The House resumed at 8 p.m.
REGIONAL MUNICIPALITIES AMENDMENT ACT (CONTINUED)
House in committee on Bill 81, An Act to amend certain Acts respecting Regional Municipalities.
On section 1:
Mr. Chairman: I believe the parliamentary assistant had some further comments.
Mr. Ashe: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. At the 6 o’clock dinner adjournment, I was just attempting to summarize the inconsistencies put forward by the third party in their dealing with municipal government and municipalities.
In brief summary, Mr. Chairman, you will recall I spoke about the inconsistencies as put forward by the member for Welland-Thorold (Mr. Swart) relating to the subject.
Mr. Foulds: It will be hard to find any inconsistency in there.
Mr. Ashe: Whether it was in order or not, once he found out it was appropriate in his opinion he decided it was in order, although he brought forth strong arguments to suggest that the item was out of order --
Mr. Laughren: Speaking of inconsistencies.
Mr. Ashe: -- when he was not the speaker.
Mr. Foulds: Are you challenging the chairman’s ruling?
Mr. Ashe: The other very important item relating to the inconsistencies of that party concerned the whole process of how we as a government deal at all levels with the other level of government known as local government.
We are always being chastised, criticized if you will, by members of that party for not having enough consultation with the municipalities, with municipal government, with county government, with local government, with the municipal institutions and with the local organizations.
Mr. Laughren: You don’t even consult with the Minister of Revenue (Mr. Maeck).
Mr. Ashe: We all know the record speaks for itself -- that we have a much higher attention ratio in our relationship with the other sector of government than do many of the members and in fact, does the third party.
Mr. Laughren: You’re being silly now.
Mr. Ashe: I think the particular motion we have before us is very indicative of that flip-flop, if you will.
Mr. Laughren: Why don’t you stop being so silly.
Mr. Ashe: There is no way that we, as a government, would bring forth major legislation dealing with changes and how local government operates without consulting.
Mr. Laughren: What a silly person you are.
Mr. Ashe: Yet, that’s exactly what has happened with this amendment.
Mr. Laughren: You’re getting yourself in deeper. You’re being sillier by the minute.
Mr. Ashe: There’s one very important other item as far as I’m concerned; I suppose you could put it in the same vein. We have heard very eloquent speeches from time to time by members from all sides of the House, but I think probably concentrated among some members of the third party --
Mr. Ashe: -- who are known to be very eloquent -- that is to say, Mr. Chairman, if you equate eloquence with length, but not necessarily substance. One of the arguments continuously brought forward is that local government in all its forms should have more authority to make its own decisions; that they are a very conscientious group of people, they are elected by the people around them and they should make their own choices as much as possible.
Basically, I don’t think there is any great disagreement with that. But the inconsistency in this particular motion is that we are not giving any credit at all to the thoroughness of local government, elected people particularly, as they are represented at the regional council level.
The present legislation reads -- and I am not going to quote the whole section, but the relevant words are “that the council may elect one of the members of the regional council or any other person.” We are suggesting that the local council is in a better position than anyone else to determine whether they, the elected representatives, wish to have somebody --
Mr. Laughren: We know what you’re saying -- and you’re wrong.
Mr. Ashe: Be consistent; that is all I am saying. Just be consistent.
Mr. Laughren: We are.
Mr. M. N. Davison: Did you ever hear of democracy?
Mr. Laughren: You are anti-democratic.
Mr. Ashe: We are suggesting that members of the local elected government know better than anyone who they wish to be their chairman, whom they wish to lead them in their deliberations.
Mr. Laughren: They’re better than the people who elected them. That’s what you are trying to tell us.
Mr. Ashe: If they feel the best person is among themselves, they have that authority now that they can go ahead and elect a chairman from among themselves.
Mr. Laughren: Why don’t you quit while you’re losing?
Mr. Ashe: If they feel the job of chairman would be better served at that particular point in time by someone outside the council, they also have that right.
Mr. Laughren: We know that. Is this some kind of sermon you’re giving us?
Mr. Ashe: I think that is consistency, and that is not the consistency that is brought forth in this particular amendment that we have before us.
We also talk about, and part of the argument is, the democratic right of everybody being elected.
Mr. Laughren: You are getting sillier by the moment.
Mr. Ashe: You can argue both sides of the story.
Mr. Foulds: Both sides of your mouth.
Mr. Ashe: But let’s agree that everything is relative --
Mr. Foulds: That’s a heresy of the 18th century.
Mr. Ashe: A regional chairman also has an electorate. True, it is an electorate of 20, or 25, or 30, or 32, or 27, as the case may be. But that is an electorate. Everything is relative as to size.
Mr. Foulds: That’s called an oligarchy.
Mr. Ashe: We have also seen leaders of parties come forward on the basis of a small minority of the people they are going to work with, and it is quite obvious the problems that causes.
Mr. Foulds: William Davis is one of those leaders.
Mr. Ashe: We are seeing every day, by the representation from and in the leadership of the third party across from us, that a small minority of the people who surround that person really didn’t choose the leader. We can see how it is very practical to have the people in government decide who will be their chairman.
Mr. Foulds: I used to think that you had potential; you’re going to be a permanent parliamentary assistant.
Mr. Ashe: It is funny, they don’t like to hear those things when we are talking about the facts.
These are the reasons why this particular amendment before you, Mr. Chairman, in my opinion, is not appropriate at any time -- but, in any event, not appropriate at this point. I would hope that the inconsistencies that brought forth this amendment at this point will be turned down.
Mr. Swart: We always stood for electing them.
Mr. Laughren: You are raising trivia to an art form.
Mr. Ashe: In the interval I hope some of the members in that party will have a chance to think about their inconsistencies and maybe next time around they will be a little more consistent.
Mr. Laughren: You’re worse than the member for Carleton-Grenville (Mr. Sterling).
Mr. Chairman: Mr. Cassidy has moved an amendment to section 1(1) of the bill.
Mr. Ashe: On a point of order, Mr. Chairman: I don’t see the mover of that motion present in this House.
Mr. Foulds: He has already moved it.
Mr. Chairman: It has been moved and it is not necessary in committee for the mover to be present.
Shall the amendment carry?
All those in favour of the amendment will say “aye.”
All those opposed will say “nay.”
In my opinion the nays have it.
Sections 2 to 14, inclusive, agreed to.
On section 15:
Mr. Chairman: Mr. Swart moves that subsection 3 of section 7 of the Regional Municipality of Niagara Act as set out in section 15, subsection 1 of the bill be amended by striking out the words, “or any other person” in lines four and five and inserting after the word “council” in line five, the words “provided he continues to be a member of the council” so the subsection shall read:
“At the first meeting of the regional council after a regular election at which a quorum is present, the regional council shall organize as a council and elect as chairman one of the members of the regional council to hold office for the term of the council provided he continues to be a member of the council and until his successor is appointed or elected in accordance with this act and at such meeting the clerk shall preside until the chairman is elected.”
I guess I misunderstood the honourable member. This is --
Mr. Swart: Part II, section 15.
Mr. Chairman: Part II, yes, okay.
Mr. Ashe: Mr. Chairman, may I ask for a ruling or a consensus, or what you have, for the sake of all of the members’ time? As all the members in the House know, particularly the honourable member for Welland-Thorold opposite, we now have, in effect, 10 items that are identical. Is it required by the rules that each one must be read into the record?
Some hon. members: Yes.
Mr. Ashe: In other words, they are to do with each section? It just seems to me to be such an absolute waste of time. Hopefully, at least then, we won’t have the debate all over again.
Mr. Laughren: Of course, you are anti-democratic to start with.
Mr. Chairman: I appreciate the honourable member’s question. I would have to say, as chairman of the committee, that it’s up to this committee to discuss and amend any section before the committee, which is every section in this bill. If any member wishes to place an amendment, if it’s within order, the chair will have to accept it.
Mr. Laughren: Despite the anti-democratic tendencies of the parliamentary assistant.
Mr. Swart: Mr. Chairman, I’m somewhat surprised the member for Durham West would rise to suggest we shouldn’t read each of the amendments we have. This matter may not be of great significance to him but in this party, it’s of real concern to us whether those who head the major and all municipal councils in this province are elected or are appointed, as is now the case.
Of course, the amendment which we have before us does exactly the same thing the amendment did with regard to Ottawa-Carleton, that is to state the chairman of the Niagara regional council shall be selected from the elected members of the council. It will remove the option of the council to pick from outside the council a person who has not received any endorsement from the public, or has not been elected to any municipal position in that region.
It’s not really a question of whether the chairman is competent or whether he is a fine person.
Mr. Sterling: How can you do both jobs?
Mr. Swart: I just want to assure you that Mr. John Campbell --
Mr. Sterling: Just whether the guy can do both jobs.
Mr. Swart: -- the chairman of the Niagara region, is the kind of a person any one of us would like to have as a personal friend. He’s a gentleman. I don’t think I can conceive of him, even if he’s elected to this august chamber, ever deteriorating to the state that some of the rest of us have, and attacking those who sit opposite. I sat with them for three years and John Campbell is a fine person.
But that is not the question. And it is not really a question of whether the regional council operates efficiently, or whether it is well administered. The real question is who decides whether he is the right person to be chairman of that very important position on council. Shall that rest solely with the 20, 25 or 30 members, as the member for Durham West believes is adequate, or shall the public have some say in whether that person is going to sit on council and by virtue of that, be elected as chairman of council?
Well, we in this party, as you already know, opt for the last proposal. The member for Durham West commented that we should give more autonomy to local council. This is something with which I am in wholehearted agreement. But that is an area for council’s discretion; to exercise its function once it has been elected.
I never wanted to give vested interests on council the right to determine who shall sit on the council and not be accountable to the public. If you are going so far in the whole field of autonomy, what is the meaning of the Municipal Act? Why not let them decide if they want to have elections every two years or three years? Why do we have 400 or 500 pages of instructions and regulations, under which councils have to function?
Mr. Laughren: Good question.
Mr. Swart: Of course, constitutionally the provincial government has the responsibility for the framework in which municipalities function. The responsibility rests with this government, not with the local council, to determine whether that chairman is going to hold that office by virtue of being elected by the public or be appointed by the other members of the regional council.
Mr. M. N. Davison: If you guys had your way, you would crown Seatbelt Johnston.
Mr. Swart: I want to say, Mr. Chairman, and any of the members who have sat on regional council with an appointed chairman know this to be true, that an appointed person who is not accountable to the electorate in any way functions somewhat differently than if he has to go out and get votes at election time.
Mr. Ashe: Not necessarily.
Mr. Swart: Yes, I think you might. Let me just give you one example, Mr. Chairman, one example.
Mr. Chairman: Order.
Mr. Swart: Let me give one example to the member for Durham West. This may seem like a small example but I say it is typical.
You know that for years the chairman of Niagara region did not have a listed telephone number where he could be reached; his home telephone number was not listed, at least not in his name. It is listed now because a year or two ago, I brought up the fact in this Legislature that he did not have a listed telephone number where people could get in touch with him.
Mr. Epp: Do you have one now?
Mr. Swart: Oh, yes, I think all of us have a listed telephone number; it is part of the whole political process so the public can get in touch with us. But if you don’t have to go out at election time to be elected, then you don’t approach the public in the same way. In fact, you don’t have to be concerned with what the public thinks. The chairman of a regional council who has no constituency -- nobody elects him -- is ingrown to the extent that he is concerned with what the 20, 25 or 30 members of that regional council think of him, not with what the public thinks about the way he is discharging his duties
That is another way, I guess, of saying that this whole process that we have now is contradictory to all the principles of democracy.
While I am speaking about the amendment which would provide that the chairman in Niagara must have a constituency and can only be elected chairman if he’s elected from a constituency in the region, I would like to say something in reply to the member for Erie (Mr. Haggerty) who spoke near the end of the debate on the Ottawa-Carleton regional act. He stated that he -- and I think I am quoting his words exactly -- “wished I had shown some initiative seven or eight years ago in the Niagara region.” Well, I just want to say to him, and I hope his colleagues will convey this to him, that --
An hon. member: In shorthand.
Mr. Swart: -- I believe I showed considerable initiative at that time. in 1966, when the commission was sitting in Niagara to consider the structuring of the Niagara region -- at that time we didn’t know whether it was going to be a change within the two counties or one region to cover the two counties -- I presented a 28-page brief, Mr. Chairman, to that commission. In that brief I spoke about the election of the regional chairman and I said this and I quote from that brief: “It naturally follows that I would also recommend that the head of the regional council be elected. On this there must be no compromise.” That’s what I said, in fact, in 1966.
Mr. Stong: Are you quoting yourself, Mel?
Mr. Swart: I said I do not believe the holder of any such exceedingly important office should be put in that kind of a position.
Mr. Stong: He is reading from one of his own speeches.
Ms. Gigantes: You’re jealous.
Mr. Swart: He or she should be answerable to the electorate and should be subject to re-election if he and the voters desire it. That was back in 1966, so I think we are being somewhat consistent in the view --
Mr. Sterling: Yes, rubbish then and rubbish now.
Mr. Swart: -- we are taking here this evening. For the sake of the record too, Mr. Chairman, in this brief I also stated that in my view the water and sewer administration operation should remain at the local level, not the regional level. I stated there should be two counties --
Mr. Sterling: You won’t sell that in Ottawa-Carleton.
Mr. Swart: -- or regions instead of one, as one was much too large. I also proposed there should be 17 municipalities to give greater accountability and service to the public.
Mr. Chairman: The member is coming back to the amendment, I hope.
Mr. Swart: I’m coming back to the amendment, Mr. Chairman. I proposed 17 municipalities instead of the 12 on which they ultimately decided. I say very clearly it is on record that I and my party over the years have consistently supported the principle that the chairman of a regional council should either be elected at large within the region or should be elected from a constituency in the region and only by virtue of that election would he be eligible to the office of chairman of the region.
I guess I am not terribly surprised at those on the opposite side of this House opposing this amendment. I think they oppose it in principle. It’s part of their belief. They have always had some difficulty in accommodating public input, regardless of where it is.
Mr. Sterling: Rubbish.
Mr. Gregory: Oh, that’s nonsense and you know it.
Mr. Swart: They fought for years and years against all the attempts of various special interest groups to have a say in environment or whatever the case may be.
Mr. Gregory: Do you really think anybody is going to read this?
Mr. Swart: They eventually and grudgingly gave in on some of these issues, but they’ve consistently followed the principle of keeping the public out of government affairs as much as possible.
Mr. Foulds: It is part of the Tory tradition.
Mr. Gregory: This isn’t exactly a best seller.
An hon. member: If you weren’t a Tory, you didn’t get in.
Mr. Swart: The members on my right do bother me --
Mr. J. Reed: Yes, we are on the right.
Mr. Foulds: You are to the right of those guys.
Mr. Ashe: I hope you stay there too.
Mr. Swart: -- a little bit, primarily because of their continued expression that the chairman of regional council should, in fact, be elected. I have listened very carefully to their arguments, and quite frankly, I can’t make much sense out of them. First of all, they say that somehow or other this must be out of order.
Mr. Sterling: You usually are.
Mr. Swart: Of course this amendment is not out of order. It is perfectly in order.
Mr. Stong: Justify yourself.
Mr. Swart: The Speaker ruled in their favour, in fact, that it is in order, so you can’t get out of it on that excuse. Then they say; “It’s just not the right time. We’ll do it when the bills come back at some future time.” Three or four of you said that. “We have committed ourselves,” they say. “When the bills are brought back, we will move an amendment to provide that the regional chairmen be elected.”
When are the bills going to be brought back? We don’t know if we are even going to get a bill for Metropolitan Toronto.
Mr. J. Reed: In the fullness of time.
Mr. Swart: We might get one for Ottawa, but when are we going to get one for Niagara? Hamilton-Wentworth? Or Sudbury? There’s no proposal by the government to bring in those bills.
Mr. Sterling: I hope we don’t hear the same argument.
Mr. Roy: Why didn’t you say that on second reading instead of saying they were out of order?
Mr. Swart: It could be two years, five years. The only other argument I’ve heard is, “Well, if we support this, the government is going to use blackmail against us on other bills.” I mentioned that before the dinner hour, and I am not going to go into it again. If there is any other argument besides those three, and if they have any additional speakers, I would like to hear --
Mr. Mackenzie: A legitimate argument for a change.
Mr. Sterling: I would like to hear a legitimate argument, too.
Mr. Swart: Because quite frankly, those arguments --
Mr. Mackenzie: Why do you Tories waffle all over the place.
Mr. Swart: -- those arguments are not very convincing to me. When we have a bill before us -- and we will not have these bills again, certainly a whole group of them, until we don’t know when, perhaps never. To have all --
Mr. Mackenzie: Have a look at the bill, Albert. You can trust them?
Mr. Swart: -- the 11 regional government bills before us at one time, we can bring about the elections of regional chairmen is an opportunity that may not arise again in this House for years and years.
Mr. Mackenzie: You should have learned by now, Albert.
Mr. Swart: I say quite frankly to anyone who is interested in seeing that the regional chairmen are elected -- that they can no longer be appointed and not have any local constituency and no accountability -- this is the time to do it.
Mr. Roy: Mr. Chairman, could I have a point of order?
Mr. Chairman: Order. Point of order.
Mr. Roy: Mr. Chairman, I would like to bring to your attention standing order 16(3) of this House which states that a speaker shall be called to order if he persists in needless repetition. That’s what is happening.
Mr. Chairman: I appreciate the comments of the member for Ottawa East. I was listening very carefully and they are repetitious to the extent that they were referred to on a previous amendment before the House.
Mr. Foulds: How would the member for Ottawa East know? He hasn’t been in the House.
Mr. Chairman: Order. Order. Is the member for Welland-Thorold finished?
Mr. Swart: Yes, I am.
Mr. Epp: I would like to congratulate the member for Welland-Thorold in his opening comments as his campaign now starts for the leadership of the New Democratic Party.
Mr. Ashe: When is the convention?
Mr. Laughren: Collective leadership.
Mr. Epp: Without trying to be repetitious, I do want to draw the chair’s attention to the statement the member for Welland-Thorold made only two weeks ago tonight, on May 30. Without reading the whole thing, he was trying to appeal to the people who are here tonight, trying to be so lucid and logical about everything. I think they should see the other side. Only two weeks ago, he got up in his place and said, “I rise again on a point of order, Mr. Speaker. The section he is speaking about” -- that’s the member for Ottawa East (Mr. Roy), a colleague of mine, just a tremendous person -- “of course, is the time of the election of the chairman. It has nothing to do with the procedures of the election of the chairman or whether the chairman should be elected or appointed, or anything else of this nature. I just make the point once again that the speaker is out of order when he is talking about whether regional chairmen should be appointed or elected.”
Now, there he is, making a big flip-flop, trying to be logical in a very illogical sense.
Mr. Laughren: Order. He’s out of order.
Mr. Roy: Why don’t you have a free vote?
Mr. Epp: To expedite matters, as you know, Mr. Chairman, we’re not going to support this amendment because we were the ones who talked about it first and we were the ones who said this wasn’t the appropriate time to do it. The member for Welland-Thorold was the one who so convincingly, to his own colleagues, tried to suggest that this was an appropriate time. We will oppose this amendment. I hope the other amendments that come up are expedited a little more quickly.
Mr. Ashe: Contrary to at least one of the members of the third party, I respect the time of this House and will not comment further.
Mr. Chairman: All those in favour of Mr. Swart’s amendment to section 15(1) of the bill will please say “aye.”
Those opposed will please say “nay.”
In my opinion, the nays have it.
Sections 16 to 26, inclusive, agreed to.
On section 27:
Mr. Chairman: Mr. Ashe moves that section 3(1a) of the Regional Municipality of York Act as set out in section 27 of the bill be struck out and the following inserted in lieu thereof:
“(1a) Notwithstanding paragraph 2 of subsection 1, on and after December 1, 1978 the council of the town of Markham shall, in addition to the mayor, be composed of 10 members, three of whom shall be elected by a general vote of the electors of the area municipality as members of the council of the area municipality and of the regional council and, except as may be provided under subsection 3a, seven members elected by wards.”
Mr. Ashe: If I may indicate the necessity for this change, the original bill that was enacted in 1976 overlooked the fact that there was a change in the size of the local council of the town of Markham. Subsection 3b of the legislation in 1976 enabled the minister to alter the number of persons elected to the Markham council by order, if the municipality so requested. It did so request, and by order in August 1976 the minister divided one of the two Markham wards and hence increased the size of the local council by one.
Mr. Stong: Very briefly, I’d like to address myself to the fact that I too received correspondence from the town of Markham with respect to this particular change. It had been regarded by the town of Markham as an oversight and a typographical error. I appreciate the parliamentary assistant making this amendment so that it would reflect the actual situation as it now exists in the town of Markham. We will be supporting without doubt this amendment.
Mr. Swart: I rise too, to support this. I would point out that blackmail wasn’t necessary. The government had a majority on this side of the House to get this through in York. If we are concerned about some kind of proportional representation by population, though this doesn’t make it quite proportional, then I think we have to support this addition in the size of the local council and also the addition which was proposed in this bill for the regional councils.
Motion agreed to.
Section 27 as amended agreed to.
Sections 28 and 29 agreed to.
On section 30:
Mr. Swart: It will come as no surprise that I have a motion on this.
Mr. Chairman: Mr. Swart moves that subsection 8 of the Regional Municipality of York Act, as set out in section 30, subsection 1 of the bill, be amended by striking out the words “or any other person” in lines four and five and inserting after the word “council” in line five the words “provided he continues to be a member of the council,” so the subsection shall read:
“(2) At the first meeting of the regional council after a regular election at which a quorum is present, the regional council shall organize as a council and elect as chairman one of the members of the regional council to hold office for the term of the council, provided he continues to be a member of the council, and until his successor is appointed or elected in accordance with this act, and at such meeting the officer appointed under section 19 shall preside until the chairman is elected.”
Mr. Swart: I’m not going to take any great length of time on this. I think it is important to point out that we have just passed one amendment --
Mr. Mancini: Who speaks for Metro? Who’s for Metro?
Mr. Swart: -- which strengthened the regional council in York and that the regional municipality of York is an exceedingly important part of this province. I’m sure anybody who represents that area would want to have the maximum in democracy in that area, especially when it’s so close to the city of Toronto where a particular party is hopeful of picking up -- vainly perhaps -- some seats in the next provincial election. Therefore, this is a key to that whole issue. I would expect that people living within that region particularly would be anxious to see this amendment approved.
Mr. Stong: Very briefly, perhaps I can respond to the urging of the member for Welland-Thorold. I might say that being a member who represents part of the regional municipality of York, I have been persuaded by the eloquence and the common-sense approach of the governing party in presenting this bill and the arguments presented by my colleagues of my own party in voting against this amendment.
Mr. Roy: I might state as well that members to my left would have better chance of support from this party if their amendments were drafted in such a way as to make the intent very clear.
The members of that party used to put forward clear and legible amendments and we knew exactly what the intent of the amendment was. I must say, Mr. Chairman, that one of the reasons we can’t support the amendment is that technically, the meaning of the amendment is very confusing.
For instance, where the word “council” is used, it may be confusing to the public and it may well be interpreted when they state that the chairman be a member of council, that he continues to be a member of some municipal council as well. That’s very, very confusing and I think it’s incumbent upon the people who propose a bill to make it very clear --
Mr. M. Davidson: You are talking about the regional bill, Albert.
Mr. Roy: -- and it’s incumbent on them as well, that when speaking of a particular regional council, they speak of a specific council so we don’t elect a member from, let’s say, the regional council of York as chairman for the regional council of Ottawa.
Mr. M. Davidson: Just another cop-out speech.
Mr. Roy: So on that basis alone, the amendment Mr. Chairman, is technically faulty.
Mr. McClellan: With that speech you will be laughed out of town.
Mr. Roy: I would have thought that those members to my left, who like to be precise and who pride themselves in having good legal advice on that side, would have consulted their legal colleagues. Usually you can rely on good legal advice. I have every respect for my colleagues; the member for Lakeshore (Mr. Lawlor), and the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick). But obviously they have not been consulted, because the member --
Mr. McClellan: That’s a joke.
Mr. Laughren: Quit while you are ahead Albert.
Mr. Roy: -- for Welland-Thorold, being an authority on all matters, didn’t have to consult his legal colleagues, So for that very specific and technical reason, of course, we have to oppose the amendment.
Mr. Swart: I would just point out that I don’t believe for one minute that the member for Ottawa East is confused about this. He’s confused about a lot of things.
Mr. Roy: I can remember somebody else being confused on the 30th.
Mr. Swart: He understands perfectly what it means. It means that the chairman of regional council must be elected. That’s why he’s going to vote against it.
Mr. Laughren: That’s exactly right.
Mr. Mancini: Lorne Maeck for whip.
Mr. M. Davidson: Mr. Chairman, if I may, I find it necessary to respond to the member for Ottawa East: I find it impossible to believe that a man with his legal training cannot understand that the bill being amended is an act respecting regional municipalities. I am quite sure it is as clear to him as it probably will no doubt be clear to everyone who is concerned about this bill.
I think he is trying to whitewash an issue with a very clever speech. I don’t think it’s going to work and I don’t think we should have to sit here and listen to that kind of discussion.
Mr. M. N. Davison: I disagree very strongly with my colleague from Cambridge. I don’t think that’s the intention of the member for Ottawa East at all. I think the simple fact of the matter is that he hasn’t yet read the bill.
Mr. Laughren: It wasn’t a very clever speech either. The member for Ottawa East is being provocative.
Mr. Mancini: Stand up for short people.
Mr. Chairman: Order. Order. I would ask the members to please co-operate or else we will have a recess.
Mr. Laughren: We are trying.
Mr. Chairman: Are there any further comments on the amendment?
You have heard the amendment. Shall the amendment carry?
All those in favour will say “aye.”
All those opposed will say “nay.”
In my opinion, the nays have it.
Mr. Ashe: Just eight more times.
Sections 31 to 44, inclusive, agreed to.
On section 45;
Mr Chairman: Mr. Swart moves that section 9(2) of the Regional Municipality of Waterloo Act 1972 as set out in section 45(1) of the bill be amended by striking out the words “or any other person” in line four and inserting after the word “council” in line five the words “provided he continues to be a member of the council,” so the subsection shall read:
“(2) At the first meeting of the regional council after a regular election at which a quorum is present, the regional council shall organize as a council and elect as chairman one of the members of the regional council to hold office for the term of the council, provided he continues to be a member of the council and until a successor is appointed or elected in accordance with this act, and at such meeting the clerk shall preside until the chairman is elected.”
Mr. Swart: This is the same principle as the previous amendment. Although comments were made facetiously by the member for Ottawa East to hide his true views about electing a chairman --
Mr. Laughren: I think he tried to be serious.
Mr. Swart: -- the facts are that I consulted at great length with the legislative counsel and so on with regard to this. If he levels criticism at the wording of this, it is criticism against the legislative counsel, his own colleagues in law.
Mr. Epp: I rise to speak on this but just for a short period. I must say that since I come from this area, I want to say a word or two.
It is interesting to note the member for Welland-Thorold quotes the member for Ottawa East very respectfully. It was the suggestion the member for Ottawa East made the other day that prompted the member for Welland-Thorold all of a sudden to bring in some amendments which he earlier indicated were out of order.
Mr. Roy: That’s right.
Mr. Epp: Nevertheless, as everyone knows, there is a study going on in the Region of Waterloo under Mr. William Palmer. A number of amendments regarding the region will be coming in within the next six months or a year when Mr. Palmer has completed his study --
Mr. Swart: How do you know?
Mr. Epp: -- it would be somewhat premature to prejudge what those recommendations would be. At that time, when the report is made and when the government brings in legislation for the regional municipality of Waterloo, this party will be bringing in an amendment, as we indicated two weeks ago --
Mr. Swart: It will be like Northumberland or Niagara -- no amendments.
Mr. Epp: When these studies are completed and major amendments are made, then is the time to bring in the changes to the act.
Mr. M. Davidson: Once again I have to take exception to what the member for Waterloo North has said. Being one of the members who comes from the regional municipality of Waterloo, I think it is absolutely essential that the kind of amendment that has been placed before us this evening not only be given due consideration, but also be passed by this Legislative Assembly.
The reason I say that is that like the member for Waterloo North, I am well aware of the problems that exist in the region of Waterloo. He has expounded probably the same type of philosophy that I have, based on regionalism in the area. I find it rather interesting that when he was the mayor of the municipality of Waterloo --
Mr. Roy: And a good one too.
Mr. Bradley: And a good mayor he was.
Mr. M. Davidson: -- he took very strong positions regarding regional government in his area. He has done so, not only when he was the mayor of Waterloo city, but as the Liberal critic for municipal affairs in leading his little travelling circus around the province, dealing with the problems of regional government.
Mr. Epp: You want to read the report from our caucus on local and regional government.
Mr. M. Davidson: Again I can only say that the speeches he made or the comments he made in going around and visiting the municipalities within his own region in order, I suspect, to get favourable press on his behalf, were such that what he is suggesting here tonight are totally contrary to what he has expressed publicly in the area.
Mr. Mancini: That’s not true.
Mr. M. Davidson: He may very well stand up here tonight and say that this is not the proper time or the proper place to place these types of amendments. He can use the excuse, if he chooses to do so, that there is a hearing or a review of government taking place in the Waterloo region.
Mr. Epp: That’s not an excuse.
Mr. M. Davidson: That’s probably quite true; there is, in fact, a review taking place. Again, if one looks at the comments the member for Waterloo North has made regarding the reviews that took place in other regions, and what in all likelihood will develop out of the review taking place in the Waterloo region --
Mr. Bradley: You should never prejudice.
Mr. M. Davidson: -- then I think he is, as the member for Hamilton Mountain (Mr. Charlton) suggested earlier today, posturing very, very definitely. He is, in fact, playing the political game.
Mr. Bradley: As one who is a master at it.
Mr. M. Davidson: He is not, in fact, looking upon the region he represents in the sense he has advocated so strongly in the past. It’s unfortunate, because when he was the mayor he was a very consistent kind of a person, but the inconsistency that is expressed by the statement this gentleman is making today is beyond my comprehension.
Mr. Bradley: A lot of things are.
Mr. M. Davidson: I can only suggest, as perhaps the one member of the Waterloo region who is interested in seeing justice done, that this Legislative Assembly accept the recommendation placed before it. Vote for the amendment being moved by the member for Welland-Thorold. I say that as a member sitting in the region of Waterloo. I do that based on a decision made by the council of Cambridge requesting the chairman of the regional government be, in fact, either elected at large or elected from among those who are elected to represent the populace.
Mr. Mackenzie: That’s clear, consistent, common sense.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Are there any further speakers to this amendment?
Mr. M. N. Davison: The member for Kitchener would like to speak.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Those in favour of Mr. Swart’s amendment on section 45 please say “aye.”
Those opposed please say “nay.”
In my opinion the nays have it.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Are there any members wishing to discuss any section up to section 58?
The member for Nickel Belt. What section?
Mr. Laughren: On section 58.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: I said anything up to section 58.
Mr. Laughren: I’m sorry.
Sections 46 to 57, inclusive, agreed to.
On section 58:
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Mr. Laughren moves that subsection 2 of section 9 of the Regional Municipality of Sudbury Act, 1972, as set out in section 58, subsection 1 of the bill be amended by striking out the words, “or any other person” in line four and inserting after the word “council” in line five, the words “provided he continues to be a member of the council” so the subsection shall read:
“(2) At the first meeting of the regional council after a regular election at which a quorum is present the regional council should organize as a council and elect as chairman one of the members of the regional council to hold office for the term of the council provided he continues to be a member of the council and until a successor is appointed or elected in accordance with this Act and at such meeting the clerk shall preside until the chairman is elected.”
The member for Nickel Belt will speak to his amendment.
Mr. Laughren: Mr. Chairman, I believe when we talk about the election of the chairman, there are two basic levels at which the debate can occur. One is whether or not the chairman should be elected by the council from among its members or, as the government presently wishes, from within the members or outside the members of council; or, secondly, whether or not the election should take place at large by the electorate within the regional municipality. I’ve always viewed the position we put forward as being a compromise position in that it does not insist upon the election of the chairman at large by the electorate but rather allows the regional council to select that chairman as long as it’s from within the council.
I thought that the comments of my colleague from Cambridge were appropriate in that the council of the municipality of Cambridge itself agreed that it should be an elected position, not an appointed one.
This afternoon I had a short conversation with the chairman of the regional municipality of Sudbury in which he indicated that he himself would be in favour of being elected as long as the election was not from within a particular ward, because in that case there could very well be a conflict of priorities for that regional chairman.
But I will tell you something, Mr. Chairman: In Sudbury we have had an unique experience. We have had the experience in Sudbury of a former deputy minister of this government, Mr. Collins, who is the chief executive officer of Cambridge right now --
Mr. Bradley: Doing a good job there, is he?
Mr. Laughren: -- I will comment on that in a moment. He was appointed the first chairman of the regional municipality of Sudbury. Mr. Collins rode into Sudbury on a charger and rode out the same way, but in the meantime he still thought that he was a deputy minister, wheeling and dealing with the same kind of powers. It reached a point where it looked as though the regional chairman was going to be in some difficulty holding his job. At that point, the scrambling became unseemly. I want to tell you, Mr. Chairman, it is not something that a regional chairman should be put through. It also happened with the election of the second chairman, the late Mr. Fabbro. When it appeared that he was going to have difficulty in getting the position, his scrambling became unseemly as well. That is something that can be avoided through the election of the local chairman.
There needs to be an understanding that when you have a regional municipality, you have area municipalities that make up that region; and those area municipality politicians are not always going to have the regional or world view that we would wish they would have. The Hamilton Spectator had a very perceptive editorial not too long ago in which they stated that what was required in regional government now were politicians with a broader view. I thought it was a well-put editorial on the part of the Spectator, because we still have local politics being practised at the regional level, and somehow we have to get beyond that. One way to get beyond that is to have the regional chairman elected in a more democratic fashion. We are not going to get away from the small local politics until we can achieve that at the regional level. The best way to achieve that is through the election of the chairman on a broader basis, and that simply is not happening.
I am confused by the Liberal position as well. They say: “Yes, we think there should be an election of chairmen, but not now. There will be a day in the future when that would be more appropriate.” I heard the member for Ottawa East say: “Don’t worry, the government will bring in a bill that we can deal with and make an amendment at the appropriate time.” How the member for Ottawa East can put trust in the government to do anything, given what they did to his bill on language rights, is completely beyond me, and I think he should reassess his position.
I think the members of the Liberal Party are perhaps influenced by the historical fact that appointments to the Senate are traditionally done by a Liberal government, unfortunately, in this country and perhaps they think that has served this country well. I think those kinds of appointments seldom serve this country well, just as appointments of regional chairman --
Mr. Bradley: Like Hazen Argue?
Mr. Laughren: Yes, including Hazen Argue; that has not served this country well. I have no hesitation in saying that whatsoever. I want to tell my friend that appointments seldom serve the electorate well; and that is true whether you are talking about the Senate or whether you are talking about regional chairmen.
Mr. Bradley: What about Rheal Belisle?
Mr. Laughren: Mr. Chairman, it is time we in this chamber put some faith in the electorate to elect at the regional level in the same way we put such faith in them to elect at the provincial level.
Mr. Germa: Mr. Chairman, part of the bill deals with the regional municipality of Sudbury, which was instituted in 1972. At that time, in order to get regional government off the ground, we did agree with the original concept of the government that the first regional chairman should be an appointed person --
Mr. Bradley: And now you have changed your mind.
Mr. Germa: -- because then they could select someone who in their mind had the necessary skill and wisdom to float this new concept in the regional municipality of Sudbury. But experience has taught us that the government made a horrible mistake in their selection and their appointment, in that instead of taking a political animal they took a functionary and put him in the role of a political person. These two people just do not think alike. Their minds never come to the same conclusion by the same tortuous route.
We, in the political field, are always feeling the pressure of the electorate and we are guided by that consciousness. The functionary or the technocrat, which is what results when you have an appointment, is a different kind of a bird altogether and consequently he gets himself into a lot of trouble.
Mr. Nixon: Are you talking about Don Collins?
Mr. Germa: Which is what happened to Mr. Don Collins, who happened to be the chairman of the regional municipality for something like three years --
Mr. Nixon: Fine fellow.
Mr. Germa: -- at which time he took his power a little bit too seriously and he fired the regional administrator --
Mr. Nixon: This is an unbelievable story. Now let’s get it all.
Mr. M. Davidson: We have him in Cambridge now.
Mr. Germa: -- who he didn’t realize was appointed by the same cabinet who appointed him.
Mr. McClellan: What a silly fellow.
Mr. Germa: So consequently he had no power whatsoever, except for his inflated ego that he was Mr. Big at 40,000 bucks a year in the city of Sudbury.
Mr. Nixon: He is doing better than that now in Galt.
Mr. Germa: When the regional administrator refused to have himself fired he got up publicly and said, “I will be back at work Monday morning even if the chairman did fire me.”
Mr. Nixon: My God, he was.
Mr. Germa: And my God, he was and he’s still there. He’s still there. Even today he’s still there and Mr. Regional Chairman is now gone and I think he’s down in Cambridge.
Mr. Breaugh: Galt.
Mr. Germa: Galt, or some place down there, but he’s back in a post for which the man is trained. He is a functionary and a technocrat and what we want in the regional chairman’s post is a political person.
We are not really debating whether the regional chairman is appointed or not; what we are talking about is do we have any faith in the democratic system? Do we have faith in the electorate? We in Sudbury certainly have faith in the electorate. I think Sudbury is probably the cradle of democracy, otherwise you wouldn’t have three NDP members coming out of that area.
Mr. Bradley: Somebody put a curse on the city.
Mr. Nixon: I hear Don is going to run against you in the next election.
Mr. Germa: Because it is a cradle of democracy we have been able to overcome all of those built-in institutions which have been plaguing Ontario for some 35 years where money buys seats and all the rigmarole that goes into electing a lot of these members in various ridings -- if they spend 40,000 or 50,000 bucks they can guarantee that they are going to be elected. All of that has gone in Sudbury because the people in Sudbury believe in the democratic process. Otherwise, they wouldn’t send a person such as myself here to the Legislature. It must be democracy in action.
Mr. Stong: Humble and unassuming as you are,
Mr. Germa: So you cannot compare Sudbury with the rest of the province.
Another thing, Mr. Chairman: there are three members in this caucus who came from the regional municipality of Sudbury. My friend Laughren from Nickel Belt, who has just spoken, supports the concept of an elected chairman.
Mr. Bradley: Where is Gaston Demers?
Mr. Germa: I, from the city of Sudbury, support the concept of an elected chairman and if I can talk my friend Martel from Sudbury East into standing up and speaking, he will also tell you he supports the concept of elected chairmen --
Mr. Martel: I am going to.
Mr. Germa: -- so you have a unanimous view and a unanimous opinion from the members in this Legislature who represent together the whole regional municipality of Sudbury. There is no other opinion. There is no other voice coming out of Sudbury, so what more do you want, Mr. Chairman? When an opinion is unanimous, how can you fly in the face of a unanimous opinion?
Mr. Bradley: Where is Elmer when we need him?
Mr. Germa: Only a majority government would dare do that. So this amendment to that degree then is different to the other four or five amendments which the Liberal flip-floppers have managed to laugh off.
Mr. Swart: No blackmail on this one, no blackmail.
Mr. Germa: I have been told that the Liberals are waiting for a study being done in one of the regions to determine if they believe in democracy.
Mr. Nixon: That’s the way we do business; we get the facts and then we act.
Mr. Germa: Well surely if these gentlemen and that lady are sitting here, they must believe in the democratic process. Why do they need a study to make them believe that they think democracy is here to stay or that it is a viable way to govern ourselves? I think it is not necessary to wait for any further studies, we should reject what I term a managed democracy. This is what appointments are, they are a way to get around the opinion of the electorate.
I feel very strongly about this, in that there is no dissenting voice from the regional municipality of Sudbury to this proposition and I would consequently believe that it will carry unanimously.
Mr. Martel: If I might, I want to take the Liberals back a little historically.
Mr. Swart: No, don’t, they’re far enough back now.
Mr. Martel: A number of years ago -- it’s intriguing, I think it was the Hamilton bill where Liberals moved a motion --
Mr. Bradley: All in good time.
Mr. Martel: Historically speaking we are going back, my friend. I believe on that occasion they moved that the chairman must be elected.
Mr. Nixon: Oh, your mother is going to read this Hansard with a lot of pleasure.
Mr. Martel: Well I suggest to my Liberal friend --
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order. Could I point out to the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk that if he wishes to heckle he must be in his own seat.
Mr. Martel: I hope he gets there, because I believe he was still leader and I think he put the motion that night.
Mr. Nixon: Damned good motion, too. I wish you had voted for it.
Mr. Bradley: Is that the party that voted for regional government in Niagara?
Mr. Roy: You are supposed to address the chair, not me.
Mr. Martel: Albert, you are so attractive. It’s the hairdo, it gets to me.
I want my Liberal friends who are trying to drown it out to recall that they moved, in those days when we couldn’t carry a vote -- the Tories had too many bodies, they used to sit on this side of the House; remember the good old days? We couldn’t carry a vote --
Mr. Bradley: Not much of an improvement now.
Mr. Martel: -- and they moved a motion that the regional chairman had to be elected. Here they are tonight, after all the prattling of a couple of weeks ago about how you had to be elected to represent the people and to be accountable --
Mr. Nixon: What you are doing is all out of order.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order.
Mr. Martel: And now there is a motion --
Mr. Gaunt: Elie, I am going to read about Billy Graham. Is that all right?
Mr. Martel: Well you go ahead. Now you have an opportunity to exercise a vote which in fact would see a regional chairman elected and they are going to flip-flop again.
Mr. M. N. Davison: Surprise, surprise.
Mr. Bradley: Was that back when you supported regional government?
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order.
Mr. Martel: Yes, we supported regional government because it’s time you fellows came into the 19th century at least; not the 20th, I wouldn’t expect too much from you all at once, but you might try worming your way into the 19th century. But when you can flip-flop again --
Mr. Bradley: Now you’re against regional government.
Mr. Martel: -- having moved the motion yourselves -- and history will prove I’m correct if you just take the time to look back --
Mr. Roy: History is going to be hard on you and your antics in the House here; history will not be kind.
Mr. Martel: You will find out that on that occasion, to the man, on a divided vote, the Liberals moved and voted to have chairmen elected. Not two weeks ago one Liberal after another, to the tune of about seven of them, demanded --
Mr. Roy: And one NDP member after another rose to say we were out of order.
Mr. Nixon: Seven isn’t very many.
Mr. Martel: -- as per usual that the chairman must be elected. Now we have the motion and what do they do? They crawl back into the woodwork.
Mr. Laughren: Under a rock.
Mr. Martel: Like everything else, they want to be firmly straddling both sides of the fence at the same time, to come down on both sides. How can you be wrong when you do that?
Mr. Bradley: Which side are you on about regional government now? Have you changed your mind on regional government?
Mr. Martel: Then when you go across Ontario you can say to the folks out there: “We wanted it but we couldn’t get it.” It happens on issue after issue, whether it’s the firing of Jackson a couple of weeks ago where the leader of the Liberal Party wanted him fired but those who had the right voted to maintain that he not be fired. What a lovely way to have it! It's the same issue after issue. Why don’t you stop having the spine of an eaten banana on the spine of a banana peel?
Mr. Roy: Do you want a rotten banana?
Mr. Martel: Develop a little more of that stuff called intestinal fortitude. Don’t listen to my friend from York Centre (Mr. Stong) who says, “I’ve got to have this bill or that bill because I need more representation. I won’t be blackmailed.” Then he gets up in his place and votes like the proverbial banana -- a limp, weak-kneed, jellyfish eel. It’s like Joe Clark. You shake hands with him and it’s like shaking hands with a Caspar Milquetoast.
Hon. Mr. Maeck: You’ve never shaken hands with him.
Mr. Nixon: A vicious attack against the federal Conservative leader.
Mr. Ashe: He wouldn’t shake hands with you anyway.
Mr. Martel: I want to remind you that we had a regional chairman appointed at one time. He was a lovely fellow. I understand he’s down in Cambridge playing havoc now with what’s going on in Cambridge. He’s running for the Tories? Or the Liberals?
Mr. Laughren: It doesn’t matter.
Mr. Martel: It doesn’t matter much; either one, it’s the same difference.
We had a regional chairman who was totally irresponsible. What he did would just boggle the mind. I recall the night he decided he was going to quit. For the first time in three and a half years --
Mr. Nixon: Why don’t you start the story of Don Collins back further?
Mr. Martel: -- he called my colleague from Sudbury and he called my friend from Nickel Belt and he called me.
Mr. Bradley: Three mistakes.
Mr. Martel: It was the first time he knew I was up there for three and a half years. He didn’t even realize I was around.
Mr. Nixon: Any port in a storm. A drowning man grasps at straws.
Mr. Martel: He didn’t need our support except when the crunch came. When the crunch came he wanted us to go to the Duke of Kent and see if the Duke of Kent could get some of us to prop him up. Needless to say, he’s now in Cambridge and obviously none of us took the occasion to prop him up. During his first three and a half years he totally ignored the local provincial members. What he did internally with that regional council was something to behold.
Mr. Nixon: What is this, a filibuster?
Mr. Martel: It is. You’ve got it figured out.
Mr. Nixon: You’re afraid of the vote.
Mr. Martel: No, I know you’re going to go. What he did with that regional council was something to behold, as he manipulated, wheeled and dealed and played off one group against the other because he wasn’t forced to meet an electorate.
Mr. Nixon: What about his car?
Mr. Martel: He was appointed by the Tory party. In fact, he’s the only guy who tried to fire the administrator, as I know, and the administrator was also appointed by the government.
Mr. Nixon: We haven’t had the story about the automobile.
Mr. Martel: I don’t want to talk about that.
Mr. Nixon: Are you winding up?
Mr. Martel: No, the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk is winding up. He’s getting in on it.
Mr. Nixon: No way.
Mr. Martel: He’s going to wind up. It’s just unacceptable what regional chairmen can do when they aren’t responsible to anyone except maybe 20 people. Even then if they can wheel and deal as he did, he’s only accountable to about 11, as he plays the game. I suggest that that’s really unsatisfactory. I'd urge my friends to screw up the courage they demonstrated a number of years ago and vote the way they did a couple of years ago.
Mr. Bradley: In due course.
Mr. Martel: It shouldn’t be too hard for you to change. You’re noted for it. I didn’t want to push it too far.
Mr. Nixon: Be careful. You are trying to convince us.
Mr. Martel: I really am because I have had the experience of that type of regional chairman, as opposed to the way it now works in Sudbury, or did in the election.
Mr. Eakins: There is a good chairman in Sudbury.
Mr. Martel: Yes. I was with him this afternoon again. He ran in a ward and ultimately was chosen by his colleagues to be the regional chairman. There is a problem if you do it that way, because his seat was then filled by a vote, but there has to be a seat left for him to run, after two years. That’s why my colleague has moved the type of amendment we’ve moved, because somewhere regional chairmen have to be accountable to some electorate. Surely, the Liberals, having preached it for years, should be prepared to back what they’ve been preaching.
Mr. Roy: We will, we will.
Mr. Martel: They run around the province with their little shotgun --
Mr. Gregory: We are going to support your amendment.
Mr. Martel: Bud, really. You won’t get any committees tomorrow, Bud. If you think you’ve got troubles now getting meetings this summer, after that comment you don’t know what you’re in for tomorrow.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Will the member for Sudbury stick to the bill that’s before us, and just ignore the interjections?
Mr. Martel: The member for Mississauga East provoked me to make that comment, and he will suffer because of it.
Mr. Eakins: Quit talking. You are interrupting the gallery.
Mr. Martel: It seems to me that the Liberals, having demonstrated what they want, should not continue to go around the province attacking regional government the way they do. When they’ve got an opportunity to change it, they come in here and vote in a way which retains the status quo.
You really want it both ways. You want to flail away out there and say, “Look, those guys wanted regional government.” When you’re in a position to make some very comprehensive changes, what do you do? You crawl back into your hole.
Mr. Bradley: We will be in that position, we will be in that position.
Mr. Martel: In what position?
Mr. Bradley: To make those changes.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order.
Mr. Martel: You are in that position.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: I would ask the member for Sudbury to ignore the interjections.
Mr. Martel: You are in that position and you refuse to take the opportunity to make the changes which are possible now. So we have to continue to suffer with the likes of -- what’s that fellow’s name in Toronto? The big Kahuna?
Mr. Nixon: Is that the member from down Oshawa way?
Mr. Stong: Godfrey.
Mr. Martel: Godfrey. I have difficulty remembering him because he does so many things that are so impressive. He tried to bring baseball to Toronto but beyond that his contribution is nil. If he had to answer to an electorate he’d have to do a lot more than wheel and deal in the back room.
Mr. Ashe: He was in here last year. He won’t have that problem for many years.
Mr. Martel: He’d have to do more than wheel and deal in the back room and pay homage to the Premier (Mr. Davis) in order to be retained.
An hon. member: That’s one way of putting it.
Mr. Martel: He what?
Mr. Deputy Chairman: I would ask the member to ignore the interjections and please speak to the bill.
Mr. Martel: I’m having difficulty, Mr. Chairman, because so many of them would like to get rid of people like Paul Godfrey, but the Premier has told them not to. My friends, who could assist us to get rid of people like that, refuse to take the bull by the horns. The member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk knows what that means, to take the bull by the horns and in fact make the necessary change to at least make that post democratic and not some type of -- I’m not sure “puppet” is the right word -- or little minor dictator who wheels and deals from the back room.
Mr. Stong: This is really overkill, you know.
Mr. Martel: Call it what you want, but I went through Hansard of a couple of weeks ago, and there was a filibuster from you fellows on how you didn’t want an appointed regional chairman. Surely to God, tonight you should be prepared to get rid of them, at least in the Sudbury bill, because that way you can’t say, as my friend from York would want to do, “I’m being blackmailed.” You’re not going to be blackmailed if you support us on the Sudbury bill, because we already have this system working in Sudbury and it’s most progressive. I would urge you to join the battle -- don’t worry about the blackmail that you’ve maintained to me all along for Metro Toronto -- so that you can have the type of representation you want in the numbers game. In Sudbury we’re not worried about that. You just join with us on this vote --
Mr. Stong: Representation by populace?
Mr. Martel: No, we wanted representation by a number of the people who obviously should get to where they are in the same fashion we do, and that’s by going to the electorate. Not like Dick Dow of Copper Cliff who went through 14 elections without ever being elected, because Inco ordained that he would be the mayor of Copper Cliff; or like Len Turner at Lively who was mayor by design of Inco, but in fact people who have to go to the public.
Mr. Nixon: Whatever happened to Gaston Demers?
Mr. Martel: Who?
Mr. Bradley: Gaston -- good man.
Mr. Martel: I’m not sure. We were delighted to defeat him.
Mr. Nixon: He was a good member.
Mr. Roy: Have you ever heard the story about the regional chairman --
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order.
Mr. Martel: I don’t know it.
Mr. Nixon: Tell us the story.
Mr. Germa: The Buick station wagon?
Mr. Bradley: Mike Solski -- there’s a good man.
Mr. Chairman: Order. Order, please. Could I ask the member of the Liberal caucus to refrain from interjecting and allow the member for Sudbury East to complete his remarks?
Mr. Martel: Mr. Chairman, they are having great difficulty, because they know the way they should vote. As I informed my friend from York Centre, who was afraid that a vote for what he really believed meant that he would be blackmailed, this would not apply in this bill.
Mr. Stong: I didn’t say that.
Mr. Martel: Oh yes, you did.
Mr. Chairman: Order.
Mr. Martel: As I said earlier, screw up your courage, boys --
Mr. Nixon: I’ve got a better suggestion than that.
Mr. Martel: -- come along and let’s make regional chairmen elective in the way the rest of us who stand in this Legislature are -- answerable to someone other than the Premier or a couple of people on a council.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Those in favour of Mr. Laughren’s motion will please say “aye.”
Those opposed will please say “nay.”
In my opinion the nays have it.
Sections 59 to 62, inclusive, agreed to.
On section 63:
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Mr. Ashe moves that section 33(2) of the Regional Municipality of Sudbury Act, 1972, as set out in section 63 of the bill, be struck out and the following inserted in lieu thereof:
“(2) The regional council shall be the planning board of the Sudbury planning area, and where the regional council meets in respect of matters pertaining to the Planning Act, no separate meeting of the council as a planning board is required.”
Mr. Ashe: Mr. Chairman, this is just further expansion or clarification, if you will, of the section that is in the bill at present and really does not change it in any way.
Motion agreed to.
Section 63, as amended, agreed to.
Sections 64 through 67, inclusive, agreed to.
On section 68:
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Mr. Swart moves that section 9(2) of the Regional Municipality of Peel Act, 1973, as set out in section 68(1) of the bill, be amended by striking out the words “or any other person” in line four and inserting after the word “council” in line five the words “provided he continues to be a member of the council” so that the subsection shall read:
“(2) At the first meeting of the regional council after a regular election at which a quorum is present, the regional council shall organize as a council and elect as chairman one of the members of the regional council to hold office for the term of the council provided he continues to be a member of the council and until his successor is appointed or elected in accordance with this act, and at such meeting the clerk shall preside until the chairman is elected.”
Mr. Swart: Mr. Chairman, I just support this with all of the arguments that have been put forward by so many of my colleagues around me and say that all of them apply to this, perhaps with the exception that all of the members from this area may not represent this particular party with which I am proud to be affiliated.
Some hon. members: None do.
Mr. Swart: To more than make up for this, I would point out that the overwhelming reason why this should be supported is that no kingdom can support two monarchs. When we have King Billy in the area already, I think it is a bit much to have another anointed person as chairman of the regional council. Therefore, in addition to all of the other reasons, I think that substantiates this amendment we have before us.
Mr. Gregory: Mr. Chairman, I could listen to them rant and rave over on that side of the House for hours tonight, but they are getting into an area that’s getting very close to home.
Mr. McClellan: Why are you so opposed to democracy?
Mr. Gregory: I respectfully submit that the member for Welland-Thorold really doesn’t know what he’s talking about in regard to this particular region.
Mr. Nixon: That classic Tory phrase.
Mr. Gregory: He has been saying the same thing all night and he really doesn’t know what he’s talking about. I would support free elections for most elected offices, although when you are talking about chairmen of regions I think it more important that the proper man for the job be selected.
Mr. Laughren: Will you stop filibustering?
Mr. Swart: If you don’t think the people should decide, start appointing Premiers.
Mr. Nixon: Hazel might be asked.
Mr. Gregory: That’s right. She might get a chance some day.
Mr. Nixon: Maybe they can switch Hazel McCallion back to their ways.
Mr. Gregory: She has a habit of doing that. More so when she was a Liberal than when she was a Conservative. I have to say that.
Mr. Nixon: A very broadminded and competent public servant.
Mr. Gregory: You can have her. As a matter of fact, she is yours if you want her.
I think in the region of Peel we have had a unique experience from the belly-aching I have heard around here from the different regions. Peel region certainly has been a model of efficiency. I think to a great degree that efficiency is because of the chairman, whom I regard as a friend as well as a very competent chairman. Granted, he was appointed by the province initially when the region became a region, back in 1974.
Mr. Nixon: That’s his politics.
Mr. Gregory: Since that time, he has been re-elected by the members of council, by his peers, representing the entire region of Peel, Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon, with only one dissenting vote.
I think Bob just mentioned that dissenting vote. I think there was a reason for that. It certainly wasn’t through lack of confidence on the part of the chairman of the region.
Mr. Swart: We trust the voters to do it.
Mr. Gregory: I don’t know what the reason was for it, Bob. I haven’t yet been told. At any rate, what we have is a very exceptional, and a very efficient chairman. I think the people of Peel back up that particular opinion.
Mr. Swart: Why don’t you give them a chance to prove it?
Mr. Gregory: I think the member for Welland-Thorold, when he says he doesn’t think they have a member there -- you are darned right you don’t. You would have to go a long way in Peel to find an NDP member. That shows satisfaction on the part of the people, the voters. They know we are doing the right thing because we have a very efficiently run region.
Mr. Foulds: We have a lot of members there.
Mr. Swart: Mississauga?
Mr. di Santo: Developers.
Mr. Foulds: Have a look behind you. They are closing in.
Mr. Gregory: Eduardo, you don’t know what a region is, for heaven’s sake. Perhaps some of the reasons you are talking about, and perhaps some of the dissatisfaction you are finding, is because of the hammering you people are doing. You won’t let a chairman do a proper job. You won’t give him a chance because you are yammering away like you have been doing tonight saying the same amendment about seven times. It is just nonsense.
An hon. member: That’s called democracy.
An hon. member: A waste of time.
Mr. Gregory: If you are not happy with the situation in your area, why don’t you leave us in Peel alone? We are happy. It is running very efficiently. It is a very efficient, progressive region, Mr. member from Welland-Thorold, which I can’t expect you to know anything about.
An hon. member: Democracy is balderdash.
Mr. Gregory: You are certainly proving tonight that you don’t, frankly, know what you are talking about.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: All those in favour of Mr. Swart’s amendment will please say “aye.”
All those opposed please say “nay.”
In my opinion, the nays have it.
Sections 69 to 79, inclusive, agreed to.
On section 80:
Mr. Swart: Yes, we are going to do this again.
Mr. Nixon: You said it was out of order.
Mr. Swart: Yes, but the Speaker ruled that it was in order and, Mr. Chairman, I accept the ruling of the Speaker.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Mr. Swart moves that section 9(2) of the Regional Municipality of Halton Act, 1973, as set out in section 80(1) of the bill be amended by striking out the words “or any other person” in line four and inserting after the word “council” in line five the words “provided he continues to be a member of the council” so that the subsection shall read:
“(2) at the first meeting of the regional council after a regular election at which a quorum is present, the regional council shall organize as a council and elect as a chairman one of the members of the regional council to hold office for the term of the council provided he continues to be a member of the council and until a successor is appointed or elected in accordance with this act, and at such meeting the clerk shall preside until a chairman is elected.”
Mr. Swart: This follows on the rest. In spite of the comments of the member for Mississauga East, it is my opinion and the opinion of this party that every region in Ontario should have the right of determination by election by the public of the regional chairman. We intend to see that every regional municipality act is amended here tonight -- or at least, that the opportunity is presented to amend it -- so the people have that right.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Are there any other speakers to this amendment?
Those in favour of the amendment will please say “aye.”
Those opposed will please say “nay.”
In my opinion, the nays have it.
Sections 81 to 93, inclusive, agreed to.
On section 94:
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Mr. Charlton moves that section 9(2) of the Regional Municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth Act, 1973, as set out in section 94(1) of the bill, be amended by striking out the words, “or any other person” in lines four and five and inserting after the word “council” in line five the words “provided he continues to be a member of the council” so that the subsection shall read:
“(2) At the first meeting of the regional council after the regular election at which a quorum is present, the regional council shall organize as a council and elect as chairman one of the members of the regional council to hold office for the chairman of the council provided he continues to be a member of the council and until his successor is appointed or elected in accordance with this act, and at such meeting the clerk shall preside until the chairman is elected.”
Mr. Charlton: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I should follow up on comments that were made by my colleague from Sudbury and make it very clear to some of the members opposite that in the case of the regional municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth you have to go considerably far outside the region to find a member of the government party.
Mr. Ashe: You won’t find all NDPers there.
Mr. Charlton: We should point out to the members of the Liberal Party that of the six seats in the regional municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth, four are held in this caucus and two are held in the Liberal caucus.
Mr. Sterling: What does that prove?
Mr. Charlton: And four of the members here present tonight in this caucus are prepared to vote for this amendment. Unfortunately, two members of the Liberal caucus support the amendment in principle but don’t appear to be ready to support it in the vote.
The regional council in the regional municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth supports an elected chairman. The city of Hamilton supports an elected chairman. As a matter of fact, the present appointed chairman of the region publicly supported on a number of occasions the concept of an elected chairman of the council of the regional municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth.
Mr. Bradley: What did John Smith think of it?
Mr. Charlton: It seems to me that in the case of Hamilton-Wentworth the members of this Legislature who represent the region and the local politicians in the region all support the concept.
Mr. Gregory: They also support single-tier government.
Mr. Charlton: So we should say, as my colleague from Sudbury said in the case of Sudbury, that the majority wish is already known in the case of Hamilton-Wentworth. We don’t need any further study to determine that in the case of the regional municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth we desire democracy to be the norm and not the expected hope for the future.
On that basis I would ask my two colleagues in the Liberal caucus who represent ridings in the regional municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth to reconsider their position and to talk to their colleagues in their own caucus about reconsidering their position on this particular amendment
Mr. Mackenzie: Mr. Chairman, I also rise to support the amendment. I’ll be very brief about it, but I find it a little bit difficult to understand the position, when it comes to Hamilton-Wentworth, of either the government or the members on my right. I mean that in every respect. Even the mayor -- my colleague listed those who supported -- even that ultra-Tory mayor, Jack MacDonald in Hamilton, believes that the chairman of the region should be elected and not appointed and has said so publicly within the last few days.
I would like also to mention that apart from the two members for Hamilton, if they have the guts to appear and vote on this bill in the Liberal caucus, some of them who know of the fight that a long-time and well-respected mayor, who certainly was not of my party, and I am talking of Victor Copps of the city of Hamilton, also would never stand for the appointment of a regional chairman, somebody that was not elected and was not part of that council. I just cannot, for the life of me, understand the position of the members of the Liberal caucus on this particular bill.
Mr. Chairman, I would hope that sanity will return and common sense will prevail and they will support this amendment.
Mr. M. N. Davison: This amendment put forward by my colleague from Hamilton Mountain is really quite a great and novel idea, indeed almost revolutionary, that we should have some kind of democracy at that level in Hamilton-Wentworth. If I didn’t know better I would wonder that the idea had not been suggested or put earlier since regional government has been the fact in Hamilton-Wentworth for the past four years.
As a matter of fact, someone indeed has suggested it before. Our party, and the members of our party from Hamilton-Wentworth have suggested it. Indeed, as we heard pointed out by our colleague from Sudbury East (Mr. Martel) only some few moments ago in the debate on the Sudbury portion of this bill, the Liberal Party, in the pre-minority government days, moved a motion that would have required what this motion requires, that the chairman of the regional municipality be elected and therefore be accountable to the people of the region.
We are not asking that the Liberal Party reconsider at this late date.
Mr. di Santo: Just to be consistent.
Mr. M. N. Davison: All that we are asking, really, is that they maintain their policy, that they be consistent. Is that too much to ask for of a band of 33 men and one woman who masquerade as a political party?
Mr. Bradley: We’ll let you support us in due course.
Mr. Epp: Why don’t you support your own colleague from Welland-Thorold?
Mr. M. N. Davison: I should think not, I should think that a political party could find it possible to be consistent. I don’t think that is too much to ask. But in the absence of the member for Hamilton West, and the understandable absence of the member for Wentworth North --
Mr. Bradley: Yes, he is not here.
Mr. M. N. Davison: -- I would ask that these members, this collection, this troop to my right --
Mr. Bradley: No leadership hopeful here tonight at all.
Mr. M. N. Davison: -- should consider the position that they have placed poor Stuart and Eric in. How do you expect the member for Wentworth North and the member for Hamilton West on one of their occasional visits to Hamilton to explain what you have done? I mean, every once in a while, every month or so, they have to go back to Hamilton and visit their constituencies, and how on earth are they going to explain your position to the people?
Mr. Ruston: Fourteen votes, Mike; you’ve got to watch it, 14 votes.
Mr. Cassidy: It’ll be 14,000 next time.
Mr. M. N. Davison: Actually, you know, if it had not been for the fact that the Liberals had thrown in the towel before we were able to complete the recount, the NDP would have held the seat by at least 18 or 19 votes. So let’s be accurate, I mean --
Mr. Bradley: A resounding plurality.
Mr. M. N. Davison: That is about a 25 per cent error you are making, but that is normal.
I would simply ask you, if you cannot do it, if you cannot bring yourselves to support this amendment to bring a little bit of democracy to Hamilton-Wentworth, the least that you could do is support it so that you do not embarrass your colleagues from that area.
Mr. Chairman: All those in favour of Mr. Charlton’s amendment will please say “aye.”
All those opposed will please say “nay.”
In my opinion, the nays have it.
Sections 95 to 105, inclusive, agreed to.
On section 106:
Mr. Swart: This is number nine out of a total of 10.
Mr. Chairman: Mr. Swart moves that section 9(2) of the Regional Municipality of Durham Act, 1973, as set out in section 106(1) of the bill, be amended by striking out the words “or any other person” in lines four and five and inserting after the word “council” in line five the words “provided he continues to be a member of the council” so that the subsection shall read:
“(2) At the first meeting of the regional council after a regular election in which a quorum is present, the regional council shall organize as a council and elect as the chairman one of the members of the regional council to hold office for the term of the council provided he continues to be a member of the council and until a successor is appointed or elected in accordance with this act, and at such meeting the clerk shall preside until the chairman is elected.”
Mr. Swart: I want to point out in the absence of the member for Oshawa (Mr. Breaugh) that he is in full support of this amendment. He has concurred with the reasons and the arguments put forward by the members in this caucus. I would like to point out too that there’s little doubt in my mind that the retreat by the county council of Northumberland and thus the pursuant retreat of the Treasurer of this province (Mr. McKeough) on the restructuring of that county was effected by the fact of the regional municipality in Durham.
I had the opportunity, as the member for Durham West will know, of just attending one meeting in that area. Even at that meeting, the question of the appointment of the regional chairman or, let me put it another way, the habit of regional government of not electing the regional chairman was brought forward, although of course they were assured there that they would have the opportunity to elect the chairman of the restructured council. However, this is one of the concerns of people throughout this province. It is one of the reasons that the public generally is against new regional governments and generally against the regional governments that exist. It is one of the factors because the public does not have the opportunity to elect the chairman of that very important office.
This is in the same position as the other amendments that we have had before you. All of the same arguments apply. We would once again implore the people on our right to put their vote where their mouth is, if I may use that expression, and join us in passing these amendments.
Mr. Bradley: We will let you support us at the appropriate time.
Mr. Ashe: I can speak on this particular section as a member for Durham and also as the parliamentary assistant involved in this legislation. I should point out that the region of Durham had its fill with one term of three out of four members being represented by the first party. They saw the light fortunately very quickly and reversed that position last year.
Mr. Swart: Boy, are they ever sorry.
An hon. member: They’ll kick you out next time too.
Mr. Haggerty: You are for regional government and against it at the same time.
Mr. Foulds: You will return to municipal government pretty soon.
Mr. Ashe: One of the reasons for that was some of the inconsistent philosophy being espoused over and over tonight by many of the members of that third party, including the member for Welland-Thorold.
Mr. Lupusella: You must be joking.
Mr. Ashe: One of the very inconsistent things, which has been talked about before and which I must highlight again --
Mr. Mackenzie: You are consistently against democracy.
Mr. Ashe: -- in everybody’s speeches from that third party is talking about how important, how active and how full-time the job of regional chairman is. I concur that that’s the case, particularly in the regions that are significant in their size. Yet, if you look again at this particular amendment, what it says in theory -- and I appreciate that it may not happen in practice, but it can -- is that the mayor of Oshawa, for example, could end up being the regional chairman of Durham, or the mayor of Pickering, or the mayor of whatever. To me what this is saying, of course, is that that particular job could not be done effectively on behalf of the constituents who supposedly elected him and at the same time on behalf of the council of which he is supposedly the chairman.
Mr. Haggerty: You can flip that coin all the time -- heads or tails?
Mr. Lupusella: It is just for the sake of social democracy.
Mr. Ashe: Let’s respect the people by saying it’s an important full-time job, not by passing this ludicrous type of amendment that would be putting a person into two full-time jobs.
Mr. McClellan: What’s ludicrous about democracy?
Mr. di Santo: I don’t represent the region of Durham but I would like to speak after listening to the member for Durham West. The argument he has put forward is really amazing. I can understand that he is against the election of the chairmen, but the argument he puts forward is really ludicrous, and let me say why. What we are discussing is whether a regional government should function on the democratic basis on which each elective representative body is elected in this country, not whether it is a full-time or part-time job. It doesn’t make any difference whether it is a full-time or a part-time job.
Mr. Ashe: It doesn’t to you, but it does to the people.
Mr. Martel: Maybe they should talk about the principle.
Mr. di Santo: That’s not the principle of the bill, and unfortunately the member for Durham West has made a very poor job of defending his position, which is wrong, and he knows that it is wrong. I can understand that with this amendment the mayor of Oshawa can end up being the chairman of the regional government, but what we are discussing here is whether the people of the Durham region have a right, like the people of Ontario, to have the senior representative on the council elected.
You are saying that democracy can work at the municipal level in the small towns of Ontario. You are saying that democracy can work that way in this Legislature, where the Premier is elected in a constituency and then becomes Premier without relinquishing his responsibilities in his own constituency. You are saying that the Prime Minister of this country can be elected in a given constituency, but not the chairman of the regional government. And do you know why? Because that is part of the political machinery that is attached to your government at this time.
Mr. Lupusella: That’s what you want, not democracy.
Mr. Ashe: What? We could give you a lesson on that.
Mr. Martel: Only you do. The fount of all wisdom.
Mr. di Santo: I’d like to ask the member for Durham West what he is afraid of. Is he afraid that the councillors or the aldermen of the regional government won’t elect the right person? Or is he afraid that he won’t be able to appoint the people who would be wheeling and dealing for his party in that particular region?
Mr. McClellan: Tory haggler.
Mr. Ashe: You don’t even know how it works.
Mr. Martel: Sure we do. Bill Davis whispers in their ear. He lays the hands on; he anoints them.
An hon. member: He gives them a cigar.
Mr. Chairman: Order. The member for Downsview has the floor.
Mr. di Santo: I don’t know whether to laugh at or pity the member for Durham West, who was so incapable of making a reasonable argument for defending his position. But I want to talk to the members of the Liberal caucus. They are now in the same position as we are.
Mr. T. P. Reid: Oh, things aren’t that bad.
Mr. Martel: You remember how you voted on your motion four years ago to have regional chairmen elected?
Mr. T. P. Reid: I remember that date.
Mr. di Santo: The members of the Liberal caucus may think that things are better for them. In fact, this time they have only one single person in the Metropolitan Toronto area.
An hon. member: What will the archbishop think?
Mr. Nixon: I heard the archbishop say on CBC that he was elected.
Mr. di Santo: The archbishop is with us.
I can tell them that by taking this position they are opposing what has been a widespread opinion expressed in public opinion polls carried in the reports we are sending to our constituents.
Mr. Nixon: We’ve been hearing about those reports.
Mr. di Santo: I follow very carefully what my constituents say. That is one of the reasons why I went from 68 votes to 4,000 plus and why the Liberal candidate went down by 3,000 votes.
Mr. Nixon: It’s because your printing and stationery costs were $5,645.17.
Mr. T. P. Reid: It’s called propaganda.
Hon. Mr. Maeck: He bought all the paper from his own newspaper.
Mr. T. P. Reid: I hope you’re recycling that stuff.
Mr. Bradley: At public expense.
Hon. Mr. Maeck: Bob, check his mileage; he lives in Toronto.
Mr. di Santo: Mr. Chairman, let me say that my expenses for stationery --
Mr. Chairman: Order. Would the honourable member please return to the amendment?
Mr. Nixon: Disregard the interjections.
Mr. Martel: Mr. Chairman, would you throw out the member for Brantford-Oxford-Norfolk? If the Speaker were in the chair, he would throw him out.
Mr. di Santo: Mr. Chairman, I was only telling the assembly that my stationery money is well spent.
Mr. Conway: And you still don’t have a wife.
Mr. McClellan: He’s going to tell them how the Liberals voted on this issue.
Mr. Chairman: Order. Back to the amendment
Mr. di Santo: Thank you for your patience, Mr. Chairman. I want to conclude my remarks by saying that there is a real inconsistency in the position the Liberals are taking. It’s against the will of the majority of the people whom they represent and will not be represented by them. I ask them to please reconsider. This is the last chance they have to reconsider a position that is basically wrong. I would urge them to vote with as.
Mr. Bradley: You don’t really want us to vote with you. Let’s face it.
Mr. Martel: But you used to vote for it.
Mr. Chairman: Order.
Mr. Haggerty: Mr. Chairman, I’m interested in the comments from the members to my left concerning the amendments to all the regional bills tonight. If one actually looks at the intent of the legislation -- and perhaps I should read it into the record; maybe they don’t understand it. “At the first meeting of the regional council after a regular election at which a quorum is present, the regional council shall organize as a council and elect as chairman one of the members of the regional council, or any other person, to hold office for the term of council and until a successor is appointed or elected in accordance with this act, and at such meeting the clerk shall preside until the chairman is elected I .”
If I may refer back to the regional municipality of Niagara once again -- it’s almost similar to this; I don’t know how many persons are elected to the regional municipality we’re discussing now -- in the region of Niagara there are 28 members and if, as is suggested by the member for Welland-Thorold, the chairman should be elected from among the members, for example, you could still have a tie vote.
Mr. di Santo: That’s a technicality.
Mr. Haggerty: No. It could happen. It’s happened many times; I can recall days in county council when we’ve had ties for the election of a warden, which is a chairman.
Looking at that particular section, and the amendment the Liberal Party is being asked to support, there’s a good possibility that there could be a tie; there could also be a deadlock in the appointment of a chairman among the members of regional council.
Subsection 4 goes on to say: “If, at the first meeting of the regional council after a regular election a chairman is not elected, the presiding officer may adjourn the meeting from time to time and, if the chairman is not elected at any adjourned meeting held within one week after the first meeting, the Lieutenant Governor in Council shall appoint a chairman.”
I think that’s a reasonable approach to take under the circumstances as it relates to Niagara where there’s a good possibility we could have a split --
Mr. Martel: Are you sure there isn’t something wrong? Doesn’t his knee have to be operated on?
Mr. Haggerty: -- election there to nominate a chairman for the regional municipality. This opens the door. It gives us a way to appoint somebody to settle an impasse under the terms of the act.
Mr. Mackenzie: I would like to hear you put it on the record to a point.
Mr. Haggerty: I suggest to the members this is the reasonable approach to take under this present circumstance where there is a possibility there could be a tie vote.
Mr. Mackenzie: Oh, come off it! That’s the worst argument all night.
Mr. Haggerty: It’s that plain, but you’re blind and you can’t see it.
Mr. McClellan: Let’s get that newspaper going.
Mr. Mackenzie: That is the poorest argument all night.
Mr. Haggerty: I suggest that’s one of the reasons we cannot support him until the other amendment comes forward under the region of Niagara bill that would give St. Catharines one more representative and would break that tie. It’s that simple.
Mr. Nixon: It’s the only reasonable way to deal with it. It’s very sensible.
Mr. Haggerty: With the blindfolds they have, they can’t see the daylight before them. On this basis, this is one of the reasons we on this side will not support the amendment.
Mr. di Santo: That’s a very weak argument and a poor excuse.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Come on. Let’s have the question.
Mr. Swart: I hadn’t intended to get up a second time, but the member for Erie has made some comments that I find rather ludicrous, if I can use that word.
Mr. Nixon: You were the person who thought it was all out of order. How ludicrous can you get!
Mr. Swart: It should be put in perspective. First of all, there is the question of the tie. Of the 11 regional councils, there are as many of them at the present time --
Mr. Nixon: Talk about a flip-flop. You wouldn’t even let us talk about it.
Hon. Mr. Welch: This is a filibuster.
Mr. Swart: -- that have even numbers as have odd numbers. Whether this amendment passes or whether it doesn’t pass, they’d be in exactly the same position with regard to tie votes.
The second comment that he makes leaves me --
Mr. di Santo: Laughing.
Mr. Haggerty: Don’t say speechless because we won’t believe that.
Mr. Martel: There is the party who voted for election.
Mr. Swart: -- with a total lack of understanding of what he means.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Come on. Nobody reads Hansard.
Mr. Swart: Surely the member for Erie and members of this House realize we’re not amending section 30(2). We’re only amending section 30(1). The section to which he refers still remains in exactly the same form that it is at the present time. There has to be some provision in any act whereby, if at the regional council or county council nobody wants to run, there is some method of selecting the chairman. That section is not touched.
Mr. Martel: He’s a Liberal. He’ll change his mind.
Mr. Swart: I would suggest that the comment made by the member for Erie has no relationship to the debate that we have before us at all.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Let’s have the question.
Mr. Chairman: All those in favour of Mr. Swart’s amendment to section 106 will please say “aye.”
All those opposed will please say “nay.”
In my opinion, the nays have it.
Sections 107 to 116, inclusive, agreed to.
On section 117:
Mr. Swart: This is number 10.
Mr. Chairman: Mr. Swart moves that section 9(2) of the Regional Municipality of Haldimand-Norfolk Act, 1973, as set out in section 117(1) of the bill be amended by striking out the words “or any other person” in line four and inserting after the word “council” in line five the words “provided he continues to be a member of the council” so that the subsection shall read:
“(2) At the first meeting of the regional council after a regular election at which a quorum is present the regional council shall organize as a council and elect as chairman one of the members of the regional council to hold office for the term of the council provided he continues to be a member of the council and until a successor is appointed or elected in accordance with this act, and at such meeting the clerk shall preside until the chairman is elected.”
Mr. Martel: There are only 19 on that council. What does the member for Erie do now?
Mr. Bradley: Somebody might be sick.
Mr. Swart: I would just point out, Mr. Chairman, that this is the final amendment that we have to set to Bill 81, and perhaps no other amendment we have put so clearly demonstrates the inequality of what exists as does this amendment. I had pointed out earlier that the restructured county of Oxford, or the regional government of Oxford, elects its chairman; that that chairman must be a member of council; that the regional municipality or the county of Oxford -- and the words are interchangeable -- has a population of some 87,000. Here we have the regional municipality of Haldimand-Norfolk with almost an identical population. The services which are under the regional council of Haldimand-Norfolk are in effect identical with the services under the regional municipality of the county of Oxford.
In no way can it be said that the chairmanship of Haldimand-Norfolk is such a time-consuming job that you couldn’t elect him from among the members of council, although I reject that argument in any event. In no way could that argument possibly have any application here.
Mr. Swart: Why should the people in Haldimand-Norfolk be deprived of the right of having a say as to who shall be the regional chairman, where next door to the regional municipality of Oxford, the county of Oxford, they elect their chairman? They cannot have a chairman who is not elected by some part of the county of Oxford.
I suggest that this amendment, perhaps more than any other, demonstrates the idiocy, the unaccountability, the lack of democracy, the unreasonableness of not electing our regional chairman. As a final pitch to our friends on the right, I would say to you, come on you Liberals, let’s vote the way you have been talking for the last five years.
Mr. Martel: Vote the way you used to.
Mr. Swart: Face the way you were three weeks ago, the way you voted five years ago and, to the best of my knowledge, the way --
Mr. McClellan: Screw up your courage.
Mr. Swart: -- that you have spoken on every occasion on which you have discussed regional government.
Now is the crunch. Now comes the moment of truth. For the first time in the history of this House we have the opportunity to change it, for the 10 regional governments.
Mr. Conway: I thought Billy Graham was at the Gardens.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Oh no, it is over now for the day.
Mr. Swart: Whatever decision is made by my friends on the right here tonight will determine their real view of whether the regional chairman shall be elected.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Question.
Mr. Swart: Words are cheap. It’s action that counts and tonight they have the opportunity of bringing about the election of regional chairmen. I suggest that you should take that opportunity, live up to what you have been saying and support us on these amendments.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Question.
Mr. Nixon: Mr. Chairman, perhaps I should refrain from commenting on this amendment but as member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk, I certainly feel that my views should be expressed on behalf of those people whom I have the honour to represent in the regional municipality of Haldimand-Norfolk.
I draw to your attention, Mr. Chairman, the explanatory note dealing with sections 1, 15, 30, 45, 58, 68, 80, 94, 106 and 117. Those are the sections that have been the object of the amendments put forward by a number of the honourable members of the NDP.
It says: “The effect of the re-enactment of the two subsections is to make it clear that the term of office of the chairman corresponds to the term of office of the council.” If that is the purpose of the amendment, and as the honourable parliamentary assistant or legislative assistant has indicated it truly is merely housekeeping --
Mr. McClellan: How are you going to amend that? Are you challenging the chair?
Mr. Nixon: -- because there is nobody in this House who feels that the term of office of the chairman should be anything but parallel and correspondent to the term of office of the council itself.
Mr. Martel: Remember the night they moved the vote about five years ago for regional chairmen to be elected? I remember that night well.
Mr. Nixon: I regret very much that the NDP, and particularly the member for Welland-Thorold, has seen fit to bring it forward in the terms he has adopted more recently. During the second reading of the bill, you may recall, when this matter was discussed by my colleague the member for Ottawa East (Mr. Roy) and others, the member for Welland-Thorold indicated to the Speaker that the matter was out of order and that it in fact did not deal with the chairmanship per se. I find it strange indeed that he is taking such a strong alternative position.
Since he has, and since you have ruled it in order -- and I believe you are correct as usual in that regard -- I do have to deal with the amendment which is before us at the present time.
Under the terms of the amendment it would mean that a member of the regional council, including the mayor of a major municipality, could in fact under the terms of the amendment be regional chairman at the same time. While the member for Welland-Thorold might be capable himself -- if he had stayed at the municipal level -- and continued to have been re-elected -- might have been able to occupy positions of that responsibility --
Hon. Mr. Welch: It is regrettable that he didn’t.
An hon. member: He did a good job there.
Mr. Martel: Great member.
Mr. Nixon: I think that at least the House should give careful consideration before passing an amendment whereby the mayor of a major municipality could also be regional chairman at the same time.
An hon. member: The mayor of Welland.
Hon. Mr. Welch: It is possible.
Mr. Nixon: It might be possible, but it certainly should be considered.
I would also like to bring to your attention that the amendments in general deal with most of the regional governments -- Ottawa-Carleton, Niagara, York, Waterloo; and those at least the NDP supported in principle some years ago when the chairman wasn’t elected at all --
Mr. Martel: We opposed it.
Mr. Nixon: -- but was appointed by order in council of the incumbent Conservative government.
Mr. Martel: I opposed it then.
Mr. Nixon: It is strange that all of a sudden the bright lights of democracy should shine on the honourable members of the NDP when they were quite prepared --
Mr. Swart: I have always taken this position.
Mr. Nixon: -- to support legislation that at the time allowed His Honour the Lieutenant Governor in Council, to appoint somebody back home who had as a recommendation only --
Mr. Bradley: History is being made by the NDP.
Mr. Nixon: -- the confidence of the Conservative Party or the government of the day.
Mr. di Santo: Are you saying that you were right then or you are wrong now?
Mr. Nixon: So it is strange that they should now be putting their arguments in favour of this amendment in such, I would say immoderate terms.
Mr. Pope: Are you against democracy?
Mr. Martel: No, he isn’t.
Mr. Nixon: My colleague, the member from Waterloo, has made it clear that our position has remained unchanged, that we believe and shall continue to believe that it is only after the reviews of the regional government -- many of which are already complete but the program is not yet complete -- that there should be general legislation dealing with the chairmanship. Under those circumstances, you may be sure that we shall move or support any member who does move that the chairman of the regional council or the warden in the case of restructured counties, be in fact a member of council at the same time as he or she may become the chairman or the warden of the local government.
We would have to consider, however, whether that would include the mayor of a major municipality. I would say to you, and I feel sure that you would agree, that we are moderate and considerate in our position, that we have not changed them in any small regard, and that in fact much of the time spent in this debate, except for perhaps the last few minutes, has been practically completely a waste of time.
Mr. Stong: Except for the last few minutes, the last speaker.
Mr. Martel: Mr. Chairman, I had not intended to speak, but I can’t accept that nonsense from the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk. He says his position is consistent.
Mr. Nixon: You voted in favour of the original bill that appointed chairmen.
Mr. Bradley: A little history lesson there.
Mr. Martel: I believe it was the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk, in his capacity as leader of that party, who moved --
Mr. Nixon: The sins of the fathers cannot be visited upon the sons.
Mr. Martel: Well you talk about being consistent -- I am not talking about your father, I am talking about you, Bob.
The Liberal Party, in fact, moved a motion calling for the election of a regional chairman.
Mr. Nixon: We voted against the regional bill in the first instance.
Mr. Martel: No, no; you moved the motion.
Mr. Nixon: We do support it.
Mr. Martel: You moved the motion.
Mr. Nixon: We supported the election of the --
Mr. Chairman: Order, will the honourable member address the chair?
Hon. Mr. Welch: What does this prove?
Mr. Martel: I’m trying to, but I can’t shout any louder.
Mr. Haggerty: Control yourself.
Mr. Martel: The member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk thinks he’s out on the back 40 shouting to get someone’s attention --
An hon. member: His 200 acres.
Mr. Martel: -- because he comes in here tonight with so much balderdash --
Mr. Nixon: You have my undivided attention.
Mr. Martel: -- with the effrontery to say to this House that the Liberal position is consistent.
Mr. Nixon: It is.
Mr. Chairman: Order.
Mr. Martel: And Mr. Chairman, you’ll recall yourself voting on that Liberal amendment, I’m sure, a number of years ago, which called for the election of regional chairmen.
Mr. Nixon: That’s out of order.
Mr. Martel: It called for the election of regional chairmen and that’s what we’re talking about. My friend rises in his place and says “We’ve been consistent.” I’m looking for the consistency when they, in fact, moved such a motion themselves a number of years ago.
Mr. Bradley: Take your blinkers off.
Mr. Martel: You simply can’t have it both ways, and that’s what you’re attempting to do.
An hon. member: You’re holding things up.
Mr. Nixon: You sound like Billy Davis.
Mr. Martel: Oh no. Well it would be hard to sound like a Liberal because I’d have to be sucking and whistling at the same time, and I find that impossible.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Let’s have the question.
Mr. Martel: Everybody is entitled to one mistake in his life, Robert.
Mr. Nixon: That’s what your mother said.
Mr. Martel: Yes, I want to tell you, the only thing consistent about the Liberals is their inconsistency, and they demonstrated it again tonight.
Mr. Hall: On with the bill, on with the bill.
Mr. Chairman: The member for Welland-Thorold.
Hon. Mr. Welch: What are you trying to prove, Mel?
Mr. Swart: Mr. Chairman, I think my colleague from Sudbury East --
An hon. member: Are you up again?
Mr. Swart: -- has adequately answered the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk about the inconsistency of the Liberal Party.
Hon. Mr. Welch: How far can you carry this vanity?
Mr. Swart: But there were two comments, made both by the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk and the member for Durham West (Mr. Ashe) which I think deserve some further comments.
There was the statement that you might have the mayor of a large municipality standing as the mayor of the regional council and this wouldn’t be desirable. Of course there’s some merit in that observation; but you see, somehow or other, I believe that when the regional council is going to select their chairman they would very likely give consideration to whether that person had time to do the job. Somehow or other I have enough faith --
Mr. Bradley: And now we rewrite history.
Mr. Swart: -- in councils to select the person if we leave that wide open.
Mr. Nixon: Your party voted in favour of Niagara.
Mr. Swart: I have enough faith that they will elect the right person.
I would say through you, Mr. Chairman, to the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk, where would he draw the line if he was going to enact legislation? Would he say the head of any municipality may not be elected as the chairman, even where that municipality might only have 5,000 or 7,000 people and he’d have ample time to discharge his duties?
Mr. Nixon: Are you against reasonable consideration?
Mr. Swart: Would he make it 10,000? Would he make it 15,000? Would he make it 25,000? I say all of those would be totally unsatisfactory. We have to leave it up to the regional council.
I want to answer the other comment which was made by the member for Durham West that he wants to leave the right with the councils to select who shall be their chairman.
May I say you never gave this right to the councils. The councils weren’t asked in the first place, nor were the citizens asked whether they wanted to have a chairman appointed. The legislation appointed that chairman. The government appointed that chairman and the government said to those regional councils, “You may not have an elected person as chairman of your council. You may select him, but then he’ll have to resign.” Granted there’s been a change in that, in one or two of the regions, but this was the edict from on high -- that if that person was elected to regional council then he must resign his elected seat.
I say to you again this is a contradiction of the whole democratic process, at least it is to me and to the other members of this party. The purpose of the whole exercise tonight is to try to bring about the election of a regional chairman.
Mr. Chairman: All those in favour of Mr. Swart’s amendment to section 117 will please say “aye.”
All those opposed will please say “nay.”
In my opinion, the nays have it.
Sections 118 to 128, inclusive, agreed to.
Mr. Chairman: I want to remind the members of the committee that there are a number of amendments to be voted upon. There will be a 10-minute bell.
Mr. Chairman: The first amendment, moved by Mr. Cassidy, is that section 4(2) of the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton Act, as set out in section 1(1) of the bill, be amended by striking out the words “or any other person” in lines four and five and inserting after the words “council”, so that the subsection shall read:
(2) At the first meeting of the regional council after a regular election at which a quorum is present, the regional council shall organize as a council and elect as chairman one of the members of the regional council, provided he continues to be a member of the council and until his successor is appointed or elected in accordance with this act, and at such meeting the clerk shall preside until the chairman is elected.
The committee divided on Mr. Cassidy’s amendment which was negatived on the following vote: ayes, 25; nays, 63.
Mr. Chairman: I would advise the committee that there are nine other amendments before the House with the same content but referring to different municipalities. Will the members accept the same vote?
The committee divided on subsequent amendments to sections 15(1), 30(1), 45(1), 58(1), 68(1), 80(1), 94(1), 106(1) and 117(1) which were negatived on the same vote. Bill 81, as amended reported.
On motion by Hon. Mr. Welch, the committee of the whole House reported two bills with amendments.
The following bills were given third reading on motion:
Bill 80, An Act to amend the Municipal Act.
Bill 81, An Act to amend certain Acts respecting Regional Municipalities.
ANSWER TO QUESTION ON NOTICE PAPER
Hon. Mr. Welch: Before moving the adjournment I wish to table the answer to question 84 standing on the notice paper.
Mr. Speaker: A motion to adjourn is deemed to have been made under standing order 28. The member for Beaches-Woodbine has five minutes to express her displeasure with an answer given previously by the Minister of the Environment.
Mr. Speaker: We will give the honourable member a minute for those who are not interested in this very important debate to leave the chamber.
PAPER MILL CONTROL ORDERS
Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, the practice obtained for the people of Ontario and the aggrieved commercial fishermen through the settlement of the government’s seven-year lawsuit against the Dow Chemical Company of Canada has demonstrated the weakness of our environmental laws and the unwillingness of the government to get tough with a multinational polluter.
Since the court route has been proved ineffective as a means of protecting our environment, I asked the Minister of the Environment yesterday if he was now prepared to step up the control order route and to see that control orders are strictly enforced.
Specifically, I asked him what he was doing about the Canadian International Paper Company’s mill at Hawkesbury on the Ottawa River, had it met the various deadlines in the control order which was placed on it in 1974? This control order was advertised as a model control order, because it contained a series of deadlines designed to reduce drastically the emissions and discharges from the plant.
This particular pulp mill was named in the recent review of water pollution control programs on the Ottawa River, a review done by the three governments, of Ottawa, Quebec and Ontario. It was named in the review as “the major single source of BOD 5 input to the river on the Ontario side.”
BOD, as you probably know, Mr. Speaker, stands for biological oxygen demand. An excessive loading of BOD 5 depletes the supply of oxygen in the water, threatening the survival of aquatic plants and animals.
The May 1978 report to which I referred showed that BOD 5 loadings from this plant had actually increased by 65 per cent since the last water quality survey of the Ottawa River, which was published in 1971. That report showed that in 1969 the loading was 227,000 pounds per day. The new report showed that in 1976 it had climbed to 376,000 pounds per day. The report had set a target of 50,000 pounds per day, one seventh of the 1976 loading.
This standard is somewhat tougher than the 1965 guidelines set by the Ontario government but, as I pointed out in my question, the 1977 loading of BOD 5 from the plant was four times the Ontario guidelines. While the company has done a little better on reducing suspended solids, it is still discharging them at almost twice the 1965 Ontario guideline level. This guideline is below the federal, Environment Canada standard, but the May, 1978 report, which I mentioned, regards the Environment Canada standards for both BOD 5 and suspended solids as “a baseline for control,” or a bare minimum.
I understand that the two 1976 deadlines in the CIP control order have been met, but I want specific information about the December 31, 1977, deadline by which date the company was to submit applications for approvals of facilities to control the emission of particulates and the discharge of spent sulphite liquor. I expect an answer to this question; and if the company hasn’t met the deadline is the ministry considering a prosecution?
I remind the minister of the statement in the ministry’s own report entitled Alternative Policies for Pollution Abatement, 1976 Update by Drs. Donner and Victor, which says on page 47 that, “Adequate economic incentives are needed which will make polluting more costly than abatement.” Prosecutions and fines are part of that economic incentive.
I also want information as to whether the minister was engaged in renegotiating the next deadlines in the order which occur in 1980 and 1981. If the minister is in fact considering relaxing this model control order against a company which has such a bad record, how can we have any faith in the minister’s commitment to protecting the environment and to the principle that polluters must pay?
I’d also like to ask what he is planning to do about the recommendation of the May, 1978, report on the Ottawa River, which suggests --
Mr. Speaker: The honourable member’s time has expired.
Ms. Bryden: I’ll just complete this sentence, if I may -- which suggests that the existing control programs and measurement methods in implementation schedules should be reviewed.
Hon. Mr. McCague: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member has already referred to the parts of the control order which was issued January 23, 1975 which have been complied with.
Condition three was that the company was to submit two proposals by December 31, 1977.
One was a design to correct a particulate emission from the power boiler house, and the company did complete an engineering design for a new boiler house which would require an investment of $5.4 million. The second proposal was that a design for the collection of 90 per cent of the spent sulphite liquor, and its incineration to reduce the BOD 5 load to the Ottawa River. The company hired a consultant to complete and to cost a design for such a chemical recovery system. The required investment is $18.5 million.
Construction on item three -- the first item I mentioned -- was to be completed by December 31, 1980; and the second item I mentioned by December 31, 1981, to study and to propose abatement of residual effluents, in particular from the bleachery.
The current status of this is that the company advised, in October, 1977, that in view of the current conditions of the customer markets for the mill, to comply with the control order schedule would have serious effects at the mill. An amended compliance timetable was requested.
To meet the original timetable equipment purchase orders would have to be placed in the first half of 1978 and concrete poured during this period also. This has not been done. There have been several meetings with the company to develop an amended control order. On June 7, just passed, Mr. Hughson of CIP met with the ministry and indicated that the company could only afford to spend a limited amount of money for pollution control over the next three years. The company requested the control order be amended to a lesser level of expenditure.
Mr. Speaker: This item is disposed of.
The House adjourned at 10:40 p.m.