The House resumed at 8 p.m.
BUDGET DEBATE (CONTINUED)
Resumption of the adjourned debate on the amendment to the motion that this House approves in general the budgetary policy of the government.
Mr. Laughren: Never.
Mr. Martel: What policy? What debate? Just remember we will be kind to the member tonight; after that he is fair game.
Mr. Watson: I will remember that.
Mr. Speaker, members of the House, I want to thank the members of this House for the opportunity of giving my first address. The first thing I would like to say, to take a leaf out of the book of the Ministry of Industry and Tourism people who have a slogan in this province which says, “We treat you royally,” the thing I would like to say is that since coming to this Legislature I have certainly been treated royally. I have been treated royally, certainly by members of the government but also by the members of the Ontario Liberal Party over on the other side and the New Democratic Party. They have all made me welcome, and I appreciate that very much.
I would also like at this time to recognize the opponents I had in the election in the riding of Chatham-Kent. We had a good clean fight. They put forth a good effort, I put forth a good effort; I am here, I am pleased, but they are still gentlemen.
I would like to thank a few other people. I would like to thank the Speaker of the House for the hospitality he has extended to me since I came here. I would like also to go back to the former Speaker, the member for Northumberland (Mr. Rowe) who has been a personal friend of mine for some number of years, as he was the member when I was the ag rep in Kent county. I have known him very well. I think he is the only member of this Legislature I have exchanged Christmas cards with over the years; I have a great deal of respect for him.
Mr. Riddell: Northumberland county.
Mr. Watson: That’s right.
I would like to thank the Clerk of the House and his staff for the help they have given me. They have been very generous in their advice and we appreciate it. Also, the government caucus office has been very helpful to me in getting organized up there on the fourth floor.
Tonight I am supposed to be speaking, I guess, on the budget debate. That is the formal excuse for standing up to say something. I would like to tie that in, because the budget was presented by the Honourable W. Darcy McKeough, and of course the riding of Chatham-Kent, which he represented, I now represent.
Mr. Sargent: You’re dead already.
Mr. Watson: He was my predecessor. He was here for 15 years and ended up as Treasurer. I know and the members here know the contribution he made. My opposition in the by-election used his forecasts as their source of program so we know they respected him very much. I appreciated his personal help in the campaign. He may not be a member of the Legislature but he certainly is still a true Tory and we appreciate it very much. The local association does have plans for a Darcy McKeough night some time in late January.
At the same time I would like to pay tribute to the member for Chatham-Kent before Darcy McKeough and that’s in the person of George Parry who for more than 15 years represented that riding. I would like to point out in the members’ gallery tonight -- I have it pretty well filled -- a fellow named Frank Parry whom some of you know. Frank is George’s brother. He is about 84 years young. He is known as Mr. Conservative in Chatham-Kent. I certainly appreciate Frank Parry.
Mr. Riddell: And one you owe a lot of thanks to.
Mr. Watson: I would like to take the opportunity to tell members one or two things about the present member for Chatham-Kent. My home is just north of Toronto, at Woodbridge. I am the youngest of six children. My mother is in the nursing home at Pine Grove, and I am pleased to say that she is recovering from a stroke. She has been in rather serious condition, but she’s again getting quite coherent. My education was at Pine Grove and Weston high schools. I graduated from OAC in 1959, and that was just a little better year than that of a couple of people in the opposition over there. Would the honourable member for Huron-Middlesex not agree that 1959 was a little better year than 1957?
Mr. Riddell: Slightly.
Mr. Watson: Tonight he is going to give me the benefit of the doubt. I have an idea after this he isn’t.
I started in Dufferin county -- Dufferin, Waterloo, Northumberland and Kent.
It was in Dufferin county where I met my wife, Marion. Someone has said that whether you end up in this world with a goose egg or a nest egg depends on the chick that you marry. I married Marion and I am pleased to have her in the gallery here tonight too.
We have four children. We live in Dover township on “a 12-acre spread,” as I found out by the Canadian Press story written about me a week or two after I was here. It has been called a lot of things, but “spread” was a new word and I expect some people will pick that up and we may be tagged with that one.
For a kind of hobby, we have four acres of grapes, which are rather unique to that township. We have them there for a good reason: something for our kids to do. I happen to believe in the work ethic; I happen to believe that the kids should save for their university education. All the money that is made from the grapes is paid out to them in salaries. They are putting that away and I hope by the time they get to university, as one will next year, they will be able to put themselves through. I hope my opinions as a free enterpriser and my support of the work ethic can stand them in good stead.
I am rather proud of my record as a civil servant in this province, and as an ag rep. There aren’t very many jobs in the Ontario government or in any public service that command as much respect, particularly in a rural community, as that of an agricultural representative. I have been the benefactor of that particular respect from farmers, from those in the agribusiness and from the urban people, and I certainly appreciate that. I was an employee of the present Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. W. Newman). I see he has come into the House and I appreciate him being here.
Mr. Watson: I don’t want to slight him, but I do want to pay a special tribute tonight to William A. Stewart, the former minister. I had a great deal of respect for Bill Stewart. His career as minister in this province paralleled mine as an agriculture representative. When I was trying to make up my mind whether to leave the comfort of a nice cosy civil service job to get into this thing called politics, he was one of the people I consulted to find out whether or not he thought I should take the jump.
Mr. Riddell: So he was knocking on your door too, eh?
Mr. Watson: He was knocking on my door and ringing my telephone; and I particularly appreciate it.
Mr. Riddell: He was all over western Ontario, that guy.
Mr. Watson: I know I have left Kent county in good hands because Barry Fraser, my successor, has been appointed. He was with me nine and a half years there and I know he will do a good job.
Mr. Sargent: He is a good Liberal too, is he?
Mr. Watson: One advantage I have over some people is that I happen to be a Conservative by choice, not by tradition and not by inheritance. I believe in the free enterprise system.
Mr. Riddell: Now the truth comes out.
Mr. Watson: I believe in support for small business, and less government interference and less red tape and that kind of thing. I think we need more people who will take more risks; takers of risks are important. I like people like the member for Grey-Bruce (Mr. Sargent). I think he is a pretty good free enterpriser. I particularly stand for people who have an idea and then are willing to stand by that idea and put their money where their mouth is and invest in it.
Mr. Sargent: Come on over. We need you over here.
Mr. Watson: I think the farmers are characterized particularly by that.
I’d like to give members a few words about Chatham-Kent tonight. Chatham, with a population of about 40,000, is the main centre of my riding. Wallaceburg has about 12,000. Then there are Chatham township and Dover township. I think they’re all having their inaugural meetings for their councils today or tomorrow. I know there are a lot of people who should be here who are away home at inaugural meetings tonight. I pretty nearly brought enough here from our area to have an inaugural meeting.
Mr. Conway: Soon to be his boss.
We are very proud of the communities which make up the riding of Chatham-Kent. We are well covered by the press in our county. I would like to pay tribute to the press from which I have had tremendous co-operation during the past years. Particularly this week I would like to recognize the Chatham Daily News which has reorganized its paper. It has put in new presses in a new building and is celebrating its opening this week.
In Wallaceburg, we have the Wallaceburg News and the Wallaceburg Courier-Press. We have some of those fringe papers like the London Free Press and the Windsor Star. We get more agricultural news in Chatham than they do in London because there is a little bit of competition down there. Competition does a lot for papers when there are three people covering a particular event rather than just one.
Mr. Sargent: Send them a copy of Hansard.
Mr. Watson: I’d like to also pay tribute to radio station CFCO, because it serves all of southwestern Ontario extremely well as a community station, particularly from an agricultural point of view.
The riding of Chatham-Kent is an agricultural and auto-related community. Chatham started over 100 years ago as a shipbuilding centre, believe it or not, on the Thames River. They built boats there up to a length of 200 feet.
The history of Chatham can be characterized by the activities at the present time of the Chatham Chamber of Commerce which is issuing a series of five coins. Members who happen to be coin collectors should get in on that.
The coins start with the Milner carriage which was built in Chatham in 1875. Then there is the Chatham wagon which was the standard wagon in western Canada and which was built in Chatham in 1890. It was crated and sent to the west. The Chatham automobile built in 1906 is the third coin.
The fourth is the Model S International Truck, built in 1922. The first truck built in Chatham was sold to the city of Chatham as its fire truck. It is very interesting that just about two weeks ago the International Harvester Company unveiled a new line, again of S trucks. They are currently manufactured about 60 a day in the city of Chatham. International is our largest automotive industry and employs about 2,100 people. The last coin which will be issued next year is of the famous Cray Dort car, which was built in Chatham in 1923.
Wallaceburg is famous for its glass factory, its tool and die plants; and as well it has a lot of small industry mostly in the automotive trade.
We have what we call an upbeat economy in Kent county in our area at the present time. For instance, in the city of Chatham in the last 18 months there have been $35 million in building permits issued. Employment in Chatham has gone up 10 per cent from 1977 to 1978. I think if the rest of the country could keep up to that we wouldn’t be in the unemployment situation we are in today.
Chatham itself has a new civic centre which is open and of which the city is very proud. King Street, the main street, was completely redone with new lights, new pavement, new sidewalks and that sort of thing. Wallaceburg is getting some of these government grants to put in parks. They have done an excellent job. They have got some new streets too.
One of the things I would like to mention about Wallaceburg is the Lawrence nativity scene for which Wallaceburg is becoming famous. It will be set up in about a week in the centre of Wallaceburg. It is actually the work of a farm family which has moved into Wallaceburg. The lady has done the figurines for the nativity scene. As many as 17,000 people have signed the guest book in one season in Wallaceburg. We suggest that if members are touring around there at Christmastime they should drop in to see it.
In the area of recreation, those who like duck hunting would particularly like the marshes on Lake St. Clair. Those who just like holidaying maybe would like to stay at the Wheels Motor Inn.
I realize that most of the people opposite stayed at the Wheels Motor Inn during the campaign, but they didn’t have time to look around. The Wheels is one of the outstanding motel complexes anywhere in Ontario. It has something in the area of six indoor tennis courts, an indoor-outdoor swimming pool, eight squash handball courts, badminton, a putting green, saunas, a bowling alley and ice skating -- all part of one complex and all for the use of a private club and for hotel guests. Any members who have been there can realize the tremendous significance that has to the tourist industry in southwestern Ontario. As I say, I hope some members will come back and stay there when they don’t have caucus meetings and that sort of thing to take up their time and they can really enjoy it.
The people in our particular riding are a cosmopolitan group. We have a lot of different ethnic groups. Of course the one for which I guess we’re noted is the French settlement in Dover township. There’s still a French high school in Dover.
My address happens to be Paincourt. Paincourt is the only unincorporated little town I know that has two hotels and three banks, and the people all speak French. They’ll speak English to visitors too. It’s a pretty good example of how people get along.
Agriculture, of course, is the important thing in Kent county, and I’m a little bit biased.
Hon. W. Newman: And all over the province, too.
Mr. Watson: We have in Dover in Chatham township, the part of the riding that is my rural area, no doubt some of the finest land in Canada. It’s getting a little expensive, I think. It’s some place between $3,000 and $4,000 an acre now for bare land; that is farm land -- and it’s going to be farmed, it always has been farmed.
The land, of course, originally was drained. A lot of the land would simply be swamp if it was not for artificial drainage put in there. pumping schemes. It would simply be marsh land if it wasn’t drained.
The story is told of the early settler who got his land diked and drained and got this great crop of corn growing. The parish priest came along one day and said: “Isn’t it wonderful what God and man has done, and the type of crop they can grow.” The fellow had been working awfully hard, and of course the thing had always been bullrushes and mosquitoes, and he said: “Well yes, I guess it is; but you’ve just got to try to remember what it was like when the Lord had it by himself.”
We’re awfully proud of the farmers in our area. There have been a lot who have been outstanding leaders on marketing boards. Some of the people who are with me here tonight are in Toronto because the Ontario Vegetable Growers’ Marketing Board is currently holding its convention. They are here for that.
One of the things we’re looking forward to, and I have to share this event with the member for Kent-Elgin (Mr. McGuigan), is the International Ploughing Match. We know Huron county had it last year, but in 1979 it’s going to be in Kent county and it’s going to be the biggest and best event that ever took place.
Mr. Watson: To-Be Co-Be is our symbol for the International Ploughing Match. You’re going to hear a lot about To-Be Co-Be I’m sure, in the next year, till next September. To-Be Co-Be stands for tomatoes, beef, corn and beans. To-Be Co-Be is a figure that has the head of a tomato, the shoulders of a beef, the body of a stalk of corn to make it stand tall, and feet of beans.
We have a large float that is appearing at all the fall fairs and things around the country. For those of you who didn’t see it, To-Be Co-Be this year was in the Grey Cup parade, and happened to take the grand marshal’s trophy in the Grey Cup parade. We’re pretty proud of the To-Be Co-Be. It represents only four of the crops that we grow extremely well in Kent county. The marketing boards are going to be part of this International Ploughing Match.
The official dress for the International Ploughing Match is a gold jacket. I happen to have mine on tonight because I happened to be secretary up until about a month ago, so I had one. Our publicity chairman, Reg DeNure is with us tonight, sitting back in the corner. He has another one; all of our committee have gold jackets, so when you see that around here in the next year just remember to come down from September 25 to 29 next year.
Mr. Riddell: At least it’s not blue.
Mr. Watson: At least it’s not blue; that’s right, but you see the site for the match is just not quite in my riding. It just happens to be over in the Kent-Elgin riding, but it’s pretty close to Chatham.
I’ll list some of the things I have hopes for in my tenure here -- and I hope all the cabinet ministers who aren’t here tonight will read Hansard on this.
I would like to see the dikes completed. There has been a lot of work done by Arda, particularly in Dover township along the Thames River. There is a section from Wallaceburg to Mitchell’s Bay which is not yet complete. We would like to have that section completed, and so would the farmers who live in that area.
Did the Minister of Agriculture and Food hear that?
Hon. W. Newman: Yes, I sure did. I tell you, you fellows are in trouble over there.
Mr. Watson: As ag rep I tried to find out before I came here what was going to happen to capital grants next year. I did not find out then and I haven’t found out yet. But we have a lot of farmers who would like to know what’s going to happen to them in the next year.
Mr. Riddell: Tell us about To-Be Co-Be.
We have concern for research, particularly in agricultural areas, and we would like to know what’s going to happen there.
The Ministry of Transportation and Communications is talking about sharing the costs of a new international bridge over the St. Clair River somewhere. I’d like to see that in a location that’s to be at least a little benefit to the north end of Kent county, in fact to all of Kent county. I think it makes more sense to spread it out rather than to twin the present one. I will be supporting that particular stand.
I’m pleased the Ministry of Housing has advised me that up to $7 million is going to be available for downtown revitalization in the city of Chatham. I hope the city takes that up and that we can revitalize some of the downtown area. It will do two things: it will improve the city and it will save some of the good agricultural land we have.
We are in need of some expanded facilities for the provincial courts. We are badly in need of a district headquarters for the Ontario Provincial Police.
The children’s aid society is in need for a little bit more money because the courts keep sending them extra children to take care of, for which they don’t have funds.
Limitation on certain grants by the Ministry of Education has meant our Kent County Board of Education has not been able to tear down one school and add to a couple of others. We’d like to see the ministry bend a little there.
Mr. Riddell: What in the world has Darcy been doing in that riding?
Mr. Watson: Darcy didn’t do a lot of these things for us, I have to come and get them.
Mr. Martel: Oh, oh; that’s the first mistake.
Mr. Watson: Actually, there were a lot of things done in Chatham-Kent by Darcy and we appreciate them. One of the things Darcy accomplished, which he was very proud of, was the senior citizens apartments, both in Chatham and Wallaceburg. We’re proud of those and we’d still like to see those expanded.
There has been a pilot project on busing for the handicapped in Chatham. We’d like to see that program made permanent. We’d like to hear about a policy in the near future that’s going to make that permanent and in which Chatham can participate.
Because of the types of employment we have there we are in need of skilled tradesmen. I think the apprenticeship programs should be expanded.
We have problems with annexation and with waste disposal; I hope the local people can get together and solve these problems. I discussed this with the member for Kent-Elgin. I told him we need some give and take, and he agreed. I said the thing we’ve got to have in this give and take is that my riding wants to give you the garbage and we want your riding to take the garbage. He didn’t quite agree to that kind of give and take.
Mr. Conway: Jack Spence would never allow it.
Mr. Watson: I do have some provincial hopes. I would like to see research expanded on an agricultural basis. I would like to see agricultural markets expanded. On the basis that our farmers can produce it as long as there’s a profit, they’ll grow the crop as long as we can get markets for it.
I’d like to see a continuing land-use policy which will limit expansion on good agricultural land. I don’t think we can limit the expansion of cities altogether, but we think they have to justify the land they take and that more care has to be taken in the planning. Agricultural land is important, and will be to the generations in the future.
As a past civil servant I would like to encourage all civil servants to be more public relations oriented. I think every civil servant in this province should be a public relations man. I don’t agree with trying to put public relations off into some branch or department and everybody else just doing their own job. Anybody who deals with the public, as far as I’m concerned, should be backing the government or backing the province for which he works; he should be proud of the province for which he works, as I was.
In my nomination speech I told the little story about the chicken and the pig that were wandering down King Street, which was a newly renovated main street in Chatham. They came to a restaurant and saw the sign, “Bacon and eggs, $1.50.” They went on a little farther and they saw one that said, “Ham and eggs, $ 1.75.” The chicken remarked to the pig and said: “Isn’t it wonderful the contribution that we farm animals make to mankind?” The pig said: “Yes, I guess it is. With you it’s a contribution, but with me it’s total commitment.”
Mr. T. P. Reid: I haven’t heard that since last year.
Mr. Watson: That’s the type of commitment I gave the people in Chatham-Kent. My position here is a full-time job --
Mr. T. P. Reid: You would have preferred it the other way.
Mr. Watson: -- seven days a week, I guess, if it has to be. I’m totally committed to being a member.
I started my nomination address by trying to reason why I got out of being a civil servant, and why I wanted to be their member, I think it’s because I basically believe in democracy. I think that if people have talents --
Mr. T. P. Reid: How can you be a Tory and believe in democracy?
Mr. Watson: It’s not hard; up in Rainy River they haven’t heard about it.
Hon. W. Newman: Do you know something, Pat? You are in the wrong party. You should be over here, you know that.
Mr. Watson: As a basic believer in democracy I believe that those who have talents in any direction that are useful to the community should use those talents. If I have any talents to serve the people of Chatham-Kent I’ll be proud to use them. I was proud to serve this province as one of its servants. I am particularly proud to represent the people of Chatham-Kent as their member now.
I want to thank everyone here for their attention. I hope that I can be useful to this Legislature.
Mr. Speaker: Could we have someone move the adjournment?
Mr. Martel: Come on, somebody over there move the adjournment. I’ll move it if you want me to.
On motion by Hon. Mr. McCague, the debate was adjourned.
ONTARIO AGRICULTURAL MUSEUM AMENDMENT ACT
Mr. McNeil, on behalf of Hon. W. Newman, moved second reading of Bill 148, An Act to amend the Ontario Agricultural Museum Act, 1975.
Mr. McNeil: Mr. Speaker, the purpose of this bill is to permit moneys receivable by the museum by way of donation or grant to be held in trust by the Treasurer of Ontario for use by the museum. At present, only moneys received from the sale of museum property or artifacts may be held in trust and used this way.
The trust fund is necessary in order to accept donations of artifacts which could be used for the enhancement of the museum. In a museum of this nature one frequently receives artifacts which may be duplicates of ones already owned, or some artifacts might not be usable. Therefore, it makes good sense to be able to sell or exchange them for items which are needed.
Unfortunately, the original legislation permitted only money received from the sale of artifacts to be placed in the trust fund, but did not enable donations of money to be handled the same way. Obviously, we are obligated to respect the donor’s wishes and ensure the donation is used specifically for museum purposes.
In making a grant to the museum, Agriculture Canada was similar to a donor. It made a grant to the agricultural museum in each province, and has indicated it does not wish these grants to become part of the revenue of the province. The provincial auditor felt the act did not permit us to receive moneys from Agriculture Canada, neither did he feel that such payments could be treated as donations.
Thus we wish to amend this act to enable the frost fund to receive, first, donations of money from individuals; and grants that may be paid by the federal government or municipal government, or other bodies which may at some time make grants which are strictly for museum purposes.
Mr. Riddell: Mr. Speaker, I am sorry the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. W. Newman) didn’t stay around to pilot this bill through as I did have a number of questions I wanted to ask.
Mr. Nixon: He is certainly making a lot of disturbance.
Mr. Riddell: I wonder where he is leading the flock. Surely he is not a leader of one of these cults.
Hon. Mr. Elgie: Tuck in your coat and let’s get going.
Mr. Conway: He will want to keep an eye on Andy Watson.
Mr. Riddell: I am very familiar with the ability of the parliamentary assistant, I am sure he will be able to answer my questions.
There is certainly nothing very contentious about this bill, and unfortunately it is something we can’t bring the government down on.
Mr. Conway: Let’s try.
Mr. Riddell: But we can work on it.
Mr. Speaker, the only change I see in the bill is they have added a new subsection 2 which didn’t appear in the original bill; and in section 2(1) they have included the word “donations.” My question is what has been done with the donations since the original act came into being, which was in 1967-70?
What has been done with the donations? Why is it we have to now include “donations” as a new word in this amended bill?
Subsection 2, as I indicated, is a new section pertaining to moneys realized from grants. “Such grants shall be paid into the consolidated revenue fund and with the consent of the Treasurer of Ontario may be held in trust for the museum.” Formerly, the act read that any moneys realized from the sale of property or artifacts may be used by or on behalf of the museum for the purpose of purchasing such property and artifacts as are consistent with the objective of the museum.
My question here is how much money has the museum generated since the amended act was passed in 1975? How much of that money has been turned back for use by the museum? How much has gone into other uses by the Treasury?
Realizing we have been in the process of building a new museum at Milton, I would assume any moneys that have been generated, any donations that have been made or any moneys left, have been used, I would think, for the construction of the new museum and for the purchase of new artifacts. However, I would like the parliamentary assistant to clarify that point as to whether Treasury has used some of the moneys generated by the museum for other purposes, or has it all been turned back for the purposes of the museum.
Subsection 3 remains virtually the same; it is simply renumbered and changed slightly to accommodate the new subsection 2.
Other questions I would like to pose include what kind of progress has been made with the new museum. To the best of my knowledge it hasn’t opened yet, and I am wondering why it has not been officially opened. Or am I wrong? Has the public been able to get into this museum to observe the numerous displays they have? I understand from talking to Bob Carbert at the International Ploughing Match that there are a large number of displays and they will be carrying on demonstrations and what have you at the museum.
I wonder if the parliamentary assistant could just bring us up to date on the present status of that museum, what progress has been made, when we can expect it to open, and what innovative or new has taken place since its construction. What kind of response has there been from the public, if it has been open for the public to go in and observe the many displays? What employment does it offer on both a full-time and a part-time basis? Or what employment do you expect it will offer, particularly on a part-time basis -- but I’m also interested in knowing how many people it will take to operate that museum in Milton?
There are a few questions I would like to ask about the Ontario Agricultural Museum Advisory Board. How many members are presently sitting on that board? I wonder if you could tell me who the members are. Which two are presently employed in the public service?
This is something that doesn’t come up very often. I haven’t heard it discussed too much in Agriculture and Food estimates and I would just like to know how the government money is being spent. That’s the reason I’m asking these questions. I want to know who the chairman and the vice-chairman are.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. I’d just like to ask the honourable member to stick to the principle of this bill, not the general information about the museum.
Mr. Riddell: Mr. Speaker, we’re talking about moneys. If you look at the amendment to section 11(1) of the act it says “any moneys”; if you look at section 11(2) it says “any moneys”; if you look at section 11(3) it says “any moneys.” We’re dealing with money all the way through. I would just like to know what moneys are being generated and how these moneys are being spent. It is for this reason that I was asking who the chairman and the vice-chairman of the board are; I’d like to know what their remuneration is.
Mr. Conway: It’s probably enough to make a good Elgin county Scotsman cry.
Mr. Riddell: I would like to know the salary of the chief executive officer, formerly known as the curator. I would like to know what kinds of agreements there are with the donors. What percentage of the display articles are owned by the government as compared to that owned by persons who have entered into some kind of an arrangement with the government?
If the parliamentary assistant has been able to take note of these few questions I have asked, I will sit down hoping that I can get an answer.
We certainly support the bill. As I said, there is nothing contentious in the bill but there are a few questions that have gone unanswered the many years I have sat in this Legislature. I think the time may be appropriate for getting some of these questions answered.
Mr. C. E. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I’d like to rise and speak to the principle of this bill. I certainly support the bill.
As a collector of vintage farm machinery for many years, I have followed the course and the plans of the agricultural museum since it was initially planned by the previous Minister of Agriculture and Food, the Honourable William Stewart As a matter of fact, I would like to make a suggestion to the parliamentary assistant that I feel we should recognize the former minister for his foresight and his vision in planning this type of museum and perhaps honour him by calling it the William Stewart Provincial Agricultural Museum.
I could answer one question, at least partially, by noting that I have had the privilege of being one of the members of the advisory board since its inception. I can certainly testify that the members -- who come from a cross-section of the community and who are basically interested in the preservation of artifacts associated with the farming and rural communities -- have made a great contribution. When one does go to inspect the museum and see the artifacts and the type of display they are planning, I am hopeful it will reflect the input and the advice to the general manager by the various members.
It has been brought to the attention of the advisory board that we have had some problems in sorting out the various cash donations and the various moneys received from the federal government. I believe it has been drawn to the attention of the ministry by the provincial auditor that there is some need to amend the act. As the honourable members are aware, there has been some designations made by contributors that their moneys are to go for a specific purpose, but under the existing act it is not possible to set those aside. They have to go into the general fund and hopefully they will return to the use of the museum itself. In all probability the honourable parliamentary assistant will be able to advise us as to whether these funds have been returned for the use of the museum.
Mr. Martel: Sir Ronald will be able to do that for us.
Mr. C. E. Smith: It is my understanding they have, but it has been drawn to the attention of the agricultural ministry by the provincial auditor.
I support the bill. It is my understanding the main reason the museum hasn’t opened is that there are not enough capital funds to finish it in a short period of time, when it has been programmed over a series of years. Perhaps the parliamentary assistant will be able to advise us as to just when the minister and his staff are planning to have the official opening.
For the benefit of the honourable members who haven’t visited the site, it is an interesting experience, particularly to those who are interested in rural life and the development of the agricultural process over the years. There are model farms and historic barns being recreated. They have been moved from existing sites to the agricultural museum site. One other thing I believe is there is an early Women’s Institute hall, to illustrate to the general public the contribution the Women’s Institute has made to family life in rural Ontario.
As I say, I am perhaps a little more familiar than some of the honourable members as to just what they are doing at the Milton site. I would urge each and every member to drop in. I am sure the general manager, Bob Carbert, would be pleased to show them around and not only show them what they are doing, but explain their long-range plans. With those few remarks, I would like to indicate that I support the bill on second reading.
Mr. McNeil: Mr. Speaker, in answer to some of the questions raised by the member for Huron-Middlesex, some $21,000 was donated by the federal government. That is one of the reasons for this act. I might just draw the honourable members’ attention to the Minister of Agriculture and Food’s annual report for the year ending March 31, 1978. According to the information in that report, the Ontario agricultural museum advisory board consists of David Pallett, Mississauga, chairman; William Amos, Parkhill, vice-chairman; Mrs. N. Charlton, Paris; Mrs. I. Saunders, Hornby; William Shillinglaw, Baldwin; Gordon Smith, MPP, Orillia and Dr. K. A. McEwen, Ministry of Agriculture and Food. Mr. R. T. Cooper of the Ministry of Industry and Tourism was a member until July 11, 1977, when he was replaced by Dr K. E. Reynolds.
Mr. Riddell: There are a lot of Tories there.
Mr. McNeil: I can remember Mr. Frost, at one time saying that Sir Wilfrid Laurier was accused of political patronage. Sir Wilfrid Laurier made the statement that he always tried to pick the best person for the job and he really couldn’t help it if they happened to be Grits.
Hon. Mr. Elgie: Did Sir Wilfrid really say that?
Mr. T. P. Reid: You must have heard him say that first-hand.
Mr. McNeil: According to the information here, work continues on site development, artifact collection and restoration, the creation of displays and other activities related to the organization of the provincial museum of agriculture. Members might be interested to know that more than 30 secondary and post-secondary students were involved in the projects during the summer of 1977.
Public response to the project has been encouraging and there have been many donations of valuable artifacts. Six buildings to be used for displays were added to the site in 1977. Then there were additional buildings built during this past year. The museum was not open on weekends during 1977 to allow staff to assist with the construction program. However, over 5,000 people visited the site to observe the activity.
I can’t tell members what the salary of Mr. Carbert is but it’s in the public accounts. His salary is listed in the latest publication in the public accounts.
Motion agreed to.
Third reading also agreed to on motion.
MINISTRY OF NATURAL RESOURCES AMENDMENT ACT
Mr. Yakabuski, on behalf of Hon. Mr. Auld, moved second reading of Bill 179, An Act to amend the Ministry of Natural Resources Act, 1972.
Mr. Yakabuski: Mr. Speaker, Bill 179 gives the minister the authority to delegate powers. This is in keeping with the program of policy of decentralization, giving more and more authority to the regions and the districts in so far as making on-the-spot decisions and in some instances long-term decisions is concerned.
Mr. Laughren: Quit while you’re losing, Paul. We know who makes the decisions now.
Mr. Wildman: Decisions are made in the board rooms.
Mr. Yakabuski: There might be some concern with regard to --
Mr. Laughren: Don’t be a slave to your text. Wing it.
Mr. Yakabuski: -- the minister giving up responsibility that may be his, but this is not the case.
Mr. T. P. Reid: That’s enough, Paul. Sit down.
Mr. Yakabuski: The minister still retains responsibility for any of these decisions that might be made in the field.
Mr. T. P. Reid: Mr. Speaker, this is probably the most important piece of work the parliamentary assistant has ever engaged in, and just so it won’t go unnoticed, I wonder if I could ask him a couple of questions in regard to this bill.
Can he inform the House if this bill is in fact parallel legislation with all other government ministries? In other words, do the Ministry of Labour, for instance, and the Ministry of Community and Social Services have similar legislation? Can he give us a specific reason, rather than decentralization policy, which I find a little difficult to swallow, as to why we should give him this authority? I don’t think we can support this bill, with all respect, unless we are convinced it is necessary.
Mr. Martel: Like my friend from the north, we too have some reservations about the power the minister is seeking to give away.
Mr. Laughren: We’ll go to the people on this one.
Mr. Martel: I remember this past summer well when my friend from Dufferin-Simcoe (Mr. McCague), as minister responsible for the environment, wanted to give to his director in the Sudbury area the responsibility of having changed the emission standards for Inco. It bothered me that a minister would try to give that power away when it was convenient.
Hon. Mr. McCague: No, that wasn’t it.
Mr. Martel: Well, I thought it was extremely convenient.
Hon. Mr. McCague: Read the bill.
Mr. Martel: I have read the legislation; I know what it says. But the buck ends with the minister, and when you make such a fundamental change as giving Inco carte blanche to 1982 it is --
Mr. Laughren: A total copout.
Mr. Martel: One wonders, then, if one brings it over to the Ministry of Natural Resources, is the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Auld) in fact looking for the same out? “I can always blame it on one of the boys down the line and he can bear the responsibility. If it’s good, I’ll take the credit; if it’s a bad move, or an unpopular move, I’ll just tell somebody down the line to accept that responsibility.”
Hon. Mr. McCague: If you don’t like it, put it in the legislation.
Mr. Martel: Well, the legislation is horrible. The minister is allowed that power. If I listened to the parliamentary assistant correctly, I think he said his minister was prepared to accept those acts. Did he not say that? I think he did.
His minister, at least, is prepared to accept the ultimate responsibility for what his staff does. I have to have that assurance that the minister himself will ultimately bear that responsibility. Otherwise, I simply can’t go along with what’s being suggested.
In the past, the minister has had to go to cabinet for approval on certain things and it would appear as though what this legislation is doing in section 6 is freeing the minister to move away from that responsibility of having to take it through cabinet and, on his own, delegating someone down the line to bear that responsibility. That being the case, if the cabinet is no longer responsible, then somebody has to be responsible.
I hope the parliamentary assistant is saying to me and to this Legislature that his minister indicates on the record and will put on the record that the buck for anything his staff does doesn’t bounce all the way down the line but must ultimately rest with the minister, the staff having once received the authority from the minister to proceed.
That’s where we’ve felt rather aggrieved this summer with the minister. He didn’t want to take any responsibility ultimately for that decision regarding Inco.
Mr. Laughren: We don’t want the parliamentary assistant to have the responsibility.
Mr. Martel: Quite obviously the director might change it, but surely the minister is in a position to say, “No, that’s wrong.”
Hon. Mr. McCague: Just giving you the facts.
Mr. Martel: No, the facts are that the Sudbury basin continues to be devastated and this government has given some director the authority to allow that to continue.
Mr. Wildman: The only rest we have is when they’re on strike.
Mr. Laughren: You should be ashamed of yourself, George.
Mr. Martel: I hope and pray that some day we’ll have the wind inversion in the right direction, all the atmospheric conditions correct and, just when the buds are coming out, you’ll get all of these conditions correct and it will blow down to southern Ontario, right to the agricultural belt.
Mr. Laughren: All in George McCague’s garden.
Mr. Martel: You’ll only see that done once, Mr. Speaker, when everything browns overnight and I want to tell you --
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Is the honourable member referring to Bill 179?
Mr. Martel: -- that nonsense this ministry tolerates will cease overnight. That’ll be the end of it.
Hon. Mr. McCague: That is nonsense.
Mr. Nixon: What’s this got to do with the bill?
Mr. Martel: It’s the same principle, I say to my friend from Brant-Oxford-Norfolk.
Mr. Nixon: Imagine you wanting to plague us with all your effluent.
Mr. Martel: Just for one night, just for one night.
Hon. Mr. McCague: He’s doing that right now.
Mr. Nixon: We don’t have any choice about this.
Mr. Martel: No, that’s right. I have to listen to some of the -- well, I won’t say it.
Mr. Conway: Watch your hernia there, Elie.
Mr. Wildman: Most of what we get from the other side of the House is a wind inversion.
Mr. Martel: I won’t comment on that one.
Mr. T. P. Reid: I thought of a couple of lines, but I won’t say them.
Mr. Deputy Speaker: Does the honourable member have any further comments on this bill?
Hon. Mr. McCague: He’s obviously out of wind.
Mr. Martel: I just want to say, Mr. Speaker, like my friend from Rainy River, that unless the parliamentary assistant can give us that assurance-the member for Renfrew South is going to have to convince us.
Mr. Laughren: Defend yourself.
Mr. Nixon: You’ve only got four people there. You haven’t even got enough to stand up.
Mr. Yakabuski: Mr. Speaker, the big question from the member for Rainy River seems to be, “Why?” He also asks if there are other ministries that have similar legislation.
Why? Because very often there’s the need for an on-the-spot decision and I’m sure that need will present itself much more often in the Ministry of Natural Resources than it will in any other ministry of this or any other government -- for example, authority to order something in the way of firefighting on a weekend; Friday or whenever it may be. That would be one good example, but there are many more. Sometimes a contract is signed with a concessionaire and by the time it gets down through the process it’s been in effect two or three months before it’s actually signed.
Somebody mentioned the Ministry of Community and Social Services. There would not be a need for that kind of delegation on the part of the minister because, for instance, what the field representatives can do, say in Ottawa, is all spelled out. He or she either can or they can’t. It’s all spelled out in the legislation, whereas in the Ministry of Natural Resources there must be much more flexibility because many are the times when the district manager or the regional manager is called to make immediate, on-the-spot decisions. If it’s got to wait to find its way down to the minister, it’s not in the best interests of the taxpayer or the citizen, et cetera.
There was a concern with regard to responsibility. This was something that a number of people, even in Our ministry, concerned themselves with. Therefore, we sought a legal opinion on it. This is what we have: “It is beyond question that you would remain responsible for the actions of those to whom you may delegate. This was confirmed by legislative counsel who deleted from our earlier draft a provision stipulating that such responsibility remain with the minister.
“It should be noted that the current act provides for delegation and, in fact, there has been such delegation in the past without any suggestion of a reduction in ministerial responsibility. The proposed changes in the delegation procedure would merely increase the efficiency of the delegation procedure. It should be noted that there are many leading cases which state that at common law it cannot be expected that a minister personally could possibly exercise all his powers and perform all his duties.”
There was another concern that delegation might be seen by some to involve some loss of control. This wouldn’t be the case. It has been indicated that the amendment would provide that the minister may limit the authorization in such a manner as he considers advisable. Thus, the limitations may be of a dollar value. They could be connected with the season of the year, for forest fire fighting, which I mentioned, and could be for a period of time, et cetera.
It should also be noted that although the minister may delegate some power or duty he retains the right to act in all such situations. Thus, he could exercise his power in a situation where this power had already been delegated. In this way, delegation is different from assignment of power. In the latter case the minister would no longer retain the power to act. In this case, he does. We are not proposing such an assignment. We are just proposing a delegation. There is abundant legal authority for this position.
I think that fairly clearly spells out the need for those kinds of powers in the Ministry of Natural Resources, where they may not be required in other ministries. Some of these other ministries would have no field staff to speak of. In other cases, the act is such that there’s no flexibility, such as in the case of the director for the Ministry of Community and Social Services in Sudbury.
I think that covers the reasons why and explains that the minister would retain responsibility for all the actions of a district manager or a regional manager. At the same time, he could enter into any of these discussions, agreements, contracts or whatever, should he see fit.
Mr. Martel: You’ve got me convinced.
Motion agreed to.
Third reading also agreed to on motion.
NIAGARA PARKS AMENDMENT ACT
Mr. Yakabuski, on behalf of Hon. Mr. Auld, moved second reading of Bill 168, An Act to amend the Niagara Parks Act.
Mr. Laughren: This one isn’t going to be as easy.
Mr. Yakabuski: Mr. Speaker, I think the ministry feels there’s a need to update this act.
Mr. Laughren: Carried.
Mr. Yakabuski: The maximum penalty for infractions under the act was $20 from 1927 until it was raised to $100. This act moves it up to a total of $500.
Mr. Laughren: That’s all the reason we need.
Mr. Worton: Aw, that’s inflation for you.
Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, I guess we’ll give the parliamentary assistant the benefit of the doubt on this act as well.
I simply want to ask about the contraventions. If the parliamentary assistant would give us some indication of the type of contravention he’s talking about under this act we would have some knowledge, because it’s all in the regulation as to what we’re voting on.
Mr. Nixon: You know what you do in the park.
Mr. Martel: I’ve read some of it, my friend from Brant-Oxford-Norfolk, where it says, “No person shall ride a horse within the park. No person shall swim or bathe except in the swimming area, take into or use in a swimming area any life raft, inner tube or any other object intended to support a person.”
Mr. Nixon: It’s obviously well worth our time.
Mr. Martel: I’m just wondering if these are going to be fines of $500 or, as the bill says, up to $500 at the discretion of the judge. Maybe the parliamentary assistant could give some indication to the House as to just what it is the minister is seeking from us.
Mr. Laughren: And about the section on cats and dogs.
Mr. Martel: Yes, there’s a section on cats and dogs too.
Mr. Laughren: Tell us about the cats and dogs too.
Mr. Speaker: The honourable member for Oriole.
Mr. Williams: Mr. Speaker, I think the main emphasis --
Mr. Wildman: There is a $500 fine for taking him into the park.
Mr. Williams: -- and attention given to the bill so far this evening is with regard to the increase in the amount of penalty for contraventions under the act. I think the Legislature, in directing its attention to this particular matter, is really overlooking the main principle and concern and remedy that is being proposed in this legislation.
You may recall, Mr. Speaker, that a week or two ago, I guess it was on November 20, I had the privilege as chairman of the statutory instruments committee to make the first substantial report of the committee to this Legislature. I pointed out the importance of regulation and proper supervision and control over the regulatory process which is a vast field of secondary legislation which has been given precious little attention by this Legislature in recent times.
Mr. Conway: Until you came along.
Mr. Williams: At that time I pointed out specifically there were a number of guidelines established by jurists over the years to give a sense of direction and purpose to statutory instruments committees that have been set up, not only by this Legislature but by other provincial Legislatures, as well as the federal government.
In setting out those guidelines, I again pointed out at that time that the learned jurist, the former Chief Justice of Ontario, the Honourable Chief Justice McRuer, had developed a series of guidelines which he had incorporated into a section of his masterful report on civil rights and liberties which is a landmark in jurisprudence in this province. One of the very important guidelines established, and which the statutory instruments committee adopted in its recommendations to this Legislature, was that the matter of imposing penalties should not be set out under the regulatory process but should be reserved exclusively to legislation. That is, that any penalties that would be imposed should be spelled out clearly in the statute itself and not be imposed by regulation under statute. This was a very clearcut recommendation and a whole chapter was devoted to this subject in the report, as I made reference to in discussing our first report in the Legislature recently.
So I think this really is the main thrust of the legislation before us this evening, as I see it, in that section 2 is conforming to the recommendations put forward by the committee and which the committee implored this Legislature to adopt. For this reason, I think it is appropriate and gratifying to see that some legislative action is being taken to give recognition to the recommendations of the statutory instruments committee, and that this act, which was singled out in the report along with one or two other acts as being offensive in this respect, is now being amended to correct what we felt was an inappropriate form of regulation.
Mr. Conway: Cut-rate fines are offensive?
Mr. Williams: We hope that other legislation that is found to be offensive in this regard will be dealt with in the same fashion.
Accordingly, for these obvious reasons, I stand in support of this bill tonight and appreciate the opportunity to point out the real significance and importance of this amending legislation to the members in the Legislature this evening.
Mr. Yakabuski: Mr. Speaker, the member for Oriole has spelled out very well the purpose of amending this act. This has already been done in the Provincial Parks Act, where the penalty has been taken out of regulation and put into the act itself. This is another case where we feel the penalty should be in the act itself and not in the regulation, in keeping with Judge McRuer’s recommendations of some years ago.
We feel the Legislature should be doing these things and not the bureaucracy, and that is exactly what is happening in moving this out of regulation in the act itself.
Motion agreed to.
Third reading also agreed to on motion.
On motion by Hon. Mr. McCague, the House adjourned at 9:12 p.m.