not.
Mr. Warner: There’s nothing wrong with the sound system. It’s a faulty minister.
Mr. T. P. Reid: We always have trouble understanding the minister.
Hon. Mr. Norton: That’s not uncommon.
An hon. member: When you have nothing to say, it’s hard to be heard.
Mr. Speaker: Perhaps the console operator could turn on another microphone.
Hon. Mr. Norton: I now have two microphones on, Mr. Speaker; perhaps that’s better.
Mr. Nixon: It makes it twice as sensible.
Hon. Mr. Norton: Thank you very much. In a number of areas, such as child abuse, training school closures and program priorities, those interim issues are now being addressed.
The legislative changes contained in the bills I will introduce today indicate our continuing commitment to change, when and where it is required.
The acts to be affected by the amendments are the Child Welfare Act; the Day Nurseries Act; the Children’s Boarding Homes Act, to be renamed the Children’s Residential Services Act; the Children’s Institutions Act; the Training Schools Act; the Provincial Courts Act: the Unified Family Court Act; the Children’s Mental Health Centres Act and the Children’s Mental Hospitals Act, the last two to be renamed the Children’s Mental Health Services Act.
The most extensive legislative amendments relate to the field of child welfare and involve a substantial redrafting of the Child Welfare Act.
Mr. Martel: Why don’t you write a new one?
Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker --
Mr. Foulds: Have you lost the place?
Hon. Mr. Norton: No, I haven’t; I have got it. I am just trying to relieve members from about 10 pages of statement.
A summary of the full package has been prepared and is part of the background documentation which will be tabled in the House and delivered to all members of the House.
Some additional points should be made. First, the ministry’s commitment to public consultation on proposed changes has proved to be very valuable. Not only was the response to the green paper extensive and wide-ranging -- we received 226 written submissions and ministry staff held 40 meetings with interested groups across the province -- but it also had a clear effect on the policy decisions that were made within the ministry.
Included in the background documentation is a paper discussing the changes that were made as a result of the consultation process.
In addition, I would like to advise that a great deal of work is proceeding within the ministry to complement the changes contained in the legislation introduced today.
In the area of children’s rights, a paper on advocacy is to be released which will deal with such issues as a child’s rights in residential care, outside the parental home.
Regulations, rules of practice and procedure, and program guidelines are now being prepared to enable implementation of both the legislative changes and their underlying principles.
Residential care standards are also being developed which will set standards for the organization, management, funding, programs and the facilities’ responsibility to the community. These proposed standards will be released later this summer.
Finally, work has begun on omnibus legislation which will bring together all the laws relating to children’s services and will establish one co-ordinated approach to the provision of assistance to children and families with special needs.
I am asking for the co-operation of the members of this House to agree to have these bills receive second reading before the House rises for the summer recess. I do this so that these important bills may be referred to the standing committee on social development for members’ scrutiny before the House reconvenes in the fall. It is my hope that these bills will receive third reading during the early part of the fall session.
In conclusion, I would like to acknowledge the tremendous amount of work that has gone into the preparation of this legislation over the last eight months or so on the part both of my ministry staff and the legislative counsel. It represents many months of long days of work. On many occasions staff literally worked throughout the night in order to meet deadlines we had established. I would like to acknowledge the tremendous effort they put into it to make it possible for me to meet the commitment I made to this House to bring in the legislation during this session.
Mr. Nixon: It should have been in by May 1.
DISCRIMINATORY BUSINESS PRACTICES BILL
Hon. Mr. Davis: Last fall I introduced into this House An Act to prohibit Discrimination in Business Relationships. This legislation, as you will recall, Mr. Speaker, was intended to “make it clear, in so far as Ontario was concerned, economic boycotts which prejudiced citizens of this province by virtue of their ethnic background, religious affiliation or freely expressed views will not be tolerated by this Legislature and the people of Ontario.” Today I wish to reintroduce that bill in a slightly amended form.
Mr. Roy: I thought that had been vetoed.
Hon. Mr. Davis: While it is not necessary for me to repeat all I said upon introduction of the bill on the previous occasion, I do believe there are two major points that could stand repetition for purposes of emphasis.
First, there is no question that the desired objectives of this bill would be more directly attained by legislation aimed at trade and commerce, foreign trade, shipping, money and banking or criminal law. These areas are, however, within the competence of the government of Canada, and it is only at that level that legislation in this form could emanate. Since, however, the federal government does not seem willing to undertake a legislative approach to the issue and since this House may deal with matters of property and civil rights, we have attempted to address the problem from that particular point of view.
Secondly, I indicated at the time of original introduction that the legislation such as has been introduced would have impact upon and create concern within the business community. It is for that reason we tabled the bill, prior to the House proroguing, so as to give members of the business world and others who might be interested ample time to put forward constructive suggestions.
With the passage of time and the opportunity to reflect upon the comments we have received, I am again introducing this legislation in a form very similar to that which you saw last fall, Mr. Speaker, but with a number of changes that reflect the discussions that have been held and the opinions that have been forthcoming. In saying that, however, I do not want to deceive anyone in this Legislature into believing that the concerns of the business community have been answered or even diminished.
Many people see the expansion of wealth and the demands of goods and services in the Middle East as creating a large potential market for Canadian industry which may be adversely affected by legislation of this kind. We are fully aware of these circumstances. Nevertheless, it is my belief that Ontario cannot allow fears of this kind to stand in the way of our offering a clear indication of our abhorrence of discriminatory practices in business that are related to the ethnic origins or religious affiliations or particular views of people who live and work within our province.
In fairness to the business community, however, it is my belief that those who have concerns should have an opportunity to discuss them with members of this Legislature before any legislation is finally approved. For this reason I would suggest that when this bill is given second reading, going back to the observations made by the members opposite at that time, on the assumption that it is approved by this House, I think this bill should be referred to a committee of the Legislature where an adequate exchange of views and a full hearing of concerns can be conducted.
Finally, despite what I regard as a sound and appropriate effort by this province to deal directly with this situation, it must surely be obvious to all concerned that the matter would be more properly and more adequately handled if the federal government were to follow our lead and introduce legislation that would apply on a national scale.
The Prime Minister and other members of his cabinet have already indicated their concern about discriminatory business practices of the kind we are trying to overcome. I have no reason to doubt the sincerity of their convictions. On the other hand, the measures they have taken to date, which fall short of the introduction of legislation, are clearly not satisfactory to those who wish Canada to take a firm stand on this position. I would, therefore, once again commend to the Prime Minister and the government of Canada the notion that federal legislation would be a much better approach if Canadians are to show a truly national concern in regard to this matter.
Last fall when I brought forward the original bill, I said I was proud of what it represented and of the leadership by this province that it reflected. I remain of that mind, and I trust that that feeling is shared by all members and all parties in this House.
HEAVY WATER PRODUCTION
Mr. Conway: Here it is.
Mr. Bradley: Here it is.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, I hope the members of the opposition have received a copy of this statement. I know there was a last-minute delay because of a typographical error which has been corrected.
I gather the members have received a copy.
Mr. Deans: It just arrived.
An hon. member: You made a ministerial error.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Later today, in accordance with my promise to the Legislature, I will be tabling a statement on heavy water production and marketing and the urgent need for a national heavy water policy.
Mr. Bradley: Passing the buck.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: I would, however, in the interests of brevity, mention the key points of this statement now to the Legislature. The essential facts are these:
1. Ontario Hydro’s forecast of demand for heavy water is based upon its forecast of the growth in demand for electricity. Hydro’s annual electricity demand forecasts were reviewed and accepted by the Ontario Energy Board in 1974 and by the select committee and the Legislature in 1976.
2. Up to the end of 1977, Ontario Hydro’s annual reviews of its demand for heavy water confirmed the necessity of the Bruce heavy water plants now owned or under construction by Ontario Hydro and, until 1976, of one additional heavy water plant. This fourth plant, known as Bruce heavy water plant C, was cancelled when the Treasurer’s (Mr. McKeough) capital constraint program in January 1976 led to a reduced need for heavy water for Ontario Hydro.
Mr. Conway: That’s an interesting statement.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: 3. There has been an unexpected sharp reduction in the forecast growth in demand for electricity in Ontario for the period 1978 to the end of the century which has implications for Ontario Hydro’s own demand for heavy water and its ability to sell heavy water to the rest of Canada and abroad.
4. In January 1978, the federal government announced it was proceeding with the construction of the Atomic Energy of Canada Limited La Prade heavy water plant to meet Quebec and export market requirements.
5. Ontario Hydro advised me in April of this year that its sharply lower load forecast for electricity would involve considerable revision to the amount of heavy water Hydro would require. Even though Hydro’s analysis of the implications was not complete and Hydro had not made any recommendations to me, I immediately initiated a review of the implications of the lower load forecast and the reduced need for heavy water. I felt this was particularly important in light of the federal government’s decision to continue the construction of the La Prade heavy water plant.
6. My ministry’s preliminary -- and I should stress “preliminary” -- assessment suggests that Canada has a committed heavy water plant capacity which exceeds the current domestic and export forecast demand.
7. The Ontario Hydro Bruce heavy water plant D will be able to meet all of the demand that the La Prade plant is designed to supply and will do it more reliably and at a much lower cost.
8. The AECL La Prade plant is estimated to cost $1.5 billion, which is more than twice as much as the Bruce heavy water plant D even though the La Prade plant has an expected capacity of 22 per cent less than Bruce D. The D plant is expected to cost $650 million, as compared with $1.5 billion for La Prade.
An hon. member: What’s that got to do with it?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: 9. I have on several occasions discussed this matter with the federal Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources.
Mr. Conway: This is the domino theory.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: I also wrote a letter to him on May 29 calling for a comprehensive, integrated federal-provincial program for the future production and marketing of heavy water.
Mr. Bolan: Trouble, Reuben.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: In summary, I have urged the federal government --
Mr. Bradley: You’re the greatest buck-passer when you don’t know.
Mr. Mancini: Same old line.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: -- 1. that there is a clear and urgent need for a comprehensive, integrated federal-provincial program for the future production and marketing of heavy water; --
Mr. Bolan: Why do you have to run to them to bail you out?
Mr. Kerrio: Your country cousins.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: -- 2. that an early start be made by federal and Ontario officials to verify the status of the heavy water supply/demand situation;
3. that the federal government, on an urgent basis, reconsider its decision to proceed with the construction of La Prade, since Bruce D will be able to meet all of the demand that La Prade could satisfy and will do so more reliably and at much lower cost;
4. that in any event the considerably cheaper heavy water expected to be produced by Ontario Hydro should not be excluded from either domestic or export markets as a result of a monopoly supply situation which might be assumed by AECL or conferred on it by the federal government.
The federal minister has not yet responded officially to my May 29 letter. But he has indicated to me informally at least, as late as of last Saturday, that he agrees that our officials should get together as quickly as possible to co-ordinate heavy water production and marketing in Canada. I intend vigorously to follow up this matter with him.
This change in Ontario Hydro’s heavy water supply situation, given the very attractive cost advantages which Ontario Hydro has over AECL plants, provides it with an opportunity to market any surplus production it may have, thus providing a savings to the Ontario electrical consumer. Also, to the extent that this cheaper cost will lower the selling price of the Candu reactor in the export market and thereby enhance its sales potential, it will benefit all Canadians.
I should also like to assure this House and the public generally that our government has no intention of allowing the federal government’s decision to continue with respect to the construction of its expensive La Prade heavy water plant to jeopardize not only the more than 4,000 man years of employment involved in the construction of heavy water plant D at Bruce but also to jeopardize Ontario’s heavy water industry.
We will not rest until this country embarks upon a sound, rational federal-provincial program encompassing the production --
An hon. member: You will be resting after the next election.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: -- and marketing of heavy water in Canada and abroad.
Mr. Nixon: Even though you are the one who overbuilt.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: And if the result is a choice between cancelling Bruce D or La Prade, we believe it will be in the best interest of all Canadians to continue Bruce D.
Mr. Nixon: The attitude of this statement is certainly designed to get agreement.
Mr. T. P. Reid: The minister must be gratified with the letter to the editor in the Star today.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: I would anticipate, and do urge, that on this position we stand as one in this House.
Mr. Breithaupt: You have given them 10 days to clean it up. You are very good.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: By the time the select committee begins its hearings this July, I would expect that Ontario Hydro’s analysis will be complete, that the Hydro board will have considered this matter --
An hon. member: Same old story.
Mr. Nixon: Your great planning of the last decade.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: -- and will have advised me of its views, and that further discussions will have been held with the federal government.
Mr. Foulds: We will fight them on the beaches. We will fight them in the heavy water.
Mr. Nixon: Monumental debacle of Ontario Hydro.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: In the meantime, I shall advise the House of any significant developments as they occur.
Mr. Lewis: What an unnecessarily belligerent statement this is.
Mr. Nixon: What a paper tiger the minister is.
Mr. Foulds: Why is he so full of bombast?
Mr. Nixon: The minister is a phoney.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
An hon. member: Must be private members’ afternoon.
Mr. Lewis: How can you get a promise with a statement like this?
Mr. Foulds: And you wrote the letter only seven days ago. You don’t even answer your letters in seven days.
An hon. member: We’ve got a jerk for a minister.
YOUTH EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, last Thursday I made a statement in the Legislature concerning the extensive participation by employers in the 1978 Ontario Youth Employment Program. A projection of the number of participants and jobs was also provided and the cost in 1978-79, if the program remained open-ended, was estimated to amount to $55 million, some $38 million over the 1978 budget figure. Reluctantly, I announced that the government could not afford this large increase and, therefore, was placing a lid on the OYEP funding by establishing that applications postmarked after midnight that day, June 1, would not be processed.
It has been brought to our attention that the enforcement of this immediate cutoff date would deprive unfairly a number of employers of participation in the program who had requested application forms, particularly during the latter part of May. To alleviate this unfavourable situation I am pleased to advise that the government has decided to change the June 1 deadline date as follows:
An hon. member: A flip-flop.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: First, for those employers -- approximately 3,500 -- who in the latter part of May had officially requested application forms but had not been sent them, such forms will be forwarded by mail on or before next Monday.
An hon. member: That’s a great come around.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Completed applications in this group which are received by the ministry or postmarked on or before June 26 will be scrutinized and if approved, funds will be committed.
Second, for all other employers, and in particular to accommodate those to whom applications were forwarded in the latter part of May but would have had no reasonable time to complete and mail them by the cutoff date of June 1, the deadline has been extended three more days. Applications from employers in these categories received in the ministry or postmarked June 4 or prior will be scrutinized and, if approved, funds will be committed.
We believe this will provide an opportunity for participation to those who have indicated a sincere desire to take advantage of this program to provide meaningful jobs for our youth but through unfortunate time constraints were deprived of this opportunity. The estimated additional funding requirements to accommodate these changes will be approximately $5 million.
Full implementation of the Ontario Youth Employment Program will now cost approximately $25 million and will create well over 40,000 new jobs, an increase of more than 10,000 over what was originally planned for in my budget of March 7.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Mr. Speaker, members will recall that in January of this year I laid out a series of proposals for reforms of the property tax system to take effect with the introduction of market value assessments.
These proposals were subsequently reviewed by a committee of local government elected officials which reported in mid-April. The committee recommended implementation of market value assessment and property tax reform, along substantially the same lines as proposed in January, to take effect in 1979.
The government has now reviewed the committee’s report, as well as the public response to both the report and the January proposals. After due consideration of all the issues involved, the government has decided not to present tax reform legislation to this House in the current session. This means that property tax --
Mr. Laughren: Darcy backs off again.
Mr. Swart: The fourth postponement.
Mr. Conway: Is your name Jarvis?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: -- this means that property tax reform will not be implemented in 1979.
Mr. Breaugh: Twice in one session. Three times in one session.
Mr. Laughren: California scaring you? Did California spook you, Darcy?
Mr. Speaker: Order. Honourable members are just wasting time by interjecting.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: In coming to this decision, the government has taken three factors in particular into consideration.
First, notwithstanding extensive documentation of the gross inequities of the existing property tax system, support for tax reform has been less than overwhelming. The 15 elected local government representatives who reported to cabinet in April --
Hon. Mr. Davis: Including you people.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: -- produced between them not only a consensus report but also 10 dissenting opinions. While many local governments and local government associations have supported reform, others have been opposed.
A large number of school boards, as well as some municipalities, are calling for more data and analysis before any changes are made.
Mr. Bradley: What we need is another committee.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: In Metropolitan Toronto a number of boroughs have requested new data, while the city has gone on record as opposing market value assessment. In light of the substantial amount of data and analyses generated, and particularly that supplied to Metro municipalities, I cannot agree more analyses are needed. Instead, I believe many local politicians have not yet realized the need for moving on reform. For them, tax equity may he something devoutly to be wished for, but perhaps not worthwhile if the cost is decreased grants, or an increased portion of shared costs, or incurring the wrath of those taxpayers who are presently paying less than their fair share in taxes.
While local governments have been ambivalent in their reaction to tax reform, very few taxpayers have made their response to the January proposals known.
Mr. S. Smith: Government has come to a halt.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Doubtless this reflects in part the complexity of the property tax system. But even allowing for that factor, I am left with the impression that many taxpayers are more concerned about the possible impact of reform than they are about existing inequities.
Mr. Laughren: You don’t have the courage, Darcy.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: The second factor in the government’s consideration of the committee’s report was the number of areas in which more work is required before a fully equitable system can be implemented.
Mr. Laughren: Ten years isn’t enough.
Mr. Swart: Paper tiger.
Mr. Martel: How long, 0 Lord, how long?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: I would like to take this opportunity to compliment the local government politicians who reviewed the January proposals on doing a very good job within the time available. Having said that, I must also note that they left some of the more difficult problems to be resolved by the province. I am referring to the impact of reform on vacant land, on small businesses and on land-intensive recreational properties. The committee was not able to come up with complete answers in these areas, and neither have we in the time since the committee reported.
I must also say I do not find the committee’s proposed treatment of Metro Toronto entirely satisfactory. A phase-in of up to 10 years appears inordinately long --
Mr. Martel: It is going to take three more decades, Bill, three more decades.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: -- and the proposed treatment of commercial properties could add to the current uncertain business outlook. This is therefore another area in which more work is required.
Mr. Cassidy: That’s a flip-flop. You promised to protect the property taxpayers.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: The third reason I am not prepared to proceed with property tax reform legislation at this time is simply because the province cannot afford it on the terms suggested by some people. Under the committee’s proposals, the province would pay an additional $330 million in payments in lieu of property taxes at 1977 mill rates.
The committee did not support the idea of a dollar for dollar reduction in grants to finance this increase; although it agreed with budget paper B which outlined additional tax credit relief for senior citizens for 1979. Moreover, the committee called for additional provincial outlays for tax credits for businesses and in respect of land-intensive property. The overall 1979 cost of reform to the province would therefore be over $400 million if there were no reduction in grants. Given the goal of a balanced provincial budget by 1981 --
An hon. member: Dream on, dream on; it’s getting closer.
Mr. Laughren: You are being provocative again.
Mr. Breithaupt: 1984 is more like it.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: -- I could not support such an outlay of over and above our normal transfers to local government unless there was a more solid commitment to reform. This is especially the case since the very process of reform could conceivably weaken business and investor confidence in Ontario.
Mr. Nixon: You won’t be here then, Darcy.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: While I do not intend to introduce property tax legislation in this session --
Mr. Laughren: No courage Darcy.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: -- my ministry will continue to work on the issues I have referred to today.
Mr. Cassidy: You are the Howard Jarvis of Ontario.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Specifically, we will be trying to find solutions to the most critical property tax inequities in a number of municipalities.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT REVIEWS
Hon. Mr. McKeough: Upon releasing the government’s white paper on the review of local government in Metropolitan Toronto, I invited all councils and interested persons to submit their response by the end of May. While there was a limited time to examine and comment, the issues and proposals in the white paper were not new and had been debated many times previously. I felt then, as well as now, that something could be done to provide necessary reform to the system of local government in Metropolitan Toronto, particularly to improve the system of representation and accountability in time for the elections this November.
Mr. S. Smith: You need help from Joe Clark.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: It will be of interest to the members opposite that the reactions to both the Robarts report and the white paper indicate a much larger consensus exists in favour of direct election to Metro council than I expected there would be.
It is obvious, however, that the municipalities wish more time to study the proposals and their implications.
Mr. Nixon: We are not going to do anything about that either.
Hon. Mr. McKeough: In fact, only two municipalities have thus far advised me that they have entertained the possibility of providing for new wards and electoral arrangements for use this fall. I might add that my hope that reforms to the representation system could be done now was confirmed at least by the borough of Etobicoke, which sent me last week a number of alternate ward revisions under consideration by the council.
Nevertheless, the government will not be introducing legislation to provide for these changes at this time. We are proposing instead to extend the deadline for submitting comments on the white paper to December 31, after the municipal elections this fall. After that time, we will undertake to discuss the proposals and the municipal reactions with each of the councils before proceeding with the appropriate legislation.
Mr. Laughren: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: The Treasurer, when he made his announcement, did not send copies to this party. We would appreciate that.
Mr. Speaker: Can that be attended to in keeping with the provisional orders?
Mr. Martel: Is it the Treasurer’s intention to send copies of his statements to this side of the House so that we can see what’s in them in the event we want to ask a question?
Hon. Mr. McKeough: I apologize that they were not sent. I believe they are being sent now and the members will have them in about 30 seconds. The attention paid by the members in not listening to the statements indicated to me their high degree of interest.
Mr. Martel: Maybe the Treasurer would like us to reply verbatim to what he said in his statement.
Mr. Hennessy: Good idea.
Mr. Martel: We were listening as he opted for his second decade in bringing in tax reform.
Mr. Mackenzie: The Treasurer is brave only with the wisecracks.
Mr. Speaker: The Minister of Education.
Mr. Warner: More delaying tactics.
METRO SCHOOL BOARD
Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, coincident with the release of the government’s white paper on local government in Metropolitan Toronto in early May, to which the Treasurer has just referred, there was also released a second white paper dealing specifically with matters related to the structure and organization of education systems within Metro.
Members will recall that the essential thrust of this paper was that a two-tier system ought to be retained, consisting of six area school boards and the Metropolitan Toronto School Board. In addition, there were proposals intended to strengthen the powers and authority of the Metro board.
As I said at the time, there is no doubt that the Metropolitan Toronto School Board has served education extremely well over the past 25 years. It has ensured Metro-wide equity in taxation for education, and it has ensured equality of educational opportunity throughout the Metropolitan Toronto area.
There have been some concerns expressed that the Metro school board is rather remote from the citizens of the Metro area. However, while I do not doubt the sincerity of those expressing such views, and while I fully acknowledge that certain steps could possibly be taken to make the board somewhat more directly accountable to taxpayers, my own view is that the two-tier system represents the best structure upon which to build improvements.
Mr. McClellan: You’re wrong.
Hon. Mr. Wells: We originally asked for reaction to the white paper to be in our hands by the end of May. But clearly there is a need for an extension of this deadline. To date we have received briefs from only two area boards, while several others have requested that they be given more time to respond to our proposals.
Mr. Warner: You knew that was going to happen.
Mr. Foulds: How about December 31?
Hon. Mr. Wells: Similarly, while we have heard from some of the teacher organizations, others have yet to submit their reaction.
The government will not be introducing any legislative changes at this time. This means that the election of school trustees will proceed in November on precisely the same basis as in the past, and the Metro school board will continue to exist in its present form.
We are extending the deadline for submitting comments on the education white paper to December 31, 1978. This will allow us to have the full views of elected school trustees, including those who may be newly elected in November, as well as teachers, interested parents’ groups and other citizens who may have views to present.
Mr. Speaker: The Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations.
Mr. Conway: It being 6 o’clock --
Mr. Breaugh: Thursday again I
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, since the announcement two weeks ago about raising the drinking age to 19, I have had an opportunity to receive extensive input from educators, parents and students. These responses, though generally supportive, have had one constant theme; that is, concern about the effective date of September 1, 1978.
Mr. Conway: Clean up the high schools.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: It has been pointed out that the key date for school --
Mr. Conway: You didn’t know that before, eh?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: -- enrolment is December 31 each year, the object being that all children born in the same year would pass through the school system as a group. A September 1 date then would have the effect of splitting and dividing the group of students born in 1960 into two categories, although they generally as a group have gone through the system together and are for the most part in the same grade.
Upon reflection, we think this point is well taken and in order to accommodate a reasonable and sensible phase-in of the change in the drinking age, I would like to inform the House that I will be moving an amendment to section 2 of Bill 96 to change the effective date of the new legislation for drinking age purposes to December 31, 1978.
All persons aged 18 on or before December 31, 1978, will maintain their right to consume alcohol. Those turning 18 in 1979 will not.
HEAVY WATER PRODUCTION
Mr. S. Smith: A question for the Minister of Energy: Accepting the fact that it would make common sense for the federal government not to proceed with the La Prade matter at this time -- and we can support the minister in that -- let’s look at the matter of how we ended up with this so-called unforeseen surplus of heavy water in Ontario.
First of all, can the minister back up his statement -- number four of his key points -- which suggests that a sharp reduction in the forecast growth in demand for electricity is the reason for the diminution in the demand for heavy water. Surely the minister must realize that the diminution in growth and demand can only result in a need for less heavy water if fewer nuclear reactors are to be built. The need is per reactor.
That being the case, will the minister, realizing there has not been a single nuclear reactor cancelled since the plan of 1975-76, explain to us why it wasn’t perfectly obvious then that we would have a surplus of heavy water now? Why did it take until 1978 for him to be able to find out that we have too much heavy water --
Mr. Speaker: The question has been asked.
Mr. S. Smith: -- coming on stream for the number of nuclear reactors that we have?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Thank you very much for the speech.
Mr. Roy: Oh God forbid; don’t give us one back.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: As I indicated in my statement, I made it clear that Ontario Hydro, in its submission of April 12, in its letter to us at that time, simply stated there were likely implications for the use and future use of heavy water in light of the revised forecasts. Ontario Hydro, at that time, did not make specific recommendations. They are now undertaking a detailed study of this. We will, in due course, be having the results of that study, and I suspect of the recommendations. This is not the time to get involved in the nitty-gritty details of hairsplitting.
Mr. S. Smith: Three quarters of a billion dollars?
Mr. Nixon: It’s not a detail.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: We have acted --
Mr. T. P. Reid: What’s a billion dollars?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Do members want me to answer this?
Mr. Riddell: Not unless you are doing better than you are now.
Mr. Martel: The Premier should replace some of those fellows. They’re getting him in trouble.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: We have acted in a prudent fashion --
Mr. Breithaupt: Poppycock.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: -- on the basis of the possible implications coming out of that realized forecast.
Mr. Nixon: Thoroughly incompetent.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: We do not, and you do not, have the details of that forecast, and therefore there is no argument on it at this particular point.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: We have simply taken some necessary, prudent steps --
Mr. Roy: You make statements, then studies.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: -- for the future production and the future use of heavy water both in Ontario and abroad. That’s all we can do at this particular time. We cannot become engaged here in a detailed argument on data which is, as yet, non-existent. Members don’t have it. I don’t have it.
Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary: Does the minister not recognize there are two basic matters that are at question here, apart from federal government policy, that have to do with the planning that has gone on in the offices of Ontario Hydro?
The first question, by way of supplementary, is this: Is the minister prepared to recognize that the need for heavy water is directly proportionate to the number of reactors planned between now and, let’s say, 1990? Is he prepared to accept that, since that number has not changed, in point of fact the imminent surplus must have been known to officials at Hydro, or should have been known to them, as far back as 1975-76? That being the case, will the minister explain to us by what reasoning he is able to accept that the surplus was unknown until just this past April?
The second point is, does the minister not recognize that the agreement between Hydro and AECL is absolutely crucial to these matters? Would he therefore table this agreement; and would he confirm the fact that getting out of the pool arrangement was a mutual decision of Hydro and AECL; and would he table the reasons Hydro recently got out of that pool arrangement?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: To answer the second question first: The reason Ontario Hydro was in agreement to have the pooled agreement terminated at the end of December was that under that agreement both the cost and the price of heavy water production and marketing here in this country was pooled. Ontario Hydro was able to produce heavy water on a far more economical basis than the other partners --
Mr. Nixon: You wanted out when it was to your advantage.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: I’ll just give you a record of some bummers. The AECL Glace Bay heavy water plant was originally designed to have 54 kilograms of heavy water per hour. Glace Bay has never produced at more than 11 per cent of its capacity over all the years.
Mr. Nixon: You are blaming Trudeau for that.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: In 1977 it produced 14 per cent. In other words the cost of heavy water produced by Glace Bay is very expensive in comparison to the cost of the heavy water produced by Ontario Hydro.
Mr. S. Smith: Tell us all about the problems at Glace Bay.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: For example the Port Hawkesbury heavy water plant -- another bummer -- in 1971 produced at 15 per cent of its capacity; in 1976 it produced at 26 per cent.
Mr. Bradley: Is that parliamentary language?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: If members compare these figures of production percentage of capacity with Ontario Hydro we are a winner here. We were very efficient, very efficient in spite of all --
Mr. S. Smith: The government is jeopardizing a $600 million plant.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: -- the ridicule members try to heap on Ontario Hydro. We have in this country the finest, most efficient heavy water plant in the world. Why aren’t members proud of it for a change?
Mr. Laughren: Masters of propaganda.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: So there was no point at all for Ontario Hydro to continue in a situation where it was a partner with two losers.
Mr. Roy: It’s the minister who is incompetent.
Ms. Gigantes: There isn’t any heavy water at the AECL plant.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: It was for their own benefit that on December 30, 1977, they terminated this agreement. But we’re saying that’s the past; let’s look at the future and develop an integrated, comprehensive federal-provincial heavy water program. That’s what we’re doing; we’re being positive here, looking forward, not carping about the past.
Mr. S. Smith: What about the first part of the question?
Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary: Would the Minister of Energy not agree that what Ontario Hydro may be winning on the drafting table with its engineering, it is losing on the negotiating table? Can he explain why it is that he is making this statement today, five months after the AECL decided to resume work on the La Prade plant, and why Ontario was not making these representations to the federal government in view of the fact that the surplus capacity for heavy water would and should have been anticipated long before that decision to recommission the La Prade plant?
Mr. S. Smith: Two and a half years ago.
Mr. Breithaupt: Not 10 days ago.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: We were not advised by Ontario Hydro there were possible implications for heavy water production until April 12, not December 31.
Mr. Gaunt: They’ve done it to you too.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: The decision by the federal government to embark and to continue, or resume or whatever you want to call it, at the La Prade plant --
Mr. Warner: Why don’t you bring Ontario Hydro under public control?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: -- was a unilateral decision taken by the federal government. They did not come to us and ask us about what we were doing here in the way of heavy water in Ontario.
Mr. Lewis: How can you accept that behaviour from Ontario Hydro?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: No consultation; they simply go ahead spending $1.5 billion of Canadian taxpayers’ dollars to build a plant we are convinced is not necessary.
Mr. S. Smith: Of course it’s not necessary; that’s not the question.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: There was no consultation; it was only after we had heard and only after we knew there were some implications for this that we took the steps required, and that’s what we’re doing today.
Mr. Cassidy: There’s sure a lot of sawdust down at Ontario Hydro.
Mr. Warner: Who’s in charge over there?
Mr. Kennedy: Go ask Trudeau.
Mr. Speaker: Order. Before I recognize the member for Halton-Burlington (Mr. J. Reed) with a supplementary, surely when you take the time of the House to put a question to a minister, you should be courteous enough to allow him to reply. You may disagree with it and you can express that disagreement when you next get the floor, but to continually barrack and interrupt while he’s trying to make a statement and give a response to a legitimate question is an abuse of the question period, and it’s a waste of time.
Mr. Warner: Listen to that; listen to that over there.
Mr. J. Reed: Supplementary: I wonder if the minister could tell us how his ministry could be so irretrievably incompetent --
Mr. Nixon: Nice phrase.
Mr. J. Reed: -- as to allow a totally uncoordinated building program to take place between reactors committed and heavy water plants committed?
Mr. S. Smith: He doesn’t even know what you mean.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, may I first of all thank you, sir, for asking for some --
Mr. S. Smith: Protection.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: -- sanity and just a little decorum.
Mr. Warner: Answer the question. Quit trying to be so provocative.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: There they go again, you see.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: First of all, I do not accept the fact we were -- irretrievably, I believe was the suggestion -- incompetent. We were totally competent. We have done exactly --
Mr. S. Smith: It may yet be retrievable.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: -- what we set out to do. As soon as we had the slightest indication there might be a surplus of heavy water we did the prudent thing, we began negotiations with the federal government. We have done all we can until we get the final statistics from Ontario Hydro; then we shall see, and the select committee can see. The statistics will all be available to you when the select committee meets this summer.
In the meantime, what we have tried to do is at least get on course a rational plan, a federal-provincial plan, for heavy water marketing and production both in Canada and abroad. That is what we think we have to do and that is what we are doing. I realize that perhaps the Leader of the Opposition is more interested in casting scorn here. I wish he would support us in our approach to the federal government. Will he do that?
An hon. member: Did you ever talk to Trudeau?
Mr. S. Smith: Oh come on. You are so incompetent.
An hon. member: You blew your cool.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: We are doing what we have to do; we have taken the prudent step.
Mr. Lewis: Get rid of him, bring Elgie in. Try another, give us a shift.
Hon. Mr. Davis: In response to that interjection from the member for Scarborough West, I would only say that you people made a change and look where it has led you.
Mr. Lewis: That finishes the member for York East. I was afraid he would get into the cabinet.
Mr. Martel: We didn’t have enough money to lead in 115 ridings, Bill. We didn’t have enough money. You spent $50,000 per riding.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. Deans: I would like to ask the minister a supplementary question too, if I may. I don’t want to dwell on the incompetence of the minister or of Hydro. I have thought they were incompetent for years. I want to ask something else.
Mr. Peterson: There is the whole matter right there.
Mr. Lewis: That’s right.
Hon. Mr. Davis: You ask one, Stephen.
Mr. Deans: Since Hydro obviously knew enough to get out of the pool in 1977 surely it must have become clear to the minister in the interim, between I think February of 1977 and this date, that there was going to be overproduction of heavy water. What does the minister propose to do now aside from bleating at the federal government? What does he propose to do now with the $409 million additional dollars, at least --
Mr. Bolan: Join Jim Taylor.
Mr. Deans: -- that he intends to spend completing a project for which there is no need, neither now nor in the projected future? Does he not believe that in Ontario there are other projects which are much more worthwhile and which would create an answer to many social needs? Perhaps, he could talk to the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Grossman) about housing and find that $409 million used on that would be a better expenditure.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member is making the same mistake that has been made about three or four times across the road. He is making assumptions that there is data available. This is not yet the case.
Mr MacDonald: Sure it is.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: The studies, the analyses have not yet been completed by Hydro. I have said this three or four times: We are waiting.
Mr. S. Smith: How can you be so stupid?
Mr. Deans: I don’t believe that.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: The member may not believe it, but he must --
Mr. Deans: Hydro hasn’t told the truth in years.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: -- at least wait until the data has come and then we can debate that.
Mr. Speaker: Order, the member for Wentworth doesn’t have the floor.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Until such time, there is no way members can make any conclusions, they can only do what we have done so far --
Mr. Lewis: Sure, and look where it leads you.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: -- and that is to begin our negotiations with the federal government. That’s a reply to one other aspect of the member’s question, which is simply what are we going to do with the heavy water.
Mr. Foulds: Why didn’t you start those earlier?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: We are being positive on this side of the House. We are saying there is an export market, and we want it on the export market; but that side is so defeatist.
Mr. Deans: There is not an export market.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Members opposite say there is no market at all for heavy water. Why not try to export some heavy water? That is what we think we can do. There is an export market, and we are saying here in Ontario we want Bruce D to participate in the export of heavy water.
Mr. Deans: What are you going to use it for -- irrigation in Saudi Arabia?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: We don’t want La Prade to corner the market on heavy water going out of this country, can’t members see that?
Mr. Deans: No.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: No; they don’t want to see it, that’s why. Why don’t they turn their guns; why don’t they support us in going to the federal government instead of harping here all afternoon?
Mr. Speaker: Final supplementary; the Leader of the Opposition.
Mr. S. Smith: A two-part supplementary; and would the minister please try to respond to it.
First of all, will the minister table the agreement between AECL and Hydro? Would he table, in writing, any of the reasons the pool agreement has been terminated and any documents and correspondence related thereto? That is the first part; will the minister table the agreement and the subsequent correspondence? Has he got that now? Okay.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: I don’t need the member to turn on the sarcasm.
Mr. S. Smith: The second part: Since the minister missed it before, I’ll take him through this one slowly. Since he knows there have been no reactors subtracted from the plan since 1976 --
Hon. Mr. Baetz: The Leader of the Opposition doesn’t have to adopt that manner. Get off his sarcasm.
Mr. S. Smith: Since the minister knows there are the same number of reactors anticipated now as there were in 1976, on what new information does he imagine Hydro was able to calculate a reduced need for heavy water now? And on what information that was not available to them two years ago does the minister think they could have done that? What conceivable information could they have now, in 1978, that they didn’t have in 1976? Has the minister called them on the carpet to find out why they didn’t tell the ministry this at the proper time, two years ago?
Mr. Deans: They are incompetent.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: In response to the first question -- are we ready to table the agreement -- of course we are prepared to table the agreement any time the member wants it; he was after it last night.
Mr. Nixon: Why couldn’t we get it then?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: The Leader of the Opposition and his supporters tried to filch it out of Hydro last night in a clandestine manner.
Mr. Nixon: The minister wouldn’t give it to us last night.
Mr. J. Reed: We couldn’t get it.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Members opposite can have it; there is nothing in the agreement that is secret.
The other part as to why we allowed an agreement to terminate, if the Leader of the Opposition had only been listening instead of talking -- he should listen with his ears instead of his mouth --
Mrs. Campbell: Answer the question.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: If he had only been listening, I told him before why it was in the best interest of Hydro to allow that agreement to terminate.
Mr. Warner: They should export you.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: They were in with people who could not produce heavy water as efficiently as Hydro could; that was the simple reason for it.
Mr S. Smith: What new information could Hydro possibly have had in 1978 they didn’t have in 1976; that is the second part.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Has the member forgotten that in 1978 Hydro came up with the revised long range forecast? Has he forgotten that small fact? That is what started this whole thing.
Mr. Wildman: You are in heavy water over your head.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: That’s when we took the action, that is what we are basing our action on.
Mr. S. Smith: But no nuclear reactors were cancelled; it was a thermal plant in Wesleyville, no nuclear plant has been cancelled.
Mr. Speaker: Order. This exchange is getting nowhere. The Leader of the Opposition with his second question.
Mr. Lewis: Keep after that scoundrel.
Mr. S. Smith: I will switch ministers for the benefit of the House and my own health.
Mr. Lewis: Oh don’t do that.
Mr. S. Smith: My blood pressure can stand just so much; you understand, Mr. Speaker.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: The Leader of the Opposition needs rest, that’s all.
Mr. S. Smith: I’ll direct a question to that far more competent minister, a man with whom I am very friendly, the Attorney General.
Mr. Speaker: Question.
Mr. S. Smith: Fresh from his most recent victory against Dow Chemical, can the Attorney General tell this House how he could conceivably settle a so-called $35 million suit against Dow Chemical for a so-called $25,000, which averages out to $5,000 a year for every year these fishermen were out of business? How could he settle for that?
What were the legal costs of pursuing that particular suit to that marvellous outcome, and how can he face the fishermen? What is he going to do for them now, since it was this government that persuaded them to go in with the government on this famous polluter-must-pay lawsuit.
Mr. Peterson: You sold them out.
Mr. Nixon: And what do you think about the Solicitor General (Mr. Kerr)?
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, I shall be making a complete statement tomorrow morning.
Mr. S. Smith: We look forward to the statement, of course.
By way of supplementary, can the Attorney General tell us if it is a fact that these fishermen now have no other recourse; and also if the government is prepared to do anything to help support these fishermen whose source of livelihood has obviously been destroyed by the mercury dumped into Lake St. Clair, since the settlement itself obviously comes nowhere close to providing a reasonable compensation for what happened to them?
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: As I said a moment ago, I’ll be making a complete statement tomorrow morning. Perhaps, as a result, the Leader of the Opposition will learn something. I appreciate this is a very difficult process for him, but perhaps it will occur.
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. T. P. Reid: You certainly learn by your mistakes, Roy.
Mr. Speaker: Order. Does the member for Lakeshore have a supplementary? Final supplementary.
Mr. Lewis: Not a final supplementary.
Mr. Lawlor: As part of the minister’s statement tomorrow morning, is it his intention to table for the perusal of this House the memorandum of settlement involved here?
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I have nothing to add to what I have already said here this afternoon.
Mr. T. P. Reid: At least you admit you don’t know.
Mr. Lewis: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Why not? It relates to his intended statement.
Mr. Roy: Will the Attorney General not undertake in his statement tomorrow to respond to the questions of my leader and the member for Lakeshore?
Ms. Eaton: You won’t be here tomorrow, will you, Albert?
Mr. Roy: Sure, I will.
Hon. Mr. Davis: He’ll be here on a Friday? That’s wonderful, wonderful.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: What happened?
Mr. Roy: I’ll be making notes of his statement.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: The courts are closed tomorrow.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Is there a holiday in Ottawa tomorrow?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: We sit at 10 o’clock on Fridays.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I expect that my statement tomorrow will be an adequate response to any of the questions that have been asked here.
Mr. S. Smith: The polluter must pay.
Mr. Nixon: The Solicitor General will resign.
NORTH BAY PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL
Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Health. Can the Minister of Health make a statement on what happened at the North Bay psychiatric hospital on Tuesday night? One of the attendants has subsequently died as a result of an attack on attendants by a patient who had previously been at Penetanguishene.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, an investigation is under way under the auspices of the administrator of North Bay’s psychiatric hospital. I can only tell the member that the patient in question had previously been a patient at Penetanguishene and had been -- as far as I know, and this will be confirmed by the full report I will get -- sent to North Bay on a loosened warrant. That day, in fact, he had been reviewed by the review board which had decided to send him back to Penetanguishene. Before that could be carried out, he had, as it were, absconded from the building, and in the attempt to recover him, so to speak, two attendants were injured, one very seriously.
I was not aware at the time I came into the House today that he had passed away. If that is the case, it grieves me very, very much. Once I have a complete report from the administrator, Mr. MacLean, I will report back to the House.
Mr. Bounsall: Would the minister speak to his colleagues, and in particular the Minister of Labour (B. Stephenson), and urge them and her to bring Bill 70 into this House so that our civil servants in Ontario can be protected by that health and safety legislation?
Mr. Pope: That is nonsense, utter nonsense.
Mr. Bounsall: Will he also urge the Minister of Labour to immediately appoint, under Bill 139, in existence since 1976, health and safety committees in our psychiatric hospitals and correctional institutions in this province?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I know full well the views of that member and that party on that particular subject. May I say it strikes me as something a little beneath the dignity of this House to try to ride such an issue on the back of a gentleman who just passed away in the service of the province.
Mr. Pope: It sure is, it’s sickening.
Mr. Laughren: That is what you are doing.
Mr. Mackenzie: What do you want, another death?
Mr. McClellan: How many deaths do you want?
Mr. Mackenzie: You ought to be ashamed.
Mr. Laughren: Pretty cheap shot, Dennis.
Mr. Mackenzie: Damn cheap.
Mr. Cooke: We’re interested in prevention.
Mr. Pope: You ought to be ashamed of yourselves.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: The question of the safety of employees in psychiatric hospitals is one which pervades all elements of the psychiatric hospitals’ branch in the ministry. It is something which is drilled into staff all the time in terms of procedures to be followed. It is something which is emphasized regularly and thoroughly.
Mr. Warner: What about the one I gave you -- Scarborough Centenary? You never solved that one.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: These incidents are not only regrettable but sometimes very tragic.
Mr. Swart: Perhaps preventable.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I think it would be a gross distortion to try to suggest to this House, and through this House to the public, that any particular bill or any particular procedure will ensure that there will never be any incidents.
Mr. Laughren: It might help.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: In fact, the rate of incidents is very low. We try to ensure that every possible procedure is taken to ensure we keep the incident rate as low as possible.
Mr. Mackenzie: Employees keep asking for it. Doesn’t the minister consider them?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: As I said in answering the original question, when I’ve got a complete report I’ll report back to the members.
Mr. Bolan: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Is the minister aware of the fact that this particular patient had been a patient at the Penetanguishene maximum security institution on a Lieutenant Governor’s warrant for some period of time? When he is conducting his investigation into this matter, will he look into the question of why he was released from Penetanguishene and transferred to North Bay as well as what procedure and what steps are involved?
When he is looking at the question, and whether or not a person is on a Lieutenant Governor’s warrant, which as he knows is issued when somebody either has committed a crime or is awaiting a charge, will the minister say what the person was doing being transferred to a loose security hospital like North Bay? In fact, on that particular day in question he had been given a pass to go downtown in North Bay. Can he investigate that as well?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: In my answer to the original question, I already acknowledged that the person in question here is, in fact, a Lieutenant Governor’s warrant patient. Once one becomes a Lieutenant Governor’s warrant patient, though, that does not mean one is locked away for life in Penetanguishene. It is possible, depending upon the progress in treatment, to have one’s warrant loosened in various ways, even to the extent of being in and living in the community under regular surveillance and keeping contact with a psychiatric unit or with a physician. All of these things will be taken into account in compiling information about this most unfortunate incident.
Mr. Cassidy: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Would the minister not agree that the cutbacks taking place in the ministry now are having the effect of ensuring that maximum security patients are being transferred from Penetanguishene to psychiatric hospitals across the province and that facilities like the forensic ward at the Hamilton Psychiatric Hospital are having to be closed, so that the maximum security patients are being scattered around the rest of the institutions; and that is, therefore, putting attendants and staff who work there at very substantial risk for reasons of cost cutbacks and not for therapeutic reasons?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: No, I wouldn’t agree. In fact, we’ve added, I think, seven psychiatric nurses to Penetanguishene in the last few months; we have not cut back. In the case of the Hamilton Psychiatric Hospital, the member is quite right in saying that the forensic unit was distributed through the hospital but in a manner that was consistent with our standards of safety and quality of the program.
Mr. Mackenzie: That’s not what the employees say.
Mr. Cassidy: On a matter of privilege, Mr. Speaker: I regret that the information I gave to the Legislature about the death of one of the attendants at the North Bay Psychiatric Hospital was in error. Fortunately, the attendant was not killed although he is in critical condition. I don’t believe that fact, which we welcome, changes the very serious nature of the situation which was raised previously in the question period.
Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations. Now that it is clear the general government committee will he recommending an extension of the current rent review program for at least two years, and in view of the fact that there has been no concrete alternative put forward by the ministry as an interim measure since this question was asked in the House about two weeks ago, will the minister now undertake to introduce as an interim measure a one-line or short bill that can be adopted before June 23 which would provide for the period of interim extension needed into 1979 in order that we not have chaos for landlords and tenants in the fall because of the gap which the ministry now proposes to leave before rent review is continued?
Mr. Conway: How are the roller skates, Mike?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: I will wait until I receive the report of the standing committee that is studying the matter.
Mr. Cassidy: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Will the minister undertake to introduce that kind of legislation, which can, and I want to assure him will, be adopted on an interim basis very quickly after June 15, in order that the recommendations of the committee can then be considered and implemented in full in the fall? Will he bring in a one-line or short bill now, as soon as the committee reports, given the way in which it intends to report?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: I can only repeat that, unlike now both opposition parties, I refuse to undermine the work of the committee. I will wait until the committee reports.
Mr. Breithaupt: We waited until the facts were in.
Hon. Mr. Davis: We are suspicious that their federal colleagues brought a little pressure on the Liberal members.
Mr. Lewis: The Premier’s level of self- righteousness rises as he declines.
Mrs. Campbell: Would the minister at least give this sort of undertaking to the House, that he will, should that report indicate that extension, in view of the time constraints between June 15 and June 23, introduce that legislation before the House rises should the committee so report?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Notwithstanding the way the member has asked that question, she still hasn’t frightened me into changing the answer I have already given.
Mr. Mackenzie: It’s not fright; it’s common sense.
Mr. Warner: Thank you, Mr. Speaker; I would like to know if the minister understands yet the particular legal problem which will face both landlords and tenants as of September 30 of this year if there is not an interim measure put into place before the new program comes into effect? What does he propose to do, should we rise on June 23 and not sit until October, to handle that serious legal problem which will arise for landlords and tenants as of September 30?
Mr. Mackenzie: You are going to be forced to call the House back in the middle of August.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Of course I find it really quite interesting that the member’s party really wasn’t complaining about the lack of notice period until now.
Mr. Martel: Answer the bloody question for a change. What are you going to do, silly boy?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: I want to explain to members and to tell them I am not going to play the politics on this issue, so if they will sit quiet, I will tell them about it.
Mr. Cassidy: Take some action.
An hon. member: Bring Thea in there.
Mr. Lewis: Politics are in your genes, young fellow.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: I left them at home.
I will understand the legal problems we are facing. My point was that last fall when we reduced the guideline figure from eight per cent to six per cent --
Mr. Breaugh: We did that last year.
An hon. member: You did it?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: -- there were thousands of people, all landlords, who were stuck without notice, who didn’t have any mechanism to --
Mr. Breaugh: Bill, let’s go again.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: -- adjust their notice period. I didn’t hear the slightest bit of squawk from either --
Mr. Warner: That wasn’t my question.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: -- opposition patty with regard to exactly the same question, the notice period given the change in the rules.
Mr. Warner: So you are not going to do anything.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Now as I said last week, there are inequities that will fall upon either landlords or tenants, and depending upon the solution sometimes upon both. In trying to now decide how we solve that problem I do wish to make one point very clear.
Mr. Warner: You are not going to do anything.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: If members will just be quiet, I will make one point clear.
A landlord who is facing a situation in September of having to give a notice of a rental increase --
Mr. Breithaupt: Now how do you feel about consumer affairs?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: -- for January 1, can do this in September.
Mr. McClellan: There is quite a choice open to you.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: The landlord can say: “I will wait and see what the assembly does in October or November -- “
Mr. Martel: You better call another election, Bill.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: “ -- and leave my tenants at exactly the same rent as they are currently paying for another two or three months.”
An hon. member: No guarantee.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Nothing stops the landlord from doing that. And equally, the landlord could gamble a little bit and serve a rental notice increase which may not work or be effective at all --
Mr. Breithaupt: Why are you putting people through this charade?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: -- depending upon what the assembly does in the fall.
Mr. McClellan: This is absolute nonsense.
Mr. Samis: Why don’t we go to Las Vegas?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: In essence it is a better position than moving right now to add and extend a rent control scheme into January and February, if in the long run we are not going to have that scheme continued.
Mr. Lewis: The entire government is grinding down, minister by minister. It’s never been this bad. You are in a state of terminal affliction.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: So I prefer, really, to wait and see what scheme we are likely to have next year --
Mr. McClellan: Why don’t you buy a crystal ball? Maybe you could guess.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: -- before we decide whether it is appropriate --
Mr. Lewis: I am glad I left in time to watch it from a distance.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: -- whether it is appropriate to bring in legislation to extend it. If members will just listen to the final line, they may even be interested in it.
Mr. Martel: Some of you won’t have to resign. You will be fired by the boss.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: The important thing is this. If, in fact, the committee reports that the rent review scheme ought to be continued intact for another two years; and if in fact the government --
Mr. Martel: The first person I have seen who has survived an autopsy.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: -- is going to do that, then of course the circumstances change and we might as well do something now rather than have the uncertainty.
Mr. Lewis: What is this?
Mr. Martel: Methinks you protest too much. Is his mainspring winding down at all?
Mr. Lewis: I think you have food poisoning.
Mr. Speaker: The question has been answered. Sit down. The honourable member for Simcoe Centre has a new question.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: We are going to wait for the committee’s report.
Mr. Foulds: This virginal, virtuous verboseness of yours must be catching.
Mr. Lewis: There should be a cabinet shuffle if there was anyone left.
STORE HOURS BYLAW
Mr. G. Taylor: A question of the Solicitor General: In view of the fact that July 1, Dominion Day -- or whatever other name it has -- falls on a Saturday this year, will the government make any provision for stores to open in tourist areas to enable tourists in those areas to buy supplies as a usual practice?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: There is a provision in the legislation --
Mr. McClellan: Send him a copy of the bill.
Hon. Mr. Kerr: -- that in tourist areas the municipality can pass a bylaw which, in the interest of the tourist industry, exempts certain stores from the provisions of the bylaw requiring them to close.
Mr. Bolan: Check the act.
Mr. Roy: Give us your polluters-will-pay speech, George.
Mr. G. Taylor: Supplementary to that, will the minister make any statement on this for the benefit of those in the tourist area?
Hon. Mr. Kerr: No. All I would do is refer to the act itself. As I mentioned, the act provides for exemptions in tourist areas in the event the municipality passes a bylaw. I don’t think there is any reason for a general exemption of the law as it applies to holidays because July 1 falls on Saturday.
Mr. Bolan: Get your act together over there.
Mr. Bounsall: Just tell him to read the bill.
Mr. Foulds: Bob Welch leaves for a day and the place just falls apart.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Like when Stephen leaves for a day.
Mr. Lewis: I think you’re all suffering from dropsy.
D.E.S LEVELS IN BEEF
Hon. W. Newman: I promised members I would comment on the DES issue raised by CBC last Thursday. As members are aware, the CBC reported on the Radio Noon program that they had sent 10 beef livers, five of US origin and five of Canadian, to Alpha Laboratories, a private laboratory in Don Mills, for DES testing. The laboratory reported high levels in all but one sample.
Frankly, the reported levels of DES were so high that the results were questionable. My staff immediately contacted the CBC for further information. They also contacted the federal Department of Health and Welfare, and Agriculture Canada. They obtained samples of the liver used by the CBC and had tests run on these animals at their pathological labs in Guelph. These tests showed no detectable levels of DES in any one of the 10 livers.
I should point out that the test for DES residue is not a routine procedure in most private labs. Interpretation of results requires considerable experience and expertise. Agriculture Canada, responsible for enforcing the DES ban, has tested 400 samples of beef liver in the last two years.
I am deeply distressed that CBC caused consumers to worry unnecessarily about the quality of their food. I am very pleased, however, that Ontario’s beef producers’ high reputation has been reinstated.
I would also like to point out that within the last few hours, I believe, the CBC has apologized; I think that should go on the record too.
Mr. Bolan: Let’s go, Reuben.
HEAVY WATER PRODUCTION
Mr. J. Reed: I have a question of the Minister of Energy. This is in the nature of a very straightforward request.
Mr. Martel: Has anybody got ear plugs?
Mr. Mackenzie: There goes the rest of the question period.
Mr. J. Reed: So the opposition may properly consider support of the minister’s request today, I wonder if the minister would be good enough to table, as soon as possible, the opinions given to the then minister when the building of heavy water plant D was considered; the Ontario Energy Board report of the day which weighed the pros and cons; what the cost overruns on D are projected to be upon completion; and, finally, if he would also let us know the production-consumption figures from the beginning of the heavy water era right through to 1995, so that we can see very clearly --
Mr. Speaker: Surely that question should be put on the order paper.
Mr. J. Reed: The urgency of the question, Mr. Speaker, is that the minister is asking us to stand by his government and support him on this issue. I think he understands that we really need to have this kind of information in order to make a valid judgement.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: I must say I’m very much encouraged to finally hear from across the floor that on this matter of Ontario Hydro’s role in the export of heavy water, we will get the support of at least one party.
Mr. Breithaupt: No. We want facts for a change, facts first.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: I haven’t heard it from over here yet, but I hope it’s there.
Mr. Lewis: You certainly haven’t.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: We have it? Thank you very much. But that we will in fact --
Ms. Gigantes: No, you haven’t.
Mr. Lewis: I said you certainly have not.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: We have not?
Mr. Lewis: You certainly have not.
Mr. Speaker: Order. That wasn’t the question.
Mr. Foulds: Have not. You have not. Why don’t you just answer the question?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Certainly, we will be pleased to collect and to table whatever relevant data is required. I don’t know if I can meet all of the member’s requests, but certainly we will try to meet as many of the requests as we possibly can.
Mr. J. Reed: By way of supplementary: In order to clear the air, I’m sure the minister understands we may either support him or condemn him, as a result of that information.
Mr. Lewis: Since we may be on the verge of committing ourselves to another wasted expenditure of over $400 million additional, does the minister not think it’s time to take a closer look at the information which is being fed to his ministry from Ontario Hydro; and therefore to the premises on which this additional $400 million expenditure is based, since -- and he can then answer me -- it may well be that Ontario Hydro suppressed important information which should have been brought to the attention of the House, the public, and the ministry more than two and a half years ago, until April 1978?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: I can give the honourable member opposite a generic response to that: I certainly will, when the information we’re expecting comes, which has been based on all their detailed analyses. We will certainly examine it very critically and very closely. We will do this.
I can also assure the member opposite that if it is my opinion that Ontario Hydro is suppressing information that this ministry should have, there will be the very devil to pay. That is one thing I will not tolerate.
Mr. Lewis: There’d better be. We have heard that before.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: That’s my promise to the member.
Ms. Gigantes: We had that promise before.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: That’s the promise to this House.
Ms. Gigantes: We had that promise from Taylor before.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: We will be very, very critical.
Mr. Lewis: Don’t spend another $400 million before you know.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: We are not committing ourselves to $400 million before we know; that’s the whole purpose of this exercise.
Ms. Gigantes: Are you stopping it now?
Mr. Lewis: Are you stopping Bruce D?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: We are not stopping Bruce D because we don’t have the information that we need before we can make any final decision. That’s all.
Mr. MacDonald: You are committing then?
OTTAWA HOUSING AUTHORITY
Ms. Gigantes: I’d like to ask a question of the Premier.
Would he ask the Minister of Housing (Mr. Bennett) to show cause why he should not be required by the Premier to set up an independent public investigation of his veto of the municipal nomination of Aline Akeson to the board of directors of the Ottawa Housing Authority, considering his previous allegations that Ms. Akeson had misrepresented her income in reports to OHA, considering also that her income had been reported to OHA last fall by her solicitor at that time, Mr. Gary Guzzo, and that neither the OHA board nor the Ministry of Housing saw any problem with Mr. Guzzo’s appointment to the same OHA board in December 1977?
Hon. Mr. Davis: I’m not sure I heard the first part of the question exactly. If I heard it correctly, the answer to that is no.
Ms. Gigantes: Supplementary: If the answer to the question is no, what does the Premier propose to do about a minister who makes such spurious allegations, affecting both the personal reputation and the professional contribution that a person such as Ms. Akeson could make to a municipality like the city of Ottawa in the role she could play on the Ottawa Housing Authority board of directors? Doesn’t that concern the Premier?
Hon. Mr. Davis: I have found most people in public life, particularly those with whom I’m associated, if they have made a mistake -- and I can’t comment on the facts of the situation at all -- they are quite prepared to acknowledge it.
Mr. Roy: Could I ask a brief supplementary, Mr. Speaker. I wonder if the Premier might relay this question to the Minister of Housing. Could that minister advise if, prior to making his statement in the House last week, he checked with the solicitor for Ms. Akeson, Gary Guzzo, with whom I know the Premier is acquainted?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I have no idea with whom the Minister of Housing discussed this matter prior to any observations made in the House. I think if the honourable member wishes to ascertain this, he might ask the Minister of Housing. In fact if he is anxious to get a reply on that matter, he might just see him this weekend in Ottawa and find out.
In fact, he knows Mr. Guzzo better than I do. He might give him a call.
Mr. Speaker: New question.
Mr. Roy: I don’t see the Minister of Housing in Ottawa.
Hon. Mr. Davis: He’s on public business and the member is in the courts when he is in Ottawa.
Mr. Cassidy: It’s a vendetta by the Minister of Housing.
RAYMOND LEE ORGANIZATION
Mr. M. N. Davison: I have a question of the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations. In view of the fact the results of a recent Ontario Securities Commission hearing showed they were not actively favourable to the operating procedures of the Raymond Lee Organization, an organization which has ripped off thousands of inventors in North America and in Ontario, and in view of the fact that the OSC has suggested that the Business Practices Act should be used as a tool for investigating this corporation, will the minister undertake to launch an investigation of the practices of the Raymond Lee Organization?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: I’ll be pleased to see what action my business practices branch is taking on that matter and report to the House.
AMUSEMENT RIDE SAFETY
Mr. Bradley: I have a question of the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations. In light of the fact that several accidents have occurred on amusement rides in the province in the last several years -- the latest in Oshawa, I believe, where six children were treated for injuries; and in view of the fact that the province at the present time does not have an inspection system for these amusement rides; is the minister giving consideration to establishing an inspection system for Ontario -- not to ensure that no accidents will take place but to reduce the chances of those accidents taking place?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Back in 1976, I believe it was, TEIGA developed, in conjunction with my ministry, a draft bylaw for municipalities to implement. That draft bylaw was drawn along the lines of the CSA midway safety code Z726. It was drawn up in a bylaw form and TEIGA in 1976 urged municipalities, which have the licensing authority in this area, to adopt that bylaw.
I can assure the member and the House that TEIGA and ourselves are still urging municipalities, especially the ones that do have these rides, to exercise their authority. We have offered every bit of assistance, backup material and research to enable them to enforce this type of bylaw.
Mr. Bradley: Supplementary: It’s true that this step has taken place and has alleviated the problem to a small extent, at least in some municipalities that have the financial ability to enter into a program of this nature. But for those municipalities that either do not have the expertise and cannot afford to acquire the expertise or devote the time through their engineering department to the inspection services, does the minister not agree that further action would be required? I’m not suggesting necessarily someone hired as a civil servant in the ministry, but someone designated by the ministry to do inspections, perhaps in sections of the province. Many municipalities simply cannot afford to do this and do not have the expertise at the present time.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: The problem here becomes, with the number of operations that are in effect, once the province decides to go into an area which has always been an area of municipal licensing and control, it obviously will require an entire army of investigators and supervisors sent out by us.
A carnival operator or whatever will leave one little town and move to another one 20 miles away. That would require our people to follow them and check that installation. It has always seemed to us that notwithstanding what may appear to some to be too onerous a provision for municipalities, the fact is that most municipalities would find, I think, that they have one of these things perhaps once a year sometime during the summer and it would probably be a heck of a lot easier, and cost everyone a lot less money, if one or two people who are currently on staff in some of those municipalities were assigned to check into this, to licence the fairs as they arrive and then do the inspections with the education, assistance, material and background we would be happy to provide them. After all, each municipality would have to do that only one or two days a year when the annual carnival or fair arrives. That would seem to me to be a lot more sensible than having a team of people from here chase these people around the province.
Of course the municipalities have some very direct control as to what fairs they are going to let into their municipalities, so if they don’t wish to encourage some of these licensing and supervision costs, they can of course choose to not have those fairs in unless the operators can satisfy them they have met certain safety requirements.
Mr. Conway: The man is as circuitous as the old Kingston and Pembroke railway.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: In any event, it is a matter of serious concern. I am not sure we ought to be getting into a large expenditure here, but we think it is very important and therefore more consultation with municipalities will continue.
Mr. Conway: What was Allan like?
Mr. Bradley: Same way.
Mr. Cooke: Supplementary: I wonder if the minister realizes how serious this problem is, in particular the problem we experienced down in the Windsor-Essex area with the Bob-Lo Company, which has had something in the neighbourhood of five or six accidents in the last couple of years causing serious injuries? That municipality has not implemented any kind of bylaws; in fact Bob-Lo follows Michigan laws. Does the minister not feel that the province has a responsibility to protect the citizens of Ontario in this respect?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: I trust the member will ask the same question of his local municipality in Windsor, because they already have all the authority. They have the draft bylaw which we have --
Mr. Cooke: It is a small municipality.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: -- developed after extensive work; it really takes very little to pass the bylaw to have the licensing powers. If they have someone they don’t like they should not issue them the licence for the very good reasons the member is pointing out.
Mr. Cooke: They haven’t done it; the minister should make them.
Mr. B. Newman: Supplementary: I have been after this problem for the last three years and the city of Windsor has taken care of it in their appointment of an inspector who does a very admirable job. Would the minister not consider requiring every carnival ride to have a certificate of mechanical fitness posted in a very prominent position, so that the individual wishing to use that ride will know that it has been inspected recently by a municipality, and has been inspected on an annual basis?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: That’s not a bad suggestion at all. I will look into it because we would like to find a way to solve it.
Mr. Laughren: In the absence of the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough), I would like to ask the Premier a question about the Treasurer’s statement today on property tax reform. In view of the fact that property tax reform has already had a 10-year gestation period in this province, and during that time there has been ample opportunity for consultation and input; and recognizing the fact there were specific problems with the recommendations by the working committee; does the Premier not think that some of those specific problems, such as vacant land assessment, the particular problems affecting the residential and commercial interests in Metropolitan Toronto, were not insurmountable and that they could have been resolved, and would the Premier relate to the Treasurer that it is time he stopped reneging on promises to the municipalities in this province?
Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to get those impressions from the member for Nickel Belt and I assume he is speaking for his entire party, that they are totally committed to the principle of tax reform as enunciated by the Treasurer.
Mr. di Santo: Answer the question.
Mr. Swart: He didn’t say that.
Hon. Mr. Davis: I had been waiting to hear this for some time. I got some indication of the Liberal Party policy in Metropolitan Toronto when it sent out a pamphlet saying: “Here are all the problems. We’re not sure we know what the solutions are.”
Mr. Cooke: Answer the question.
Mr. Peterson: The solution is to get rid of you. That’s the solution.
Hon. Mr. Davis: So we know what the Liberal position is on real property tax reform -- like no position. However, I will convey the member’s concerns to the Treasurer.
Mr. Peterson: You are amazing.
Mr. Breithaupt: Don’t wait 10 years --
Mr. Laughren: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Ignoring the distortions uttered by the Premier, if he is worried about the school boards’ comments on property tax reform -- and, by the way, I talked about property tax reform, not market value assessment -- would the Premier not agree that one way of making property tax reform more acceptable to the people of Ontario would be to progressively reduce the educational component in property tax across this province?
Hon. Mr. Davis: I don’t think there is any question about the acceptability of the reduction of educational levy, or actually the reduction of any real property levy, as long as people understand that along with that is an increase in sales tax, income tax --
Mr. Laughren: No, no.
Mr. McClellan: Progressive tax.
Mr. Samis: Not the sales tax.
Hon. Mr. Davis: -- or, for that party, corporation tax; as long as there is an awareness that whatever the route that is taken, somebody has to pay for it.
Mr. Warner: Start with your bank account
Hon. Mr. Davis: I won’t argue for a moment that any form of tax change would be more acceptable if people felt they were paying less taxes.
Mr. Laughren: Tell them.
Hon. Mr. Davis: But I would say to the honourable member he has been here long enough to know that, directly or indirectly, there is no such magic formula.
Mr. Laughren: I never said there was.
Mr. McClellan: Don’t be silly.
Hon. Mr. Davis: Taxation has to be paid by somebody in some fashion. I am not going to argue that the reduction in educational levy, or even in municipal levy, isn’t attractive; it’s attractive to all of us. But I would say to the honourable member, he has to look at the alternatives. I know what his is: Tax the corporations out of business. That to us is not a viable alternative.
An hon. member: That’s garbage.
Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker: I would like to direct a question to the Minister of Education. With the cutbacks caused by the dropping enrolment in our elementary and secondary system, and with the layoff of teachers, can the minister assure the House that his review of the situation with the various boards indicates that they are reducing their administrative budget and staff in the same proportion? Or does he buy the argument made by some boards that they have to maintain their administrative staff, or even increase it, because of the complexities of the layoff procedures and the increased amount of administration that is necessary under these difficult circumstances?
Mr. Breithaupt: It’s like the British Colonial office: The fewer the colonies, the more staff you have.
Hon. Mr. Davis: How are you so familiar with that?
Mr. T. P. Reid: He was there.
Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I think my friend knows a fair amount about the school system, and I can’t really tell him what boards are doing with their administrative staff. Certainly I don’t support any school board that has an unduly heavy administrative staff compared to the services it has to deliver. I don’t think anybody would, and I think that boards themselves would feel that there should be cuts in that particular area too.
I would just point out that the actual redundancy in teachers across the province was, as reported in the Globe and Mail a couple of days ago, about 1,175 teachers. That is the number who were told they were redundant at the end of May when the deadline had arrived and they had to be told. Some of those teachers, of course, will be available and will get jobs where hiring is going on.
I also would draw to the honourable member’s attention that a number of these redundancies occur because of the negotiated class size, pupil-teacher formula, which is provided for under Bill 100 and under the way school boards negotiate now where they negotiate terms and conditions of employment. The ratios are in contracts and the terms of those contracts, when they are put into effect, necessitate certain changes in staffing policies.
Mr. Foulds: Point of privilege, Mr. Speaker: I know you have ruled on this matter on a number of occasions and said that it is not in order for us to suggest a member like the Premier is misleading the House when he distorts questions like that from my colleague, the member for Nickel Belt; could you tell me, is it in order for us to call him the grand distortionist as well as the grand contortionist of politics in Ontario?
An hon. member: That’s what he does, as well as not answer the question.
Mr. Speaker: That is not a point of privilege.
Mr. Warner: He can distort all he likes.
FRENCH LANGUAGE SERVICES
Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, I have a petition on behalf of some students in Toronto who deplore the Premier’s decision of last week pertaining to Bill 89, and I’d like to present it to the House.
Je voudrais, M. le Président, de la part des étudiants de Toronto, présenter une pétition qui déplore l’attitude, ou la décision prise par le Premier ministre la semaine passée, au sujet du Bill 89.
STANDING MEMBERS’ SERVICES COMMITTEE
Mr. Breithaupt, on behalf of Mrs. Campbell from the standing members’ services committee, presented the committee’s report which was read as follows, and moved its adoption:
Your committee recommends, as the House on June 5, 1978 approved, that the three policy secretariats and the legislative administration offices 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; and that the space when vacated be immediately allocated to the Speaker; and first priority on the allocation of funds of the Ministry of Government Services budget be given for the purpose of renovating the vacated space for members’ offices and committee rooms.
Hon. Mr. Grossman moved the adjournment of the debate.
Mr. Breaugh: Point of order, Mr. Speaker: I think you will recall that last week the House leaders met with the procedural affairs committee and a procedure was agreed upon among the three House leaders on this particular matter. I would request the government respect that agreement at this time. I don’t mind them turning over their tricks six months later but they could at least give us a week to try it.
Mr. Martel: Withdraw it; you don’t need that motion.
Mr. Rotenberg: What’s the agreement? The agreement is to have a debate some time, not now.
Mr. Warner: He’s going to defy his government House leader (Mr. Welch).
Mr. McClellan: Where is the House leader? Everything gets all fouled up when he’s not here.
Mr. Breaugh: To clarify it for all those members of the Speaker’s panel who received it last week, and who I hope have discussed it with the government House leader, the agreement was that the chairman of the committee would reserve the right to adjourn the debate. I might point out for the edification of the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations that that suggestion was made by his government House leader.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: In the absence of the government House leader, may I say that it is my clear understanding, notwithstanding what the member has suggested, that the procedure we are adopting at this particular time is known to the other House leaders and is in order with the common practice that has been adopted.
Mr. Breaugh: No, it is not.
Mr. McClellan: You are wrong.
Mr. Breaugh: Quite wrong.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, I have moved adjournment of the debate.
Some hon. members: No. No.
Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, I don’t think it is a terribly important matter, however my understanding of the agreement was that the government House leader felt a little sensitive about moving the adjournment each Thursday --
Mr. Breaugh: That’s right.
Mr. Nixon: -- and wanted to be relieved of that responsibility. After getting the acceptance of the government House leader that we would have regular debates on these important reports it was also agreed the chairman of the committee who moved the adoption of the report would then move the adjournment of any debate that might follow and it would be scheduled for a convenient time within a few days.
Mr. Breaugh: Absolutely.
Mr. Speaker: I suggest the House leaders get their act together.
Mr. Nixon: We have it together, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker: No, you haven’t got it together. There’s a motion on the floor that states Mr. Grossman moves the adjournment of the debate. Shall the motion carry?
Some hon. members: No.
Mr. Speaker: All those in favour of the adjournment of the debate will please say aye.
Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, point of order.
Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, point of order.
Is there no debate on that motion?
Mr. Nixon: Not on an adjournment.
Mr. Speaker: For the adjournment of the debate?
Mr. Foulds: Yes.
Mr. Speaker: I have called the question.
Mr. McClellan: You’ve allowed it before.
Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, might I speak before you call the question? No one wants to put you in an embarrassing position by voting against your ruling.
Mr. Speaker: Do members want me to disagree with the rules of the House?
Mr. Martel: No, I want you to --
Mr. Speaker: Order.
Mr. Martel: I would ask the Speaker to listen.
Mr. Speaker: Order. Will the member sit down?
Mr. McClellan: If you want to get your bills through you had better not play these kinds of games.
Mr. Eaton: What a threat.
Mr. McClellan: You are damn right it is.
Mr. Speaker: There is a motion to adjourn the debate. A motion to adjourn the debate or to adjourn the House is not debatable. I have already put the question.
Mr. Martel: But Mr. Speaker, I am going to speak to it for a moment.
Mr. Speaker: What is the honourable member going to speak to? There’s nothing to speak to.
Mr. Martel: The government should not have asked for this order, unfortunately. The government House leader, the House leader for the Liberal Party, and I, representing my party, had a meeting; we met with the procedural affairs committee --
Mr. Speaker: I’m not party to those agreements.
Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker --
Mr. Speaker: Order. I am not a party to those agreements.
Mr. Martel: There is no sense talking; you might as well make an ass of yourself.
Mr. Speaker: Order. The honourable member will withdraw that remark.
Mr. Martel: I withdraw the remark, Mr. Speaker, but you know, once in a while you should listen so we can assist here.
Mr. Speaker: I’m not a party to any agreements that any House leaders make. In the absence of it I will abide by the standing orders of this House.
Mr. Nixon: Put the question.
The House divided on the motion to adjourn debate on the report from the members’ services committee, which was approved on the following vote:
Ayes 50; nays 21.
Motion agreed to.
STANDING ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE COMMITTEE
Mr. Philip from the standing administration of justice committee reported the following resolution:
Resolved: That supply in the following amounts to defray the expenses of the Ministry of the Solicitor General be granted Her Majesty for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1979:
Ministry administration program, $2,687,000; public safety program, $11,417,000; supervision of police forces program, $6,717,000; Ontario Provincial Police management support services program, $27,885,000; operations program $118,293,000.
STANDING PROCEDURAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
Mr. Breaugh from the standing procedural affairs committee presented the committee’s report which was read as follows and adopted:
Your committee has carefully examined the following application for a private act and finds the notice, as published, sufficient.
Beezee Foods Limited.
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS
DISCRIMINATORY BUSINESS PRACTICES ACT
Hon. Mr. Davis moved first reading of Bill 112, An Act to prohibit Discrimination in Business Relationships.
Motion agreed to.
Mr. Speaker: The Minister of Community and Social Services I understand has eight bills. I think it has been agreed that he will move them all at once and the question will be put all at once.
Hon. Mr. Norton moved first reading of Bill 120, An Act to revise the Day Nurseries Act; Bill 119, An Act to amend the Provincial Courts Act; Bill 118, An Act to revise the Children’s Residential Services Act; Bill 117, An Act to revise the Children’s Institutions Act; Bill 116, An Act to amend the Unified Family Court Act, 1976; Bill 115, An Act to revise the Children’s Mental Health Centres Act; Bill 114, An Act to revise the Child Welfare Act, and Bill 113, An Act to amend the Training Schools Act.
Motion agreed to.
TOWNSHIP OF PELEE ACT
Hon. Mr. Norton, on behalf of Hon. Mr. Snow, moved first reading of Bill 121, An Act respecting the Township of Pelee.
Motion agreed to.
Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, the act which I have just introduced will provide the township of Pelee with the necessary statutory authority, so far as it lies within provincial jurisdiction, to operate a ferry service between the township of Pelee on Pelee Island, the towns of Leamington and Kingsville on the mainland, and the city of Sandusky in the state of Ohio.
This service has been provided by the federal government for the past 71 years. However, Ottawa announced in 1977 that starting with the 1978 shipping season they would no longer be responsible for the service. They would, however, lease the ferry to a qualified operator. As a result of a federal tender, the township of Pelee has tentatively been awarded a contract to operate the federal vessel and the Pelee Islander, conditional on provincial approval and authority. This act will provide the township of Pelee with that necessary authority.
CITY OF HAMILTON ACT
Mr. Deans moved first reading of Bill 122, An Act respecting the City of Hamilton.
Motion agreed to.
RESPONSES TO PETITIONS
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Before the orders of the day, I wish to table the response to a petition presented to the Legislature, sessional paper 114, and an interim response to a petition, sessional paper 107.
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ON NOTICE PAPER
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, I am tabling the answers to questions 82 and 83 standing on the notice paper.
ORDERS OF THE DAY
PRIVATE MEMBERS’ PUBLIC BUSINESS
SUNSET PROVISION FOR GOVERNMENT BODIES
Mr. Walker moved resolution 12:
That in the opinion of this House the government should bring forward legislation to insert a sunset provision (i.e., automatic date of termination) for all government agencies, boards and commissions, to permit meaningful and periodic review of the continuing need for such agencies, boards and commissions.
Mr. Bradley: We already had that.
Mr. Speaker: Mr. Walker moves a resolution standing in his name. The honourable member has up to 20 minutes.
Mr. Bradley: It’s a repeat.
Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, I will try and limit my comments in view of the brevity of the hour.
I rise in support of the sunset resolution standing in my name, Mr. Speaker. As most of you know by now, sunset means the sun shall set on the various agencies, boards and commissions of government --
Mr. Wildman: That’s profound.
Mr. Walker: -- at some specified point in time, say after a few years. Agencies will become automatically terminated unless new legislation is introduced to remandate that agency.
Mr. Speaker, the lesson I learned in the 1977 election is the public of Ontario are not entirely happy with the way we in government spend their money.
Mr. Bradley: Your government, right.
Mr. Walker: That applies to federal, provincial and municipal levels of government.
Mr. Wildman: You have been in power for 35 years.
Mr. Walker: Government therefore must respond to this complaint in a way which satisfies the public. Government does not always do that. Let me cite an example.
Two days ago the voters of California voted in favour of proposition 13.
Mr. Samis: That’s not a very good example.
Mr. Walker: Its passage ensures that in the state of California a reduction of property taxes by nearly one half will occur.
Mr. Samis: $100,000.
Mr. Walker: That was, in effect, Mr. Speaker, a taxpayers’ revolt. The political leaders got the message for once, but it took a sledgehammer to get it across. Obviously, there was a feeling in that state that the legislators’ demands exceeded what these people were prepared to pay.
Mr. Bradley: Then they find out the services are gone.
Mr. Walker: Proposition 13 is a very blunt instrument and to some extent a very unfortunate one. Here in Ontario there is a similar feeling in the minds of the public that something has to be done to curb the ever-increasing demands on the taxpayer’s dollar.
To a large extent the sunset law answers that public demand. Sunset is a refined and sophisticated way for those in legislatures such as ours to regain control over their own government. It does so by inserting an automatic termination date in particular arms of the government; that is, its agencies, boards and commissions.
Mr. Wildman: Why not the whole government?
Mr. Peterson: Why not his head?
Mr. Walker: At a specified point in time these agencies, boards or commissions automatically terminate. That’s it, zap, once and for all they are finished.
Mr. Wildman: They are zapped.
Mr. Walker: However, if the agency, board, or commission has merit, then a new piece of legislation is passed and the agency, board or commission is remandated for a further period of time.
Mr. Bradley: What would you do if they removed Tory candidates?
Mr. Walker: When I use the word legislation, I mean in some cases a new regulation, a new order in council of the cabinet, or a new instruction from the body which created it in the first place.
One perfect example of this very process at work is in the area of legislation, the rent control bill. As the members all realize, it automatically terminates December 31 this year. 1n fact, it has a sunset provision written right into it. Everyone knows it terminates automatically. If government chooses to do nothing, the program would automatically disappear very effectively and so would the millions of dollars of expense.
Mr. Warner: The problem wouldn’t.
Mr. Walker: Knowing fully well that the program would terminate, this Legislature decided there might be value in some form of continuing tenant protection and therefore established a committee to review the matter. That committee is to report to the minister next week.
The government will receive the benefit of an exhaustive review of the whole tenant-owner question and no doubt, as a result of what it has had reviewed, it will introduce some form of continuing tenant protection, likely somewhat modified from the existing situation. Had rent control been imposed without the sunset provision, it would have continued forever, irrespective of whatever inequities there may have been.
Mr. Peterson: Are you in favour of rent control now?
Mr. Walker: Only a public outcry of immense proportions would have caused the bill to be altered because, from a very practical point of view, all members of the Legislature consider future matters, not past concerns. It is the nature of our parliamentary system to so do. To some extent, it is a fatal flaw that we spend our time exclusively on problems of the day, problems of the future -- sometimes real and sometimes imaginary -- but never really consider what we did last week, last year, or five years ago.
Mr. Peterson: The voters will.
Mr. Walker: However, there are some matters which, once passed, either become redundant down the way a bit or themselves compound the problem for which the law was first passed.
Mr. Wildman: This whole debate is redundant. We had it before.
Mr. Walker: Let me give you two examples: First, a redundant law, the tax discounters’ bill, was passed earlier this year in the Legislature. It covered Ontario and prevented an abuse problem that this Legislature considered important. It was assented to on March 10 this year.
Yet, this same year, on April 17, the House of Commons passed Bill C-46, An Act relating to the Discounting of Overpayments of Tax under the Income Tax Act. It does the same thing basically as the Ontario bill; it puts the discounter out of business. But our Ontario bill is now redundant. I will be introducing a private bill shortly to repeal that piece of legislation.
The Ontario bill would have been a good bill to sunset. It would have made repealing legislation unnecessary.
The second consideration: The age of majority in 1971 was reduced from 21 to 18. Everyone agreed with it at that time.
Mr. Haggerty: Not everyone.
Mr. Walker: Yet six years later it took an immense public outcry to get the legislation changed such that it would prohibit 18-year-old people from legally consuming alcohol. Had 80 per cent of the public not become aroused on the matter, all of us know that government by its very nature would not likely have responded to the movement for an increase in age. Had the reduced age in 1971 been part of a bill with a sunset clause in it, say for five years, then a proper review of drinking at age 18 could have been conducted without such a large public outcry required.
Mr. Bradley: All you need is a responsive government.
Mr. Walker: It would have been a more orderly assessment of the matter, and I think that it would have been a better government in the legislative sense.
Ontario passes as many as 200 bills each year, some filled with hundreds of sections. Our existing laws are contained in five volumes, each over 1,000 pages long. That, incidentally, can be compared to France, where the entire nation’s laws are contained in one volume. Along with Ontario’s 5,000 to 6,000 pages of law --
Mr. Peterson: Some legal system, eh?
Mr. Walker: -- Ontario proliferates regulations by the dozens each month. It would have 6,000 to 8,000 pages of regulations just to complement the law. I ask you how anyone can know what the law is.
Mr. Peterson: Especially you lawyers.
Mr. Walker: The answer is that no one really does. It is just too much for any person to grasp, let alone the general public who are expected to obey it. Why do we have so much law? The answer, to some extent, relates to agencies of government which themselves have become a government. They were probably established in the first place to carry out a small function of government, yet sometimes they have grown into governments by themselves.
Consider the conservation authorities which are governments within governments, governments within many, many municipalities. Consider the district health councils.
Mr. Bradley: The Tory sellout.
Mr. Walker: Consider the whole host of alternative governments such as the Ontario Municipal Board, the Ontario Highway Transport Board, the Liquor Licence Board of Ontario, the Workmen’s Compensation Board --
Mr. Bradley: Yon want to abolish the Conservative senate.
Mr. Walker: -- the Niagara Escarpment Commission that looks after some two million acres in this province. These alternative governments are not really accountable to the people directly, yet they rule often beyond the control of government itself.
Last year, in speaking to the review motion of the Leader of the Opposition, I indicated there were some 355 agencies, boards or commissions in Ontario to the best that I could determine. I regret to advise the House that I was not accurate in that matter. It would appear there are considerably more, in the range of 750, to which the government of Ontario makes one or more appointments. There are even more than that if you consider bodies to which the government makes no appointments yet, in fact, provides the funding.
Mr. Haggerty: You should have been on the Wiseman committee.
Mr. Walker: My sunset resolution is an attempt to get a handle on these agencies, boards or commissions. It’s an attempt to return to the Legislature, to the cabinet, to the minister, to government in general, the control, responsibility and accountability.
What a sunset provision would do is to require these agencies, boards or commissions periodically to justify their existence to those who set them up in the first place. If the agency justifies its work, then it is simple to pass new authority remandating its existence for yet another period of time. If on the other hand modification is appropriate, that too can be easily dealt with.
If, however, the value of the agency does not warrant continued existence then termination automatically occurs without government doing a thing -- something, at times, that it is very easy to do. Some agencies will have outlived their usefulness and their demise will be most appropriate.
The sunset law puts the onus of proof on the backers of the agency or the program to prove the value. This is a shift in the onus of proof. Normally, it is up to those in opposition to a program to justify why there is no value and, quite frankly in this Legislature and in others, I am hard pressed to think of where programs have been axed along that form.
The magic of sunset is that it turns the inertia of government bureaucracy against itself so that it consumes itself, for as we know, it is far too easy for bureaucracy to do simply nothing and thereby be assured that it is immune from positive action against it. Sunset reverses that onus of proof, Mr. Speaker, by assuming that there is no value and requiring the accused to prove its innocence in order to gain the reprieve.
While I have restricted my resolution to agencies, boards and commissions, let me say that it has great application for all government programs, the assumption being that not all government programs should be in place for ever. Like the hundreds and hundreds of agencies, boards and commissions, programs should not be expected to continue for ever without periodic consideration as to their value. As I once said, “Nothing in government is so holy that it deserves to escape periodic reassessment in order to justify its continuation.”
If members approve this sunset proposal, it is not the be-all and end-all. It cannot be applied willy-nilly to every agency, board and commission. It must be carefully applied by a proper and well thought-out piece of legislation so that the proper analysis of the worth of the agency, board or commission can be conducted. For example, one could not modify the Workmen’s Compensation Board or Ontario Hydro without very carefully analysing the entire operation.
Application of sunset will have to be phased over many years in order properly to assess the need for remandating. I would think every seven years might be appropriate for some agencies, particularly the very complex ones, but others might have sunset applied every two years or so.
Sunset will not automatically save all kinds of money, although there is that very distinct possibility. Sunset will, however, make more alternatives and more accountability for those alternate governments called agencies, boards and commissions.
Sunset will restore responsibility to these agencies of government. Sunset will allow members of the Legislature to keep a rein on these bodies for which we are assumed by the people to be responsible in any case. I urge your support of this resolution which while aptly called “sunset” may be considered the sunrise of accountability.
Mr. Nixon: That is a nicely-turned phrase.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Does the honourable member wish to reserve the remaining seven minutes?
Mr. Walker: No, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Peterson: I think that was a very poetic windup to the honourable member’s speech. I think it’s just depressing that there aren’t more of his colleagues to listen to this because we’ve been talking about this kind of a program for many years --
Mr. Nixon: There’s nothing but empty seats.
Mr. Peterson: -- and he really should be haranguing his own members on this kind of issue.
Mr. Haggerty: There’s nobody to give an account.
Mr. Peterson: Obviously, we have some differences on the implementation of this kind of policy. We’re going to support this resolution, but as I stand here, Mr. Speaker, I have a curious sense of déjà vu. We went through this entire debate -- albeit it was different in some respect -- some six months or so ago, when my leader introduced a similar resolution. We had the same debate. As I recall, the ministers and the government caucus, including the member for London South, didn’t vote for it. Those people stood up and guillotined that bill and it never did come to a vote. We are going to support this, because we are of the view that once we support one issue, Walker’s resolution in this House, then there will be no more need for him here and maybe he can sneak away where he belongs.
Mr. Warner: Sink slowly in the west.
Mr. Peterson: I just have a few minutes and I want to support some of the things that the honourable member said because I think they are so very important. It is very interesting that I put a question on the order paper on February 23 of this year and, as you know, under the standing orders we expect, in most cases at least, an answer within two weeks. In a clear violation of the spirit of those rules, I had an answer to that question back on May 2, some seven weeks later.
Mr. Warner: Shameful.
Mr. Peterson: I want to read that question into the record, Mr. Speaker, because it is important to the debate. The question was:
“Inquiry of the ministry: Would the ministry provide an updated list of all boards, agencies and commissions to which the government makes appointments, the administrative costs of the above boards, agencies and commissions including names of commissioners, methods and amount of indemnity, and the amount of funds administered by the said boards, agencies and commissions in the current fiscal year?”
Well, it’s obvious at the outset, Mr. Speaker, that they didn’t know and they were scurrying about the ministries trying to find out for what, in fact, they were responsible. It is an indictment in itself that they did not have that information immediately, on the tip of their pens, as they say. They should have been able to report back quickly and efficiently.
Even when we did get an answer it was the most convoluted, incomplete and disappointing answer to that inquiry at which I wish all members of the House would take a look. I have no idea how the so-called Wiseman committee or even the committee on procedural affairs is going to proceed without at least cataloguing the various sins they have created over the goodly number of years.
We have had a tremendous difference of numbers on this question of boards, agencies and committees. We cast about the number of 344. The member for London South today says it is over 700. I can say, Mr. Speaker, in the ministry’s response to my inquiry, they came up with, depending on how one catalogues it, somewhere over 500. Now that figure depends on local boards, and it depends on ad hoc committees. It depends on a myriad of things but it is in the order of 500 at least. Maybe my colleague from London South is aware of the fact that the government has buried another 250 somewhere that they haven’t come clean with, at least to us.
Mr. Bradley: What do you think they do with their campaign manager?
Mr. Peterson: I was very disappointed. I was very disappointed when they spent seven pages in the explanation saying why there could be no detailed explanation and why no answer could, in fact, be given. They couldn’t apportion the amount of money controlled or administered by each board. Really, Mr. Speaker, it wasn’t a very constructive contribution to this process about which we have all, at some time or another, registered concern.
Obviously, one of the important issues in this matter is how much money they administer and how much they cost to administer so we can do some kind of reasonable legislative cost-benefit analysis to find out if we are spending money efficiently and well. As the member for London South has frequently pointed out, we create these boards, agencies and commissions and then we don’t know what we have done with them.
I have a copy of the terms of reference from the procedural affairs committee that’s looking into this thing. They have various little squibs about what various committees have done. It’s interesting, as an example, Mr. Speaker, to show why it’s necessary. It says: “As an example from this latter group, the chairman of the plant diseases licence review board.” Now, I must confess to you I did not know you had to have a licence for your plant to get a disease in this province. A 1971 survey readily stated: “We were appointed by the Agriculture minister, Bill Stewart, to act as a review board. We were never used.” Of course the list goes on and on.
Mr. Nixon: Very disappointing.
Mr. Peterson: I could read through a long list of redundant agencies. One of the problems, of course, with this committee, as I understand these terms of reference, is they are only going to be studying the boards that are, in fact, necessary and not the ones that are unnecessary. It’s interesting to note at this time, Mr. Speaker, after the leadership of my own leader’s resolution on this some six months ago, the concern registered by the member for London South. There are at this present time two committees looking into this myriad of boards, agencies and commissions. Now, talk about efficiency in the Legislature. The Premier stands up and appoints the Wiseman committee --
An hon. member: In name only.
Mr. Peterson: -- four Tory backbenchers -- to look into this whole matter. We are not expecting any concrete results out of them.
At the same time, the committee on procedural affairs under the member for Oshawa will be looking into this matter. They will be running concurrently. They should start by sunsetting one of them, at least.
I don’t know how you can possibly justify two committees --
Mr. Nixon: Back to the shoestore, Douglas.
Mr. Peterson: -- with their members getting $50 or $75 a day, sitting all summer, looking through ridiculous things. It is time for some leadership out of that government, and we have seen none --
Mr. Nixon: There’s nobody there.
Mr. Peterson: -- out of that chair so far.
Mr. Nixon: Trying to get their cigars lit --
Mr. Peterson: I look back to the debate when it was so eloquently expressed by the member for York South (Mr. MacDonald) about the boards, agencies and commissions being, in effect, “the Ontario senate,” the graveyard for every Tory hack in this province, as some kind of appointee to a board, agency or commission.
Mr. Bradley: Campaign manager.
Mr. Peterson: I want the honourable member to know that I reread that speech. It was a first class speech, and I hope he will repeat it today. It is a burial ground for these dead, tired political warhorses, a place for them to retire to in some kind of peace.
Mr. Walker: There is one there for you, David.
Mr. Peterson: Everybody is aware of the abuses of that. The member for York South pointed them out so beautifully in that last debate.
Mr. Nixon: Take their pension and a salary, too.
Mr. Peterson: Obviously we need conflict of interest legislation to protect ourselves from that kind of political abuse of this system.
Mr. Warner: Just because there is no senate in this province.
Mr. Peterson: We can certainly understand with that kind of tenor and flavour --
Mr. Nixon: We need a new government to weed it out.
Mr. Peterson: -- why the Premier is so reluctant to change this kind of thing. He expressed his reluctance, in fact, in the kind of committee he appointed, the kind of members he put on that committee. Frankly, I am not very optimistic that much is going to come out of that committee.
I want to take the House back a bit, if I may, to the resolution --
Mr. Bradley: How many Tories?
Mr. Peterson: -- we would have preferred which was introduced by the leader of the Liberal Party at that time. Sunset isn’t a bad device, but let’s not get carried away with it. It’s not a panacea for this waste and redundancy in government, but it is one management device. It is one technique that can be used.
We have in the past talked about -- and will continue to talk about -- other management devices and techniques that should be employed to keep this large bureaucracy under control. We’ve talked about deregulation on a systematic basis. We have talked about zero-based budgeting. We have talked about analysing the economic impact. And we have talked about sunset. And we support that. I don’t want people to get a false impression that this is a universal panacea.
One of the problems with sunset is that it creates an automatic death, but it doesn’t automatically create or allow for the consolidation, and the making more efficient, of some of these boards, agencies and commissions. It puts a different kind of onus on that board and it’s a good onus. It is well known around here that the members have to justify their existence every once in a while. We’ve had to do it in the last couple of years and there is a good chance we’re going to have to do it again very soon -- when we will have no trouble justifying our existence, believe me about that.
Mr. Wiseman: Do you know something?
Mr. Nixon: There is going to be a real harvest this year.
Mr. Riddell: At that time the changes are made, too.
Mr. Peterson: I don’t have to apologize for that, I think it is a good thing, a constructive thing in the process. It is time to sit down and rationally get a handle on this. It’s not time for just a superficial motion. We should be putting our time into constructive, positive analysis, line by line, statute by statute, regulation by regulation, board by board, agency by agency, and commission by commission, to look at if in fact they are fulfilling a role, if they are doing it well, if they are doing it efficiently, if they can be consolidated with another board, agency, or commission, and bring the whole thing to heel. It is not easy. It is going to take a goodly number of years.
The honourable member’s resolution says in effect that we should amend some 350 or whatever enabling statutes, putting in an extra clause, giving them an automatic death. What he is talking about, according to legislative counsel, is possible but extraordinarily difficult. We are going to be dealing with sunset amendments because you can’t bring in a grandfather act that is going to deal with all of the --
Mr. Deputy Speaker: The honourable member’s time has expired.
Mr. Peterson: I think that our suggestion was a constructive one.
Mr. G. Taylor: Sunset on you, Peterson.
Mr. Peterson: We will support this one because it is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.
Mr. Nixon: Very well put.
Mr. MacDonald: These poetic conclusions to the speeches from the honourable members from London are really challenging.
Mr. Nixon: And from Toronto?
Mr. MacDonald: I do not approach their level of poetry; I may even be a disappointment to them.
Let me say this: The problem which has provoked the introduction of this resolution is, admittedly, a very important one. We have agencies, boards, and commissions that have been sitting around, sometimes, for a couple of generations. Some are redundant. Some are overlapping. We should have some mechanism so we can take a look at this situation instead of letting it just drift on.
There are two things. One is the sunset legislation that this resolution calls for which would trigger that review. But even more important than triggering the review is a mechanism to do the review.
By triggering the review, sure, the act may disappear, but it may be something that should be continued. It may be worthy. The mechanism for a review is very important. I want to suggest that we may be moving toward the development of an effective mechanism for review and in my view, that’s far more important than the sunset legislation.
Let me try to explain that because it is the burden of my remarks.
Agencies, boards, and commissions have been set up by governments to do jobs that the government, rightly or wrongly, concluded could be done by some body with a degree of independence. Sometimes this body was an advisory body; sometimes an appeal board; and sometimes it was an operational body like the liquor commission, or Ontario Hydro. This body, established to go out and do a certain job, became an emanation of the crown.
Just as this government should be subjected to the review of the Legislature to see that it is doing its job correctly, so should all those agencies, boards, and commissions.
That is where we have failed. If we have failed. If we have failed here I think it is as well to acknowledge we’ve failed generally in the parliaments of the western world. We’ve been seeking ways to do this.
What have we done in the past? We used to have a standing committee on government commissions. Theoretically, this body was going to look at all agencies, boards, and commissions in the normal four-year period between a couple of elections.
Presumably, they would have divided the time so they could review that whole list. It wasn’t an effective approach because the committee had no staff; the members didn’t have the time to do an effective job; and the committee wasn’t given enough time, even if it had had the staff, because there were 18 or 20 committees in the Legislature at that point.
The result was that once or twice a year we would have meetings in which high-profile commissions, like Hydro, or the liquor licence board or something of that nature, would be brought before the committee, to which members had some objections. We would get an hour’s report from Ontario Hydro. We would ask a few questions and then we’d go away. And that was supposed to be a review.
It was ludicrous. It was no review at all. A select committee is having difficulty reviewing Hydro now, after years, literally months in certain years to do that kind of thing.
When we moved into the new structure of omnibus committees dealing with policy fields, this got lost in the shuffle, once again. Only last year did we finally assign to the standing committee on procedural affairs the responsibility for at least looking at a portion of this job; those agencies, boards and commissions which are obligated under their statutes to table a report in this Legislature.
May I suggest that all of them should be tabling a report in this Legislature, not just some. They should do it directly through the ministry under whose operational umbrella they are now being brought, to be part of the ministry’s report. Alternatively, the ministry’s report should acknowledge that there is a separate report coming in from such and such an agency, board, or commission. They would all be tabled in the Legislature so at least there would be an opportunity for us to have the raw material. We would have the basis for reviewing what these agencies, boards and commissions are doing.
Now we’ve got a bit of a problem trying to work out an effective mechanism for review. Some part of the job, as I said a moment ago, was handled in the standing committee on procedural affairs.
I implore the member for Simcoe Centre (Mr. G. Taylor) not to say it was given the job a year ago and they haven’t done it. That is a very facile and unfair comment. They were given the job a year ago and they had no opportunity to do it.
Mr. G. Taylor: Your member was out campaigning for the leadership.
Mr. MacDonald: They had no opportunity to do it last fall because they had no opportunity to sit and they had no staff. We are only now getting at it. Meanwhile, the government has moved with the establishment of its own internal committee, the so-called Wiseman committee.
It was reported to the standing committee on procedural affairs this morning that our chairman has met with the Premier, and the Premier has indicated that at the moment that review tends to be an approach to each one of the ministries to get them to clean up their houses, which is a good first step. To what extent the committee will go into an actual review of each of the remaining agencies, boards and commissions is as yet not decided. In any case, the Premier’s office has indicated to the standing committee on procedural affairs they will keep us informed which ones the Wiseman committee have reviewed and decided to eliminate, or that the government is giving consideration to eliminating down the road a bit, so we won’t be duplicating our work.
The Wiseman group, I suggest to you, Mr. Speaker, has got a sunset provision; it’s a short-term group; it is not a continuing group. I come back to my basic point: the continuing review of agencies, boards and commissions should be within this Legislature, through the appropriate committee of the Legislature, which is the standing committee on procedural affairs.
I hope when we sort out the relationship, and the portion of the job that is done by the Wiseman committee and by the standing committee on procedural affairs, we can come up with a process and report back to the House on a process whereby each agency, board and commission will be reviewed over a four-year span, or over each year, whatever is deemed to be necessary.
If that is done, you don’t need a sunset law, Mr. Speaker. You don’t need a sunset law because then you would have said, “Here’s a committee of the Legislature whose job it is to review each of these agencies, boards and commissions.” All the government has to do is make it possible for that committee, through the necessary staffing and time allocation, to do the job. The sunset provision is redundant. If they are able to do the job, they will do the job.
Conversely, if we have a sunset provision and the government doesn’t set up the mechanism for doing it.
Mr. Speaker, is my time up?
Mr. Deputy Speaker: About two minutes yet.
Mr. MacDonald: Two minutes? Oh, gracious.
Mr. T. P. Reid: It will seem like an eternity.
Mr. Warner: Time for some poetry.
Mr. MacDonald: I suggest to you, Mr. Speaker, that the sunset provision is only a step in the direction of doing the job and it fails to come to grips with the real problem, the real problem of developing a mechanism for the review.
The member for London Centre said he hopes for some leadership over there; I don’t want the leadership from the government on this. I want the leadership from everybody in this House to develop it through the combined efforts of the Wiseman group and the standing committee on procedural affairs. When the Wiseman group sunsets itself out of existence, the standing committee on procedural affairs, as a regular committee of this House, becomes the responsible mechanism for the continuing review.
If the government and all of the parties in the House take the necessary steps to make certain that that committee has adequate staff so they can do the research work for the review purposes, and if they have adequate time allocation, whether it be during the time the House is sitting or as a committee operating as a select committee between sittings of the Legislature, then we will have a real mechanism. With that real mechanism we won’t need our sunset legislation.
I’m not really in favour of this, because this is only a step in the right direction without coming to grips with the problem.
Mr. G. Taylor: I am pleased to speak on this resolution put forward by my colleague, the member for London South. It has been in some other form before this House before but it is one thing that the House, the precipitator of much of our legislation, should be discussing, because in all respects, we have heard it many times before that we are an over-governed nation. It is the legislative bodies themselves that produce that type of over-government. Sunset legislation provides an automatic termination, in its true sense, of programs and agencies within a given number of years.
This may not be the sole purpose of sunset, but that is one of the true features of sunset. Maybe we do not need entirely that solid, true form of sunset but some form of it. The fact is that we are discussing the matter this afternoon. This resolution in theory is good, in practice even better, should we institute it.
As the member for York South has said, the mechanism is not in this resolution, but this, as with other forms of resolutions before this Legislature, is a prod to bring the government to put forth a statute that may do this. The time, the years, the determination, the dates, are all part of that procedure that may come forth. Not necessarily do we have to say it must be seven years. There are no magical numbers. There is no magic in certain boards and committees and commissions and agencies that we have. But it is necessary to review those and that is one of the basic issues of sunset: that there is some form of review mechanism.
Then again, do we need to have a look at some of these ABCs, as they are often referred to? Should they be modified, reviewed, eliminated or have they outlived some of their usefulness? In that respect again it is necessary to review these boards, agencies and commissions.
Another feature that goes along with the sunset provision is that of funding. Should we review this? It is necessary to review often the funding of the different boards. Are they worth the economic cost to us? Do we eliminate them because of cost or are we willing to, in the alternative, look forward to providing the money for these? Is the board providing a useful function?
This continuous review mechanism may be, as the member for York South has said, the procedural affairs committee of this Legislature. Maybe that is the one rather than what is referred to as the Wiseman committee. Some form is necessary. Maybe the staffing and time should be set aside for that procedural affairs committee so that it can get under way with the duty of removing the over-government of this province and of this country and of our municipalities.
Sunset has been applied in some cases. As an example, we can put forth the rent review legislation. We can look forward to the homeowners’ program and some of the other programs that are started and then have inserted in them cutoff dates. Some are inserted after the program gets under way and then receives some criticism. These should be put forward ahead of time.
Like my Premier, I would not like to be provocative but we do have to be provocative at some times, and maybe my statement might be. It was the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party which overwhelmingly supported sunset legislation in the 1976 campaign. Here is where they will rise on the other side there --
Mr. T. P. Reid: Oh, come on, George
Mr. G. Taylor: -- and then interestingly enough, the Liberal Party used it as a plank in one of their campaigns.
Mr. T. P. Reid: How you can make a virtue of the mess you got us into is beyond me.
Mr. G. Taylor: Of course, I might add that the member for London South brought that forward earlier as a Progressive Conservative thought on the subject.
Then of course, we have in there the self-destruct mechanisms. This is a feature that the member for London South has put forward. The self-destruct feature is sometimes worthy of note.
Mr. Samis: You are courting criticism.
Mr. G. Taylor: The rent review legislation was self-destructing, but then it has had this sunrise on it every so often as we feel the need --
Mr. Foulds: If it was such an important platform, why isn’t there a bill before the House?
Mr. G. Taylor: -- to put that sunrise provision in there. So, the sunset and the self-destruct provisions do provide for that mechanism of review. Of course, we could provide ourselves with lifelong work in that respect in reviewing the landlord and tenant legislation -- until we remove landlord and tenant legislation in the future. But this self-destruct mechanism has to be put in there and has to work.
Mr. Foulds: Maybe we should have a sunset law on your speech.
Mr. G. Taylor: It will happen. One might say though, as the member brings that up, one might say that we should have sunset on all speeches rather than just the ones in the private members’ hours. Indeed, I heard the member for York South earlier this year saying that we should sit longer and longer and longer. I say, when we sit longer and longer, we produce more and more legislation, with more government involvement in the lives of the citizens of this province, that which we do not need.
Mr. Sterling: And the members opposite are responsible for it.
Mr. Foulds: If the member thinks so little of his job, why doesn’t he resign? If he doesn’t think he should be a legislator, why doesn’t he resign?
Mr. G. Taylor: They want to sit longer to get more legislation. When we put this legislation forward --
Mr. Warner: Go sink slowly in the west.
Mr. G. Taylor: It has been referred to in here that it is a sausage machine that produces legislation, and out it grinds. But it sometimes comes out looking like a wiener. When some hot dogs want to change that wiener -- and they relish the thought of changing it -- they might think we are too old to cut the mustard on this side --
Mr. Foulds: That’s true.
Mr. G. Taylor: -- but when they get that food machine going --
Mr. Warner: These remarks will catch up with you.
Mr. G. Taylor: -- that solid smorgasbord of legislation, they amend and amend, and what comes out of the legislation is far from what it intended to be. That’s what is happening to some of our agencies, boards and commissions: they get operating, and they do not know what they are operating. They get a mandate and continue on; so that’s another reason why they should have the sunset put on them.
How is my time, Mr. Speaker?
An hon. member: A five-minute major.
Mr. G. Taylor: Two minutes? Well, in winding up -- and I hope Hansard has been able to get all this; we talk so loudly in here and for the record, as we often hear -- I don’t know what record they are selling in this House --
Mr. Van Horne: I am going to put it on my dartboard.
Mr. G. Taylor: It has been suggested there are approximately 350 agencies, boards and commissions.
Mr. Hall: Who set them up, George?
Mr. G. Taylor: If we set out today, this very minute, we might not get them reviewed before the next election that the member from London, or one of those territories, says is coming forthrightly, in a short while --
Mr. Samis: Who has been in power for 35 years?
Mr. Foulds: You are striding forcefully into the 17th century.
Mr. G. Taylor: -- but the present issue is that we have agencies, boards and commissions, and we must review them, change their attitudes, reduce them and cut them out.
Mr Speaker, I may have slightly less than a minute left for the member who might want to wind up, the member for London South; if not, I pass to the next speaker. The sunset comes down upon me.
Mr. Peterson: The member for London North deserves a turn.
Mr. Acting Speaker: I would point out to the member for London North there is one minute left for this debate.
Mr. Samis: That’s closure; that’s unfair.
Mr. Van Horne: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. That obviously cuts out a lot of what I was going to say. But in reference to the member for Simcoe Centre’s remarks about the wieners, I would submit that the part missing was obvious in his presence; that is, the beans.
I am pleased to support this resolution. I would submit, however, that it is only part of what should be a total package that, in my opinion, is long overdue. We have seen umpteen examples in this House during this past brief year, and certainly examples prior to that time, of lack of planning. I would submit that it is time that the government looked at not just sunset and the various agencies, boards and commissions to which it might refer, but that it would look further than that to all the programs and propositions through which it spends money and supervises the spending of money.
It has been a pleasure to have these few moments to speak to this, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Warner: That was excellent.
Mr. Acting Speaker: The time for debate of this matter has expired.
DISPOSITION OF LOTTERY REVENUE
Mr. Kerrio moved resolution 20:
That in the opinion of this House: 1. all revenue from the Wintario and Provincial lotteries should be deposited in the consolidated revenue fund; 2. a ceiling should be set on the amount of money to be directed to non-profit organizations for fitness, amateur sport, recreational, arts and multicultural activities; 3. the balance of the revenue should be directed to health programs and research and health-related environmental programs; and 4. the revenue from the lotteries should be distributed according to a formula established by the Legislative Assembly and should be reviewed on a yearly basis.
Mr. Acting Speaker: The member for Niagara Falls for up to 20 minutes.
Mr. Kerrio: Mr. Speaker, I am disappointed that the minister isn’t here.
An hon. member: He is not here again?
Mr. Warner: He’s not disappointed.
Mr. Foulds: He is in Edmonton. He has got an Edmonton commitment.
Mr. Kerrio: I would like to suggest that it is sort of coincidental that he comes from the wine country, because I think the effect of his grapevine is showing in the number of letters I have received from various members of the arts, libraries, and other cultural groups. I am a little disappointed that they did not take a bit of time and touch base with my resolution before they took exception to it. Out of respect for them, I would like to say I am most concerned about those groups as they relate to the funding from Wintario.
At the outset, I’d like to reassure those who are concerned about a continuing commitment to sport, recreation, art and multicultural activity.
Mr. Warner: Don’t worry about it. It’s not going to pass.
Mr. Kerrio: I would like to say it is not my intention to propose legislation which would prevent lottery funds from going to these very worthwhile activities. The reason I am tabling this resolution is that I am seriously concerned about priorities at this time. I can’t believe any member of this Legislature or any member of the arts, multicultural, sport or recreational groups would object to a fair and equitable distribution of lottery money for very important and worthwhile purposes.
An hon. member: You heard them today.
Mr. Kerrio: Recognizing that culture and recreation are activities deserving support from the lottery, but also recognizing the lotteries have generated much more funds than had ever been anticipated, I am proposing a reconsideration of the way in which lottery funds are disbursed. It had been assumed that all money generated by the lotteries is to be spent on culture and recreation. Since much more money has been generated by lotteries than expected, and since we are in serious economic difficulties, I believe my resolution to change this approach is timely and important.
Two of its provisions are clarifications and extensions of existing policy. The first is that proceeds from the Wintario and Provincial lotteries be deposited in the consolidated revenue fund. That is already being done and it’s accepted practice that those moneys would be deposited in that fashion.
The second is a proportion of this revenue be directed to health programs and research in health-related environmental programs. The fact that so much money has been generated should not in any way take funds from those areas I have addressed myself to. I keep referring to that because it’s very important that the people understand my commitment on this bill and the policy of the Liberal Party. We are dedicated and committed to supporting those aspects of our cultural and recreational areas that are so meaningful to many people in our society.
Mr. Wildman: Did you say you were committed?
Mr. Foulds: Are you for or against this resolution?
Mr. Kerrio: The proportions are to be determined by a formula established annually by the Legislature. In this way, there will be a flexible mechanism to determine how money should be spent in response to changing demands and conditions, rather than the present blanket, indiscriminate approach which is out of touch with the needs and realities of today. When the formula has been determined, a ceiling shall be set on the amount of money to be directed to nonprofit cultural and recreational activities and the balance should be spent on health and health-related environmental problems.
At this juncture, I’d like to relate something that happened to me as recently as yesterday. I attended, with many other people in the Niagara region, the opening of a $600,000 addition to the crippled children’s facility there. That money was raised by local fund-raisers. These are areas where I think the government has very luckily had the obligation taken from them. There are areas of concern -- I’m pleased to see the Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. Norton) is here. In the Niagara Centre for Youth Care, we are just operating on seed money. The government has not seen fit to make a reasonable contribution to a very much needed facility to take care of disturbed young people in our community. During the debates on the estimates of Culture and Recreation, when I suggested that there had been considerable money extended to some areas of arts and culture, I wasn’t suggesting that we take those away from those areas, but that there was much more money generated. While they had hoped that Wintario, at its inception, might raise $20 million to $25 million, in the very first year we raised some $42 million. We carried over into 1976-71 $38 million of the $42 million and added to that $76 million more.
Mr. Ruston: I never won a dollar.
Mr. Kerrio: We have accumulated over the years in that short time nearly $150 million.
Mr. Hall: That much?
Mr. Kerrio: There is absolutely no way that the government can continue to spend this kind of money without recognizing that it’s time we had some priorities. Now we’re faced with a government considering a fourth lottery, believe it or not -- a fourth lottery for which you can buy tickets in this province. And the fact of the matter is that particular lottery, which is referred to as the computerized lottery, is, in reality --
Mr. Nixon: That is called the numbers game.
Mr. Kerrio: -- and I don’t like to use this particular term, but a member of the press used it so I feel I could carry on that way -- he referred to it as the numbers game.
Hon. Mr. Norton: You certainly set high standards for yourself.
Mr. Foulds: You are not fussy about where you pick up your ideas, are you?
Mr. Kerrio: The fact of the matter is that it was first brought into being in Chicago by Dutch Schultz, the gangster. I wouldn’t like to suggest that this government has anything in common with Dutch Schultz, but the fact is that they are planning this kind of a lottery for the province of Ontario.
Mr. T. P. Reid: He was an amateur compared to this government.
Mr. Ruston: The Chicago gang. The Treasurer used to be called one when he sat in the back row.
Mr. Acting Speaker: Order.
Mr. Kerrio: We are now embarking on a situation in the province of Ontario where you will be able to purchase tickets on four different lotteries --
Mr. Wildman: You would think you would welcome that. I thought that is what you wanted.
Mr. Cunningham: They are going to call the last one “The Regional.”
Mr. Kerrio: -- despite adding to this particular area of gambling, despite adding to people’s ability to perform this particular function and so raise considerable money by gambling, I’m very concerned that the government has not seen fit to deal with the expenditures in a more meaningful way.
Many sectors believe there is potential abuse involving Wintario funds. An independent study on municipalities’ use of these funds reveals that some communities know how to shift financial support to desired projects so that Wintario criteria for proven community support appear to be present. That was reported in some of our papers in Toronto and they called this laundering of government funds; in reality, those places were getting a considerable amount of Wintario money put to that kind of use without coming up with private matching funds.
It is also well known that many so-called semi-private clubs get lottery funding when they do not really meet the public accessibility criteria set forth in the principles of Wintario.
We also know of the odd fraud involving recipients of Wintario funds whose expenditures are not and cannot be effectively monitored because Wintario follow-up is spotty and not meant to analyse the value of this very new venture for the Ontario government. That is a grave concern of mine, but the reality of it is that we now have people in the upper income brackets with their hands in the public purse.
Mr. Samis: What’s new?
Mr. Foulds: What else is new?
Mr. Warner: It’s been going on for years.
Mr. Foulds: Name some names.
Mr. Kerrio: And I have to say, Mr. Speaker, that when it comes to those kinds of expenditures with Wintario money, it’s time that the government took a very, very good look at the criteria and the kind of people that get support from Wintario.
I’d also like to suggest that the very fact that matching funds are part of the criteria leads to those areas that have the ability to raise matching funds continuing to get more and more of this Wintario money. However, Mr. Speaker, even though the government has seen fit that one part in two is necessary rather than matching funds, I would like to tell you that where a recreation facility is badly needed in a remote place such as Moosonee, there’s just no way the people can raise the kind of matching funds necessary to qualify for Wintario money.
So there are many, many abuses of the system. I am suggesting that the money, in fact, excess funds that have been raised are not being put to good use. When it became apparent there was a great deal more money than needed to fund libraries, the arts, culture and fitness, the criteria that suggested “try us,” I’m afraid we’re pretty loose. In all the time the lottery has been in place, there has not been any movement to make certain those people who avail themselves of Wintario money put it to the kind of use to best serve those municipalities.
Now I would also suggest that we in the government must begin to be responsible as people within their own households are responsible. Along with many of the members here, I have certainly watched many shows where people have won. When interviewed and asked how they would spend their winnings, in nearly every instance they would cite areas of need within the family, and things they would like to do but couldn’t afford to do. I suggest it’s time the government was just as responsible with funds raised through the lotteries in the province of Ontario.
Now I suggest that there is another area of grave concern to me in the matter as it relates to the competition we give very worthwhile charities such as those for multiple sclerosis and the mentally retarded. Those organizations now find it more difficult to raise funds because of the competition from Wintario. When you watch those very expensive programs on TV, Mr. Speaker, you can appreciate that those people are certainly at a disadvantage when competing with the government of the province of Ontario to make their case known. I suggest to you we owe it to them to address ourselves to those areas where we have taken away their ability to raise funds for their particular causes.
I raised that question with the Premier on one occasion and he promised to get me an answer. I am not suggesting he didn’t give me some kind of an answer because he said they would be willing to help. But I am very concerned as to the help that was given, and I wonder now if such a resolution has taken place.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to reserve five minutes and I would like to know how my time is now.
Mr. Acting Speaker: Just under five minutes left.
Mr. Kerrio: Just under five minutes. Yes, thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.
In summing up I would like to set at ease those minds that think this bill would, in any way, affect very worthwhile cultural, art and sports funding.
Mr. Bradley: Somebody has been on the phone.
Mr. Kerrio: I would like to say that I am most concerned about the huge amounts of money that have been raised through this method. I hope the government and the third party will support me in this resolution to see if we can’t put it to more meaningful use.
Mr. Grande: We have met with the Liberal critic many times during the estimates, at least for the last couple of years, and let me say at the outset that I am not in agreement with this resolution he has before the House today. I oppose this resolution because I firmly believe it sets very dangerous precedents for the province of Ontario.
Mr. Bradley: Besides, it didn’t originate over there.
Mr. Grande: I will get into that in due course, but first, let me suggest that what this resolution indeed does --
Mr. Kerrio: It must be a good resolution.
Mr. Grande: I am convinced that the Liberal critic for Culture and Recreation -- as a matter of fact, I am extremely happy that he has converted. In the last few days there has obviously been a conversion on his part. I guess he felt that throughout this province there are many hundreds of groups who do rely upon Wintario assistance and Wintario funding in order to carry on all the worthwhile activities in recreation, multicultural activities, and the arts.
Mr. Bradley: He is not excluding them.
Mr. Grande: I say that I am glad that the Liberal critic has converted -- at least he appeared at the beginning to be converted -- however what I felt listening to him was that he felt constrained to say what he really wants to say, that is, that he considers most of the activities that are going on across this province to be frills and nothing else. I reject that point of view.
Mr. Bradley: But he didn’t say that, though. You’re saying he said that.
Mr. Grande: I rejected it at the last two ministry estimates and I will continue to reject it.
Mr. Wildman: He said it in estimates and it’s in Hansard.
Mr. B. Newman: That’s how I interpreted your comments in the estimates.
Mr. Grande: Mr. Speaker, to me, cultural activities across this province have a value which goes beyond putting a dollars-and-cents value upon them.
Mr. Bradley: You need a lottery to do it though?
Mr. Grande: Well, to respond to that, never in any country in the civilized world have the arts, these kinds of activities, been self-sustaining. The member knows that, and if he doesn’t he should do some research.
Mr. Bradley: I feel put down now.
Mr. B. Newman: Did he hurt you?
Mr. Grande: On many occasions, the Liberal critic has stated that part of the Wintario money should be going to other worthwhile activities. At the beginning of this resolution he said -- I suppose he did quote it so perhaps there is no point in quoting it again -- but he said first, that all revenue from the Wintario and Provincial lotteries should be deposited in the consolidated revenue fund.
The Liberal critic, two and a half years after he became the Liberal critic, does not know that in fact that is exactly what happens, and he has to put it in a resolution before this House. If he had bothered to take a look at the Ontario Lottery Corporation Act, it states very clearly in section 9, “The net profits of the corporation after provision for prices and the payment of expenses of operation, shall be paid into the consolidated revenue fund.”
However, what section 9 also does is to earmark these particular funds for specific purposes. It earmarks them to the promotion of development of physical fitness, sports, recreational and cultural activities and facilities therefor. Obviously, the Liberal member is not happy with that and he would like to bring in an amendment and through this resolution change that particular act.
Mr. Wildman: Why doesn’t he amend the bill?
Mr. Grande: May I suggest to him that he could. Nobody prevents him. He does not have to bring it in terms of a resolution. There is no expenditure of money in changing that.
The next point that the resolution brings forth is that a ceiling should be set on the amount of money to be directed to non-profit organizations for fitness, amateur sports and recreation and multicultural activities. Clearly, the intention is there to curtail these activities across this province.
I want to go back historically to the point that somehow money raised from Wintario is not used for worthwhile causes. That point, historically, is back in 1976 when the then Minister of Health, the member for Muskoka (Mr. F. S. Miller) went around this province saying to people that he was going to close 10 hospitals across this province. What happened is the so-called angel of death at that particular time, this Legislature, came down pretty firmly and stated categorically, “No way you’re going to do that.” We won that battle.
I may suggest to the Liberal critic that perhaps the pressure for the priority of what the Ministry of Health does is right here in this Legislature; and it’s not a matter of money. There are approximately $3 billion in that Health budget. Sixty million dollars from Wintario is not going to make a lot of difference.
From there, we went to the other crisis. The other crisis is the coming on the scene of the then Minister of Community and Social Services, the member for Prince Edward-Lennox (Mr. J. A. Taylor) who said, “From this particular year we’re only going to have a 5.5 per cent increase in social services.” The Legislature started pressuring that, and started pressuring the Ministry of Community and Social Services and said, “No, you cannot do that.” However, I think we lost that battle.
I don’t think any portion of Wintario funds that would have gone into social services at that particular time would have changed the position of the government. They would not have spent more money in the social services and not reduced that budget.
Then we went to the other crisis, the unemployment crisis. One of the back-bench members of the Conservative government, a northern member, the member for Fort William (Mr. Hennessy), I think, suggested some of the Wintario money should be used to create employment.
The reason why I’m pointing out in a historical fashion --
Mr. Wildman: Why don’t we amend the bill?
Mr. Grande: -- what has happened over the past two or three years is that it is the government’s responsibility to decide on the priorities so that these kinds of crises do not develop.
There’s no point in trying to put in $50 million or $10 million or $12 million from Wintario to alleviate those particular needs because that is not going to make a lot of difference. It is government positions; it is priorities on which we, on this side of the House at least, have opposed the government at every turn regarding the cutbacks.
Then we come to the OHIP situation. Again, from the Liberal Party we hear, “Why don’t we put into OHIP some money from Wintario to relieve the 37.5 per cent increase?”‘ Mr. Speaker, you know and everyone in this Legislature knows that $10 million from Wintario going into OHIP would have not decreased that increase by a tremendous lot.
What we should have done and what we attempted to do, and what we did do is to say to the Treasurer of this province, “That increase is clearly unacceptable.”
Mr. Bradley: Run a higher deficit.
Mr. Grande: “You are the ones who govern this province. It’s not acceptable to the opposition parties, so therefore you change your mind.” Indeed, we won.
Mr. Nixon: Did you vote with us on that?
Mr. Grande: Therefore, I would not want the Liberal critic to think that by putting $5 million or $10 million from Wintario into health, that is going to change the priorities of this government or this government is going to be spending more money on health.
Mr. Kerrio: It’s sure moving in the right direction.
Mr. Grande: What in essence would happen if that were to be the case? What would prevent the Treasurer of this province next year, in the Ministry of Health budget or the Community and Social Services budget --
Mr. Acting Speaker: The member’s time has expired.
Mr. Grande: I will wind up.
Mr. Bradley: You should have wound up earlier.
Mr. Grande: What would prevent the Treasurer from saying, “Since you’ve got $10 million from the Wintario, then the next year you will receive $10 million less”?
Mr. Acting Speaker: The member’s time has expired.
Mr. Grande: The dangerous precedent is that non-tax moneys are going to be used for essential services in this province.
Mr. McCaffrey: I must be candid right at the beginning and say that perhaps more than any other member of the Legislature I was sorry that the minister was not here today to speak to the resolution of the member for Niagara Falls.
Mr. Wildman: Because you didn’t want to.
Mr. McCaffrey: I say that because I know that I’ve heard him in the past speak briefly in committee to the member’s comments and I know that he can handle this topic exquisitely well. I felt a little uncomfortable, as I say, because as you know, Mr. Speaker, I’m relatively new to the ministry and I did some rush reading this morning with the assistance of several good people up there to help me a bit.
Mr. Wildman: They’re up there now.
Mr. McCaffrey: Frankly, my confusion, if I felt any up until an hour ago, seems as nothing compared to the legitimate confusion that the member for Niagara Falls reflects.
Mr. M. Davidson: Got to make sure you did a good job.
Mr. McCaffrey: I don’t mean to be critical.
Mr. Wildman: They’re breathing down your neck.
Mr. McCaffrey: The member for Oakwood, too. It seemed to me that if these are the two most vocal critics of this ministry and this particular program on the other side of the Legislature we have absolutely nothing to be terribly concerned about.
I was particularly struck with the member for Niagara Falls’ comment, especially at the beginning where he went out of his way to talk about his continuing commitment -- his expression, his “continuing commitment” -- to the concept that he was, and he repeated it, dedicated and committed as in fact was his party to this concept of providing moneys for cultural and recreational purposes in the province. No cuts were suggested by him. Heaven forbid. His resolution didn’t in any way, shape or form imply that there would be cuts to these very useful dollars -- only priorities. It seems to me the most delicate way I’ve ever heard anyone describe a cut.
In fact, his resolution is very clear. He would cut back substantially on the amount of money that is now being used through Wintario to fund quite exceptional programs throughout the province. But if the member is hiding behind the word “priorities” it leads to a second point, that people in their homes and businesses too, particularly in difficult economic times, have to set priorities and they have to make cuts. The implication there, it seemed to me, was that their cuts might be of a recreational or cultural nature and I felt, as the member for Oakwood did, that the member for Niagara Falls was suggesting that many of the programs sponsored by Wintario were merely frivolous.
The second thing that impacted me about his initial opening comments was his preoccupation with the “huge amounts of money” he said that were coming in -- huge amounts of money, much more money than had ever been expected. I think that may well be a legitimate hangover, if I may use that expression, from when the hoped-for target of $25 million for Wintario in its first year three years ago was exceeded. It seems to me that we are in the process now of having reached, or are close to reaching, a plateau. I stand to be corrected, but I think we’re looking at an amount of money in the order of something like $60 million a year that seems to be fairly predictable. That may not be the ceiling, but we were approaching one it would seem. I don’t think there are the huge amounts of money floating around in this program that the member’s opening comments implied.
If I may just make reference to one of the very fundamental principles which underlies the Wintario program: Wintario funds are intended to enhance our capacity to promote and encourage cultural and recreational objectives and are not intended to replace or relieve the responsibility of ongoing government programs in this field. I wanted to mention that because in the estimates in April the minister and the member for Niagara Falls discussed this in general terms.
I thought one of the sentences that the minister used was quite relevant for this afternoon. He’s talking about the balance between the ongoing committed programs, programs that are underwritten by the tax dollars in Culture and Recreation and the Wintario money.
“What I’m saying here,” he says, “is that we have arrived at a nice balance between insuring that the ongoing programs of this ministry are funded in a very open and deliberate way from tax sources and that we have some additional money from the lottery which we can use to do some special things which otherwise might not be done.” It seems to me that is the essence of this program: that all of us here, not just the government, are in a position to do some special things which otherwise might not be done. I say all members of the Legislature because, as the resolution raises, there has been some concern about the question of control.
The Legislature, it seems to me, has this very real control right now. All Wintario funds are now, and have always been, deposited in the consolidated revenue fund. This Legislature votes an amount each year to the Ministry of Culture and Recreation for Wintario grants. Both the member for Oakwood and the member for Niagara Falls are on the standing committee on social development. I read the transcripts this morning. They both actively participated in those discussions. They are on that committee. It reviews the ministry’s spending estimates each year, reviewing what the ministry has done with Wintario funds in the previous year and questioning the minister about the use of funds in the upcoming year.
Again, the member for Niagara Falls talks about it being time, given the economic realities of today, given the restraint realities of today, that we should reconsider the ways this money is being spent. It seems to me that is being done. It is being done in this standing committee. It is being done by the member for Niagara Falls himself, the member for Oakwood and others.
The Provincial moneys, the $5 ticket, are not in the consolidated revenue fund. I think perhaps that is where some confusion has arisen. There is no specific rigid formula for the disbursement of funds. I am not at all convinced -- and I am confident the minister would share this -- that for the time being a rigid formula may not be a bigger obstacle than the flexibility that the minister now has.
I was amused when reading earlier today the transcripts when the lottery corporation was set up here in 1975. The member for Kitchener (Mr. Breithaupt) hit it right on the head I think. One of the major problems that he could foresee was, “The major problem, of course, will be the division of the spoils. I would imagine that the minister will require the wisdom of Solomon to try to decide among competing groups, all with very worthwhile projects, just how the money is going to be divided.”
I think that was the valid concern then and it probably has continued to be over the three and a half years. But if the Minister of Culture and Recreation has not had the wisdom of Solomon, it seems to me that he must have been awfully close to it because there have not been any major concerns about the distribution of money, the way it has been handled, the openness with which it has been handled. Rather, the concern expressed by most members of the Legislature has been like most members of the community at large. They wish there was more money to fund some of the important special programs that are going on in this province.
We are at a point right now in the Wintario grants program which I think is an important one and where again there has been some confusion -- the implication that there is an amount of money just lying around that has not been earmarked. There is now no excess of Wintario money. This money has been spent or committed. I know the minister tried to clarify this in question period recently. Subsequently he wrote a letter to the editor of one of the Toronto newspapers. I would just like to go over that for the record.
Mr. Kerrio: Read Auld’s report too.
Mr. McCaffrey: “Because the Ontario Lottery Corporation and the Wintario lottery were in operation several months before the establishment of the Wintario grants program, the government initially experienced an accumulation of revenues in excess of commitments or payments. This accumulation continued for some time in excess of $20 million and reinforced a commonly-held view that the Wintario coffers were overflowing with greater revenues than the fields of culture and recreation could accommodate.
“After two and a half years of operation, however, the Wintario grants program has developed to the point where this lag between revenues on the one hand and commitments and expenditures on the other has been completely filled. From May of 1975 to the end of February 1978 the Ontario Lottery Corporation turned over to the province a total of $181 million as proceeds from the Wintario lottery. During the same period -- ”
Mr. Speaker: The honourable member has about 30 seconds.
Mr. McCaffrey: Thank you.
“ -- the Wintario grants program committed a total of $181.5 million for the successful projects, of which $94 million has already been paid.”
Mr. Wildman: When are we going to install pinball machines in restaurants?
Mr. McCaffrey: “In conclusion, I think the controls which the resolution wants are already in place. The excess money which has been referred to is not there. The commitment, which I am delighted the member for Niagara Falls has, is shared by everybody on this side of the Legislature; we just want him and his party to continue to be as dedicated to this as we are.”
Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, I am sure you can recall that long before we ever heard the word “Wintario” -- and isn’t it strange, it is much easier to say now than it was when we first heard it, because of the advertising -- and long before we ever heard of the Provincial lottery, when the minister who is in charge of it still considered it sinful, this Legislature, by taxing the citizens of the province and using whatever wisdom is available here in the government and the opposition, was, through the Ontario Council of the Arts, through the Ministry of Education and through a wide variety of grant programs, providing for the cultural and recreational pursuits and requirements of the province.
It might have been inadequate then, and there are many people who are prepared to say it is inadequate now, but certainly those people are wrong who say that any removal of the requirement that the Wintario fund must be dedicated and directed towards specific programs is going to be a hardship on these areas of cultural pursuit and importance in the community.
I have been interested in the number of very strong and heartfelt phone calls and communications I have had, I think almost all from people in the library boards and library offices in my constituency, who are somehow under the impression that the passage of this resolution in the House is going to cut off funds for libraries.
Nothing could be further from the truth, and the only thing that interests me in this is what enterprising public servant or politician undertook to send the jiggles down the grapevine to these library boards that would persuade them that they had to get in touch with my colleague from Niagara Falls and others, saying: “Good heavens, don’t cut off the money for libraries.”
As a matter of fact, I can recall the debates in this House when the government was not prepared to support the libraries and when there was a very strong stand by the opposition parties, which really changed the position of the then Minister of Education, to begin the independent support for libraries, historical societies, museums and things like this, which surely are an important part of our community and must be a continuing part.
I had to say that because there is certainly somebody over there assisting the government in some sort of a misrepresentation which, frankly, I for one resent.
I want to also say this: The Ontario Council for the Arts has had substantial sums of money, quite independent of Wintario funds, that have been available by the decision of the government recommending to the House and, in each instance that I recall, being fully supported by the House, in putting forward funds for the support of cultural pursuits of a wide variety in the province.
Frankly, I can recall when our athletic office -- and it used to change departments fairly regularly; there was a very fine gentleman whose name eludes me who used to run that --
Mr. Gaunt: Bob Secord?
Mr. Nixon: I guess it was before him, but they would be sending out athletic equipment. It wasn’t necessary to put in a Wintario application, have it reviewed, with a letter from the ministry saying “Your application is on file and we are giving it consideration,” and a letter from the minister himself saying that the bats and balls were going to be made available to this fine team and that they were even throwing in a few face masks because they felt the people were so worthy of support by the government and by the minister.
Actually there are aspects of that that make me cringe a little bit when I see the doses of saccharin that are sent out with the money. I resent that to some extent too.
We have all been aware of the fact that when the applications are turned down, even for good and sufficient reason, it is not the minister who sends the letter out saying “I regret to inform you that we are not going to send you any money,” it is some other person, some signature that is “per” somebody else, with a few letters down at the bottom, and they have got to carry the load.
Mr. Wildman: Johnson.
Mr. Nixon: It is probably a small point, but it is like the member for Lambton (Mr. Henderson) who carries out his duties by distributing the cheques himself.
Mr. Cunningham: He has got to be good at something.
Mr. Samis: Does he wear a red suit too?
Mr. Nixon: As soon as a lottery fund becomes a pork-barrel fund, then you are going to have to suffer some criticism. I should say, in fairness, that I don’t feel it has been porkbarrelled to the extent that it might have been. To some extent, I resent the approach taken by the government, in what used to be handled in a very straightforward way for athletic equipment and support -- if you’ll pardon the mixed metaphor there -- in providing the assistance that we would all certainly support.
Mr. Conway: Evelyn didn’t smile.
Mr. Nixon: Point number one -- and our time is limited -- is that this House has always been very supportive of a government putting forward public funds from our budget to support these community programs. Don’t get the idea that it was only with Wintario funds that this has been carried on or could be carried on.
The second point is that I really do resent earmarking any funds that come from the community by way of taxation or any other government program. It’s almost as if we remove a cloud of sin -- that ridiculous concept associated with this -- by using the money only for good works. It’s a wonder the honourable minister didn’t say we’re only going to use it for additions to Anglican churches or something like that. That is the sort of thinking that has gone along with this. In the justification of the Wintario lottery, if it makes people feel better to say we’re going to foster the arts and the football teams, we’re going to send the senior citizens’ hockey club to Amsterdam, fine. That’s the sort of thing some of the money has gone for. But essentially it must be regarded as a revenue source.
When we were debating this back in 1971 -- I was looking up the speeches too -- we were beating our breasts and saying that with $8 billion coming into the consolidated revenue fund, it should be left to the Treasurer to recommend to his colleagues, and the government to recommend to the House, how the money is to be spent. Really, I believe very firmly that that’s the way it should be done. We’ve got a lot of fine new arenas. Maybe we’ve saved the lives of a lot of young people by declaring some of those arenas unsafe two or three years ago, and spending the $60 million to replace them. A number of them are in my constituency. To be fair, I even attended the openings along with representatives --
Some hon. members: Oh, oh.
Mr. Nixon: I did. And I congratulated the people for having those arenas.
Mr. Conway: How was the food?
Mr. Nixon: Even before Wintario was ever heard of, we were building and assisting with the building of arenas across this province. There’s no doubt in my mind that that kind of support for these community programs would be forthcoming from this Legislature.
I believe that we should have the right to decide where the emphasis should be, with recommendations coming from the responsible minister of the crown. I do not believe in earmarking funds.
One of the classic cases, I suppose, was in the United States where there was a tremendous public opposition to the imposition of a gasoline tax, if you can imagine. The federal government imposed a gasoline tax at the huge rate of three cents a gallon, or some very small amount. They said, “We’re not going to put this into general revenue, we’re only going to use it to build roads.” Well, the money firehosed into that fantastic fund. It became a multi-billion dollar fund that built their roads, but the government of the United States was not free to channel those funds or even parts of them when, from time to time, other matters of national importance came along, like the redevelopment of the blighted downtown cores of Buffalo and Detroit and certain other cities.
I believe that the government of the day must have the freedom to allocate public funds as it sees fit. The Legislature either approves or not, and the final test, of course, is when we go to the people. I have no qualms about the lottery program at all, in fact, I was among many of the members who called for the establishment of such a program. But I do support the principle of this resolution on the basis that the funds that come into the consolidated revenue fund should not be earmarked, other than by the decision of the Treasurer recommending to the government and to the House.
We in opposition -- and hopefully in government in a few weeks or months -- will want those powers on behalf of the people of Ontario: the ones who buy the tickets at the rate of over $1 million a week, and even those who do not. That is the justification of why I we are here. I’m glad to see the strength of my oratory is bringing so many members in, hopefully, to support this resolution, which, I believe, is reasonable and which puts the power where it should be, with the members of this Legislature. Frankly, the members of the government should make the decisions needed to allocate these extremely important funds to the best benefit of the communities.
Mr. Speaker: The honourable member for Beaches-Woodbine for two minutes.
Ms. Bryden: I realize, Mr. Speaker, I only have two minutes. I find this resolution rather confusing because the first clause states the money should go into the consolidated revenue fund. It already does that.
Mr. Nixon: Mr. Kerrio made that point.
Ms. Bryden: The second two clauses suggest how the money should be spent and then the fourth clause says it should be determined by the Legislature. Surely, it’s contradictory to say how it should be spent, and then to say it should be left to the Legislature.
Mr. Hall: Picky, picky, let’s get down to facts.
Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, I support clause 4 of the resolution and if there had been time, I would have moved an amendment that all the other clauses be struck out --
Mr. T. P. Reid: We’ll change it.
Ms. Bryden: -- and that clause 4 be retained. A position, Mr Speaker, I have been advocating for a number of years is the Legislature should have the full say as to how Wintario money is distributed.
The present situation, where one minister is the tsar of Wintario and has the complete say, is completely undemocratic. All other money is voted by this Legislature. The public accounts committee reviews the spending of it, but this money from what is really a voluntary tax is completely exempt from that kind of control by the elected representatives.
Control of the purse is one of the most fundamental democratic rights, and this particular procedure violates that control.
The Legislature should have the right to decide the guidelines under which the minister dispenses money. It should be able to decide whether more should go to sports and less to culture, or vice versa.
Mr. Speaker: The honourable member’s time has expired.
Ms. Bryden: It should be able to make the full decision. I strongly support that part of the motion. As I say, if this was in committee, I would move to delete the rest of the motion.
Mr. Kerrio: Mr. Speaker, I think I have some four minutes to summarize. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my colleague from Brant-Oxford-Norfolk for the kind of recall he has when we debate particular issues in the Legislature. I’m sure those assembled would benefit from those remarks.
I would like to suggest that while there has been a great deal of criticism directed at the resolution I am proposing here, the minister himself during debates has agreed I have been very consistent in my approach to the budgetary expenses and to the way Wintario moneys have been spent by this ministry.
Mr. Eaton: Consistent, but wrong.
Mr. Kerrio: In fact, I’m absolutely certain that if any member of the socialist party could find in Hansard that I did not agree with the support of cultural activities, I’m certain they would have been here pointing it out to the assembly.
I would have to think the government is in the same position. While they’d like to suggest that my intentions are something other than I have indicated today, there is nowhere that they have been able to bring to this assembly any proof that I have related any other circumstance than I have here before you in all the debates I have participated in the three years I’ve been here in the Legislature.
I would just like to sum up by suggesting the main point. It is not my intention, in any way, to take from the funding of those areas that are very much concerned and have related their concerns to us. I would like to reiterate that is not our intention. The intention is to deal with the surplus generated, that has not been put in high priority areas. It would be the reason for moving this resolution so the proportion that would be determined by a formula is quite easy to understand. In that way there will be a flexible mechanism to determine how money should be spent in response to changing demands and conditions rather than under the present system.
I would suggest that that is very, very clear and those people who would want to have moneys used in a responsible way would consider supporting the resolution as I have placed it before the assembly. I hope that might be the intention of all members here assembled.
SUNSET PROVISION FOR GOVERNMENT BODIES
Mr. Speaker: Mr. Walker has moved private member’s resolution 12. Shall Mr. Walker’s resolution carry?
Those in favour will please say “aye.”
Those opposed will please say “nay.”
In my opinion the “ayes” have it.
I declare the motion carried.
Resolution concurred in.
DISPOSITION OF LOTTERY REVENUE
Sufficient members having objected by rising, a vote was not taken on resolution 20.
Hon. W. Newman: Don’t you ever ask for another grant.
Mr. Speaker: Order. Can we have some order please?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, for the information of the House, the House leader will be back at 10:30 p.m. or -- (Applause) -- How do you think I feel? I agree entirely.
Thankfully he will be back at about 10:15 this evening and will then review the House business for next week, including the procedure for next Thursday afternoon.
The House recessed at 5:52 p.m.