The House met at 2 p.m.
APPOINTMENT OF REGISTRAR
Mr. Riddell: Point of privilege, Mr. Speaker: You no doubt recall the exchange the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Drea) and I had last week regarding the appointment of a registrar in Huron county. In responding to my questions, the minister was talking about the deputy registrar or the acting registrar.
He stated: “He, indeed, was brought to Toronto for an interview. It was found after the interview that somebody else had much higher qualifications. It was a straight management decision.”
That news was no sooner off the press than I got a call. I was informed the deputy registrar was not called to Toronto for an interview and the last time he appeared in Toronto was last February when it was about an entirely different matter.
Surely the minister should demand nothing less than reliable and accurate information from his staff and we, as members of this august assembly, should expect nothing less than factual information.
Mr. Speaker: The alleged point of privilege seems to be a difference of opinion as to what actually transpired. I would have hoped that the honourable member would have waited until the minister had been in the House for an opportunity to respond. I am sure the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations will respond at the earliest opportunity.
STATEMENTS BY THE MINISTRY
FOOD LAND GUIDELINES
Hon. W. Newman: Mr. Speaker, it will be my pleasure to table this afternoon my ministry’s food land guidelines. This document represents the Ontario government’s policy on agricultural land use.
The guidelines will enable municipalities to establish priorities in their planning process where agricultural land is concerned. Where land is of high agricultural value, the guidelines Clearly indicate that agricultural uses should receive the highest priority.
We recognize it is not always possible to accord priorities on the basis of agricultural criteria. There will be times when some land will have to be withdrawn. But the guidelines ensure that no land will be withdrawn from agriculture before very careful consideration has been given to all the factors involved.
As members will recall, the guidelines were issued as a green paper early in 1977. They were widely circulated among municipalities and agricultural groups. The government invited any interested citizens or groups to submit briefs to us on the guidelines.
We gave careful consideration to the many suggestions we received. As a result some changes were made. I should point out, however, the basic principles remain substantially unchanged. But, as I indicated, we did incorporate a number of suggestions found in the briefs into the food land guidelines.
When we first issued the guidelines, we believed they would best be implemented through the municipal planning process. We still believe that. The new version of the guidelines contains clear information on how municipal planning authorities should go about evaluating the agricultural priority of their land. There is also a new section describing the questions which must be addressed when the withdrawal of land from agriculture is being considered.
Members will receive copies of the guidelines in their mail-boxes later today.
OHIP BENEFITS SCHEDULE
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, the Ontario government and the Ontario Medical Association have today reached an agreement on an average increase of 6.6 per cent to the Ontario Health Insurance Plan schedule of benefits. This agreement is effective January 1, 1979, to December 31, 1979.
The agreement was negotiated by the Ontario Joint Committee on Physicians’ Compensation, consisting of three representatives of the government and three representatives of the Ontario Medical Association, under the chairmanship of Mr. Harold Clawson. The committee unanimously recommended acceptance of the agreement by both parties.
The agreement recognizes the increased cost of practice and provides a reasonable increase to the physicians’ income.
PAPER MILL CONTROL ORDERS
Mr. S. Smith: A question of the Minister of the Environment, Mr. Speaker. Keeping in mind the comments of the minister on the weekend about being practical and reasonable, as he puts it, with polluters, will the minister tell us in this House which of the seven mills with control order deadlines for December 31, 1978, will face prosecution after that date according to :l present knowledge?
Will the minister outline whether the three mills -- I’m speaking, of course, of pulp and paper -- that are on program approvals and the two mills on requirements and directions are expected to meet their December 31 deadlines as well? Are we going to have some action taken on these control orders and on these other categories or not?
Hon. Mr. Parrott: Yes, we are, Mr. Speaker. I met with one of those parties this morning. I think if there had been a listener to that discussion, the listener would not have come to the same conclusion as the headline writer in the Star on Saturday. Indeed, I think the party in question very well understands how serious I am and our ministry is about what has to be done in this province in the pulp and paper industry, particularly now that so much assistance is available to that industry.
I will be glad to supply those details to the Leader of the Opposition. I have them. They are fairly extensive.
Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, accepting that the question I asked was somewhat detailed in terms of the reply at demand, could the minister, while he is supplying this to me, also supply it to the rest of the House? More importantly, could he say whether or not there will be prosecution in the ease of Reed and in the ease of CIP?
Whatever happened to the amending control order on the Hawkesbury plant? Is that going forward or will we see action taken on this company as well?
Hon. Mr. Parrott: I asked my deputy that and got a very full answer this morning because I thought it likely questions would come today on that issue.
As I understand the legal process, it is necessary for us to serve notice in the courts before I announce we are proceeding outside the courts. So in anticipation of today’s question period, I thought I should be familiar with that procedure. Therefore, I cannot say to the member that I will do this to that particular company. I can tell him that within the last week I signed six instructions to proceed with prosecutions on various companies.
Mr. S. Smith: Not pulp and paper companies.
Hon. Mr. Parrott: No, not in that instance. We are treating the pulp and paper industry separately for this reasons We wanted the statement of the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller) to have an opportunity to be seen, to be understood and to be reacted to by the pulp and paper industry. Following that -- indeed, this very morning -- I had a discussion with one pulp and paper company.
I think it only fair that we give them a short period of time to react to the incentives of the Treasurer, for the dual purpose of economic compatibility with themselves and, of course, to get back into a competitive position here in Ontario. But we are never losing sight of the fact that the basic premise of that discussion that has taken a good deal of time with the pulp and paper industry was that we could, and I could as the Minister of the Environment, insist -- and I shall -- that the pollution abatement equipment will be purchased, installed and proceed according to orders.
Mr. Laughren: We’re buying it.
Mr. Speaker: The member for Beaches-Woodbine.
Hon. Mr. Parrott: No, no. I would like to react to that if I could.
Mr. Speaker: That was an interjection.
Hon. Mr. Parrots: I know, but I think it’s an important one, if I could have your indulgence, Mr. Speaker.
The interjection was that we’re buying it. I think none of us should underestimate the fantastic costs that are involved, not only with the modernization of plants, but in the pollution equipment that is also part of the actions that will be planned now.
Ms. Bryden: I find it hard to understand how the minister can say he has to extend these orders and give people more time to comply, when his own ministry, in a report by his ministry staff, particularly Dr. Victor and Dr. Donnan, has concluded that the pulp and paper industry is quite able to meet the current environmental requirements without further extensions.
Mr. Speaker: Can the honourable member put an interrogative in there some place?
Ms. Bryden: Yes, Mr. Speaker. I would like to ask the minister, since the present control order system does not seem to be enforceable under the ministry’s methods, why does he not adopt the recommendation that was in the Victor and Donnan report in 1974 and in the 1976 update, which suggested that financial pollution control delay penalties be instituted instead of the present system of control orders with prosecution? In other words, make it cost the pulp and paper companies money not to meet their deadlines. Give them an incentive to carry out the control orders which, according to the economists, they are quite capable of carrying out without further assistance.
Hon. Mr. Parrott: I would draw one point to the attention of the honourable member. The statements in the particular article she is quoting did not refer specifically to the pulp and paper industry. We were talking about all orders of the ministry. I want to make that point first.
Second, I think it is only fair to point out that orders may change. Indeed, they may be tougher. This last week we made one order quite a bit tougher than it was previously. I would draw that to the attention of the member as well.
We are not talking about a one-way street. It is a two-way street. Indeed, some of the orders will be tougher than they were previously.
And, as I said earlier, that article did not refer specifically to the pulp and paper industry.
Ms. Bryden: A point of privilege, Mr. Speaker: The minister said that I was referring to a report that did not deal with the pulp and paper industry. I have the report here, Alternative Policies for Pollution Abatement: the Ontario Pulp and Paper Industry.
Mr. Speaker: I think the member for Beaches-Woodbine has simply misunderstood what the minister was saying.
Mr. S. Smith: A final supplementary: Since the control orders are presumably issued only with regard to financial feasibility and with regard to the financial capability of the firm to meet those orders, why should there be the slightest delay in their implementation, pending this new $100 million program of which the Treasurer was speaking? Presumably, the financial capabilities of the firm were taken into consideration when the control orders were issued in the first place. Why should we now have to wait before implementing these properly?
Hon. Mr. Parrott: I think the leader should realize that indeed those orders are negotiated. In that sense, the inference he has drawn is correct. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the companies have unconditionally accepted the inference that there is no problem of money. In many instances, it’s a very difficult problem for the company to face up to. If they choose not to, then we have recourse to the courts to enforce those orders. In some cases, that may very well be the situation.
I can understand and accept that his inference is correct, except that it may not be the inference that the companies would place on it. Therefore, they have a very difficult decision whether to comply, regardless of the consequences, or face court actions. In some cases, they’ve complied and in others they have not. Therefore, the consequences of a court action may have to be considered.
Mr. S. Smith: Do we have to wait for the company to agree before we enforce it?
Mr. Speaker: New question.
Mr. S. Smith: If the ministry official is convinced, that should be enough. If not, the minister should fire him.
Mr. Speaker: New question.
HYDRO PURCHASING POUCY
Mr. S. Smith: I’d like to direct a question -- I guess the Minister of Labour (Mr. Elgie) is not here -- to the Minister of Industry and Tourism.
Is the minister aware that Canadian Porcelain Company Limited in Hamilton is now threatening to shut down the plant and in fact is saying that such a shutdown will occur unless the workers take a seven percent cut in pay? This would result in the loss of 75 lobs. I ask the question, particularly wanting to know whether the minister is aware that this plant produces electrical insulators, many of which are purchased by Hydro, and that Hydro has now apparently permitted this same firm to bring in the insulators from an American associate of the same company rather than have to deliver them from the Hamilton firm.
Is the minister familiar with that and what is his comment on it?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: I’m sorry, I missed the name of the company.
Mr. S. Smith: Canadian Porcelain.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: I will see if I have some of that information with me.
I can see it’s not with me. I’ll be pleased to look into that and report to the House tomorrow at two o’clock.
Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, when the minister is doing this, could I ask him to lock into the comment made by a Hydro purchasing agent Mr. Jeffries, to one of our research people, who says there is no Hydro policy giving preference to the purchase of goods manufactured in Canada?
Can he explain why Hydro has apparently permitted a tender document which said that these insulators would have to come from Canada Porcelain in Hamilton to be altered so that the shipment was able to take place from Victor, New York, instead of from the Hamilton firm, thus threatening the Hamilton firm with closure? How was that permitted to happen?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: I’d be very interested to know if those facts are accurate. If they are, I can assure the member that I’ll be taking some action as a result of it. I’ll let him know tomorrow.
Mr. Makarchuk: Supplementary: At the same time that he’s checking with Hydro on the porcelain insulators would the minister also check and find out why Hydro is purchasing 1.6 million metres of Incoloy tubing which is manufactured and fabricated at the Huntington, West Virginia, plant in the United States?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Of course I would, and maybe even by tomorrow afternoon as well.
PULP AND PAPER INDUSTRY
Mr. Laughren: I have a question of the Treasurer. In view of the fact that in the Toronto Star today the Treasurer indicated, in response to my leader’s proposal on equity participation in the pulp and paper industry, that he thought the idea was “not unreasonable,” and also in view of the fact that Mr. Bell, chairman of Abitibi Paper Company Limited, indicated that the proposal was a very interesting one, would the Treasurer explain what he intends to do to ensure that the people of Ontario get a full return on their tax money in terms of equity participation?
Hon. F. S. Miller: I had quite an interesting chat with the Star reporter on the telephone on Saturday or Sunday. We ranged across many topics. The one thing I tried to point out is that I didn’t have a white and black attitude towards this kind of problem.
Mr. Laughren: You had blue.
Hon. F. S. Miller: No, I simply pointed out there have been times when this government, at least in Syncrude’s ease, for example, has chosen the equity route. There usually were specific reasons for choosing the equity route at the time.
There were other times -- and I used the Ford example -- when I believed the equity route was not right. In fact, in most cases I assumed it would not be compatible with both the needs of the corporation and the aims of the government.
I think there would be a wide gap between my friend’s approach to it and mine, I suspect, in that I would see the equity route as being the exception, needed once in a while; whereas, I suspect my friend would see it as the rule, seldom avoided.
Mr. Martel: Wherever you put money in. You are right. Any good businessman would do that.
Mr. Pope: Not necessarily.
Hon. F. S. Miller: I would simply say that reflects our difference in terms of what role government has. I don’t see us as being a regular partner of companies. I see once in a while our having a special role to play when perhaps an enterprise as important as Syncrude requires an equity position for a go/no-go decision.
Mr. Laughren: Supplementary: In order that there is a guaranteed return to the taxpayers of Ontario for their investment, would the minister indicate to this House just what kinds of guarantees he is willing to seek or extract from the pulp and paper companies in return for that investment, in terms of jobs, in terms of reinvestment of profits in Ontario and in terms of the whole question of buying capital goods and services in Ontario or elsewhere in Canada?
Hon. F. S. Miller: Again, I would share some of my friend’s objectives. Obviously I would like to see Canadian content wherever possible. I don’t care whether we support them or not; I want to see Canadian content. But that assumes viable Canadian sources of certain materials.
Mr. Martel: It might strengthen our economy then.
Hon. F. S. Miller: The word “guarantee” is one that I’m not sure can be put in many cases and be anything more than an unsupportable statement. I would say the real return for the people of Ontario, if, as and when we assist industries in this province, is either the creation of employment, through which we profit in many ways --
Mr. Martel: That’s what happened at Falconbridge.
Hon. F. S. Miller: -- or the maintenance of employment, which would be the case in the pulp and paper industry, and/or the attainment of an objective such as cleaning up the environment while protecting jobs.
Mr. Laughren: Supplementary: Could the Treasurer explain further a comment that he is quoted in the Star as making, indicating that he doesn’t see his role as speculating in the stock market on behalf of the people of Ontario, when he believes there is nothing wrong with handing out $100 million or so without any guarantees whatsoever? Doesn’t he see that in one way he is handing out the money with no guarantees whatsoever on return, but in the other case he is at least getting equity in return for the taxpayers’ investment?
Hon. F. S. Miller: I simply would not, nor would any minister responsible for the administration of a program -- because the Treasurer will not administer programs, as I’m sure my friend knows -- that would be giving money away blindly --
Mr. McClellan: That’s what you’re doing.
Hon. F. S. Miller: -- without being sure that it was not being accompanied by, as we pointed out in the report, at least a 3:1 ratio of private money in those companies --
Mr. Deans: That’s nonsense.
Hon. F. S. Miller: -- and, secondly, achieving stated objectives in advance.
Mr. Martel: You lost everything in Falconbridge. There are only 2,100 left; it was 3,600 then.
Mr. Laughren: Would the minister at least table the guidelines he set up, if he says he has some?
Mr. Martel: They didn’t guarantee a thing.
Mr. Laughren: Mr. Speaker, my second question is to the Minister of Industry and Tourism. In view of the fact that at the first ministers’ conference in Ottawa the Premier (Mr. Davis) stated that the thrust of Ontario’s manufacturing strategy was to increase exports -- and I would like to quote what the Premier said at that time: “If we are to correct our economic problems, the export of industrial goods has to be our first priority for the next few years.”
Considering that the deficit on end products in this country is in excess of $11 billion, how can the minister explain establishing that as his top priority, in view of the fact that we had $27 billion worth of imports in this country? Why isn’t the first priority of any kind of economic or industrial strategy one of import replacement programs designed to command, first of all, a dominant share of our domestic market?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, I think if the honourable member is trying to suggest that we have neglected one of those priorities at the expense of the other --
Mr. Breaugh: Yes.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: -- then he’s misstating the facts. As the member well knows, this province was the one that suggested the Shop Canadian program, for example, and has made a major investment in that regard.
Mr. Warner: It’s the Buy Canadian program.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: We have spent a lot of time and money on import replacement, including what was essentially the import replacement exhibition here in Toronto --
Mr. Warner: Buy Canadian.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: -- where three levels of government participated. In very simple terms, I would point to the Shop Canadian program as the major example of the emphasis we are putting on import replacements -- Shop Canadian -- and by no means --
Mr. Warner: Buy Canadian shops.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: -- is our emphasis on promoting exports at the expense of any of the other programs.
Mr. Laughren: A supplementary: With all due respect, the minister can only have one top priority.
Could I ask the minister what happened between the beginning of November and the first ministers’ conference which caused the minister to shift his ground so completely in terms of what that top priority should be?
Mr. Warner: That’s right, don’t deny it.
Mr. Laughren: The minister also changed his statement as time went on when he said, and I quote: “We can begin to achieve that scale of operation for international export only if we are able to command a dominant share of our own domestic market. We must begin by competing effectively here at home.”
Can he tell us why he switched from that policy, which made a great deal of sense given the import problem in the province, to the one of first priority for exports? Why did he do that?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: With respect, having heard both of those and obviously not having the complete statements in front of me, I do want to say that on the basis of even the portions the member has excerpted for us, I still see no inconsistency. The Premier stated quite clearly, particularly in the context of the GATT negotiations, that our first priority subsequent to the GATT negotiations and in this time frame has to be to take advantage of all of those situations.
Mr. Mattel: The minister made them.
Mr. Laughren: The minister has two first priorities, I see.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: The problem with simply concentrating on the former which, I take it, the member was suggesting we should, making that our first priority, is that as a result of those same GATT negotiations we may well see foreign firms better able to compete in the Canadian markets when tariff and other barriers disappear. It simply won’t be enough to concentrate on that first priority because it will be a tougher number here in this country, faced with new competition. Therefore, it becomes even more important to take advantage of what we gain. Instead of simply concentrating on our 20 million or 22 million population as the number one priority, we have to concentrate on not only the American population of 223 million but all the other world markets as well. That makes good common sense just from the standpoint of numbers.
I really see no inconsistency in those two statements. We’re doing them both.
Mr. Laughren: Perhaps the minister would explain to us at some point, perhaps during his estimates, how he is going to establish the expertise and the scale of production and so forth that will be required to get into the export markets if he doesn’t cater to his domestic market first.
I have a final supplementary, Mr. Speaker: In view of the fact that only seven per cent of Ontario’s trade is with developing countries and fully 80 per cent is with the United States, why is the government’s main emphasis going to be on increasing exports, in other words increasing that seven per cent, rather than dealing with that tremendous problem of imports we’re faced with in this country? The minister still hasn’t told us. It’s almost as if he’s replaying the Reisman report again, where they failed to deal with the central problem, mainly trade with the United States of America rather than other countries.
Doesn’t the government think it’s time it zeroed in and became consistent in its policies? How is it that the Premier says one thing after the minister has already made a decision and the minister immediately follows in behind him? Is there no consistency whatsoever in the government’s policies?
Mr. Martel: No policy.
Mr. Deans: Just tell the truth, Larry, there is none.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, I have to respond by saying this: no matter how many times the member stands up and says we are doing one at the expense of the other, no mailer how many times he asks that same question, I can only respond by saying exactly the opposite.
Mr. Laughren: The minister is. He has two first priorities.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: At no time in any of those documents did we indicate we were doing one at the expense of the other. In fact, the clear emphasis in terms of public reception would be the Shop Canadian program which clearly indicates that we have a great deal of emphasis on the former, which the member clearly supports. It doesn’t matter how many times the member rephrases it, the answer is we’re not doing one at the expense of the other.
PLANT LOCATION INCENTIVES
Mr. Bradley: I have a question of the Minister of Industry and Tourism concerning the financial incentive to Hayes-Dana. Since the Hayes-Dana plant in Thorold as I understand it, has ample land at the present time for either an expansion or another operation; since they already have an operation in Thorold and the city of St. Catharines; since the service industries that would service a plant of this nature already located in the Niagara Peninsula; since there are skilled trades people available in the area and transportation is very good; and, most importantly, since the unemployment rate in the city of St. Catharines is reputed to be close to 10 per cent, would the minister not agree that if the government is going to provide financial incentives and if it is the policy of the government to provide these financial incentives, it would be wise to channel the companies into those areas which are now experiencing high unemployment?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: We have programs in place through EODC and NODC to try to address those parts of the province which admittedly need some special consideration in order to attract industries.
Mr. Nixon: How about putting it all together?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: I must say quite directly that I would be surprised if a lot of members of this assembly supported the proposition that where we are going to aid an industry we should dictate the municipality into which that industry must go. It would seem to me to be quite unfair to the residents of those municipalities for Queen’s Park to purport to do two things: first, to play one municipality off against another, given that we are willing to make available the same amount of money to them and, secondly, it would seem to make bad financial and business sense for us to purport to have more expertise than the particular operation in question, in this case, Hayes-Dana, with regard to what is the best location for the particular operation it might want to go into.
Obviously, the member makes some points, as indeed he should, on behalf of the advantages of expanding the Thorold plant. On the other hand, I am sure Hayes-Dana did not pick Barrie by throwing a dart into a map of Ontario.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: As I referred to on the last day the House sat, one of the things we happen to know, for example, is that they hope to rely to some extent on the machine shops in the Barrie area for tool and die work. All I can say is that I think it would be inappropriate for the Ministry of industry and Tourism to come along and say to Hayes-Dana, “No, you are wrong. There are more advantages to Thorold, St. Catharines or Cornwall.” That has never been the way government programs have run here.
Mr. S. Smith: Have you ever heard of DREE?
Hon. Mr. Grossman: Quite frankly, I can’t see a major statement in that regard coming from any side of the House. The Leader of the Opposition says, “Have you ever heard of DREE?” Of course, EODC and NODC are attempts to deal with regional disparities which is quite different from saying to a plant from the standpoint of labour force and so on, “We in the government say you ought to be better located in this particular municipality as opposed to that.”
Mr. S. Smith: You should do precisely that.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: That hasn’t been the way we have operated those programs and, quite frankly, I think the way it is currently going is more appropriate.
Mr. Speaker, I might take this opportunity to give some more information to the Leader of the Opposition on this same subject as I promised on Friday, if that would be appropriate. To clarify the figures, the Ontario Development Corporation approved an Ontario business incentive program loan of $1 million for Hayes-Dana, which forms part of a $12.5-million program launched by that firm to build a plant to manufacture axle housings for trucks. The company expects to employ 200 people in the Barrie area during its first year of operation there, expanding to an employment force of 800 by the fifth year of operation.
I have been assured that this new plant will not reduce the company’s manufacturing operation in Thorold in any way. The firm employs some 2,500 people at its Thorold plant and I have been told that this figure will increase. The loan provided to Hayes-Dana will be interest-free for five years, then repayment will commence for five years at an interest rate of 11% per cent.
When Hayes-Dana decided to build a new plant, they looked at three locations. Two of them were in the United States, in North Carolina and Indiana. An analysis of land costs, building costs, labour rates and incentives at each location indicated $1 million would be needed, if the Barrie site was to compete on an equal footing with the two United States locations.
As the honourable members realize, the auto industry and the auto parts industry are vital to Ontario’s economic strength, and we have referred to this substantially at earlier times. We recognize in this case an opportunity to assist Hayes-Dana in locating in Ontario. The resultant employment opportunities, along with the fact that this is a repayable loan, not an outright grant, I believe are ample justification for offering what is, let me make it clear, an incentive to Hayes-Dana to locate in Ontario.
Mr. McClellan: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Health on the subject of illegal sterilizations. Mr. Speaker, I draw to your attention a study undertaken by Dr. Donald Zarfas of CPRI in London which revealed that 686 sterilization operations were performed in hospitals in this province in 1976 on persons who were unable to give consent on their own behalf; that 308 of these were performed on children, most likely retarded children; and that all but 50 were performed on females.
I want to ask the minister whether he is aware of this practice, whether this practice continues, and whether lie is aware of the view of the official guardian of Ontario that any sterilization of a person who is incapable of giving a legal consent on his or her own behalf is illegal?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, just late last week I saw a report from one of our staff on that matter. It is not yet complete in pulling together the legal opinions on hat might be done or should be done. With that in mind, I will take the question as notice and get back to the member as soon as possible.
Mr. McClellan: By way of supplementary: May I ask the minister to table the equivalent figures on such sterilization procedures for 1977 and 1978, whether these procedures are still taking place in our hospitals and when he intends to bring in legislation that will require the obtaining of a court order before sterilization of persons incapable of giving consent on their own behalf can take place?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I think part of the supplementary was part of the original question, which I have already taken as notice. As I indicated, I will report back as soon as possible. Of course, this does involve a number of aspects, including the rights of parents of those unable to consent for themselves to become involved, the role of the public trustee, et cetera. It is a very complicated matter, as the honourable member knows.
Mr. McClellan: Are they still taking place? Have you stopped the practice?
Mr. Havrot: Oh, go on. You’re just a bleeding heart.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: As I have already said, once we have all the material pulled together -- and I think the member would want a complete answer -- I will give it to him.
Mr. Speaker: A final supplementary; the member for Kitchener-Wilmot.
Mr. Sweeney: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Does the minister not recall that this precise question was raised in his estimates a month ago and that he agreed at that time to get the information? How can he say now that he has to start from scratch? That was a month ago in the estimates.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I didn’t say I was starting from scratch. I said some material came across my desk at the end of last week and it was incomplete, as I recall it, and additional work is being done to pull the material together.
Mr. Yakabuski: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Industry and Tourism. I don’t want to overwork the minister today -- he’s had a lot of questions already --
An hon. member: Then sit down.
Mr. Martel: Poor little Larry.
Mr. Bradley: This one is a setup.
Mr. Yakabuski: -- but in the Renfrew area there are 20 or more families who are very concerned about this problem, and I’m wondering what the minister and his people are doing --
Mr. Speaker: Are you wondering or asking?
Mr. Yakabuski: -- or if he could give us a progress report on their efforts I to keep the Polyfiber Limited plant in the town of Renfrew open. I believe it’s threatening to close its doors about the middle of the month.
Mr. Kerrio: The minister just happens to have the answer.
Hon. Mr. Grossman: No, that’s not true, but I have a great memory.
We have been communicating with those people for quite some time, and the Ministry of Industry and Tourism put the people in touch with 26 prospective buyers. Unfortunately, none of those to this date has proved successful in terms of the negotiations.
I am told one of the reasons for the plant closure is, as always, increasing costs plus the loss of a very major contract which was really the basic part of the operation.
Notwithstanding all of that, our efforts do continue to attempt to put the company in touch with prospective buyers, and further discussions will go on as we get more details. Those efforts have been rather extensive up until now, and we will continue to try to find some prospective buyers.
Mr. T. P. Reid: I have a question for the Minister of Natural Resources related to the mining sector of our economy. Since I the minister has become Minister of Natural Resources and has the responsibility for mining communities, has he had any meetings of his committee on the economic future of mining communities? Is he aware there have been layoff notices in the town of Atikokan to employees of Steep Rock Iron Mines that will take effect on January 31? And can he tell us of any recommendations or policies that have arisen out of this committee that has been set up to deal with these problems?
Hon. Mr. Auld: The committee continues to meet. Because of the fact most of its work relates to the various ministries that are part of CCRD, the resource development committee, its meetings, I would say, are about as frequent as those. Not every meeting has something involved, but many do.
I can’t tell the honourable member of any specific thing at the moment in regard to Atikokan since the original announcement, but I will get myself updated and report to him tomorrow.
Mr. T. P. Reid: Is the minister aware the Provincial Secretary for Resources Development (Mr. Brunelle) is not a member of that committee on the economic future of mining communities? And may I ask, has the minister attended any of these meetings in his new resurrection as minister responsible?
Hon. F. S. Miller: Ever after.
Hon. Mr. Auld: It depends on whom I am talking to, I guess.
Mrs. Campbell: Nobody has invited you.
Hon. Mr. Auld: I have not attended a meeting since I have been in this portfolio, but most of the meetings have been attended by senior staff. I am sure the honourable secretary of the committee attends whenever he feels it necessary, as do other ministers. Nobody is prevented from attending simply because they don’t happen to be on the list of people there.
Mr. T. P. Reid: Can the minister indicate to the House when he and the Treasurer will be making a statement on incentives to the mining industry so that we can hold the employment we have in these mining communities in northern Ontario?
Hon. Mr. Auld: I believe we will be dealing with the amendments to the Mining Tax Act tomorrow. I am sure the Treasurer would announce any further incentives at an appropriate time and probably when he is dealing with the budget.
BROUILLETTE NURSING HOME
Mr. Cooke: I have a question for the Minister of Health. Could the minister explain why certain relevant facts concerning the Brouillette nursing home were not brought out in a recent inquiry -- namely that staffing was inadequate, nursing care diverted from that prescribed, nursing records were not complete and some nursing equipment was inadequate?
Could the minister tell us why these infractions were not brought to the attention of the coroner’s inquest which took place last week, even though they were confirmed to me in a letter of September 8 by Mr. Graham?
Further, is the minister aware of the following statement made by Mr. Graham in his letter to me where he says: “Mrs. Leopold’s deterioration after being admitted to the nursing home is a matter of great concern to our service. Although our investigation has not enabled us to conclusively assess fault, we have determined that deficiencies existed in significant areas of resident care?” Why was this fact not brought out in the coroner’s inquest also?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I would think in part the member should ask the coroner. Certainly there have been several letters on this case: the one Mr. Graham wrote to the member in September; I believe I wrote to the member for Windsor-Walkerville (Mr. B. Newman) myself about the same time; he had expressed concern. If memory serves me correctly, there are at least one or two others, either to other members of the House or to other interested citizens, detailing the same information.
I have before me, strangely enough, some material indicating the dates of inspection and what was done. I can go over it now or can do it later this afternoon in estimates. That might be the more appropriate time and place to do it. It will still be on the public record and we can discuss it there. But as I read over this, it is clear that, going back to the inspection in March, a number of problems were identified and were followed up regularly through inspections in April and later in the year.
Mr. Cooke: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: I find it very interesting this information didn’t get in front of the coroner’s inquest. Does the minister not agree the nursing homes should have to accept the responsibility for seeking medical attention for a resident? Will he change section 46 of the regulations which at present imposes this responsibility on next of kin and was used in this coroner’s inquest? Further, does the minister understand that in the Leopold case, chronic care, as recommended by the doctor, and other nursing homes were sought out by the family but neither was available because of lengthy waiting lists in Windsor? When will the minister act to provide an adequate number of beds in chronic care and adequate quality nursing home beds in Windsor?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: As the honourable member knows, one of the ongoing problems in Windsor is that a number of chronic patients are occupying active treatment beds and should be in chronic units. This is part of the rationalization exercise in which all of the hospitals and the district health council are involved -- to find ways to rationalize the service, that additional chronic care beds can be added, and also that a chronic home care program can be added from the savings arising out of the rationalization in the city of Windsor.
Mr. Kerrio: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations. I wonder if the minister would share with the House the kind of involvement across the province, in dollars and stall, as it relates to the issuing of age-of-majority cards? Is he aware that as recently as the last week or 10 days in Brock University some students researched the identification method the minister is using?
I have two cards in my hand issued to the same individual with two different pictures.
Mr. Nixon: Surely not.
Mr. Kerrio: I will send the minister a copy. I wonder if he could explain the criteria for receiving these very meaningful identity cards?
An hon. member: Two-for-one sale.
Mr. Nixon: They send them to everybody who sends his money.
Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, in the past few weeks, in order to facilitate a significant number of people 18 years old who for rather obvious reasons want to obtain 18-year-old cards prior to January 1, people from the Liquor Licence Board of Ontario have been visiting community colleges and university campuses getting people to enrol for these cards. As to how this incident occurred, I obviously have no idea because the member just handed it to me. But I will suggest to him if this was a deliberate stunt by these students, they are in very serious difficulty, because it involves a statutory declaration when one applies. I will report back to the member tomorrow on exactly how it happened. As to the amount of dollars and cents, I will report back tomorrow as well.
Mr. S. Smith: Instead of blaming the students, consult your own system.
Hon. Mr. Drea: I am not blaming the students.
Mr. Kerrio: The point I want to make is that I wonder if the minister is aware that all one has to do is present some means of identification the government is not now willing to accept as proof of age of majority now to get the age-of-majority card?
Hon. Mr. Drea: The procedure has been tightened up very significantly.
Mr. S. Smith: Obviously.
Hon. Mr. Drea: There are a number of documents that are required now as a validation matter that were not required some months ago. I will tell the member what those are in detail tomorrow.
Mr. Kerrio: If they are under age, they don’t need anything.
Hon. Mr. Drea: If they are under age, they can’t apply. H they don’t have a driver’s licence on them, one can’t say it’s the only thing we will take. There are a number of documents that will be taken.
Mr. Kerrio: No, they take a friend’s and they get a card. It’s as simple as that.
Mr. S. Smith: Right now the proof is in front of the minister’s nose.
TTC PAY AWARD
Mr. Warner: I have a question for the Deputy Premier who I gather today is assuming the mantle of power in the absence of the Minister of Labour (Mr. Elgie). I would like the Deputy Premier to take some action since it appears the TTC is trying to alter the arbitrator’s award to chisel away a settlement which was legally awarded to the employees. Will the minister ensure the terms of Bill 141, now an act, passed in this assembly, will be enforced? I refer to the section which indicates that within seven days of the arbitrator’s award both sides are obligated to accept the arbitrator’s award.
Hon. Mr. Welch: I would be happy to ensure that the concerns of the honourable member are communicated to both the Minister of Labour and to the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry).
Mr. Warner: Supplementary: I hope the Deputy Premier realizes that unless some action is taken the whole business could be precipitating another strike in Toronto.
Mr. Speaker: Does the member mean “does he realize”?
Mr. Warner: Does he realize -- and now all of us realize -- that when either side fails to co-operate in executing the arbitration award, this government has the power under the Labour Relations Act to impose the award, and that unless this kind of direct action is taken we may very well see a strike in Toronto?
Mr. Warner: He doesn’t realize.
Mr. McGuigan: Mr. Speaker, on November 10 I asked a question of the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations about the safety of wood-burning stoves, and he agreed to report to the members. I wonder if the minister now has a report, in view of the fact that over the Christmas season there will probably be a great many of these stoves installed?
Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I do have a report. I brought it with me on Friday to read it but the honourable member wasn’t here. Unfortunately, I didn’t bring it with me today. I will bring it tomorrow.
Mr. Nixon: Would you two guys get together?
PAPER MTLL CONTROL ORDERS
Ms. Bryden: I have a question for the Minister of the Environment: Since the minister doesn’t seem to be very familiar with the Victor and Donnan report from his own ministry on the pulp and paper industry, and claims that it really applies to other industries -- a statement which is not true, Mr. Speaker -- I would like to ask the minister --
Mr. Speaker: Do I understand the member suggested that something the honourable minister said was not true? I will ask you to withdraw it.
Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, the minister said that the report --
Mr. Speaker: Are you prepared to withdraw it?
Mr. Speaker: Order, order. I’m sure the honourable member realizes that any indication that somebody has been untruthful is just not acceptable.
Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, if I withdraw the statement that it is not true, will you accept that he misled the House?
Mr. Speaker: No, no. Now you have two statements to withdraw.
Hon. Mr. Welch: Why don’t you simply ask the question?
Mr. Speaker: Is the honourable member prepared to do that? I will have to insist that the honourable member withdraw both of those suggestions.
Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, I will withdraw those statements, but I felt it was not entirely accurate.
Mr. Speaker: No, no. I think you should unequivocally withdraw any indication that either the minister was stating an untruth or was misleading the House.
Mr. Makarchuk: Point of order --
Mr. Speaker: I’m on my feet. Order. Order.
Is the member for Beaches-Woodbine prepared to withdraw those two statements?
Ms. Bryden: In the interest of getting on with the questions, I will withdraw them.
Mr. Speaker: Thank you. Does the honourable member now have a supplementary?
Ms. Bryden: I haven’t completed my first question, Mr. Speaker. I would like to ask the Minister of the Environment if he can give us a progress report on how we are succeeding in controlling the pollution of the greatest polluter in Ontario, namely the pulp and paper industry, by tabling for us a statement on the discharges of suspended solids and BOD -- biochemical oxygen demand -- at present for the seven mills which are facing deadlines in their control orders on December 31, and give us a comparative figure for a year ago, so that we can see whether these mills have made any progress in the period when they were under control orders, and whether there is any reason for extending those orders or relaxing them in any way?
In particular, could he report on the Abitibi Paper Company at Smooth Rock Falls which had a deadline for October 31, 1978, to complete the separation of all sanitary sewage from processed wastes and treat that separately? Could he deal with those two questions?
Hon. Mr. Parrott: I think those questions follow the question of the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. S. Smith) today. We’ll supply that information at that time.
I want to be helpful to the member for Beaches-Woodbine. She perhaps didn’t hear the earlier reply in which I said I was referring to the press article and not the report. I think I made it reasonably clear, but if that’s any help to the member, I’d just like to reaffirm that in our original question.
PHYSICIANS OPTING OUT OF OHIP
Mr. Breaugh: I’d like to ask a question of the Minister of Health, concerning the settlement that has been reached with the Ontario Medical Association. Will he now provide us with the number of doctors who have opted out of OHIP across Ontario and does he feel this new settlement will stop the trend of doctors opting out?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: As of the end of November 15.8 per cent of the doctors in the province opted out.
Mr. Warner: That’s up.
Hon Mr. Timbrell: I think this is a reasonable settlement. Those numbers are far less than anything the members opposite were predicting last April and May and represent, I think, a reasonable position.
Mr. Warner: That’s up from a couple of months ago. That’s astounding.
Mr. Breaugh: Supplementary: We’ve now had an admission of the highest percentage since the beginning of the plan having opted out. Has the m:nister any indication the new settlement will bring some of those doctors back into OHIP?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I think that’s possible. If memory serves me correctly -- and I’ll check this -- it is not the highest figures since the beginning of the plan.
Mr. Warner: Are you trying to get something higher?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Going back to some of our discussions in the spring, it seems to me there was a figure of around 17 per cent at one point a number of years ago. It is possible it will encourage some back in.
The total effect, of course, will depend on the apportionment of that increase. It’s a 6.6 per cent average increase, and as the member understands, we have now between the government negotiators and those of the OMA, to work out the apportionment among the general practitioners and specialists of that increase. That remains to be seen.
OHIP DATA PROCESSING SERVICES
Mrs. Campbell: My question, too, is of the Minister of Health. Could he advise us as to what procedures he is taking in his tendering of work as it relates to the data processors and others in the Overlea Bottleyard area? These women -- and they’re largely women, are being phased out of work. Is he going to full contracting out of services?
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I’m sorry, was that for the hardware or the software? What did the member have in mind?
Mrs. Campbell: The tendering of the work itself. The minister is tendering out the work these girls have been doing. While he’s trying to eliminate them, is he going to complete contracting out for all of these services? Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I think because of the complexity of the subject and, frankly, because I’m not sure I entirely understand the question, I’ll take it as notice and get the information for her.
Mr. Warner: Supplementary.
Mr. Speaker: The minister said he would take the question as notice.
Mr. Warner: I have a supplementary to the original question that was asked by my colleague from Oshawa.
Mr. Speaker: No, I allowed the member for Oshawa a supplementary to his question. We now want another new question. The member for Windsor-Sandwich.
SENIOR CITIZEN HOUSING
Mr. Bounsall: I have a question of the Minister of Housing. Can the minister indicate to this House why he is delaying the approval of the rent subsidy program to 50 units of the City of Windsor’s Windsor Housing Company senior citizen development at the corner of Riverside Drive and Bridge, particularly inasmuch as for some time now this approval has been given by the Ontario Housing Corporation and awaits only the minister’s transmission of this approval?
Hon. Mr. Bennett: Back about a week or 10 days ago the member asked a similar question relating to the Norton-Palmer development in that particular community and the disposition of that land.
Mr. Bounsall: They are not connected.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: Just let me finish.
Mr. Breaugh: Don’t get upset now.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: That land will be closing on a tender basis on December 13. I indicated to the member at that time that before we proceed with any further developments in that area I’m going to be meeting with the mayor of Windsor. I communicated with him again last week on a date when we could meet and discuss the senior citizen housing development in relation to the Norton-Palmer settlement that will come out.
The government believes there is a commitment by the city of Windsor in relation to that Norton-Palmer development and we believe there has to be some financial settlement between the province and that municipality. At that time I said clearly to the mayor we will try to conclude with him the arrangements for the other developments in his community.
Mr. Bounsall: How can the minister possibly believe there is any connection between rent subsidy units at the corner of Riverside Drive and Bridge and the Norton-Palmer property, particularly inasmuch as there was never any written agreement or commitment by the city of Windsor to be involved in the Norton-Palmer development as a senior citizen apartment building?
Hon. Mr. Bennett: I will admit to the member and to this House there was no signed agreement with the city of Windsor on that arrangement --
Mr. Bounsall: That’s right.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: -- as there is very seldom, prior to the commencement of operations on a particular site, an agreement signed by any municipality in the province. A great deal of the effort that goes in from the member’s community and all the communities in this province with OFIC is on a promise of understanding on whatever we’re trying to succeed in doing. There have been many municipalities that would have liked to have backed out of some deals, but they also realized they had a personal commitment with the ministry in providing some housing. That stands for the city of Windsor as it does for any other community.
I’m prepared, even in the light of the fad there was no signed agreement, to bring forward documentation from the city council of Windsor and the clerk and various other people of that municipality which clearly indicated their desire and concern and wishes for the province, through the Ministry of Housing, to advance that project.
When the cost of the project became excessive in the opinion of Central Mortgage and Housing, in the opinion of the Ministry of Housing of Ontario, and in the opinion of the city council of Windsor, they decided to back away from the project and recall tenders, which we did at that time.
Mr. Cooke: How are the two projects connected?
Hon. Mr. Bennett: In the recalling of tenders, the city of Windsor at that point decided that they would like to forgo the whole project. That might be fine, except there’s a very large sum of money invested on behalf of the people of Canada through CMHC and the Ministry of Housing for Ontario. We believe that when certain commitments are given, verbally, by the council and other members of that community, there should be some honouring of those commitments in the division of costs in bringing the land on market.
Mr. Warner: That’s right. We remember the Edmonton commitment.
Mr. Cooke: How are the two projects connected?
Mr. B. Newman: Is the minister aware there are 291 senior citizens, as of December 1 of this year, urgently needing housing? Is he going to hold up their needs for ransom over some dispute that he may have with the city council and the mayor?
Hon. Mr. Bennett: Far be it from this ministry to fail to honour any of the true needs that exist in any community in the province, Windsor included.
Mr. Bounsall: You are doing it, that’s all. That’s exactly what you’re doing. and opening up of Hall Farm and some of the land in that community for housing of certain citizens in the Windsor community. In no way, shape or form do we intend as a government to hold up a group of citizens, whether they be senior citizens or families, to the ransom of any community.
Mr. Bounsall: That’s exactly what you’re doing.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: On the other hand, while we are in the process of getting other developments under way, we believe the government has to be treated fairly -- federally and provincially -- in whatever commitments it has undertaken with a municipality. Let me suggest very strongly the same commitment should be honoured by municipalities when dealing with the other two senior levels of government.
FOOD LAND GUIDELINES
Mr. J. Reed: I have a question of the Minister of Agriculture and Food. In regard to the minister’s statement today about the preservation of food land, which appears to attach at least somewhat more importance to the preservation of productive agricultural land, how does he spall out his priorities in relation to the use of agricultural land for garbage dumps?
Hon. W. Newman: I think the food land guidelines, when I table them this afternoon -- if the member reads them over carefully -- will answer that question.
Mr. J. Reed: Supplementary: Does it mean now that class one and two, and perhaps three and four, agricultural land will no longer be considered as potential candidates for garbage dumps?
Hon. W. Newman: As I said before, it is indicated that any agricultural land in classes one, two, three or four, and specialty soils as outlined in here, should be preserved in this province. Also, I should point out to you there are circumstances, if you read into the guidelines in here, where other things have priorities. We can’t stop the world. For instance, there is the gravel concern, reforestry preserves, environmental concerns and many other concerns.
These are agriculture and food guidelines for the municipalities to follow. I think they do spell out the procedures that should be followed to preserve the better land. As far as any particular individual site is concerned, I am sure the Environmental Assessment Board, or whoever is involved in it, will take all the factors into consideration.
Hon. Mr. Bennett: We are proceeding to continue with the design and development
Mr. Young: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Housing. In view of the statement of David Medhurst, president of Medhurst Hogg and Associates, in the current issue of Alcan News, that almost every brick veneer apartment building and townhouse in Toronto has a water penetration problem, as well as the statement of George Fleming, building commissioner for Scarborough, that SO per cent of the apartment buildings in the city leak and that this is due in large part to the technique of bonding every seventh course of bricks into the masonry wall and clamping rigidly together two substances, the brick and the cement, which expand and contract at different times and temperatures, has the minister had this brought to his attention and is he contemplating any change, if necessary, in the building code to look after this situation?
Hon. Mr. Bennett: No, Mr. Speaker, I have not had it brought to my attention, other than we do know there have been one or two problems because of certain remarks or suggestions that have been made to HUDAC as the result of some water leakage into some of the buildings we have had mortgages on through the Ontario Mortgage Corporation. I would like to suggest, in response to the last part of the question relating to the building code, it doesn’t fall within the Ministry of Housing but within the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations.
STANDING PROCEDURAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
Mr. Breaugh from the standing procedural affairs committee presented the committee’s report on the standing orders of the House and moved its adoption.
Mr. Breaugh: I would simply like to inform the House there is a debate scheduled for Thursday evening of this week and to caution the members that if they have amendments they would like to see put to the standing orders they make every effort to table those with the Clerk if possible so we may all be aware of them. The proposal before the House will be a revision of the standing orders to establish a new permanent set of standing orders. We will have a complete debate on Thursday evening.
On motion by Mr. Breaugh, the debate was adjourned.
STANDING RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
Mr. Havrot from the standing resources development committee presented the committee’s interim report on liquid industrial waste.
FOOD LAND GUIDELINES
Hon. W. Newman presented the Ministry of Agriculture and Food’s policy statement on food land guidelines.
BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Hon. Mr. Welch moved that notwithstanding any order of the House the House will continue to sit tonight until 7 p.m., and at 6:55 the Chairman of the committee of supply will put every question necessary to complete the consideration of the estimates and of the supplementary estimates now before the committee of supply.
Motion agreed to.
ORDERS OF THE DAY
House in committee of supply.
SUPPLEMENTARY ESTIMATES, OFFICE OF THE ASSEMBLY
On vote 201, Office of the Assembly program:
Mr. Peterson: Could the minister explain to us why he requires another $284,000 for the Commission on Election Contributions and Expenses?
Hon. Mr. McCague: That’s the final item in this vote. I’ll get you that answer.
Items 1 to 5, inclusive, agreed to.
On item 6, members’ indemnities:
Mr. Peterson: Mr. Chairman, maybe the Chairman of Management Board would explain why, under members’ indemnities, there’s another $185,000 for transportation and communication. What could that possibly be?
Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Chairman, the minister is expecting the director of members’ services to be here. However, that second question, of course, relates to the four per cent adjustment, and it will be some partial allowance for the four per cent adjustment in mileage allowance, which is part of the overall increase in indemnities and allowances.
Mr. Peterson: This strikes me as a fairly unruly way to run estimates.
Hon. Mr. Welch: There is no question about that. If the honourable member will just simply wait, he is entitled to answers. The minister usually has advisers. The adviser has not yet arrived.
Mr. Peterson: That is not my problem. You are the one who called supplementary estimates.
Hon. Mr. Welch: That’s right, that is our problem.
Mr. Peterson: I have had these in my office for an hour.
Hon. Mr. Welch: They were tabled Friday. Of course, you weren’t here Friday.
Mr. Peterson: If you are not prepared to go ahead that is your responsibility.
Mr. Chairman: Order.
Hon. Mr. Welch: We stand rebuked. That’s fine, if you feel better.
Mr. Martel: Mr. Chairman, might we just move to another item and then come back to this one when the minister’s advisers are here?
Mr. Chairman: If the committee wishes to stand down item 6 we will do so.
Items 7 to 10, inclusive, agreed to.
Mr. Chairman: Would the member for London Centre like to place his question on item 6 now?
Mr. Peterson: I’d like to know why there is a $185,000 increase. Could you give us a breakdown of that?
Hon. Mr. McCague: Mr. Chairman, I understand a supplementary estimate of this kind is customary, and that the full amount is not budgeted at the first of the year because it’s not known what it will be. There is $115.000, as the member mentioned, in travel and accommodation and $70,000 in postage.
Mr. Peterson: Postage for what?
Hon. Mr. Welch: For the members. It’s your postage allowance.
Hon. Mr. McCague: The members’ postage allowance.
Item 6 agreed to.
On item 11, Commission on Election Contributions and Expenses:
Mr. Peterson: Would the minister be good enough to answer the question on item 11 and tell us what it is and why it seems to be quite an extraordinary amount?
Hon. Mr. McCague: It is for services paid to the end of the year that weren’t included in the last fiscal year. There was a previous budget but these bills were not in on time.
Mr. Peterson: Why weren’t they in on time? Why are we doing this? I think the minister owes us a little more explanation than he has given us.
An hon. member: The old Tory ship sinks.
Mr. Peterson: While the minister is figuring it out, allow me an editorial comment. I have never sat in estimates like this in my entire life, when people come in so ill-prepared and when the minister, who has only got about six or eight lines, doesn’t know. We have had these for about an hour or two; I got them in my office this morning.
Hon. Mr. Welch: They were tabled on Friday morning.
Mr. Peterson: I got them today.
Hon. Mr. Welch: That’s your fault.
Mr. Peterson: Obviously the minister just got them, because he hasn’t seen them yet. I am appalled. I understand the Deputy Premier standing up and trying to fudge the thing and frying to wing it for him, but the minister is responsible.
Frankly, I am just appalled that the minister would come to deal with these not knowing the answers. Surely any minister in that government should be able to master six lines of expenditures within about 10 minutes. I am just amazed at this. I have never sat in any estimates procedure like this ever before, when the minister couldn’t at least come up with some half-baked explanation.
Hon. Mr. Welch: In your long association with this House.
Mr. Peterson: The minister hasn’t even given us a half-baked explanation; he has given us a quarter-baked explanation.
Hon. Mr. McCague: That’s very true, Mr. Chairman. I don’t think the honourable member has ever sat in estimates for five minutes before.
Hon Mr. Welch: No.
Hon. Mr. McCague: However, I can tell him that these really aren’t my responsibilities. I am taking them through, and I am a very new member of the Board of Internal Economy. I can’t really help it if the honourable member is a little cranky because he didn’t get them until this morning, or an hour ago.
Mr. Peterson: When did you get them?
Hon. Mr. Welch: The Chairman of Management Board has had them since Friday.
Mr. Deans: The minister is not making much headway. Why doesn’t he just answer and get it over with?
Mr. Kerrio: The minister should just let his deputy answer.
Mrs. Campbell: What should we do, rubber-stamp all these?
Mr. Deans: There’s no point in trying to be offensive because you ain’t going to win.
Hon. Mr. McCague: It’s to provide for the 1977 campaign period return audit fee subsidies and campaign expense subsidies outstanding as at December 31, 1978.
Item 11 agreed to.
Vote 201 agreed to.
SUPPLEMENTARY ESTIMATES, MINISTRY OF INTERGOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS
On vote 1103B, local government affairs program:
Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Chairman, I think we supplied the full details of these supplementary estimates to the members about half an hour ago. They concern two particular programs. One is the Ontario Youth Employment Program and, of course, the supplementary estimates are because of the change in policy.
As you will recall, the former Treasurer cut off the program at one point, indicating the reason for that cutoff to be to keep the program within the estimates that were available for it. We all experienced some problems with that arbitrary cutoff and there was an adjustment made to it. The result of that adjustment means we need this extra money for the Ontario Youth Employment Program.
The other is the Ontario unconditional grants, and the changes here are necessitated because the estimates of the grants have changed slightly. In order to bring them into balance with what, in fact, will be paid out by way of grant under the unconditional grants -- and there are three grants: resource equalization, the general support and the special support -- it is necessary to ask the House for approximately $3.2 million more for that particular vote.
Mr. Peterson: I am sorry, I don’t quite understand what you are saying. What part of the fiscal year is this making up for? Is it the latter part of the year, is it a new program, is it because you were underfunded or oversubscribed? What exactly was your explanation?
Hon. Mr. Wells: You will recall there was a certain appropriation in the budget for the Ontario Youth Employment Program. In order to keep within that allotment, the Treasurer, on June 1, 1978, put a cap on applications for the program; and this was done to put a lid on the amount that would be spent in that program.
Because of the hardships this produced -- I think many of them brought to the Treasurer’s and the government’s attention by members on all sides of this House -- the program was then expanded for a little longer to take into account applications that were on the way and so forth.
The result of that was there is a need for more money in the appropriation for the Ontario Youth Employment Program than was voted in the regular estimates. So we are asking here for $4847 million more. If you would like a breakdown of just how that works in the program, I can give it to you.
Mr. Laughren: I wonder if the minister could tell us how many applications that $4847 million covered, how many jobs that involved and how many applications, in terms of jobs involved in the applications, were turned down as a result of the curtailment of the program?
Hon. Mr. Wells: I can give you this information. I am not sure I have it broken down for the extra amount of money, but the total number of applications approved was 20,100 and the number of jobs that number of applications covered was 48,500. This worked out to an average number of jobs per employer of 2.41. The average grant per employer would have been $1,849, which would have meant a total commitment of $37.2 million.
Based on experience from the year before in the program, we figure there will be about $16.3 million of that which will not be spent, based on shortfalls, no-shows and so forth. In other words, of all those applications, when we get around to processing them, auditing them and so forth, the need for the program will probably be about $20.9 million or $21 million, and the total number of jobs created about 34,000. That is based on the experience in the program with the applications that came in. Some of them aren’t followed through; when they go to audit them they find the people didn’t carry through, didn’t employ the people and so forth, but the actual final accounting will probably produce about 34,000 jobs at a total cost of $20.9 million.
Mr. Laughren: You were talking one minute ago of 48,500 jobs approved. Yon are saying there was that much shortfall between approval and what actually -- is that right?
Hon. Mr. Wells: As between the actual number of applications that are received and what they will come to when we get to finally paying them and verifying that those jobs were created, there is that drop-off and shortfall.
Mr. B. Newman: I wanted to ask the minister with regard to the previous amount of $3.2 million in transfer payments to municipalities, is this part of the moneys that are going to the city of Windsor as a result of the shortfall over the past year and previous years?
Hon. Mr. Wells: It’s not part of that money. These are the regular payments under those three unconditional grant payment schemes that I indicated. It has nothing to do with any ad hoc special arrangement for Windsor.
Mr. Epp: Under the Ontario Youth Employment Program, otherwise known as OYEP, the minister has indicated an additional expenditure there of $6 million. There is some detail there but not very much. I wonder whether the minister -- and I don’t expect he would have it with him right now -- could indicate some kind of breakdown, first as to the different kinds of industries that have received these grants; and secondly, on the basis of the municipalities that have received the grants?
As you know, they could be distributed in one part of the province or they could be distributed in another. I am wondering whether you could provide us with these details some time in the future.
Hon. Mr. Wells: I would be happy to do that, provided it can be obtained. We could see if that kind of statistical breakout could be done on the applications. That’s in regard to municipalities and the types of jobs.
Mr. Chairman: Any further questions or comments?
Hon. Mr. Wells: I just thought that I should indicate to my friends, the opposition critics, that they have the backup paper that we gave them. However, I neglected in my opening remarks, to point out that while the additional amount required for the Ontario Youth Employment Program is actually $6 million and the additional sum for the unconditional grants is $5 million, we have partially offset that by savings in other sections of the ministry, totalling nearly $3 million. Therefore, the totals to be voted are $8,047,000.
I thought I should point that out that while we are asking for additional moneys for several of the programs in the ministry, there have been savings in a number of other programs, which are itemized on the support sheets which I sent to the critics.
Vote 1103B agreed to.
SUPPLEMENTARY ESTIMATES, MINISTRY OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
On vote 1301, law officer of the crown program; item 5, royal commissions:
Mr. Peterson: Could I ask the parliamentary assistant what specific royal commission is this referring to or are there various ones?
Mr. Sterling: This deals with several commissions and inquiries. Basically, the supplementary was necessary for three major inquiries and commissions. First of all, the Kim Anne Popen inquiry accounted for $272,000 of this.
Mr. Peterson: That’s the total cost of that? Mr. Sterling: That’s the estimated cost for 1978-79, to March 31; of course, that was not foreseen at the time the estimates were brought forward. The major one of all of them was the confidentiality of health records commission. Although there was some indication that this commission would take place, it was not known at the time the estimate material was produced. That accounted for $795,000.
The third major one was the one dealing with freedom of information and individual privacy. Although there was an estimated cost of $406,100 in the original 1978-79 estimates, at the time that it was done it was not known how high the profile and the research would be at that particular time. We have now discovered they have increased their research at a much faster rate than we had originally anticipated; that accounts for $319,500.
The other areas relate basically to finishing off commissions which had acquired printing costs at the tail-end of those particular commissions.
Mr. Peterson: May I ask a supplementary:
Have you reviewed the suggestions of the public accounts committee with respect to royal commissions? You are aware of the very sloppy procedures that have gone on in the funding of some of these royal commissions. They have been very unclear as to what date, in fact, the commission was finished; and there is certain evidence, mostly as a result of the LaMarsh commission, that people were drawing their per diems some time after the publishing of their report.
Could you bring us up to date on the current state of the guidelines under which the royal commissions are operating to curb these abuses we saw in the past?
Mr. Sterling: I cannot comment as fully as the member would perhaps like me to, unfortunately, however as you can appreciate, there is always some difficulty in relation to commissions and inquiries in knowing exactly the scope of the material and the problem with which you are getting involved.
Also, it is difficult to control expenditures and not be accused of trying to force the commission to a conclusion without having all the facts placed before it.
The ministry is now, I understand, actively considering the guidelines as produced by the public accounts committee. I would hope the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) would have some information for you on the progress of that consideration. Could I have the Attorney General give you some date on which he would expect that consideration to be completed?
Mr. Peterson: You will undertake to speak to him and furnish me with any knowledge that you have, or at least to inform me of the current state of the work in that area?
Mr. Sterling: Yes, I will.
Mr. Nixon: Mr. Chairman, the other matter pertaining to royal commissions that has always concerned me a bit is that we seem to have developed a sort of standard fee for counsel, or at least a minimum fee; no counsel worthy of the name would accept a royal commission appointment at less than $100 an hour. These commissioners spend a good deal of time hearing public presentations, and while their counsel would of course be very intensely interested in the views expressed by the many delegations, paying $100 an hour for that kind of advice seems to me a bloody waste.
I don’t know what the way of this might be. It could possibly be that the Justice policy secretary might maintain a short list of senior counsel, who as a matter of service to the community and the taxpayers are perhaps prepared to act for something less than $100 an hour, on the basis that once their expenses and some moderate assistance is met they don’t have to make the family fortune in one royal commission.
The same, to a lesser degree, applies to our select committees, where the going rate is now about $70 an hour. While the people advising our select committees and commissions are undoubtedly extremely capable, I don’t think anybody is worth that kind of money. I am sure the parliamentary assistant agrees with me, now that he is not in the running for those appointments at the present time.
I just wanted to express these views before the vote carried, because I’m quite convinced the size of the amounts voted are not so much to serve the royal commission in any aspect other than to be sure legal counsel is available, that’s where the money goes. I think we spend too much money on it.
Mr. Sterling: I’d take note of your comments. I think perhaps the problem related to the hourly fee and the per diem fee, that is not reflected, is the overhead that lawyer has accrued around him in terms of his legal office.
Mr. Martel: Here comes the legal beagle.
Mr. Sterling: For instance, if you are a criminal lawyer who practices in the courts, the overhead surrounding that type of a legal person is much less than a person who is practicing solicitor’s work. I would think if a certain counsel is doing a great deal of this type of work in fact he should be paid a lesser rate per hour, then he or she wouldn’t attract that kind of baggage around them. I take note of your comment and we’ll pass the same on to the Attorney General.
Mr. Nixon: I don’t know, really, what the solution is, obviously; and I guess no one does, but it could possibly be there are certain senior members of the bar, particularly those who are Queen’s counsels, who perhaps might rise above the crasser aspects of the size of their retainer. Perhaps we should make those QCs more desirable by not giving them to everybody who stays alive, or stays warm for 11 years.
Mrs. Campbell: And out of prison.
Mr. Nixon: And out of prison. That, I understand, is not one of the major requirements. It may be in the future only QCs could serve on royal commissions -- at no fee but as sort of one of the responsibilities that goes with the QC. It could be that a designation as counsel to royal commission would be restricted to QCs and be considered more or less as a command performance, or perhaps even a once in a lifetime service to fellow taxpayers, in partial repayment for the education and the opportunities given to that individual.
Honestly, for us to sit placidly by and fork out $100 an hour plus, really makes me feel we’re not accepting our duties. The $100 an hour is minimum. There’s a rumour going around that some of the better-known lawyers, when they appear before committees of the House, command a fee of $1,000 a day. While I suppose there are certain people, learned in the law, who can charge any fee they want as long as there are those gullible enough to pay it, surely we don’t have to be in that category.
I have a feeling the royal commissioners, when they are selected by order in council, and they are almost without exception judges, with all of the impartiality and wisdom that go with their learned and honourable responsibility; the first thing they do in looking around for counsel is select somebody who probably doesn’t need that kind of money.
I say to you, Mr. Chairman, and to the parliamentary assistant, we should do something about this.
An hon. member: I think we need legal aid.
Mr. Sterling: I can only comment that in so far as I have not yet been appointed a QC, I would agree with many of your comments.
Mr. Martel: Except when it affects the lawyers’ income.
Mr. Sterling: If I’m not a QC, then some of the comments don’t apply.
Mr. Mattel: But you’re aspiring.
Mr. Sterling: I haven’t been practicing long enough to qualify. At any rate, I would think the only possibility is there might be some movement, and I think there should be some movement, perhaps towards a sliding scale in relation to the total time spent on a particular commission. As the time increases, as a lawyer spends more and more time on a particular commission, if it’s a very involved commission, then his overhead really does drop, because his secretary starts to get picked up by other members of the law firm and they utilize his overhead around him.
An hon. member: Picked up by who?
Mr. Peterson: What are you accusing lawyers of doing now?
Mrs. Campbell: Wait a minute; would you come again on that last statement about his secretary?
Mr. Sterling: They pick up the time that she would normally be doing legal work for him and utilize her fully. Again, I don’t know what the total answer is, but I also agree that there should be a look at it.
Mrs. Campbell: I would just like to ask just how it is that this comes in this time, when, as I recall, during the estimates of the Attorney General there was some considerable discussion about royal commissions when we were on that vote. I regret I haven’t had an opportunity to really research what happened or what was said on that occasion, because I too didn’t receive these until today, although I’m told that they were available on Friday. I was here. I didn’t receive them.
I wonder if we could ask that the Attorney General might give us at some future time, hopefully before the House prorogues, further information on these matters? As I say, there was discussion and I don’t think there was any indication at all given that these estimates would be coming in as high as this. I think there was some suggestion that we would need an additional amount.
It does seem to me that when we’re doing estimates as late as we were doing the Attorney General’s estimates, we should have had this kind of information when we could enter into an appropriate debate.
As far as the counsel are concerned, I don’t suppose that the government is in the position to apply for legal aid for the appointment of counsel. However, I too am of the opinion that sometimes these appointments seem to get out of hand. I would hope that we would be looking at them.
I would also ask if there is no way that we could monitor these expenses as they go? Surely there must have been some point in time prior to this point when we knew a little better just where we were going with all of these overruns in the various commissions. I would hope that we would have some kind of monitoring procedure so that there could be some attempt at some control, or at least an ongoing explanation of increases.
Mr. Sterling: I would like to undertake to the member for St. George that we are quite willing to provide her with the full details of the supplementary estimates. We appreciate her problem in not having all the full details at this time.
Again, I relate to my opening remarks in answer to the previous question that it is, indeed, difficult to control these expenditures. We are looking at the public accounts report in trying to give better guidelines to these commissions so that we can account better to this Legislature for the spending that is going on.
Mr. Laughren: We need a socialist Attorney General, that’s what. You guys don’t know how to control expenditures at all.
Vote 1301 agreed to.
SUPPLEMENTARY ESTIMATES, PROVINCIAL SECRETARY FOR RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT
On vote 1701, resources development policy program; item 1, resources development secretariat:
Hon. Mr. Brunelle: I wanted to give a brief explanation, Mr. Chairman. The amount requested is $57,300, which represents one-third of the total budget of the office of the Indian Commission of Ontario. The total budget is $171,900, and that is divided three ways -- one-third, federal; one-third, provincial; one-third from the native organizations.
As the honourable members recall, in Mr. Justice Hartt’s interim report of the Royal Commission on the Northern Environment, it recommended that a secretariat be established to facilitate the tripartite process and to assist with the mediation of issues when the three parties request such assistance.
The secretariat was named the Indian Commission of Ontario. It was established by an order in council on September 27, 1978, and Justice Hartt was appointed as commissioner. As the honourable members know, the tripartite process came into being in March of this year with representatives from the federal government, the provincial government and the native people.
Mr. Martel: Mr. Chairman, I want to talk for a few moments about the commission and the whole problem of native people this commission will attempt to grapple with.
I well recall meeting with Chief Justice Patrick Hartt to discuss the problems of the native community. No one knows them any better than my friend the minister, who has been in this building a little longer than I; but I despair.
I’ve been here 11 years now and we have talked about assisting native people for those 11 years. We really haven’t got to first base yet and we haven’t even made a dent on the problems encountered by our native people. I get so depressed as we use the native people as a political football. We toss them back and forth between the federal and provincial authority and nothing gets done, so you don’t have to spend money helping our native people.
As one who comes from northern Ontario, I find it really depressing how long it’s taken. The province is now 111 years old, or some ridiculous figure, and the government has simply ignored the needs of the native people. We’ve done that successfully by saying, “The jurisdiction is with the federal authority.” The province opts out of it that way and the federal authorities have got another thing.
I remember reading Harold Cardinal’s book. He advocated the abolition of the Department of Indian Affairs because most of the money for our native people --
Mr. Nixon: The Department of Indian Affairs offered that, the Indians rejected it.
Mr. Martel: Mr. Chairman, I’m not talking to the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk.
Mr. Nixon: I just wanted to help you, I want to help you in every way possible.
Mr. Martel: I hardly think I need your help today, maybe tomorrow I’ll call on you, Bob.
Mr. Kerrio: You sound like a scattergun, you talk to everybody.
Mr. Martel: Well those that want to get in the way --
Mr. Nixon: Bang.
Mr. Martel: That’s right.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order.
Mr. Martel: I want to go back to the treatment of the native people in northern Ontario without any interference. I kind of resent that when I talk about native people, about acting on their behalf --
Mr. Kerrio: A great entry; Elie the actor.
Mr. Nixon: The big reserves are in the south.
Mr. Kerrio: You’re acting when you turn to speak to everybody.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order.
Mr. Martel: When I talk about the native people it is because I have seen the plight in northern Ontario. You will see native kids today, in 1978, with lousy rubber boots on and summer stockings. You might come and see that sometime, Vince. It might do your heart good to go out there and do a little work among them.
We continue to toss them I back and forth. The Department of Indian Affairs spends more money on the bureaucracy than it does on the Indians or their problem. We haven’t done a thing, really. I’ve heard that back and forth for 11 years, that we’re going to do something on behalf of the native community. But we haven’t, and we should be ashamed of ourselves. We put them with the Ministry of Culture and Recreation for awhile, of all places. I think that’s an indication of how seriously the government of Ontario treats the native people, when they put them in the Ministry of Culture and Recreation.
We’ve got to do more than that. Thank God Pat Hartt is heading this up. As I spoke to him he outlined the horrors he encountered in the year and a half or so he was involved -- horrors we’ve never even encountered in all our discussions in this Legislature, about youngsters eight and nine years old already on alcohol. It’s a sad commentary on a government.
We managed to have a budget of over $14 billion this year. I wonder how much of it’s going to the native community to make sure it has the funds necessary to get involved in a number of projects using the resources that might be on their reserve.
Certainly the size of the reserves is something that might he looked at some day, to make them viable. I don’t know any reserve up north that is all that viable at its present size. What is in some of those reserves isn’t going to help the native community to make its own way in the way it sees fit.
I recall making a suggestion to one of your colleagues a number of years ago, and to my friend the member for Algoma-Manitoulin (Mr. Lane) about one of the projects one would immediately undertake or should undertake. I recall telling you, in fact, when you were then Minister of Community and Social Services and responsible for the native people, I believe I suggested to you that we should make Manitoulin into a federal-provincial park, using a full-scale plan to develop it, leaving what is in place there now but developing the rest of the island into a federal-provincial park employing native people. That is the type of work they are used to doing; that is what they would go on doing.
Mr. Laughren: They are too busy paving
Mr. Martel: We could employ them on a year-round basis. I think the unemployment rate up there, or the welfare rate -- my friend from Algoma-Manitoulin could tell me -- is about 17 per cent in the native community, or maybe higher. It is an idea. The minister was going to have it looked into, but I have never heard to this day the results of any inquiry he made or anything be had done with respect to that sort of idea involving the native people; utilizing funds from the province, hopefully in conjunction with the federal authorities, to provide meaningful work in the areas that our native people like and are used to.
You can’t take their culture from them as you would want to do. You can’t make nice little white boys out of them. It won’t work. I don’t think they want it taken from them.
You can’t take 10,000 years of history out of their bloodstream and say: “You will now be a nice little white man and you can do the white man’s work, with all his mentality.” It isn’t going to work. They have a different mentality from ours. We have to gear our programs, hopefully, to things they themselves want to do.
We are not prepared, in this province, to do that yet I hope the creation of the Indian Commission of Ontario might ultimately lead to some of those decisions involving our native people who have a lot to contribute; we could learn from them.
Mr. J. A. Taylor: They are contributing.
Mr. Martel: Who is?
Mr. J. A. Taylor: The native people.
Mr. Martel: I wish you would come to northern Ontario to help them contribute, because they are prepared to do it, providing they are given the wherewithal to do that.
Mr. J. A. Taylor: Don’t sell short the contribution of the native people.
Mr. Martel: We sent you off to university, God knows why. Look at what it has done to you.
Mr. J. A. Taylor: Don’t sell short the contribution of the native people to northern Ontario.
Mr. Martel: If you are what comes out of our universities, heaven forbid. I’d prefer to pump some money in there to assist them at the same rate that we do in other areas.
Hon. W. Newman: You taught him.
Mr. Martel: No, I never taught him. You can tell that. I just say I hope the government will put a little of that green stuff up front.
Mr. J. A. Taylor: Not just the money. It is how you spend it.
Mr. Martel: Will you rule him out of order, Mr. Chairman? He keeps interfering.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: I would ask the member simply to ignore the interjections and proceed with his address to the chair.
Mr. Martel: How can I overlook stupidity like that? That is asking too much.
Mr. J. A. Taylor: He is jesting with you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: I asked the member for Sudbury East to please proceed. Would the member for Prince Edward-Lennox please wait his turn to have the floor?
Mr. Martel: I want to conclude. I hope we will find the wherewithal, the cash that is necessary to provide the equipment or materials they need in order that they can utilize the resources at their disposal to provide a decent livelihood for themselves and for their families. We have to make that commitment; it is time we stopped playing around as we have in the 11 years I have been here. One only has to look at the Whitedog and the Grassy Narrows reserves to understand that we haven’t even been prepared to move in there in any meaningful way outside of putting a refrigerator in the place.
Mr. Nixon: I don’t have much confidence, actually, in Her Honour’s chief advisers in the front row, but what residual confidence I retain probably rests with the honourable minister whose supplementary estimates we are now discussing.
Mr. Laughren: He is a doctor now.
Mr. Nixon: If he is a doctor then somebody showed a lot of good sense.
Mr. Laughren: He is Dr. Brunelle, compliments of Laurentian.
Mr. Nixon: Was it Moonbeam university that finally recognized him?
Mr. J. A. Taylor: They saw the light.
Mr. Deputy Chairman: Order.
Mr. Nixon: Anyway, I share a good many of the views expressed by the honourable member who has just spoken. I am not, however, nearly as confident as he is that this tripartite commission is going to do anything.
I am very much concerned that we are handing this continuing problem to another administratively top-heavy body, which is going to be a convenient repository to which we can hand the problem.
There was a time when I used to tell the government and this minister and some of his colleagues, that we in this Legislature had not accepted any of the responsibility at all, other than to rise for a five or 10-minute period once a year and berate the government for not doing enough about the continuing Indian problem. However positive we sound on this side, the minister is well aware that we don’t have any of the answers either. The solution to the problem has very little to do with money, even though we are now voting enough to hire a couple of staff members for our share of the tripartite committee.
I used to urge on the minister, believe it or not, that a select committee of this House made up of all three parties, constitute itself and go into the north -- and of course to the other reserves -- the bigger and more populous ones are in southern Ontario -- and meet the Indians on their own ground; that we try to shut up for a few minutes -- which is a very difficult thing for us to do, and that includes people of all parties -- and listen to what the Indians themselves have to say. Sometimes it takes them quite a while to decide what they have to say, because really, the leadership in the Indian community is very similar to ours. We really would like to do something about it but it is not at all clear what should be done.
I do feel, however, that we might begin building a bit more goodwill if we would tear ourselves from the sumptuous precincts of Queen’s Park and Sutton Place -- which is where the ministers in the past have entertained the Indian chiefs when they come down, with Stilton cheese and everything else that all the ministers have grown used to -- and go up there and have some wild rice and moose meat and whatever else is there, and stay long enough so it is not some kind of a superficial intrusion into the lives of the people on the reserve but is a visit by people who want to talk about the problems of employment, the provision of basic living services, alcoholism -- which perhaps should be number one -- and whatever else could be put on the agenda by the spokesmen and spokeswomen for the Indian community and the members of the Legislature.
We had a select committee on Indian affairs, reporting about 1958 I would say, which visited the reserves. It contributed to some extent to our education, at least of the members involved. I’m not sure it did very much for the Indians, although there were a few specific things that did occur. Roads were built in the Six Nations reservation, which believe it or not was a very difficult thing to get done. It was almost impossible to find a way to finance the building of any structure, in this case a road, on an Indian reserve since, as someone has already pointed out, the basic and first responsibility lies with the government of Canada. Under its agreement with most of the reserves, it must pay for education, health services, transportation and so on; but many of the reserves now have a democratically elected council, and while fortunately they do not have the responsibility to levy land taxes and things like that -- and that is the last thing they should ever be asked to levy -- in my view they do have the right to the same kinds of grants from provincial services as any other community.
Mr. J. A. Taylor: Right, that’s right.
Mr. Nixon: After all, the Indian people pay sales tax, at least off the reserve, and gas tax and so on; so we should be prepared, not to determine the number of dollars that accrue to the Indian account per se, but to see that those communities have the same facilities as any other by way of assistance for education and housing and so on.
I recommend that sometime in the future a committee of this House, made up of members from all parties, actually go and spend some time on the reserves. It has to be well-orchestrated, well-organized, that’s the basic point. I would suggest that the honourable minister who is answering for these special estimates would be one of the few people who could act as chairman and receive support from all people concerned, particularly the Indians. It is essential that we not have some kind of grand procession where we go in and have a meal and everybody claps hands all around, but that we do spend the time to hear what the Indians have to say.
I say again, the answers are not found in the minds of anybody in this House, or any experts in some bureau and within the Indian community itself, but together we might take some tentative first steps toward improving a situation which is almost as bad as portrayed by my honourable friend the House leader of the NDP, who is, as you can see, dramatically and continuingly interested in this subject.
I don’t have any answers other than perhaps sometime next summer, or the one after perhaps, the Liberal administration could call the minister back for this very duty, and that would be my recommendation.
Mr. Watson: Is that an Ontario Liberal?
Hon. Mr. Brunelle: I appreciate the constructive comments of the members for Sudbury East (Mr. Martel) and Brant-Oxford-Norfolk. As the member for Sudbury East mentioned, I have, as one of the members of this Legislature, probably the largest number of native people in my riding. I try and visit them occasionally and I do get confused on what comes under federal jurisdiction and what comes under provincial jurisdiction.
The tripartite council was established, at the request of the native people and also on the recommendation of Justice Patrick Hartt, for that very purpose, to try and disentangle what is federal and what is provincial. I would like to mention that, as the member for Sudbury East knows, under the BNA Act the native people are the main responsibility of the federal government. This complex question is not one that relates only to Ontario; the four western provinces also have this very same problem. They meet occasionally, and we meet with them also, to try to come to grips with it.
I agree that the native people in our province certainly deserve additional assistance. They have a rich culture; they are very resourceful. Some of our best artists are Indian people and more should be done to help them upgrade themselves. I think we all agree that Justice Hartt, who has the interest of the native people at heart, is probably one of the best persons to do this work, to facilitate the tripartite process and at the same time provide mediation wherever there is a need.
The member for Sudbury East mentioned that more money should be spent. I am not sure it is a question of more money, because it would be very surprising to find the amount of money that is being spent by the federal government and the provincial government. It comes to a fair amount of money per capita, so it is not a question of more money. I think it is a question of better allocation of the resources and really trying to help them, especially those who live in remote areas. Tourism, for instance, has a great potential and more could be done there.
I agree that the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk has a very good recommendation, that a select committee comprised of members of the three parties should be established. I think some good could come out of it because I know that every member of this House has the interest of the native people at heart. Just what should be done is very difficult, but I think by getting together, by visiting the native people, we will be able to understand their problems and to assist them.
Again, the amount of money being asked for is only one-third of the total budget and it is to establish the office of Justice Patrick Hartt, who I am sure will do excellent work in helping the native people.
Mr. MacDonald: I have a question to ask the minister, but before I do that may I just comment briefly on the minister’s last observation?
Unwittingly, that observation is very provocative and not very constructive -- to say that per capita-wise a great deal of money is being spent by the two levels of government on Indians. The Indians have argued for years that a monstrous proportion of that money is being spent on the bureaucracy and a small percentage of it gets through in terms of real services to the Indians.
I would be interested sometime in the minister or somebody trying to analyze the expenditures to find out how much of it is going to the bureaucracy, because if there are cost benefits here, one sometimes wonders whether the cost benefit isn’t for the bureaucrats rather than for the Indians for whom presumably the money is in the first instance appropriated.
However, that isn’t what provoked me to rise. Over the weekend I was rather intrigued to hear a news story in one of the media to the effect that among the constitutional changes the federal government is now contemplating is the transfer of all Indian matters to the provincial level of government. I was curious to know whether the minister is aware of this consideration; and if he is, to what extent, if any, have the provinces been involved up to this point in this possible transfer of Indian affairs totally to the provincial level?
Hon. Mr. Brunelle: Mr. Speaker, with reference to the first matter, the honourable member is quite right; I didn’t explain myself, it’s quite true. The amount of money that is being spent is mainly on the bureaucracy. I am told there may be 1,000 federal civil servants administering the budget, so it’s quite true the amount of money that goes to the individual Indian is certainly quite small.
With reference to the second matter, the federal government had been trying to transfer as much as possible to the provincial government; however, I am not aware of any change. To my knowledge there has been no change in the present position. I read the weekend papers and I didn’t see it. If the honourable member would send me a copy of that article, I would be pleased to look into it, but I am not aware of any change in policy. The actual policy at the present time, under the tripartite council as I mentioned earlier, is to try to sort out, to disentangle this huge very complex area.
Mr. MacDonald: Just briefly: I have nothing in fact to give the minister. I think I heard it on the electronic media, so I haven’t even got a copy to be able to give to him. I think the question to the minister, really, and I assume he has already answered it, is whether the switch of Indian affairs from federal to provincial is in the constitutional hopper at this point; rather than this pressure for a piecemeal transfer of Indian affairs to the province, which has been going on for years?
As you know, at both levels of government there’s a considerable amount of consideration as to what should be done in the transfer of powers once we get to stage two of the constitutional change exercise in which we are now engaged. I have nothing to offer the minister and I assume he has nothing to offer us.
Hon. Mr. Brunelle: All I can say, Mr. Chairman, is the Indian Act is under review, but I am not aware of any change at this time.
Vote 1701 agreed to.
SUPPLEMENTARY ESTIMATES, MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE AND FOOD
On vote 1802, agricultural production program; item 4, farm income stabilization.
Hon. W. Newman: Mr. Chairman, I would just like to point out the reason for the supplementary estimates this year on the corn stabilization program.
As you know, we passed a stabilization bill in this House. The stabilization commission was into operation really effectively for the 1977 crop year. It was a record crop year for corn in the province of Ontario and the number of producers we estimated would be into the program was exceeded; and of course the yields anticipated on the corn crops across the province were exceeded. Using the formula and the program we worked out, our stabilization program requires a total gross payment of 12 cents a bushel, which is $4.77 per tonne. The producer fee is four cents per bushel, and of course the provincial fee is eight cents a bushel. When this is all calculated out, and we are estimating very close right now, the total costs will be about $8.5 million. We estimated a little over $5.2 million in our budget, and the payout will amount to about $8.5 million to the 11,000 producers of this province. That’s why we need the additional funds in order to cover our commitment under the stabilization commission and under the act.
Mr. Riddell: I am never too concerned about the spending in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food when we consider that about 1.5 per cent of the total provincial budget is devoted to agriculture, which I think is really a crying shame. Certainly, we are not going Ito get up and object to any kind of a supplementary estimate or payments being made to farmers.
Mr. Laughren: Ag reps get most of that.
Hon. W. Newman: Nonsense.
Mr. Riddell: I would assume from your comments the farm income stabilization program has been more enthusiastically supported by the farmers than maybe you predicted. Could the minister give us some indication as to the percentage of producers who are making use of this program?
The reason I ask is that, as one goes across the country and talks to farmers, they think the program is a bit of a farce. I know a lot of them did not make application for corn stabilization this year when the application forms came out, particularly when you are asking for something like $1,000 to turn into the fund, which of course is for three years.
When the farmers sat down and figured out what the interest on that investment was going to be and the rest of it, they simply decided it wasn’t worthwhile going into.
Would the minister enlighten us as to the kind of response he is getting from the farmers to this stabilization program, which was brought into effect a couple of years ago?
Hon. W. Newman: Yes, I would be glad to answer that. There are around 20,000 to 22,000 corn producers in Ontario. About half of these, or about 11,000 or 12,000, are grain-corn producers.
The member should keep in mind that the first year of the program was the 1977 crop year, which finished at the end of August 1978. In the first year, the Farm Income Stabilization Commission, which runs its own show -- it is very independent and so it should be -- came forward and suggested that to get the program started, rather than working on a three-year program, because it had just been put in place, it would work on a one-year basis to start with. Thus, we got the 11,000 producers.
The commission has been working very closely over the past years with various commodity boards; it has had meetings with many of them. There are three different groups that have joined lip on a three-year basis
I agree that, on a three-year basis, if a producer wants to -- it is a voluntary program -- he can get involved and make his payment. For every dollar he puts in as a producer, there is a potential $2 back if there is a payout from the province. If he wants to, a producer can take his chances. For instance, the cow-calf program is a five-year program, and this year the vast majority of the farmers decided they were going to take their chances and not get into the program.
Once the stabilization commission got to talking about a three-year program -- and it did get into a three-year program this year for corn, soybeans and white beans -- on a stabilization program they are signed up for three years. There aren’t as many producers there, because it is a voluntary thing; if an individual farmer wants to take a chance over the next three years on whether there is going to be a stabilization payment or not, that is up to him. I think that’s the way it should be.
There are not as many on a three-year program, nor would one expect as many on a three-year program, because they must sign up for three years. The 1977 crop year was a heavy crop year and prices were down; there will be a federal payment for the farmers as well on the 1977 calendar-year crop.
I am saying that I think the program, as we have it in place, is going to work very well for the farmers. There are always those who are sceptical of any new program. I could go back over the history of crop insurance and say how it started out very slowly and how, over a period of years, it has become a very acceptable program in Ontario for the producers of this province.
Like any new program, it was well advertised this time. We have three groups in, and we hope that on an ongoing basis more will come in during the coming year, and they will be on a three-year program. It will be an ongoing three-year phase.
This year, as the member knows, the price of corn so far has been a little better than it was in the 1977 crop year. A good deal of the corn is being moved out when it is harvested; although we are getting more and more on-farm storage, which is a good program, so that farmers can hold back and feed the market as it is needed.
I am confident that we are going to have a very productive program here, although we are having discussions with Ottawa regarding an overall change in their legislation, or a change in their stabilization program. We have had discussions as recently as two or three weeks ago when I was in Ottawa with the federal and provincial ministers to discuss a stabilization program called the guarantee margin approach. There are ongoing discussions on that now with the provinces. I think in the province of Ontario we have a good program. It’s proven itself in the 1977 calendar year profit for the farmers. I think as time goes by it will prove itself very beneficial to the farmers of this province.
Mr. MacDonald I don’t think I have anything more to ask really, because this appropriation is rather limited in terms of getting the extra money to be able to meet the corn stabilization proposal for the remainder of this fiscal year, which is only three more months. I must say, however, I was rather taken aback at the frank assertions by leading farmers at the Ontario Federation of Agriculture convention with regard to their near total bewilderment in trying to understand what the new federal program is going to be and how it is going to mesh with the provincial programs.
I recognize that this is the underlying policy rather than the specific estimate we’ve got here, but it seems to me that at some point soon it would be useful for all concerned if the minister could make a statement with regard to what is happening. I think Gordon Hill and Frank Wehl, two leading people from the federal and the provincial levels, were speaking to it and they both asserted at the end of their statements, “If you understand this you’re a little bit better than I am,” including Peter Hannam, who was at the podium at that point, chairing the meeting. I repeat to the minister, some time soon, early in the new year, I think it would be useful if some sort of a memorandum of the state of negotiations or the state of the offers, and specifically how the two programs are going to mesh, could be made available to members of the House, and, indeed, if there’s that much confusion out among farm leaders it would be useful for farmers too.
Hon. W. Newman: I think the agriculture critic for the New Democratic Party makes a very good point.
Mr. Laughren: Oh, he does?
Hon. W. Newman: I give credit where credit is due occasionally. Not very often. I would say that we have already put the wheels in motion to ask the federal stabilization people if they will come down and meet with various organizations to explain the guaranteed margin approach. I tell you, it is very confusing. I have one example worked out here which would take me half an hour to explain to you. I’m saying, in effect, that the economists, when they get to playing around with those figures, leave me thoroughly confused. The bottom line is what I was interested in. It means they’d be paying more money out in Ottawa than they are now. That kind of intrigued me.
I am saying to you that we have already put into motion asking Ottawa if they will come down and explain the guaranteed margin approach to various farm organizations and farm groups, because it is complicated and it is difficult to understand. We’ve already asked them if they will have meetings to come down and explain their approach.
I have a lot of other concerns besides the guaranteed margin approach on the named commodities. I’m very much concerned about the regional commodities too and there are a great number of concerns there that would have to be ironed out at the same time.
Mr. Riddell: What commodities?
Hon. W. Newman: The regional, like provincial commodities, that are not covered under the proposed federal stabilization program. But we are doing just that asking them to come down and explain it to the various groups.
Mr. MacDonald: Just one final point if I may. If it’s not too offensive to the minister’s concept of protocol or to the concept of protocol on the part of the commodity groups involved, I would appreciate knowing when that meeting is going to take place. If they don’t object to the Liberal critic and myself sitting in, I’d like to sort out the confusion in my own mind, if nowhere else.
Hon. W. Newman: Mr. Chairman, I’d be very happy, depending on which group they’re meeting with, if they’re prepared to have you along and would like to have you there, I would have no objection at all myself. Whether it’s the Ontario Federation of Agriculture or the commodity groups or whoever is involved, I have no objection to you sitting in at all. I think it’s a great idea. It’s very educational. I know it was for me when I went through it the first time.
Mr. G. I. Miller: My colleague from Huron-Middlesex asked how many participated in the 1978 crop year. I don’t think the minister indicated how many there were. What happens to those funds that have been paid in, say, in 1978? Are they held as a carryover for next year? Just how does that system work? Thirdly, has there been any announcement in the 1977 crop year for wheat payout? Has that been established yet?
Hon. W. Newman: As far as wheat payout is concerned, the Ontario Wheat Producers Marketing Board was not involved in the stabilization program in 1977, so there would be no payout under this bill. It’s a producer-participating program, so there was no payout. Let’s make sure we keep the confusion sorted out. You’re maybe talking about the federal program. As far as the provincial program is concerned, there was no program in place.
I mentioned there were three programs put in place in the 1978 year -- corn, soya beans and white beans. Other groups are coming forward and having ongoing discussions with the Farm Income Stabilization Commission of Ontario now.
You asked me how many were joined up in 1978 under the corn plan; I think that’s what you asked. The answer is somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000. I’m not sure of the exact number at this point in time.
Mr. Riddell: Out of how many producers -- 12,000?
Hon. W. Newman: That many joined out of about 11,000 grain producers, yes. They’re into a voluntary three-year program.
The other question you asked me was what happens to the funds they pay in. Each commodity will be kept in a separate account; so the corn people won’t be paying for stabilization, it will be kept in separate accounts.
Mr. Riddell: Assuming there won’t be a payout in a period of three, four, or five years, what happens to the producers’ part of the payment to the program? It seems to me there was some indication they would get that back over a period of five years. Am I right?
Hon. W. Newman: A lot depends on whether there’s a payout or not at the end of a three-year period. For those who came in the first year there is some arrangement made that at the end of three years there would be a reduction in premiums for them. I think through the farm income stabilization commission each three-year period would be dealt with on a commodity basis, I think that’s exactly how it works.
Vote 1502 agreed to.
SUPPLEMENTARY ESTIMATES, MINISTRY OF ENERGY
On vote 1906, energy supply program; item 1, Ontario Energy Corporation administration:
Hon. Mr. Auld: The amount requested here is for the Ontario Energy Board, which in turn would he advancing this further amount to Syncrude.
At the beginning of the year, when the estimates were drawn together, we had an anticipated total investment in Syncrude this year of $24.8 million, which would be offset by estimated revenue from Syncrude of $12.7 million, for a net of $12.1 million; and an investment in Polar Gas of $2.5 million. We had anticipated a total in this part of the vote of $14.6 million.
A delay in Syncrude’s startup, slightly higher cost estimates and lower revenue forecasts, results in this request which we had taken to Management Board in September for an additional loan of $6.5 million, which will bring the total for this year to $21.1 million.
Mr. J. Reed: I wonder what accounted for an unexpected delay that would cost Ontario $6.5 million? I wonder, too, seeing as we are in for five per cent on this program, does that mean that the $6.5 million represents five per cent of an overall deficit?
Hon. Mr. Auld: To give you a nice firm answer, yes and no.
Mr. J. Reed: That is about your batting average.
We are in for five per cent of the current operation and get five per cent of the revenue. I can’t say whether all the figures have been allocated as far as any overexpenditures are concerned because, of course, the year isn’t over yet, and neither has all the revenue for the year come in so there may well be some final adjustment, but I would say that basically the member would be close.
The delay in the commencement of production from May until July resulted in unexpected costs for plant fixup and preproduction operating expenses. There was a fire in one part of the operation in, as I recall, the end of August or early September. The decision to shut down train number one coker had a bearing on this. Then, since the time our estimates were put together, when we didn’t know the actual shipping costs of the crude applicable to Syncrude, we now have a firmer estimate and that is part of the additional cost. The revenue receipts, of course, were less because production did not start when we had anticipated.
There is one other small but significant matter. That is, the actual receipt of the proceeds to each of the shareholders from the sale of the crude has been delayed about a month. As the honourable member is aware, the Alberta Petroleum Marketing Commission is the agent which markets Ontario’s crude for us and they are forwarding money about a month later than we had originally anticipated, so there has been a slight slowup in the cash flow.
Mr. J. Reed: Is the decision to delay payment by a month a unilateral decision that can be taken without some kind of prior arrangement with this government?
Hon. Mr. Auld: My understanding is that there may have been a misunderstanding on our part as to how long it was going to take for the money to be collected by them and then passed along to us.
Vote 1906 agreed to.
SUPPLEMENTARY ESTIMATES, MINISTRY OF COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES
On vote 2703, college and adult education support program; item 1, support for colleges of applied arts and technology and other organizations:
Hon. Mr. McCague: Mr. Chairman, in the absence of the Minister of Colleges and Universities (Miss Stephenson), who is attending a meeting of provincial ministers, I would like to explain that the reason for these supplementary estimates is --
Mr. Laughren: She has to buy a new computer.
Hon. Mr. McCague: -- that at estimates time last year it was unclear how much money would be transferred from the federal government in aid of apprenticeship training and adult training in the CAATS and other organizations. The original estimate was $65.1 million. This amount was increased by $14 million following the printing of the estimates. It now appears that only $10 million of the $14 million will be used, thus, the supplementary estimate is for $10 million.
Mr. Cooke: Mr. Chairman, I’ll just be very brief. I find it kind of incredible that while there is $14 million available, the ministry at this point in time is only using $10 million of it in apprenticeship and manpower training when we know, in Ontario, how desperately we need more skilled tradesmen.
Also, I find it incredible when you consider that the unemployment rate in this province is 12.3 per cent for young people between the ages of 16 and 24. It seems to me that some of this money should have been directed into that field so that more retraining and upgrading could be available to these people to meet the needs of our economy in this province rather than having to become very frustrated as unemployed young people. We all know the consequences of the high unemployment rate for our young people, and I think society will in the next number of years fully realize the consequences and fully feel the impact.
I am especially concerned because in my home area of Windsor, where the Ford Motor Company is going to be expanding, there is a tremendous need for new skilled tradesmen and, by 1981, as I mentioned in question period, there will be a need for well over 1,000 new skilled tradesmen. In talking with St. Clair College officials, they tell me their budget has been so tight in the area of manpower retraining, apprenticeship, et cetera, that they have not been able to expand and will not be able to expand to meet the need.
What that means is that in the next few years in Windsor we will have to import workers either from the United States or from Europe to meet the need. While the provincial government kicked in $28 million and the federal government $40 million to give to Ford, the jobs won’t even all come to people in Ontario. We are going to have to bring people in from outside the country because there has been a lack of planning on the part of this government.
It is simply revolting to me that we put that kind of money into Ford and we are not even going to get the full benefit. If the government had planned properly, I would think that this money could have been used in areas like St. Clair College. I also feel that the Ford Motor Company has an obligation to train some people, but the present government hasn’t seen fit even to talk with Ford in any substantial way to force them to train some skilled tradesmen so that the people of Ontario don’t have to pick up further costs associated with that plant.
What I am saying is there was $14 million more available but the province saw fit only to use $10 million of it. The need was there. We could have used the full $14 million. I am very disappointed that with the lack of planning on the part of the government certain needs are not going to be met, although the money was available in this case.
Hon. Mr. McCague: As a matter of fact, of the $4 million that appears to be unspent, $2 million was diverted to the Canada Manpower industrial training program, which would, as has been pointed out by the member, leave a balance of $2 million instead of $4 million. The honourable member might well want to discuss this with the minister at Ins convenience.
I would, however, point out that the problem seems to be that there just aren’t enough people coming forward to take up that total amount.
Mr. Laughren: I am delighted to hear the minister agree with my colleague from Windsor-Riverside who makes an excellent point, and I hope the minister will talk to his colleague, the Minister of Colleges and Universities.
What my colleague from Windsor-Riverside said, and he said it extremely well, is that it isn’t as though the private sector was demanding skills and there were not people to go into the programs and learn these skills, and it is not as though there were people who wanted the skills, but there is nobody to take them in the private sector. We have both parts of the equation screaming for help. We have people who want to be trained and want well-paying skilled jobs and we have people who need these skills. It is a very simple problem, it seems to me, to join the two together, but you don’t seem to be willing to move on it.
Your commitment to manpower programs is tepid, to say the best. One of the problems with manpower is that there is a split jurisdiction. The federal government has some responsibility for it, and the provincial government has some responsibility for it, which we certainly should have because we pay a lot of the costs attendant with unemployment, et cetera, and we have an obligation and a responsibility there. But this government has always held back from getting involved in manpower programs at the community colleges. I guess it is because of the split jurisdiction. I don’t know.
I think the day has come when we should say, as we have done in other areas, that we can’t leave it up to the federal government. They are not doing the job. I suspect the minister would agree with me. The federal government simply is not doing a job in terms of manpower programs. It has to be co-ordinated with some kind of economic or industrial strategy that you have for your jurisdiction. You can’t be in isolation or you would end up training people in things for which there were no job opportunities. That is why the province, which is more and more getting involved in that kind of thinking, or at least is making noises that it is getting involved, has to move more aggressively into the whole area of manpower programming. I agree with my colleague from Windsor-Riverside that it is shameful that you are not putting the resources that are available to you into this program.
Mr. Riddell: I don’t pretend to know all that much about these apprenticeship programs and I’m not too sure I’m talking to the right minister about it.
But one of the concerns that has been brought to my attention, from the technical directors of secondary schools in particular, is that the small business person or businessman goes along with the apprenticeship program and makes his contribution. Then, after the person is trained, the large corporation comes along and grabs that fellow away because it is able to offer a higher salary --
Mr. Cooke: That’s what is happening in Windsor.
Mr. Riddell: -- but it in no way contributes to the apprenticeship program. It is a concern and I don’t know really what can be done about it. I’m going to tell you the small businessman is not going to continue to embark on this program if, after he gets the person trained, he is grabbed right from under his feet -- he or she; I should use both sexes -- and goes to these larger corporations.
Could you comment on this concern? I trust it is a genuine concern and I would like to hear from the minister on it.
Hon. Mr. McCague: I think that’s a genuine concern. Of course, it’s very difficult to restrict the mobility of the people who are trained. I just don’t know how you would propose to do that.
Vote 2703 agreed to.
SUPPLEMENTARY ESTIMATES, MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND RECREATION
On vote 2908, Wintario program:
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Chairman, this supplementary request for $34 million is essentially a cash flow problem, more so than some unanticipated changes in the program. As we know, Wintario funds are based on matching with projects and, because there are at any given time several thousand projects being processed, large and small, it’s really very difficult to forecast with any great precision and accuracy how much funds really are required in any given fiscal year.
One need only think of what’s taking place at the Royal Ontario Museum these days where we are ready to match funds and where fund-raising is going ahead. Nobody really could have predicted nine months ago how far they were going to move in this fiscal year in terms of fundraising success or failure. We’re going into the ROM with about $10 million and into the new Massey Hall with another possible $10 million. Again, nobody could have predicted with accuracy just how much would have been required this year. There are all kinds of other small and large projects across the province whose promoters are working on their fund-raising efforts and who are developing their plans. We never really know how rapidly these plans are going to be ready and when they will be seeking matching funds.
One thing I think all of us in this House know is that when these projects are ready and have advanced to the point where they are eligible for Wintario grants, they want their money and they want it fast. If they don’t get it, they’ll call their local MPP who, in turn, raises hell with the minister, and that’s it. We all have got into that kind of situation.
Certainly we don’t ever want to delay the grants, once they have met all their commitments, and once they have met all their requirements. We don’t delay it at all because, as we’ve occasionally heard here, even in the last few weeks, if Wintario does delay and if they have borrowed money, they can incur very substantial carrying charges. So the idea is when a local group somewhere has a project ready for funds and has met all the requirements, in fact the money should be there. Because we are committed to that, it is really hard to know precisely how much is required in any given year.
So I guess, in one sense, the fact that we have got to come back and ask for an additional $34 million this year, could be interpreted as something of a success rather than bad planning.
The final point I want to make here is I should really stress that this supplementary request is not an indication that Wintario spending has now outstripped its aggregate funds. We are not here because we have run out of Wintario funds; not at all.
As I stated in the House several weeks ago, since Wintario started in May 1975 some $216 million revenue has come in. Out of that we have spent $139 million, leaving some $77 million. We indicated at that time the $77 million was also committed but, obviously, it has not been spent.
Really, what we are doing here in requesting the $34 million supplementary is to meet some of the $77 million that is still there. So really it is certainly not a question of Wintario running out of funds and wanting to dip into tax revenue -- not at all.
That’s it, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Kerrio: Mr. Chairman, I always avail myself of the opportunity to attempt to put some pressure on the minister of fun and games and hope that he might also take another look at the criteria and put some real, responsible priorities on this Wintario spending.
Be that as it may, as we relate to this particular transfer I have a question he may answer concerning Wintario funds. It has to do with a Wintario grant that was given some time ago to the terrorist magazine, Strike. There was a great deal of discussion about it at the time.
The then minister was under the gun and a great deal of heat was put on him to find out what we were doing in even considering such an involvement. But the fact remains there was money given -- I think federally, was there not? -- to that publication, as well as Wintario funds?
Now I am asking the new minister. I am suggesting --
Hon. Mr. Welch: There wasn’t any Wintario money to the magazine.
Mr. Kerrio: No, it didn’t go into the magazine, just into the group that published it.
Hon. Mr. Welch: They were tenants of the Liberal Party.
Mr. Kerrio: The point that I want to make is I think that property has been sold. I wonder if the minister is aware of that. I am wondering, if that is the case, whether there has been return of the funds that were given to the public purse. That is one of my concerns.
The other concern relates to the management of Wintario funds. I don’t imagine you would ever take credit for giving money away. I don’t think we’ll ever have any problem with that. But in the moneys we are talking about in the supplementary estimates here as they relate to funding and matching funds and such, now that you are making a province-wide survey of the grants, are you in fact considering any new criteria that might in some way change the granting of Wintario funds, and also, in lieu of what you had considered at one time with a five per cent involvement of the locally elected members of city council, if you would share with the House whether you might have some involvement of local people in some assessment of requests from Wintario and the expenditure within those communities.
I wonder if now would be the time to do that, to bring some facet of responsibility into the picture, more so because of the change of the whole fiscal picture in the province. I wonder, Mr. Minister, if you would like to comment on those few remarks on this transfer. Having failed to budge the former minister from his set criteria -- as I explained it, the easy come, easy go principle -- hopefully, Mr. Minister, I may call on you to change their criteria to some degree so that transfers of these funds will have some part of it appropriated to some of the needy areas of the province.
Hon. Mr. Welch: You mean after all that time, I haven’t convinced you yet?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Chairman, if you want me to comment first I will be glad to do so.
Mr. Chairman: It’s within order.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: First of all, on the question of the grants to the magazine Strike. I think the question was asked whether the property that that group had acquired has since been purchased and, if so, whether we have had our grant returned.
I frankly cannot answer with precision on that, but I will certainly promise to inform the House and the member as to just where that particular case rests. I do know, of course, and I guess everybody here does, that the grant was a very, very small amount. I think it was several hundred or maybe a thousand dollars. It certainly wouldn’t appreciably affect our consideration of a $34 million supplementary request.
Mr. Kerrio: Every little bit helps.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Every bit helps, I agree. But certainly I will be glad to look into that.
On the point of new criteria and priorities, as I tried to stress in our statement to the House a few weeks ago, the very fact that we have now frozen applications for capital projects, are now undertaking an inventory of needs, and will, on the basis of that, establish new priorities and new criteria, I think we are moving into that with a rather open mind.
Because the Wintario requests have mushroomed to the point where they now double our anticipated revenue, for that reason alone it seems to be essential that we attempt to try to establish some tighter scale of priorities than has been the case up to now. We have to really determine just where best we can spend the money, keeping in mind of course that Wintario operates under the Ontario Lottery Corporation Act which does designate the revenue being spent for culture, recreation and sports.
As we look at the criteria, the priorities and our modus operandi, we will no doubt be looking at this question as to whether we would make it a condition of a grant that the local municipality would have to give at least five per cent of locally generated tax funds to a project before we would be prepared to match it. As the member for Niagara Falls probably recalls, at one time we had almost implemented that as a policy, on the basis that that was after all one guarantee that a Wintario project did have local support, had wide community acceptance. Obviously, if the locally elected officials weren’t ready to give money to it, the chances are the project didn’t have widespread support. Conversely, if they did give a grant, that indicated some local need and some local priorities.
However, as members here will recall, by applying that five per cent requirement it would have in fact given a de facto veto power for any Wintario project to the local municipal government. There was a great deal of feeling, I think on both sides of this House, that we should really think twice and perhaps three times before giving that kind of authority to a local government. It could easily have ruled out some voluntary agencies and some citizens’ organizations which met every other requirement but couldn’t get a five per cent grant from locally generated tax money.
Anyway, it is an open question. We’ll look at that. I hope that answers some of the questions the member for Niagara Falls raised.
Ms. Bryden: Since the minister has given good reasons why they should not require the municipalities to put up a percentage of the grant for local projects, I would like to ask him has he considered the opposite route of providing a portion of Wintario funds to municipalities to make the grants on their own?
This has been suggested before, Mr. Chairman, as a means of saving on administrative costs, for one thing. All these very small grants the provincial ministry processes cost a great deal of money in the processing. If instead a percentage of Wintario proceeds were given to the municipalities to dispense there would be a great saving in administrative costs to the ministry, and perhaps more of the money would get to the individuals or groups and organizations concerned. It would also make it possible for the municipalities to assist community organizations, perhaps, if the legislation was extended beyond the culture and recreational field to community organizations such as women’s assistance bodies like Nellie’s and other support services for keeping senior citizens in their homes, and things of that sort.
You may say we are running out of money with the present grants, but the thing is that if the minister was prepared to consider changing his criteria so that grants to private clubs were eliminated completely he would have a great deal of additional money to dispense to the kind of community organizations I am mentioning, and could perhaps extend the criteria in that case.
I would like to ask the minister, has he considered giving the municipalities a percentage of the proceeds because of the fact that the municipalities do not have the right to operate lotteries? The federal government does; the provincial government does; and it seems to me the municipalities should have a piece of the action, too. Either we start a new municipal lottery or we give them a piece of the proceeds and let them distribute it. They are much more aware of local needs and can perhaps see that the money does get to the people who really need it.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Again, I would say in response to the observations made by the member for Beaches-Woodbine that we will not rule that out. We will not say a priori, “No, we are not going to consider that as a possibility,” the possibility of providing funds to municipalities.
I think I could anticipate a number of problems with that -- this is really off the top of my bead. In a sense, I suppose, one could expect that some of the administration we are carrying on -- and it is really very small -- would immediately have to be transferred to the municipalities. They would have to set up almost a parallel organization looking at the business of who gets and who doesn’t get grants.
I wouldn’t rule it out not at all. As I indicated in the House some weeks ago, our consultants and our team that will be looking at the inventory and setting up new criteria will he consulting with members of this House as well as with locally elected officials. If there seems to be a real groundswell for this kind of change, which would be really a substantial change in Wintario, so be it.
Regarding the other thing, about grants to private clubs, I know there has been a good deal of comment, and some of it of rather a critical nature, about the grants to private clubs. But I think I should say, as has prob.. ably been said before by my predecessor here that where grants have gone to private clubs, they have been made on the stipulation that those clubs, on a pro rata basis with the size of the grant, would have to open up their facilities to the general public. We have kept a pretty close eye on that. Maybe it hasn’t worked 100 per cent in all cases, but certainly that has been the intent and that has been the practice.
Under the new criteria and the new priorities, if there really was any kind of concern that private clubs were unduly acquiring Wintario aid, I would suspect that that would be one place that we would certainly take a very cold, fish-eyed look at and stop it. I don’t think anybody here feels that any Wintario funds should go to restricted-membership private clubs. That’s not what Wintario is there for, and we certainly will give that one a good, hard look.
Ms. Bryden: Is the minister prepared to table the terms of access for each private club that has been granted a Wintario grant? Also, what sort of monitoring does he do to see whether these terms are being observed?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: I will certainly try to provide this information if it’s available. I suspect that before the grant was finalized there would have been some pretty specific commitment to this. If there were additional rules, regulations and procedures that the club was required to undertake, or did undertake in writing, I think surely we can provide that kind of information for the member.
Mr. Young: I’d like to ask the minister to clarify the situation here. I am not quite clear on whether this $34 million is a transfer from the provincial Treasury to the Wintario treasury. Is this what this means, a permanent transfer?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Perhaps that question ought to be redirected to the Treasurer, who I see is here.
Mr. Laughren: You’re getting the money.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: The honourable member has answered the question, but what I know and what I’m interested in is that, when we have to meet a commitment to make a payment, those funds are available. With this $34-million allocation -- and the Treasurer can fill us in if the member wants him to, I suppose, or if he cares to answer -- just what the mechanics of the bookkeeping are in Treasury or Management Board, I don’t know. All I know is that, by asking for this supplementary amount, and if the members agree that we should have it, I am convinced that we will be able, as heretofore, to make our payments to individual projects as and when we’re required and requested to do so.
Mr. Laughren: Typical Tory way of handling public money.
Mr. Young: I wonder if the Treasurer would clarify this matter because, when Wintario was set up, it was to assist in supplying funds for various purposes in the province, and it was to do so on an independent basis. Perhaps the Treasurer could clarify whether this is a gift to Wintario from the provincial Treasury.
Mr. Chairman: A more appropriate place would be the estimates of Treasury and Economics, but if the committee agrees --
Hon. F. S. Miller: Perhaps I can be one of the government speakers on this matter. Wintario has turned its money over each year to the consolidated revenue fund, as I understand it. In effect, we have kept a running balance as to the surplus. As you know, in the first few years the money came in faster than the commitments. As time goes on, and particularly as competition appears in the lotteries and demands for Wintario funds become more common because of people’s familiarity with it, we’re getting to a point where we felt it was necessary to flow this extra money that has been collected in the past for Wintario. It isn’t kept in a separate bank account -- I think that’s the problem people have, but we have a record of how much we “owe” to Wintario and we’re flowing money. It’s properly collected. It’s not coming out of my extra money in any real sense. It would have been spent by Wintario at some time or other and it’s being spent in this year.
Mr. Young: in other words, Mr. Chairman, this simply means a transfer of Wintario money held in trust by the Treasurer into the Wintario fund?
Hon. F. S. Miller: In effect, yes.
Mr. Young: What do you mean by “in effect”?
Mr. Laughren: You don’t know the answer. You told us you didn’t know already.
Hon. F. S. Miller: The words “in trust” are poor words. We made a commitment, and I believe the act requires us, to use the net profits of the corporation for certain stated purposes -- culture and recreation, as I recall. Those profits have accrued and we have a bookkeeping entry that says they are so much. These are 35 million of those dollars.
Mr. Young: Could the minister or Treasurer tell us how much now is held in trust for Wintario in the Treasury of the province?
Hon. F. S. Miller: That’s pretty hard to estimate off the top of my head. I have a figure that I think is correct at the end of the year. It’s about $65 million to $70 million, effective the end of this fiscal year.
Mr. Young: So this is a transfer from I that fund into Wintario I and you still have a credit in your department for the minister?
Hon. F. S. Miller: That’s right.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Perhaps I could clarify that slightly.
Mr. Laughren: I doubt it.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: As I indicated earlier on, we have received $216 million from Wintario since its inception. We have spent $139 million --
Mr. Laughren: It’s the pea under the shell. It’s the old shell game.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: -- so presumably there’s a balance of something like $77 million, but today we’re asking for $34 million to carry on.
Mr. Laughren: It’s not even a pea under the shell.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Under no circumstances are we asking anybody here to dip into tax-generated revenue, not at all. In fact, there’s still some balance there.
Mr. Laughren: In your case, as long as you have got it.
Ms. Bryden: Is this shortage in cash flow the minister is suffering at the moment due to the commitment of lottery funds for the new Lottario operation?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: No, Mr. Chairman. This is a cash flow problem and really has nothing to do with Lottario. I think I understand the question that is in the back of the mind of the member for Beaches-Woodbine. Lottario has to establish itself these days with its hardware and so forth. But that has nothing whatever to do with this cash flow problem. This is strictly a case of meeting those commitments. As I said earlier at the outset, it was really very hard to predict many months ago just what we would be needing in the next three or four months.
Mr. Young: I presume the minister is interested in getting his full value. As money is transferred to the Treasurer, is he charging the Treasurer interest on those funds or is this simply a matter of agreement between two gentlemen who don’t charge each other interest?
Hon. Mr. Baetz: This is an arrangement among brothers.
Mr. Laughren: Incestuous, you mean.
Vote 2908 agreed to.
ESTIMATES, MINISTRY OF TREASURY AND ECONOMICS (CONCLUDED)
On vote 1103A, economic policy program; item 1, economic policy:
Mr. Laughren: It’s with great relief that we get back to these estimates. They seem to have been going on all autumn.
Hon. Mr. Welch: We would have no objection if you brought them to an end.
Mr. Laughren: You’ve done your best by scheduling us to five o’clock this afternoon. I want to talk to the Treasurer for a moment about something that came up this afternoon during the question period concerning the priorities of the government. The Treasurer may remember, if he will think back to the day the estimates debates began, when I indicated to him there were three areas about which I was very worried. One was the leadership the Treasurer would show in terms of developing an economic policy for the province.
Second is the whole question of his capacity to understand the problems and to attempt to help us resolve them. I am worried that what is happening is there is no consistency whatsoever on the part of the government. I won’t go through the whole litany of contradictions which I did before, but I want to tell the Treasurer that what’s happened on the whole question of an economic priority for the province is a very sad commentary on his stewardship as Treasurer, and on the Premier (Mr. Davis) and on the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Grossman).
There was an agreement on that side of the House, and there are plenty of statements which I can quote to you if you want, from the former Treasurer to the present Minister of Industry and Tourism indicating they understood if we were going to resolve our enormous deficit, and if we were going to turn the problems of the economy around we first of all had to address ourselves to the problems of import replacement. If we don’t meet the demands of our own market, how can we meet the demands of the world markets?
There was an understanding over there on that very simple problem and, as a matter of fact, if the Treasurer really wants me to, I can quote, but the record is clear. That was an understanding on the part of the government ministers over there. Then, the Premier goes to the first ministers’ conference and says, “Our first priority is the stimulation of exports.” I know the game that’s going to be played over there. The Treasurer and the Minister of Industry and Tourism, and I suppose the Premier, if given the opportunity, will stand up and say, “They’re not mutually exclusive.” That’s what they’ll say. “We’re going to do both.”
In the first instance, you were very specific as to which was your number one priority. You cannot have two number one priorities. You should know that. It was very clear on your part which it was to be.
I’ll tell you why it’s so important. Until we come to grips with the fact we cannot meet the demands of our own market, we’re not going to get out of our economic difficulties. To say we’re going to meet the demands of export markets when we can’t meet our own, is silly. It’s downright silly. It shows a tremendous lack of understanding or courage on the part of the Treasurer.
I’ll tell you why I use the word courage. I think this was a deliberate flip-flop in policy on the part of the government. It was deliberate. They knew if they were going to tackle the problem of import replacement, they were going to have to tackle the problem of the foreign ownership of our economy. They knew that.
You cannot talk about import replacement unless you talk about the structural problems that lead to the problem of not being able to meet our own domestic demands internally. If we need to go through all the reasons why foreign-owned branch plants are not meeting the needs of the domestic markets, we can. Last Friday, for example, the Treasurer was asked a question by my colleague from Port Arthur (Mr. Foulds) about guaranteeing the pulp and paper industry would buy machines in Ontario. The Treasurer said, “It’s not a situation, so I understand, in which the machinery is available in Canada and is not being purchased.” The Treasurer is saying he understands we cannot meet the demands of our own market.
You would have to tackle the problem of the foreign ownership of our economy in order to address yourself to the whole question of the import replacements. You can make all the nice noises about stimulating exports, and “Buy Canadian,” and you don’t have to tackle the structural disequilibrium in our economy which your own people say is there. That’s the real reason why you flip-flopped on this issue. It takes a great deal of courage to tackle that problem.
You were right in the first instance. You were absolutely right that was where you should start. You said in some of your speeches, at least the Minister of Industry and Tourism did, that we cannot possibly tackle export markets until we have learned how to cope with and satisfy the demands of our own domestic market. For you to turn around -- and I don’t mean this in a personal sense, but as a government, it shows a tremendous lack of courage on your part, and you stand condemned for that. You simply cannot have it both ways.
I don’t know who it was finally who got to you. I suspect the senior civil service over there said, “Look, Mr. Treasurer; look, Mr. Minister of Industry and Tourism. We can’t tackle that problem, it is too serious for us here in Ontario.” If you can’t tackle it in Ontario, where can you tackle it, because this is where the problem starts, in Ontario. Until Ontario stands up and says to the federal government, “This is a problem that is serious. We have to do something about it,” then you can be sure the federal government isn’t going to do anything about it either.
Perhaps the Treasurer could give me an answer on this: We do 83 per cent of our trade with the United States and seven per cent is to the Third World countries. You are telling me, are you, Mr. Treasurer, that you can stimulate exports to the Third World, given all the advantages they have in terms of cost of labour, perhaps the proximity to a resource and so forth? You are telling me that you are going to turn around our export markets other than to the US market, and that is going to look after our tremendous deficit on our imports of $27 billion? You simply are not going to do it that way, and you have chickened out of the task of tackling the more serious problem of import replacement .
Even then, even if you were serious about stimulating the export market by, for example, buying Canadian -- and if ever I have heard of a superficial argument to import replacement being the one that the Minister of Industry and Tourism talks about as buying Canadian; that is supposed to be your import replacement program, is it? Perhaps the Treasurer could tell me in a few moments if buying Canadian is his idea of import replacement.
Then when we say to the Minister of Industry and Tourism, “Here is an example of Canadian General Electric in Barrie putting ‘Barrie’ in large letters and ‘Made in Japan’ in very small letters at the bottom of the box,” he stands up and says, “That is not anything I can really do much about.” I would like to know, first of all, how you are going to tackle the import replacement problem with that kind of policy; and secondly, who are you going to stimulate the export market to -- the US? Are you going to increase our share of exports to the US above the 83 per cent level? It will be very interesting to hear the Treasurer’s response.
Is he going to rely on the devalued dollar? There is an interesting philosophy, isn’t it? The Treasurer can stand up and say: “We think the devalued dollar means that our exports will be cheaper and that therefore we will increase our exports to the rest of the world.” Perhaps you could explain this to me. What is going to happen when all those component parts come in here? At least partly because of the foreign ownership of the industry as well -- and don’t forget we had a deficit of over $3 billion on machinery last year -- we pay more for them.
If you take machinery, auto and electrical products alone, and consider a 15 per cent devalued dollar, there is three quarters of a billion dollars extra we pay just because of the devalued dollar. So you are trumpeting the cause of the devalued dollar helping our exports. Is that what you are going to do to stimulate export sales, while at the same time we are paying more for all the component parts that cross our border?
I would like very much to know what the minister plans to do, because he should at least understand that the real problem is one of import replacement and I wanted him to understand how we feel about it. As a matter of fact, we feel like he used to feel about it before he chickened out.
Let me read one statement to him on this particular issue from the Science Council of Canada. I am sure the Treasurer is familiar with a document called The Weakest Link: A Technological Perspective on Canadian Industrial Underdevelopment. This is what they say on page 45: “The medium- and high-technology industries, however, have much greater responsibility for Canada’s increasing overall reliance on imports. In 1964 Canada imported approximately 14 per cent of all its requirements in consumer electronics. By 1976 imports met almost 63 per cent of Canadian requirements. In computer and office equipment, imports moved from 56 per cent to about 90 per cent of domestic needs between 1964 and 1976. In the general machinery category, the import ratio rose from 65 per cent to 74 per cent. Domestic producers of dominantly mature products were unable to stem the flow.”
I could go on, but the message is clear that if the Treasurer is serious about dealing with the economic problems of Ontario, he’s got to abandon his lily-livered approach to stimulation of exports as opposed to import replacement, in order to stem that tremendous level of deficits we have on end products. Before I go on to anything else, I would appreciate a response from the Treasurer.
Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Chairman, the member makes it seem as if the two are mutually exclusive.
Mr. Laughren: I said you would say that.
Hon. F. S. Miller: Perhaps that’s because it’s correct. The fact remains that imports in the third quarter of this year have dropped 3.7 per cent in real terms, as you may know. That to me is encouraging. Maybe that isn’t in the sectors you wanted it in, but one must consider that business machinery and equipment which includes automobiles, had the largest single percentage growth in that quarter of any of the components which we analysed. Considering that is the sector most likely to be composed of imports, it’s interesting to see that imports in that quarter did drop.
It would seem to me it implies that some of our industries are being more competitive. But when we were at the first ministers’ meeting last month, I think we made a reasoned approach to our sister provinces and to the federal government on this matter. Some people said we were trying to take an Ontario-first approach.
Mr. Laughren: With import replacements?
Hon. F. S. Miller: No, no. I’m talking about the problem of getting our total manufacturing industry competitive because one must have, particularly in high-technology products, a good market to justify the investment.
Mr. Laughren: Like mining, forestry construction?
Hon. F. S. Miller: I think we’re in pretty good shape in those or we are improving in those.
Mr. Laughren: Would you like a level of imports on those?
Hon. F. S. Miller: I would like to read into the record a couple of the things we said on national markets, for example. We can argue all we wish about exports or anything else, hot import replacement will occur if other Canadian provinces are willing to purchase Canadian-made goods first rather than, as in some provinces, setting up artificial rules and in effect preventing free trade within Canada and not allowing Canadian industries to optimize their production runs. You understand what I mean by that?
I think Ontario, with one or two exceptions -- I can only think of one and that was the Hawker Siddeley order for the railway vehicles -- has traditionally been in effect a free Canadian market. We have encouraged the sale of any Canadian product here without preferring Ontario-produced goods. Would you agree?
Mr. Laughren: We’re not talking about that, but go ahead.
Hon. F. S. Miller: It’s very much a part of the issue in my mind. Because while we’re trying to stimulate Canadian industry, a good deal of which is located here in Ontario, we find sister provinces in effect putting up barriers to Ontario-produced goods. This weakens the Canadian industries and at the same time allows imports to be more competitive in those markets because we’re not getting the size or runs we need.
We said this: “With the meetings of the first ministers on the economy and the constitution, important steps have been taken to establish the broad outlines of a national development program. If, however, Canadians are to meet the challenge of fierce international competition and to maximize national and regional employment and income potential, then it is absolutely essential that a free, undistorted flow of goods and services of workers and of capital between the various regions of this country be maintained.”
Protectionism and restrictions on mobility within the Canadian market are the surest way to cripple efforts to be internationally competitive. And they tie into both points you are making. If we are going to be internationally competitive we also have to have a good domestic market for some of the producers in order to have the length of production runs they need. They need as much of the local market as they can get, I think you would agree.
Mr. Laughren: Why are you setting up a straw man?
Hon. F. S. Miller: I thought I was answering your question.
Mr. Laughren: You are not.
Hon. F. S. Miller: It says, “The balkanization of the Canadian economy along narrow, provincial or regional lines represents an enormous threat to producers who require large-scale production runs to achieve international levels of efficiency.” It cuts both ways. If in fact we have the runs, we are competitive at home and we become more competitive abroad. If we are more competitive at home we replace imports.
Mr. Laughren: Where are these impediments to mining machinery, et cetera?
Hon. F. S. Miller: Of course, you are assuming again -- I think perhaps you accuse me of not understanding from time to time. I have worked in industry. You know that.
Mr. Laughren: So have I.
Hon. F. S. Miller: I have also taught.
Mr. Laughren: So have I.
Hon. F. S. Miller: I worked at the technical end of industry, I don’t know at which end you worked -- the engineering end. You have to understand there are some kinds of equipment that in today’s highly sophisticated age can only be built in a very few locations.
Mr. Laughren: Number three in the world in mining; are you going to hand me that argument? Come on. Why can’t you be serious?
Hon. F. S. Miller: I am talking about many of the components. I am as anxious as you are to see a healthy Canadian mining machinery or equipment industry. You simply don’t create it by wishing it.
Hon. Mr. Walker: That’s right.
Hon. F. S. Miller: Now we are working on it and I simply say to you, there are many component parts where the Canadian market per se has not justified their manufacturing and we haven’t entered the export market vigorously enough. We have to pick isolated areas, I think, and do some things well rather than all things poorly, or you will have no ability to compete even with the machines our own people have to buy.
I am anxious to see those markets developed here. We do require willing manufacturers, but we also require markets large enough to justify production runs of sometimes unique, highly specialized equipment.
Mr. Laughren: I despair, but I think what I am going to do, Mr. Chairman, with your permission, is to painstakingly go through one sector -- I may not have time to do more -- that is a serious problem in Ontario.
That sector is the machinery sector. The Treasurer has raised the whole question himself. There is an organization called the Machinery and Equipment Manufacturers’ Association of Canada, IMEMAC. I suspect the Treasurer is aware of them. The chairman of that association is Mr. J. I. Meschino. Mr. Meschino said, and I quote: “The real measure of a nation’s maturity is its ability to supply its capital needs from domestic sources.”
What I hope to do is go through this sector with the minister, because I believe the arguments he has used this afternoon make no sense whatsoever. He sets up a straw man called provincial barriers to trade, or balkanization, or whatever term he was using, which isn’t there in the first place, and attempts to say that will solve our problems.
The importance of machinery is that if we are ever going to move beyond the stage of development in which we export our resources to pay for our imports, then to a large extent it hinges on our machinery industry. That is what Mr. Meschino meant when he talked about the measure of a nation’s maturity.
Canada at the present time imports 71 per cent of its machinery. It is the only industrialized nation in the world that imports more than 50 per cent of its machinery. When you consider the fact we rank among the world leaders in mining, forestry, pulp and paper and have enormously complex and expensive construction projects in this country, for us to have that kind of deficit is a disgrace.
Along with electrical and auto production, machinery ranks as the key to turning the economy of Ontario around. In Ontario, there are approximately 77,000 people who work in the machinery industry, but that’s almost 10,000 less than we had in 1974, and that’s in a very short period of time. As well, we have a deficit in excess of $3 billion in machinery. Quite frankly, it makes me angry to hear the Treasurer talking about stimulating exports when we have that kind of import replacement job at hand to which we should be addressing ourselves.
The key problem, as I implied earlier, is the whole question of the foreign ownership of that particular part of our economy. Seventy per cent of the assets, 50 per cent of the output and 75 per cent of the sales of machinery are controlled by US subsidiaries.
That’s a very substantial part of a very key sector of the economy to be controlled in that way.
The fact that that sector is in foreign ownership has caused the fragmentation which the minister himself talked about, the fragmentation of the market. It has caused us to have a large number of suppliers. It has caused us to have very little research and development; and all the literature is there as evidence that the foreign-owned subsidiaries do very little research and development work. It has also restricted our access to foreign markets, because the minister and I know that a US subsidiary here is not interested in developing world markets; the parent company back in the United States looks after that. Also, of course, it means that we have a very large component of the parts imported from the United States, very often from a related company or even from the parent company. So the foreign ownership aspect is a very serious part of the problem, with the deficit on machinery.
I will give you one example. A fellow named Mr. Derek Liddell, who is vice-president of Ingersoll-Rand, said about machinery, and I quote: “Many of the smaller mass-produced parts are not made in Canada. For instance, you can’t buy a Canadian-made diesel engine in Canada of any size. We simply don’t make them in this country.” There’s an admission that I think says a lot about us. I think it is one of the reasons, and I will keep saying it, that the Treasurer has chickened out of addressing himself to that serious problem, namely, the foreign ownership of our economy. It’s a sad comment that we can’t even buy a Canadian-made diesel engine in this country.
Of course, the employment is an Ontario problem, since almost 65 per cent of the employment is in Ontario as opposed to the rest of the country. When we talk about the employment in the industry -- I mentioned a few minutes ago how employment was going down -- let’s look at the Ontario figures. This is why the Treasurer should be so concerned; these figures are for large firms only, and I believe “large firms” mean more than 20 employees. In 1972, there were 50,000 workers in the machinery industry. By 1978, it was down to somewhat over 45,000 wage earners. That’s a substantial drop. What that means is that at a time when it should be growing, it’s declining; so the problem is serious. The problem is not only related to the number of employees but also to the kind of employees that are required in the machinery industry. They tend to be skilled, a point that was raised by my colleague from Windsor-Riverside (Mr. Cooke) earlier when he was talking about the problem of manpower programs which is so fragmented.
The federal Department of Industry, Trade and Commerce has been doing some work, with which I am sure the Treasurer is familiar. The federal Industry, Trade and Commerce task force report of July 1978 tells us there are a number of problems associated with manpower for the industry:
1. The length of training necessary and an education system that doesn’t encourage it.
2. Manual labour, lack of experienced teachers and the question of jurisdictional sensitivities between the federal and provincial governments, as well as a lack of interchangeability in provincial trades licensing requirements.” It is this lack of skilled manpower which is one of the main problems, in terms of the capacity of a plant.
It doesn’t matter whether we are talking about the size of the market. It doesn’t matter whether we are talking about any of the problems in the machinery industry. It is something to which government must address itself. It cannot ignore it. Of all the sectors that cause us a lot of problems, it is strange that we hear very little about the machinery industry. We have over a $3-billion deficit. I look at the auto industry, and we have a $1 billion deficit -- and there are a lot more people upset about the deficit in the auto sector than there are in the machinery sector.
You have to wonder why it is that people are spending so much time on deficits in auto parts and vehicles and so little time addressing themselves to the problems of the machinery sector. I think the answer, plain and simple, is that it is a question once again of the ownership of the industry that neither the federal nor the provincial government is prepared to tackle the serious problems that come with the foreign ownership of a key part of the economy. Sooner or later, you are going to have to do that. When the Minister of Industry and Tourism talks about “Shop Canadian,” that simply doesn’t make any sense at all.
Then, of course, there is the whole question of tariffs. Well, we’ve been through that here, about what position Ontario should take and so forth. There was an exchange in this chamber over the whole question of tariffs, the difference between tariff and nontariff barriers. Let me give you an example of how we get taken by our trading partners.
The Senate in Ottawa has a standing committee on foreign affairs, and they were looking at Canada-United States relations, This is what they had to say about nontariff barriers. They are talking about machinery, and I quote: “Canada, for instance, allows free entry to all general-purpose tractors. The United States allows only tractors suitable for agricultural use to enter free. As a consequence of the wider Canadian definition, Canada imports internal combustion tractors on crawlers or wheels for use in resource industries. This specific import represents 20 per cent of the total Canadian construction machinery market, or $200 million.”
That’s the kind of position we have been taking over the years on things like nontariff barriers, They’re laughing at us. When I hear the Treasurer talk about his priorities, I wonder sometimes if he is in the same ball game as the people with whom we are trading.
Look at machinery, for example -- mining machinery. In mining machinery, while we are number three in the world in mining -- I believe we only fellow the USSR and the US -- the percentage of the market -- the Treasurer will be interested in this -- captured by imports for mining machinery is 78 per cent in 1975. That’s up from 60 per cent in 1965. So in the 10-year period from 1965 to 1975, the imports increased their share of our domestic market from 60 per cent, which was already deplorable, up to 78 per cent. There is no excuse for that, We have the domestic market in mining, and we should not be tolerating that.
Let me tell you something. I sewed on the all-party select committee on the Inco layoffs last January and February. We asked Inco about their purchase of mining machinery. They indicated they bought most of their machinery in the States. And then they said, yes, they did have interlocking directorships with several of the mining machinery companies in the United States. Do you really think when you have that kind of company, with interlocking directorships with mining machinery companies south of the border, there is going to be an arm’s length assessment of where the proper place is to buy the machinery?
More importantly, do you think there will ever be any kind of incentive, or any kind of initiative taken by that company to ensure that there are Canadian mining machinery companies? There has been a crying need for the development of a mining machinery company in northern Ontario. It would do all sorts of things in a place like the Sudbury area. You have got the greatest laboratory in the world right there and we don’t take advantage of it. A little country like Finland makes us look sick when it comes to mining machinery.
Certainly we’re one of the leaders in forestry as well. In 1965, imports had 30 per cent of the market; in 1975, they had 47 per cent. In all resource-based machinery, imports increased from 63 per cent in 1965 to 73 per cent in 1975.
Perhaps the Treasurer could convince the Premier and the Minister of Industry and Tourism that the real problem is import replacement and not the stimulation of exports. Of course, one will follow the other. That’s the point the Treasurer seems to miss. If we can develop our domestic industry aggressively and competitively, the exports will follow. We don’t do it the other way around.
The Treasurer should understand that; certainly the government understood it three months ago, until the people in the various ministries started looking at it carefully. Then somebody on high said: “Whoops, turn that policy around. It’s too tough the way it is. That’s what happened. There’s no other reason. There’s not a single logical reason that the Treasurer can give me, or anybody else who is willing to stand back and assess it as objectively as I do, as to why the government would flip-flop on that policy when it had the right one to begin with. Don’t let the Treasurer tell me they’re not mutually exclusive.
Of course we want to stimulate our exports. But if the Treasurer knows as much as he says he knows about the private sector and about the business community, he will know the place to start is at home; you start to build your expertise here.
That’s the special message we’re trying to give the Treasurer. Using the machinery as an example, when we have a deficit of $3.8 billion in the machinery sector, and the US share of that deficit is $3.1 billion, that shows you where the deficit is. That’s what we have to start replacing.
What’s so interesting is that very often government’s people will stand up and say, “Oh, well, you can’t compete against that cheap labour in the Philippines.” That’s not where we’re getting our machinery. We’re getting it in the United States; $3.1 billion of the $3.8 billion deficit is with the United States. The Treasurer doesn’t need to look for those kinds of arguments to justify his change in policy.
Certainly the Minister of Industry and Tourism did a very inadequate job of trying to explain it.
The Treasurer mentioned today how we had a small market and so forth. If we have such a small market, how come our import deficits are so high? Let me give you some examples, breaking down various sectors within the machinery industry. The latest figures I have are for 1975. In construction equipment there was a $545-million deficit; agricultural equipment, $536 million; special plant machinery, $379 million; rolling mill and metalworking machinery and machine tools, $342 million; pumps, compressors, valves and bearings, $304 million. On top of that you have mining machinery at $136 million; that figure is growing, and it could get bigger in the years to come.
I would like to ask the Treasurer a very specific question. At the present time there is an interesting debate going on in Ottawa as to which fighter aircraft we’re going to buy. I would be very interested in knowing whether the Treasurer has had any input into that debate because of the obvious implications for the purchase of high-technology machinery in this country.
An hon. member: Are you suggesting a fighter force for Ontario?
Mr. Laughren: I think the Treasurer is going to need some anti-aircraft guns if he doesn’t come up with some better answers than he has so far. Somehow, somebody, someday is going to put him into a corner and force him to give us straight answers on some questions. Such as, why did he change his first priority on an economic policy? Someday we’re going to get an answer from somebody on that. It’s a very straightforward question. The Treasurer can’t deny he changed his policy. The quotations are there, from his speeches and from speeches by others on that side. Someday we’re going to get that question answered.
Mr. Hennessy: Someday, somewhere, somehow.
Mr. Laughren: I’d like to give you a couple of statistics. I know if I don’t give the Treasurer the proper documentation he will question --
Mr. Hennessy: He wouldn’t know what to do. Thank God you are here.
Mr. Laughren: That’s right, Mickey. That’s exactly right. If I don’t tell the Treasurer, he doesn’t know what to do. What I’m trying to do, Mickey, is reinforce my argument that the Treasurer is all wrong --
Mr. Hennessy: And you are all right.
Mr. Laughren: -- on his first priority of stimulation of exports. His first priority should :be the displacement of imports. Let me give you another reason.
Mr. Peterson: You love this, Frank. Don’t let anybody kid you.
Mr. Laughren: Looking at domestic shipments as a percentage of the domestic market -- does the Treasurer understand what I’m saying? -- domestic shipments as a percentage of the domestic market, not imports, in 1965, domestic shipments for the total of all machinery were 46 per cent and in 1975, 10 years later, they’re down to 37.7 per cent. Not only is it a serious problem, it’s getting worse. Yet the Treasurer says it’s not our first priority. He now says it’s not our first priority. It’s not what he used to say.
If you look at the industry subtotals, in resource-based it went from 37.6 per cent to 27.3 per cent; plant and industrial, from 49.4 per cent to 44 per cent; the service industries, from 54 per cent to 45.6 per cent.
Look at our trade balance on machinery. In 1975, it was $3,021,000,000. In 1976, it was $3,099,000,000. In 1977, it was $3,104,000,000. In 1978, for the first half of the year, it was $1,787,000,000. It looks as though we’re heading for yet another deficit on machinery. Despite all the nice noises the Treasurer would have us make, it looks like we’re heading for another record deficit.
The reasons we have this tremendous deficit in machinery are put together reasonably well by the federal department of Industry, Tourism and Commerce. I’d like to quote from that report. Their heading is, “Reasons for Trade Imbalance.” Perhaps the Treasurer will think about these reasons, coming as they do from his friend, Jack Horner.
“The propensity on the part of the Canadian industry to import machinery is due to a number of factors, including:
1. The extremely wide range of sizes and types of machinery required by industry, often in small quantities, with the result that it is uneconomical for the domestic industry to attempt to produce all requirements.” That’s something the Treasurer understands. He’s already mentioned it.
“2. The abandonment of production in certain lines in favour of product specialization in others in order to maintain international competitiveness.” Guess who would do that? Not a Canadian-based industry. That would be a branch plant.
“3. Tied or concessional financing advantages accruing to offshore suppliers and to Canadian purchasers on certain major capital projects in Canada.”
“4. The tendency of subsidiary firms in all sectors of Canadian industry to purchase their machinery and equipment requirements on the basis of what is currently in place in their parent facilities, while showing an unwillingness to experiment with untried or unfamiliar Canadian experiments.” If that doesn’t tell you one of the serious problems of foreign ownership, I guess nothing will.
“5. The established reputation of many foreign machinery manufacturers and their well-developed distribution and servicing network in Canada.” Servicing and sales network in Canada. Guess where it comes from?
“6. The fact that Canadian manufacturers do not supply complete lines of equipment in many areas.
“7. The practice of foreign consultants involved in projects in Canada to specify foreign equipment because they are unfamiliar with Canadian capabilities.
“8. The tendency, particularly on the part of subsidiary operations, to import production components from their parent organizations for assembly in Canada.” That ties in, doesn’t it, Mr. Treasurer, with my argument that the devalued dollar can cost us a lot of money as well? Sure, we gain on our exports, but we pay for it on our imports and things like component parts.
I hope it’s starting to sink in that we want some straight answers from the Treasurer. We know there’s going to be a lot of major capital projects in this country in the next few years. We should have a piece of that action. Maybe some of it could even go to Timmins, seeing the member from Timmins sitting over there.
Mr. Peterson: He wouldn’t know what to do with it.
Mr. Laughren: The argument that we do not accept from the Treasurer and which would be silly of him to use is the whole argument of market size. We have tremendous demands within our own market for things like construction and resource-based equipment, including mining, that such on argument simply holds no water in the whole field of machinery. It’s because of his unwillingness to deal with that problem that we’re not going to solve that deficit problem. The Treasurer simply won’t deal with it.
Research and development is another area in the machinery industry where we are getting short shrift. It’s almost household knowledge now that in the auto industry we’re getting only a small proportion of research and development from the big four. But the same applies -- it’s a truism -- in other parts of the machinery sector as well.
We know when it is foreign-owned the research and development is simply not done here. As a matter of fact often there are charges against the Canadian subsidiary for research and development that is done elsewhere. That’s adding insult to injury, and the Treasurer doesn’t want to deal with that problem either.
When it comes time to redesign new machinery, for example, assessing needs for new major projects, it’s not going to be done here because the consultants turn to theft companies in the United States. The Treasurer said that himself when he was replying to my colleague from Port Arthur. As a matter of fact, it’s the northern Ontario members who should be most angry at the Treasurer for his switch in policy. If we had convinced him, and you are a lot to blame, these government northern members must share some of the responsibility. They don’t seem to understand that if we’re talking of import replacement in the machinery industry a portion of that has a right to be in northern Ontario, particularly in the mining industry.
Could you imagine what it would do for the communities in the north if we had a viable, resource-based sector there, an industry in northern Ontario, in Timmins, in Sudbury, in Sault Ste. Marie, in Thunder Bay -- whether it was mining or whether it was forestry. There’s a great deal at stake and it’s not happening. The Treasurer talks about stimulating exports, but when you’re not making the stuff how in the hell can you export it? You can’t do it.
So the Treasurer plays his little game and says we’ll stimulate exports. What are we going to export? What machinery are we going to export? Perhaps you can tell me? I don’t see the mining machinery that you’re going to export. I don’t see the pulp and paper industry that you’re going to export. It’s not there.
Mr. Hennessy: Machine guns, cannons.
Mr. Laughren: That’s why you have to go after domestic problems first, the replacement of imports. I don’t know what you’re going to export.
If there was a thriving mining machinery industry in Timmins or a pulp and paper industry in Thunder Bay then I would listen to you. I would give you some credibility if you would say, “We are going to stimulate the export of mining machinery.” But it’s not there: we’re not meeting our domestic needs. And you talk on about meeting world needs when we can’t meet our domestic needs. What a lot of nonsense. Your credibility is slipping, Mr. Minister, and it’s not just you. I know what is happening, I believe. I just twigged. What is happening is a shift of power from Treasury to Industry and Tourism. That’s what is happening; and you’re losing.
Mr. Hennessy: Do you think so? Get Idi Amin here, he will fix them all.
Mr. Laughren: Be silly if you like.
The fact is there is a major role for the Ontario government to play and they’re not playing it. The Treasurer and the Minister of Industry and Tourism have disappointed me and, I’m sure, a lot of other people who have looked for some leadership in terms of turning the problem of the economy around. All he is doing is making harmless little noises. Don’t stir it up. Don’t make waves. That’s what you do when you tackle the problem of foreign ownership.
I can remember what happened the last time there were negotiations on tariff barriers. The Canadian government was so generous it reduced the tariff faster than it was required to and zip, up went our deficit on machinery. The Treasurer is another one in a long series of boy scouts who have done negotiating for us.
One of the problems is the whole area of nontariff barriers with which we seem unable to cope. I am not suggesting that Ontario can set up its own barriers, but Ontario is the central industrial province and we have more at stake than any other province when it comes to employment, to the kind of skilled manpower we get, the research and development that is done here. We have more at stake than any other province.
I think the Treasurer would agree with this: as Ontario thrives, so thrives the rest of Canada. We have to have a very healthy economy here or the rest of Canada is in trouble economically as well. You have an obligation over there to help rebuild and restructure the disequilibrium that is there now. Your own people admit it is there. I would like to know if the people who wrote the report for Industry and Tourism on the submission to the GATT negotiators would agree with the first priority you recently stumbled upon. I suspect that given their honest assessment of the problem, they would laugh at your first priority because that is the kind of reaction it deserves. The Treasurer will convince no one that there has been a good reason for changing his policy.
I would like to know in his reply what changed his mind from October to December on the whole question of what the first priority should be. There must have been something said to the people over there: “We must change our first priority.” I would very much like to know what it was.
In closing, I would like to say if we are going to solve our problems we have to start at home; we have to start by filling the needs of our domestic market before we think we can satisfy the needs of world markets. If the Treasurer disagrees with that I would like to hear why. Most importantly, I crave an explanation of what changed the minds of the members over there on what the first priority should be, if that is not asking too much.
There are a number of suggestions which I would make. A number of them are provincial, some are federal, and some are both. I’ll quickly go through them. First of all, of course, is the import replacement. But we do need a serious buy-Canadian policy and it shouldn’t be a selfish buy-Ontario policy. I understand that. I have no problem with that at all. You might talk to your friends at Ontario Hydro about that to find out just how stringent they are on that policy.
We must ensure that the current level of tariffs is not reduced in areas where we are under siege until we can turn things around. Until the nontariff barriers have been dealt with, you shouldn’t tamper with the tariffs. We must get rid of that part of nontariff barriers which I read to you about machinery. It is not your responsibility, I know.
Hon. F. S. Miller: It is not even a nontariff barrier. It is a straight tariff barrier.
Mr. Laughren: Of course it is. I’m talking about the one where there is a tariff --
Hon. F. S. Miller: But it’s not even a non tariff barrier. It’s a straight tariff barrier.
Mr. Laughren: All right, it’s a straight tariff. The point is, we cannot be boy scouts. The US government isn’t. They don’t allow the same kind of equipment in the US that we allow in here. That’s fundamentally wrong.
We must change the provision that says you can buy it elsewhere only if it’s not available in Canada. Do you know what that means?
Mr. Hennessy: That’s tea. Tea in Canada. That ad on TV.
Mr. Laughren: No, do you know what that means? That means they must buy it here only if it’s available here. If there is a strike on, for example, it’s considered to be un available here and they can buy it elsewhere. You’ve got to tighten up on that kind of thing. That’s not right.
Hon. F. S. Miller: What kind of juice did you have for breakfast this morning?
Mr. Laughren: We’re talking about machinery, if you don’t mind.
Hon. F. S. Miller: No, what kind of juice did you have?
Mr. Laughren: Let’s talk about machinery and then we’ll talk about --
Hon. F. S. Miller: It’s important.
Mr. Laughren: No, it’s not. We’re talking about machinery.
Hon. F. S. Miller: If you had orange juice --
Mr. Nixon: Juice?
Mr. Laughren: Those kinds of silly diversions are what is costing you the little credibility you have. The Treasurer won’t deal seriously with a serious problem. He sits there frying to perpetuate his image as the jolly miller from Muskoka and that’s not the kind of image Ontario wants from its Treasurer at this time. I just warn the Treasurer in as friendly a way as I know how.
We need to require that the industry provide better manpower training programs in order to meet industry needs. The electrical products industry, for example, is crying for skilled workers. Perhaps you weren’t here, but there was an exchange today with my friend from Windsor-Riverside over the whole question of skilled people in the new Ford plant in Windsor. They will be raiding small businesses which then will have trouble fulfilling their needs for skilled people. There is a real lack of co-ordination there.
We need some kind of organization. I’m not sure it should be like the Domestic International Sales Corporation in the States, but we need something to co-ordinate the efforts of our export companies. Like you, I agree we need to stimulate our exports. Where we part company, fundamentally and profoundly, is on the question of which is the number one priority.
Any fiscal or cash incentives must have equity and guarantees. The Treasurer must be ashamed of what has happened with the Ford grant and with the pulp and paper grant, because he simply has not extracted any guarantees from the companies who are getting the money. The Treasurer shakes his head. I’d like to know whether Ford said that from hereto on, because of that grant, we will get our share of research and development, we will get our share of capital investment in the next seven or eight years, we will get a better split on the skilled jobs in Canada versus the US. I’d like to know if the Treasurer got that kind of concession from Ford. I’d sure like to know about it, because I’d be the first to congratulate him.
How about the pulp and paper industry? My leader made a very sensible suggestion that we get equity when we give money. You free enterprisers over there; you’re great free enterprisers, aren’t you? You want to give it out but you don’t want to get anything back. That’s taxpayers’ money you’re handing out, not your own. It’s taxpayers’ money. You should be getting some guarantees and some equity in return.
Mr. Turner: It comes back many-fold.
Mr. Laughren: No guarantee is coming back. Don’t hand me that. There’s no guarantee that he’s getting anything back. He’s handing it out. There is not even a guarantee that if those companies are exorbitantly profitable in the next few years, it’s forgiven and they give it back to us.
Mr. J. A. Taylor: Why don’t you get acquainted with the program? You are in the last century.
Mr. Laughren: There is no guarantee whatsoever with this handout. We are handing out $100 million with no guarantees, no equity, nothing. That’s irresponsible fiscal mismanagement.
Mr. Young: The company closes them out and they lose it.
Mr. Turner: You’d better go back to your researcher and do it over again.
Mr. J. A. Taylor: You are ill-informed. You are deceiving yourself.
Mr. Laughren: I’m telling you, it’s a fact. Let the Treasurer stand in his place and say that’s not true.
Mr. J. A. Taylor: That’s not true. It’s just not true.
Mr. Laughren: We also need a commitment from the Treasurer that the mining machinery problem will be dealt with and if that involves the public sector, so be it. It is absolutely incredible that given what comes out of the mines of this province, we don’t have a mining machinery business here. It is absolutely incredible.
I want to tell you, we would be much more responsible than the Treasurer is. Long before now, we would have established a crown corporation to build mining machinery equipment to supply our domestic needs. Then we could have talked about the stimulation of exports to the rest of the world as the Treasurer wants to do. We would put first things first. He is walking around with a Liberal wishing wand.
Mr. J. A. Taylor: Confiscate the mines.
Mr. Laughren: Talk about wishing wands and Band-Aids. Your cupboard is full of wishing wands and Band-Aids. You won’t deal with the fundamental problem. The fact that there is no mining machinery industry in Ontario is a disgrace and it is a sad commentary on the leadership this government has provided in economic matters.
Mr. Turner: You are ill-informed.
Mr. Laughren: The members over there are ill-informed and I will not be deterred by their interjections.
Mr. Peterson: I would rather be here than at the NDP Christmas party, I will tell you that.
Mr. Laughren: Am I missing that?
Mr. Watson: Why don’t you go to the Christmas party like the rest of them?
Mr. Pope: How many supporters do you have?
Mr. Laughren: We need better accumulation of facts and data. As a matter of fact, the chairman, in his own estimates, has a vote on statistical services that could be providing us with a lot of information we don’t presently have.
Mr. J. A. Taylor: You wouldn’t know what to do with it.
Mr. Laughren: I want to tell you, we wouldn’t be afraid to deal with the problem if the evidence were there. That is the problem with the Treasurer. The problem is there, it has been pointed out to him and he is afraid to deal with it because of its complexity.
It is not unreasonable to require foreign-owned subsidiaries in this province to do a certain proportion of research and development work here. It is only fair that we get a share of capital investment that goes into any given industry. I don’t see those kinds of demands being made by the Treasurer or by the Minister of Industry and Tourism, whether it is auto parts or whether it is machinery. We are not extracting our fair share from them and that is not good enough.
The Treasurer is winging it, as it were, and taking the path of least resistance when it comes to a serious economic strategy for the province of Ontario. I would like at this time to sit down and listen to the Treasurer.
Mr. Nixon: I would like that too.
Mr. Laughren: I would like to hear the Treasurer respond in some detail to the remarks I have made in particular, tell us what it was that caused him to change his opinion of a month ago concerning the first economic priority for the province of Ontario.
Hon. F. S. Miller: I have listened with great interest to my colleague and he repeats two things so often he will have me believing them before long. There is an old saying that if you want to make the world believe somebody has done something, even if he hasn’t, say it often enough and sooner or later people will believe it, just like gossip in a small town.
The honourable member has said consistently I flip-flopped on policy. I haven’t flip-flopped on policy, but you would have the world believe I have flip-flopped on policy. You choose to believe it is an either/or situation and we tell you it is not.
Secondly. I really do take my job very seriously. The fact that you may not want to believe I take it very seriously is crazy. All you would need to do, my friend, is spend the hours with me each day from roughly 7:15 to 7:35 in the morning --
Mr. Laughren: I didn’t say you didn’t work long hours.
Mr. J. A. Taylor: He couldn’t hack it.
Hon. F. S. Miller: -- just a second, just a second -- from 7:15 to 7:30 in the morning. My deputy will tell you he meets me at 7:27 each morning as we pass on the street; he is driving, I am running.
Hon. Mr. Parrott: Who’s winning?
Mr. Laughren: You got to keep moving, Frank.
Hon. F. S. Miller: Spend the hours with me from 7:15 or 7:30 until usually 10:45 to 11 each night, wherever I have to be, working as hard as I can on this province’s very many problems.
I will be the first to admit to you when you take over a new ministry the learning process takes time. The idea you propose is that when one changes jobs, one is suddenly an instant expert. I may be vain, but I am not so vain as to believe I don’t need the time to read books such as the member for London suggested -- and I’m finding them very interesting and very useful -- to talk to my staff, to visit industry heads, to talk to union heads. I am doing all of that to absorb as much knowledge as I can before I make very many serious decisions. I am intrigued by your constant reference to my frivolity, my smile, my lack of seriousness, all implying, and very effectively I might add, you even have the press gallery beginning to believe it, that somehow --
Mr. Peterson: Your tie.
Hon. F. S. Miller: My tie. Well, at least today it’s government issue.
Mr. Laughren: When you start answering my questions, I will stop telling you that.
Hon. F. S. Miller: No, no, no. I am only saying that perhaps it is your style to dress in black and go around with a long face in order to take your job seriously. It’s not mine.
Mr. Laughren: I am very happy in my work.
Hon. F. S. Miller: It’s not mine. But the fact remains, I think this is the most important ministerial post in government, apart from the gentleman who sits to my right and runs the government. I take it that way and I intend to use that authority as well as I can. If I unfortunately crack a smile from time to time --
Mr. Laughren: That is not the point and you know it.
Hon. F. S. Miller: -- in the pursuit of my duties, I am sorry it distorts your impressions of me.
Mr. Laughren: It is frivolous answers.
Hon. F. S. Miller: It was always my way. I can smile and fire you at the same time.
Mr. Laughren: It is your frivolous answers.
Hon. F. S. Miller: It’s not a frivolous answer.
Mr. Laughren: It is your frivolous answers not your demeanour.
Hon. F. S. Miller: You said a couple of things that were totally incorrect and I think you are quick to point out when I am wrong. You started talking about nontariff barriers with respect to tractors and machinery. Those are not nontariff barriers. Let’s understand what they are: They are devices countries use that do not involve adding something to the imported price of a product but which exclude that product from their marketplace by other means. We have all kinds of them being applied by countries like Japan. The Japanese have been the masters at that. I don’t know whether any other country has managed to do it as effectively.
Mr. Laughren: We certainly haven’t.
Hon. F. S. Miller: Our country has been surprisingly open in that area. I quite agree with you. But the fact remains, let’s put the responsibility for those where it belongs. I will take the blame for those things I can control. I am in exactly the same position as you are when it comes to influencing the tariff barriers of this country. Ontario has been the key, but I have to tell you the federal government is listening to other parts of Canada to a degree that frightens us in Ontario and should frighten you.
The other provinces are saying: “Look, if you protect Ontario’s industries, we are going to pay for it just as we have since Confederation and Ontario will be rich.” We should all agree they lose sight of the picture of a strong, vital national economy that depends on us working with each other, not resenting each other. We all have to take that view and impress upon our friends in Ottawa that they need to negotiate in Canada’s interest, which at times will be in the interest of Ontario’s industry, in the rounds of talks going on. How do we get British Columbia to buy Ontario turbines? I don’t know of any legislation that makes BC buy them.
Mr. Laughren: I didn’t say they should.
Hon. F. S. Miller: No, no, but I am saying right now, we didn’t get the orders. Right? Why? I am told our price may have been higher, so foreign turbines came in. Maybe if we had been facing the present variations in the value of currencies, our prices would have been lower. I was encouraged the other day --
Mr. Laughren: If you would buy your juice from BC fruit, maybe they would.
Hon. F. S. Miller: I gave back the juice. You were accusing me of being a bit frivolous there. You know there are only some things I can do anything about. I can try to influence policy, and in my personal life I can try to do things that follow that policy. You and I agree we should buy Canadian. Bight? Silly though it may seem, you will discover I do drink one of our Canadian juices daily and though I like orange juice very much --
Mr. Peterson: Is that Seagram’s you are talking about?
Hon. F. S. Miller: Well, that’s a distilled juice.
Mr. Laughren: He is not talking about Ontario wine.
Hon. F. S. Miller: It’s a distilled juice.
Mr. Peterson: That explains it all.
Hon. F. S. Miller: When it comes to that kind of juice, I have been known to drink an imported variety because there are flavours one sometimes leans towards. However, we can consciously do that in our little ways.
Let’s go down the list of things you talked about. You talked about the fact no diesel engines are made in Canada. You have perhaps chosen as an example, one of the most complex and costly things to engineer. I recognize the length of runs and the specialization of tooling required to make a diesel engine. I recognize that in the whole world, not many companies have been making them in large numbers.
In Europe, Volvo is in the business, although I don’t know whether they are using Volvo diesels. Mercedes has been in that business for years. There is British Leyland, one of the first and perhaps one of the biggest producers. Many American trucks for many years were powered with British Leyland engines and Cummins Diesel engines.
The idea that we can replace that part of some of our machinery is a bit far-fetched. We may have the right sometime in the future to tie in and make a size or a variation, a series of sixes of a product of that nature, and ship it back and forth across our border, rationalizing production as we have with the automobile industry. On that basis we welcome it. But you will never have the variety you need for all the kinds of equipment made here. It is simply impossible. That doesn’t prevent us from trying to stimulate people to bring in the parts we can’t make efficiently here, and at the same time build the rest.
I go to Goderich from time to time. I am sure you do. I am pleased when I go out of the airport there to run smack dab into a bunch of road graders sitting at the airport, which are made there, I suppose with imported diesel engines. They are shipped right around the world. This is a piece of equipment being made competitively in this country by a fairly good-sized, larger-sized Canadian industry able to compete in world markets.
Mr. Peterson: A credit to the province.
Hon. F. S. Miller: Yes, it is. Absolutely. I agree with you. Let’s broaden those lines and be able to make one thing well enough to ship it out in numbers sufficient to buy some of the things we don’t make. Look at the DC10 or DC9 or DC8 wings made out at Malton airport. Another good example of a degree of rationalization of a skill.
Look at the trading going on now by our friends in the federal government to try to assess which fighter plane to buy, trying to get trade-offs for Canadian components or offsets of some other kind. Again, a reasonable approach to things.
Mr. Laughren: What have you done about that?
Hon. F. S. Miller: I can assure you we are very keenly interested in that, when only one of the companies is likely to be heavily involved in this province, isn’t it?
With respect to the Ford grant to which you referred briefly, it should be pointed out that the greatest assurance we had was that our money was being tied in with many times more dollars from the company to create plants here, which in effect were import replacement plants, weren’t they?
Mr. Laughren: Yes.
Hon. F. S. Miller: Two weeks ago the Reisman report came out. It locked at the industry and I don’t know whether it is right or wrong. I have had an opportunity to look at the parts industry’s response to it and it is not very happy with the Reisman report.
Mr. Laughren: Neither should you be.
Hon. F. S. Miller: They have gone through it and they have documented a whole series of ways they think the report is not helping their industry.
Mr. Laughren: And they’re right on.
Hon. F. S. Miller: Yes. They seemed reasonable, I thought. You were complaining that we were worrying about a $1 billion deficit in the auto parts industry and forgetting about a $3 billion deficit, as I recall your figures, in machinery. We have a very strong base in the auto parts industry right now. We have a strong base on the assembly side. I am told our plants are modern and in terms of efficiency of manhours, are as good as the American plants. Right?
Mr. Laughren: We are not getting our fair share.
Hon. F. S. Miller: Right. And we are saying let’s build on it and get our fair share. Let’s do everything we can to encourage Canadian parts manufacturers to get their fair share of that part which I think we all agree is really the part where the deficit exists -- the $3 billion.
Mr. Laughren: That’s not what Reisman said.
Hon. F. S. Miller: No, I know. That’s why I don’t think we are disagreeing on this particular issue. I say let’s look at it. It is a bit hard for me to take some days --
Mr. Laughren: I should think so, Frank.
Hon. F. S. Miller: -- because our grant produced jobs in Canada that otherwise would have been in the States and it would have required us to import the value of that product into Canada. So we went both ways on that, didn’t we?
Mr. Laughren: How do you feel buying your own fair share?
Hon. F. S. Miller: Let’s look at some of the things we’re good at. We’re starting to export some highly professional skills. I’m intrigued with the services we’re selling into Saudi Arabia and into the oil countries lately. We’re packaging things like health-care plans; we’re looking at educational packages; we’re giving engineering services and architectural services. I'm quite sure, when you get our architects and engineers working there, they tend to start ordering or specifying Canadian parts where those are available. I think that’s good.
Look at the fact that we’re becoming a financial centre in the world. In fact, I believe maybe we can take some steps, in government, to encourage that, because jobs in that sector are as important as any if we’re exporting a skill, aren’t they?
I was pleased, in my own riding --
Mr. Peterson: Do you support this move to the service sector?
Hon. F. S. Miller: I’m not trying to say one or the other; I’m saying we have certain strengths, let’s build on those strengths and at the same time do as much as we can in the other areas too.
Mr. Peterson: Because of structural weaknesses in the manufacturing sector we are moving to this service sector.
Hon. F. S. Miller: Yes. I’m not disagreeing with you.
I was delighted, in my own riding, to see a relatively small company -- I think the name of the company is McEwan Tougard -- which started out by making one simple machine a few years ago, a potato picker, that was in fact imported. They did very well and the next thing I knew they were making these lift garbage containers that you see dropped off all around the country; before I knew it they were virtually handling the Canadian market there. I was even more delighted, recently, when they bought the patent rights, from an American company, to build a garbage packer, something municipalities have been buying from overseas.
I was shocked, though: they just built their first few prototypes and they quoted on one of the Toronto borough’s tenders; they were low and they lost; low and lost. Why? It’s a Canadian product, it’s not proven.
Mr. Laughren: Had to be another reason.
Mr. Peterson: We have to be able to do something about that.
Hon. F. S. Miller: I personally called the borough as the member -- I wasn’t Treasurer, I was Minister of Natural Resources. I think it was early this spring. I was shocked that somebody wouldn’t take a gamble on a Canadian product that in fact was there to replace imported material. That’s part of our Shop Canadian plan, isn’t it?
Mr. Peterson: What happened, Frank? Tell us.
Hon. F. S. Miller: No, they didn’t get the order. Luckily they’re getting other orders since then, but they were so anxious to get this first breakthrough, in a major market --
Mr. Laughren: Where was the Made in Canada label, on the bottom?
Hon. F. S. Miller: I think you’ll find that they did a pretty hard campaign of selling. They just didn’t satisfy the engineers in that particular borough that the product was as dependable as the one they were used to buying. That’s one of the problems one always has to overcome, isn’t it?
It’s always possible they may have had some troubles. I haven’t heard of any; and thank goodness I see them coming out of that factory in a pretty good stream.
I’d suggest to you that all around this country there are opportunities. The other day I bought, as I may have mentioned in the earlier part of the estimates, of all things a wood splitter. My son is a farmer and he’s selling wood in his spare time to add to his farm income.
Mr. Peterson: Moonlighting.
Hon. F. S. Miller: Yes; in the farm business you moonlight automatically.
Mr. B. Newman: All the time.
Hon. F. S. Miller: He’s a dairy fanner; you see the moon at both ends of the day.
After we paid, I don’t know, $630 or whatever it was for this relatively simple piece of machinery -- which was a box beam, a glorified wedge or axe head and a cylinder, with double action piston and some lines back to a tractor, you attach it on to the hydraulic feed of your tractor -- I said to him:
“You know, I think even I could make that”; yet of the two we had to choose from in my town both were American-made.
I got a little upset about that, and I did what I think more of us need to do, when you see a product which can be made here and doesn’t require high-technology tooling. I wrote to, again a small company in my town that does specialize in making small products, a steel company. It makes cable reels, for example, for Northern Electric out of steel rather than out of wood. You’ve seen them made out of wood for many years. I simply said: “I bet you fellows could make this and supply a Canadian market that’s probably as large as any other market for wood splitters right now, and probably be able to export in competition.”
I think we need to suggest it, because all too often our smaller manufacturers don’t see the market potential for something, and that’s their major reason for not getting into it.
On the other side of the issue, when you get into these highly technical things -- let’s take the Koehring Waterous harvesters that we have for the lumber industry; they clip the tree right off at the base and then run up the tree and chop it off in eight-foot sections and stack it in behind.
Mr. Laughren: I saw it at Ontario Place.
Hon. F. S. Miller: Yes, it’s really a monstrous machine, isn’t it; doing about four things at once.
One has to look at that piece of machinery and recognize that sometimes the investment and the technology may be beyond the capability of some of our Canadian producers.
On the other hand, the Ontario government, I think we can be proud of this, has set up UTDC. We may not, as yet, be able to show you the cash results, but that was a definite attempt to get, here in Ontario, a corps of people on design of products we had to buy but for which we felt there was going to be a world demand; to get a degree of expertise and excellence that would allow us to provide packages to sell in world markets. I hope you would support it, even if we do have some difficulties ahead in trying to sort out just how competitive it will be and how well it will stack up in world markets.
I’m delighted to see us talking to Romania about 16 Candu units; whether it’s the right country or the wrong country I’m not going to argue right now. Here we have a Canadian design of excellence that needs to be well marketed in the world, I think. I think its time is coming; it’s a question of our getting out and doing our sales effort and producing the jobs back home.
Mr. Laughren: As long as we keep our sales commissions down.
Hon. F. S. Miller: You talked about manpower problems. I couldn’t agree with you more. I had lunch today with five or six gentlemen from one of our major industrial companies in Canada, one of our competitive, home-owned ones. They were saying they needed quite a few people at a plant they’re intending to open and that frankly they were having to go to England to hire them. That worries me.
Mr. Peterson: Just like Ontario Hydro.
Hon. F. S. Miller: To hire the men.
Mr. Peterson: Disgraceful, absolutely bloody disgraceful.
Hon. F. S. Miller: They said, “we’re very anxious to hire Canadians. We’re very anxious to train Canadians. We’re very anxious to have the people who are currently unemployed trained; in our community colleges, if that can be done; or if it can be done on the job we would be willing to look at ways and means of doing it.”
Mr. Peterson: Have you spoken to Bette about that?
Hon. F. S. Miller: Exactly what I said to them. I would like the Minister of Colleges and Universities (Miss Stephenson), and probably the Minister of Labour (Mr. Elgie), to talk to that company and see if in fact that package couldn’t be worked out, so that we would be training people in skills which would be valuable across their lifetime.
That’s really all I think I need to say on that particular issue. I’m sure the members for London Centre or for Nickel Belt will have other points to bring up.
Mr. Laughren: I didn’t ask the Treasurer too many very specific questions, but there was one very specific question I put to him for which I told him I craved an answer. That was, what happened this fall to change the Ontario --
Hon. F. S. Miller: I told you.
Mr. Laughren: No, you didn’t. What happened to change the Ontario government’s priority from import replacement to stimulation of exports -- as a first priority; not as a shared priority, as a number one priority?
You cannot have two number one priorities. What was it that changed your mind?
Hon. F. S. Miller: If you go back through Hansard, and I’m sure you will; I stated --
Mr. Laughren: I did.
Hon. F. S. Miller: I don’t mean yesterday.
Mr. Laughren: No, I don't either; back to McKeough.
Hon. F. S. Miller: I mean at 6:08 I pointed out that if you said something often enough you would make the world believe it. I used that as the example. I said you were wrong, I haven’t changed priorities.
Mr. Laughren: That is a good example then, if you haven’t.
I guess the Treasurer is trying to tell me -- I find this incredible -- there’s been no change in government policy. Well, we’ll see.
I’ll try to get these in order so that the dates are correct and I suggest the minister follow me very carefully. This was not this Treasurer but it was government policy. The Minister of Industry and Tourism said on October 30: “The essential principle is that increasingly our manufacturing enterprises need a truly national market in order to achieve the scale of operation that modern technology demands. That principle will, I am sure, be understood and accepted as a starting point by the ministers of the other provinces and the federal government.”
Clearly, that is a statement that the domestic market is where you start. I don’t want to leave anything in doubt. That was on October 30.
On November 2, only a couple of days later, the minister said: “One of the biggest
problems faced by Canadian manufacturers is the difficulty of achieving a sufficient scale of operation to permit the development of the technology we need to compete internationally. We can begin to achieve that scale of operation only if we are able to command a dominant share of our own domestic market.” That was on November 2.
Those comments were made on October 30 and November 2. Then on December 1 he said there is no change of policy. This is your colleague speaking again: “To correct our economic problems the export of industrial and agricultural goods has to be our first priority.”
Just a minute, Mr. Treasurer, you can’t say, or have your colleagues who are also setting government economic policy say in two speeches that the first priority is the domestic market and then have them say, at a later date, because somebody over there has come to grips or understands suddenly the enormity of the problem, that that’s not it after all. You’ve changed the priority around. You cannot have it both ways.
All I’m asking you, in a very straightforward way, is what changed your mind between October 80 and November 2 in those two speeches and, on December 1, when the same minister is saying a different thing when the first ministers’ conference priorities had been established? That’s what I’m asking you. It’s a very straightforward question. Please don’t try to fudge the answer. Mr. Chairman, is the Treasurer saying he won’t answer it? Is that what he is saying?
Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Chairman, I don’t get stubborn. I’ve fried to answer it several times.
Mr. Laughren: You don’t want to?
Hon. F. S. Miller: You don’t want to listen to my answer or accept it, so I don’t know what else to say to you. I think at the first ministers’ conference all governments present, in the summary of conclusions, agreed:
“Recognizing that business investment in private sector development and the more rapid growth of exports and displacement of imports were vital to the increase in jobs required to meet theft goals, the first ministers agree to emphasize policies which will stimulate new productive investment from Canadian savings.”
The key part of that is that the statement of more rapid growth of exports and displacement of imports is tied together. I’ve been trying to point this out that it’s not an either/or situation.
Mr. Laughren: I refuse to let this question be dealt with in that way. Clearly, and I think the Treasurer, if he wasn’t under some kind of pressure from the Premier’s office or from the Ministry of Industry and Tourism, would agree with me that the best way to get into export markets is to first develop some expertise in your domestic market. Does the Treasurer have any question about that? Does he understand that? Does he agree with that? He’s not shaking his head, so I have to assume that he agrees with me.
Hon. F. S. Miller: I can take one specific product, the Challenger, which has 108 sales at the present time, and it’s just at the first test flight stage. It has five sold in Canada out of 108 at this time.
Mr. Laughren: Mr. Chairman, it is not often that I feel the Treasurer is not dealing with us in a straightforward manner. I think he usually does, to the best of his ability. In this case I really believe -- and I know you are listening to my words very carefully, Mr. Chairman, in case I might say something unparliamentary -- and I feel very strongly that the Treasurer is not being straight with us.
You could only have one first priority, and you had one first priority back in October, and you had another first priority in December. You can’t say that the two are not mutually exclusive. You can’t say that the two are linked together. We know they are. We know that is true. But at one point one of them was number one, and at another point a different one was number one. Why did you shift priorities from the stimulation of exports to the meeting of the domestic market; the replacement of imports?
Those are two distinct differences if you are trying to establish a government policy. These are not vague economic terms out of a textbook, If you are going to deal with those, they require a different set of policies on the part of government. I think you’d agree that if you have decided that the stimulation of exports is your number one priority, you will deal with that problem in a different way than you would if import replacement was the problem. Would the Treasurer agree with that? I suspect he would.
So we are talking about two distinct programs, and that is what is bothering me. If the Treasurer has decided that he is definitely going to go with the export stimulation program as the number one priority, then I am convinced that there must be something in his mind in terms of bow he is going to achieve that. Is it trade missions to other countries? Is it trade missions to the United States? Is it setting up embassies in those countries?
I don’t know what he has in mind, but surely if it is like he said before, important replacement in order to, first of all, as a starting point, deal with the demands of the domestic market, that is an entirely different program that you would undertake if that is going to be your first priority. Would the Treasurer agree that the two priorities would require different action on the part of this government? Would he agree with that?
Hon. F. S. Miller: Not necessarily, Mr. Chairman. If the province of Ontario was able unilaterally to set tariff barriers then you could take certain actions from a tariff point of view, in fact, achieved the import replacement side. Those would have to be virtual exclusion of certain kinds of products. But again, I have to deal with those things over which I have some measure of control.
We have some products which can be exported without worrying about import replacement in them, I would think many of the products you talked about, the basic raw material products we have had for many years, are like those. You don’t have to develop a local market before you have an expertise in a foreign market. I just can’t accept that it is an either/or. I say that in many cases it requires both measures to be taken, and they go together simultaneously in some cases.
Mr. Laughren: Mr. Chairman, at the risk of being repetitive I’ll put it this way: Would the Treasurer tell us what he intends to do in terms of the stimulation of exports? They have announced it is their number one priority. What I would like to know is how are they going to accomplish that? What programs are they going to undertake? Has he any ideas that he can share with us? What are they going to do? I’ll save the second part of the question until after he answers.
Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Chairman, properly this discussion of programs of export would be under Industry and Tourism.
Mr. Martel: He’s trying to blow and suck at the same time.
Mr. Laughren: Mr. Chairman, the minister trundles off to Ottawa and with great fanfare at an economic conference of first ministers announces his policy. I presumed it would come under the aegis of the Treasurer.
Could I ask him a second question then? Do you intend to have import replacement as a major part -- as you said you did, I assume you do -- of your turning the economy around? What do you have in mind for import replacement? Please don’t tell me that that is the Minister of Industry and Tourism’s responsibility.
Hon. F. S. Miller: Again, Mr. Chairman, I repeat, for I don’t know how many times, yes I am very anxious to have import replacement occur. I have to recognize the limitations on it that we have discussed at some length. We are in the midst of a long and involved set of negotiations at Geneva which have some bearing upon what will happen, and our ability --
Mr. Laughren: As part of the import replacement? You are telling me about the GATT thing. Are you dealing with that as part of the import replacement?
Hon. F. S. Miller: To some degree it is, yes.
Mr. Martel: In fact, you have said nothing so far.
Hon. F. S. Miller: I have been asked nothing.
Mr. Chairman: Shall item 1 carry?
Mr. Laughren: Item 1 may never carry, Mr. Chairman, until we run out of time. What’s really bothering me about this is that the Treasurer is playing a game. Let me try to ask a couple of specific questions again. Was there ever a statement by ministers of his government, that he is aware of, that indicated the number one priority over there was the domestic market and import replacement? Is the Treasurer aware of that as being a policy statement by his colleagues? I know he was listening. He wouldn’t be so silly as not to listen.
Hon. F. S. Miller: I’m sorry, I missed your question. I was talking to my House leader, asking him for advice.
Mr. Martel: You need advice, to find out which is the right door.
Mr. Laughren: Was the Treasurer aware of statements by his colleague the Minister of Industry and Tourism that the domestic market, import replacement, was the number one priority of the government?
Hon. F. S. Miller: I’m sure I was, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Laughren: If the Treasurer was aware of that and if he is now aware of the Minister of Industry and Tourism saying that’s not the number one priority any more but that the stimulation of exports is, was he aware or were there any discussions between him and the Minister of Industry and Tourism on that shift in policy?
Hon. F. S. Miller: I don’t accept the statement of the shift. I’ve told you that eight times. I would simply say that minister and I probably talk together as frequently as any two ministers do in government.
Mr. Martel: That’s never.
Mr. Laughren: Answer the question.
Hon. F. S. Miller: Obviously there is a great need for the meshing of economic policy and the delivery of that policy through the operating ministries, of which MIT has to be the major ministry. Right?
Mr. Laughren: Of course.
Hon. F. S. Miller: You read to me parts of his speech earlier today and as I recall, “these must be the starting point” were words in that speech, weren’t they?
Mr. Laughren: What is your starting point?
Hon. F. S. Miller: I think you gave undue emphasis to the fact that that was an either/or situation. I’m still even confused as to why it matters so much to you, because I feel if I could even understand that I think it would be useful to me in trying to answer your questions as straightforwardly as I am able.
Mr. Laughren: I’ll attempt to put the Treasurer’s mind at ease. The reason it mailers to me, to us, to all my colleagues here --
Hon. F. S. Miller: You waved your hand over two of them.
Mr. Turner: All four of them.
Mr. Laughren: We happen to have a lot at stake in the health of the Ontario economy too, and the economy of this country. It is our responsibility to point out to you where we think you’re going wrong. We think it requires an entirely different set of government policies depending on the priority. If your number one priority is import replacement, that’s an entirely different set of policies you’ll have to devise and develop over there. If it’s export stimulation, that’s an entirely different set again. How can you sit there and say the two are interchangeable? How can you do that? You know enough about the economy, don’t you?
Mr. Martel: Don’t be too sure. No.
Mr. Laughren: You know that those are totally different, those two things. That’s why it matters a great deal to me. Also, I’m really surprised that the minister is stone-walling on this.
Mr. Martel: It is just through ignorance.
Mr. Laughren: The Treasurer is playing a game with us and I don’t think he’d do that.
Mr. Martel: It’s just through ignorance.
Mr. Peterson: Watch the time.
Mr. Laughren: I’m sorry. I didn’t know the member for London Centre was going to speak. I’ll finish up, because I’m not getting anywhere with the Treasurer anyway.
I’m very disappointed, because surely if you say import replacement is the starting point, which is what the Minister of Industry and Tourism said, the Treasurer must have a different starting point. Does he say that you start with the domestic market, the import replacement program, that that’s your starting point, but that your first priority is stimulation of exports? Maybe that’s what he’s saying. He really is trying to have it both ways.
You are going to end up with a bad policy in every area if you try to do that; that is downright silly, superficial and sophomoric.
Hon. F. S. Miller: That is probably the best alliteration I have heard from you yet.
Mr. Peterson: To some extent I share the frustrations of my colleague from Nickel Belt. Just because we are involved in this process, you see, of ad hockery, so many of the things we are talking about and concerned about today -- and all three parties are concerned -- weren’t major concerns five or six years ago. These things seemed to happen on their own. We were creating wealth at a rate that at least kept most people from worrying about it, but now serious people who are looking ahead see that we are involved in a rough, tough world and we are going to have to compete on our own.
Your response has been a difficult one to assess. We have had two or three different ministers involved in this, designing programs. We had the former Treasurer, who had definite views on certain subjects; the former Minister of Industry and Tourism, at least to our perceptions and I think to most intelligent observers’ perceptions, had a little different point of view. We understand that individuals in cabinet do have different points of view; they fight it out, and God knows the best man wins, that’s fair enough.
We really have a very difficult time knowing what kind of co-ordinated strategy you have with the Minister of Industry and Tourism. When you talked today it frustrated me. I felt a little bit sad when you said, “I had met these guys from a plant, they have trouble getting labour.” So I quipped, “Well why didn’t you talk to the Minister of Colleges and Universities?” You should have talked to them four years ago. I would be the last one to suggest you should set up something like the federal government has with a new economic coordinating agency, with a new minister and new co-ordinations going on. There are so darned many people running around this government co-ordinating, there are so many lines of communication, frequently nothing gets done.
I am distressed, though, by how little I see in terms of co-ordinated policy. I see the problem in serious enough terms that it is going to require a great sense of urgency, and it is going to require all the resources you have, that the Ministry of Industry and Tourism has -- Labour, Education, Colleges and Universities and everybody else. Very frankly, I don’t see that forthcoming. I see the response is to wing it, to do what you have to do and tout your great industrial strategy.
That is a phrase that has worried a lot of people. McKeough never liked the term “industrial strategy,” because he thought it meant picking winners and losers and intruding his nose into the marketplace. I never shied away from that word or that concept at all. I don’t think industrial strategy is a bad thing to have at all; and I think the problem, of course, is you don’t know what it is or what it should be.
I think that is really what we are disagreeing about here, the state’s role. If you accept my premise that things are difficult, that we are facing a tremendous amount of competition we didn’t face five years ago; at the same time our manufacturing value added sector is declining and we don’t see any immediate turnaround for it.
It is going to require the collective expertise of everybody in this room, plus all your staff, plus a lot more people. We have yet to see from you any kind of co-ordinated, integrated, semi-intelligent strategy; and that, I guess, is the principal frustration.
Your response in the last two or three weeks has been, “Well, we are working on it,” and “Yes, we have filed a paper. We have a study on the pulp and paper industry.” Then the Minister of Industry and Tourism stands up to tell us he has a loan that he has put through the Ontario Development Corporation.
At the same time, now that you have lost your virginity, industry knows that you are prepared to play. Now you have lost your virginity, the question is how much do you charge for it from now on or how much are you prepared to give away.
I, for one, never disagreed with playing with Ford. My own reaction, my own party’s reaction was, in the circumstances, as much as we find it distasteful we had no other choice. I can assure you that we, in the circumstances, probably would have done something about it, although we would have gotten a better deal because we are better negotiators. However, in principle, we still would have done it and we think there are jobs to be provided.
I know of cases today, from my own experience as well as what I read, there are other people lined up and ready to take advantage, if you let them take advantage of you, but who are looking at some sort of industrial expansion, who are looking at creating new jobs by adding to the capacity already here or bringing new expansion into this province.
If I was one of those people, I would be extraordinarily frustrated in knowing who I should talk to. Are you contemplating, my question is this, are you contemplating a new agency? Are you going to scrap ODC and the various development agencies? Are you contemplating new co-ordinating strategies between the various ministries that are going to require, as you very rightly pointed out, involvement of the Ministry of Colleges and Universities.
That’s a dismal situation in this province that we have spoken on at great length. We have been so Neanderthal and so inept at training people to meet our own needs in this province, I think we should collectively he ashamed of ourselves -- and it’s a function of that funny lady who sits, who’s not here tonight but sits right over there, or at least her ministry.
I am most concerned about that, because I think that young people today do have a sense of reality, and are quite prepared to take and want some guidance of where the action is going to be in five or 10 years. Frankly, most farsighted people could have seen that and I deplore the fact that Ontario Hydro has to go to England to bring in technicians; I deplore the fact that your friends you are talking to today are talking about bringing in people from England. It’s a very very sad commentary on how with it, collectively, we are and the degree of co-ordination we have had.
I want to ask you this, now that people know you are in the marketplace and the province is ready to play: How many inquiries have you had and who has had them; what agency is handling those and what is your response? Ultimately I am going to ask you, by way of supplementary, Mr. Minister, are you contemplating any new programs or are you planning new ways to handle these things, because they haven’t worked all that well in the past?
Hon. F. S. Miller: As a new minister, I obviously have the right to review the existing mechanisms of liaison and co-ordination between ministries; and as the minister responsible for economic policy and its creation, and let’s say its monitoring, obviously I am spending a good deal of time working on a review of the efficiency of the present system and the needs to improve it where they exist.
I would not normally be the minister to whom direct requests came. They would normally come, as I understand that Ford did, to the Minister of Industry and Tourism. There are exceptions to that rule; Agriculture and Food at times could be the ministry hearing of requests, because not every single request is strictly industrial, or let’s put it this way, food processors often relate to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food. I am spending a good deal of time, in fact that’s one of the reasons there has been a slight delay in coming back to this House with any kind of public statement; I wanted to be satisfied that what we would be doing was in fact as efficient as it could be, and certainly I will be anxious to make sure that we improve the already good co-ordination between the ministries that the policy fields provide.
Mr. Peterson: Just one other question, two questions: When are you contemplating coming in with some sort of response to the frustrations that we all have; and that you have yourself, I’m sure?
Hon. F. S. Miller: I am by nature not a very patient person and I would have been very happy to have it back before now. I have had a series of events slow me down, some of which were all beyond the province’s control. I am not blaming anybody, I am just simply saying that in this complex, interdependent world we do have to watch what others are doing so that we don’t have such a mass of programs that one can’t sort out who is doing what. So we awaited with some interest the changes the federal government produced during the fall and we have only had, really, two weeks since then, which is not all that much time I am sure you would agree, to do the co-ordinating bit that you are talking about now that we see what has to be done.
I would like to have been able to promise you it would be out this week, I can’t. I really can’t. My next option is to decide whether some statement should be made now or whether I should properly put it in the budget. One of my concerns, as I approach my first budget, is that the budget should be a meaningful statement of government intent and that it not be too diluted by too many ad hoc statements in advance.
Mr. Peterson: So we don’t know what’s going to happen. That’s what you are telling us, and it may be some time between now and the budget, depending on circumstances. I really have no idea what to expect even. Are you talking about addressing yourself -- do you shy away from the words industrial strikes, does that bother you? You don’t get hives when you run into that as your former Treasurer did?
Hon. F. S. Miller: As long as you recognize the limitations of government’s role.
Mr. Peterson: The debate then becomes the role and what government can specifically do best, and we have very definite views on that. What kind of activities have you had, what kind of inquiries have you had, since you went public and said you are willing to play? Are you going to get a lot of industries lining up? Are you getting people wanting to expand and are they looking for government help?
Hon. F. S. Miller: I can assure you that there are industries interested, but again, I have only talked to one or two directly, because they don’t normally talk to the Treasurer. The comments to me were made in the course of other discussions, rather than specifically to discuss their programs. They properly would go to the Minister of Industry and Tourism.
Mr. Peterson: Who is going to do this? Are you going to do this, or is the Minister of Industry and Tourism going to do it? You are trying to sort this out jurisdictionally as to who is going to announce the program? Whenever you have worked this out, are you going to include the Minister of Labour and the Minister of Colleges and Universities in this?
Hon. F. S. Miller: I think you will find we will have everybody who needs to be included.
Mr. Peterson: I must say in response that I would have hoped you would have moved a little faster on this. I know of a wonderful case right now, sitting in front of me, of a particular company, a very successful Ontario company that is a world-class manufacturer and fabricator, that has no idea what to do. They know that they can add 200 or 300 jobs and penetrate the North American market further than they already have. I can tell you, when you deal with people like that with some of the bureaucratic ways that have been done, it just turns them off completely. They quite rightly -- and it is a reasonable business decision today-decide not to expand.
A lot of people aren’t willing to put up with the hassles without some help, without someone in government to help them pave the way. I am appealing to you, when you develop this new infrastructure it will be as nonbureaucratic as possible; it will be as unharassing as possible; it won’t be necessarily employer of last resort; and it will be highly flexible.
I, for one, would be quite prepared to incur some losses. You are not always going to pick a winner. It never worried me, frankly, that government occasionally had the odd bad loan. I think if it is doing its job it is going to have the odd bad loan. I don’t think that’s a criticism. What you have got to do is build jobs, and you have got to build a manufacturing sector here.
Hon. F. S. Miller: I would agree with almost all the things the member has just said about the needs for the program.
Mr. Martel: You are agreeable.
Hon. F. S. Miller: I would only point out, though, that you have in front of you a company that feels it is not making progress, it doesn’t have to wait for this announcement. We have had the mechanisms that brought Ford here. We have had the mechanisms that have helped many other corporations. If, in fact, somewhere down the bureaucratic chain this company isn’t getting the attention it deserves, I would hope you would bring it either to my direct attention or to the minister’s, so that we may make sure they get the attention they deserve.
Mr. Peterson: I can tell you an example, but I don’t think I will because it involves personalities.
Mr. Martel: It’s too depressing.
Mr. Peterson: It is such a screwup between a former Minister of Industry and Tourism and a former deputy, and there are so many ego problems, jurisdictional problems and political problems. I will tell you about it privately. I don’t really want it in Hansard, because it is not very fair to the people involved.
I can tell you I came to various people, and I don’t want to name names, with a specific suggestion of specific people that I knew were wanting to spend money here and create jobs. It got into so much internal politics, they turned and went away. I was immediately suspect, because I happen to be a Liberal making a suggestion to a government of a different stripe.
I have no idea, frankly, how the new Minister of Industry and Tourism operates and what his relationship with his deputy is, but I can tell you that particular example so turned me off the governmental process, and justice wasn’t done and as a result the province suffered, just because of the internal workings of that particular ministry. It’s a very sad story, but there was nothing I could do because I was immediately suspect. There was nothing anyone could do, I guess, in those circumstances, given the players.
I just hope the players that are there now, as well as yourself, have a very different view of that. Occasionally, you know, opposition members come up with not a bad idea and genuinely want to help and don’t even want to extract all that much credit for it. They just want to see something worthwhile done occasionally.
Mr. Laughren: I’m a good example of that. Mr. Peterson: When that is done, I think that I would have liked to have seen a lot better performance by the government. God knows, I understand that personalities get in the middle of this sometimes, but it’s a classic case, and to the detriment of this province.
Anyway, it’s seven o’clock and I’m sure that Mr. Chairman would like to finish, be. cause we can all go down to the Tory Christmas party and show our appreciation for this great government.
Items 1 and 2 agreed to.
Vote 1103A agreed to.
Vote 1104A agreed to.
Mr. Chairman: That completes the estimates of the Ministry of Treasury and Economics.
On motion by Hon. Mr. Welch, the committee of supply reported certain resolutions.
First Clerk Assistant: Mr. Edighoffer from the committee of supply reports the following resolution:
That supply in the following amounts and to defray the expenses of the government ministries named be granted to Her Majesty for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1979.
Reading dispensed with.
Resolution concurred in.
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ON NOTICE PAPER
Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, before moving adjournment I wish to table the answers to questions 158, 160, 161 and 162 standing on the Notice Paper.
On motion by Hon. Mr. Welch, the House adjourned at 6:57 p.m.