31e législature, 4e session

L020 - Mon 14 Apr 1980 / Lun 14 avr 1980

The House met at 2 p.m.




Hon. Mr. Auld: Mr. Speaker, last December I reported to this House concerning our fish stocking program in Lake Ontario. I dealt more specifically with disease problems in coho salmon, namely IPN or infectious pancreatic necrosis. I expressed our concern about stocking the lake with diseased fish and the effects that such stocking could possibly have on other species in Lake Ontario, such as brook, lake and rainbow trout.

I explained in my December statement that I was debating the pros and cons of releasing the coho in the spring and that any decision would be deferred until I had studied the science, the law and the intentions of other agencies that are also releasing this species in the Great Lakes. I have considered the advice of the scientists of my ministry who have reviewed the programs of bordering Great Lakes states. We have examined the economic and recreational aspects, particularly of the Lake Ontario salmon fisheries.

From this I have come to the conclusion that virtually nothing would be gained by failing to plant our coho salmon this year. However, these plantings will be restricted to Lake Ontario where, as members will know, a number of other agencies, especially US fisheries, are making similar and, in most cases, larger plantings in the Great Lakes.

Before this decision was reached, a meeting on stocking and disease control programs and concerns took place among the heads of Great Lakes fisheries agencies, with my deputy minister, Dr. Keith Reynolds, representing our province. Prior to that meeting, more information was garnered from a January 17 meeting of the Great Lakes Fisheries Commission’s fish disease control committee at Romulus, Michigan. So members can see that the decision to release our coho was not made without much soul-searching.

I want to assure you and all honourable members, Mr. Speaker, that my ministry will continue to press for and provide leadership in an international effort to control disease and to search for and develop disease-free salmon stocks. But this will take time. There is no logic in our being out of step with everyone else to the detriment of a thriving sports fishery which has developed in recent years. I would like to repeat, however, that it is our firm intention to encourage all other agencies which make Pacific salmon plantings in the Great Lakes also to pursue most vigorously efforts to reduce and eventually eliminate the planting of diseased fish.

Our goal must be to improve the overall environment and habitat of the Great Lakes for the establishment of other salmonoids which will be self-propagating, something which, it appears, coho and chinook are unlikely to be.

As members know, rainbow trout reproduce successfully in a number of Lake Ontario streams. Our stream improvement work under the strategic planning for Ontario fisheries (SPOF) program is extending the number of successful spawning streams. In the case of stocked lake trout, we have observed concentrations of mature spawners on the shoals of eastern Lake Ontario, and we are checking on the success of reproduction by searching for young fish.

Such growing evidence suggests welcome and encouraging results of the province’s efforts, spearheaded by the Ministry of the Environment, to improve the water quality of the Great Lakes, especially Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. This year we will supplement the coho plantings with 140,000 rainbow and 400,000 lake trout in Lake Ontario. Members will be interested, I am sure, to note that the plantings this spring will bring our total plantings over the past five years to approximately 587,000 rainbows, 1,282,000 lake trout and 945,000 cohos. This is in addition to some 539,000 fingerling chinook salmon.

We are taking these steps to continue my ministry’s dedicated efforts to maintain and expand our fishery heritage in the Great Lakes.


Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, on February 22, at the Secondary School Headmasters’ Council, I announced that the Ministry of Education would commence an intensive one-year study of secondary school education in this province.

The study will be under the chairmanship of Mr. Duncan Green, director of education for the city of Toronto. I am grateful to the board of education for the city of Toronto for permitting his participation in this important study. Mr. Green, who is a former secondary school teacher and principal, will assume the responsibility of generating a series of sequential reports. These reports will deal with assessment, evaluation, reaction and design, which will culminate in recommendations that will indicate the ways and means whereby secondary education can operate in the best interest of students and society as we approach the 21st century.

The project includes the following objectives: to focus upon the needs and the goals of secondary students commensurate with their levels of ability; to set the criteria for a program which prepares students for the futures envisaged by society; to assess the goals of education and to realign the secondary school program to ensure that the goals and programs are compatible and viable; to redesign the program to better prepare students for the world of work; to consider the structure of intermediate and senior divisions with respect to the characteristics of adolescents and the problem of mobility of students within and to or from the province; to assess such features as the credit system, required subject policy and diploma requirements; to devise means to provide appropriate educational programs which include courses at various levels of difficulty to meet the needs of students with different interests and aptitudes; and to respond to concerns regarding standards and discipline in secondary schools.

The project will involve the work of four committees which will operate in a consecutive progression towards the development of the overall plan. The membership of the committees will include educators employed by school boards, students, representatives of parents, employees’ organizations, representatives of employers and others from the private sector, and officials of the Ministry of Education. Each of the committees will be chaired by Mr. Green.

The first committee is the steering committee, with a membership of 18 people, including a secretariat. I will name the members at the conclusion of this statement. The steering committee commenced its work on April 1 and will function until March 31, 1981. Its initial activity will be the preparation of an assessment report which will identify existing issues and problems relating to secondary education, assess the issues and problems in their present context and comment on future possible directions and alternatives. This exercise will take place during the next three months, after which the steering committee will continue to co-ordinate the activities of subsequent committees as the project progresses.

2:10 p.m.

The second committee is the evaluation committee, consisting of approximately 10 members, with a balanced membership representing both the Ontario public and the profession of education. Its peak activity will take about three months, overlapping with the work of the steering committee in the early summer of this year. The evaluation committee will study and analyse the assessment report and assist the steering committee in organizing a symposium to be convened for three days which will provide an opportunity for approximately 175 participants to react to papers and debates on issues related to secondary education. International, national and provincial expertise will be provided and will be a valuable input.

On the basis of the reaction with experts, submitted papers and symposium findings, the evaluation committee will prepare a report for the consideration of the steering committee.

The third committee is called the reaction committee, and it is to consist entirely of members drawn from the general public, including students. The committee members will have attended the symposium and will then have the opportunity to react to the papers presented, to discuss further and analyse the issues that are of concern, to review the reports of the previous committees and to assess contemporary data. That committee will submit a report for the use of the steering committee. The work of the reaction committee will require approximately two months and should be completed early this fall.

The final committee is the design committee. Its membership of approximately 12 people will be drawn entirely from the education profession, and it will study and review the assessment, evaluation and reaction reports. These members will also have participated in the symposium.

From the broad background of studies generated throughout the project, the design committee will develop a secondary school plan and submit this as a design report to be prepared over approximately a three-month period and to be ready by the end of 1980.

The steering committee will publish the design plan as a discussion paper on secondary education for comment by the general public and the educational community. The time allotted for reaction to this paper is approximately three months. On the basis of reaction to the discussion paper, the steering committee will prepare a final blueprint for secondary education in Ontario which will be examined by senior officials within the Ministry of Education and submitted for consideration a year from now.

Mr. Green, the project chairman, will continue with the Ministry of Education until the end of June 1981 and act in a consultative role as we consider the future implementation of the project’s recommendation for secondary schools in this province. The secretariat, which consists of Mr. Green and three ministry officials, will be working full-time throughout the entire project and will assist the four committees in their studies and the development of their reports.

The steering committee will have the overall responsibility for monitoring the activities of the secondary school education review project. I am pleased today to announce the members of the steering committee.

The membership is: Mr. Duncan Green, project chairman, director of education, Toronto Board of Education; Mrs. Sonia Bata, director of Bata Limited; Mrs. Jalynn Bennett, assistant vice-president, Manufacturers’ Life Insurance Company; Mr. Gerald Blake, education officer, senior and continuing education branch, Ministry of Education; Mr. Thomas Bolton, deputy chairman and chief executive officer, Dominion Stores Limited; Mr. Carl Butcher, regional director of education, midnorthern Ontario region; Mr. Frank Clifford, director of education, Waterloo County Roman Catholic Separate School Board.

Mr. P. R. Doyle, president, Sault College of Applied Arts and Technology; Mrs. Kay Forsythe, chairman, Kapuskasing Board of Education; Mr. George Isford, education officer, senior and continuing education branch; Mr. Rosaire Léger, director of education, Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry County Board of Education; Mr. Gregory Murtagh, director of education and training, Ontario Federation of Labour; Dr. Charles Pascal, chairman of higher education group, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education; Dr. Ronald Watts, principal and vice-chancellor, Queen’s University; and Mrs. Margaret Wilson, president, Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation.

The secretariat consists of Mr. Green, Mr. Patrick Fleck, Mr. Jack Bell and Mr. Morris Liebovitz.

Mr. Nixon: How much is that going to cost?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Six hundred thousand dollars.


Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, today I would like to table the Ministry of Transportation and Communications and the Ministry of Northern Affairs road construction program for 1980-81. This fiscal year my ministry is planning to spend an estimated $302.1 million for construction on the King’s highway system in northern and southern Ontario, an increase of approximately $26 million over last year.

In addition, we will be subsidizing municipal road construction for another $220 million, which generates about $380 million in total expenditures when we include the municipalities’ share.


Hon. Mr. Snow: Obviously some of the members are not interested in the road program, Mr. Speaker. I know you are interested in our road program, and I thank you for listening so intently.

In all, some $682.1 million will be spent on projects considered critical to preserve the present quality of the existing highway system, which ensures the movement of goods and people in Ontario.

Briefly, we are proposing new work on a total of 579 kilometres of the provincial highway system in southern Ontario, primarily on two-lane highways. Construction of 64 bridges is also scheduled to begin.

In northern Ontario, my ministry will continue to carry out the planning, design and construction of some 575 kilometres of provincial highways, a system which I am sure all the members know is the partial responsibility of the Ministry of Northern Affairs, which allocates the funds for capital road construction. Again, the majority of the work is primarily on two-lane highways, although the construction of passing lanes, remote and municipal airports is also included.

Details of all these projects and others are contained in the program document I am tabling now, copies of which will go to all members via the legislative post office. In addition, we are including copies of the ministry’s long-range perspective for provincial roads, reflecting the government’s viewpoint of Ontario’s future highway system, a perspective which, of course, is subject to an annual review.



Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct a question to the Minister of the Environment (Mr. Parrott), who is in the process of taking his seat. Given that there is only a month or so -- because of the nature of the material and the time of year in which it has to be used -- before the minister will be giving out permits to spray the 2,4,5-T and 2,4,5-TP stocks, would the minister agree to the immediate formation of a committee representing all three parties in the House to review the available evidence and to offer advice to the minister and to the Legislature? Would he agree, before doing any spraying of this material, that there should be such a committee?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, I find that an unusual suggestion, given the history. As the member well knows, I consulted with his Liberal critic and had what I thought was a reasonable agreement on what we would do. I also consulted with the New Democratic Party and was told I really could not expect them to take that kind of responsibility on behalf of the government. In other words, the member’s suggestion has been rejected by the New Democratic Party previously; so I see no way it would make sense. Indeed, his own member has not seen fit to give alternative advice.

Mr. S. Smith: I am disappointed that the minister continues in this vein. The minister now admits that the information he gave to both opposition critics was incomplete --

Hon. Mr. Parrott: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: I did not --

Mr. Speaker: Let him finish.

2:20 p.m.

Mr. S. Smith: -- inasmuch as four of the most recent articles were not even read by the Pesticides Advisory Committee. The minister admits that at least some of the articles show that 2,4,5-T is a danger to health, and some of those articles have not been read by the Pesticides Advisory Committee. He also admits that he did not know about the possibility of burning at sea. And who knows what other information he did not have when he consulted with the critic.

Since this is so, why will he not accept a constructive and reasonable suggestion to have an immediate committee set up, with all three parties on it, to look at the available information, to meet with members of the Pesticides Advisory Committee and to make a decision within the next month before he starts to spray a material that he considers too dangerous to store?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: It is rather interesting that the leader of the Liberal Party should suggest in this House that we meet with the Pesticides Advisory Committee. Just last week I made it very clear in this House that the chairman of that committee was here on that given day, and not a single soul of this House, including the Leader of the Opposition, chose to consult with him then or since. In fairness, he was here.

Mr. Nixon: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker: The honourable minister said in this House that the gentleman was waiting in the lobby to speak to us. We went out there and could not find him. What kind of an arrangement is that supposed to be? He was not out there. Let us bring him into this committee. What kind of arrangement is that?


Mr. Speaker: Order. The Minister of the Environment has the floor.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: With due respect, Mr. Speaker, a member of the press did find the gentleman in question. I really thought that the members opposite would have had the same ability to have ferreted out that gentleman which they suggest is so difficult. Not only was the press able to find him, but I also made an offer here and I pleaded with members to speak to him. He was readily available.

May I go the next step and suggest that if the members wish to speak with the committee as a whole, I will be very glad to offer their services. But I do reject the concept that they will not accept the responsibility and then ask the next day that they have that privilege again.

Ms. Bryden: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker: I would certainly be interested in examining the evidence that has come before the Pesticides Advisory Committee and meeting with them. But I would like to ask the minister, while this is going on, will he put on a complete ban and not issue any permits this year? Will he have it put in storage for another year until we get a chance to look at the evidence? There is all sorts of new evidence coming in -- a new study going on in Australia and so on. Will the minister maintain the complete ban for another year?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, I think we have answered that question several times. I have acted on the best advice it is possible to get in Ontario. There isn’t any doubt about that. The leader of the Liberal Party suggests there were one or two studies that the committee has not seen, as though that was a very representative approach to the consideration of the committee. I think that is not correct, that they have --

Mr. S. Smith: It was the basis of the EPA’s whole case.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: No, it wasn’t. Indeed, the committee reviewed many pieces of literature, and the chairman was involved with those studies right at the very inception. He has been well briefed in not only those studies but many others. I listed them in the House and I think all I can do is reiterate that we will be more than pleased to let any members of the House visit with the committee. The member for Beaches-Woodbine (Ms. Bryden) suggests that they will not take part of the responsibility, that we take that solely on ourselves. That’s fair enough; I understand that and accept that. But I think the consultative process would be not very fruitful.

Mr. S. Smith: Instead of sending members of the House out to see if we can ferret out the chairman of this or that committee, will the minister do things in a businesslike fashion? Will he arrange to have a committee of all parties in the House meet expeditiously on the matter?

While he is deciding that, can he tell the House whether he has ever laid eyes on this report, which happens to show the at-sea incineration of herbicide Orange on board the MT Vulcanus? Has he personally ever laid eyes on this report, and what does he think it says?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: It is interesting that the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. S. Smith) suggests he has all this great information and then -- I had better be careful with my choice of words -- he implies that 2,4,5-T is being burned at sea. It is not. He implies that it is the same thing as Agent Orange. It is not.

If he has read that report, I think he needs his glasses improved a great deal, because he doesn’t read it very well.

Mr. Wildman: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: First, since the minister seems determined to allow spraying across the province this summer, and especially in northern Ontario, is he ready to admit that 2,4,5-T will be sprayed in conjunction with 2,4-D, which is Agent Orange?

Second, if he is concerned about the safety of this pesticide, is he lobbying with the federal Minister of Agriculture to deregister this material for use across Canada?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I am not sure I heard that correctly, Mr. Speaker, but I thought I heard that 2,4,5-T is one and the same as Agent Orange.

Mr. Wildman: That is not what I said. What I said was that 2,4,5-T would be sprayed in conjunction with 2,4-D. The combination is indeed Agent Orange.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: There is a vast difference, as I have tried to indicate here in the House. The member is wrong on two occasions. We are talking about Agent Orange, which has a tens of thousands more concentrated form. As I said in the House the other night, that makes an entirely different preparation.

Second, the member has incorrectly suggested that it would be sprayed only in northern Ontario. I answered that previously. I said it would be used as a useful product on the same conditions throughout all of Ontario.


Mr. S. Smith: I would like to ask a question of the Minister of Health (Mr. Timbrell), Mr. Speaker. In his submission to the Hall commission on health services the minister stated, and repeated in the Globe and Mail today, that the issue of physician participation in the Ontario Health Insurance Plan has been a concern to some observers of the health-care system. I would like to know from the minister: Is he one of these concerned observers and is he worried about the rate of participation in OHIP? If he is concerned, what does he intend to do about it?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, short of rereading into the record the full extent of the Hall submissions -- which I would like to do at some point in the future, perhaps in the budget debate -- let me say that of course we are concerned. I think our actions prove that. In particular, we have been very careful not to take actions that would undermine the health-care system of this province.

Mr. S. Smith: I think it behooves the minister to have the courage either to state that he finds the present situation reasonably satisfactory and is prepared to let it continue, or to state that he is seriously concerned about the present level and finds that it is not acceptable to let it continue. Why will he not get off the fence? I know the Premier (Mr. Davis) refers to me as unbalanced, but he knows a lot about balance, because he has been on the fence on this issue the whole time.


Mr. S. Smith: The minister’s allies to my left who are supporting him on health care are busy interjecting. His allies in the New Democratic Party want the present situation to continue for at least one more year. We know that much. What I want to know is: What does the minister want? I know what the NDP wants. It wants the present situation to continue for another 12 months. But what does the minister want? Does he want the present situation to continue as it is? Is he concerned about it? Is he not? If he is concerned, why does he not take action to change the situation?

2:30 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I find it amusing that it would be the Leader of the Opposition who would make remarks about sitting on the fence. He reminds me of that member of the British House who was referred to by the Right Honourable Lloyd George in 1915 as having sat on the fence so long that the steel was embedded in his soul. That’s the member for Hamilton West (Mr. S. Smith).

The honourable member knows very well that we believe the present system has served the people of this province extremely well. I don’t know if he has read the whole submission to Hall -- likely not -- but the opting-out situation is in the main confined to six counties. Our reaction to that is to address particular concerns that have led to opting-out, such as concerns about family practitioners’ incomes. That has led to a significant reduction in the number of GPs opting out, down to very manageable proportions. We have also developed proposals such as the alternative payment arrangement for anaesthetists. We will continue to explore for, find and apply innovative solutions to particular problems rather than using some heavy club. I’m not sure whether the Leader of the Opposition agrees with that, because he has never taken a position one way or the other.

Mr. Breaugh: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker: I would like to ask the minister if, when he is reading into the record his concerns, he would also read into the record the concerns that we expressed before Mr. Justice Hall. Further, would the minister also read into the record all the fine concerns expressed by the Liberal Party of Ontario to Mr. Justice Hall? It shouldn’t take long, because that party didn’t say a damned thing.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I am sure that at the appropriate time my friend from Oshawa (Mr. Breaugh) will read into the record his own brief. I am waiting to see what the member sends Mr. Justice Hall, inasmuch as he promised to send him some information as to how the member would implement what he said he thought should be done. I am deeply interested in that. But I agree with the member: I was most impressed with the Liberal brief to the Hall commission. It’s the typical thing that comes out of Liberal parties.

Mr. S. Smith: If I were the minister, I would be embarrassed at the support of the NDP.

The minister has referred to the situation involving the specialty of anaesthesia; will he tell us whether the anaesthetists of Ontario have accepted his suggestion that they all accept to work on contract? If they have not yet accepted his suggestion, is he prepared to make it an order?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: We have been approached by a number of the larger anaesthetist groups which have indicated an interest in this proposal. As I indicated to the House a number of weeks ago we will, therefore, be sitting down with them on an individual basis. I believe meetings have already been held and will be held over the spring. In this way we believe we will be able to bring about a mutually satisfactory solution rather than driving some of our best physicians out of Ontario.


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a question to the Premier (Mr. Davis), since he was talking to the women’s conference of his party at about the same time I was talking this weekend to the women’s conference of the New Democratic Party in Kitchener. Our people came up with damned fine recommendations as well.

Now that the women of the Progressive Conservative Party have added their voice to what women in the NDP and women across this province have been saying for a long time now in urging the government to bring in legislation to provide for equal pay for work of equal value, is the government prepared to bring Bill 3, which would provide that equal pay, into this Legislature for third reading? This is the bill introduced by the member for Windsor-Sandwich (Mr. Bounsall). If not, is the government prepared to announce that a bill from the government side to bring equal pay for work of equal value will be before this Legislature this spring?

Mr. Breithaupt: You don’t have to vote for them.

Mr. Bolan: Let the Premier throw them a crumb.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I would only say to the interjections of the Liberal Party that it’s quite obvious the relief they feel that the New Democratic Party, in its wisdom, may support the government a little later today is causing them a great deal of embarrassment.

Mr. Breithaupt: Up to the wall.

Mr. S. Smith: That’s right.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Listen, the member said something earlier to me about how I was surrounded by the most incompetent group of people he has ever seen. The only reason he can say that is he never looks to his left, he never looks to his right and he never looks behind him. That’s how he would make that sort of observation. That is the kind of thing that limits his political career. That is what will limit his political career.

Mr. Speaker: Need I remind the Premier that the question was asked by the member for Ottawa Centre (Mr. Cassidy) and had something to do with equal rights?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I was just trying to get equal rights in the Legislature. I was just answering a supplementary observation from the Leader of the Opposition.

Mr. Roy: Say “Yes, Mike, my friend.”

Hon. Mr. Davis: Listen, I have to say to the member for Ottawa East (Mr. Roy) --

Mr. Speaker: No, you don’t have to say that at all.

Hon. Mr. Davis: This is the first time I have seen him on a Monday in generations.

Mr. Speaker: Does the Premier have a response?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Yes, I do, Mr. Speaker. They really are interrupting me.

I would say to the leader of the New Democratic Party that I hope he reads very carefully the text of what I said on Saturday. I know it is upsetting to the Leader of the Opposition, but I did indicate a degree of responsibility on the part of the New Democratic Party, which promoted a response from the leader. Did my friend hear his response on the news? It was very facetious and somewhat sarcastic.

However, I did have the pleasure of speaking to more than 300 dedicated, hard-working, intelligent Progressive Conservative women on Saturday; that is correct. I assume the leader of the New Democratic Party had the same delightful experience with the same numbers when he was addressing whatever the multitude was in Kitchener. It was not quite that number, I happen to know.

What I did make clear to the women of our association was that this government, in terms of its desire to see equality, had taken significant steps of both a legislative nature and a policy nature. I pointed out to them the distinction between equal pay for equal work and equal pay for work of equal value, and made it quite clear --

Mr. Bounsall: They knew it all right.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am just telling the members what was said. I made it quite clear to them that this government is committed to equality of opportunity, to nondiscrimination; this applies to females as well as males. I said this government has been in the forefront of this sort of approach for many years, and we would continue to pursue this matter over the next several months. That is, in substance, what I said.

Mr. Cassidy: Since the Premier says this government has been committed to equality of opportunity and to that principle for a number of years, explain why it is at present, of the $400 million spent annually in Ontario on skills training for workers in the province, that only $6 million, or 1.5 per cent, is spent on the 40 per cent of the work force who are female? Can the Premier explain that inequality?

Is the government prepared to bring in an affirmative action program at least to redress that imbalance and to give women equality of opportunity in the work force if he will not give them equal pay for work of equal value?

2:40 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I think the leader of the New Democratic Party knows full well from the historical standpoint why there are more males than females involved in, shall we say, skills training.

Mr. Cassidy: No, I don’t.

Hon. Mr. Davis: The member does know. Historically there have been more men than women involved in that sort of activity. I am not saying whether that is good or bad. I am just saying that is historically the case. It is also historically the case that manpower training programs or on-the-job training programs by and large have related to the job occupations that are there at present.

This government, through the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Labour, is making every effort to see that these programs are expanded to include women. But I say once again to the leader of the New Democratic Party that part of the problem historically has related to the traditional position of the labour union movement when it comes to questions of apprenticeship, et cetera. I lived with it as Minister of Education and debated with the heads of the labour unions as to what degree of credit would be given in the four-year program in the secondary schools in this province. I know what their attitude was then. It has improved.

I think we can anticipate that they will see, along with the business community itself, a far higher percentage of women moving into those particular areas. But it will not be done overnight. I am not going to lead anyone astray.

There are certain historical or established situations of which a number of people who support the New Democratic Party have been a part over the years.

Mr. Nixon: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Doesn’t the Premier consider it to be a paradox, if not positively antediluvian, that his own party and the New Democratic Party still have separate women’s groups, instead of the women being active members of the parties? Surely it is an old-fashioned approach that the Premier is leading a party where the Progressive Conservative women -- they’re fine people, and many of them vote for me in my own constituency -- are required to be hived off to meet separately, and every now and then the Premier and one of his colleagues will go down and say: “You’re coming along fine. We think you’re doing a good job.” Surely it’s time he showed by his actions that he really believes in equality in that regard.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Party of Ontario -- or, as their letterhead now indicates, the Smith Party of Ontario -- could never have a women’s organization. The women in my party debated this at some length -- they are not told what to do; they are quite independent, quite intelligent and have the capacity to make their own determinations -- and said, “We would like to have the Ontario Progressive Conservative Association of Women.”

Unlike the Leader of the Opposition or the Liberal House leader (Mr. Nixon) -- the former leader who is some days acting leader -- who dictate to the women in their party, the women in my party are independent and can make their own determinations.

Mr. Bounsall: By way of supplementary, Mr. Speaker, when the Premier addressed his remarks to the Ontario Progressive Conservative Association of Women on Saturday and dwelt upon the topic of the technical difficulties of implementation of equal pay for work of equal value, can this House assume that neither the Premier nor the Minister of Labour (Mr. Elgie) knew that the Quebec Human Rights Commission, the Canadian Human Rights Commission and the United Steelworkers of America, all three of whom have a clear implementation method for achieving this principle, all offered Ontario their advice and expertise in this area?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I say to the member for Windsor-Sandwich (Mr. Bounsall) that I covered many topics when I was discussing certain issues. I covered topics such as the rather apparent desire of the Liberal opposition in this province to have an election at any cost, at any price, for any reason, at any time, with no justification. That made up a part of my remarks.

This is all in answer to the question.

Mr. Breithaupt: An election based on principle.

Hon. Mr. Davis: The member for Kitchener (Mr. Breithaupt) should be careful. We may beat him this time. He should be a little more nervous. It will be in the same way we defeated his cousin in Peel South. Does he remember? We’re looking forward to it.

I also touched on many other subjects. I will not burden the House with them, because I know the members do not want to hear me repeat all of those things. I am not averse to getting advice, suggestions, information or guidance from any source. It is then our responsibility to assess how helpful it is.


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller) about the impact of interest rates on Ontario farmers who, it is estimated, are going to suffer a 40 per cent drop in their net incomes this year and who have had an increase of $140 million in interest charges over the last two years and face a further increase of $140 million in interest charges in 1980.

Can the minister tell the House, given that Ontario has got the least generous provisions of interest rate assistance to farmers of any province in all Canada, when we can expect programs from this government to help farmers who are hit by the rising interest rates and thereby, as well, help consumers have an assured, continued supply of food at reasonable costs?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, I think that is basically the same question I was asked on Thursday, if I am not wrong. At that time, I tried to answer the question. I had been hoping for some guidance from the speech from the throne in Ottawa today. I really have not seen much guidance in that speech and, therefore, I am continuing with my efforts to see what can be done.

Mr. Cassidy: Given the fact that his Liberal colleagues are not prepared to act on this, according to the speech from the throne, are the Treasurer and government of Ontario prepared to implement any action to protect farmers, some of whom are being driven to the wall because of the interest rates that are being charged for the spring seeding and other costs they have to bear for the spring planting?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Obviously we are considering the impact and the costs of assistance to a number of areas. It has to be said that it is not easy to draw a line. I think the member would agree with that. A farmer has specific problems. A small business has specific problems. Individuals owning homes have specific problems. One of the problems we face is that a program for one immediately begets a program for another. It is very difficult to know whether the total impact can be borne. We had hoped for some guidance -- so far I have not seen it in this document -- to say there would be some kind of a federal program. I trust and sincerely hope there will be. In the event there is not, of course, Ontario has to consider alternatives.

Mr. McKessock: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: In view of the fact that other provinces in Canada have moved on their own and have not waited for the federal government, and in view of the fact that there does not appear to be anything in the throne speech for the farmers in regard to assistance on interest rates, can we expect in the provincial budget that will be coming out soon to have a program similar to what the other provinces in Canada are doing for their farmers?

Hon. F. S. Miller: With the budget’s being a week tomorrow, Mr. Speaker, I am afraid the member will have to await that date.

Mr. Cassidy: Given the fact that farming in Ontario is almost as important to the Canadian economy as farming is in Saskatchewan, can the Treasurer explain why we could not at least emulate the provisions of interest rate assistance that are given to farmers in the great province of Saskatchewan, where FarmStart programs allow farmers an interest rate of eight per cent on the first $90,000 and thereby enable young farmers to get into and stay in farming?

Hon. F. S. Miller: I tried to point out that I am not unaware of the gravity of the problem here. In fact, I would have to argue that I do not know how a young farmer gets started in business today if one has to buy a business.

The facts are very real. The gentlemen from Grey-Bruce area who came here with the member the other day had a number of problems of which interest rates were one. A number of the farmers were hog producers, as I recall. It is not a question of interest rates alone for hog producers. I think the member would be the first to admit it.

Digressing for a second, I ran into one problem with the photographers. They brought a big, I would say, bovine animal with them that day. The photographer who was talking to me said it was a cow. I said it was a bull. A young lady in the elevator said it was a steer. I was only able to say I would not steer members wrong, and that’s no bull.


2:50 p.m.

Mr. Riddell: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker: The problem is a little more serious than the minister would lead us to believe. Is he aware of the vulnerability of our farmers to foreign investors? Their interest rates are now so high that they are being compelled to sell their operations, and thousands of acres of land are now being sold to foreign investors. That is absolutely right. I wonder if the minister is aware of that and if it is not time to do something to try to keep the land in Canadian ownership.

Hon. F. S. Miller: I am aware of the allegations the member for Huron-Middlesex (Mr. Riddell) has made fairly consistently, but I think the person best able to answer that question is the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. Henderson), who has often discussed the problem with cabinet.


Mr. Stong: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) with respect to the Allen Spraggett case. The minister often has held himself out to be a champion of the rights, freedoms and protections of the individual in our society. In so far as that local and well-known broadcaster has been not only acquitted, but also completely vindicated by a court at his trial -- although not before suffering tremendous personal loss and humiliation as a result of untimely publicity

-- will the minister introduce legislation to protect the identity of accused persons at least until the time of trial, saving them from trial by media with all its consequent negative ramifications?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, I share the concerns expressed by the member for York Centre (Mr. Stong). As he knows, this is a difficult, controversial issue. It is a matter I have discussed with media representatives -- for example, at their annual seminar at the University of Western Ontario -- because I agree with him that many individuals, particularly those who are prominent and have some public profile, have their reputations damaged irreparably by pre-trial publicity. A subsequent acquittal is of little comfort to those individuals. The public forgets the acquittal and recalls the initial publicity, which is often quite extensive, as it was in this case.

On the other side of the issue we have the right of the public and of the press to know when somebody has been arrested, particularly if this arrest involves incarceration, so that it does not appear that these matters are being held in secret. Against the one issue we have the other issue, that this criminal process be carried on as openly as possible. I know the member would agree that also is a serious consideration.

It is a matter that has long troubled me as a lawyer who was active in the courts before becoming a member of this Legislature. I will welcome discussion of the matter during the estimates of the Ministry of the Attorney General, which will commence on Wednesday of this week.

I am not in a position to state that I would support such legislation but, at the same time, I have to concede it troubles me greatly. I think it brings unnecessary unfairness into the lives of many people who are judged to be not guilty at a later date. I just do not see any ready solution to it at present other than to continue to urge our friends in the media to show great restraint as far as pre-trial publicity is concerned.

Mr. Stong: Does the minister at any rate recognize that the two interests that he has alluded to are not irreconcilable, namely, the right of the public to know and the protection of the individual from unfortunate, untimely publicity? In so far as those two principles are not irreconcilable, in my respectful submission, does the minister not recognize that the public can be made aware of the facts without disclosure of identity?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: In certain cases that is quite so. In other cases it may not be so. I don’t think I can add anything further to what I have said, other than that it is an issue I am not prepared to give an off-the-cuff response to and say, yes, we should have legislation or, no, we shouldn’t have legislation. I really suggest it is a matter that does require a great deal of thoughtful discussion and well-considered debate.


Mr. Bounsall: I have a question of the Minister of Education (Miss Stephenson), Mr. Speaker.

With reference to the honourable minister’s statement today on the Green study and investigation on post-secondary education, can she assure the House that this study will in no way delay her formal response to the Jackson Commission on Declining School Enrolments in Ontario, a response we have been expecting periodically since last summer, and will in no way interfere with or delay the public hearings on her response before a committee of this Legislature, as she also has been promising since last summer?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I can make that assurance to the honourable member.

Mr. Sweeney: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Would that also include the honourable minister’s response to the committee on the cost of education, started in 1970?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, the commitment I made was related specifically to the report of the commission on declining enrolments. Of course, much of the activity recommended in the earlier reports, the compendium of seven or eight reports altogether, has already been carried out. Some of what Dr. Jackson suggested is similar to that which was recommended by that other committee. It will not include a formal response to that committee’s reports, no.


Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Education (Miss Stephenson).

On December 28, 1979, when the honourable minister made an announcement for Ottawa-Carleton that she was rejecting what had been accepted unanimously in all of Ottawa-Carleton -- that is, a French-language school board -- she said what she would be doing was establishing what is called French-language panels. The purpose of these panels was to allow French-language trustees to have more say in the decision-making process affecting francophone education in Ottawa-Carleton.

When does the honourable minister plan to implement this decision, and does she plan to implement it in spite of the fact this suggestion has been rejected unanimously by francophones and anglophones in Ottawa-Carleton?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I am not sure I could support that rather sweeping final statement of the honourable member, but I am delighted to have the opportunity to respond to a question of his on Monday. That is an unusual opportunity for a member of cabinet, since Mondays and Fridays are not the member’s usual days of attendance in the Legislature.

3 p.m.

I am pleased to reply to the honourable member that the examination of the responses we have had to the proposal made regarding the activity, which would ensure greater francophone control over the educational program for francophone students in the Ottawa-Carleton area, shows responses have come from a wide variety of sources expressing some support and some concerns, and also intimating some rather detailed matters that really had to be investigated very carefully in terms of ensuring there would not be a limitation of the right of the individual to exercise an electoral franchise.

A number of other matters along that line have occupied our time since February 28. We are still examining that and I anticipate we will be making some response to that in the not-too-distant future, but at this time I can’t give members a date.

Mr. Roy: The announcement of the decision was made December 28. I am sorry to say the honourable minister’s performance on Monday is no better than on other days of the week. I ask the honourable minister, if she is not even aware her suggestion has been rejected in Ottawa-Carleton, is it her plan to remain with the status quo in Ottawa-Carleton? Is it her plan to pass the buck and do nothing for Ottawa-Carleton? If so, why doesn’t she say so instead of putting people off with excuses and plans that are not workable?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: When I said I disagreed with the honourable member’s final statement in his initial question, it was that all the anglophones and all the francophones had disagreed with it.

Mr. Roy: Elected.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: That isn’t what the honourable member said; he should read Hansard. Indeed, not all the people in Ottawa-Carleton disagree with that proposal, but we are looking at responses that have come forward in terms of specific areas of concern.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Supplementary: Given that the first question raised in the House about this matter was two years ago in June, by the member for Hamilton Mountain (Mr. Charlton), and given the fact that all the flacks around the province have now agreed upon a wording that they would like to see in enumeration, why is the honourable minister not able to guarantee that by Thursday, when Mr. Yalden is here and all the press will be around and the whole national ramifications of this will be brought to bear, she will be prepared to be able to make a statement about enumeration for the French electorate?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I am not at all sure that is a supplementary question.

Mr. Speaker: I am not at all sure it is either.


Mr. Philip: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Solicitor General (Mr. McMurtry) regarding the bizarre death of Miss Lillian Hess. Has the honourable minister read the recent statement by Mr. Vince Walsh that Thomas Wardle Junior’s financial arrangement with Miss Hess effectively tied up her savings and she wasn’t able to get sufficient funds to live on? Is he now prepared to reconsider his response to me in this House on March 31, at which time he told the House the financial relationships of Miss Hess would not be considered by an inquest?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, I said that was not a matter that would come within the jurisdiction of an inquest under the provisions of the Coroners Act. Following this matter being raised by the honourable member, I communicated my concerns to the chief coroner and subsequently to the honourable member, to the effect that the chief coroner had asked one of our local coroners, I believe Dr. Cass, to investigate the matter to determine whether it would be appropriate to have an inquest. In this respect we also requested that the local police assist the coroner’s office in the investigation.

I am not aware of the matter just raised by the honourable member, but if there are any legal issues that should command the attention of the police other than in relation to the inquest itself, I am sure these issues will be dealt with according to law. I don’t want to say anything more than that, particularly as I am not aware of the statement just attributed to Mr. Walsh. I am sorry, I am just not aware of that.

Mr. Philip: By way of supplementary: Would the honourable minister not agree that under section 9 of the Coroners Act, the coroner may investigate where a person may have died from a negligence, and in so doing, under section 14 of the act, inspect and extract information from any writings or records related to the deceased? Would the honourable minister and the coroner contrast the recent statement by Mr. Wardle, in which in a public statement he claims he has had no part in the discussion or arrangements surrounding the making of the will of Miss Hess, and the information in a recent newspaper article which claims that Miss Hess handed to her lawyer instructions for her will written in semi-legal language, language that one would not expect a lay person to have knowledge of?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I am not going to comment on any of these matters that might have appeared in the press because I don’t know them to be facts, other than to say that the honourable member is quite right in referring to the particular section of the Coroners Act, which I think does give the coroner who is in charge of the investigation a fair degree of latitude.

It may be that if certain financial arrangements are related to the manner in which this unfortunate lady met her tragic death, then this is certainly a matter which will be considered by the coroner and the police. I don’t think it would be appropriate for me, particularly during an investigation, to comment on any of the statements other than to say what I have already said.


Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, on Tuesday last in the absence of myself and the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry), the member for Kitchener (Mr. Breithaupt) asked whether a decision had been made as to whether the Residential Tenancies Act court decision would be appealed. The chief law officer of the crown, the Attorney General, has decided to appeal the case to the Supreme Court of Canada.

As a supplementary question, the honourable member asked whether there were certain sections of the act I could proclaim or put into action. I cannot because the enforcement of those sections relies upon compliance orders. It is the ability of the tribunals under that statute to provide enforcement that is the core of the case that will go to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Speaker, would the minister then include the central registry and those other provisions I referred to under that heading as well?

Hon. Mr. Drea: Those are the sections, particularly the central registry, I was referring to. The enforcement for that provision was a compliance order by the commission. Since the ability of the commission to issue compliance orders is the core of the appeal case, that would be impossible.


Mr. Eakins: I have a question for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Drea), Mr. Speaker. When I attended the food service trade show at the International Centre yesterday, I was rather appalled to see that our Ontario wine companies could not offer others in the food service industry a complimentary thimbleful of their product because it was Sunday and presumably there must be some food served with any wine sampling. Since this was a controlled food-industry trade show and not open to the general public, and since only a few feet away all kinds of food was available for free, because the exhibitors were not allowed to sell the products, why should our wine companies have to close up their demonstration? What steps does the honourable minister intend to take to make sure that this hypocrisy is ended?

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, first of all, the Liquor Licence Board of Ontario did not grant that application, nor has it granted one for this Sunday for a rival food industry show. The reason for the board’s denying the application -- and it wasn’t just Ontario wine, by the way; it was all wine -- is that the board was not going to grant to a trade show what the ordinary public could not have on a Sunday. There’s no hypocrisy in that.

The very fundamental rule of alcohol consumption on Sunday is that while the individual does not have to eat, the particular premise, even with a special-occasion permit, has to provide food in at least a 50-50 ratio. If we are going to exempt trade shows, then we are going to have to exempt premises in Ontario. Right now, the lounges that do not serve food are not open on Sunday. It is that simple.

3:10 p.m.

Mr. Eakins: Mr. Speaker, is the honourable minister then saying that he places greater faith in the bartenders of Windsor than he does in the people in the wine show here at the trade centre?

Hon. Mr. Drea: No comparison. But I would ask the honourable member, is he going to go back to Lindsay and say he wants open drinking on Sunday? That is exactly what he asked me.

Mr. M. N. Davison: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Would the honourable minister take this opportunity to enlighten the House as to whether or not he will consider the experiment with the Republican convention in Windsor-Detroit to be exactly that, an experiment? If it works out well, would he then take that opportunity to expand it into some other tourist areas of the province so that our tourist-based economy in those regions can be helped?

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I don’t regard it as an experiment. I think the honourable member might be on more solid ground if he suggested events rather than areas to me. The exemption was not given simply because it was the area of Windsor; it was in conjunction with the event. If there is a similar type of event -- and I am not talking about scope -- that is in another area, then I will look at it.


Mr. Grande: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Drea), regarding the right-to-privacy guidelines that were tabled in the Legislature last Friday.

In view of the fact that the guidelines the honourable minister tabled last week do not lessen the broad powers insurance companies had prior to this issuance, and the fact that the insurance companies can gather information not only from authorized medical sources but from employers, friends, enemies and neighbours of the applicant, and disseminate this information to whomever they please, would he inform the House what reasons the insurance companies gave him for retaining those wide powers?

Second, if the honourable minister were concerned about protecting the privacy and civil liberties of Ontario citizens, why did he not tell the insurance companies that the only information they can get is from properly authorized medical sources and no more?

Hon. Mr. Drea: Obviously the honourable member didn’t read those rules. They are not guidelines; I made it very specific on Friday there were now rules and conditions of the licence. Not just an insurance company, but anybody dealing in life insurance or sickness and accident insurance or any type of benefit protection has been very sharply curtailed by those rules.

In conjunction with applicants for certain types of protection, that statement made it very plain there is a balance between the privacy of the individual and also the right of the insurance carrier to know circumstances that occasionally are other than those that can be supplied directly by a physician. Those rules make it very plain that if you are going out and seeking information, then you are going to have to be accountable for it. It can be challenged; it can be validated.

The problem in the whole area is the privacy of the individual, that fact that the information is used correctly to determine the acceptability of an applicant or the proper rate. In regard to the rest of society it would be a very difficult thing to enforce. In fact the rest of society might very well be prone to subsidizing an irresponsible individual by the fact he deliberately lied on an application, knowing full well it could never be checked or validated.

Mr. Grande: Since obviously the honourable minister is now going to curb the power of the insurance companies in this province, would he consider the proposition to establish a permanent body within his ministry that is going to have powers to get into the life insurance company files and computer banks, whether they be in the United States or Canada, to get rid of all the damaging little bits of intelligence that the insurance companies have right now on Ontario citizens?

Hon. Mr. Drea: Obviously the honourable member is confused or he hasn’t read those rules. If any bit of information is secured about a person, the insurance company or the accident benefit company or whatever type of operation it is, must disclose to the person whence it came and what it is, and give the person the opportunity to challenge it. I know of no tighter rule anywhere.


Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, in the absence of the Provincial Secretary for Justice (Mr. Walker), I’d like to put a question to the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) having to do with the statement made by his colleague, the provincial secretary, which indicated that 17,000 people are jailed needlessly in Ontario at least in part because of the procedures of the courts and the tendencies of the lawyers.

Will the minister indicate his views in connection with the provincial secretary’s statement, as follows: “It’s a great old ploy to leave people rotting away in the cells. In that period of time memories fade, witnesses pass away. Remove a key witness and you might raise a question of whether a conviction will be registered”?

Would the chief officer of the crown care to comment in that connection?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, I have not seen my colleague’s statement. I will be happy to review it and comment on it later. I rather suspect that the statement made by my colleague dealt with a whole host of issues related to problems facing the Ministry of Correctional Services. Occasionally cases are delayed simply because lawyers are too busy, but I certainly would not like to comment until I have had the advantage of reading the statement as a whole.

Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, might I direct a supplementary to the provincial secretary since he has now resumed his seat? Would he care to express some additional views to the House, since there is obviously so much interest and concern and since the indication is that 17,000 are jailed needlessly? Since it does involve the Attorney General directly, would he care to comment on the statement made by Clayton Ruby? He charged: “The crown attorneys abuse the bail system and often try to jail people to put pressure on them to plead guilty. Young people often sit in jail awaiting trial on charges for which conviction wouldn’t merit a jail sentence, just because they can’t raise $100.”

Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, I basically reject most of the comments made by Clayton Ruby, who is a noted counsel in the city and who also thought our food was no good and that our jails had a lot of stink attached to them. I certainly do not accept those comments at all.

With respect to the comments I made in the paper, I indicated in a broad interview that I was talking about a large number of people who had been remanded for a significant period of time in jail and yet finally were not given a sentence of incarceration at their time of trial. The numbers were quite dramatic; in that particular example I quoted a figure of 17,000.

We can say that two thirds of the remanded people are basically people who do not receive a sentence of incarceration once their trial occurs. That has to suggest that a large number are serving sentences prior to trial, and obviously in an unnecessary way if the numbers are that dramatic, and we think they are.

I indicated at the time that there are many reasons for it. Some people, of course, are acquitted, and that’s appropriate; some people have their time spent on remand taken into account by the judge and are given some credit. Others are probably the subject of busy lawyers; others are the subject of perhaps some finagling with the system. There is a host of reasons why people are unnecessarily staying in there and that was only part of it.

3:30 p.m.



Mr. Stong: Mr. Speaker, I have a petition containing 2,000 signatures from the Unionville area requesting a high school facility, and I would present this as a petition to the Premier (Mr. Davis). It reflects the frustration the residents of Unionville feel in their dealings with the Minister of Education (Miss Stephenson) and requests in an accompanying letter that the Premier intervene on their behalf to provide a much-needed high school in the Unionville community.



Mr. Philip from the standing committee on administration of justice presented the following report and moved its adoption:

Your committee begs to report the following bill without amendment:

Bill Pr1, An Act to revive Basin-Jib Mines Limited.

Report adopted.



Hon. Mr. Wells moved that the time spent on consideration of the third order today be divided equally among the parties.

Motion agreed to.



Mr. Philip moved first reading of Bill Pr20, An Act to revive Fargo Disposal Company Limited.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I would like to table the answers to questions 61, 65, 66. 67, 68, 69, 72 and 78, and the interim answers to questions 64, 73, 74, 75, 76 and 80 on the Notice Paper.



Resuming the adjourned debate on the amendment to the motion for an address in reply to the speech of the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor at the opening of the session.

Mr. Breaugh: Mr. Speaker, it’s a pleasure to participate in the debate this afternoon.

I want to put before the House the two matters which are of prime concern to us this afternoon. One is, there will be a vote later this afternoon, at which time the members of this caucus will have the opportunity to be supportive of the throne speech. The second matter which will be considered by the House this afternoon is an amendment to that throne speech which has been presented by the Liberal Party in Ontario, as I believe it is now called.

It poses a bit of a problem for people like me. If one were given only to knee jerking, if one were given to kind of an immediate response, one would say there isn’t any chance to vote for something one likes this afternoon, but I thought we should run through the process that I have been going through for the last little while, the first set of business.

Since naturally I don’t have a clear preference of voting for either one motion or the other motion this afternoon, I thought we would do what the government does.

It seems to be very popular these days to conduct public opinion polls. In the absence of a freedom of information bill in this province, I thought I would take it upon myself to supply the members with that information from my personal poll, which was conducted by a series of extensive interviews throughout the province. Although not quite as extensive as Goldfarb, it offers a cross-section.

The first person interviewed on this matter of whether we should have an election was a gentleman employed in the petroleum industry. His speciality is interpersonal relations, and he spends his entire day interfacing with the population in the great riding of Oshawa.

While he was pumping gas into the back of my Chevrolet, I asked him: “What do you think about the Liberal amendment? Should we support that?” His answer was a bit confusing because it was another question. He asked me if this guy Smith was really as crazy as he seems. I proceeded to tell him that I thought the member was quite a distinguished psychiatrist and probably very good at that trade, and may soon get his opportunity to ply that trade again.

I asked other people in the riding, and there seemed to be a clear consensus that there was not much reason to have an election now. In the recent past some very clear political issues were put to the people of Ontario, and the Liberals showed a great reluctance to vote for no-confidence motions at that time. They could not see why now, on a throne speech debate, there ought to be an election. There was a growing consensus on that.

In the course of conducting this particular survey, I went to visit that centre of cultural influence in eastern Ontario called Napanee. I point out to members that Napanee produced not only the member for Oshawa, but also the press secretary to the Premier of Ontario (Mr. Davis), and I understand the Liberal Party has an adviser who practises law there; so I thought that would be a logical place to go to look for advice on a matter as urgent as this.

In a three-day search in that town -- and it’s possible to cover a great number of citizens in three days -- I found no one who thought that having an election was a good thing or that I should vote for the Liberal amendment.

Around the province, in conversations with many people, I have found those who thought it would be a disaster to vote for anything the Liberals proposed. I was unable to find anyone who thought that having an election now, over a throne speech, was a good idea.

I think the matter is summarized rather nicely in an editorial which appeared in a publication known as the OHEU News. It puts the question rather succinctly. It says: “Ontario Liberal Leader Stuart Smith, encouraged by the federal victory, is making noises about forcing an election. Hopefully the opposition parties can resist the temptation and work towards making the present government start to solve some important current problems, like repairing medicare, providing affordable housing, stopping the complete erosion of Ontario’s manufacturing industry, and improving Ontario’s labour legislation to stop first-contract and dues checkoff strikes.” Perhaps that provides the consensus we need.

I think most of the members of this House become impatient with the governing party, in part because we fail to recognize what we’re dealing with. We have a rather old and sorry lot governing Ontario these days. Speaking in terms of my own field of criticism, the field of health, I think we sometimes forget that it is difficult to teach this old hound new tricks.

As I believe we did in the fall session of the House, it is certainly possible to provide -- around an issue as broad as medicare, and with things of considerable substance, like a petition which ultimately had close to 300,000 names on it -- that kind of broad kick near their thinking point that forces the old hound to get up and move around a little bit and shake off a few fleas. But it is difficult to get the old hound to lurch its way out the door. There are continuing problems with that.

I believe there are occasions in this House -- and this is one of them -- when the government’s attention has been brought clearly into focus on an issue which it did not choose.

3:30 p.m.

In January of this year I wrote to the Premier and suggested to him that in my own area there were three or four substantive matters which the government should consider. The first was the project now known in North Pickering as Seaton. It previously was called the North Pickering project and, before that, Cedarwood. The government has been having great difficulty with the project for some time. I said to the Premier that surely was one matter which the government did not have to proceed with at this time. I am pleased to see that, at least in that case, the government has decided the Seaton project would cause rather serious damage to the local economy in the region of Durham. It would come on stream at a most inappropriate time. The government has decided it will not proceed with Seaton.

We also proposed in that letter that the government give serious consideration to the extension of GO train services from Metropolitan Toronto to the Durham region at a time when energy prices are of prime concern to commuters. The government now is doing a study in that regard. There are at least some indications the government is listening on particular issues and that, in its inimitable way, it is moving with glacier-like speed to resolve some of those difficulties.

On the matter of medicare -- which is rather close to my field of work here -- the government has recognized there are substantive problems in that area.


Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order.

Mr. Breaugh: You don’t have to set them down for me, Mr. Speaker. I pay little attention to them. When I was a young boy, my Uncle Willie Rush told me there are two ways to handle young pups. First, never let them in the parlour, because they are liable to chew up the chairs and dirty the rug. I’ve always followed that credo. Second, if they get too loud and yappy, just give them a shot on the snout and they’ll run underneath the wood stove. I’ve always followed that practice, and I’ve found it works faithfully.

On the matter of medicare, I believe substantial changes have taken place on the part of the government. I think they are worth noting. I do not anticipate that the Minister of Health (Mr. Timbrell), the Premier or anybody else is going to acknowledge publicly the role that members of all parties in this Legislature have played in bringing attention to the great difficulties the medical care system has had over the last few years in this province. It has reached a point where the level of care in particular hospitals has dropped substantially. In particular, there are problems in doctors’ offices these days. Through the committee system, through debates in this House and through the question period, I think that matter has been brought clearly into focus, and the government in its own way has responded.

For example, I recall the debates about this time last year when government ministers were maintaining that there were no problems in hospital funding but that, if there were, they would certainly look after them. We put our committee system to work.

In July 1979, the government announced an additional $65 million in funding for health-care institutions. That was a response. In September 1979, another $100 million from the lottery fund went towards the construction of new teaching hospitals. I believe that, in January 1980, hospitals received an announcement of a percentage increase double that of last year’s. Those who have read the throne speech acknowledge that, in the provision of 600 more nursing home beds, there is at least an acknowledgement that the serious problem of bed shortages has been recognized by the government.

A number of specific projects have been put before the House. In most parts of the province, we could run through areas where documentation has been provided, in many cases by opposition members, showing that local hospitals need more funding. There are problems that need to be resolved, and financial resolutions can be part of it.

We have to point out that some unfairness remains within the system. Physicians put it to the government that they had problems with the Ontario Health Insurance Plan and with the amounts of money that were paid. Through their negotiating committee, they got increases ranging between nine per cent and 11.5 per cent this year. Physicians have had the government respond to them.

I am awaiting the response of the government to the other health-care workers -- nurses, nursing assistants, hospital workers in a number of unionized situations -- who share that problem even more. The discrepancy is much sharper at the level of hospital-care workers and their incomes. The government has recognized that physicians had some legitimate grievances in terms of their salaries. I anticipate that this government will deal in the same manner with people who have lower incomes but a more valid case.

I do not accept the notion that the government’s increase in funding for hospitals will solve the problem there. I do believe that for hospital care workers, for nurses, and for patients who use the hospitals, the problems will remain and, I believe, will become aggravated. I believe some of the problems for administrators have been resolved by the funding that was announced this year. The headlines from around Ontario reflect that. The Brantford Expositor said the province has given hospitals some breathing room, and I believe that to be a reasonable assessment of what has occurred. There is now some breathing room in the budget for hospitals that was not there previously.

There are a number of hospitals whose names we could bring before the House this afternoon which have had budgetary problems in the past. Slowly, but surely, that particular phenomenon, on which we spent so much time in this House last year, I see at least being addressed by the government and some resolution in place.

Mr. Martel: Where were the Liberals last year?

Mr. Breaugh: I don’t know where the Liberals were last year. I never get terribly concerned --

An hon. member: Do you really care?

Mr. Breaugh: I don’t really care where they were last year. It seems to make very little difference where they are.

There are some encouraging signs in the rather long, sometimes confusing and certainly always complicated debate about the provision of medical services in Ontario.

For a number of physicians who, last year about this time, thought that opting out of OHIP was the great thing to do, it would now appear that some of their concerns must have been resolved -- certainly, in my judgement, their financial concerns. The basis for opting out of OHIP was strictly financial. It would be my judgement that the set of negotiations just resolved would provide to physicians adequate salary or income, from anybody’s point of view; so I think that one should be resolved. The current trend shows a slight increase in the numbers of doctors opting back into the plan.

I am further encouraged by an incident which occurred at the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry in Toronto, where the psychiatrists on that staff could have dealt a rather serious blow to the provision of mental health services and psychiatric assessment for virtually all Metropolitan Toronto. The Clarke Institute is a fine one and one that is used extensively by a great many service agencies and organizations around Toronto. I am pleased to note the psychiatrists at the Clarke Institute have voted as a group to stay within the plan. I find that an encouraging sign and one we should not deal with lightly.

In a number of other areas there are some interesting experiments being planned. The province of Ontario, according to statements made by the minister, now is considering using as a model the plan used at Toronto’s Northwestern General Hospital for the provision of anaesthetic services. Although that may not be applicable in all parts of the province, I think what is useful to note is that the ministry now is prepared to move forward with some alternatives for the payment of physicians to provide them with adequate income. They are now prepared to recognize there are other ways to provide that. It has not necessarily been the one which has always served in the best public interest, at least by perpetuating the fee-for-service process.

In many parts of the province there are some interesting alternatives being considered very seriously -- we might even say for the first time -- by the medical profession. These are matters that, to put it as fairly as I can, have been proposed at some length by members of this party.

There are some changes in the provision of ambulance services which should be noted. The ministry has set up a new ambulance centre. At some point in time the members of this House will want to spend some considerable effort looking at a great many things that have to do with the provision of ambulance services in the province. There are different levels of service, which I think most people would acknowledge. The ministry has been extremely active in the last years in providing some rather interesting concepts about communications centres.

There is a continuing problem, though, in terms of private operators who seem to have some rather substantive problems in communicating their needs and problems to the ministry. There have been continuing problems with ambulance drivers in terms of getting certification. I am sure the minister is aware of all those problems. I know I have a number of questions on the order paper and, when the ministry finally gets around to responding to those questions, we may well have some resolutions to some rather serious and conflicting problems that were there.

3:40 p.m.

In the throne speech debate, members on this side have pointed out with great regularity in this House that there are great problems with the provision of ambulance services in the northern part of the province, particularly with air ambulance services. The ministry at least has acknowledged that problem by announcing in the throne speech it is going to make use of jet aircraft to provide these. The proposal centres particularly on the provision of a jet helicopter service to bring patients into a central point and then to bring them down here.

I would encourage the government to read Hansard and to listen to the other problems having to do with air ambulance services from the north, such as whether relatives can come back and forth with their children to Metropolitan Toronto, where a number of the medical centres are, and whether we can provide this service in a reasonable way to all of the north or only to certain parts of the north. I am not personally convinced the ultimate answer is contained in the throne speech, but I am aware the ministry has several proposals on its table.

I would hope the ministry would take under consideration at this time, because it didn’t do so before it made this announcement in the throne speech, those concerns expressed by different health councils throughout the north. In my visits with health councils in Thunder Bay, Timmins and a number of other places in the north, they seemed to me to have a good grasp of at least what the local problem was and to have provided some considerations to the ministry through their health councils. I am not sure that all those considerations are met by the provision of two jet aircraft. I think the government, having acknowledged the problem, now has an obligation to follow up on all of the other perspectives that have been presented on the provision of ambulance services from the northern part of the province and to consult with those health councils that it supposedly set up in the first instance to advise the minister on health matters.

There are a great many concerns we have put to the government on health-care matters. In our submission to the Hall commission, we attempted not only to reiterate what those concerns were, but also to provide documentation on them and to provide for the consideration of Mr. Justice Hall some other documents we have used here in committee and in the House during question period.

One of the things we have been rather firm about is the matter of changing the provision of health services to the population at large. About a year or so ago we prepared a discussion paper called a green paper, the title of which is Prevention -- Not Curative Care. That green paper attempted to identify a model for the provision of health-care services. It is one that is already in operation in many parts of the province. I guess the most successful health service organization is probably the one we refer to as the Sault Ste. Marie clinic. That clinic has been in existence for some time now. It serves a population of about 35,000 people and does so with great success.

A number of the other health service organizations are not nearly so large or so well established. To follow up the argument that we have managed to get some concessions from the government, about a year ago we began to raise what was a serious problem with HSOs, that their funding had been frozen, for some of them for two- or three-year periods. This most economical way of providing good health care to the population at large was not getting the emphasis. We found out, for example, that the ministry staff have been relatively removed from that particular kind of consideration and that the funding for many of our lowest-paid physicians in the province had been frozen. The government did respond to that, and there have been further studies and, finally, some consultation with these.

I note too, with some sadness, that before the public accounts committee of this House there is the question of the operation of one of the HSOs in Ontario, This may shake the tree. I would encourage the government to look at all the other health service organizations. Though they might have identified what appears to be, at least at first glance, a problem in the way one is set up and run, that should not be transferred to get this government to retreat to its previous position of ignoring the HSOs here in Ontario.

I have found the most dedicated physicians, nurses, nutritionists and therapists at work in the health services organizations I have visited. They have a clear understanding and most of them have a community board. There is interchange between the community they serve and the professionals who provide the service.

I would urge the government to take the current state of funding health service organizations and to expand it to provide that alternative form of care and that alternative organizational model. I find it to be a good one.

I have noticed that here in Metropolitan Toronto there is a new St. Lawrence community health service centre. It’s a community clinic of a kind different from many of the ones I have visited, and it has a good deal more funding. It’s my understanding that it does not have a community board, but at least we are seeing some alternatives in place now in the province that were not there a couple of years ago. Those that are providing good care and reducing the utilization of hospital beds, I think, are providing several good services -- good health care -- to the people of Ontario.

I think a great deal of savings can be achieved through the use of these health service organizations, although that is not my prime concern in supporting them. My prime concern is that they provide good health care on a broad base, using a team approach, to an identifiable community. Whether or not we save money is not the prime thrust to the motion. It provides, in my view, a better balanced form of health care. It certainly provides a clear alternative to the OHIP fee-for-service system which is now so prevalent. I would urge the government to continue with that concept of health service organizations or community clinics.

I have put on the order paper for discussion in this session a resolution that would urge the members of this House to consider a dental care program and particularly one that is modelled on the one operated by the New Democratic Party government in Saskatchewan.

Mr. Kerrio: Those models you can keep.

Mr. Breaugh: The member’s interjection is rather interesting, because the Liberal health critic is quoted in the Toronto Star as being highly supportive of that program. As a matter of fact, I even saw somewhere, I believe, the current leader of Her Majesty’s loyal opposition quoted as being in favour of that kind of dental care program for children, modelled on the NDP experience in Saskatchewan.

Mr. Kerrio: Our plan -- not a Socialist plan.

Mr. Breaugh: I think it does show that models for the provision of health care, and in this instance for the provision of good dental care, can be provided to a large segment of the population at relatively low cost and that the cost savings for that are substantial if one looks at the other end of the scale.

I think that the balance, in terms of preventive care versus curative care, is beginning to shift slightly. It would be my concern that the government continues to provide that balance, that it encourages those activities, those models, those provisions of health-care services that are preventive in nature. I am not making an argument that we should cease to fund curative health care in this province, because that can never happen. I am saying some balance is necessary.

I notice that in a number of other areas -- providing housing needs for the physically handicapped, for example -- the government now is conducting a survey in my own riding of Oshawa. I find that a little unusual, because I wrote to the Minister of Housing (Mr. Bennett) in the fall and outlined my concern that we had a large number of vacant housing units in the area. I suggested to him that perhaps he could take under consideration the matter of converting those units into good housing for handicapped and another of other groups of people in our community, like senior citizens, who require more housing. He said at that time that he didn’t think he could do it, but I also notice that the Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. Norton) is in the process of doing exactly that. So, quite frankly, I don’t expect a straight answer from the Conservative ministers. I am satisfied to get the answer that I want from one of them over there.

There is another area where problems have been identified; I refer to the use of X-rays in hospitals and extensively in a number of other health-care service units. The government finally has twigged to the fact that there is a problem with that as well and has that under investigation.

The number of in-home health services, which in my view are for many people a better way to provide health care than keeping people in an institution, is expanding somewhat. I am encouraged by the news that the Minister of Health (Mr. Timbrell), who last year at this time had promises -- for example, of chronic home-care programs in 12 communities across the province -- now says that in a couple of years he hopes to have that expanded across the province. I think that, too, would have a substantial impact on not only the cost of health care in the province, but also on the quality of care that is provided.

There are certainly some outstanding problems sitting in front of the government these days. There is a substantial problem in terms of people who provide care in psychiatric units. There are a number of those people now who are attempting to bargain for a new contract, and there is some difficulty with that. I would hope, as I said earlier, that the model set out when the government sat down with the Ontario Medical Association, through its committee on physicians’ services, would be used as a model for everyone else and that the dollar values are roughly equivalent and the percentages are in the same ball park, because I think the government would want to make sure that what is fair for the doctor is fair for everybody else who provides health care to the people in Ontario.

3:50 p.m.

I note too that a number of the groups, the agencies that are out there -- the nurses’ association in particular -- have been very active in the last few years talking about their role as providers of services; I might mention physiotherapists as well in that context.

A number of studies are under way in different parts of the province on how to provide good health care to the elderly. I guess if we are looking at one kind of health care that is extremely important, one only has to look at the population projections on our ageing population over the next 20 to 25 years to discover, perhaps with some shock, that this government had better get clued in as to how to provide good health care to the increasing number of elderly citizens in Ontario. I know they are aware of the problem, because a number of groups have made formal presentations to the government, outlining their concerns about the provision of those services, and many of them suggested solutions to those problems.

I mentioned previously the committee being chaired by Mr. Justice Emmett Hall. The one thing I must get on the record is that I was somewhat disappointed, because my colleague who is the health critic for the Liberal Party of Ontario can be an articulate spokesman from time to time on various matters, and I was somewhat taken aback that he or his party did not make a presentation to Mr. Justice Hall.

I suppose one can understand, in the fall of the year when some 284,000 people signed our petition on medicare, why the leader of the Liberal Party would have refused to express his concern at that time. One can understand, when there was a no-confidence motion put to the House in the fall centring on medicare and the provision of services, that they would be a little reluctant to do that. But I don’t understand how they can turn their backs on that many citizens of Ontario, ignore them, and when they have something to say about how health care should be provided or problems they perceive in the provision of those services that they wouldn’t at least take the time to drop a note to Mr. Justice Hall, who is an extremely distinguished citizen in Canada and has done a great deal in providing medical services across the country.

There remain some disturbing problems in health care. I want to mention two or three which I think the government ought to pay immediate attention to. This government has been diddling with the problem of whether doctors have the right to opt out and whether they can get away without informing patients ahead of time if they have opted out of the plan or if they are going to charge more than the Ontario Medical Association rate.

I think that has gone on just about long enough. There now falls on the government an obligation to provide very clearly, not just a nice statement by the minister here, but some kind of firm agreement we can see in writing between the government and whoever is chosen to act as the spokesman for physicians in Ontario. I would think that is obviously the OMA. I would like to see a firm agreement between the medical association and the government that, if doctors are going to continue to opt out, there is a legal obligation on those physicians to notify their patients.

My first choice, and I want to make this clear, is that doctors do not opt out of the plan and that we have one fee schedule for medicine in Ontario. We agree that we should sit down and negotiate that with the OMA committee and, having struck that kind of agreement, then all parties should live up to it.

There are problems in health care and in everything else that this government has before it. I said at the beginning that there are some inequities, which I want to point out. Here is one which bothers me substantially: We had in this province some few years ago a major discussion in the House and outside of the House, in the media, about denturists and how they provide that kind of service.

I am not sure I understand the rationale of fairness which says that for the making of a partial plate somebody ought to pay a $1,000 fine or go to jail for 14 days. It seems to me that is the kind of simmering dispute that I and most of the members in here thought was resolved. It now appears obvious that it was not resolved, and I am waiting for the minister to make some kind of a statement, some kind of a change in his regulation, to talk to the dental surgeons committee and come up with some kind of a rationale so that we don’t have that kind of inequity in operation in Ontario.

There are many occasions when members can spend much time on particular issues. Let me focus my remarks on one proposal in Metropolitan Toronto. It offers, in synoptic form, some of the alternatives that are before the government in health care.

There is a proposal for a high-risk pregnancy program in Toronto. I attended a forum on this at the St. Lawrence Centre about a week ago where there were panellists presenting opposing views. I think it is reasonable to say that everyone here wants to do the best he or she can for the provision of medical services in high-risk pregnancies. We do not want small children to die. We want those mothers to have good care.

In abbreviated form, the proposal is this: Do we go to a highly technological model already in existence in this province, which uses extremely expensive medical personnel and costs slightly more than $6 million a year? Or do we run through an option, developed and put forward by a Toronto nurse named Doreen Hamilton, to move to some form of preventive care program in the community? Which of those options should the government exercise at this time?

It is difficult for me to understand, when we have this kind of unit at Women’s College Hospital down the street from this Legislature, why it makes sense to provide a second unit of the same nature across the street at Mount Sinai Hospital. Why not take the advice of Dr. Cynthia Carver, who says there should be some revamping of the funding at Women’s College Hospital so the unit can be expanded somewhat to accommodate more of these mothers and children and to move to the preventive care program?

To put it starkly, surely it is better in the long run to prevent illness than to let it occur and pay the high cost of curative care afterwards. Specialized care units of this nature cost around $2,500 a day, and a lot of the money the government would have to invest for the equipment used in this kind of care unit would go to the United States. I have visited a similar unit at McMaster University in Hamilton. The success rates are worth looking at.

I am not making a proposal against that kind of high-risk unit, because I think that perinatal care is important. In terms of developing the type of care and expertise, Canadians did a lot of the work. Unfortunately, we don’t have an industry in Ontario which supplies much of the technology for that kind of care unit. None the less, I think we should take a look at that kind of alternative care program.

My argument is this: In terms of priority, we have in place the curative care unit, the high-risk pregnancy unit at Women’s College Hospital. It has some funding problems that should be resolved and some capacity which could and should be expanded somewhat.

But I believe, too, that the preventive care program outlined by Ms. Hamilton is one that this government ought to support with some fervour. If in future we are looking at the choices a government has, then careful, balanced weighing of evidence on both sides through the careful introduction of new programs of alternative care can be presented to the people of Ontario. Subsequently, if we want to make judgements about which gives us a better return on our dollar -- although I hate that kind of evaluation of the provision of health-care services -- we can do that. We need to have the alternative in place before we can make that judgement.

There are a number of current political topics before the Legislature. There is the matter of the Windsor area and what will happen with the auto industry in that community. I think most of us on this side of the House are saying, “The government has an obligation now.”

When it hands out the money it gave Ford Motor Company, when it discusses providing public money to a private company like Chrysler Corporation, it has an obligation to see that is done in the context of securing the economy of this province. It does none of us any good if we put large amounts of public money into a private firm and come up empty in terms of employment. If we settle for kind of a short-term salvation of a company, but in the long run the effect of doing that is that the local economy takes a nose dive anyway, we really have wasted our money.

4 p.m.

For the most part, we are looking at places in difficulty, and my own area is one which is now facing great difficulty. In Oshawa last week there were about 4,000 auto workers who were laid off. Hopefully, we are saying they are laid off temporarily, and that there will be some adjustments. We know there are problems with an energy crisis. We know there are problems in terms of the production facilities in Canada and in the kind of models of automobiles we provide.

What we look for from this government is some sensitivity in going through that process to see that when we do put money into the private sector it’s a clearly understood business arrangement and not a giveaway program, that we have added some substance to the economy of this province, that we have protected the jobs we now have and expanded those into new job opportunities for Canadian citizens, for the people of this province.

That is the single most important issue in my area. It is not really whether we would have an election. An election does provide some employment. I understand that, but it does not provide long-term jobs. I don’t particularly want to have an election out of this afternoon’s routine. I am searching for solutions for a government which does have some difficulty recognizing or admitting there are some things which this government has not done particularly well. What I am searching for then are solutions, not elections.

I want to point out as I get near the end of my remarks that I listened to some interjections this afternoon from some people in the far right on this side who really want an election.

Mr. Philip: Social Credit Party in Ontario.

Mr. Breaugh: I thought they were called the Luddites, but perhaps Social Credit is good enough.

For those of you who are so anxious to have an election, I recall that on the second day this House was in operation, there was a debate on a Thursday evening which could have been taken clearly as a matter of confidence -- the government said so anyway. It had to do with whether the rules of this House would be changed so that 20 members standing in their place could block a vote from taking place.

I happened to chair the committee which brought that report before the House. We did so because in the fall of last year we debated Bill 185, An Act respecting Environmental Rights in Ontario. The proponent of that particular piece of legislation had the opportunity for the debate, made a rather fervent argument in here and left the House that afternoon absolutely incensed that the government had 20 members stand to block it.

That particular member came to see me and demanded -- demanded, no less -- that we change the rules of the House. We went off to committee and we did what that person wanted us to do. That honourable member insisted on that rule change. We did it in committee. We made the minority government work. We brought that report back in here. We had the debate on it, which we had been waiting for since last fall. Come time to vote, some members were absent.

The proponent of that particular bill was the honourable Leader of Her Majesty’s loyal Opposition (Mr. S. Smith) in here, the current leader today, at least, of the Liberal Party in Ontario. When they had their first opportunity to defeat this government, two days after this House opened up, they were not here. Now this afternoon we are being asked to join with them in throwing the rascals out.

Mr. Cassidy: They only had 18 of 34 here that night.

Mr. Breaugh: While I believe there was a good explanation, the one I heard is there was a dinner on down at the Sheraton Centre. That is an indication of the great importance they gave to that matter. Certainly, a shift in priorities took place, so I don’t really have a feeling of obligation to vote for a Liberal amendment about anything.

Mr. Foulds: It’s a pity they couldn’t have taken the opportunity to improve the Legislature.

Mr. Breaugh: Yes. This minority government is far from perfect, but I do feel very sincerely that certain advances have been made, however awkwardly, by the Tories over there. I would be the first one to say too that they did not do so willingly, but this minority government has been productive. It has not been successful in the sense that an NDP government in Ontario would be, that’s for sure, but it has managed to make some concessions here and there.

Mr. Kennedy: We wouldn’t want to be successful like that.

Mr. Foulds: Exactly, we feel exactly the same way.

Mr. Breaugh: Mr. Speaker, there are a few interjections which are almost causing me to change my mind. I wouldn’t want to do that.

I took some time in working our way through this process by talking to a great many people in my own riding and in other tidings across the province about whether there should be an election. All I have to say is that in my own little public opinion poll the overwhelming response was no, not at all.

When I asked the second question, which was “Should we support the Liberal amendment?” particularly of those people who were friends of mine who were a little uncomfortable with the New Democratic Party’s supporting the Tories on a speech from the throne first of all, I had to go through the process of describing what the speech from the throne is.

Once we had it clear that the speech was not really based on issues or directly on legislation but on the government’s general intentions, much of which we might happen to agree with, they said it was really not too reasonable to cause an election on a throne speech. But when I put to them as succinctly as I could that in order to defeat the government we would have to vote for a Liberal amendment, the consensus was clear. If they ever caught me voting for a Liberal amendment in Oshawa they would, quite properly, run me out of town on a rail. I gave them my assurance I certainly wouldn’t make that mistake this afternoon.


Mr. Breaugh: In a week or so we’re going to see if this government is going to put its money where its mouth is. That is a matter of considerable substance. We will look at it.


Mr. Breaugh: I might be given to change my mind if I saw the leader of the Liberal Party. Who is the leader of the Liberal Party today? Whoever he is, whoever has the badge on today, if he were to come in here and listen to this important debate, I might change my mind. I don’t expect him to show up for the vote because I’ve seen the track record of the Liberal Party on no-confidence motions six times in the last three years. There are lots of people taking walks.

I saw the Liberal whip two days after the House cranked up and he couldn’t get the members back here for something his leader wanted. If they can’t get the Liberal caucus to support the Liberal leader, why would they under any guise expect me to do that?

Mr. Kerrio: How about a little wager on this afternoon?

Mr. Breaugh: I’m prepared to invite the entire Liberal caucus to come to Oshawa and run against me the next time. They will quadruple the number of Liberals in that town and we’ll still beat the whole lot of them hands down.

Mr. Conway: How about Napanee?

Mr. Breaugh: That might take a few years to work on.

I want to conclude my remarks this afternoon by saying I think there is a reasoned and a rational argument in looking at what accomplishments have come out of the minority to say we should not take questions of confidence lightly. If there are matters put before this House -- and I’m sure there will be -- where there is a clear division on a specific, well-focused issue or piece of legislation, those are things that ought to be treated seriously. But I cannot treat the amendment proposed by the leader of the Liberal Party very seriously at all, either from his track record or based on what is in the amendment.

I, for one, will not be supporting that amendment this afternoon.

Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, I take great pride in representing my party.

Mr. Foulds: Are you doing this on legal aid?

Mr. Roy: Isn’t that interesting? Listen, it’s very rewarding to know there are more NDP members in the House for my speech than there were for the member for Oshawa (Mr. Breaugh).

May I begin with the traditional word of thanks and congratulations on the fine job you, Mr. Speaker, are doing in the Legislature. I don’t want to go through the routine of giving you the traditional kind words because I feel sincerely, as one who has been here since 1971 and watched the performance of different Speakers, that you have a perception of what this place is about. We see it every day. We see it in the paintings in the corridors. We are seeing sunlight in this place for the first time in many years.

4:10 p.m.

We see it as well in your rulings. It is important that it be put on the record that the tradition and precedent that you are establishing now is going to make it exceedingly difficult for the government party, in the future, to instal as it did in the past.

I don’t want to be unduly harsh on some of your predecessors, but there were times when we felt the Speaker was not really an independent official. Basically, the Speaker was responding to, and often reflecting, the directions and wisdom of the executive branch, if not the party of the legislative branch of government. So it seems to us you are doing something important. I want to be on the record as encouraging that, and any steps taken to continue the tradition and precedent established in this House will certainly receive my support.

As I view the press clippings which I see occasionally from the federal House and especially during the referendum debate from the Quebec House, I feel somewhat annoyed that what we are seeing coming out of this Legislature that is taken up here in the gallery is not of professional quality or does not enhance this House as it does, for instance, in the National Assembly or the federal House. I see no reason why the members of this Legislature should have a second-rate service. If the House feels we should go a step further in giving members the services available to other members, be it in Quebec or at the federal level, I am in full support of it.

When people tell us the cost is excessive, I look at the money the people opposite have wasted, be it on Minaki Lodge or on programs involving the sale of used cars or land assembly plans. When we look at priorities, it is not too much to ask that this institution is not seen across the province, or across the country, as something second-rate or inferior to, for instance, the Quebec or federal institutions. I will fully support anything that will enhance not only the rules and regulations, but also enhance the media and the way the public sees the workings of the House.

I want to say something about some of our colleagues who will be leaving the House shortly. I understand the member for Carleton (Mr. Handleman) is leaving. I don’t know if he is coming back or is at the end of his term.

Mr. Conway: Today is the last day.

Mr. Roy: I’m told today is the last day. I want to say to my colleague from Carleton that I think his contribution, not so much to this House but to the province through his efforts as a member of the executive at one time, is something that should be singled out. I did not always agree with the member for Carleton -- in fact, more often than not I disagreed with him. If I may say it with kindness, there were times I thought the member for Carleton was something like the Tasmanian devil you see in Li’l Abner: I was never sure which direction he was going to take. In any event, the contribution he has made is something that should be singled out and underlined.

I also want to say that member has given the best of himself on behalf of the province. We know he has had heart problems. I say with sincerity to him that this is something, unfortunately, that results when one has possibly worked too hard, whose enthusiasm was not mixed with a certain amount of pace and variety of activities so that he could accept the work load. I think his contribution should be underlined and he is one of the members we shall miss.

Talking about missing certain members, how we miss the former leader of the New Democratic Party in this place. I think he is one, over the years, whose debating skill and oratory is certainly missed. I intend to talk later on about my colleagues to the left. The enthusiasm that man generated as compared to what I thought was the thinking socialist, the member for Ottawa Centre (Mr. Cassidy). I thought he was going to stick to principle. Considering what is happening on that side now, Stephen Lewis must be wondering what is happening to his old party. Another fellow we miss around here is the former member for Wentworth, Ian Deans, who is now in the federal House. We also miss some of our colleagues, like the former member for Sarnia, James Bullbrook, who performed well. We miss Darcy McKeough, who also was able to give this place some flavour. These are people we miss and I want to underline the fact that without them the place is not the same.

It is a pleasure for me to participate in the debate and it is an important day for members of this party, because this is our first motion of no confidence proposed by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. S. Smith).

Mr. Laughren: It took a long time for you to screw up your courage.

Mr. Roy: To the member for Nickel Belt (Mr. Laughren), I remind him that we told the NDP on its eight other no-confidence motions -- we told it regularly -- “We will tell you when we are ready, and when we are ready we hope you are.” What happens on the first occasion we are ready? I intend to talk about our colleague from Nickel Belt. I can remember that famous statement of his, “Get out of the way, we are coming through.”

I must not get sidetracked. As appetizing as it is to go towards that issue right now, I must say other things that have been written for me here.

We in the official opposition had no choice but to propose a motion of no confidence for what I consider to be this weary, backward-looking, unimaginative, unfeeling and at times cynical, smug and arrogant government.

I will have choice words for the Minister of Education (Miss Stephenson) at the proper time.

One wonders why they feel so smug. It certainly can’t be based on their accomplishments, because the credo of the Tory Party since 1975 has been basically one of doing nothing. As my leader has said time and time again, theirs are sins of omission. They feel arrogant because they have managed to cling to power for 37 years and under Bill Davis, especially since 1975, they have had no goals, no priority except one -- that is basically retaining power. I intend to proceed on the ways they have managed to retain power.

In an article just a few weeks ago in the Toronto Star, the author said, “The spirit of care and concern which brought the Tories to power under George Drew, nurtured them under Frost and sustained them under Robarts, has fossilized under Davis.” I thought that was so a propos.

I have some difficulty with the English language so right away I ran to my dictionary and I said, “What does fossilized mean?” Somebody wrote this down for me and I wasn’t sure I understood, so I went to look. It says, “Belonging to the past; antiquated; incapable of further development.” I thought, “Right on; this is what it is all about.” I said to myself, “What appropriate words to talk about the total lack of initiative in the throne speech.”

How many topics are there in the throne speech? I think there are about 90. On the basis of the old scheme they say: “If we talk about it people will get the impression we are doing something about this, so we will talk about every possible topic that has been raised since 1975; not only raised by people out there in the community but raised by the opposition, raised by our friends, raised by every possible group out there in the community.”

4:20 p.m.

We have basically a throne speech which reflects the leader himself. I thought the Ottawa Citizen said it well. Looking at the Ottawa Citizen of Wednesday, March 12, 1980, if I may read, the title of it is “Too bland to bother.” It goes on: “Premier William Davis can take a bow. The speech from the throne in the Ontario Legislature has been graven in his image -- bland and inoffensive.” I thought, right on.

“No one will get too excited about anything it promises except a few anti-nuclear alarmists who don’t realize that the Davis government is saying nothing new in confirming its commitment to nuclear energy. This document will not bring about an election this spring despite Liberal leader Stuart Smith’s avowed intention of defeating the government.” Listen to this -- it’s not me saying it, it’s the Ottawa Citizen: “The shaky-kneed New Democrats won’t even introduce their traditional amendment to force a vote of no confidence.”

Mr. Conway: Say that again.

Mr. Roy: It says: “The shaky-kneed New Democrats won’t even introduce their traditional amendment to force a vote of no confidence. They are desperately afraid that no matter how carefully they word the amendment, the Liberals might rationalize it and join forces to cause an election.” It’s absolute panic over there.

These are examples of what we were talking about, how bland the speech was. One can see that the government is really thinking. Davis and the boys -- Hugh Segal --

Mr. Conway: Some of the girls.

Mr. Roy: -- and a few of the girls once in a while, get together and they say: “How can we get that enthusiasm of the past, the days of George Drew?” One will remember that effort in 1977, the charter, which was intended to repeat the promises that brought on a Tory administration back in the days of George Drew. “How can we bring some of that back?” they ask.

As one of the many examples of fossilization that characterizes this government, the throne speech states once again, “Proper manpower development and deployment will be of the utmost importance as one of the cornerstones of a healthy and growing economy in the 1980s.”

Mr. Nixon: The Minister of Labour (Mr. Elgie) is leaving.

Mr. Roy: That is right. His timing is just beautiful.

Mr. Nixon: He is on his way out in more ways than one!

Mr. Roy: Unfortunately he has the same contempt for this place as most of his colleagues and is walking out while we are talking about him. By the way, his major program --

Hon. Miss Stephenson: The only one who shows contempt is you. You never bother to arrive.

Mr. Roy: Yes, Bette, yes. I am trying to understand what the minister is saying but I can’t.

Mrs. Campbell: “Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

Mr. Roy: Right. It goes on to say, “The key area of focus will be to produce sufficient numbers of skilled personnel from within our own work force to meet the needs of the Ontario economy.” Since 1963, at about the time the Premier (Mr. Davis) became Minister of Education, at least half a dozen government reports have strongly recommended the expansion of alternatives to formally institutionalize education and training. They have recommended enhanced apprenticeship programs.

In the throne speech of two years ago the government spoke of giving highest priority to evolving training programs geared to the manpower needs of industry. This year, some 17 years later, we get more talk and the situation desperately cries out for action.

Just last month we had something like 150,000 young people between the ages of 15 and 24 out of work. The rate of unemployment at that level is 14.5. We are talking of Ontario, not Newfoundland. There has been a 23 per cent increase in unemployment in that age category in Ontario. Yet, at the same time, industry is desperately short of skilled manpower for its needs and is forced to look to Europe and elsewhere to fill these jobs.

This crisis was predicted and is worsening, but we have had nothing but empty words from this government about the importance of skills and training. We need fresh ideas. We need enthusiasm. We need belief in change, in progress and the ability to create a bright and prosperous future for Ontario. We are not going to get it from the Conservative side, but we are going to get it from the Liberal side.

The throne speech is reprehensible, not for what it says but for all that it omits. In our motion of no confidence, we list programs to get the economy growing; to protect Ontarians from high interest rates; to protect the environment; to develop skills for young people; to reverse the erosion of the health-care system, I say to my colleagues on my left; to develop alternative energy sources; and to establish fair revenue-sharing agreements with municipalities and school boards.

In looking back to 1975, where have the Tories really come down hard? What visible policies have they brought forward? It is encouraging to think that the issue on which the Premier and the Minister of Education really came down hard on was the Lord’s Prayer in the schools. Remember that? Did the minister take a poll before she decided on that?

When one thinks about the doers on the Conservative side, when one thinks about people who were at times misguided but were not afraid of taking a decision, one thinks back on Darcy McKeough. He has to be happy to be out from the fossils in that party. He has to be happy to be out from that group.

Whatever the faults of Darcy McKeough, whether one agreed with him or not, he was a minister who was at least willing to take a stand. Shortly before he quit in complete frustration, he said -- and the Tory whip should listen to this as he will learn something from it -- “Maybe the decision to do nothing is the best politics and maybe it’s right but at some point you have to stop saying and you have to start doing whatever you are going to do.”

That is called leadership. I sure wish some of that was transferred over to the Minister of Education, who has been vacillating on so many issues here. Clearly none of her cabinet colleagues agreed with that. The member for Carleton (Mr. Handleman) at least was a McKeough, action-type individual who preferred to make decisions and preferred to live with the results. What’s happened to the Conservative Party over there? What has happened to property tax reform after all those reports? What has it become? Local option?

McKeough said at that time: “You can’t continue to get up in the morning and look at yourself in a mirror, knowing that you are doing nothing about an inequitable system.” That’s what he was saying. He had the guts to say that. I guess the government, including the Minister of Education, just stopped looking in the mirror. I guess they don’t mind what they see.


Mr. Roy: I hear the Minister of Correctional Services (Mr. Walker) interjecting. I say to the minister, while I have the opportunity, that he owes an apology to the bar of this province, to the lawyers. Maybe some of my colleagues could tell me if he ever practised. Was he ever involved in the liberty of the individual?

It reminds me of the days of Charles Dickens, when he said, for instance, that lawyers were an impediment to justice. The member should be apologizing to the bar of this province for his wide-sweeping statement.

4:30 p.m.

Mr. S. Smith: Withdraw your statement.

Mr. Roy: As my leader has said on many occasions, if the Tories don’t have any moral leadership at least they are supposed to be good managers. Remember the old story: “There is not much imagination over there, but they can really run the store. These guys are competent. They know what they are doing.” They may have lacked warmth and compassion and imagination, but they wore three-piece Conservative blue banker’s suits. They were supposed to be good managers of the Ontario economy.

Talk about a waste of money. I can recall, and my colleague from Brant-Oxford-Norfolk (Mr. Nixon) remembers how we used to fight over the purchases of land in this province. Do they remember the purchasing of land? Do they remember John White saying satellite cities were going to be built all over the place and that these were going to be great investments? They started buying up land all over the place for new industrial sites. I can remember we used to say to him, “You are paying too much money for that land.” We told him what he was doing was foolish. Trying to plan, trying to pay with the sort of checkerboard type of process where he was going to decide where the town or city was going to go was foolish. Do they remember that?

I ask the Minister of Correctional Services if he remembers the criticism we had of the minister of that time. Does he remember how we attempted to establish, and to get the minutes of Ontario Housing Corporation to determine, how much the government was paying for that land? Does he remember how we were rebuffed? I ask my colleague from St. George (Mrs. Campbell) if she remembers when they were cynical and said, “You don’t have to know these things”.

Mrs. Campbell: Yes.

Mr. Roy: Yes. We are finding out now. I can remember the most beautiful process of all was the decision to buy in eastern Ontario, Edwardsburgh. I can remember that process. I can remember four ministers apparently making that decision. All the ministers were involved except the ministers for eastern Ontario and, of course, the boy minister, the real tiger, the member for Ottawa South (Mr. Bennett), who was not involved at all.


Mr. Roy: That was the member for Ottawa South.

Mr. McEwen: They didn’t tell him.

Mr. Roy: No, they didn’t tell him. In fact he was the Minister of Industry and Tourism, before he got that promotion -- he says -- to Minister of Housing. That is what he says. He was the only person in the province who thought he had a promotion. That’s what he said. I am cynical about the Minister of Housing, but really he was right on this. He said: “We would be completely off our nut to build a new industrial park there.”

Mr. S. Smith: He was right.

Mr. Roy: Yes, he was right on.

Mr. S. Smith: He was right once.

Mr. Roy: Yes. He was right that time. As it turned out, unfortunately for the taxpayers of Ontario, he was right. It was $7 million. We are getting into really big millions, just hang on. We are just starting. Then they transferred this to the Ministry of Natural Resources at a book value of $8.8 million. This new incarnation was going to be for the growing of trees. That’s what they said. It went from an industrial park to growing of trees.

Then, recently, the Minister of Energy (Mr. Welch) came out with a new program on methanol and how you can make substitute energy out of trees and garbage. The first thing we knew, the minister and his sidekick the member for Carleton-Grenville (Mr. Sterling) were out there in eastern Ontario and there is a third incarnation for Edwardsburgh.

Mr. Sargent: A woodlot.

Mr. Roy: Yes. It is going to be for trees for this new alternative energy source. That is the type of foolishness the Tories indulge in. We talk of $30 million in South Cayuga, and $270 million in Pickering. It was beautiful when the Premier (Mr. Davis), in responding to my leader’s question, said: “I am a little surprised that he is saying by implication that the province shouldn’t move ahead to help stimulate development at that park, put lots on the marketplace to provide additional potential housing accommodation. I can only assume from the question he doesn’t feel this should be appropriate policy, which is fine. I just have to tell him I think he is in error.”

That is what the Premier was saying to the Leader of the Opposition.

Mr. S. Smith: A month later they cancelled the whole thing.

Mr. Roy: That’s right. A month later, as my leader says, Claude said --

Mr. Acting Speaker: If you are referring to a member of the House, would you please refer to him by the riding he represents?

Mr. Roy: Yes, Mr. Speaker, It’s a sign of affection because Claude and I have this special -- The member for Ottawa South made this statement: “You have to know enough to cut your losses and not be foolish enough to extend them.” That’s what he said a month after the Premier said, “The Leader of the Opposition is misguided.” The minister goes on to say -- that’s a new policy of this government apparently -- “A government without flexibility is a government without responsibility.”

There is no end to their flexibility. In fact, I think they are contortionists. There are times they are so pleased with themselves they can embrace themselves with their new policies.

We have had reports from the Toronto Real Estate Board which said the Ontario Land Corporation was not worthwhile, that it cannot possibly break even. In fact, the land would have to double in the next seven years for the Ontario Land Corporation to break even on this investment. So we have waste.

Do I mention Minaki Lodge? Everybody knows about that. We have already spent some $8.5 million, and have they had one tourist in the place? I ask the Minister of Northern Affairs (Mr. Bernier), have they had one tourist in Minaki Lodge? He doesn’t respond. I take it from his silence that he says no.

Hon. Mr. Bernier: What is the question?

Mr. S. Smith: Have they had one tourist in Minaki Lodge?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Stephen Lewis tried. The federal government supports Minaki Lodge. Did the member know that?

Mr. Roy: Who supported Minaki Lodge?

Hon. Mr. Bernier: The federal government.

Mr. Roy: I’m glad to see the Premier come in. I’m tempted to go back and talk about some of the --


Mr. Acting Speaker: Order.

Mr. Roy: I want to say something to the Premier. I wonder what he is doing as leader of this province when I look at the economy and how it has prospered under his administration.

Let’s look at some of these things. In the 1970s the government was in last place among the provinces on average percentage growth in the gross provincial product, in per capita GPP, in per capita income, in per capita personal disposable income, in the rate of public investments, in residential construction and in the rate of gross value added per capita. The Premier should be proud of that. Those are the good managers of Ontario.

An hon. member: Behind Newfoundland.

Mr. Roy: That’s right. The good managers of Ontario.

To be clear, this is not a nationwide trend. All our sister provinces are growing while in Ontario, the province of opportunity --

Hon. Mr. Pope: That’s selective use of figures.

Mr. Roy: I challenge the Premier to show us the difference. Show us figures that say that my figures are wrong. Let me tell the Premier that we in the Liberal Party have full confidence in our research staff. They are right on.

I could go on. The average real family income in constant 1971 dollars in Ontario sank from $13,518 in 1976 to $12,916 in 1978. Those are the facts. Under the Premier, the former Minister of Education, this province of Ontario has declined to eighth place among Canadian provinces in per capita grants to universities, $1,000 below the Canadian average and $1,800 below Quebec.

4:40 p.m.

That’s the province of opportunity; that’s what has happened under this administration. So is it any wonder that it is embarrassing for this government, when the equalization payments come forward and it says: “No, we don’t want that. That’s too embarrassing. We need that money but we have this tradition and we are not going to touch some of this stuff.”

I could go on talking about the Tories and some of the things that have happened since 1975 and since the last election in 1977. We could talk to some of my colleagues who represent the north about what has happened to some of the industries there. Does the government remember the member for Rainy River (Mr. T. P. Reid)? He is the one who forced it to release the results of the polls.

When we look at the shortcomings in the area of interest rates for homeowners and farmers and small businessmen in this province, when we see the government that is not prepared to accept its responsibilities --


Mr. Acting Speaker: The honourable member for Ottawa East is having difficulty being heard. Will the rest of the House please be quiet?

Mr. Roy: The Premier has set aside a large fund, millions of dollars, to help all these large corporations. In the meantime, farmers, small business people -- just over the weekend in Ottawa some of my colleagues were talking about four car dealerships that have gone under. We talk about Beach Foundry Limited -- 200 jobs. Anyway, in no time at all we had something like 800 jobs. What’s this government doing to help small business? The same people --

Mr. Laughren: They’ve done about as little as the federal Liberals.

Mr. Roy: The federal Liberals were the first ones to come into Windsor. They helped out on the unemployment insurance.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: What are the federal Liberals doing about it?

Mr. Roy: I don’t see the government thanking the federal Liberals for their purchase of that new plane. Is the Premier going to congratulate the federal Liberals for creating employment in this province? He is prepared to criticize them; he is prepared to pass it off. But at least they are prepared to take some initiatives for Ontario, something that he has not shown at least since 1977.

I think it’s clear that this government is not deserving of support. But for the people of Ontario to have a new administration we need help. When we proposed this motion, we thought for sure we were going to get the support of our colleagues to our left. Even though they are misguided, at least they have principles and they are led by a leader who was elected by a group within that party who are called the thinking socialists, the principled socialists. We thought that same party, which on so many occasions had proposed motions of no confidence -- and I must look here, how many there were -- eight?

Mr. Martel: Are those the ones you supported the government on?

Mr. Roy: Eight motions of no confidence.

Let us look at some of the motions of no confidence which were proposed since 1977.

First of all, two were proposed by the former NDP leader and six by the member for Ottawa Centre (Mr. Cassidy).

As we told the members to my left throughout, when we are ready, we will let them know.

Mr. Martel: What did you vote?

Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, let me read from Hansard in 1978. This is the new leader of the New Democratic Party speaking: “Mr. Speaker, I had neither expected nor intended this early in our leadership to move a motion which could bring an election. We in the NDP would welcome a chance to take on the Tories in an election if that is the outcome of the motion today.” That’s what he said in 1978. In 1979 we had a motion.

Mr. Cassidy: Where were you?

Mr. Roy: In 1979 we saved them. In 1979 there was going to be a motion on $6 million for the Toronto Transit Commission. That’s what the motion was all about; remember in 1979?

There are far more important issues today. Where is the NDP?

Mr. Martel: Where were you then when we needed you? You pulled out when we needed you.

Mr. Speaker: Order. The member for Sudbury East does not have the floor.

Mr. Roy: They are much more lively during my speech than they were during that of their colleague the member for Oshawa (Mr. Breaugh).

The leader of the NDP said in 1979: “The response we have from the government is a desperate search for old remedies and a refusal to look at anything new, a failure which will cost this province dearly and will cost us even more for each further month that the Progressive Conservatives are in power” -- “each further month that the Progressive Conservatives are in power.” Need I go on? Motion after motion.

Some of this was beautiful. In 1978 the leader -- I don’t think he was the leader then, I think he was the critic --

Mr. Nixon: In everything.

Mr. Roy: In everything, as one of my colleagues said. I think he was known as their Treasury critic then. He stated on page 695 of Hansard: “New Democrats are prepared to act. We think it’s about time this motion was passed and that this government was simply stood down.” That’s what he said at that time.

Some of the exchanges were excellent. Stephen Lewis, then the leader, said to the government: “You will be decimated if you call at this point. With any help from the Liberals you shall fall. Come on. Pull the plug. Let’s get this thing on the road.” That’s what Stephen Lewis was saying then. His colleague the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere (Mr. Warner) said: “Time to change managers over there.”

The best part was from my colleague from Nickel Belt (Mr. Laughren). Here are some of the sweet things he was saying on the budget in 1979: “It’s a good time for a New Democrat to be responding to the budget of the Treasurer, not because of the ammunition which we have to respond but because it’s a good feeling in general in Ontario today to be a New Democrat.” That’s what he was saying.

He said: “Ever since a year ago, when we elected a new leader, we’ve gone onward and upward.” Then he went on with some of his musings. He said: “When occasionally I ramble through the back alleys of the bureaucracy around Queen’s Park, the word I hear from the bureaucrats, many of whom are in highly placed positions in the civil service, is that the Liberal Party in Ontario peaked early, and it’s all downhill for them.”

He said: “The Conservatives, under the benign neglect of the Premier (Mr. Davis), are withering on the vine.” That’s what he was saying at that time -- “withering on the vine.”

He went on to say: “Tomorrow belongs to the New Democrats. Move aside, we’re coming through.”

4:50 p.m.

Mr. Laughren: A point of order, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: The member for Nickel Belt knows there is nothing out of order.

Mr. Laughren: Then on a point of personal privilege: I did want to make it clear that nothing has changed since I uttered those words. We still intend to make the others move over because we’re coming through, but we’re not going to pass on the Liberal curves.

Mr. Roy: The leader of the same party, which brought forward eight no-confidence motions since 1977, said in March 1980: “Rushing into an election is an easy solution. It is a lot tougher to devise answers to our problems.”

What has brought this on? Is it the polls? It could be the polls. We’re crass politicians. We look at such things as money. Somebody told me there are 16 New Democrats whose pensions may be affected by this. I said, “No, not these principled individuals, not them. They wouldn’t be thinking of that. We are crass politicians and we would be thinking about pensions, but not them, not these New Democrats.”

I want to say we have 15 who may be affected by pensions, but we’re talking about bringing down the government.

What are they going to say to Cliff Pilkey of the Ontario Federation of Labour? What are they going to say to him about the appointment of Lincoln Alexander to the Workmen’s Compensation Board? Are they going to say that on Monday afternoon they supported the Tories? What are they going to say to the 275,000 names?

An hon. member: What are you going to say?

Mr. Roy: We’re going to say we had the guts to bring the government down at any time. They don’t deserve to be in politics. On the one side, we have a party that has lost its principles and, on the other, we have a party that never had any principles.

I want to say in closing that there are two overriding issues. The question of energy and the question of the very survival of this country are of primary importance in this province. I ask the Premier: Did he really need a poll to tell him that Ontario was going to get ripped off on oil prices? Did he need a poll to tell him Ontarians feel there should be some national input in oil prices? This leader and this party do not need a poll to fight to protect Ontarians.

At this very time, especially since 1976 when the very survival of this country was at stake, when it was important to this province that this leader, this Premier, give leadership in that area, did he really need a poll to tell him that Ontarians wanted him to fight for Canada? Did he really need a poll to tell him that? Did he really need a poll when we are talking about rights as important as those of the franco-Ontarians?

It is one thing --

Mr. Speaker: The honourable member’s time has expired.

Mr. Roy: I ask, is power really that important that one needs a poll to fight for Ontario? This leader and this party don’t need a poll to fight for Ontario.


Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, it is a great privilege to join in this traditional discussion in the Legislature, in spite of the words of the member for Ottawa East (Mr. Roy), to endeavour to persuade the members of the official opposition to reassess the questionable amendment they placed before this House, to show just a little sign of maturity and intelligence and logic in the process.

After listening to the member for Ottawa East I realize that appealing to his intellectual capacity would be a waste of my time, his time and the Legislature’s time, so I won’t endeavour to do so. However, I do want to thank the honourable member for being here on this Monday. It is a unique situation for all of us and I would just suggest to him --

Mr. S. Smith: At least he is here for your speech. You weren’t here for mine.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Oh yes, I was here for two or three of the honourable member’s speeches, and at least when I missed his speech, I would say to the Leader of the Opposition, I wasn’t out playing tennis.

Mr. S. Smith: You’ve missed the last seven.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I would say to the Leader of the Opposition, I apologize, but I really did have a matter of some importance. I really find it very revealing that the Leader of the Opposition can, in fact, remember seven important speeches he has made. I guess they were the only ones. I don’t keep track of the speeches I make, which is probably just as well for everyone.

Mr. S. Smith: Neither does anyone else. We sit here for them. We don’t keep track of them.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I know I am really trespassing on the goodwill and the patience of the Leader of the Opposition to listen to my brief observations this afternoon.

Mr. S. Smith: My respect is for the Legislature, not for you.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I won’t get into any discussions of that nature with the Leader of the Opposition. I would only say to the member for Ottawa East that I enjoyed his observations and the sincerity with which he made them. I saw the tongue in both cheeks when he was saying most of the things he was saying. I have known him for many years. Actually, the member has been more effective before juries than he has been this afternoon, but I enjoyed it anyway. I heard some of it in my office as well.

5 p.m.

Mr. Roy: I would put more faith in the jury system than I would in you people.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Let me say to the member, so would I.

Mr. Roy: I would run you off a jury.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am sure the member would try to run everybody off a jury if he had his way.

It is not my intention this afternoon, surprising as it may seem, to be provocative in terms of replying to some of the observations from across the House. I intend to address a few remarks to one or two broader issues. But in case any members of the House or any members of the press gallery really haven’t a summation of the feelings of the Smith party of Ontario, if they will call Jim Deeks at 965-1676, he will give them more information on their latest press release.

Actually, I am very fond of Mr. Deeks. He gave me a great line once. I can’t recall it exactly except it went something like this, and I really am taking exception to it: “Going to work for the Liberal Party is something like going to work for the Argonauts.” I have to say as a supporter of the Argonauts I find that very hard to accept. However, I won’t go into any of that.

I just wanted to read the member for Windsor-Walkerville (Mr. B. Newman) one paragraph from his favourite newspaper before I get into other matters. This is from the Windsor Star, which is not known for its overall commitment to the Conservative government of this province. Related to the health-care system, it said: “But Timbrell’s policies indicate that, despite the threats of rising hospital costs and government restraint, our health-care system is in good hands.” That is from no better authority than the Windsor Star.

I won’t bring any editorials from the Hamilton Spectator as they relate to the Leader of the Opposition’s desire to have an election. I know he has read them carefully, assessed them carefully and probably now agrees with what that great newspaper has said on those particular issues.

I just want very briefly to set something at rest if I can. The member for Ottawa East mentioned certain figures in the latter part of his prepared remarks, which I think he digressed from at some length -- perhaps totally. Getting around to some of the basic facts of Ontario’s real growth from 1970 to 1979, here are the figures: Japan, 6.1 per cent; Canada, 4.2 per cent; Ontario, 3.7 per cent; Germany, 3.2 per cent; United States, 2.9 per cent; and the United Kingdom, 2.1 per cent.

Let us take a look at some of the figures on job creation, put them into perspective, be reasonable, objective and understanding. They are Ontario, 3.0 per cent; Canada, 2.8 per cent; United States, 2.2 per cent; Japan, 0.9 per cent; United Kingdom, 0.1 per cent; and Germany, 0.4 per cent. Here we have one of the most important economic indicators one can find anywhere and we are ahead of any other jurisdiction. I ask the member to take a look at the figures.


Hon. Mr. Davis: He should listen to me. I didn’t interrupt him and, for a change, he should try listening to someone else. It will be very refreshing for him, it will come as a shock to him and he might even learn something.

Let us look at total manufacturing investment from 1970 to 1979. It is Ontario, 10.3 per cent and the rest of Canada, 9.9 per cent. The figures are here. Let us just mention another modest figure, Ontario’s share of employment growth, 1970 to 1979. In 1975, it was 33.8 per cent and in 1979, 41.5 per cent. Let the member tell me where he can find a jurisdiction that has had that measure of success.

In manufacturing job creation, Ontario outperformed the rest of Canada without any question. The figures are here. I could go on at some great length.

Mr. Roy: And so you should.

Hon. Mr. Davis: We are talking about percentage terms. Certainly it’s a surprise. The figures disappoint the member. However, I really intend to deal with the throne speech and one or two issues of concern to me.

I have no hesitation in supporting the throne speech with all that it contained. It is, in our view, a fair-minded, very reasonable and imaginative program which provides our province with a kind of outline for progress and stability which the taxpayers we collectively serve have a right to expect.

I understand it is the tradition that I use this opportunity to rebut at length the distortions and exaggerations of the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. S. Smith). It is traditional but, in my view and in today’s circumstances, a waste of both my time and that of the assembly. I think it is fair to state that the Leader of the Opposition has chosen, of the many instruments available to him, the one of belittling Ontario’s contribution to Canada and distorting the overall economic strength and potential of our province -- a totally negative approach.

He refers, for example, to net revenue figures when he knows what he is talking about is revenue to government, taxes, and then he complains that our figures are not the highest. Does he expect or want Ontario to raise taxes so that we can equal Alberta’s oil-based revenues? All that would do is increase the burdens on our own citizens. Look at the way he has used the figures. One might assume he wants an election, that he is going to bring us up on this basis by imposing higher taxes for Ontarians. That would be his solution to the problem.

I think it is fair to state that the caucus of the member for Hamilton West (Mr. S. Smith) may feel enthusiastically inclined, perhaps through loyalty, to pound their desks as the tune gets a little more hollow and the tone gets a little shriller day after day. I understand politics. I listened to the member for Ottawa East (Mr. Roy), and I almost thought here was the opening salvo of his own leadership campaign for 1982. I got that impression. I thought he did very well at the last convention.

The people of this province, as they have proven repeatedly, have far better judgement than that. I think it’s fair to say, as I have listened to and read a great number of the contributions from thoughtful members on both sides of the House, the challenges facing Canada and Ontario at this moment are clear and significant. We should be devoting our energies to resolving those difficulties and not threatening elections at this time.

The challenges which emerge from a very troubled world -- I think that’s an understatement -- and, let’s be honest about it, a troubled nation, are challenges which, in the name of continued prosperity and opportunity in this province, we must meet head on with a clear and precise grasp of our priorities and potential.

The importance given to energy in our program is very clear evidence of Ontario seeking to do all it can to maximize our opportunities and prospects. I think the member for Ottawa East was treading on pretty shaky ground when he started talking about energy policy in light of the total lack of energy policy put forward by the Liberal Party of Ontario. Look back at it historically. The Liberal Party has had at least five different positions on energy: world price one day, less than world price the next day, back to world price the following day.

Those people are going to be very embarrassed when we debate these issues before the public because the reality is they have had no consistent, logical, credible energy policy. I say that very sadly. I say it constructively but objectively, because it happens to be the truth. On all fronts -- hybrid electric heating, energy from waste, hydrogen energy, methanol, the expansion of the Ontario Energy Corporation, conservation, fusion research -- the Deputy Premier and Minister of Energy (Mr. Welch) has launched a serious and well-developed program. That is as it should be.

I listened to the member who is a great advocate for Bell Canada. He looks very impressive promoting Bell Canada long-distance ads, higher rates, TV ads, and so on. I am glad he didn’t ask us whether we had an intervention before the rate hearing on Bell Canada. What position would he take on that rate hearing?

Mr. Roy: Has the Premier got a position on what position he is going to take?

Hon. Mr. Davis: If the member for Ottawa East had been here on occasion, he would know the position we are taking before the board. One does not build on an alternate energy program or increased energy security with a hobby-horse approach, such as has been adopted by the other side.

Mr. J. Reed: Tell the truth.

Hon. Mr. Davis: It is a hobby-horse approach. The member for Halton-Burlington (Mr. J. Reed) knows it is true. His mind may have difficulty with it but in his heart he knows it is true.

5:10 p.m.

The government’s role must be one of integrated leadership, a position which encourages both private sector investment and public confidence. When the Leader of the Opposition spends a few more years in his area of responsibility he will come to understand that, however slow that revelation may be.

On the large fiscal issues, let’s make no mistake about them. The federal government clearly has the pre-eminent role. That is fundamental. It is something that as we get into discussions later on in the session, constitutional change, et cetera, there is just to be no mistake about the position of this government or this Premier as to the need to have a national government with the fiscal, monetary, financial resources and responsibilities to do the job. The federal government has some obvious responsibilities in the context of assuring both national balance and equity.

Unlike the Leader of the Opposition, whose view of Ottawa seems both politically paranoiac and mildly schizophrenic -- a diagnosis he might share were he the physician and not the patient in this case -- the position of the Progressive Conservative government of this province is straightforward, it is consistent, it has been the same since the energy debates took place. There has been no alteration, moderation or deviation from it.

A strong national government deserves the support of all Canadians when it attempts to act in the interests of all Canadians. Our position on a Canadian energy pricing regime, on reducing government duplication and limiting its growth, on retaining a fair fiscal balance between all regions, on ensuring a nation that can both share and care together, has been and remains consistent over the years.

Whatever the partisan affiliation of the government in Ottawa, in terms of achieving public policy goals for the people of our province, goals that enhance our collective quality of life in expanding our economic opportunities, Ontario has and will continue to put partisanship aside. We have supported and we have opposed governments of any affiliation in Ottawa, issue by issue, in the interests of all of the people of our province, and that is as it should be.

I have no difficulty either in standing with my national party -- and I make no apologies for it -- in good times and those that weren’t quite so good, but without compromising my responsibility to all Ontarians.

I would say to the member for Niagara Falls (Mr. Kerrio) I have been consistent. I have always been a Progressive Conservative. I have never tried to change the name of our party. I have never limited my participation. I have disagreed with our national policy on occasion, but at least I have been loyal, I have been consistent, I haven’t tried to exploit it because I think there is a short-term political advantage. That is more than can be said about some members of this House when it comes to their involvement.

Mr. Roy: That will be a good speech at the next federal leadership convention.

Hon. Mr. Davis: The member for Ottawa East flatters me. One minute he is saying how bland we are. I am going to have a new slogan, “Bland works.” He should take a look around us. I will never try to compete with the member for Ottawa East, with his rhetoric, his style, his lack of logic, or anything else. I won’t try to do that.

I think the record is very clear. I haven’t attacked the new government in Ottawa just on single issues or issues that might be transient in nature. I believe that Canadians generally, and Ontarians specifically, really expect the freshly mandated government in Ottawa to be given a fair chance, be given the benefit of the doubt on the large issues facing us all as Canadians.

I am a partisan person, but I genuinely believe the people of Ontario want to see, in this time of national difficulty, some measure of understanding and co-operation between the government of this province and the government in Ottawa, because we do share certain responsibilities and certainly we share the interest of the people of this province. I make it abundantly clear, and it may come as a bit of a shock, it may disappoint some members, but it is my intention to work with Ottawa wherever possible in the interests of Ontarians.

As the throne speech clearly indicated, as politicians we really can do little to enhance public confidence in public institutions in this country if as government our agenda is distrust and our program for needling each other mercilessly is better developed than our desire for common achievement and progress. Sure, it is the easy route to go -- very easy -- not so hard for any of us. But while we reserve the right to marshal our forces on any clear issue of substance where we see unfairness or as the magistrate, Mr. Attorney General, would say, “arbitrary measures,” we also firmly assert our responsibility to seek opportunities to work together with the national government in the national interest.

Despite how some directly opposite may feel, I think the people of this province, at this time in our history, deserve no less. Quite frankly, I believe the period this nation faces at the moment is one of peril but also of opportunity. In this great nation, some would suggest it was ever thus.

I think I can say with some historical perspective that as Ontarians we have always put our nation, or Canada, first. I say to the House that whatever the international economic uncertainties, whatever the strains on our Confederation, economic or otherwise, we shall as Ontarians continue to put Canada, our Canada, one Canada, first in all matters of policy and program. That is the direction this government will take. It is really in that context that all of us in this parliament and in this province must face, without being naive and with no delusions, the seriousness of the events unfolding before us.

To the east of the Ottawa River, our sister province grapples with the most serious decision. Our fellow Canadians in Quebec aren’t involved in a semantic exercise or in a simple reaffirmation of a desire for constitutional change. They may be encouraged, however, to think otherwise. They may, indeed, be discouraged from facing the fact they are participating in a decision that will seriously shape attitudes, opportunities and potential for all of Canada in the future.

A victory for the “yes” side may be seen as a mandate to negotiate by some, but I think it is important to point out that it will be clearly used as a giant leap down the road to independence by the independent forces. Let’s not fool anyone about that. Let’s understand that when people are saying: “Vote yes, it’s only an opportunity to negotiate,” in fact, there is an underlying belief by some that this would give them just another step forward on the road to the independence some of them are seeking.

In my opinion, it will result in a closing of more doors and more minds throughout English-speaking Canada than I care to imagine. I’m afraid it will toughen conciliatory mentalities throughout this nation. That is my personal point of view.

Were it just as some would say -- and I understand the subtleties of what is being said -- a mandate to negotiate, and I find this concept intriguing, I would have to ask a couple of questions: To negotiate what? To negotiate with whom? Will it be a mandate to negotiate a “now you see it, now you don’t” independence? Is that what they are saying? This has already been rejected by Premiers and federal leaders. With whom will Quebec negotiate sovereignty-association? The member for Ottawa East (Mr. Roy) didn’t touch upon this, but he has some modest knowledge in constitutional law. I would say the knowledge of the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) is even more substantial. I don’t say that unkindly; I happen to think it is.

My understanding of the constitution is there is just nothing in the constitution that permits negotiation. There is no vehicle whereby, in fact, constitutionally, legally or any other way, it can be done. Indeed, all the room to negotiate, all the room to find creative new dimensions for this country, new structures, new federal-provincial relationships, all the capacity to build on a mutual respect and trust, are only liberated by the no option in the present Quebec debate.

5:20 p.m.

That, in essence, is what it is all about. The temptation to go through all the litanies of two weeks ago was great, but I am trying to lay before this House and before the people some of my own points of view. I want to restate one or two.

The position of this province, certainly of this government, I hope remains crystal clear to our compatriots in Quebec. This government will go anywhere at any time and it will negotiate with anyone to accommodate constitutional reform, change, anything that strengthens the capacity of Canada to serve better the regions, the language groups and the provinces of our nation. Speaking for this government and this party, our minds are open and, most important, so are our hearts. Our spirit is positive; it is also creative.

The people of Ontario have had a genuine commitment to constitutional reform going back a number of years. It is not something that happened in the last year, or two years or even three years. These are among the positive and creative concerns we would seek to address for our own reasons, as do Canadians elsewhere: needless duplication, wasteful overlapping of government expenditures, a concern for representative national institutions. I would ask the voters of Quebec to understand the depth of our positive and real commitment to constitutional reform for this country.

Sovereignty-association, on the other hand, as a proposition would stem the creativity and weaken the commitment. Just as we would leave no stone unturned in the context of progressive constitutional reform, we would not be part of and we will fully oppose any negotiations, at any level, at any time, on sovereignty-association. It is not acceptable.

Negotiating the end of our nation is not part of the mandate of this government, nor is it the mandate of the government of Canada. Its preservation through legitimate means is very much our collective mandate. Compromise, call it some other word if you like, Mr. Speaker, in the interests of progress and helpful reform has always been the posture of this province. Weakness in the face of those who would destroy Canada has not been part of our history, nor will it be as long as it is my privilege to serve as Premier of this province.

I have spoken of the peril and the opportunity to the east of us in Quebec. Let me now address the challenge from and for western Canada. Let me begin with a comment on what I regard as some grossly unfair observations that have been made about the federal voting practices of the people of this province.

In 1979, when Ontarians, along with Canadians in other parts of this nation, voted to elect Prime Minster Joe Clark, observers said our people voted to isolate Quebec. In 1980, when Ontarians chose, in the main -- not with my help, but they did in the main -- to give a mandate to Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, our people were charged by some with voting to isolate western Canada. I read some of the comments. Attributing these motives is both tasteless and divisive.

The people of Ontario have the right to vote for the federal government of their choice without having their patriotism questioned, just as other Canadians have a similar right. We need not apologize for our strength in numbers to anyone, nor do we intend to. Our capacity to have an impact on federal election results is not a distortion. There are eight million plus people living in this province. It is the clear result of a democratic parliamentary system in which citizens -- people, not oil wells, maps or regions -- determine the outcome of elections.

The government of Canada, dependent on the confidence it can sustain in the House of Commons and elected by all Canadians, represents all Canadians -- that is the reality -- however they may have voted, until its mandate is elapsed or the confidence of the House is lost. We reject utterly -- I say this for myself -- the view espoused in some quarters in western Canada that if the party of one’s choice does not win a national election then the electoral system is little more than a conspiracy to frustrate one’s objectives. I just don’t happen to support that point of view. If the democratic system we use were to change every time some interest group felt it had not produced the desired result, there would not be any democratic system worth keeping or worth changing.

In a very broad national and historical sense western Canada has some legitimate grievances where inequities must be redressed. But western Canada -- and I speak here of all the provinces west of Kenora -- has also helped build this nation and as such it shares a great human and material investment with the rest of us. That investment can be measured in the years that the farmers in the west have devoted to building our great western grain and livestock reserves over the decades. It can be measured through the human investments -- not just in money -- in pulp and paper industries, the risk-taking throughout the resource sector right across the board.

As new energy-based wealth now broadens western opportunities, our compatriots in the west can launch themselves on an even broader development and expansion, diversifying their industrial base and building a set of opportunities that will be unparalleled in their history, as well they should.

Lest our position with respect to their opportunity be misrepresented or distorted, I say to my fellow Premiers, I say to the Canadians in western Canada: We applaud and support your efforts to build your future, to generate new wealth, to capitalize on the good fortune of the geographic accident of mineral resources, for when you build your future, you build Canada’s future. There are no Ontarians who are opposed to that; in fact, our burden as federal taxpayers will lighten as all the regions strengthen. This is the reality.

But as we have said consistently in the past, regions must not be allowed to strengthen themselves unfairly by weakening the country as a whole, and there is a distinction. We should not, and I believe western Canadians will not, wish to finance regional economic wealth on the one hand with national economic weakness on the other. The two, in my view, would be incompatible.

Were that to happen, divisions of great dimension would threaten this country, divisions that could force many to take sides against each other, rather than stand side by side for this nation. Here again is the peril but also the opportunity. If we seize the opportunity to build on new strength, we will markedly reduce the peril; if we fail to seize the opportunity, the peril may seize all of us.

Present energy-related capital flows, financed largely by the consumers of this province, if distributed fairly, can be a great part of not only helping western Canada but also helping all of Canada repatriate more of our economy, build energy-conserving capacity nationwide, increase alternative energy development, and deepen western and Atlantic Canada’s economic bases. There can be a constructive, positive force helping to build Canada, just as Ontarians’ billion-dollar equalization payments to the rest of Canada have been in the past.

But I make this observation very objectively: these flows must be part of an overall national fiscal system that is balanced and equitable. As the system now operates, Ontario consumers’ money increases western oil revenues, thereby twisting the existing equalization formula to force Ottawa to send more money to Atlantic Canada to bridge the revenue gap.

When Ottawa does that, Ontario taxpayers pay over 40 per cent of the cost. Meanwhile, as our economy shifts energy dollars west, we lose our fiscal capacity to serve the people of our own province. Clearly this is not a pattern that we in this province can accept.

5:30 p.m.

I say to you, Mr. Speaker, and to the people of this province and of Canada that Ontario seeks fairness and equity for all Canadians. We intend to stand firmly behind our resolve that these are the only goals worth seeking. One does not build a partnership among Canadians by holding one group’s economic interests hostage to finance the interests of another group. In this regard I would be failing in my duty as a Canadian and as Premier of this province were I not to draw attention to the Petrosar issue.

Alberta’s decision to treat Petrosar as a foreign company is surely not acceptable to Canadians -- not even, I think to the people of Alberta. The government of Alberta may see this as a bargaining chip in a larger poker game with the government of this nation. It may be that its position of several weeks ago is a posture that can be worked out among negotiators of goodwill. But whatever is the strategy or intent, I flatly reject any suggestion that Canadian companies in Ontario are any less entitled to oil and gas from Alberta than Canadian companies in Alberta. I reject utterly the proposition that some tribunal in Alberta, Ontario or anywhere else can disrupt interprovincial trade or economic activity for the gain or profit of one government among 11.

No single initiative could challenge the nature of Canada more. Our desire to cooperate, our desire to see western Canada strengthen its own future and Canada’s is sincere and heartfelt. Our dogged determination, on the other hand, to oppose the balkanization of this nation, to oppose ripping the threads that unite us should not be misunderstood by any in this country.

Provincial ownership of resources is one thing; we understand it. Provincial efforts to undermine the national interest are another, and we do make a distinction. Our desire to see western Canada grow is real; it really is. But let no one doubt that our desire to defend the interests of a strong, united Canada is just as real as well.

I think it is fair to state that western Canada is now benefiting from the capacity of our manufacturing sector to contribute reasonably to western energy expansion, as we contributed to national levels of service to all citizens in have-not provinces through equalization. This has been the historical and proper posture. We believe that all Canadians are prepared to contribute to and benefit from that expansion through fair Canadian pricing.

I interject here to say I was encouraged by the phrase in the throne speech from the nation’s capital, uniquely at 11 o’clock this morning, which referred to a Canadian price or something that had a sort of familiar ring to it, a made-in-Canada price. I can recall using the phrase. I liked it as a phrase, as a matter of fact.

Mr. S. Smith: Joe Clark didn’t like it but you supported him.

Hon. Mr. Davis: The Leader of the Opposition (Mr. S. Smith) was whimpering and blimpering around the province in the early part of that campaign. He is now trying to dissociate himself from the same people he was trying to elect. I’m trying to say very nicely and very politely to the member for Niagara Falls (Mr. Kerrio), not needling him in any personal sense, that I make no apologies for my commitment to our national party. I won’t repeat it in this House again. I’m not just with them when the polls look good and I’m not going to desert them when the polls look bad. That may be his approach, I say to the member for Hamilton West (Mr. S. Smith), but it is not mine and it never will be. I guess that makes the distinction between us.

Mr. Makarchuk: You just take a little longer holidays sometimes, but that doesn’t mean anything.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I’ve got to tell you, Mr. Speaker, actually it was shorter than in normal years.


Hon. Mr. Davis: I would say to the member for Kitchener (Mr. Breithaupt) that I could say I was down there inspecting the same beach he was inspecting for corporate law or whatever it was.

Mr. Peterson: He looks better without his clothes on than you do.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I won’t say anything to the member for London Centre (Mr. Peterson). He’s saying the member for Kitchener looks better with his clothes off than I do. I could ask a question: How does he know?

Mr. Makarchuk: Wait until Claire Hoy gets hold of this.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I would suspect the member of many things but never that.

Mr. Worton: I don’t think either of you would look good.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I must say to the member for Wellington South (Mr. Worton) that I am not sure he is one who should talk either. This discussion is getting very personal.

Mr. Lawlor: Get on with it.

Mr. Nixon: What happened to that preaching call?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I am not preaching for a call here today. The member for Brent-Oxford-Norfolk (Mr. Nixon) knows what it is like to preach for a call.

Mr. Nixon: Your learning span is very short.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I have had a little longer to learn than the member has.

Mr. Nixon: No, the Premier is not quite 50.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Yes, I am. As a matter of fact the member is wrong again. I am going on 51. I know one could never tell, but --

Mr. Peterson: Don’t talk about your waistline.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I have done better recently than the member for London Centre. I haven’t had to change the part in my hair and get new glasses either. But I have to say the member has a great family.


Hon. Mr. Davis: Getting back to the point, Mr. Speaker, we believe Canadians are prepared to contribute to and benefit from that expansion to fair pricing through balanced new fiscal recognition of capital flows -- I think that is fundamental -- and through reinvestment nationally of the fair portion of energy revenues.

Potential capital flows under the present system indicate the tremendous distortion that the present system imposes on the consuming provinces. In fact, net wealth in our province, in our community as a whole, could be seriously weakened in the years ahead, not because of any lack of performance, and despite the overwhelming strength of our manufacturing sector, our agricultural sector and our job creation.

Ontario holds out the hand of partnership and co-operation to all Canadians in our great national enterprise. To our generation fall the tasks of building on the opportunities that embrace our future and facing up to and defeating the perils of regionalism and division that plague our present and which have plagued our past.

I have never been more confident of our capacity as a people and as a nation to choose the right path and to build the right way. The promise of freedom and opportunity this nation holds is not diminished, and the role of Ontario in helping to shape and deepen that promise has never been more important.

Our people look to us here in Ontario to provide a large share of the leadership and commitment that sustaining this nation will require. Our throne speech is a creative and humane testament to our belief as Ontarians. It is a testament to ourselves, to our future, to our country and to our common purpose as Canadians.

Let this parliament, Mr. Speaker, even at this late hour -- and I address these words to the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Smith) -- affirm that very purpose through rejecting, reassessing and reconsidering that ill-conceived amendment of the Leader of the Opposition and joining with us in sustaining a program of confidence, progress, humanity and civility, dedicated to this province but also as a part of a true nation, Canada.

The House divided on the amendment by Mr. S. Smith, which was negatived on the following vote:


Blundy, Bolan, Bradley, Breithaupt, Campbell, Conway, Cunningham, Eakins, Epp, Gaunt, Haggerty, Hall, Kerrio, Mancini, McEwen, McGuigan, McKessock, Miller, G. I., Newman, B., Nixon, O’Neil, Peterson, Reed, J., Reid, T. P., Riddell, Roy, Ruston, Sargent, Smith, S., Stong, Sweeney, Van Horne, Worton.


Ashe, Auld, Baetz, Belanger, Bennett, Bernier, Birch, Bounsall, Breaugh, Brunelle, Havrot, Henderson, Hennessy, Hodgson, Isaacs, Johnson, J., Johnston, R. F., Jones, Kennedy, Kerr, Lane, Laughren, Lawlor, Leluk, Lupusella, MacDonald, Mackenzie, Maeck, Makarchuk, Martel;

Bryden, Cassidy, Charlton, Cooke, Cureatz, Davis, Davidson, M., Davison, M. N., McCaffrey, McCague, McClellan, McMurtry, McNeil, Miller, F. S., Newman, W., Norton, Parrott, Philip, Pope, Ramsay, Renwick, Rollins, Rotenberg, Rowe, Samis, Scrivener, Smith, G. E.

Di Santo, Drea, Dukszta, Eaton, Elgie, Germa, Gigantes, Grande, Gregory, Grossman, Snow, Stephenson, Sterling, Swart, Taylor, J. A., Taylor, G., Timbrell, Turner, Villeneuve, Walker, Warner, Watson, Welch, Wells, Wildman, Williams, Wiseman, Yakabuski, Young, Ziemba.

Pair: MacBeth and Edighoffer.

Ayes 33; nays 87.

The House divided on the main motion by Mr. Cureatz, which was agreed to on the same vote reversed.

Resolved: That a humble address be presented to the Honourable P. M. McGibbon, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario:

May it please Your Honour, we, Her Majesty’s most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Legislative Assembly of the province of Ontario, now assembled, beg leave to thank Your Honour for the gracious speech which Your Honour has addressed to us.

The House adjourned at 5:55 p.m.