31e législature, 4e session

L092 - Fri 17 Oct 1980 / Ven 17 oct 1980

The House met at 10 am.




Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, last Tuesday I advised the House of certain initiatives to deal with problems associated with plant closures and layoffs. Among other things, I said I would be announcing the appointment of a senior adviser with extensive experience in business and industrial relations to co-ordinate a variety of functions related to major plant closures.

I am pleased to announce that Mr. Robert D. Joyce has agreed to undertake this important assignment. He has been designated as my special adviser on employment adjustment problems. Mr. Joyce has a long and distinguished career in industry, with particular experience in industrial relations. For many years, he was associated with Canada Packers Inc. For the latter part of that period he was a director of employee relations and a member of the board of directors.

More recently he has been engaged in his own consulting practice in employee relations. He has also performed key assignments for the Ministry of Labour as a member of several disputes advisory committees. Since 1977 he has also served as a member of the Ontario Labour Relations Board.

In all of the activities he has undertaken, he has gained the confidence and respect of both labour and management for his integrity, fairness and objectivity.

Mr. Joyce will begin his assignment immediately, will be available on a part-time basis as required and will be supported by a full-time staff. As I mentioned in my statement on Tuesday, his tasks will include obtaining all pertinent information in respect of closures, assessing the possibilities of maintaining operations, assisting in the resolution of disagreements respecting termination rights and benefits, directing regional interministerial field teams established to assist with adjustment problems arising as a result of closures, and reporting to me on the results of his efforts.

I cannot think of any person more qualified than Mr. Joyce to mobilize and co-ordinate our resources in order to ensure that every possible effort is made to control and minimize the adverse impact of industrial adjustments.


Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, the statement I am about to make, I believe, has been distributed to the leaders of the opposite parties and the health critics. Other copies are coming, as soon as they are printed.

I am pleased to be able to table a study of long-term bed needs for Metropolitan Toronto, which has just been completed for us by the Hospital Council of Metropolitan Toronto. The report provides a very concise response to many of the myths and much of the mischief which have characterized some recent discussions about the hospital bed situation.

Stripped of its detail, the report states quite simply that there were more than 900 active treatment beds empty and available in Metro on the day the survey was taken; that more than 300 patients were in hospital beds when they should have been discharged home, and that at least 2,000 patients were receiving care in facilities which were not the most appropriate for their conditions.

The study confirms the policy my ministry has been pursuing over the past three years. It brings into sharp focus the need to provide more long-term-care alternatives for the people of Ontario.

The study highlights a problem which is not unique to Metropolitan Toronto, namely the inappropriate placement of patients within the health system. A major reason for this phenomenon is the changing demographic nature of our population. Our society is ageing, and as the birth rate declines and as more infectious diseases are brought under control, there are and there will be increasing proportions of elderly citizens requiring various levels of long-term care, including chronic, nursing home and home care.

For three years now, my ministry has been attempting to increase long-term-care alternatives while avoiding the pitfall of merely adding on endlessly to the whole of the health system’s resources. Thus, we have pursued policies of adding needed active treatment, chronic and rehab beds where there were insufficient quantities, while converting surplus active treatment beds elsewhere to necessary chronic use with the appropriate programs for the patients involved.

At the same time, we have added nursing home beds in various communities based upon locally conducted need assessments undertaken mainly through district health councils. We have expanded the home care program and added the chronic home care program with a commitment that this service will be provided province-wide within two years, and thus, we have initiated placement co-ordination services to direct patients to the most appropriate level of care.

To achieve this shift in emphasis within the system, two years ago we began working towards an average of 3.5 active treatment beds for each 1,000 persons in southern Ontario and 4.0 in northern Ontario. At the same time, we revised the old standard for chronic beds, defining the ratio of 11.9 per 1,000 residents 65 years and over as a minimum ratio to be achieved and to be exceeded wherever need was demonstrated.

This policy stimulated the move to realign services and beds within the system by encouraging conversions and so increasing our stock of chronic beds. Unfortunately, this policy also served to create the myth that we were attempting to cut back on all available beds. That is not the case. The truth is that over the last five years our total stock of beds -- active, chronic, rehab and nursing home -- has increased by almost 3,000 across Ontario.

The logic of our policies has been demonstrated consistently by bed-need studies in all parts of Ontario, which have indicated from 10 to 20 per cent of patients have been inappropriately placed in our system. Some are in active beds when they should be in chronic beds, and they are occupying spaces which should be assigned to those with serious acute illnesses. Some are in chronic beds when they should be in nursing home beds and so on.

Today, the Metro study again confirms the need to get on with the job of providing more long-term facilities. Much has been done in this regard already; in fact, in the past 18 months 350 new chronic beds have been opened in Metro; 100 at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, 100 at the Salvation Army Grace Hospital at Bloor and Church, and 150 at the West Park Hospital in Weston. Just last week a further 31 chronic care beds were authorized for York Central Hospital at Richmond Hill.

Members will also recall the recent approval of 210 beds at Scarborough Centenary Hospital, of which more than half will be for chronic and rehab patients; the additional 65 beds being opened at Etobicoke General Hospital, and 76 at Toronto East General Hospital. The new 200-bed Salvation Army Hospital in Scarborough will possibly include provision for chronic care beds when plans for that institution are submitted to my ministry next year.

I agree in principle with the major recommendations contained in the report; in fact, I have given immediate approval to invite proposals for an additional 300 nursing home beds for the Metropolitan Toronto area by the end of this year. These beds should be in use by March of next year. They will bring the total number of licensed nursing home beds in Metropolitan Toronto to 5,789, and we will continue to increase the number of extended and chronic care beds over the next five years.

10:10 a.m.

The HCMT report clearly shows what we have believed for a long time, that a large number of patients occupying costly acute treatment beds could be better served in less costly chronic and nursing home beds or with home care programs. I am pleased the study supports the actions my ministry has been taking in recent years and confirms the direction of our planning to provide an increasing number of long-term-care beds and programs in the future.


Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, I rise with considerable concern regarding comments attributed last week to the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. S. Smith) in response to the tabling of the report of the Royal Commission into Discounting and Allowances in the Food Industry in Ontario.

After the report was tabled by the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. Henderson) the Leader of the Opposition, in criticizing the report, was quoted in the Hamilton Spectator as saying, “But you have to see that they appointed a bunch of Conservatives to the commission.”

I recognize it is the duty of the Leader of the Opposition to oppose, to criticize and to offer alternatives. He is, of course, quite free to attack the report of the commission based on the content of the report or what he believes to be deficiencies in the content. However, I think it is highly improper and unfair for the Leader of the Opposition to place partisan political labels on members of the judiciary who perform a public service by conducting such inquiries in addition to their regular duties on behalf of the administration of justice.

The fact is that His Honour Judge Leach accepted this task on very short notice when his predecessor became ill and was unable to continue. The selection of Judge Leach was not made by the government but by His Honour Chief Judge Colter of the county court.

Judge Leach has a distinguished record of service to this country during the Second World War, as a lawyer, crown attorney and, for the past 18 years, as a judge of the county court in Haldimand-Norfolk. I know of no evidence to support the suggestion by the Leader of the Opposition that Judge Leach was motivated by political considerations or anything other than the task set out in the terms of reference of the commission.

The type of comment made by the Leader of the Opposition is resented by all judges and frankly, Mr. Speaker, seriously jeopardizes the availability of judges for future commissions since they understandably are not willing to take on such tasks only to have their independence challenged in such ways.

On behalf of the judiciary and on behalf of the administration of justice, I would ask the Leader of the Opposition to confine his remarks to the substance of the commission report and now to withdraw his unwarranted and irresponsible comment.

Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I want to make it very clear that the member of the bench was not the person to whom I was referring when I made those remarks. It was the counsel, Rodney Hull, who conducted this whitewash. If Rodney Hull regards it as an insult to be called a Conservative, I can understand his feeling in this regard, but I call him that anyway.



Mr. S. Smith: A question for the Minister of Health, Mr. Speaker: How can the minister stand in the House and tell us this report confirms the wisdom of his policies? The report makes it quite plain that after several years of pursuing an alleged shift from acute to chronic care, in point of fact the chronic facilities were not expanded nearly quickly enough while acute facilities were cut back. We are now left in a situation where 2,000 people are inappropriately placed in Toronto. There are hundreds more on the waiting list, hundreds on the waiting list for nursing home care in Hamilton and, according to the Metro social services report, even if home care services were provided, which they are not, we would need another 740 beds in Metro alone by 1981. Yet the minister’s plans call for some 600 across the entire province. Why does the minister not accept that he has been found wanting in his policies, that his policies sound good but his implementation has been a disaster?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: With respect, Mr. Speaker, that is not what the report says. The report contains recommendations for the next five years and I want to put on the record this morning what has been done in the last couple of years. By the way, we think their numbers are perhaps overstated and our staff will be working with those of the hospital council refining further. They are based on, as it were, a one-day snapshot of the hospital.

The report does not take account of the beds that have opened since May, so those beds have to be deducted; it does not take account of the more than 500 beds that have been approved for the Scarborough Centenary Hospital nor for the Grace L’Amoreaux Hospital, so those have to be taken off. When one adds the 300 nursing home beds I announced this morning -- which I offered to approve six months ago and which I delayed doing at the request of the hospital council until they could finish their report -- I think we are very much on track of what the needs are.

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary and with the greatest respect, Mr. Speaker, the minister is talking nonsense. It is true it was a one-day snapshot, but since that one day, more elderly have arrived on the scene. More people also need beds. More people are occupying beds. That snapshot taken today might well give a picture that is even worse than the one given then.

I realize the Provincial Secretary for Social Development (Mrs. Birch) says a report that predicted the fact five years ago is irrelevant because it predicted it five years ago, but what about the report of 1977, of 1979, which told us exactly the same thing? If the 300 beds the minister is talking about are part of that 600 for all of Ontario, then surely he recognizes we are still going to have a deficiency in the thousands of beds.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, another snapshot view might very well find there are still 900 empty beds. They found there were 900 empty beds on that day and they found there were another 300 occupied by people who should have been at home. That is 1,200 beds, so the honourable member need not tell me it is all locked up. The programs are already approved for a new hospital in Scarborough and a major addition to the Centenary Hospital, plus the 300 beds. And that is just for this fiscal year.

I would remind the honourable member that we have in the last several years approved a great many nursing home beds in each of the fiscal years. We have added chronic care beds in a number of communities, such as the new Elisabeth Bruyere centre in Ottawa, such as in Sudbury with the chronic and rehabilitation beds recently approved. And the list goes on -- Oshawa and so forth. Even if the honourable member accepted the figures as they are, and we think they are overstated, we are very much on track of what they are recommending.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Can the minister explain the rejection of the snapshot approach when the fact is, on September 24, just a couple of weeks ago, there were 650 patients on the waiting list just to the Providence and the Queen Elizabeth chronic care facilities here in Metropolitan Toronto? All of the announcements taken together that the minister has put forward today will not meet that kind of demand in just two chronic care facilities. The minister says he agrees in principle with the recommendations of the report, but refuses completely to comment on the fact that the report calls for 2,000 chronic extended care beds in 1980.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, the report does not call for them in 1980; it recommends them over five years. It recommends in the report that we begin in 1980 and we have begun.

Second, with respect, what they are recommending over five years is something in the order of 1,670 extended care beds and 398 chronic care beds. I again state that we are not rejecting the snapshot approach; it is a methodology that has its shortcomings. Having taken that snapshot which found those 1,200 beds either empty or occupied by people who should have been discharged, they then applied certain assumptions about ageing patterns and so forth and came up with their figures. Even if the member took those figures with what has already been approved, recognizing they are talking about a program for five years, we are very much on line.

10:20 a.m.

The honourable member talks about the waiting list for various hospitals. I don’t think one can take total waiting lists and say therefore we need that many extra beds, because one has to look at the waiting lists and look at how long they must wait.

They found that in May there were approximately 300 people occupying acute care beds who were waiting for nursing homes. We are meeting that right now. What they found in May we are meeting now with the advertisements that will appear in the next day or two in the local media calling for proposals for 300 nursing home beds. Next we will turn our attention to the chronic-care-bed situation, and I anticipate coming back with further statements in the next couple of months on that aspect of it.

We are not rejecting the report. We are not rejecting the methodology. We are just saying there are some shortcomings in it, it has to be refined. But we are very much on track.

Mr. S. Smith: Supplementary: With a list of people waiting for type two care, which is nursing home or special care in homes for the aged, a waiting list of 303 people in Hamilton-Wentworth right now, how many additional beds is the ministry putting in right now in Hamilton-Wentworth?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, we have approved 75 chronic care beds for Hamilton-Wentworth, which are coming on stream. A further 60 beds have been approved in principle for Hamilton-Wentworth and in the near future we will be finalizing the review of the extended care bed situation.

The honourable member earlier referred to “thousands.” In fact, the cumulative total in the outstanding reports -- and we’ve been cleaning them up very quickly -- from the health council is nowhere near that number. I won’t bore members with a litany. I will be glad to send him a copy of every one of the releases of the last six months to a year on all the additional chronic and nursing homes beds that have been approved.

Mr. Breaugh: Mr. Speaker, I want to question the minister on a statement he has just made about phasing in over a five-year period. From my reading, on page three of these recommendations, the very first recommendation says distinctly and clearly that now, in 1980, there is a requirement for additional long-term-care beds of 2,070 -- now, in 1980. There is the document which the minister handed to me. It says over the next five years an additional need of a further 528 beds will develop, but it doesn’t say over a five-year period, it says now.

How is it that there can be 900 empty beds, according to today’s version of what is going on, but, according to Tuesday’s version it’s okay to leave them on stretchers in a corridor? Which set of snapshots is the minister using this morning?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, first of all let me just read the recommendation. With respect, the member is paraphrasing for his own purposes. The recommendation says: “That the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Community and Social Services should provide immediate funding and pro- gram support for the development of the following additional chronic care and extended care beds in Metropolitan Toronto between 1980 and 1985, and that the beds be located with regard to geographic need within the municipality where possible.” Between 1980 and 1985; they are not saying immediately.

Mr. S. Smith: If the minister is going to read something out in the House, he must surely read the whole thing in the proper context, Mr. Speaker, or else he violates our privileges. The very next paragraph says that for 1980, 2,070 beds are needed, and by 1985, a further 528. Let him read the entire paragraph.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: The honourable member is trying to ascribe certain motives to me that are very unfair. The point is, that is the figure --


Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Don’t give me one of your curt little whips of the hand, your snotty little releases. What they are saying is, that is the figure they believe we should be aiming at over the next five years, and in 1985 we go on from there. They are not saying to increase the number of beds by 10 per cent in one year.

Mr. Cassidy: On a point of privilege: There is a danger that the House has been misled by the Minister of Health, Mr. Speaker. I would like to bring it to your attention. Elsewhere, the report indicates that there is a deficit of 1,592 heavy nursing beds and 365 extended care beds in 1980. That’s not over five years. The need is there right now, and the Minister of Health is refusing to acknowledge it.

Mr. Kerrio: Mr. Speaker, the chief of staff of the Greater Niagara General Hospital suggested that in Niagara there is an obvious shortage of chronic care beds and I take no comfort from the news that the health council will conduct another study. He said “I suggest a direct local approach.”

Will the minister take that into consideration? In addition to the kind of study the minister has made here, will he look into those matters across the province where there is this acute shortage and will he deal with it in a direct fashion with those people who are close to the scene and could make the kind of recommendations that would look after the people who are very much in need?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: We have found that by working through the health councils we can and do develop, and have developed, overall plans for each region, district and county in the province. It has worked very well.

Since we last discussed this in the House, I am led to believe the health council in the member’s area will have its review of the long-term-care needs in the Niagara region completed within six months. Just as we have done in Ottawa, Sudbury, Halton and in any number of communities across the province, once we have an overall review of the total community needs -- and when I say “total community” I mean Niagara’s needs -- then we can respond to it. We have been doing that.


Mr. S. Smith: I would like to direct a question to the Premier, Mr. Speaker, with regard to a subject I know is close to his heart and to the hearts of the people in my area. The Premier will be aware that Hamilton has an opportunity to obtain a National Hockey League franchise, provided it can have a proper arena. There are plans for an arena and trade centre complex, which I know the mayor has discussed with the Premier. He is also aware that to keep our Canadian Football League franchise we have either to add 10,000 seats to the present stadium or build a new stadium. Under these circumstances there are plans under way and the city of Hamilton has commissioned an excellent study.

Has the Premier reached any conclusion as a result of representations made to him by the city of Hamilton? Would the provincial government be prepared to cost-share on a matching basis with the federal government so that the senior levels of government could, taken together, match the municipal contribution so that we can proceed with the building of an arena/trade centre complex and either the improvement of the old stadium or the building of a new stadium?

Mr. W. Newman: Tell the member about the Argos.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I do not want to mention the Argos because the former leader of that great party (Mr. Nixon) was a little upset that I mentioned the Argos in another context. I am delighted to see that the new leader, for at least this interim period of time, is taking an interest in the Hamilton Tiger Cats. That is refreshing; it is revealing; it is new; it is different and not in character with his usual interests.

Mr. S. Smith: What does that mean?

Hon. Mr. Davis: You can think about it tonight.

Mr. S. Smith: Why should I?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Then do not think about it tonight. I do not care what you do tonight.

Mr. Eakins: How would the Premier like to think about it tonight?

Hon. Mr. Davis: No. Actually I have other plans tonight. I am thinking about Sunday afternoon.

Mr. Martel: When the Argos lose again.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Never mind. There is a little bit of history to this.

Mr. Martel: When did the Premier play for them?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I never had that degree of talent.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am being interrupted, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: With great delight. Does the Premier have an answer to the question?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I certainly do. Everything I do in here I do with great delight -- like you, Mr. Speaker; I take my example from you.

There is a little bit of history to this. I guess it was two years ago when I was personally approached by the mayor of the city of Hamilton with respect to the Pan American Games. The city of Hamilton had made proposals to the Pan Am committee, as I recall it, to have the games situated in Hamilton. Out of that emerged some discussion with respect to the facilities at present situate in that community. It was clearly understood that the facilities at that moment would not accommodate the games. The province made it clear we would join with the city of Hamilton and the government of Canada with some funding to accommodate the games.

It was after that that the government of Canada announced, that is, the government of Canada now twice removed, that it would allocate a $5 million commitment to the city of Hamilton. I think it included Quebec City, Winnipeg and probably Edmonton -- I forget -- for arena purposes. That was in the desire of the government of Canada to see the National Hockey League expand within this country. Hamilton evidenced some interest in that particular facility.

10:30 a.m.

It is fair to state, as we look at the situation, that Ontario has been involved in the convention centre in many respects without any federal assistance, if memory serves me correctly. The member may correct me if I am wrong. I don’t live there so I wouldn’t be as familiar with it as the member, but my guess is that they haven’t.

The mayor of the city recognizes that under the federal policy where they have assisted with convention centres in some other communities, and are prepared to assist in future ones, perhaps there is some merit in getting some commitment from the government in Ottawa with respect to what they might have committed to the convention centre. I gather there is some relationship between this and the proposal now before the people of Hamilton. The mayor informs me there is almost total unanimity there. He tells me he discussed it with the member, that the member is totally in support of it, although perhaps not understanding -- and I am not being critical -- some of the implications.

I understand he has a commitment from all the NDP members in the caucus over there that they are prepared to see provincial funding flow in this direction. If the decision is made to assist, I just hope I don’t hear from the member that we are not allocating money in some other place where he says there might be a greater priority. That is the question we face.

We are quite sympathetic. We understand the desire of the city of Hamilton. We would like to see a National Hockey League franchise located in that community. We understand the desirability of improving the Ivor Wynne Stadium. I think it is clear in the long-term prospects of the Hamilton Tiger Cats, whoever the owner may or may not be, or what success they may or may not have, that the desire of the city of Hamilton to improve that physical facility is understandable.

My understanding is that the potential total cost of this facility is in the neighbourhood of $80 million. I don’t think there is any guarantee there will be a National Hockey League franchise. I only spent five or 10 minutes with the mayor yesterday and I am not really as familiar with all the details as he may be. I have been trying to recall some of this. I think the figure is about $80 million.

Mr. Breaugh: Your answer is taking longer than that meeting.

Hon. Mr. Davis: It is a very important question to the members from Hamilton. I know this doesn’t have great application in the city of Oshawa, but there are a couple of guys in the NDP caucus interested in this. If the member for Oshawa is not, if he is saying to me the NDP is totally uninterested in this, he should fight it out in his own caucus.

The question that has been posed to the government is, will the $80 million be the upper limit? Will the government of Canada commit themselves to, say, 25 per cent? The mayor of the city of Hamilton has offered the municipality’s commitment of 50 per cent of the $80 million, which is $40 million, which leaves $40 million to be split between the two levels of government -- $20 million apiece. My impression is this would come in fiscal year 1982.

The proposal has been made to us. I have not had an opportunity to assess the details. It is being considered. The mayor made the request as of yesterday or the day before. Certainly we will be considering it and when we have come to a conclusion we will inform the mayor of that great municipality just what the position of this government will be.

I want the member to understand there is an $80 million cost. There would be $20 million from this government, conditional on the government of Canada participating, and I think in equity, probably some commitment from them with respect to participation in the convention centre.

Mr. S. Smith: Supplementary: I appreciate that the Premier is now considering the request made by the city of Hamilton and I understood the 50-25-25 funding could be exactly what Hamilton is asking for. I didn’t quite catch the end about the feds having to put something else into the convention centre. Surely it would be in lieu of what they might otherwise have done in the convention centre. The 50-25-25 would be fair.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am saying there is a bit of a shortfall in terms of their policy --

Mr. S. Smith: That would be a way of making it up.

Hon. Mr. Davis: But not just the 25 per cent.

Mr. S. Smith: Oh, more than the 25 per cent. I see. I just wanted to be sure. Is the Premier saying that the province is now considering a proposal whereby the province might come in for 25 per cent of the funding provided the feds also make up 25 per cent of the funding? Or is the Premier saying the province would not come in for 25 per cent unless, in addition to the 25 per cent, the feds also come in with certain funds towards the convention centre? Is that what the Premier is saying?

Hon. Mr. Davis: No, Mr. Speaker. If the member was listening to me very closely, as he always does, and understood what I say, I didn’t say that. I say, and I will repeat it --


Hon. Mr. Davis: I didn’t say that.

Mr. Breaugh: I think you are giving him elocution lessons.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I will try once again if you will have patience with me, Mr. Speaker. I will try to say very clearly what we understand -- this hasn’t been finalized yet. A lot will depend on whether we are talking $80 million in 1980 dollars or 1983 dollars, but that is the rough figure.

The mayor of the city of Hamilton has suggested that the municipality would fund 50 per cent of that cost. That, in my mind, leaves $40 million. We are being asked to provide $20 million, which is 25 per cent of the total. Is the member with me so far?

I made the observation that under the federal policies prior to this, they have made a commitment of $5 million, which would not be a sufficient share in terms of what the city of Hamilton is planning. Quite obviously, it would have to be higher. We also think the government of Canada should treat all people in this country with equity, and they have provided funding in some other situations for convention centres. I have not said it would be a precondition.

All I am saying is that as we are sorting this out, I think it is only appropriate for the city of Hamilton, and we will join them, to suggest to the government of Canada, as they are reassessing what they are doing with respect to the possibility of a new football stadium, an arena, or whatever they wish to call it, for the Hamilton, whatever the name of the team is, to compete with the Toronto Maple Leafs et al, that this would be a good opportunity to balance the books with a cash contribution to the investment that the city has made and we have made in the convention centre. Is that abundantly clear, totally understood? I said to the mayor of Hamilton we will consider this request and we will get back to him some time within the next few weeks.

Mr. Sargent: Mr. Speaker, in view of the fact that we have just seen a $15 million contract for the Canadian Football League from the breweries, why doesn’t the Premier stop his hypocrisy, pull up his socks and get with the times? The fact that we can’t sell beer in our stadiums or hockey arenas across this province --

Mr. Speaker: That is a very interesting observation, but it is not a supplementary.

Mr. Sargent: They would not need subsidies.

Mr. Speaker: It really is not a supplementary.


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, this is a question for the Minister of Labour. I am sending a copy of a memo which concerns a particularly brutal twist in the layoff game which has now been experienced in Oakville because of the Ford Motor Company.

I would ask the minister if he will introduce amendments to the notice provisions of the Employment Standards Act to deal with the outrageous conduct of Ford at Oakville, because earlier this month and in the last weeks of September they recalled at least 50 laid-off workers, 20 of whom had jobs while they were waiting for the recall, and then gave them new notices of indefinite layoffs with absolutely no warning a few days, and in many cases just a couple of hours, after those workers had got back to work. What will the minister do and will he change the notice provisions of the Employment Standards Act to stop that kind of outrageous conduct by Ford?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, I had not heard of the events the member has talked about. I thank him for sending a copy of this memo across to me. I would like to digest it before I comment on it more fully. I certainly will inquire into the layoffs he has referred to at Ford.

With respect to the notice of termination, I think I pointed out pretty clearly in my statements the other day that the concern this government has is that Ontario now has termination provisions which are comparable to and indeed better than virtually all states and provinces in the North American context. That is where this province exists and where its major trading partners are, and we have great concerns about altering those termination provisions in the face of that reality.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary: If the minister could concentrate on the particular problems of the workers at Ford, can he say how he can allow a company like Ford to tell an employee like James Rivers that he could expect steady work and then turn around and hand him eight weeks’ notice when he had been back in the plant for five days? Why is that fair when that employee while he was on layoff had taken another job at $9.50 an hour until he could return to work on a permanent basis? Does the minister consider that fair? If he doesn’t, what is he prepared to do about it?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, I have already made it very clear that it is not a matter of whether I consider it fair or not, but unlike what the member does sometimes, I am prepared to review it, investigate it, find out the facts and then comment on it. I repeat that.

Mr. S. Smith: Would the minister explain why he will not move immediately to close the loophole whereby if a legal strike is in place in the firm and the layoff or plant closure occurs, then no notice has to be given? Why would he not move to close that loophole?

10:40 a.m.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, I have read the Leader of the Opposition’s press release about that and I wonder if he has thought about certain aspects.

First of all, I wonder if he has really considered that if there is some suggestion, as there is in his statement, that a strike is being deliberately planned by a company in order to lay workers off without termination notice, then I would suggest to him that if there is an implication of some impropriety in the strike or lockout, there is a remedy now within the Labour Relations Act that allows an application to the board for unfair labour practices.

On the other hand, if he is saying the whole concept of collective bargaining is inappropriate -- and there may be some merit in discussing that -- namely, that parties with economic interests and other interests are in an adversary relationship and that there is a termination of a contract and an inability to agree on a new one; if he is saying that in that state an employer should still be required to pay termination pay, then I think that is a new concept that is not present in any other jurisdiction. It is an interesting one but I think there are some problems with it. For instance, under the termination provisions, is he saying that they could give termination notice and require workers to come back to work without a contract to work out the period? There are some incredible things he has not thought about.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Perhaps I can give the minister another case to show just how tragically this is affecting workers at the Ford Motor Company. G. Capone, who was laid off on July 27 and recalled on October 6, was then given notice three hours after being back to work. He had to quit another job at de Havilland to come back because otherwise he would have lost 10 years seniority rights at Ford. Ford management can play with that worker’s life, and this minister does not seem prepared to act to protect this worker or workers across the province from layoffs.

Will the minister talk to Ford and say that behaviour is unacceptable and tell them to desist from exploiting that loophole in the act until legislation can be passed in the Legislature to stop major corporations from playing with workers’ lives the way Ford is doing at Oakville?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, what I have said, and I will repeat it, is that I will review the instances pointed out to me and any others that the member may wish to bring to my attention.

Mr. Mackenzie: There is a whole slew of them.

Hon. Mr Elgie: Just settle down. I know you have problems too. If I find there is an impropriety or something inappropriate, yes, I will speak to Ford about it.


Mr. Cassidy: I have a new question, Mr. Speaker, for the Minister of Health. In fact, it is not a new question, because we have had to raise this question three times in the Legislature and have not yet had a satisfactory answer.

I want to ask the minister once again about the case of Bernard Kelly, the fellow who broke his arm in Windsor and was charged extra by the doctor, despite not having any notice in advance that he was going to be extra-billed. Since the minister told the House last November he would look at the case and see if something could be done, is the minister aware that Mr. Kelly has now been ordered by a small claims court in Windsor to pay the doctor the $101.50 he was extra-billed for emergency services? Why has the minister’s intervention failed and what is the minister prepared to do about this now?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, we tried very hard over a period of a number of months to mediate through the offices of the Ontario Medical Association in that particular case. That is a unique one inasmuch as we are dealing with a physician who is not a member of the medical association -- I believe Dr. Yovanovich is his name. In that one case out of 60 million last year we were not successful in mediating, but it is one of very few.

Mr. Cassidy: Since the minister promised us in the presence of the brass of the Ontario Medical Association in March 1979 that, if doctors failed to honour the gentleman’s agreement he announced at that time, patients who are not warned about extra charges will not have to pay them and that, if doctors failed to honour this, he would introduce legislation, will the minister undertake to introduce legislation now so that patients who are not warned in advance are not required to pay and are not put in the situation. Mr. Kelly has been put in?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Last year, 60 million times services were provided to individuals in the province for which the Ontario health insurance plan paid a claim.

With respect, I do not think that one case, which we tried very hard to mediate and on which we were unfortunately unsuccessful, means we should turn the whole system upside down in a way that would have very serious repercussions for the whole health-care system for many years to come.

Mr. B. Newman: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Since Mr. Kelly acted on advice or information received from the ministry, is the ministry prepared then to absorb the cost Mr. Kelly is being charged by Dr. Yovanovich?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: We would have no authority to pay that under our legislation.

Mr. Cooke: Mr. Speaker, a supplementary: I wonder whether the minister is aware that one of the angles Dr. Yovanovich used with this particular patient was that a plate, that had to be removed from his arm in a second operation, would not be removed unless the $100 was paid to Dr. Yovanovich. As a result this person had to go to another specialist and have another doctor operate on his arm. Dr. Yovanovich would not even do the follow-up work.

While this may be only one case, does the minister not remember telling me in this House and through correspondence that the agreement he had with the OMA would cover this case and that I was not to worry about it? Now the court case clearly indicates there is no solution for Mr. Kelly. How many doctors not only opted out of OHIP but opted out of OMA, thus increasing the possibility that this can occur to many other patients across this province?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: First, this is a unique situation. Second, at the present time we have been successful in getting the rate of extra billing down to less than eight per cent in the province. I remind the member that no province has adopted the course of action recommended by the member in the last two years. We have been successful, through a revision to the fee schedule, in getting the opting-out down. We are confident we can get it down further in the next round of negotiations. In that particular case, we honestly felt we could bring pressure to bear through mediation efforts of the medical association on the individual.

If the member is telling me the doctor in question demanded payment up front, then I will personally contact Mr. Kelly to assist him in filing a complaint with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, because right in the code of ethics of the profession in this province it is quite clear that demand for payment up front is professional misconduct.

Mr. S. Smith: He asked for payment of past bills; that’s what he asked for.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: It is the same thing.


Hon. Mr. McCague: Mr. Speaker, I think this is a point of fact. Obviously the member for Grey-Bruce (Mr. Sargent) did not know what today was when he said a few words to you a moment ago. I would like to point out to the members of the assembly that the Speaker started on the railroad 39 years ago today, he was elected to this Legislature 13 years ago today, and he was appointed Speaker three years ago today.

Mr. Cassidy: I would extend my congratulations to you, Mr. Speaker, and say that I am confident you will be sitting in this Legislature long after the government has faded into oblivion.


Mr. Bolan: Mr. Speaker, in the absence of the Minister of Natural Resources, a question of the Premier: Is the Premier aware that as a result of an exemption order given this year under section 113(3) of the Mining Act to Silverfields Division of Teck Corporation in Cobalt, which is a feeder mine for the smelter in Cobalt, the future of Canadian Smelting and Refining Limited and its 42 employees is in jeopardy as of this morning? According to the vice-president of the refinery, they are actually sweeping the floors to get concentrates to put through the smelter.

Could the Premier tell us why this exemption order was given in the first place and what he is going to do about the fact that the plant is about to close? Is he prepared to review the exemption order with a view to lifting it?

10:50 a.m.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I think the question of the exemption order has been discussed here in the House. If it is the same one I am referring to, I will consult with the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Auld) and have an answer to this question on Monday.

Mr. Bolan: While the Premier is consulting with the Minister of Natural Resources, would he also inquire about a conversation that took place between him and Mr. Ginn of the refinery on August 13, when the minister was informed that Took Corporation had exported a 20-ton shipment of ore in November 1979, that the export was done without a licence and was an illegal export of ore? Mr. Jewett of the minister’s office, when confronted with this, subsequently said the matter of the illegal exports was closed because it had happened more than six months ago. Since when are the laws of the province of Ontario to be treated in such a cavalier manner by ministry officials?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am sure the honourable member would be quite prepared to give me a copy of what he purports to be a conversation between somebody in the ministry and the gentleman named in the material he has written out in front of him. If he would be so kind as to send it across to me to assist me in determining the validity of what may or may not have been stated, I will endeavour to do this for him by Monday and I assume he will be here on Monday at two o’clock to hear the minister’s reply.


Mr. R. F. Johnston: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Industry and Tourism. Is the minister aware of the announcement yesterday that SKF Canada, a branch plant of a Swedish multinational, is closing its manufacturing plant in my riding and laying off 325 workers as part of a worldwide rationalization of its production? Has the minister been in touch with management and the union? What steps does he intend to take to make the company justify its actions and to ensure that their products will continue to be produced in Ontario and not imported?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: We are aware of that circumstance, Mr. Speaker, and discussions have been going on with the company for some time as we became aware of their problems. Our office is currently following up with the company to discuss other manufacturing alternatives for the facility, as it is large and fairly modem. At the same time, my colleague the Minister of Labour (Mr. Elgie) and his staff are working with the union and the company to look after relocation of workers wherever possible.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Supplementary to the minister of global product mandating and deindustrialization: It sounds to me as though the minister is not going to take any more action. Is he going to take any more action with SKF than he has done with the other 12 Scarborough companies that have had major permanent layoffs in the last 15 months? Is he going to take the same action as he did to stop ESB from running away from my riding? Is he going to take the same action he took to stop Pilkington Glass from laying off 350 workers when it was buying out its major opposition in Europe at a cost of $200 million? Or is he just going to offer us another $30 plastic egg carton solution to this problem? It is not sufficient.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: I understand that it is politically convenient for the member to go back to his riding with Hansard, indicating that he blames this government for every layoff and closure that occurs. However, the plain fact of the matter is that the company has problems. If the member has spoken with the employees out there, and I am sure he has, he will have learned that they know very well what the problems of the company are. Not the least of their problems is the fact that they supply firms such as Massey-Ferguson, which has had to cut back orders dramatically, and the decision made by one of their major customers, Pratt and Whitney, to split their sourcing -- not to get it just from that company but to diversify it into several other companies.

In simple terms, those are decisions made by their customers which this government cannot control. It may be convenient for the member to talk as though we can simply order a firm to keep running, but he knows and I know that even in the places he loves, admires and respects, like Sweden, they cannot order companies to continue to operate to make products for which there are no customers. That is the case here; so why does the member not responsibly acknowledge that?

Mr. S. Smith: By way of supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Given that the minister feels he should not be blamed for jobs lost on the basis that those are consumer decisions, would he also agree then to stop these obnoxious ads he has on the radio in which he takes credit for jobs that are created? Would he admit that any jobs that happen to occur are not created at all but are also consumer decisions? It has nothing to do with any credit falling upon him. If he is not going to take credit for the job losses, why does he try to take credit for creating jobs when he does no such thing?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: The Leader of the Opposition hears what he wants to hear and does not hear what is there. If the Leader of the Opposition had listened to what that program was all about, he would have realized it did not say this government created those jobs; it said that increased demand for Canadian-made goods had created those jobs. That is what the ad says; it specifically acknowledges the statement the honourable member made, that consumer demand creates those jobs.

The shop-Canadian campaign, which was suggested by this government and adopted by the federal Liberal government but really given momentum by this government, is precisely the kind of import replacement campaign that supports Canadian-owned firms by telling consumers in Canada and driving home to them the importance of buying from Canadian-owned firms rather than from those multinational firms the honourable member likes to berate. In fact, our commercials are entirely accurate; they say “Support Canadian-owned companies.” Canadian consumers are being given the message. We are not taking credit for those jobs; we are taking credit for driving home the message to the Canadian consumers.


Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I would like to respond very briefly to questions raised in recent days, one, by the member for Sudbury East (Mr. Martel) about a case of a young man in his riding who was transferred from a Sudbury hospital to St. Michael’s. I am pleased to say the awaited documentation has now been received and the family in question should be receiving a cheque for $168.45 in the next few days to clear up that problem.

Mr. Martel: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Is the minister prepared to enunciate the policy clearly? Many of us are confronted with the same problem and are running into difficulties with the Ontario health insurance plan. If we got a clear enunciation of the government’s intention, I think it might rectify some of the problems.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I believe we have done that in the past, but I certainly would be glad to do it again.

The member for Algoma (Mr. Wildman) raised a question concerning a lady from Mattice. The simple answer is that there is nothing on record to show that either the hospital or anybody else asked for an air transfer for the individual to go back to Mattice. There is no record at the hospital or in the ambulance services branch of who arranged the train transportation. The short answer is, I need some more information from the member. If he can get that to me --

Mr. McClellan: The minister might get it if he answered when the member was here.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I wanted to get it on the record now so that perhaps the member could help facilitate it, rather than waiting longer.


Mr. Ruston: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Provincial Secretary for Justice, since the Solicitor General (Mr. McMurtry) is not in the House at this time. Could the provincial secretary tell me what is being done to increase the staff of the Ontario Provincial Police throughout Ontario? In a nine-month period, 220 distress calls for emergency assistance were made to a small town with a six-man police force. Why cannot the OPP be staffed so they can look after their own problems?

Hon. Mr. Walker: That obviously is a question that has to be answered by the Solicitor General, Mr. Speaker, but I do know he is considering the whole question of complement.


Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Labour. Will the minister instruct his mine inspectors to go with the United Steelworkers’ representatives and Inco officials to inspect the entire Stobie mine operation for bad ground conditions in view of the fact that seven tons of loose fell a month ago, 33 tons of loose fell from the ceiling on October 1, and there was considerable cracking and loose came down in the garage at the 1,400-foot level on October 2? Those are three different incidents in the one mine.

11 a.m.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, if that has not been investigated already, I certainly will do it. But I am surprised the commission studying mine safety -- can the member say if that was brought to their attention?

Mr. Martel: No. This has happened since.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: I see. I will bring it to the attention of both the commission and my own staff if nothing has been done to date.

Mr. Martel: Supplementary: Because several of the workers have already used Bill 70 to get out of conditions where this is occurring and because the company has refused to rectify this situation in the past several months, will the minister have his staff move immediately to ensure that the situation is rectified? If they discover that Inco has been deliberately avoiding the necessary repairs, is he prepared to lay charges against Inco before we have more miners killed?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: I will give a firm commitment to have it looked into. I think the member knows there have been several charges laid against a number of companies recently, and we have never been hesitant to do that.


Mr. Van Horne: Mr. Speaker, a question to the Secretary of Justice in the absence of the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry): In view of the controversial manner in which the Ontario Municipal Board has mishandled the Port Franks and Bosanquet township hearings -- failing to show up for one meeting in August and then reversing the normal procedure at a later meeting in September -- will the minister ask the Attorney General to take charge of this three-ring circus and call a special meeting of all interested parties so that a fair and equitable hearing can be held?

Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, I will certainly have the matter brought to the attention of the Attorney General, but I am sure it is being considered by him at the moment. I think everybody is embarrassed by the situation that occurred in Port Franks, when it is my understanding that several hundred people gathered for the initial hearing of the Ontario Municipal Board but no hearing officer turned up. It was the first time in history that has ever happened.

The chairman of the board, Mr. Stewart, was most apologetic and offered to have a hearing officer attend the very next day. It was just a straight human error of not recording the date to which the hearing was to have been postponed. That was the problem.

I also understand that the entire hearing is in a state of abeyance while the Ministry of Natural Resources had their entire conservation team in there attempting to find out what the problems are and attempting to straighten out the situation. I think all of us should feel some embarrassment for the entire situation at Port Franks. I know the Ministry of Natural Resources is attempting to correct the matter as best it can. I know the Attorney General is looking at the matter and I know that the Ontario Municipal Board also is looking at the matter.

Mr. Van Horne: The Ministry of Natural Resources in a sense precipitated this whole thing some years ago when it sought compliance for environmental protection reasons; so they were involved, as well as the Attorney General. There was also the involvement of the Premier, who in August attempted to answer for this unfortunate missed meeting when he was in London, Ontario, and in southwestern Ontario, and was confronted by many of the property owners. Finally, there was the involvement of the Minister of Agriculture. As I said, we have either a three-ring or four-ring circus going on.

Now this minister is telling us that things have been put in a state of limbo. Would he please ask the Attorney General, who is the person whom I perceive to be the lead minister in this instance, to make sure that a fair and equitable hearing is held for these people?

Further to that, if there is expropriation demanded out of these hearings, will the government follow up with some form of support financing? If expropriation does take place, the township obviously is not going to be able to afford it. We must have a fair hearing, and we must have some indication what support the government is prepared to give.

Mr. Speaker: I think the question has been asked.

Hon. Mr. Walker: There is no question that a fair hearing will ensue. I am sure of that. I have no doubt of it whatsoever. As I understand it, the whole matter revolves around the question of the official plan in the township of Bosanquet. It revolves around the operation of the conservation authority which, as the member knows, is made up by and large of municipal appointees.

There is an attempt being made to sort out the matter. I can give the member an assurance that ultimately there will be a sorting out of the problem. But, at the moment, to say anything other than there is going to be a fair hearing would be incorrect. It will he a fair hearing. Of course, I will convey the member’s concerns to the Attorney General.

Mr. Speaker: The honourable member for Welland-Thorold.

Mr. Peterson: I have a supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: I think it has been adequately covered.

Mr. Peterson: I do not think it has been adequately covered.

Mr. Speaker: I think it has. The honourable member for Welland-Thorold.


Mr. Swart: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations. Does he now realize that his new regulations pertaining to special occasion permits are going to dramatically lessen the fund-raising of many ethnic and sports and other worthy community groups and, as a result, substantially damage these organizations and the communities where they are? will he consider rescinding these regulations?

Hon. Mr. Drea: The answer to everything, Mr. Speaker, is no.

Mr. Swart: As a supplementary, I will ask the minister if he does not think there is a problem. If he does not think there is a problem, how does he explain away the interpretation of his own director of special occasion permits, Mr. W. D. Rolling, at a two-hour meeting of the Welland Heritage Council last Tuesday evening? Mr. Rolling’s presentation so perturbed the 20-plus ethnic groups there that the president immediately wrote a letter to me which said, and I will quote a couple of sentences from it: “We would ask that you do everything in your power to bring to the attention of the Ontario Legislature that the new regulations as presented are totally unacceptable to the cultural groups because of the following: fund-raising is not allowed for sustaining cultural facilities such as halls; the price-fixing is unreasonable. The people most affected are legitimate community volunteers who shared the advancement of cultural activities over the years.”

Will the minister take his head out of the sand and realize there is a problem and resolve it?

Hon. Mr. Drea: When dumber questions are asked, that member will ask them.


Hon. Mr. Drea: Just cool it. I draw the honourable member’s attention to the Hansard reports on the procedural affairs committee where the member’s colleagues were complimenting me and patting me on the hack for the very intelligent approach I was taking to this problem.

Mr. Breaugh: Mr. Speaker, I want to object to that. There was no patting on the back and no complimenting going on. There were some questions and answers.

Mr. Sargent: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker. Since the minister is in charge of this phoney policy for the handling of booze -- getting back to the point I was making when the Speaker told me to sit down -- I suggest we would not need to subsidize the building of these sport empires if he had an intelligent approach to the handling of booze in the stadium situation. Why does he not smarten up and quit being so phoney on this very important issue in our community life?

Hon. Mr. Drea: In view of the policy of the Liberal party which is one of grave concern, particularly about breweries and their advertising policies, I do not understand why the member wants me to have the breweries hustle sales in athletic stadiums to fund what should be a very orderly procedure. I am quite sure this government will do the right, proper and deserved thing concerning the sports facilities both at Ivor Wynne Stadium and in the proposed new complex in Hamilton.

I have told the mayor that I was quite sure we would do the right thing. The member has heard me say that. It is useless to ask a beer company to flog beer in an athletic stadium on the grounds that this will provide additional seats so that a city can have CFL football games. Quite frankly, I do not think any liquor policy in the world was ever intended to operate on that basis.

11:10 a.m.


Mr. Bradley: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Education concerning the secondary education review project. This has been termed by many in the field of education as one of the most important developments in the last couple of decades. The final report of the committee will have tremendous ramifications not only for secondary schools but also for elementary schools. In view of this, can the minister explain why there is such a lack of representation from the elementary school panel on all the committees that have been involved in this project?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, there is some representation of the elementary school system within the committee structure. There are members of boards of trustees who are representative of both the elementary and secondary areas. There are principals involved who have had responsibility in the elementary area as well as in the secondary area. There are also parents who have students in both areas who are represented on many of the committees as well.

We recognize specifically that there will be some implications for the elementary system. The implications are probably very much greater for the other end of the educational spectrum, but we have attempted to provide for reasonable representation from that portion of the educational system within the province in this review. As a result of much participation at the symposium and the ability to submit briefs, we anticipate that the views and concerns of the elementary system will be dealt with by the steering committee and all the other committees of the review project.

Mr. Bradley: I recognize there will be symposiums and opportunities to submit briefs but, the important parts as far as the people in the education profession are concerned are the steering committee, the evaluation committee and so on.

In view of that, will the minister explain to us why there is also a lack of adequate representation of full-time classroom teachers? In so many developments that have taken place in the field of education, the one thing that is lacking is the views of the individuals who are on the front line in the classroom. Those who have been out of the classroom for a number of years and are in administrative positions are not in the same position as the classroom teacher to evaluate what is really required on a day-to-day basis in the education system.

Hon. Miss Stephenson: I am sure the honourable member is very much aware that the response committee or the review committee is made up entirely of non-educators because it was felt it was important that there be an external view of all this activity that was not directly influenced by active practice within the educational system.

There is also a design committee which is made up entirely of professional educators and which includes a number of full-time practising teachers. That committee is within the educational system. That is where the teachers are represented.

Mr. Nixon: A supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Does the minister know what the cost of this program is going to be? What are we paying the executive director?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: The executive director is seconded from the Toronto Board of Education. I do not know the exact figure at this time, but I will be able to get it for the member. The total cost of the study is approximately $640,000.



Mr. Martel moved first reading of Bill 173, An Act to amend the Education Act, 1974.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, the purpose of this bill is to authorize the apportionment of school rates between public and separate schools in the case of a mixed marriage where the husband and wife own or lease rateable property jointly.

House in committee of supply.


On vote 201, Office of the Premier program:

The Acting Chairman (Mr. Ruston): I understand the Premier has the floor.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Chairman, I actually have another hour or so to contribute.

The Acting Chairman: I understand the Premier has about five minutes left.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I did not know I was restricted. I know the Leader of the Opposition is very eager to enter into this discussion. However, I did conclude what observations I felt would be helpful with respect to the constitutional debates that are going on. Of course, that was last Friday prior to the meeting of Premiers on Tuesday. I then moved into, although with a lot of interruptions, some discussion on a number of other matters I wished to raise, but I really did not want to monopolize the time of the House.

Mr. Martel: No, just in question period.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Listen, it is important, ask your colleagues.

Mr. Martel: It should have taken two minutes to give the answer. No one is diminishing the importance of it.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I thought it was a good answer.

The Acting Chairman: Order, please. I am listening to the Premier if no one else is.

Hon. Mr. Davis: That is right. I am delighted the chairman is listening.

Mr. S. Smith: I will be right back.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I will sit right down. I know where he is going. He is going out front again.

Mr. S. Smith: That’s where you were.

Hon. Mr. Davis: No I was not. I do not have a habit of going out there every day, I really do not. I know, the member’s public is waiting and he wants to rush out there to the TV cameras.

Mr. S. Smith: I will be back.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Oh, I know the member will be back. He should practice while he is out.

I just thought I would report very briefly, although I think the press has covered it fairly thoroughly, on the discussions that took place on Tuesday. The chairman of the Premiers’ group, the Premier of Manitoba, called the meeting. Actually this was a result of an understanding at the first ministers’ meeting in Ottawa, where there was a decision that the Premiers would get together to discuss what might emerge, no one having any real idea what the initiatives would be of the government of Canada. So that meeting took place here on Tuesday.

I think the results of the meeting are fairly evident, although I found some aspects and some observations at the press conference somewhat intriguing. I think it is fair to state that unlike a few weeks ago, or a year and a half ago, there were a number of Premiers who were prepared to see patriation take place with unanimity being the approach until such time as an agreement could be concluded here with respect to the amending formula.

I was as factual with the press as I could be without betraying confidential discussions. I really sense that two or three provinces had really determined prior to the meeting that they would go the route of having reference to the courts. That does not mean there were not efforts made at the meeting to see if there were alternatives. I think it is fair to state it was suggested by some of us that, rather than the courts, the effort should be directed towards finding ways of improving or reflecting the concerns of the provinces with respect to the resolution presently before the House of Commons at the committee stage.

11:20 a.m.

What perhaps is not understood by everybody is that the debate in the House is not on the specifics, although it is being referred to. As I understand it, the debate is on referring the resolution to the joint committee of the House and the Senate, at which time there will be opportunities for presentations to be made on some of the wording or the details of the resolution itself.

I think it is evident from the now public points of view expressed by the Premier of Saskatchewan that in the interests of his province he has probably determined not to go the route of a reference and is anxious to see certain parts of the existing resolution clarified or improved. I gather from the morning press that Nova Scotia may not join in the references, and obviously New Brunswick won’t.

I took a position for Ontario. While I have a great respect for the courts, which obviously fulfil a very important role, and while I think all of us want to be assured that what is being proposed is legal in that sense of the word, I did raise the question then, and I raise it again here this morning, that even if one goes the route of references to the courts, if one finds that all or part of the resolution is not constitutional, where are we then? We are back to square one, if this goes to the Supreme Court.

With respect to some of the concerns being expressed by other Premiers and things they would like to see, we are back to a point where I do not know how those would be achieved. I guess our view is that we should be introducing our points of view to the joint committee, This province will have two or three suggestions to make. I think it is fair to state that we will have some suggestions with respect to the procedures or to the amending formula.

I was intrigued to find the number of Premiers who are now in favour of patriation. I did not want to remind them that some of us had made that suggestion a year and a half ago and received very little support for that proposal.

Mr. Nixon: I thought you were the only one.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I guess, being historically correct, you are quite right.

Mr. Nixon: I wanted to help you because I know how you hesitate to raise that matter.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I guess you are right. I was the only one.

The Acting Chairman: He is modest.

Hon. Mr. Davis: That’s right, Mr. Chairman. You know me so well. I am very modest.

I would not presume to comment at all on whether these references will succeed or not succeed. My understanding of the law is that these references will be to the provincial courts. The procedure then would be to move from there to the Supreme Court of Canada. My impression is that even if there are references to the provincial courts the government of Canada will not delay the debate in the House, or the representations or the activities of the joint committee. My understanding of the law is such that they are not bound to delay while these references take place.

I did find it a bit intriguing to sense that some Premiers who have reservations about the courts relating an entrenched bill of rights now seek the courts as a way of determining some aspects. Even though we were urged to by others, I just could not share in these references. I felt at this time there would be no purpose served and that the best way to approach any improvements would be through the standing committee or the committee of the House and of the Senate.

I cannot predict exactly what is going to transpire with respect to the references. I do not know what time changes may take place. My own guess, and it is only a guess, is that the government of Canada will continue to proceed. It will be referred to the committee within the next number of days. It will be at that point that Ontario will have some suggestions to make, particularly with respect to the amending formula, as to ways it might be more acceptable and more understandable to a lot of Canadians across this country.

That is about all I can say in terms of what took place.

Mr. Nixon: I wonder if the Premier would permit a question before he leaves that subject. Did he say if the other Premiers make a reference to the provincial courts and then to the Supreme Court of Canada, then Ontario will appear at those hearings on the federal side and opposed to the position taken by the other Premiers?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am trying to go by memory. Most of this was done at a press conference. I wish the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) was here, because I am going by memory, but I think I am right. We would have no status as a province in reference to those individual provinces on this issue. We could have status if it gets to the Supreme Court of Canada. I did indicate to the press not what we would be doing before the Supreme Court but that I felt it was highly likely we would be there in some capacity or other.

I have made no determinations because we do not know whether these references will proceed, although it is likely; we do not know whether the references then may arrive at the Supreme Court of Canada. My guess would be that if that does happen, we would be there. I cannot go any further than that at the moment, because we are speculating on what might happen.

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Chairman, there are a couple of matters I want to raise with the Premier in this area that are of concern to me. This is quite detached from the fact that the report of the select committee is going to be tabled next week and there will be an occasion reasonably soon, I understand, for us to spend some time debating that report.

There are two matters of concern to me and before discussing the two points -- and I want to make them as brief as I can -- I want to say I am going to take the liberty of going through, in my own strange way, with somewhat meticulous care, the resolution now before the House and writing to the Premier, to the Attorney General and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs (Mr. Wells) to let them have my comments, for what they are worth, on some of the not exactly legalistic but the wording problems I have, some of which are of substance.

One point of substance I want to draw to the attention of the Premier is that I would hope he would delete the alternative in the amending formula where it says in two or three places, “the Legislative Assembly or government” may do so and so. I think it is extremely important in this kind of world that we, in this assembly, not be faced with the government making a direct presentation to the federal government without having first come through the assembly to get a supporting resolution or approval of the assembly to the proposal.

That is a technical language change but it is also one of immense substance. In the resolution, in two or three places, I noticed this wording, “Legislative Assembly or government,” and I believe we would have the sympathy of the Premier to establish that this kind of change, the fundamental basis of it, should be through this assembly.

The second matter -- and I say this because I know that, except under the strain of immense partisan politics, the Premier is basically fair about many of the matters that are before us -- is that when we came back on Monday, October 6, I listened very carefully to the Premier on the question, in the early part of his remarks, about section 133 and whether or not our position or the position of my colleagues in the Liberal Party is different from the position which the Premier has taken.

I noticed again, right at the outset last Friday -- and I was not able to be in the chamber last Friday -- in his early remarks, the Premier again pointed up this distinction between the Liberal Party, the New Democratic Party and the Conservative Party and the position his government has taken about section 133.

Let me make a fundamental but what is, to me, a most important distinction. I would not, nor I believe, would my colleagues in our caucus, have agreed to the inclusion in the resolution before the House of Commons in Ottawa of the application of section 133 to Ontario. I would have had the same resentment which I think the Premier would have had if that had appeared in there, because all the other overtones of unilateral imposition on the province of Ontario, of section 133 would be totally offensive to the way in which we have dealt with these matters. That is an entirely different matter to this province willingly accepting it, to use your phrase, in the fullness of time, whenever that time comes. If you are saying no, never, then we are not saying no, never.

11:30 a.m.

We think in a very real sense this province is at least approaching, if not at the point, where a willing acceptance by the Legislative Assembly of Ontario of section 133 and its implications is probably an important part of our world. I am going to make only one reference to the work of the select committee under the distinguished chairmanship of the member for York West (Mr. MacBeth). While we had problems in the committee, we worked very hard to reach consensus, and I mean consensus in the real sense of that term and not just majority. We were unable to reach a consensus about section 133, even though a majority of the members were prepared to accept the spirit of 133. The softness of that term will go right home to the Premier and he will understand that.

It was coupled very clearly -- certainly in my mind and in the minds of most of the committee, I believe -- that there was an obligation on our committee to study the implications of what that means for the province. Some of us found it easier to say, “Well, let’s accept the spirit and do the study,” while others wanted to say, “Let’s do the study and be open on the question of accepting the spirit of it.”

The committee has been reappointed, and as it goes into the in-depth matters of what we call the task ahead, one of those matters will be to look at all of the implications for Ontario of the willing acceptance of the spirit of section 133 and, therefore, join Manitoba and Quebec, and in a very real sense, I suppose New Brunswick, as that group of provinces perhaps more closely related than the other provinces are to the French fact of Canada.

I made my remarks about the fairness of the Premier. I just wanted to understand that we would have been extremely opposed to the unilateral imposition of institutional bilingualism by the federal government in that resolution before the House. With an approaching election, I wouldn’t want for one moment to start to hear that phrase being used as though we were involved in that, because we as a party are not. We are quite prepared to think in terms of what our obligation is in Ontario. The voluntary acceptance of section 133, or accepting the spirit of it, is quite a different matter than to say, “We would have liked to have seen that in the resolution or would have accepted it if it were there.”

I think it is extremely important, in what little attention I have had the opportunity to actually give to the resolution before the House of Commons, to note that a number of the matters are matters which had the willing agreement of the government and in a very real sense, a very substantial agreement among the members of the assembly. There is the entrenchment, if you want to call it that, of the equalization principle. That is not a problem for any of the parties in this House, as I understand it.

Similarly, the question with respect to French language educational minority rights in Ontario was part of what our Premier and the other Premiers in a very real sense had worked out when they met at St. Andrew's by the Sea, if I recall correctly, a couple of years ago. The Premier’s agreement with the federal government means that he sees no real problems about the entrenchment of the things he has agreed to. Those were the two major immediate concerns for the purposes of these estimates, rather than launching into a long dissertation about the constitutional matters.

I would like to just add the footnote that I was delighted when the final outcome of what was obviously a matter of serious concern within the Ministry of the Attorney General, that is, the question of the entrenchment of legal rights in the constitution, was resolved in favour of entrenchment.

I read with great interest -- and the Attorney General is well aware and I’m sure the Premier is well aware I don’t always agree with the Attorney General -- the ongoing debate that must have been taking place about that question even as late as the end of August, as reflected in the speech which the Attorney General gave to the Canadian Bar Association at that time, where he was not talking about entrenching the so-called political freedoms or the democratic freedoms but was hingeing upon the kinds of problems the entrenchment of legal rights might require.

I had crossed that particular bridge quite a long time ago. If it needed any further crossing I had certainly crossed it at the time of the imposition of the War Measures Act 10 years ago. It seemed to me, regardless of the ultimate wisdom in the long run of legislative assemblies, they are so subject to the passions of the times that actions which are arbitrary as against individual citizens do and can take place.

Without getting into the dry as dust argument that Premier Lyon tried to place, that somehow or other we are handing everything over to the judiciary, that isn’t the way the process works. I think we are wise to say to the citizens that so far as we are concerned if they are detained under an alleged application of a law they are entitled to know why they are being detained and they are entitled to know promptly; they are entitled to be brought before a judge immediately to be told why they are detained.

It is not a question of automatic release because if the detention is lawful, whether or not everybody agrees with it, that is one thing. People talk about it as due process. I think the ancient term is a much better one: the habeas corpus proceeding must be available to every citizen. I shudder at the thought that the War Measures Act still remains on the books in Ottawa, without any fundamental protection.

Those are matters I’m sure I don’t need to speak to the Premier about.I am sure he is well aware of my views, and I think probably he shares them. But I was pleased that the resolution was in favour of the entrenchment and that we didn’t come down on the other side of that argument.

Those were the three particular points I wanted to make to the Premier this morning.

Hon. Mr. Davis: In reply to those comments, I appreciate having the point of view of the member for Riverdale on those matters. On the question of the entrenchment, which is a matter of rather deep theology or philosophy of the Premier of Manitoba in particular, I respect that point of view. I understand it. We have discussed it ourselves for a number of years.

It is fair to state that there are some Premiers who, on the surface, are less than enthusiastic, who were actually prepared to accept the entrenchment, certainly of a number of rights. But that enthusiasm was related to whether the government of Canada was prepared to give the offshore rights, for example, or go further in the field of communications. In other words, it was attached to what they felt they needed in terms of this negotiation.

I sense there may be some alteration to the wording of the principle of equalization. Two or three provinces may suggest that the new constitution be fairly clear on the principle of equalization, about which no one quarrels. British Columbia has some reservation; they would like to see a different word than equalization. What some are concerned about -- and this has just emerged in the past short period of time -- is that there appears to be a conditional aspect to the phrasing in the equalization section whereby the federal contribution could be tied to specific situations. I am phrasing that in a very general sense but I would suggest that in my view when it gets to committee there could be some discussion on a refining of the wording in that equalization section, not debating it in terms of its principle, but with some altered phraseology.

11:40 p.m.

With respect to the legal rights, I would point out to the member for Riverdale that the Attorney General and the law officers in this province deserve some measure of credit. It is fair to state that once the decision is made, and this should be included in the charter, the government of Canada was quite willing to accept phrases, points of view or terminology to make it as proper or legal in principle as best they could. They did accept a number of suggestions from the law officers here, including the Attorney General. I just wanted to make it clear that we did have an opportunity to make a contribution. It is fair to state that a number of the suggestions made from this province were, in fact, accepted in terms of the present wording in that section.

As we go through this, I still think we should debate the suggestions from the select committee. I would hope that we could do it fairly early, because if the resolution is referred to the standing committee I expect it could happen within 10 days or so. I do not recall the exact timetable, but they want to get it there before the budget. I would like to think that for any further ideas that might emerge from either the select committee or discussions here in the House, or if there are some changes we feel might be helpful, we would be in a position to make these suggestions to that standing committee when it does convene.

I know what timetables we establish here in the House in getting reports in and work done. I know what the public timetable was in that leaked confidential document that caused a little flurry during the process in Ottawa. There is no doubt they would like to see some real progress made by the early part of December. I will certainly speak to our House leader and I am sure the other two House leaders will agree that we should discuss the report from the committee as early as we can after it is presented.

There are a number of things we could discuss. I know the Leader of the Opposition has a number of things. It is only a suggestion and in no way do I wish to limit it, but I really do have a number of things I would like say with respect to the economy, which some might disagree with, but they are not meant to be provocative.

Mr. Di Santo: Some people disagree? The whole world disagrees with you.

Hon. Mr. Davis: The whole world disagrees with me? I was in your part of the world.

Mr. Di Santo: The Ontario Economic Council disagrees.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Were you at the opening of Columbus Centre? Your leader was there. It was one of the great events. I met a number of your constituents. Your leader was sitting in the second row. The only thing he was a little upset about was -- I try to refer to opposition members when they are present. I really do, except I made a mistake -- I kept calling him Michael. He said to me afterwards, “Listen, if you are going to refer to me, please refer to me as Mr. Cassidy or Michael Cassidy. They do not know who Michael is.” So I will take that as a suggestion.

I want to tell you, though, a lot of your constituents --

Mr. Di Santo: You are wrong.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Oh, no, some of yours were there. I will tell you it was a great evening, a great event. However, while I do not want to in any way limit this at all, I would be prepared to get to the economic part. I really would like to hear from the Leader of the Opposition on the constitutional part and perhaps then it will be understood if I come back to deal -- not in detail -- with some of the economic concerns that I have. I think it might pay to break it up in those two areas. If the Leader of the Opposition would like to make comments now on the constitutional part I would be delighted to hear them.

Mr. Renwick: If the Premier and the Leader of the Opposition would permit, I would like to just finish the comment I made. The Premier did not respond, and I would ask him to respond very clearly that he understands the distinction I made with respect to section 133. Secondly, when the House business is ordered and the report of the select committee comes before the assembly, I think it would be most helpful if it could be ordered in such a way that you, sir, and the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and the Attorney General could make a point of being present when it is debated.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am sorry, I thought I had replied to it. I do understand what the member for Riverdale was saying with respect to section 133. If the debate can be scheduled at a time when I can be here, I will certainly make an effort to do so.

Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Chairman, if I might just respond to the Premier’s suggestion that we order the debate in terms of the constitution and then talk about the economy at some other point, I really don’t think it is a particularly important request, but it is not one I am keen to accept. If the Premier will recall, the last time I was here listening to the Premier he spoke for, I would say, roughly half an hour on the constitution and then there was a half an hour when I could have responded.

Instead of permitting that to happen, the Premier took what is certainly his right to do and talked out the clock for a further 30 or 35 minutes --

Hon. Mr. Davis: No, with great respect --

Mr. S. Smith: Well, you did.

Hon. Mr. Davis: With great respect, I kept a very careful eye on the clock. I spoke for more than a half an hour on the constitution. I started at about 11:35 a.m. I ended my contribution on the constitution at almost exactly 20 minutes to one o’clock. We got into certain discussions that weren’t totally relevant, I will confess that, but I would say the fact they weren’t totally relevant was not my doing totally.

Mr. Chairman: I might just remind the committee, the usual procedure to consider estimates is that the Premier leads off with his remarks, then representatives from each of the other parties have the opportunity to speak, make general remarks, and then the Premier has the opportunity to reply to those remarks. I would suggest to the committee we should probably continue in that order at the moment.

Mr. S. Smith: I agree with you, Mr. Chairman. I sat and listened to what the Premier calls 20 minutes, I thought it was longer, but even if it were 20 minutes, I sat and listened to 20 minutes of commentary on a number of issues. I am very charitable to describe it that way. I came today and am prepared to listen again while the Premier rambles on a number of issues if he so wishes. I am quite prepared to allow the Premier of Ontario the right in his own estimates to make certain important statements that he feels are pertinent and important for us to hear. I am willing to come and sit and listen to those.

However, when he finishes, I would like to stand up and have equal opportunity, as he was given, to range over a far and wide range of topics, some of which he may have touched on and some of which he may not have touched on. I don’t see any particular reason to divide his estimates into a constitutional portion and a nonconstitutional portion when, in fact, he himself, after finishing his constitutional remarks, could have sat down and asked me then to comment, and I would have been happy to do so.

But he rambled. I permit him to do that. I listened with interest to his comments. He may speak on any issue he likes. When he is finished, then I will speak. I do not see any need to organize it by constitution versus anything else.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I don’t want to be misunderstood. It is not a question of discussing the constitution versus anything else at all. I was really trying to be helpful. I know what the Leader of the Opposition is going to say on some of these other matters. I am prepared to listen to it as I did last year and I expect there will be certain rambling on his part as he covers these things.

All I was suggesting was some bit of focus, because I expect we will be debating some of these other issues for a period of time. I was really looking for the views of the Leader of the Opposition on this matter where it is happening day by day. I sense there may be some position taken by the Premier of Saskatchewan -- who knows -- perhaps early next week. It is not something remaining constant.

Mr. S. Smith: I will talk to you any time.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I was anxious for the members to express a point of view as well. However, I do not want it to be felt I want to limit the Leader of the Opposition in any way. I was really just trying to be helpful and to focus it, then come back to the other broader issues in terms of the economy. We have X number of hours. I enjoy my estimates. I am prepared to have an even longer number of hours, if necessary.

Mr. Martel: I am glad you said that. We will take you up on it.

11:50 a.m.

Hon. Mr. Davis: As long as you don’t neglect your responsibilities to the other ministries, that is all.

Mr. Martel: We won’t do that.

Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Chairman, I will go ahead now and address some comments on a number of topics, some of which will pertain to the constitution. I want to assure the Premier of this province that, in the first place, we have supported the stand he has taken in support of the position presented by the federal government. If be feels there is a new development or something where he would like to know whether he can count on the support of all parties in the House, I want to assure him that our loyalty to Ontario and our loyalty as Canadians is far more important than any partisan differences which emerge from time to time.

I wish to assure him that he can call on me. If he wishes it to be in the House, we can set aside time in the House and debate any topic related to this matter at any convenient time. He will have no difficulty with us in this regard.

The opportunity to address a few remarks is very welcome because this is certainly a very unusual time in the history of Canadian politics. Certainly it is an unusual time in the very brief time -- although for the Premier perhaps all too long -- I have been here. Finally, the Premier and I, who have been written up as having certain differences from time to time, agree on something. The Premier and I agree we both like my federal leader an awful lot more than his federal leader.

Hon. Mr. Davis: My position has been more consistent with respect to your federal leader than your position has been with respect to your federal leader.

Mr. S. Smith: I accept that.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I agree with him when he is right, I disagree with him when he is wrong. As for my federal leader, I am with him when times are tough, I am with him when they are good, unlike you.


Mr. Chairman: Order.

Mr. S. Smith: Certainly on this pleasant Friday morning nothing I have said should disturb the Premier to that extent. I hate to see him get that excited about something. He must be a trifle sensitive on the issue.

Mr. Rotenberg: Is that a professional opinion?

Mr. S. Smith: No, that is not a professional opinion about the Premier, not at all. I accept the fact he may well have been, over the years, even more enthusiastic about my federal leader, and especially nowadays, than I have been on occasion. I accept that, but then again, the recent converts to enlightenment are always the most enthusiastic about their newly found faith.

Hon. Mr. Davis: You said that last Friday. I thought you would have a new phrase.

Mr. S. Smith: You’ve been known to repeat the occasional phrase in the House. You won’t mind if I do so.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I do it regularly, but I didn’t think you would follow me.

Mr. S. Smith: Your example has been so successful. Why should I not emulate it?

Hon. Mr. Davis: You should emulate everything I do.

Mr. S. Smith: I would, only I hope to add a little to it.

It really is interesting to see this new alliance that has occurred. I must say it has gone to proportions I honestly did not expect. I expected the Premier to support my national leader. I thought that was excellent. He did not do so in the last election, but at least he has done so now. Better late than never. He was supporting that community of communities man, Mr. Clark, through the last election and the one before that. But better late than never, he is welcome to the fold.

Mr. Martel: That applies both ways. Better late than never -- you can decide to support your federal leader this year.

Mr. S. Smith: He did, however, take it a bit further than I expected. You must admit, when the Premier took it to the point of trying to divide the federal caucus, I really thought that went just a little far. I guess the only explanation for that is the Premier is a great believer in Tory tradition. There is no greater Tory tradition than greasing the skids under your national leader. This is one which goes back many years. By comparison with the attempt to split the federal caucus -- and, by the way, we don’t know yet whether the Premier has succeeded in splitting the federal Tory caucus -- it would appear that Mr. Clark has succeeded in doing some splitting in the Premier’s caucus if we are to take the comments of the member for Prince Edward-Lennox (Mr. J. A. Taylor) seriously. He said in the committee yesterday he disagreed with this federal initiative. Then again perhaps we should not take his comments seriously.

I really think that poor old Dalton Camp, whose efforts vis-à-vis John Diefenbaker have been much maligned, by comparison with the more recent efforts of the Premier, showed subtlety and restraint in his efforts. These are strange times in politics, and in strange times, strange responses occasionally occur.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I have always voted for my national leader.

Mr. S. Smith: So did I. Let’s get the record straight on that.

Hon. Mr. Davis: You were trying to tell a lot of people you weren’t.

Mr. Rotenberg: You didn’t support him in 1979.

Mr. S. Smith: I was not in Fort Lauderdale, I will tell you.

Hon. Mr. Davis: You were in Sarasota.

Mr. S. Smith: I know the Premier was doing his best to get the entire Tory vote of Fort Lauderdale behind his national leader in the last election.

Hon. Mr. Davis: There are more Tories in Sarasota.

Mr. S. Smith: There are more Tories in Fort Lauderdale than here, I suspect. There are certainly more in Fort Lauderdale than there are in the House at the moment.

Mr. Rotenberg: There are not too many Liberals here either.

Mr. S. Smith: I do see under the press gallery, however, a civil servant. I know the Attorney General gets very sensitive when you call anybody a Tory, so I would not dream of calling that civil servant, the secretary to cabinet, a Tory. I would never insult him by calling him that at all.

I noticed when there was some question as to whether the comments of the Premier were designed to split the Tory caucus federally or not that civil servant saw fit to make some statements about whether the Tory party was or was not united, a matter which or would hardly think to be of interest to civil servants of that nature. Frankly, I think he would be better to confine his comments to matters of cabinet urgency and relevance. and not make any comments on the state of unity in the Tory party.

These are interesting times, and it is an interesting question as to whether the next provincial election will somehow be based on the question of whether the member for Brampton or the member for Hamilton West is the more vociferous and sincere in supporting the national leader of the Liberal Party. It would be unusual to have an election based on that, but it is still conceivable.

Mr. Rotenberg: Who is Trudeau going to support?

Mr. S. Smith: Is the member for Wilson Heights asking a question, Mr. Chairman?

Mr. Rotenberg: I wonder who Trudeau is going to support.

Mr. S. Smith: I assure you he will be supporting the Liberal Party in Ontario.

Mr. Rotenberg: He has not helped you much in the past.

Mr. Nixon: That is not true. Sometimes he has done too much.

Mr. S. Smith: I recall when he landed by helicopter on the land of my good friend from Brant-Oxford-Norfolk. These are nostalgic memories. I must bring myself back to the task at hand.

I have a suspicion -- I could be wrong about this -- that the next provincial election will not be based on whether a Mr. Davis or a Mr. Smith is the more vociferous in support of Pierre Trudeau. I have a feeling after 37 years of one-party rule in Ontario that there may well come a time in the minds of the electorate when there will be certain other issues in which they will show some interest during the next election.

I think that overall there have been many occasions in which people have said it is not good for democracy to have one party in forever and so on, but they have always hesitated to change because of the thought that things are pretty good in Ontario. There has been a kind of reluctance over the years to change government, even though they sense that it would do the civil service good to be shaken up a little and that it would do everybody good to get some new ideas, to get some of the boards, agencies, commissions awakened and so on, but they felt things were pretty good.

The Tories have had this myth of being the managers. It is a myth of Tory management which over the years has kept this government in power. I would say the interesting thing is to see what has happened to that myth recently. That is the reason the polls are not looking so good for you folk over there any more. That is the reason that we did not have an election on October 23 as you were fully intending to do. What we find now is a party which does not quite manage the way it used to.

12 noon

I ask you how else to explain, Mr. Chairman, the goings-on at Minaki Lodge, to take an example of management. Here is a situation where the CN could not make a go of the place. They gave it up and an entrepreneur came in. He tried to make a go of it and got half a million dollars support from Ontario, which was reasonable -- well they should have. He could not make a go of it either. But these great Tory managers were not going to take a loss of half a million -- no way, not at all. They decided they would put in $10 million of the public’s money to make Minaki a going concern and so they did. They put the money in and waited to see what would happen.

Lo and behold, it came to the attention, I am sure, of the Premier that no one was staying at Minaki Lodge despite $10 million having been put into it. I am sure it took nothing more than the usual cursory investigation to find out the reason. The Premier, being as sharp as he is, discovered that, for the $10 million, no bedrooms had been put in at Minaki Lodge. Here you have a wilderness lodge, hundreds of miles from the nearest city. It is a lovely spot, I have flown over it.

Hon. Mr. Davis: That is the mistake you made. You should have flown into it.

Mr. S. Smith: I would have done you two favours, I would have got rid of that white elephant for you as well as possibly injuring myself.

Hon. Mr. Davis: When you fly over these places, drop in and say hello.

Mr. S. Smith: I would have but I did not have a sleeping bag, and unfortunately there are no bedrooms in Minaki Lodge.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I have slept in a sleeping bag. It is a great experience.

Mr. S. Smith: I have no doubt you have. I have no doubt the Premier would like to camp up at Minaki and, in fact, many of us wish he would. But the fact of the matter is that they put in $10 million and no bedrooms. I really want to know, were you expecting to attract the passing day trade through the wilderness? Were you hoping they would drop in for afternoon tea or something? Ten million dollars and no bedrooms!

Then these great money managers would not settle for that -- not at all. They put an additional $13 million -- a province which allegedly does not have money to even buy hearing aids for deaf children. You don’t, you know, you don’t buy hearing aids even for deaf children. You had $13 million to put into Minaki Lodge, bringing it to a grand total of $23.5 million. We are told that once you take into account all the expenses and the interest, which any good businessman has to do naturally, and if the place goes at full occupancy and is the great smash hit of North America with every room always occupied, it will lose about only $1.5 million a year forever. And this is all to create 60 or 80 jobs.

Mr. Premier, you could have made everybody in Minaki the winner of first prize in the Wintario jackpot and we still would have got away with a cheaper ride.

Hon. Mr. Davis: There is no interest in the northwest.

Mr. S. Smith: I wish you were right that there was no interest in the northwest but, unfortunately, the interest will amount to about $2 million on that particular venture in the northwest.

Hon. Mr. Davis: You should go back to see what some of your predecessors said about Ontario Place. They gave some of the same arguments and look at it today. I dare any of you to stand up and say Ontario Place was a mistake.

Mr. S. Smith: The Premier would like some discussion of mistakes that have been pointed out. Let us talk about North Pickering and $280 million. Here I must say I have learned something from the Premier. Look at my poor federal cousins, those poor chaps. Everybody knows of the story of the blasted Bonaventure. What a terrible waste, what horrible losses occurred. Everybody knows the story. It was an aircraft carrier that was going to be refitted. It was going to cost $8 million, but cost $14 million instead, and then it was scrapped. Right? Isn’t that awful -- six million dollars more and the loss of $14 million. With the $280 million in North Pickering we could have refitted the Canadian navy.

The government here is clever enough to rename it. First it was North Pickering, then it was -- what was the next name, there was another name for it, which I have forgotten?

Mr. Rotenberg: Cedarwood.

Mr. S. Smith: Cedarwood, that’s it. Thanks a lot, I appreciate it. The member for Wilson Heights remembered Cedarwood. Since people started hearing maybe that didn’t smell so good, they are now calling it Seaton, which is kind of an unusual name that hasn’t caught on with the press.

The same newspapers that had the Bonaventure across the front page in headlines two inches thick have never put the $280 million waste of money in Seaton on the front page. The average citizen has never heard of Seaton, because the government keeps changing the name. It is clever. I can hardly wait to find out what it is going to be called in another couple of months.

Mr. Rotenberg: Stuart Smith Memorial Park.

Mr. S. Smith: It may well be.

Then we have Townsend, costing some $47 million. If you go to see the place it is unbelievable. There they are in the middle of this huge agricultural area. Fifteen hundred homes are vacant in the surrounding municipalities and are for sale. All kinds of building lots are available in the surrounding municipalities.

There are no prospects for additional employees at Nanticoke -- maybe a couple of hundred at most -- but the bulldozers are flattening the land, digging channels, putting in water and sewers. They have booths to direct people there, and full page ads in every newspaper in southwestern Ontario saying “Come home to Townsend.” Millions more are spent in servicing and publicity for a grand total of -- how many houses have now been sold there, what is the latest? I was told 11 in March, 14 in June, and actually those are only options on lots. I think there were two houses sold in August, or something like that, and they are still putting millions into this idiotic venture.

That is not the only reason Tory management is now seen to be riddled through with vast gaping holes. Not far from Townsend is a place called South Cayuga, where a mere $35.7 million has been spent. The amazing thing about South Cayuga -- at least in Townsend some crackpot had the idea they could put a city there -- is nobody knows why they bought it.

Apparently they took out options on the land in South Cayuga in order to somehow keep in line some speculators who had invested in Townsend, some developers who bought land there. To keep them clean they took out options in South Cayuga. Then they went ahead with Townsend and bought the land. It was all done and it is all over. Why in heaven’s name did they act on the options in South Cayuga? Nobody understands that. They could have let them go. They didn’t need the land for any conceivable purpose and they paid about two or three times market value in every instance.

The interesting thing we are going to find out is something about the way in which the deal was made in somebody’s hotel room. One company was set up to do all the stuff under cover without letting them know a government agency was involved. The fact is the management is absolutely horrific. We are all looking forward to finding out how the cabinet, of which the Premier was a member, decided on this absolutely idiotic acquisition and waste of public funds.

Then, of course, we have Edwardsburgh, the industrial capital of eastern Ontario. Who can forget Edwardsburgh? A mere $9.6 million -- nothing to even trouble the Premier in his next meeting at the Albany Club. At Edwardsburgh they are now growing poplar trees. I don’t mind growing poplar trees, but there are many people in eastern Ontario -- I want to tell the Premier this, because I know he doesn’t get there very often -- who would be delighted to grow poplar trees for the government. In fact, there are many who tell me they can’t get rid of the damned things.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Be very careful. Why would you refer to poplar trees in that manner?

Mr. S. Smith: Have you ever tried to dig one out of your lawn?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I have been asked a question, and the answer to it is yes.

12:10 p.m.

Mr. S. Smith: I suspect the Premier had a certain terminology he may have used at that time.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I went to school in the good old days where we had access to other terminology that didn’t require that. I am wondering what the Leader of the Opposition has against poplar trees.

Mr. MacDonald: I want to congratulate the Leader of the Opposition. He is rambling even more than the Premier. He is doing a masterful job.

Mr. S. Smith: I appreciate that. Coming from the former leader of the New Democratic Party, I take that as a compliment. If anybody has had experience in touching on a wide variety of subjects and alighting on none of them, it has to be the former leader of the NDP.

I am fascinated watching this myth of Tory management disappear. Let’s take a simple example. The Minister of the Environment (Mr. Parrott) goes around saying we have to recycle and we have to do things with our garbage and so on. This government gives millions of dollars to the Ontario Paper Company in Thorold, and that company is actually importing newsprint -- waste, garbage. Recycled newsprint is being imported from Buffalo. That is incredible.

The government has known for years they were building this plant. Why didn’t it start working to have the newsprint collected here? The minister said we are going to be collecting newsprint pretty soon. In the meantime, we are importing millions of dollars of garbage from Buffalo. The whole thing boggles the mind. It staggers the imagination.

This is management? -- to say nothing of the topic we discussed this morning of the thousands of people inappropriately placed in terms of the way we use our chronic facilities and our acute hospital facilities. Then we look at the way money is being spent and some of the decisions that have been made. I just want to touch on a few because they destroy the myth so beautifully.

We see the money being spent on the old age grants. Those are marvellous ads. Those really are. Ontario cares about its old people? Sure it does. That is why it is wasting $3 million in forcing these people to fill out these forms. We have been busy in the constituency office trying to help these poor old people do it. Many of them don’t even hear about it.

Hon. Mr. Davis: That is why we’re informing them.

Mr. S. Smith: Sure. That is why you are informing them, of course. Do you know what this reminds me of?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Every single member of yours who has helped a senior citizen fill out those forms has said, “We take a little credit for this great program.”

Mr. S. Smith: First of all the Premier creates an unneeded bureaucracy for $3 million, where people have to fill out forms for nothing. Then he uses that to justify spending $1 million to advertise his bureaucracy, saying, “Otherwise, how would they know they have to come and collect the form?”

It reminds me of the engineer who tells you he has a post in the middle of the street with a light on it. If you ask him what the light is for, he says it is so people will see the post and won’t bump into it. Then when you ask what the post is doing there, he says it is to carry the light; how else does a light stand there? It amounts to exactly the same thing.

You didn’t need your stupid bureaucracy in the first place. The $3 million is just an effort to get the votes of those people going your way because you are afraid they think it is coming from the feds. You are spending $3 million and you are getting all this wonderful activity on the television screen that says Ontario cares.

We don’t mind these elderly people getting money, but the tragedy is why did the government have to take away the $110 from the people at the very bottom? That was very wrong and unnecessary. I don’t know whether you are going to lose any votes on it, but personally it is something I resent very deeply. I want the Premier to know that. He didn’t have to take that $110 away from the poorest of our pensioners. It was not necessary.

Mr. Sargent: You lost my vote too.

Mr. S. Smith: He may not be kidding.

Hon. Mr. Davis: It would really make me nervous if I ever felt he was voting for us.

Mr. S. Smith: Then we see the advertisements for the Ministry of the Environment -- the girl in the bathing suit, acid clean. We saw the person who pretends he is an engineer when he is not. We’ve seen all those.

I would like the Premier to answer when it is his turn to speak how the Minister of the Environment could say those ads are so partisan that he would actually have them taken off the air in the event of an election. Yet the people of Ontario are expected to pay for ads that are so partisan they would have to be taken off the air.

If they were merely neutral in giving people information they desperately require, who would have to take it off? If one is informing someone of where to get a vaccination or something, one would not have to take that off during an election. The minister admitted these were so partisan they would have to be removed from the airwaves, yet you spend the public money to try and advance your own private partisan interests.

But it is backfiring. Most people in Ontario are not as dumb as you think they are. Most people in Ontario have had an education and, to some extent, those are your policies. That is fine. But what you do not realize is that in giving them an education you now have a sophisticated electorate that knows a scam when it sees a scam. And that is what your ads are.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am counting on them knowing something else that I will not say today. You are really not being bad today.

Mr. S. Smith: No, I am not being bad. I have not said anything personal about you today. I have not commented on your style of answering questions or anything of that kind. I think I have been very much to the point.

The matter of police is something the Premier has a great interest in as well. He even told the police chiefs that the NDP and Liberals were against the police and the Tories were for the police. This is a statement so patently ludicrous that it occasions only laughter and was taken seriously by absolutely nobody.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Only the police.

Mr. S. Smith: No, give the police credit for intelligence. They know a silly political statement when they hear it, believe me.

Hon. Mr. Davis: They know a silly political position when they hear one -- which is what yours was.

Mr. S. Smith: That is fine. I am sure they do.

But one of the silliest positions on policing happens to be a policy that the Premier continues for reasons that escape me. That is, if you are in municipalities that have accepted the regionalization concept you get $15 per capita for police purposes. But if you are in a municipality which has had the good common sense not to go the regional route you get only $10 per capita. I cannot understand that.

I can assure you that in the city of Windsor, just to take one example, the costs of policing are every bit as high as they are in, let us say, Waterloo. There is no conceivable reason why regional municipalities should get $15 and other municipalities get only $10. Surely, if you really cared about policing, instead of making fatuous statements saying that we on this side do not like the police, you would actually give them the money to pay the police and have a decent police force. The municipalities then would not have to tax the property taxpayers unfairly.

I cannot fathom how you justify giving $15 per capita to Waterloo or to Durham and giving $10 per capita to Windsor or to London. I just cannot fathom that at all.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I will explain that to you.

Mr. S. Smith: And I will look forward to hearing it. But I can assure you they use just as much gasoline in Windsor. They have just as many problems, if not more, given their proximity to Detroit. And they pay their constables the same amount of money.

Then we have the university sector. Can you imagine that under the man who used to be the Minister of Education -- did you have universities too? Yes, you did at one time. Universities were under Education at one time.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Can I help you?

Mr. S. Smith: Yes.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I would not want the universities in this province to feel they were ever under Education. The honourable member has asked so I am going to give him the explanation.

Mr. S. Smith: Were they not all in the same ministry?

Hon. Mr. Davis: No. There used to be the university affairs committee chaired by a former Premier for a period of time. It, for a period of years, acted as that advisory group to the government. It reported to the Legislature, sometimes through the Minister of Education, on occasion through the Premier. It was in 1964 that a separate ministry was created to deal with the universities and colleges. So there were those two distinctions, at one point.

Mr. S. Smith: I appreciate that information. However, the universities will take very little comfort from that historical analysis because they now find themselves being funded at a rate, per capita, tenth and last in Canada.

12:20 p.m.

It is all very well to say we shouldn’t make comparisons with resource-booming Alberta or something like that, but we are making comparisons with every other province in Canada. There is no reason for us to be tenth and last, especially in a society that depends upon the universities to produce the managerial talent, the leadership, the research, the new idea that an industrialized area requires even more desperately than a resource area.

When the Minister of Education (Miss Stephenson) gives an answer that we should expect to spend less because our universities are older, that really boggles the mind. As far as I know, if you have an older plant you have to spend more on it because it is not as efficient; it is not modern, you have to modernize, you have to make repairs, you have to heat it inefficiently and so on. I have never heard it suggested that you have to spend more on a newer plant. Obviously if the plant is older --

Hon. Mr. Davis: If you look at the plants in this province over a period of years you will find --

Mr. S. Smith: I am not talking about a period of years, I am saying things were good in the province.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am just trying to help you.

Mr. S. Smith: You were not elected by accident. I understand that. You were elected because things were pretty good in this province. But in the last several years they have gone rapidly down hill, and that is the problem. We are now tenth and last in economic growth, tenth and last in the funding of our universities per capita. There is no reason for that, except for the fact the economy has been mismanaged and the government equally mismanaged.

We have the whole education situation, billions of dollars spent on education, and both parties on this side of the House have been pleading for more skills training so that our industries will have the people they need. For five years the pleading has gone unheeded. We have had all kinds of manpower committees and commissions and everything else imaginable, but no apprenticeships.

Two young people from Sarnia called me. They had gone to community college for one year and wanted to go into apprenticeship. They could find nothing at all in the way of apprenticeship today. Yet, at this very time there are officials paid by the province to assist with the recruiting of skilled personnel abroad. How can you live with a situation like that and call it management? That is not fair to our young people, to just go slowly and hope some new, fancy sounding program will eventually produce it.

The Minister of Education tells the school boards they ought to do more about apprenticeship on the school boards. That is a bit of empty-headed advice. Who needs that kind of advice? The government should be making certain we have enough apprenticeship places right now. It is their responsibility to do that.

We find just one thing after another. The famous restraint program of the government really meant you shifted from 60 per cent funding of education to 50 per cent funding and, little by little, just raising the temperature as you would if you were boiling a toad in water, raising it little by little, by squeezing the property taxpayer, chiselling a couple of extra percentage points every year or so, you now have a situation where the property taxpayers have to pay a much larger share of the cost, while you go to Ottawa and masquerade as restraint people.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Have you boiled a toad in water? Have you done that?

Mr. Ashe: You do it on personal income tax.

Mr. S. Smith: It is marvellous to see the Premier go to Ottawa and tell them what they should do and what they shouldn’t do. His is the government that told the government of Canada about two and a half years ago, I think it was, they thought the time had come to examine the indexing provisions, to just have another look at those.

When I challenged you in the House about two years ago and said: “Why are you doing that? Why would you want to 108k at them unless you were not satisfied, unless you wanted to make some change in them? If you are satisfied with them, you obviously wouldn’t want to demand from Jean Chrétien that they be looked at again.” The Premier didn’t have the courage to give the real reason, which was that he was suggesting they should be ended. That is what you were suggesting, but you didn’t have the courage to say that.

Now I hear you saying you would be against any kind of ending of indexing. Frankly, I would be against it as well. But I give the Premier an opportunity today. If perchance the federal government fiddles with that indexing in any way to increase its revenues, you are aware that about 40 per cent or so of those revenues will come directly to Ontario. Do I take it that you are going to be one of those people that merely rants and raves against prostitution while living off the avails? Or are you prepared to say that any additional money that comes to Ontario by means of any such de-indexing would be returned to the people immediately by means of a tax reduction? You’ll have an opportunity to say that. I would like to hear your position on that. I think a lot of people in Ontario would like to hear it. If you’re so serious about that, you wouldn’t dream of pocketing the dough that came by means that you disapprove of so severely.

We now find ourselves living in a country which has an $18 billion deficit in international trade and manufactured end products. We are supposedly the engine of manufacturing in this country. What has happened, if you look around, is we are doing research and development in our manufacturing sector approximately equal, though granted a little ahead, to the R and D per capita of Egypt. We are virtually at the bottom of the industrialized world in R and D. It is easy to blame the feds, of course, and I blame them as well as you.

But this government is supposed to be standing up for Ontario. This government is supposed to be making sure we carry our weight in Confederation. This government, unfortunately, has blindly gone along with the business of attracting branch plants that have little intention of doing research -- and little intention of trying to find new possible openings around the world for Ontario-manufactured goods. It is, generally speaking, quite satisfied simply to feed the domestic market and even then, if that isn’t looking too good, it closes up.

For some reason, this government fails to understand that the only hope we have -- and it is fast diminishing -- of building an economy in Ontario that starts to carry its weight in this country is to take those small and medium-sized Canadian-owned enterprises, particularly in the high technology area, and give them whatever is required as a boost to get them to become world competitive enterprises. We are going to create jobs by having Canadian companies grow, not by having foreign companies establish branches here. I wish you could understand that.

Hon. Mr. Davis: You should have been with me the other day at the Xerox convention.

Mr. S. Smith: You’re going to start the political game again. I know what you’re going to say -- the old greasy politics. Come and tell the citizens of such and such a town, where the only plant they have is a branch plant, that you want to shut them down, or go and tell the citizens somewhere else you are not going to help them get a plant from Germany or something, when they think that might help them in their desperate situation. Of course, it is easy to say that. Any two-bit politician can say that and frequently does.

Hon. Mr. Davis: That’s not what I was going to say; If you didn’t get excited --

Mr. S. Smith: I am getting excited about this. I wish you could understand. Fortunately, you won’t have to understand, because in another six months it won’t be your job to worry about it. People may not understand as a whole that it isn’t a great boon to have a foreign branch plant locate in their town. They may think it is a great thing; the industrial development commissioners want it; the people think it is terrific. They are scared to death at the notion that when there is talk of nationalism the plant may shut down. I understand the politics of it, but I would like to see the Premier get above politics once in a while and understand that our only hope is to get the entrepreneurs of this country and the small businesses to become world competitors, and not to block them out by more and more foreign takeovers, more and more foreign branch plants.

You put out those disgraceful egg cartons and those disgraceful glossy books which cost $300,000 if you include the profit centre one, to bring in more foreigners when we need to develop our own businesses.

12:30 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I regret you were not there at Xerox. Xerox has established one of the most significant research centres -- right out in Sheridan Park -- partly because of the intervention of the government. A number of people are involved who are related to that university which I happen to think is great, McMaster. You knew one of them; he used to curl with you.

I just gave that as an example of what is happening. Some of these multinationals are establishing research and development. It was a very significant step on the part of Xerox. You may disagree with it. I was saying it in a very positive sense. I was not saying, “Go and visit Xerox in Mississauga.” I said, “Take a look at the new research and development facility.” The head of Xerox International is a former Haligonian, a graduate of Dalhousie and Osgoode Hall.

Mr. Sargent: He is out of order.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I just did not want you suggesting that I was interrupting with something about the multinationals in that negative sense you were referring to.

Mr. S. Smith: Honeywell also does research. There are definitely examples of multinationals that do research. There are plenty who make a significant contribution; that is correct. But taken as a whole, you should not be spending money attracting more branch plants. You should be spending money making sure our own industries grow. That is the mistake you do not seem to understand and you keep making.

Hon. Mr. Davis: You have tunnel vision; you look one way. You have to do both, you really do.

Mr. S. Smith: I see what is happening: At $18, billion we are not going through a tunnel; we are going down a hill. One of the reasons we have so much difficulty now in terms of the constitutional discussions and one of the reasons we seem so isolated is that there is sort of an unconscious feeling in the rest of Canada that somehow we like to live well even when we are not paying our own way. There is this general feeling that although we now are largely responsible for an $18 billion deficit in manufactured end product trade --

Hon. Mr. Davis: That is total utter nonsense.

Mr. S. Smith: You may call it nonsense, and I will listen with respect as I did the other day. But any country that has an $18-billion deficit in manufactured end product trade, and depends only on shipping out raw resources to try to balance that deficit to keep the country afloat at all, is going to have a tremendous amount of tension between its manufacturing area, which is letting the country down, and its resource area, which is keeping the country afloat.

One of the problems we have in this country is that by failing to carry our own weight in Confederation, we are being looked at as guys who got used to having it our own way. We have this image in the rest of the country of people who do not really want to do what is necessary to get things moving again, but who just want to continue living on the resource wealth of others. It may not be true, but it is the perception.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Don’t minimize the resource wealth and exports from this province.

Mr. S. Smith: I do not minimize them at all.

Mr. Martel: It is the north that is being exploited.

Mr. S. Smith: The comments of the member for Sudbury East are correct. Go to northern Ontario and see how they feel about the fact that their resources are being exported, so that we can continue to have the crummiest manufacturing sector in the western world.

Hon. Mr. Davis: You can’t have that argument both ways.

Mr. S. Smith: There is no other country that has its domestic market for manufactured goods penetrated to the extent of 33 per cent the way our country’s market is penetrated by foreign goods. It is unbelievable to be an advanced nation with billions of dollars spent on educating our citizens and to be basically a colony in terms of manufacturing. This province is supposed to be taking the lead. Yet this province insists on putting out more glossy brochures to attract more industries. And the minister added oil to the fire by saying it is the only way to get high technology. My God, high technology is the only hope we have to become world competitors with our own industries. Under no circumstances should we be importing high technology unless it is absolutely impossible to develop our own. Even then we should only import it under licence. If I can get no other message through to you, I hope you will at least take that one home and think about.

My friends, we have a situation now where Ontario has fallen to tenth and last in economic growth in the late 1970s, where we now account for 90 per cent of the new unemployment, 95 per cent of the layoffs and the plant shutdowns. We are funding social services at ninth or tenth per capita. We are funding universities tenth and last in Canada. We are still importing skilled workers when our billions and billions of dollars for education seem unable to get the system moving to produce our own skilled workers. We find ourselves with hospital beds in acute shortage with people in the wrong facilities by the thousands. Waiting lists are growing because the elderly are increasing in number and there has been no planning, despite all kinds of warnings beforehand.

We find ourselves with a system of funding hospitals which basically gives them very little and then waits to see who screams. Those who scream get a little more and, if they still scream, they might get just a bit more in addition. There are no criteria of efficiency and no criteria by which hospital grants are administered.

We see a barnacle-encrusted, old regime. I do not mean you personally, not at all. The Premier is a young man, but I say the regime is an old regime.

Hon. Mr. Davis: This is like whimpering and blimpering around the province.

Mr. S. Smith: Not at all. That is not the same.

Hon. Mr. Davis: That was your phrase.

Mr. S. Smith: I understand that, and that phrase was taken to have an unfortunate personal connotation, but this one should not be.

Hon. Mr. Davis: What do you mean by “it was taken”? You meant it as a personal one.

Mr. S. Smith: Let’s stick to this one. You have an old regime, my good friend the Premier. The Premier is a young person and I have nothing against him as an individual. I say, however, his regime is an ancient regime. As these things go in the western world, it is almost unparalleled to have a government that has been in power that long.

Mr. Nixon: I think Paraguay has.

Mr. S. Smith: No. Paraguay has one-party rule the way we have here but it has not lasted quite as long.

The fact of the matter is that your regime, consisting of civil servants who have been there for donkey’s years, which is a very appropriate term for some of those, is not looking for new ideas. This province is now run down in terms of new ideas. They are looking for ways to protect themselves.

Mr. Rotenberg: That is such nonsense. We have more new ideas over here than you will ever have.

Mr. S. Smith: The member for Wilson Heights has a new idea. Perhaps it is his idea that elderly people should be in beds that are not appropriate to them. Perhaps it is his idea that we should have no apprenticeship program worth a darn and still be importing skilled workers. That is a new idea; that is a brilliant idea, I give him full credit for that one. Perhaps he and the Premier have dreamt up a situation together where we have fallen to tenth and last in economic growth. That is a brilliant idea. Perhaps it is his idea that we now find ourselves in a situation where we account for 95 per cent of the layoffs and the plant shutdowns and thousands of bankruptcies across Ontario. Perhaps it is his idea that we keep attracting branch plant operations instead of building our own small and medium-sized business sector.

I just want whoever is responsible for those ideas to know I do not think very much of them and to know that the myth of Tory management is no longer abroad in the province. Assuming that you both run again and assuming you hold your seats -- and I grant that you have an excellent chance of holding your seat, if you do run again -- I look forward to responding after ministerial statements each day to the questions from the member for Brampton and the member for Eglinton. I really look forward to that occasion and I trust when our time comes, we will run the Premier’s office and the government of Ontario an awful lot better than it is being run today.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Is this the reincarnation of Mitchell Hepburn?

Mr. S. Smith: I hope so.

Mr. Martel: I have asked the House leader for the Liberal Party and the Premier, in view of the fact that my leader had a long-term commitment and could not be here, if they would agree to my leader having his leadoff on Monday. I got agreement from both sides which I appreciate.

The Deputy Chairman (Mr. MacBeth): That is the understanding. I do not hear anybody objecting to that. Do you wish to make any reply to the remarks this morning, Mr. Premier?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Chairman, my reply to that rather rambling dissertation from the Leader of the opposition --

Mr. S. Smith: From the Premier I take that as a compliment.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I have never lived in a glasshouse. What is it like?

I would like to reply to a number of the matters raised, but I really don’t want to do it twice in that I expect the leader of the New Democratic Party will be touching some of the same ground. I am just trying to be helpful here. If there could be some understanding that if there are some other members who have a short, specific question to ask or point to raise, we might do that for the next 10 or 15 minutes. The leader of the New Democratic Party could make his observations on Monday. Then I might seize the opportunity to reply to the constructively critical, totally objective, analytical and without much logic observations that have been made so far.

Mr. J. Reed: You are not going to respond in a logical manner?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am going to respond in a totally logical manner. I would say to the member for that great constituency neighbouring on the city of Brampton that I have some things to say that relate to that particular constituency, its opportunities for economic growth and the need not to have that tunnel vision to restrict totally the kind of investment. I will get around to that.

The Deputy Chairman: Are there any other members who have any questions to ask on vote 201 at this time? We are not limiting it as we are going on to consider the leadoff remarks of the leader of the New Democratic Party next week.

Mr. Warner: Mr. Chairman, I wonder if the Premier could tell me why he failed to respond to the letter I sent him a very long time ago regarding train derailments. Following the Mississauga mishap, I had written the Premier with respect to the CP marshalling yards located in Scarborough and made three specific requests of the Premier in that letter. I hand-delivered the letter, if the Premier will recall, in the House. It is unusual not to get a response from the Premier, I will acknowledge. In this particular circumstance, I have not to date received a letter in reply. Although I don’t have the correspondence with me, I believe it goes back to the best part of a year.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I know the member spoke to me about this. I thought we had a subsequent conversation, but I will take a look at it and see if there is anything I can add to what was discussed at that time.

Mr. Sargent: Mr. Chairman, I have a question along the same line I would like to ask the Premier. I know he has a very full agenda as far as his mail is concerned. I wrote him a letter 10 days ago regarding an appointment to the AECB. I would appreciate if I could have an answer as there is a time factor involved. There is an appointment in Ottawa pending the Premier’s answer, so would he please see if he could answer that letter?

Mr. Martel: I just want to make a couple of observations, Mr. Chairman, dealing with northern Ontario and in particular the resource sector. The Premier knows that for some time I have pursued the matter of iron ore. While we got a lot of responses from the Premier and his minister with respect to the quality of ore, it bothers me at a time when we have high unemployment to see an increase in the importation of iron ore to the point where we are now bringing in over 50 per cent of our iron ore from abroad, while at the same time we are closing down operations in northern Ontario.

Some of the arguments have been related to the fact that the supply wasn’t there or the quality of the ore wasn’t good, as in the case of National Steel from my own home town. It doesn’t quite wash. Inco just lost -- and, Lord knows, I am no friend of Inco’s -- 120 jobs because no one is buying the iron ore it was able to sell up until this year. The reason no one is buying is that the Big Three in the steel industry have bought into iron ore mines in the United States and, consequently, are committed to taking a regular amount annually, regardless of what it does to communities in northern Ontario.

I know the Premier does not like to interfere. He calls it the market forces, or any other number of things, and says these companies have got to make a buck. Our steel industry happens to be one of the most competitive in the world.

My objection is that at the same time as we have put an infrastructure in Nanticoke to assist one of those industries, we decline to give as a quid pro quo something to northern Ontario to keep a municipality alive. The way the government has handled northern Ontario is unbelievable. As the population in Ontario continues to grow, the population in northern Ontario continues to decline. There are no jobs. We pay vast amounts in taxes to educate kids, and we appreciate the education they get, but they must leave the north if they want to work. If they want to use any skills they get, they have to go somewhere else. The iron ore industry is but one case.

Their objection is to what we do in the form of giving concessions. We objected about a year and a half ago on this side of the House to giving the whole mining industry the right to write off development and refining costs. In Norway, Falconbridge gets a write-off against its Ontario tax of the cost of doing business over there. There is no future in that. We can offer an incentive to locate in northern Ontario, but if a company has an established operation in Norway and can write off the cost there against the taxes here, any company in its right mind is not going to come in here and build a new operation. They just are not.

It cannot be tolerated. If it is, northern Ontario will continue to be merely a frontier, as we move from town to town and area to area to extract whatever is in the ground. When that ends, the community dies. My own home town, as a result of National Steel, still has 60 or 70 homes empty a year and a half later. A municipality cannot afford it. It plans its economy based on the tax return. There were about 150 families that owned homes in that small town. Now they are gone.

They do not go to Sudbury to get a job. There is no manufacturing and the nickel industry is laying people off. They have to walk away from an investment -- their whole life. It is not like southern Ontario. They cannot go to another town and get a job, if there is a job available, because they cannot commute. The distances are too great.

No effort has been made. If there is an area ripe for Ontario to move into, it is the production of mineral producing equipment. Our trade deficit, I guess, reaches $1 billion -- I was not prepared to do this, so the figure could be a little wrong -- but the deficit in mining equipment is astronomical. If this province would only take some initiative to get in, not necessarily itself, but, as a last resort, to get in if no one else is prepared to do it. There have been two select committee reports -- the report on economic nationalism by the select committee, which sat from 1971 to 1975, and the Inco select committee in 1978. Both of them recommended that Ontario should take a very positive, active role in trying to get the production of mineral equipment established in this province.

Sudbury has Atlas Copco from Sweden which is not a very big country -- nine million people maybe -- but it sends the parts over here. They send the equipment over here, and we use it in our mines. A proper type of development for northern Ontario would be to produce that equipment for a number of reasons. We are the third largest producer of mineral wealth in the world, and we import more mining equipment than any other country.

We have a university which is now established for your mining course. We have the greatest laboratory for research and development. I appeared before 2001, that great body created and funded by the Premier. I am not talking about the goat section of it either.

12:50 p.m.

Mr. Kerrio: Where is your sweater?

Mr. Martel: We are still waiting to shear the first goat.

Mr. Nixon: I thought you had milked it.

Mr. Martel: No, it was not for milking purposes.

You have a laboratory with nearly every type of mining within 150 miles of the city of Sudbury. If you wanted to have a laboratory at a university related to the mineral sector to try to develop mining equipment, there is the natural area.

There is an area that would produce jobs for women in producing some of that. There are virtually no jobs in northern Ontario for women outside of the professions, legal secretaries and so forth. I am not belittling the worth of those, but I am saying there is very little manufacturing that women can go to. That could serve as a basis for a proper development. Once you start an industry in an area, if it is big enough it will attract other things to service it, and so on.

As I said, I went to 2001 and laid out all of the statistics, the whole business, before them to try to interest someone to do something. I do not believe you should take something from the south, ship it north, manufacture it and then bring it back to the south, because the cost of transportation is going to kill any competitiveness. No one is interested.

The Minister of Industry and Tourism comes in. He has a trade show. That is fine, but it does not lead to anything. So you might have to take the initiative and say it might be through a co-op. Maybe you could try to get the industries in the mining sector itself related. Maybe you could try to get some tax laws that say, “If you buy from a Canadian firm” -- I know you are not supposed to do that but they do it throughout the rest of the world -- “we will give you a concession in a tax write-off for purchasing Canadian-produced equipment.” I do not mean something a multinational has brought in; I am talking about a Canadian industry.

We are the third largest producer of mineral wealth, behind only Russia and the United States, so how can places like Finland and Sweden produce mineral equipment while we do not? There have been two select committee reports. There has never been a murmur from this government, outside of a trade show, about any effort it is making to try to bring the pools of capital together to do that. That is the sort of development we need in the north because exploitation is no longer good enough.

I want to touch on one other point. When we had the major layoff in Sudbury, the Premier indicated he thought we might build some type of rapid transit system to get the workers from Sudbury to Elliot Lake. We are pumping hundreds of millions of dollars into Elliot Lake. Around Sudbury we have massive unemployment, we have all kinds of homes for sale, but nothing has been done beyond that little blurb back two and a half years ago. Yet we are putting the infrastructure into a town that we know, like all mining communities, will someday die.

We need growth centres so that workers can be moved to the site and well-established communities can be retained and the infrastructure to keep them viable. We get the worst of all worlds in the mineral sector in northern Ontario. Small communities without services serve a mine or serve a pulp industry because we do not have growth centres.

The prime example was where we could have moved the unemployed workers in Sudbury over to Elliot Lake and back. I am told that it is only 60 or 70 miles in distance. With rapid transit you could do it in an hour, but no, we are pumping hundreds of millions into the infrastructure in Elliot Lake. I just use that as an example, not to get at Elliot Lake or anything like that, to show that we do not do any of that type of planning.

That is a government responsibility. I would hope the Premier would have something done with the resource sector in terms of planning. That doesn’t necessarily mean government interference, but giving some indication to the mineral sector as to where it thinks we should be going. The haphazardness of the past has to stop because it costs a leg and an arm, and municipalities end up without services and without doctors and it is just a disaster area.

We thought that planning was going to come out of all of the plans for the development of northern Ontario. I recall one of them so vividly. I think you were in Sudbury when that document was tabled. One of the danger points was around places where there was water. That was in there somewhere. My God, where else would you have danger of drowning if not in water? What a tremendous insight by whoever wrote that! Nothing tangible has come from any of those.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I thought it was an NDP researcher who wrote that.

Mr. Martel: It would never be an NDP researcher. I well recall the former Treasurer saying to us in northern Ontario that we really can’t expect much in the form of secondary industry for at least another 20 or 25 years. If that is the attitude of the government with respect to northern Ontario, we are doomed forever. I would appreciate some comments from the Premier next week on those general remarks.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I have made notes on these two or three speakers. I really can’t start to answer in a five-minute period. If there are one or two other points someone would like to make, I can cover them all in my modest contribution on Monday.

Mr. J. Reed: Mr. Chairman, the Premier’s reference to my riding in some form or other, which he has not yet revealed, has prompted me to rise and remind the Premier that a rather precedent-setting court decision took place a short time ago regarding the issue of landfill site F in the town of Milton. Essentially the decision said that rather than the issue being placed under the aegis of the Environmental Protection Act, it should proceed under the Environmental Assessment Act. There is a 14-day appeal time, and I just don’t recall whether it is up now or whether it will be up in a few more days. Then, depending on the outcome of that appeal, if the decision stands, the minister will be required to make a decision as to whether or not the site F issue will be exempted from environmental assessment.

Since this will he a precedent-setting decision inasmuch as it does not involve a provincial project but a municipal project, since this is critical to this riding, since it is the first of its kind and because the government has stated a policy which it has repeated on numerous occasions since 1973 and not yet fulfilled -- that is, resource recovery would become the order of the day rather than dumping garbage into holes in the ground -- I am sure the Premier’s office and the Premier will be involved in the comment that is made on the Environmental Assessment Act because it is so far-reaching and will involve all of Ontario.

Perhaps, rather than being in the form of a question, this is in the form of an appeal to the Premier to give every consideration to not exempting that issue from environmental assessment. It is incredibly important not only for Halton-Burlington but for the future across the province.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I have made a note of that.

On motion by Hon. Mr. Davis, the committee of supply reported progress.

The House adjourned at 1 p.m.