31e législature, 4e session

L110 - Fri 7 Nov 1980 / Ven 7 nov 1980

The House met at 10 am.



Mr. S. Smith: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker: I know you will remember the exchange in the House between the Minister of the Environment (Hon. Mr. Parrott) and myself, regarding a contradiction which I had determined existed in a statement the minister had made to the House as opposed to evidence I presented to the House.

You will be interested to know that although the minister refused to admit that contradiction and withdraw his allegation in the House, he went right outside of the House, admitted the contradiction, claimed he had been misled by his officials, as I suspected, and admitted there was a contradiction.

It does seem to me that the minister has made a serious allegation about a company, about which perhaps other serious allegations may be true. However, that one serious allegation should be withdrawn from the record of this House. The minister apparently was willing to do so outside the House; I would ask him to do so inside the House.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, nothing could be more incorrect. If the Leader of the Opposition wants to talk about being correct or incorrect, I want to put this very clearly on the record. As a matter of fact, it is rather interesting. The New Democratic Party would have us believe the company is guilty before the trial. At no time have I indicated I think that company is guilty.

I tabled the letter. I would be glad to read it into the record. It certainly makes it very clear that there are many matters for discussion. It starts with saying certain serious allegations have been made. That is all it says: Certain serious allegations have been made. Then among the allegations -- and I am only taking excerpts from this because the letter was tabled first -- it talks about a greater volume. Never for one moment did it say we did not know the waste was there.

Secondly, it talks about what went on at a public information session. Then, additionally, it says, “We have been informed of an apparent case of unauthorized entry into your site.” There were three or four various things we said to the company that we wanted to know. The letter concludes by saying, “In view of the seriousness of these allegations and the need for this ministry to give total assurance to the community for the safe operation of this site and the acceptability of your solidification proposal, I am suspending further activities.”

I think it should be the reverse. The Leader of the Liberal Party has come close to saying I misled this House. If that is what he is saying, he had better say it. I ask you, Mr. Speaker, how is it humanly possible to mislead the House when I tabled the letter and spoke very clearly, without any doubt, about the statement? There it was; it was tabled. There was absolutely no misleading of this House. If it was done, it was done by the Leader of the Opposition.

Mr. S. Smith: I really have to respond to that, Mr. Speaker. I am quite flabbergasted about this. To review, the minister made a statement in this House in tabling his letter, which said that one of the things he was very disappointed about in the company’s performance was that it continued dumping the sludge from the Ford Motor Company past September 1979, when the ministry officials had understood, the letter said, it would stop in September 1979.

We produced the letter yesterday, which makes it clear that his officials knew very well the dumping would continue until January 1980 unless they were instructed otherwise. Therefore, it is clear that at least some of the minister’s officials could not truthfully say the dumping was expected to stop in September when they knew it would go on until January.

I do not suggest for a moment that the minister is anything other than an honourable man. I accept that he himself was told by his officials at one point they thought the dumping would stop in September 1979, but they did not tell him of the existence of that other letter, which plainly indicated that, from the company’s point of view, they had tacit permission to continue until January 1980.

The minister admitted this to the press outside this very chamber yesterday. I only ask him to admit the same thing here, that his officials have not been consistent in the information they have given him and he has, therefore, inadvertently put on the record that the company was expected to stop dumping in September when the truth is the company was expected to stop dumping in January.

That is a very simple matter. The minister admitted it to the press. I ask him simply to admit it in the House because he refused to do so yesterday. Instead, I get some diatribe about what the Leader of the Opposition is or is not doing. I ask you to rule on that, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: I have not had an opportunity to see what was tabled in the House. I cannot concern myself about matters that were discussed outside the House; I can only deal with what is before us. If the minister has nothing to add, I will simply undertake to have a look at it.



Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, may I ask the Premier if the Minister of Education (Miss Stephenson) is expected?

Hon. Mr. Davis: No, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. S. Smith: I can direct the question, then, to the Premier. The Premier will be aware of this otherwise excellent booklet which has been sent to the schools with suggestions as to how to commemorate Remembrance Day, and he may be aware that on page 23 of that booklet there is the song and so-called war game that is referred to in this morning’s newspaper and which, in my view at least, is very offensive to the spirit one wishes to create on Remembrance Day, which is a pretty serious and solemn occasion.

Will the Premier take a moment to familiarize himself with the booklet which, as I say, is an otherwise very fine booklet? Will he look into how many have been distributed and, since this booklet is intended to be used for perhaps the next five years, will he assure us that those that have been distributed will be withdrawn and the offending portion on page 23 removed?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I have not reviewed the whole document. I glanced at the story in the Globe and Mail this morning very quickly. We do not get delivery in the rural areas as rapidly as in Hamilton, so I had to rush through that paper this morning very expeditiously.

I have a couple of copies of the booklet here if other members would like it. I just went through it very hurriedly and there are parts of it that I think are very appropriate.

10:10 a.m.

I think it is fair to state the ministry has made a very conscientious effort to have something of a more meaningful nature within the schools for Remembrance Day. I know all members take seriously the fact that the young people in the school system today have not had that sort of relationship to the day itself or the significance of it. I am one of those who happen to believe that the young people in the school system should be made aware of it and that there should be a very genuine effort on the part of all of us to try to impress upon them the significance of Remembrance Day.

I think it is fair to state that over the years, and I recall my own involvement in this as Minister of Education, it has not always been easy to get the teaching profession -- and this is no criticism of the profession at all -- or some of the schools to take the occasion as seriously as I feel we all should. As I say, in glancing through the booklet, I think it is fair to say it was a very conscientious effort on the part of those who prepared this material to make it more relevant and more meaningful.

When I was Minister of Education those many years ago, from my experience when one gets a group of people together -- and I am told that the material was prepared by members of the profession -- there is always the danger of a section or a portion that could be considered to be less than meaningful by some members.

I have had only a brief look into it, but I am informed that the ministry itself has had only one objection since its distribution and that actually a member of the Provincial Command of the Royal Canadian Legion was either part of it or saw the material prior to its being distributed. I am informed he was really quite enthusiastic about it. Whether he zeroed in on this particular section, I can’t say as I have no way of knowing, but I can say to the members of the House that the intent of the ministry was to make this a memorable and meaningful experience for the children in the school system.

I certainly will ask the minister to review that particular portion of the booklet and to have some discussion as to whether it might be replaced or altered for ongoing years. I think any book of this nature should be subject to review. I do emphasize, and I know I speak for members on this side and I am sure members on the other side of the House, that November 11 has to have substance for our young people. I know it is rather difficult to say it has to have substance for our young people when there are so many adults who on November 11 still perhaps tarry on in the usual fashion, where the day really does not have that meaning for them.

I cannot comment on this or make any recommendations, except to say that from my perspective, and I hope I speak for members of this House, it is a day when we should all very carefully assess and remember what those men and women sacrificed to enable us, as Canadians, to live in freedom in a situation where the questions of rights and privileges are really beyond that of most other places in the world. That, to me, is a little bit of what Remembrance Day is all about.

Mr. S. Smith: I share entirely the sentiments which the Premier has expressed and which I expressed in my question as well. By way of supplementary, if the Premier takes a moment to look at the actual game that is suggested for the children, a game which suggests a war between Romans and English over the subject of bread and wine, playing with cats and dogs and singing “Now we’ve only one leg ... Now we’ve only one eye ... Now we are all dead and gone,” and skipping in a merry ring and so on, I honestly believe he will come to the same conclusion which I have reached, that one page in that one game is so trivializing of the issue, shows such poor judgement and is so out of keeping with the spirit of the day that this otherwise excellent brochure should be altered by taking out that page.

I would ask him specifically to give to the House the assurance that he will, if possible, withdraw the copies that have already been distributed and change them and, if not, at the very least distribute no more until this page is taken out.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, the material has been distributed to the schools of this province. The date for observation of this important time in our history is next Tuesday. It is quite obviously impossible to recall this document, which the Leader of the Opposition emphasizes is an excellent document. It is always regrettable when one reads these stories. I am not being critical of the person who wrote the story, except I think there is some merit in having a little balance in these things. Perhaps there was merit in pointing out, as the Leader of the Opposition has, that it is an excellent document with the exception of this one particular reference.

I would not argue for a moment if the teachers in the school system get the same sense I do from this particular portion that it can be misunderstood. I am relatively confident the vast majority of teachers, because there is sufficient material here to have several hours of discussion in classes, will give this particular portion very little attention on Tuesday next. I will bring this to the attention of the minister and the ministry. I cannot do so before Monday. In fact, I am not even sure I can do it on Monday, but I think I can get in touch with the ministry before Monday.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Supplementary: It has just come to my attention that one school board at least, Prescott-Russell, is planning on having Remembrance Day recognized on Monday, November 10, rather than on November 11. I wonder if the Premier could tell us what is the position of the ministry and the government on that. I feel very strongly that November 11 should be kept as November 11 and not moved to a more convenient day such as Monday, November 10, in celebration or remembrance of the suffering our war heroes underwent.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I do not have any immediate response. The decision as to what day is commemorated by the schools is a matter of the local board’s jurisdiction. If the member were to ask me for a personal preference, I probably would suggest that it be on November 11. But one must remember that a number of schools take holidays on November 11. This is one of the contradictions; it is a day of remembrance. This Legislature is adjourned for November 11. There are some who construe it as being a holiday rather than a day of remembrance. If a school board determines it does not want this opportunity for remembrance to escape or be left unnoticed, commemorating it on November 10 is an alternative, knowing the children may not be there on November 11. The member has to assess whether or not that makes good sense. I just plant that seed with him to reflect and to meditate upon.

Mr. Foulds: They are going to school on November 11 and taking a holiday on November 10.

Hon. Mr. Davis: The member for Port Arthur suggests they take the holiday on November 10?

Mr. Foulds: No, that is what they are doing.

Hon. Mr. Davis: As I say, it varies with different school boards. I know there are some communities in which a number of children participate in the actual services on November 11. One might develop a rationale that going through this and having some discussions in school prior to the eleventh might make sense. I have no hard views on the best way of handling it. My interest is that children in the school system have some understanding and awareness of what this particular date in our history means.

Mr. Speaker: Given the sentiments expressed by all members who have spoken about this issue and since the House will not sit on Tuesday, Remembrance Day, it is therefore appropriate to pause today in this assembly to pay tribute to the hundreds of thousands of Canadians who took part in the tragic wars of this century so that we might continue to enjoy those freedoms which are exercised by each of us here every day. Not only do we pay tribute to those who died, but also to those veterans who are still with us, particularly those who are in hospitals.

May I invite all members of the assembly and all our guests to rise and join with me in two minutes of silence at this time.

10:20 a.m.


Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. Is the minister familiar, with the situation that is now occurring as a consequence of his policies of bed cutbacks and budgetary restraint? Is he aware of the problem in Hamilton where, I am told by Dr. Lichtblau, the waiting period for urgent cases in any of the hospitals is anywhere from two to four weeks?

More important than that, the doctor brings to my attention the case of a 74-year-old man who had a heart condition, several repeated infarcts and heart attacks. There is something now in Hamilton called an ambulance ban which means that when things get really bad in terms of bed availability the ambulance is forbidden to bring even an emergency case to a given hospital, such as in this case, St. Joseph’s Hospital.

Since this 74-year-old man had all his previous cardiograms at every previous episode done at St. Joseph’s Hospital and since in order to understand the episode of chest pain the previous cardiograms were required to see any changes that may have occurred, it was lunacy to send this man to any other hospital. This doctor, along with another specialist, fought tooth and nail and finally succeeded in overcoming the ban and got this patient in. They discovered he had suffered a heart attack which was immediately diagnosed and treated properly.

In this case, the doctor says, “We were able to save this patient, but if I had not fought and if I did not insist, the diagnosis and treatment would have been a lot more difficult.” That is putting it mildly.

Will the minister pay attention to what he is hearing from around the province and recognize that the present bed situation and these ambulance bans and waiting lists for urgent cases, are simply not good enough and are signs of a desperate situation in our health system, which previously was the best in the world?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I am glad to say that the system is still the best in the world. Secondly, I am pleased to say that instead of cutbacks, which is the word the Leader of the Opposition used, especially at the time he wanted to slash my budget by $50 million, we have increased the number of beds in the province by over 3,000 in the past five years.

In that particular area or in any area, the standard procedure in an ambulance call is to take the patient to the nearest hospital, which has always been accepted to be in the interests of the patient. If it is an emergency, they get them to the nearest hospital. Once that has been done, if the person needs to be transferred for the kinds of reasons the Leader of the Opposition suggests and if it is safe to transfer him, then that is carried out.

In that particular area we have recently added a number of chronic care beds. The health council in that area has prepared a further report on long-term care needs, which will undoubtedly see further chronic and/or nursing home beds added to the community, but there has been no indication whatsoever to me that there is a shortage of acute care beds in the community.

Mr. S. Smith: Might I, by way of supplementary, ask the minister to consider this letter? I will send him a copy of it. I ask him specifically to address himself to what it says here. I know the doctor in question because he is not only a family physician but has been head of the utilization committee at St. Joseph’s Hospital for many years.

I would simply read this. He says: “The waiting period for urgent cases may be from two to four weeks, but lately something is happening with more and more frequency: a so-called ambulance ban is called on St. Joseph’s Hospital. What it means is that emergency cases are taken to another hospital, regardless of whether it is in the patient’s best interest or not.” He goes on and has a number of comments to make about what it is like to practise medicine in these circumstances.

I would ask the minister to respond to this letter, which I will send to him, and to let me know what his response is. I would also ask him to sit down with his officials in the Hamilton area and see whether this is happening and to make sure they are given enough resources in Hamilton to be able to operate the acute care system properly. At the same time, one hopes he is eventually going to expand the chronic care system as is required. Would he please look into this and make certain that no such ambulance ban needs to occur in Hamilton or anywhere else?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I am glad the member raised the question of resources because in the 1980 budgets we did grant increases in January in the base budgets of the hospitals to cover inflation in hospital costs.

I will take a look at that situation. The member will not mind if I remind him of the quotes from him going back over the past couple of years calling for cuts in social services, in beds and in the budget of the Ministry of Health.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: What does the minister intend to do about the cutbacks in services which are represented by the prospective deficit of $1.5 million at the Ottawa Civic Hospital and of $500,000 at the Riverside Hospital in Ottawa?

What of the prospective cutbacks and services being faced across the province, as told to the minister by the Ontario Hospital Association at its convention a week or so ago? He was told that the cumulative hospital deficit this year will hit $75 million as a result of ministry cutbacks and the way the ministry has been squeezing them dry.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I am afraid the member is editorializing a little bit. That is not quite what they said. I would remind him of what I told them, namely, that we had found in analysing the budgets that $25 million to $30 million of the projected deficits were due to unauthorized increases in programs and staff. Some of these may very well be justified, but we simply cannot budget for them if we are presented with bills after the fact.

A further $20 million to $25 million of the projected deficits are due to the inclusion in hospital estimates of wage and salary increases in excess of what we had budgeted for. We have said those simply cannot be allowed at this time. We have to wait until the negotiations are completed with the Canadian Union of Public Employees, the Ontario Nursing Association and the other unions.

Finally, we are dealing on an individual basis with the hospital budgets. Where their costs have gone up due to uncontrollable increases in patient volume and activity, we are granting mid-year increases in their budgets. About 40 or 50 have already had notices to that effect.

Mrs. Campbell: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: One hospital in my riding is at this time considering as an option the closing of 38 beds from December until the end of its fiscal period. What plans would the minister have to overcome that problem if what they are doing is trying to get patients out of their hospital into another hospital which is having equal difficulties? Would he be sitting down with them to discuss this problem?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Yes, Mr. Speaker, as we do on a regular basis. Again, I have to remind the member of what I said to the hospitals in my speech to the OHA. In the whole process of hospital budgeting, they simply cannot wait until we announce net ministry liability for each hospital in January and then start the process of preparing a budget. Surely, in the operation of programs and buildings which account for $2.25 million, it is reasonable for me to expect that hospitals are working now on their 1981-82 budgets. When we give them their budget figures in January, I’m sure they will already have indicated to us any unforeseeable, unmanageable trends in utilization in their hospitals so that we may try to take account of those.

Certainly we will have their budgets by the end of March and not, as has become the case in the last couple of years, from May until September. This is so far into the fiscal year that it makes it very difficult for us to budget for them properly.

10:30 a.m.


Mr. Cassidy: I have a new question for the Minister of the Environment arising out of Walker Brothers Quarries Limited in Thorold. This week the southwestern director for the Ministry of the Environment, in response to a reporter on the site of Walker Brothers quarry, said he had no idea whether it could contain anything and specifically no idea whether or not it contained drums of chlorinated biphenyls, hydrocarbons or PCBs. He also said that should a dig for the drums take place, the minister would probably go as far as checking one representative drum.

In view of all of the problems that have been connected with that quarry, will the minister undertake that the digging will be continued in the quarry until there is an assurance there are no toxic materials in that quarry which could pose health hazards to people in the surrounding communities?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, indeed we will. That was the whole purpose of the letter to the firm. I made it very dear in the letter that we wanted to be able to give that assurance to the communities.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: If that is the whole purpose of the ministry’s policy, can the minister explain why the engineer for the ministry in Welland said the search may be curtailed by ministry officials in Toronto? Could he explain why it is that while he tells the Legislature that everything will be done to find out what is in the drums, his own people on the site are saying they will look at one drum out of the hundreds that are known to have been illegally dumped down there? What exactly is going on in Walker Brothers quarry and why can the minister not get a handle on the problem?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, indeed we do. They are searching for those drums. I think they are searching for more than drums. They are searching for the tankers. I understand they have an excellent idea now where those tankers are and will be testing them. For the person in question to say he knew what was in there without testing would have been a very foolish statement. Of course he does not know. That is the whole purpose of finding them and testing them, and we will test them.

Mr. Cassidy: Just one drum?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: We will test a number of drums. We will certainly start with one. We will test the number of drums required. It is that simple. We will find out what is in them. That is the easy answer, the quick obvious one.

Mr. Swart: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Do I understand correctly that the minister is giving a commitment to this House that all of the drums will be dug up and will be tested?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: We will find a large number of drums.

Mr. Swart: Answer yes or no.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I am not going to answer the question yes or no, Mr. Speaker. The member made the same mistake yesterday unfortunately. You do a leach test on certain materials and the results of that test of that particular material are known. You cannot test grain by grain. How often can you apply a test, and to what size or quantity? You do an obvious test of the material and, if that proves to be satisfactory and the material is all the same, obviously then that test stands and is the test for the material. That would seem very reasonable. Having done that test on those barrels, if they contain the same material, then that proves or disproves whether there is a problem or not. You take a drum and test it. If it indicates there needs to be more testing, then you do so, but you cannot go to every site and test every grain that is in every site. It is a physical impossibility and it makes no sense.

I give members this commitment -- and it is unconditional -- we will do the amount of testing required to say to them, and to the community as well, that it is safe or it is not safe. It is that simple. I do not know what more anyone would ask of a reasonable person.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I won’t pose another question to one drum Harry, but that is what he seems to be doing.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: That was not the response and we should recognize that it was not the response. I said I would test the number of drums required. I do not think it is quite fair to make that point.

Mr. Cassidy: How can the minister have a supplementary answer when I didn’t put a supplementary question?

Mr. Speaker: It is quite obvious that people hear what they want to hear. I will hear a new question from you.


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a new question to the Minister of Community and Social Services about the failure of the government to provide adequate opportunity for women on family benefits to get back into the work force.

Will the minister explain what the incentive is under the work incentives program that was launched this year, the Win program, for Elsa Rayner of Dundas, Ontario, who is a sole-support mother with a couple of teenage children? She has been receiving $7,006 a year in income on family benefits and would receive $6,800 a year after work expenses if she accepted the full-time job she was offered at the minimum wage last June, but she would get just under $9,000 a year if she stayed on family benefits and worked part-time. What is the incentive for that particular sole-support mother to go back and work full time in the work force when financially she would be worse off rather than better under the minister’s Win program?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, I think the appropriate thing to do, which I am sure the honourable member would recognize, is that if he wants to discuss the specific dollar figures in the case of a specific individual, he might submit those to me and I would respond to him when I have had an opportunity to examine them more closely. I cannot confirm at this point whether the figures he is using are correct, either as they apply to work incentives or to the particular earnings of the individual. I would be quite happy to have a further look at that if he would submit them to me.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary: If the work incentives program or the minister’s efforts to get women on family benefits back into the work force are so effective, can the minister explain why it is that after 10 months, fewer than one per cent of the family benefits recipients in the province have gone back to work under the Win program? Can he explain as well how it is that, whether they stay on family benefits or go back to work under the Win program, the income of a family benefit recipient is still far below the poverty line for Ontario, which in the case of Mrs. Rayner would be $11,000 a year?

Hon. Mr. Norton: I know of no poverty line that has been established and generally accepted for Ontario; so I do not know what figure the member is quoting.

I would indicate that it is always possible if the member chooses to try to construe things in the worst possible light. I think it would be worth while for the member at least to try to put a slightly positive perspective upon things once in a while.

I would suggest that he bear in mind when we introduced this program in January of this year we indicated we would regard it in its first year as having been very successful if 1,000 individuals chose to move into full employment on this program. In fact, by the month of July we had already exceeded that number. As we learn from the development of this program and from its implementation, we will continue to make improvements. I expect to be making some announcements of that nature within the next three or four weeks.

Mr. McClellan: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: I wonder if the minister has decided yet whether the Win program is going to terminate for individuals after two years or whether the meagre incentives under the Win program will be allowed to continue after two years in the work force. In the case of the example we have cited here, will even that miserable underpinning be withdrawn after two years?

Hon. Mr. Norton: I think it is a little early to make a final determination on that. I have indicated on other occasions that I am keeping an open mind. I think it will depend in large part upon the two-year experience of the people who are on the program, not upon the member’s haranguing or the worst possible perspective he might possibly be able to imagine.


Mr. Cunningham: I have a question for the Minister of Transportation and Communications relating to the difficulties experienced by Ontario Worldair.

10:40 a.m.

Yesterday in the House, the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Grossman) indicated that all experts questioned on the matter were dubious about whether or not the company could survive. Is the minister aware that this morning on CBC Radio the president of Price Waterhouse, the receivers in this situation, stated that Ontario Worldair has potential and they are trying to keep it afloat?

In view of the fact that 170 jobs are at stake and that Ontario really lacks a significant air carrier here in Ontario, although there is some doubt about that, what positive action might the minister take? Would he involve himself in some discussions with the cabinet to see that everything possible is done to save this valuable Ontario company?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I have not had any direct contact with Ontario Worldair for several months. In fact, I would say it is a year to 15 months ago since I last had a visit from any representative of Ontario Worldair. Any negotiations that have been going on with that company have been through the Ministry of Industry and Tourism. If I hear from them, I will certainly be prepared to meet with them.

Mr. Cunningham: Could the minister possibly explain the contradiction that seems to exist here? The Minister of Industry and Tourism suggests that the company is not viable and has no future, while the president of Price Waterhouse, the receiver in this situation, says the company has potential and could survive. Price Waterhouse is doing everything it can to see that it stays afloat and those 170 jobs are maintained here in Ontario. What is the Minister of Transportation and Communications going to do about this? Can he do anything? What is his job?

Hon. Mr. Snow: As I say, I have not been directly involved. The member obviously has received two opinions. Any two people have different opinions on a great many subjects.


Mr. Grande: Mr. Speaker, in the absence of the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs (Mr. Wells), I would like to ask a question of the Premier. This is regarding the high property taxes we are paying in the borough of York. The people of that borough are paying the highest property taxes in Metro Toronto -- $100 more than their neighbours in North York. Two major royal commissions on Metropolitan Toronto have made recommendations to this government suggesting solutions to the financial problems in the area, but this government refused to accept those solutions.

The former Treasurer, Darcy McKeough, made a promise on behalf of the government to the people of York that the problem would be addressed, but as of today nothing has happened. In view of all this, what explanation does the Premier have for the 3,456 taxpayers in the riding of Oakwood who are demanding that this government provide special grants to keep property rates for local services on the same level as those of other municipalities in Metropolitan Toronto?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I am delighted the honourable member sent me these petitions from his constituents. He will understand if I don’t go through them all individually or reply to them individually.

Mr. Foulds: Why not? The Minister of Health (Mr. Timbrell) tried to.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I might decide to try, but that would upset the local member.


Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I know it is Friday morning, but here is a two-minute questionnaire from the Confederation Fund, addressed to a member of the PC Association. It is a dandy. Do the members want me to read it out?


Mr. Speaker: Order. It really has nothing to do with ratepayer petitions from some borough down here.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I agree. But the Leader of the Opposition really leads with his chin just about every Friday morning, and I just couldn’t restrain myself.

Mr. S. Smith: I hope you’re going to make a donation.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Has he read some of the questions? They are dandies.

I also sense from the tone of the member’s question that he and his party have now come around to supporting totally the whole concept of market value assessment.

Mr. McClellan: Nonsense! You know that is nonsense.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Oh, come on. That is what he is suggesting. He referred to the two reports of the former Treasurer. I just want the member to go on the record as saying that the New Democratic Party of Ontario now supports market value assessment across all of Metropolitan Toronto and the surrounding communities. That is really what he is saying.

Mr. Grande: Mr. Speaker, the Premier can understand what he wishes from the question. My question was very specific to the borough of York, that particular part of Metropolitan Toronto that in the past 15 years has experienced financial problems. The government has tried through two royal commissions to attempt solutions but it has not accepted them.

My supplementary question to the Premier is that he owes the people of the Borough of York $6 million for the last two years. When is he going to pay that debt?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I have my American Express credit card with me but the limits are far less than $6 million.

Mr. Swart: About one million.

Hon. Mr. Davis: It does not even come close to that.

As I recall those two reports, part of the solution contained in them did relate to market value assessment. Is that not a fair statement? Is it also not fair to state that the NDP, as a matter of policy, has been less than enthusiastic about that solution? I think it was quite fair for me to get the implication from the member that his party is now in support of it.

Of course the government is concerned about the residents of the borough of York. We have worked very hard to assist in solutions to some of their problems and we will continue to do so.

Mr. Warner: Pay up or resign.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I heard that. After last night, the member should not challenge anybody.


Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, I now have a report for the member for Beaches-Woodbine (Ms. Bryden) with regard to her question about alleged sexism at the Ontario Science Centre.

I am advised that as soon as Miss Gina Wirtenberg’s letter was published in the Toronto Star, the staff, and particularly the women members, were canvassed and did not agree that there is an excessive degree of sexism in virtually all the films and displays at the Ontario Science Centre.

The centre does not have a large capacity to produce films and has to choose from what is available. It so happens that three of the four members of the staff most concerned with science films at the centre are women. Miss Joanne Vano has charge of the science film library and chooses films for showing. Miss Penny Crompton MacKay’s film, Space Time and Albert Einstein, is at present being shown at the centre and won the highest award last year at the Tokyo Science Film Festival. Miss Lorraine Dumoulin appears extensively in the only film produced recently at the centre and is also the narrator.

Furthermore, the centre has suggestion boxes posted throughout labelled Tell Us What You Think. Of the many responses received, not one has ever criticized the centre for sexism. My ministry’s women’s adviser also visits the Ontario Science Centre regularly and has never expressed the view that the centre is sexist.

While I am on my feet, I may as well admit to one thing, however, to avoid future questions about sexism at the centre. I must admit that the enormous whale now being assembled in the centre of the Ontario Science Centre is a male. I would like to point out that should people have a specific matter which they feel needs changing, the staff at the centre would be most pleased to discuss it with them.

Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, I think the minister has missed the point of my question. I was not asking whether he has some women on staff or whether some women have appeared in films. I was asking him to make a complete survey of all the material, all the films and all the displays as to whether there is an excessive use of the gender him instead of her, whether there is an excessive number of male voices overall or whether there is an equal distribution of male and female voices, characters in the films, exhibitors and so on.

The minister is simply picking out a few cases where women appear and he asks the staff whether they are satisfied or not. We want an independent survey.

10:50 a.m.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, I will take that further comment under advisement and discuss it with the staff at the Ontario Science Centre. Three of the four who are involved in this are women.


Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, I draw the Premier’s attention to an article in this morning’s Toronto Star which says: “‘There’s no question that South Cayuga was not needed and a waste of money. It was plain bloody incompetence by John White,’ said Eric Grove, now retired, who was assistant director of the Haldimand-Norfolk study. ‘The fact that he could get away with it astonished me,’ said the other man, still a senior civil servant, who has asked that his name not be used.”

Is the Premier prepared now to stand up and tell the truth and to admit it was a complete mistake and incompetence by his government which he sanctioned?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I am always prepared to stand up in this House and tell the truth. The answer to that is yes, I am prepared to do that.

Mr. Peterson: Is the Premier prepared to stand up and admit that South Cayuga was -- and I go on quoting from the article: “A minister doesn’t usually spend millions of dollars off the top of his head. Quite frankly, I think it’s a scandal.”

Does the Premier agree with those senior civil servants that the South Cayuga purchase of land was a complete scandal, a waste of money and reveals the complete incompetence of his government in this area?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I do not believe it was a complete scandal in any sense of the word.

Mr. S. Smith: It was not a perfect scandal; nobody is perfect.

Hon. Mr. Davis: There may be some hope for the Leader of the Opposition yet. He has always represented himself around this province as being perfection personified. I sense today he is feeling a little humility. Perhaps he has been to Carleton and that is why he is feeling humble.

I would only say to the honourable member that one can question matters of judgement. I have no quarrel about that. I do not happen to agree with the phraseology used by a former member of whatever task force it was.

Mr. Peterson: Two senior civil servants.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I thought one was a member of the task force and the other was not. I am only going by what the member said. Were both members of the task force?

An hon. member: He just read it.

Hon. Mr. Davis: The member for London Centre just read it but he does not know; that is the story of his life.


Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of the Environment. Has the minister received the report on the PCB transformer rupture and spill at Isabella Street School in Thunder Bay on Wednesday, October 8 at approximately 3:40 p.m.?

Can he explain two apparent discrepancies? First of all, can he explain why Thunder Bay Hydro did not notify the Ministry of the Environment until eight o’clock the following morning? Can he further explain why the Ministry of the Environment did not notify the school officials until three o’clock that afternoon? If there had been a danger from PCB in the air, those children and the staff at the school were in that position for some considerable number of hours. Can he tell us what steps his ministry is taking to remedy that kind of situation so there is immediate notification when there is such an incident?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, with reference to the first part of the question, which is why they did not report to us immediately, obviously I cannot answer that part of the question. They did not -- that is correct -- and we were not pleased. I think they are now well informed.

I suspect the member knows that at the public meeting held on this particular problem it was made very clear at that time that there is a very direct responsibility to notify our ministry quickly. I think it is true to say they notified other people, but not our ministry.

Mr. Foulds: No. They did not notify anybody until eight o’clock the next morning.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I think they did, but they did not notify our ministry immediately. That was an error on their part, pure and simple.

With regard to why our staff did not deal with the item by going to the school officials, I think the member would agree, and I think the public meeting made this very clear, we made a very thorough investigation immediately. We saw that a very small amount of PCB material was on the ground and was not a hazard to the school. We wanted to check to make sure that was unconditionally so, but I think the member will agree with these facts. It was a small quantity that was on the ground. The problem was whether or not that would get into the food chain. Of course, the answer to that is to clean it up quickly, and that had been done. We also took the precaution of barricading the area so no one could get close to it and be in any danger.

The monitoring in the school was an added precaution, but the staff did indeed respond not only appropriately but more than adequately.

Mr. Foulds: Supplementary: Can the minister explain why there was not equipment available in Thunder Bay and northwestern Ontario to test adequately as soon as the ministry was notified? He had to get equipment from Toronto and test over the weekend when, of course, the air sample quantities would have dissipated. Can he tell me why the recommendations in the occupational health and safety branch of the Ministry of Labour position paper of 1978 had not been implemented by his ministry? Why have those PCB transformers not been identified on the outside so people are aware of them? Why has he, as the minister, not had an inventory of public and privately owned PCB transformers?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: There are so many questions there, Mr. Speaker, that I do not know where to start. We certainly do have an inventory.

Mr. Foulds: The minister did not know about this one.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I think the question was asked on the Order Paper. We put out a great deal of information about the amount of PCB material both in the private and public sector.

Mr. Foulds: The minister did not know about this one until after it happened.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: Mr. Speaker, perhaps what the member fails to understand is the difficulty of measuring these very minute quantities.

Mr. Foulds: Answer the preventive measures question.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I will come to that. It takes a good deal of effort to set up what we call the TAGA 3000 machine. I might tell the member that no other jurisdiction has such a thing. There is no other jurisdiction in Canada which would be able to measure those. It is extremely difficult to set that machine up. There are many different phenols that must be screened out. We are very fortunate to have such a delicate machine here in this province. It is not something that can be in every location because of the sensitivity required in measuring those very minute quantities. I think we have to do those samplings, not with TAGA but with the other machines. It is a very complicated and difficult task to administer.

In the last part of his question the member asked about preventive measures. He should be aware that we are making every effort to identify where they are and that we want to have those in storage in a very safe place. There is a proposal to do so. There is an even better proposal -- that we destroy them. There have been all kinds of efforts made by this government to identify them and make them secure. We have written all kinds of letters to those people to make sure they are aware of our concerns.

Mr. McGuigan: Supplementary Mr. Speaker: Would the minister agree it would be a rather wise precaution to put a notice on every transformer saying if there is a leak of the transformer the ministry should be called? Then he could determine at that point whether or not PCBs in the coolant in the transformer were leaking.

Is the minister aware of the case -- I think it was in Billings, Montana -- where a leak got into some chicken fat which later got into feed? They traced it into British Columbia. The final cost of tracing all of that feed and the contamination -- a relatively few dollars to begin with -- ended up at $10 million. If he is considering the cost of that, then he should consider the cost of tracing these materials if, for instance, they should get into a food situation.

Hon. Mr. Parrott: We have made it very clear to Ontario Hydro that they must know where their materials are.

A good many transformers do not contain PCBs. We think it is extremely important that people who own those transformers clearly know what is in them. They must be prepared to deal with any emergency on all occasions.

11 a.m.

I remind the House that our program to destroy them is, of course, the important thing that we are trying to do. We will either store them securely at a specific site or we are going to have them destroyed. In the meantime, there is no alternative but to leave them on site. If the member wants them identified -- and I think most of them are -- I will follow up on that and see they are identified.


Mr. Bradley: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations with respect to Astra Trust and Re-Mor Investments Corporation, notwithstanding what transpired in the House earlier this week.

On Tuesday the minister stated to this House and to the more than 300 individuals who have lost, many of them, their life savings that his ministry was not negligent in the issuance of a mortgage broker’s licence. The Supreme Court decision stated the following, and I will quote very briefly from it:

“Indeed, it would not be going too far to say that the evidence suggests that Mr. Montemurro dealt with the funds of the respondent” -- that is C and M -- “comprising the investments made by various individuals as he would have dealt with his own money and without being, in any way, inhibited by the fact that they were company moneys received by that company in the course of the transaction in which the investor thought he was investing in mortgages, and likewise uninhibited by his” -- and this is an interesting word lawyers would know about -- “fiduciary obligations. All of the classic indices, which have attended many a previous financial disaster, are present in this case.”

In light of that statement by the Supreme Court of Ontario in that judgement, how can the minister justify licensing yet another financial disaster?

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I am going to have to ask you to indulge me. Because the member was not here last night to hear something I will read it again. The matter to which the member refers was occasioned by the fact that people thought they could put their faith in the name of Astra Trust. The registration of Re-Mor did not cause the unfortunate events to take place. The ripoff was executed in the Astra Trust offices by people in Astra Trust purporting to have investment opportunities in Astra Trust ventures, and I daresay, through a sin of commission or omission causing the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation to be dangled as the selling feature.

Mr. S. Smith: Very funny. It is not funny to those hundreds of people who have lost their life savings, and it is because you licensed it.

Mr. Speaker: Order. The Leader of the Opposition does not have the floor.

Mr. S. Smith: The minister should talk to these pensioners who don’t have a penny left.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Easy, boy.

Mr. Speaker: Do you have anything further to add?

Hon. Mr. Drea: What I was attempting to do before I was rudely interrupted --

Mr. S. Smith: Ah!

Hon. Mr. Drea: I am a nice guy. Why don’t you be quiet?

Mr. S. Smith: We have to talk to those people every day.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Oh, play in another corner someplace else.

Mr. Speaker: Order. Do you have anything further to add?

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, since you were here last night, I think you understand what I am attempting to do.

The member for Hamilton Centre (Mr. M. N. Davison) on Tuesday said he was not satisfied with my answer, which flowed from a question from the member for St. Catharines (Mr. Bradley). One would reasonably have thought that if the member for St. Catharines had further concerns about the answer I gave on Tuesday he could have been here last night when I read a rather detailed statement into the record.

I will stand by my answer of October 10, which I referred to last Tuesday. If the member is dissatisfied with that, Mr. Speaker, I will read further from the remarks I made last night after 10:30 p.m.

Mr. Bradley: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: I have those remarks and I was basing my question on the actual judgement that had been rendered as opposed to what the minister had said previously. That is why I was quoting from what the judgement said about all the indices indicating that there was a financial disaster. I will ask my supplementary question, because a number of people have asked members of the Legislature about this --

Mr. Speaker: Place your supplementary question.

Mr. Bradley: The following is my supplementary question: Is there any relationship between Mr. Weinstein leaving his position and this particular incident, because there are many people who are saying it was directly related to this incident?

Hon. Mr. Drea: Be careful.

Mr. Bradley: I am asking the minister that. I am being as careful as I want to. He can be careful. I am asking the questions. I put that in a very moderate tone and made no accusations. People are asking that question of members of the Legislature.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I want to make it perfectly plain, and wanted the member to be very careful, because Mr. Weinstein had a very long and distinguished career as a public servant. Mr. Weinstein retired because he was of retirement age. He retired on the date he was supposed to, whether or not one of his decisions had become a question of any controversy. I would expect the member to convey that to anyone who asks.

Mr. Cunningham: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: What circumstances have changed from the opposition by the province to the original Astra licence in 1975 to the granting of the Re-Mor licence only last year, in view of the fact the personnel are the same?

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, the registration requirements by the province for a trust company, or even a loan company, are far more substantial than those for a mortgage company. Even a cursory reading of the legislation and the various administrative codes that cover varying types of financial institutions show that for trust companies and loan companies the requirements are very substantial. They require almost daily monitoring provisions and so forth. There is quite a significant degree of difference.

The chartering of a trust company is not a right in law. As I explained last night, a refusal is not appealable. A registration as a mortgage broker is a right and denial is appealable to the Commercial Registration Appeal Tribunal.

I could go on at some length as to what the differences are. Perhaps if I communicated in writing to the member he might want to ask something at a future time.

Mr. Cunningham: You should have denied them as unfit.

Mr. Speaker: Order.


Mr. Mackenzie: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Labour. Back on May 30, I asked him what he would do about the injustice involved in terms of the workers at the Wellington Mushroom Farm. They had overwhelmingly signed up for union membership but had been denied certification in a board decision, where the board clearly indicated that the act was inadequate and that an injustice was occurring. In its comments the board said, “We accept the applicant’s contention that there is no industrial relations basis for denying the respondent employees the right to bargain collectively.”

I note that the minister also met with the union involved on June 18 and promised them he would look into it. Can the minister tell me if there is going to be any action to see that these workers do have the right to free collective bargaining in a factory situation? Or are we going to wait until they have gone down the tube?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, the member is correct; we did meet with representatives of the trade union that was endeavouring to organize that mushroom factory. Frankly, it was suggested that they should give consideration to appealing to the divisional tribunal. They have not chosen to take that advice. With due respect, I would suggest there is still not yet a final and binding determination on that matter since it has not been taken to the tribunal.

Having said all that, I am sure the member understands the reason this government has felt that farming matters in particular should not be part of the Labour Relations Act. It may be there are certain matters and certain practices in the farming community that are changing. I undertook at that time to look into it, and we are doing so.

Mr. Mackenzie: Supplementary: That is simply not good enough. They are right next door to the soup factory with the same kind of a punch clock operation, the same hours, the same conveyor belts and the same operation. Surely the minister will take a look at the injustice of this situation and see to it that the workers do have the right to free collective bargaining in this province.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, not to be repetitious, I have indicated that the trade union representatives who met with me have chosen for some reason not to pursue this to a final determination. I have also indicated to the member the reasoning behind the government’s view about farming. I have indicated there may be some changes that require review and I am prepared to review them.

11:10 a.m.


Mr. C. I. Miller: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Premier. There were 12,000 acres of land bought in 1974 for a city of the future along the valley of the Grand River and the shores of Lake Erie. This land is class 1, 2 and 3 agricultural land in a high heat unit area and where irrigation is very practical and possible. I read a report in the Globe and Mail of October 27, 1980, which said 200 farmers in the South Cayuga area received hand-delivered letters last Friday telling them the government would start studies of water drainage in their fields in about three weeks. Is this improvement in drainage for agricultural purposes?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I really do not know, but I will find out for the member for Thursday next in that he will not be here Monday or Tuesday, and the House does not sit Wednesday. I will have it for him on Thursday.


Mr. Swart: Mr. Speaker, yesterday I asked the Minister of the Environment a question relative to liquid waste in bore holes in the east quarry of Walker Brothers which is entirely separate from the licensed waste dump. He committed himself to giving an answer today. No answer was given. Would you intervene to see he does give an answer to this House?

Hon. Mr. Parrott: I will be glad to discuss this matter with the member outside the House if he likes. I tried to get that response for him this morning, but I have not been able to do so. I could say to you, Mr. Speaker, he quoted from a report that will be part of the environmental assessment process. That will be tabled at the hearing and an answer in full will be given at that time. It would be his right to be there and I would assume he would be there. I can give him an earlier response, but I was not able to get that information this morning. I will make a response in the House. As you will recall, Mr. Speaker, it was a very long question and the information is not all available at this time.


Mrs. Campbell: Mr. Speaker, I am sorry the Premier would not wait for my point of privilege and the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs (Mr. Wells) is not present to hear the point of privilege. I trust the Deputy Premier will give some attention to the matter.

On November 4 in this House, there was considerable questioning of the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs concerning the matter of the eviction notices to the Toronto islanders. While he characterized the position of Metro as inhuman, he nevertheless stated in this House, and I quote from Hansard: “I will report to my friends what is going to happen on Thursday.” He had earlier referred to his friends in the official opposition, so I do not think we need to concern ourselves about his definition of friends.

We will not be sitting in this House until Thursday of next week, as the Premier has indicated. The effective date of the eviction is November 11. I am merely rising on a point of privilege to ask if somebody is going to be able to tell me now what is going to be done about the islanders.

The statement was clear: “I will report on Thursday.” No report has been made. Who is going to tell this House what the decision of this government is? It is an urgent matter.

Hon. Mr. Gregory: Mr. Speaker, as the member is aware, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs was not here yesterday --

Mrs. Campbell: Nor today.

Hon. Mr. Gregory: -- nor is he here today. The matter is under consideration and the question of the member will be answered in due course.

Mr. S. Smith: Mr. Speaker, on the same point of privilege --

Hon. Mr. Gregory: Mr. Speaker, is question period over?

Mr. S. Smith: it is not a question. There was a promise made that there would be a report and there is not enough time --

Mr. Warner: Mr. Speaker, it seems to me that a minister of the crown has made an unequivocal statement, where he has said he will do something and has specified a date. Then when this House is not informed on that date, the minister has broken the rules of the House. I would, therefore, ask that the Speaker direct that there be a statement from this government before this House rises today.

Mr. S. Smith: On the same point of privilege -- and I know the dilemma this puts you in, Mr. Speaker, about what is really a point of privilege and what is not -- I ask you to consider that every member of cabinet could easily stand up and say, “I will answer your question tomorrow” or some other time; or he could say, “I will report to this House on this urgent matter on such and such a date.”

We could find ourselves in a situation where every question we ask during the limited time we have available has to be, “What about it? How come you did not make the statement?” The entire question period could be occupied with that kind of thing. We have to depend -- I ask you to consider this -- on the ministers keeping the undertakings they make in the House.

In the present circumstances, the member for St. George has brought up the very good point that we will not be sitting Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. The eviction notices are effective on the following Monday. We will have only Thursday and Friday to do anything, if we wish to do anything. Therefore, not only have we not been given the statement the minister promised, which in itself is very important, but the implications of not receiving that may be enormous.

I think the member for St. George is saying that in her ability to conduct herself in this House as a reasonable representative of her riding she has to be able to count on the government to follow through when it makes a promise on an important matter. If the government does not have anything to say about this, we are all left totally up in the air wondering if anything is going to be done on a subject on which we were given this promise. We will not know whether we will simply have a wasted week to come.

Hon. Mr. Gregory: I cannot add any more to what I have already said, except to say --

Mrs. Campbell: You can apologize.

Hon. Mr. Gregory: -- that during question period, a full hour, I did not hear a question from either opposition party in that regard while the Premier was here. Had a question been asked of the Premier, I am quite sure he would have been willing to comment.


Mr. Breithaupt: One hour? Is that all he sits in the House? He cannot sit two more minutes? Two more minutes is all it would have taken.

Mr. Speaker: Order. The member for Welland-Thorold got up on what he thought was a point of privilege because of an undertaking by the Minister of the Environment to answer a question today. The minister got up and said he had made every attempt to get the information; it was not forthcoming and, as soon as it was, he would share it with the member for Welland-Thorold.

Now three members have got up and have taken umbrage with the fact that the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs was to report on the Toronto Islands situation. He is not here to do it.

Mrs. Campbell: Nor has he been here today.

Mr. Speaker: All right. He is not here to do it. You are really placing me in an invidious position in insisting that I command members as to where they should be at any given time. I am simply not prepared to do that. You have made your point. I am sure when an answer is available it may be communicated to the House.


Mr. Foulds: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: Is it really a point of privilege?

Mr. Foulds: An entirely different one. Like George Bernard Shaw, I have a point of privilege that is pleasant and one that is unpleasant. My unpleasant one is my dissatisfaction with the answer by the Minister of the Environment. I am giving notice in the House, having filed with you under standing rule 28(a).

Mr. Speaker: Notice has been given by the member for Port Arthur of his dissatisfaction with a question asked earlier of the Minister of the Environment. This matter will be debated at 10:30 next Thursday evening.


Mr. Foulds: With regard to my point of privilege that is pleasant, Mr. Speaker, it is my privilege to represent in this Legislature the largest Finnish-speaking population outside of Finland itself -- the Finnish community in Thunder Bay. On November 11, the Canadian Uutiset, the oldest Finnish-language newspaper in Canada, will be celebrating its sixty-fifth anniversary. That newspaper has served its readership with dedication and distinction and has proven that a nationally distributed magazine can publish and originate in northern Ontario. I would like the Legislature to join me in wishing it well.

11:20 a.m.

Mr. Speaker: Motions.

Mr. S. Smith: I have a motion, Mr. Speaker. Given the fact that the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs is not here to keep his commitment and that the entire matter of the islands will be left in total confusion and limbo for a week, since we are not going to be here until next Thursday, I move the adjournment of this House. Find the minister or find someone who can make a statement

Mr. Speaker: You are out of order.

Mrs. Campbell: On the motion to adjourn?

Mr. S. Smith: In moving the adjournment of the House or the motion to adjourn?

Mr. Speaker: The motion is out of order because I was on my feet when you interrupted.

Mrs. Campbell: Well, would you sit down to entertain the motion?

Mr. Speaker: No; if the member for St. George would read the standing order, a motion to adjourn is not in order until we have reached orders of the day and we have not reached that point.


Hon. Mr. Gregory: I wish to table the answers to questions 364, 365, 371 and 374 on the Notice Paper.



Mr. S. Smith moved the adjournment of the House.

Mr. S. Smith: I do so because the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs has not kept a very vital commitment and we are all to be left in total limbo as to what the Toronto islanders’ situation is with only Thursday and Friday of next week to deal with this important matter. I move the adjournment of the House. Find the minister or find someone else who can tell us what is going on.

The House divided on Mr. S. Smith’s motion for adjournment of the House, which was agreed to on the following vote:

Ayes 34; nays 23.

The House adjourned at 1:03 p.m.