31e législature, 4e session

L128 - Mon 1 Dec 1980 / Lun 1er déc 1980

The House resumed at 8 p.m.

House in committee of supply.


On vote 801, ministry administration program; item 1, main office:

Ms. Bryden: Mr. Chairman, I am sure the minister would be disappointed if I did not follow my usual pattern of asking him about his ministry’s action on the question of providing equal opportunity for women. I would like to ask him whether he has a full-time women’s adviser under the crown employees program. The only statistics I have on progress are for 1978-79, because that is the latest report from the women crown employees office. I will be questioning him on some of the statistics in that report, but I hope he will have more up-to-date figures that will be more encouraging than some of the figures in that report. Could he tell me, first, does he have a women’s crown employees adviser?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: Yes, we do.

Ms. Bryden: Approximately 37 per cent of the ministry’s employees are women, but the latest reports show that the ratio of female wages to the wages earned by males is only 62 per cent and has gone down from 63.6 per cent in 1975. In 1979 it went down to 62 per cent. The overall ratio for the entire public service is 71.4 per cent, so it is obvious that in this ministry women are concentrated in the low-paying clerical occupations. I believe about 80 per cent of them are in stenographic and clerical occupations, which perhaps accounts for this low ratio of female wages to male wages.

The index of segregation defines the proportion of employees who would have to switch occupations in order that men and women would be proportionately represented. On the scale of ministries under this index of segregation, the Ministry of Revenue comes seventh, which means they are the seventh worst as far as equal opportunity for women is concerned.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: The seventh best.

Ms. Bryden: No, the overall service-wide index is 64.2. Anybody who is above that is worse. The Ministry of Energy is the worst at 83.8 per cent.

The women crown employees office assessment of the ministry’s programs has some interesting comments that perhaps the minister could give us his comments on after I give him a few points mentioned here.

With regard to occupational changes, between 1977-78 and 1978-79 women’s representation increased in the clerical module by seven per cent, but in the administrative module by 0.9 per cent. In the technical services category, it decreased. Of course, that is probably a function of the fact there are not as many technically trained women on the labour market as there are men. There were no changes in the professional module between those two years, or in the scientific and professional services category.

With regard to training, women’s participation in staff training was equal to their share of ministry employment in 1978-79, but their share of the actual training dollars was lower. It was about 30 per cent compared to 37 per cent participation in the ministry. Obviously, they were not getting as good training courses, or not as expensive ones, as the males.

The policy on affirmative action in the ministry included some planning with senior management and the women’s crown adviser. The plan included the establishment of a career path plan, but the decision in 1978-79 was to set this up only in one division of the ministry on a pilot basis. I would like to know if that pilot to develop a career path plan has been expanded to more than one division of the ministry in order to encourage women to move from the clerical module to the other modules.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: While the member is looking through that I could answer some of her questions. If you get ahead of me I will forget something.

As you indicated, we recently designed a special program for the advancement of clerical and stenographic staff, not in one area but in two. One covers the taxation or auditor grades, and the other is for property assessor grades. I am informed by staff that these are attracting high interest and will benefit women in the ministry.

To give you a little more background on what has been going on, I can tell you that in the first six months of the 1980-81 fiscal year over 70 per cent of the planning targets we set have been met. Six women were successful in bridging from the clerical into the tax auditor career path in 1979-80, and four women were successful in bridging from the clerical into the property assessor career path in 1979-80. Three women successfully made breakthrough moves into positions traditionally held by men only; for example, tax appeals officer, tax specialist and manager of operations and control.

I should tell the honourable member as well that the Ministry of Revenue was the first ministry in the government to hire a lady personnel officer. She is no longer with us; she has gone on to better things. I think she is the personnel officer for the borough of Scarborough. On a personal level, until very recently all staff in my office were female.

We are trying to make an effort, but sometimes it is difficult to get females to want to move. All of them do not want to accept the additional responsibility. There are many women in our ministry who have a job simply because they need the extra income to support their family but may not necessarily have any real objectives in a career. You have those kinds of people in every ministry, not only females but males as well.

We are trying to open up as many avenues as we can to allow females to participate and to involve them in higher levels within the ministry.

Ms. Bryden: I am glad to hear that some progress is being made and that you have had some breakthroughs. Progress is painfully slow throughout the government. Each year we await the report of the women crown employees office. I think the reason it is always rather late in getting out is that the Ministry of Labour keeps that office in a state of penury and does not provide it with sufficient resources to get the surveys out quickly. However, that is not your responsibility.

8:10 p.m.

I think you will find that more and more women are ready to move into the less traditional occupations and to take on the challenges and responsibilities of the better jobs. Certainly, a great many of them are realizing that the salary differential will only be changed if women move into the whole range of professional, technical and management positions. I just hope your ministry will keep on opening up these career paths, and also making it possible for women to take the necessary training in order to move into these occupations.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: In response to the honourable member, I might just say we are hopeful that when we move to Oshawa in 1982 it will open up some new avenues for females; we anticipate that will give them some advantage. Plans take time to take hold, I am sure the member is aware of that, but it is necessary to train and counsel people as well because they just cannot step from a secretarial job into a managerial job without some training and counselling. We are doing that within the ministry. Hopefully, these things will move a little faster as we go along; but certainly I agree with what you are saying.

Ms. Bryden: Mr. Chairman, I am not quite clear. Are we dealing with all of the sub votes on 801 or are we going to deal with them seriatim?

Mr. Chairman: I think the members have probably strayed somewhat from item 1, as is the usual custom. I called for item 1 so therefore we will go down item by item.

Do you have anything further on item 1?

Ms. Bryden: I understand that under item 1 we can deal with all sorts of general topics as well. Under which item should I deal with the question of subcontracting?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: I can deal with it now if you want to.

Ms. Bryden: During my leadoff, I mentioned that I understand the ministry did a considerable amount of subcontracting, which is different from hiring contract employees; I believe that is hiring a firm which provides employees to perform a specific function. I wanted to know to what extent subcontracting was used in the last fiscal year and what sort of projects were subcontracted out; what the cost of the major subcontracts were; how many man-years of employment they have provided; what sort of benefits the subcontractor provides or if he is under any obligation under the contract to provide employees with any sort of benefits. Those are some of the questions I had on the subject.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: Our ministry does not do that much contracting, but there are certain areas where we do. For instance, the assessment division at enumeration time subcontracted for key punching and things like that because otherwise we would have to buy numerous key punching machines just for that one period of time. That has been something which has been ongoing and for which the ministry has always subcontracted.

The programming for the management systems branch would be subcontracted, if you want to use that terminology. What we do is contract with a company to do that work for us. I think this is the area you are referring to. It is the same as the Ontario tax grants, that work would be contracted. The firms contract to do certain jobs for us. These are all what we would consider to be temporary jobs.

The Ministry of Revenue is perhaps a little different from most in that new programs have to be developed from time to time within the ministry because of a budget that may come down. If there is a new program, then we have to get that program in place.

The Ontario tax grant program is an example. We do not need people the year round to go through the applications, but we need them during a certain period of the year when those applications come in. It is the same with the enumeration process. It is done once a year. For a certain period of time during which enumeration takes place we need extra help, but it would not be reasonable to hire permanent staff to do those kinds of jobs.

That is an ongoing thing with the Ministry of Revenue. Prior to our restraint program on hiring civil servants this has been a normal function of the Ministry of Revenue. Those are the only three areas I can think of where we subcontract. I cannot think of any others.

As far as benefits are concerned, there is nothing in the contracts that dictates what those benefits would be to those people. They work for the contractor and not for us. There is no direction within the agreement we would sign to have these people do work for us to indicate what the benefits would be.

Ms. Bryden: Under the subcontractor arrangement, do these employees sometimes work for two or three years? Would the periods be that long? If so, would it not be advisable to have something written into the contract that after working for that long period they are entitled to more than the four per cent holiday pay? Should there not be some other benefits?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: No, I do not think any job would extend to a three-year period. For instance, the people working on the Ontario tax grant program will be with us for perhaps three months out of the year, or four at the most, depending on how long it takes us finally to get all the applications processed.

In the case of the assessment division doing the enumeration, as you know that takes place for a period of less than a month each year. We do not keep them around for anywhere near three years. It is quite possible that when we again go into these programs next year the same people may not be doing the work for us.

It is the same with the management systems branch, programming computers and so forth. When we set up a new computer system, those people come in and set that system up for us but they do not necessarily remain. Once the system is set up we do not keep them around any longer. We do not keep them for a period of two or three years; we do not even keep them for one year. We have other people, who are not necessarily civil servants -- I hope you are not confusing them with what you term subcontractors.

Mr. Haggerty: If I may follow up on that question: the minister mentioned contracting out. Are these contracts put out by bid or by tender? Are they competitive? Is the information obtained kept confidential or could it apply to other forms of taxes?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: Certainly it is tendered. As in all contracts in government, an unsuccessful tenderer or bidder has the right to know what his competitors bid. This is not only in my ministry but in any ministry, as I’m sure the member is aware. If someone tenders for a contract and does not receive it, that tenderer or bidder is entitled to find out what his competitor bid so in his next tender he has a fair idea what the price range is.

I am sure the member is aware that information is not kept confidential. I do not think we publish it, but we give it to the other unsuccessful tenderers if they ask for it.

8:20 p.m.

Mr. Haggerty: I do not recall seeing any tendering advertised in the local newspapers like the Globe and Mail or the Toronto Star. I was just wondering, is it done by selected bidding or by tender?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: These are specialized jobs we are talking about and the tenders would be by invitation. They would be termed invitational tenders. They might go out to two, three, four or five people in that particular field.

Ms. Bryden: With regard to the subcontract for the seniors’ tax grants, can you tell us how many people were invited to bid and what was the price of the successful bidder? Roughly, what did the contract cover; how many people and for how long a period? What were the specifications, in very general form?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: The staff advise me they think there were about four companies. If you want to get into the details of the number of people and so on, perhaps it should be held for that vote. The best they can recall is there were at least four people who were invited to bid on that particular contract.

Ms. Bryden: Can you give us the figure for the successful contractor?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: We do not have that information here; perhaps we can get it for the next session, we do not have it with us.

Ms. Bryden: Perhaps when we get to that vote we could have the information. I think I did ask that when that vote comes up, we would like a full breakdown of the entire administrative cost on the seniors’ tax grants.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: I think we can do that. I thought you wanted the figures for all the various people who might have tendered. You are interested in the one who got the tender and what it cost for that. We can get that for you at the proper time.

Mr. Chairman: Shall item 1 carry?

Ms. Bryden: I am not finished yet, Mr. Chairman. On the question of contract employees as opposed to those on subcontract, the contract employees, I understand, are not permanent civil servants but sometimes do stay for considerable periods of time.

Are they included in the total employee figure shown for vote 801 in the background material? It shows 283 employees and is up 33 over last year. Does that include contract employees?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: Yes. In each vote, you will notice civil servants and unclassified staff. Those are the contract employees. They are listed in the book.

Ms. Bryden: I wanted to make sure unclassified did mean contract employees.

Can you tell us what sort of benefits those employees get and what is the average length of contract -- the average length of stay, which would indicate how many times the contracts are renewed?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: I know in my own office, as an example, all the people are contract employees. There are no civil servants there whatsoever. They are on a yearly contract. They get free Ontario health insurance plan benefits. They do not contribute to a pension plan. They get four per cent for statutory holidays. I am not sure if there are any other benefits available to them but I have an idea -- and I will have to check -- that the recent dental plant covers them.

Ms. Bryden: What about sick leave?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: Sick leave arrangements do cover them. I am speaking now of the people in my own office because those are the contracts I personally sign. I think the biggest difference is the fact they do not contribute to a pension plan.

Just to help you, I think the benefits are basically the same as the benefits to which your secretary in your own office is entitled. I think the benefits for these people are basically the same.

Ms. Bryden: Would the benefits be the same across the whole ministry for all contract employees?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: I believe so, because when I arranged the contracts in my own office I put no special clauses in them. They came from the personnel office within my ministry and I had not given any special directions; it was a regular contract. I am sure they all have the same benefits. I will have that checked out a little further and before this debate is over; I will confirm it, or correct it if there is anything wrong with that statement.

Ms. Bryden: Thank you, Mr. Minister, that should be helpful. Too often, in too many ministries, the contract employees were kept on, sometimes for very long periods -- five, six, even 10 years -- and never had the opportunity to get into a pension plan, although they were really doing the same work as the permanent civil servants working beside them. I think it was largely a means of saving money for the government. I hope that situation is not developing and that there is reasonable opportunity for mobility between contract jobs and permanent jobs, so that people who do carry on for a considerable period of time will fairly quickly get into a position where they can join a pension plan.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: The unclassified staff we have in our ministry are given an opportunity to compete. We do not have them around as long as you indicated. Although I will agree with you there are some ministries that have had casual employees or unclassified staff for a great number of years, it does not happen to be the case in the Ministry of Revenue.

Mr. Haggerty: The Ministry of Natural Resources has a great number.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: I had that ministry in mind, as a matter of fact, but I do not think you will find that is the case in our ministry.

There is actually one good thing about having people come on as unclassified staff. You have a good chance to evaluate them before they do become permanent, and I think that is an advantage to the ministry and to the civil service itself. If they turn out to be good staff they are given an opportunity, when it is available, to compete and get into the civil service. We do that in our ministry.

Item 1 agreed to.

On item 2, analysis and planning:

Mr. Haggerty: Are we covering item 2 to item 7 in a broad discussion?

I am interested in the revenue research indicated in your estimates. There is an increase of more than $100,000, and this is perhaps the only area where you have spent additional funds. Could the minister indicate just what area of research he is talking about? How many research programs are there?

The other item which interests me is the area of the retail sales tax and other taxes. I want to direct a question to the minister to find out if he has had any dialogue with Treasury about cutting back on the retail sales tax. I just wanted to know if there is any dialogue at all between the two ministries in this area. I feel sometimes the government ministries are not consulting with one another on particular areas.

8:30 p.m.

Last January, I think it was, the Ministry of Revenue had the retail sales tax cut on larger vehicles to encourage consumers to purchase the larger automobiles. One wonders, sometimes, where conservation comes into the picture as it relates to oil and gasoline in Ontario. I can recall my colleague, the member for Essex North (Mr. Ruston), directing a question to one of the ministers, asking why you do not reduce the sales tax on automobiles where the industry has shown it is conserving energy through producing cars that consume less fuel. It is in direct contrast to other government agencies or ministries when one minister says he will reduce the sales tax on large automobiles and gas guzzlers. When the industry does come in with a program to reduce energy consumption, no benefit is given to either the consumer or the industry to encourage them to move in this particular area. Last year when the minister cut back the sales tax on large cars, the same American automobile industry gave a rebate to the consumer. You have seen on television, “Buy this vehicle from us,” from Ford, General Motors or whatever it may be. I think it was from $300 to $500 for different sizes and makes of automobiles.

The private sector there gives an inducement to the consumer to purchase products. Here in Ontario we do a different thing. In a sense, we have to reduce the sales tax on specific automobiles or vehicles to encourage the public to buy them. There is no equity between the two systems. Surely, if the automobile industry in the United States can give it to the consumer there, one wonders where the auto pact comes in. Where is the equity in it? Should that not apply to consumers in Ontario? Yet they pay fewer taxes on their automobiles there than we do in Ontario.

One sits back and says, “Are you fellows really trying to encourage the consumer to buy goods in Ontario or are you going to tax them more and more?” I can’t understand your thinking over on that side. If you want to get the economy going, I don’t think this is the way you should do it. You are doing it on an ad hoc basis. You gain nothing in the long result because, if you look here in Ontario, the automobile industry is right down. The assistance you have given it has not guaranteed the jobs that were supposed to be forthcoming from the automobile industry. They have been laying off more and more people all along.

Mr. Conway: Even in South River.

Mr. Haggerty: Even in South River. I just bring that to your attention. If you had some planning over there, you could have come forward with an employment strategy program and you would not be in the bind you are today. You won’t listen to anybody on this side of the House. Sometimes it is hard to get through to any government ministry what we are trying to convey. I would like the minister to give me some information on the revenue research that is being done and in what areas.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: Revenue research is not in this vote at all. It comes under vote 802, item 3.

Mr. Haggerty: I thought we were on vote 802.

Mr. Chairman: We are on item 2, as I understand it.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: We are on vote 801, item 2.

Mr. Haggerty: I thought we were carrying the whole vote.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: We have only carried the first item, but I am quite happy if you want to carry the whole thing.

Ms. Bryden: I understand we are dealing with each vote separately as we go down rather than carrying the whole thing. We are on vote 801, item 2.

Mr. Haggerty: I am sure I got the indication from previous speakers that this was the way we were going to carry the votes, that we were going to go through the whole seven items under 801 or 802. We have been rambling from the top to the bottom and back and forth. I don’t think we are going to get any place. If you want to go that way, that is the way it will go. Then there will be questions asked all the way through the procedure,

Hon. Mr. Maeck: I don’t disagree with the member, but neither do I want to restrict any questions from the member for Beaches-Woodbine. I thought that was what we were doing too.

The Deputy Chairman: The only item the Chairman has closed off is item 1 in vote 801. I gather the member for Beaches-Woodbine is fully entitled to talk on any of the items in vote 801 except item 1. We are looking particularly at item 2.

Ms. Bryden: To clarify, we are now dealing with all the remaining items under vote 801 together. Is that correct? Or are we dealing with them one at a time?

The Deputy Chairman: Which item do you want to speak to?

Ms. Bryden: I want to speak to several of them, but at the moment I want to speak to item 2.

The Deputy Chairman: We will take the votes item by item, unless we agreed to do otherwise. We are now looking at item 2.

Ms. Bryden: Mr. Chairman, in replying to the member for Erie the minister did say this vote is not the vote for the branch that does the analysis for the Treasurer of tax effects and impacts. That was going to be one of my questions, but he answered that.

However, I understand this branch does the zero-base budgeting and the managing by results analyses. I am not sure whether these processes are really as effective as they sound. Sometimes one wonders whether the staff that is devoted to carrying out analyses of this sort and monitoring and making surveys of the results has ever had its own cost effectiveness analysed to see whether it costs more to produce by zero-base budgeting than by the straight submission of budgets and analysis of the budgets of each branch.

What really bothers me is that the people administering zero-base budgeting are supposed “to rank and compare the benefits to be derived from funding alternative levels of activity among a range of programs within a fixed budgetary allocation.” I am quoting from the ministry’s own statement on zero-base budgeting.

What I find hard to understand is how you rank and compare the benefits if you don’t have a philosophy of taxation. How do you decide which alternatives you should pursue if you don’t know what your goals are? This is what bothers me when the minister says he doesn’t make policy.

If his only goal is to get the cost of collection down from 10 cents on the dollar or one cent on the dollar to 0.9 cents, that is one goal. But I think there are a lot of other goals as well, and I find it hard to know how you apply the principles of zero-base budgeting without first having a tax philosophy and a tax goal.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: When I stated that I did not make policy, I was referring to the fiscal policy of the province as determined by the Treasurer. Certainly I make policy within my own ministry and I make policy within the administration of my own ministry. I did not want to misinform the member and indicate that we don’t make any policies in the Ministry of Revenue. That is, of course, absolutely ridiculous. We do have to form policies in the tax field under the umbrella of the decisions made by the Treasurer. He decides the fiscal policy.

I have said many times that we provide information to the Treasurer, the kind of information we might have that he needs, and we make recommendations. As the Minister of Revenue, I make recommendations to the Treasurer, but he has the final say. He can accept or reject my recommendations. That is the way the system is set up. It is no different from any other jurisdiction I know of in this type of parliamentary system.

We do certainly make policy decisions within the ministry. Item 2 goes beyond just zero-base budgeting and managing by results. We also give the ministry of the head office advice on taxation matters so we can make those kinds of decisions. It is not just a matter of sitting down with some numbers, without any taxing policy, and deciding which program we are going to do, what priority it has and which one we are going to cut out. It has to be based on the taxation policy of the ministry as well. Perhaps that clarifies it.

8:40 p.m.

Ms. Bryden: You say they give you advice on taxation policy, but what are the criteria on which you judge your tax system? What is the minister’s philosophy on taxation? Is the system there to raise revenue or is it there to achieve social and economic goals? Is it there to redistribute income or is it supposed to do some of all of those things?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: It does all three. It is not just a matter of raising revenue. As I am sure the member knows, we use taxation policy for social purposes in some cases. For instance, one cannot consider the sales tax rebate on automobiles for the handicapped as anything but a social policy, so you are quite right in all three statements you have just made. It is not just a clear-cut tax collecting ministry. It has other fields as well.

Ms. Bryden: Some of those goals are conflicting goals. You cannot necessarily redistribute income and at the same time raise large amounts of money, or you cannot give tax concessions and raise large amounts of money. I think the question really is, what are your priorities? What is the chief focus of the tax policy of this province?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: Obviously, the chief focus of this ministry has to be the collection of taxes. That is our first priority and it has to be done as equitably and as fairly as we can. The other items we usually talk about are not necessarily something that my ministry thinks about, but it is probably at the request of some other ministry or through suggestions from within the government. I may get a request from the government as a whole saying, “Could you look into this situation to see if there is anything we can do from a tax viewpoint to assist these people in any given circumstance?” Of course, that has to be taken into consideration. Sometimes the idea comes from our own ministry.

Just to get back to the question you asked previously, the option is ranked and selected on the basis of effectiveness of tax administration. Just like any other business, we have to know how to administer the tax. The Treasury decides what tax is going to be collected and who is going to be taxed. That is really the basic difference, but within our ministry, as I did indicate, we certainly do form policy under the jurisdiction that we are given by this Legislature.

Item 2 agreed to.

On item 3, legal services:

Ms. Bryden: I would like to ask the minister if the defending of appeals against assessments comes under the legal services here or whether that is entirely within the assessment vote.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: This vote includes any legal counsel we might hire outside the ministry to defend our assessments in the courts. Any costs incurred by our own legal staff, other than salaries and wages which come from the Ministry of the Attorney General, because they are actually people who work for the Attorney General rather than the Ministry of Revenue, would be under the assessment vote. They are on the payroll of the Attorney General, but any costs that might be incurred when they are out in the field or anything like that, would be under the assessment vote. Any legal counsel we might hire to defend assessments, where we do not use our own lawyers within the ministry, are included in this vote.

Ms. Bryden: I wonder if the minister could tell us how much of that almost half a million dollars is for fighting assessment appeals. I understand the long delay in implementing property tax reforms and the archaic bases on which most of the assessments in many parts of the province are based have resulted in a tremendous surge of appeals, particularly by large corporations with lots of well-heeled lawyers. Naturally, the province has had to fight these appeals in order to try to preserve the total assessments of the municipality. The older the assessment is and the less it is based on any sort of yardstick that can be intelligently looked at, the easier it is for these large companies to win appeals and to reduce their tax load. Of course, the rest of the taxpayers who aren’t able to carry on this appeal process nearly as extensively or successfully have to pay the additional taxes to municipalities. Can he tell us how much of that close to half a million dollars that was spent last year was for assessment appeals?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: I don’t have that figure but I will get it for you. I haven’t got it right here at the moment. I am asking my staff to get it for me. I think, though, that you are under some misunderstanding about the property that is under appeal. They still have to pay their taxes to the municipality. I am not sure whether you understand that. They don’t withhold payment of taxes until the appeal is heard. They still are subject to paying the taxes and subject to a refund if they win the appeal.

Ms. Bryden: Yes, I understood that. But once they get their assessment reduced, of course, their tax load goes down, whether it may be a couple of years hence or not. There has been a very serious erosion of the tax base in some municipalities, particularly in Toronto, where it was based on 1940 values. I am sure many people cannot remember what 1940 was like in terms of the value of property at that date.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: There is no question about that. It is one of the concerns we have and one of the reasons we have brought in the section 86 program you don’t seem to favour too well. If boroughs in Metropolitan Toronto were to take a section 86 program, a lot of the appeals that are being lost would not be lost because they would be assessed equitably with other similar properties in the vicinity. They would not then have the grounds for an appeal they have at the moment because of the very things you talk about -- assessments that go back to 1940.

Ms. Bryden: I understand the city of Toronto has considered section 86 but has rejected it at the moment, probably because it creates as many problems as it solves. You are right in that it does solve some of the excess appeal problem and clarifies the situation to some extent, but there is the question that many people’s taxes go up and some people’s taxes come down on it.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: That is what equity is all about.

Ms. Bryden: The politicians are always nervous about any substantial changes of that sort. Mayor John Sewell and his task force produced an alternative to section 86, which was their own package of tax reforms and which would have greatly increased the equity in the city of Toronto. Unfortunately, he is not there to carry it out. It will be interesting to see if his successor adopts this package and if the package is then implemented with the assistance of the provincial government because I think separate legislation would be needed for that. It includes an improved property tax credit as part of the tax reform process.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: The city of Toronto has not actually rejected section 86. It certainly has not made the decision at the moment to move on it either, but who is to know what will happen now with the new council?

If something is not done in Metropolitan Toronto soon, the courts will just decide it anyway. They will make the shifts if we do not. That is what is going to happen if the situation remains as it is and assessment appeals are lost. It is obvious that if it loses many assessment appeals, the municipality is going to have to find the dollars it has lost somewhere else. They will create the shifts if they do not accept some program like 86. There is no question about that.

8:50 p.m.

Ms. Bryden: You are quite right that the shifts will occur if the appeals keep going on. My point about Mayor Sewell’s task force is that you must also cushion the people who will be hurt by reassessment from serious hardship. That is why you need more than just market value assessment. You need a greatly improved property tax credit, particularly to protect low- and middle-income people. You need other companion measures that will cushion the burden.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: I do not disagree with what you are saying up to a point. I think you have to remember that when a reassessment program takes place and taxes go up for certain people, those people have been getting a break all these years and all they are being asked is to pay their share and make it equitable. The taxes of people who have been paying too much are going to go down, which is also fair. While you can generate a great deal of sympathy for some people because their taxes go up, you have to keep in the back of your mind the fact that if their taxes go up it means they have not been paying their share of taxes over the years. They have had a break for all those years and maybe it is time they paid their share.

If they are not in a financial position to do it, then I do not disagree with what you are suggesting, that there should be some tax credits or other means of phasing them in so it does not hurt them too much financially. It is not fair to ask the people who have paid too much in taxes to continue to carry that load so that the other people who are not carrying enough get a break. If there is a break coming, it should not be coming from those people who are paying too many taxes. It should not be coming through the property tax system.

That is where I differ with some of the people on the opposite side. In the case of people who have had a break for years and have not paid their fair share of taxes, I see nothing wrong with asking them to pay their fair share. My sympathy lies with the people who have been paying too many tax dollars over the years because those other people were getting a break. It is time taxes went down for the people who have been paying too much and it is time taxes went up for the people who have not been paying enough. I think that is reasonable.

Ms. Bryden: There is another factor involved. You say some people have been getting this benefit for years. An individual may have just bought a house last year, but the tax benefit went to the previous owner. Any tax benefit gets capitalized into the price of the house, so it is only the first person who received the tax benefit who really gets that. It is very difficult to get it back from him. You do have these changes of ownership and they are fairly frequent.

When you come to tax reform, I think you have to take the bull by the horns and provide a system that is not going to cause undue hardship to people who will be affected by the changes.

Items 3 to 7, inclusive, agreed to.

On item 8, communications services:

Mr. B. Newman: I want to ask the minister under item 8 if under communication services he includes polls conducted by his ministry as to whether one tax would be preferable over another or any type of poll the ministry may conduct in an attempt to assess the feeling of the electorate.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: This ministry has never conducted any poll of any type. We have never once had a poll.

Mr. Warner: Mr. Chairman, I think it is this particular section the minister sends information to our riding offices about programs and also brochures et cetera to shopkeepers and other people who would have an interest in the various programs. Is that correct?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: The material for each program is covered under each vote, but if you want to pose the question here I think it is as good a place as any, unless you have a specific question on a specific vote or something.

Mr. Warner: I was more interested in the general approach you follow in your ministry when you have a program as to how you go about attempting to inform those people who would have a direct interest in the program. I know we regularly receive information which we then make available in the riding office, but that does not necessarily mean that shopkeepers in the riding or others would automatically be receiving the information about changes in the tax policy and so on. I was interested in the general way in which you would operate in attempting to inform interested parties about new programs or changes in existing programs.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: We have a tax bulletin program, depending on which branch of the ministry the tax change is in. For example, if it happens to be a sales tax change, all of the vendors who collect sales tax on behalf of the province get that bulletin, which informs them of the change in administration of the changes in the policy or the change in the taxing statute. If it happened to be a change in corporation tax, then it would go out to the corporations which report to us. We have a list of all of those.

In addition to all of those people, we send them out to the constituency offices, to the Queen’s Park offices and to the federal members in Ontario as well. We have a mailing list of chartered accountants and legal firms that deal in tax matters, and those kinds of people would always get a copy of our bulletin. I think we give pretty good coverage. Obviously, we don’t send out sales tax bulletins to the people who deal with corporation tax or vice versa, but we do send out all of the bulletins to the members because they are liable to be dealing with any branch of our ministry so we try to keep them informed as much as we can. I think that about covers the way we do it.

If it is a rather urgent matter, we might also put an ad in the daily papers as well, but we don’t do that in every case. If it is a change that is perhaps not really an important one and does not have a date that someone has to worry about or something like that, we do not usually use the newspapers, though in some cases we do. We rarely use radio or television, except in the case of the senior citizens’ tax program, which I think is the first time this ministry has ever used television. We have used radio on one or two other occasions, but not very often.

Ms. Bryden: I would like to ask the minister if the various advertising programs and leaflets for the seniors’ tax grants come under this vote. If so, will there be a need for a supplementary estimate in this vote?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: No, they will come under the guaranteed income and tax credit program. I think there will be a lot of discussion when we get to that one, so you might just as well hold those questions until we get to that particular vote unless you have an urgent question you want to ask.

9 p.m.

Ms. Bryden: I will wait until we get to that vote. I have one other question on tax bulletins which, while they do carry the minister’s name, are not quite as much the huckster type of bulletin as some that come from other ministries, such as the ones with the minister’s smiling face, or large signs on the highway saying, “Another Ontario government project from your friendly tax man.”

Mr. B. Newman: The tax collector never wants to be recognized.

Ms. Bryden: However, when you do make rulings for an individual who writes in, do you then share with the rest of the taxpayers the ruling you have made in a specific case? It may apply to other taxpayers as well. Do you cover that in your bulletins?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: If you are referring to a corporation which may ask us for an advance ruling, the answer is no. That would not be made public because it would be based on private information that corporation is giving us. We then advise them as to what would happen to them tax-wise if they are going to do a certain thing within their corporation. The kind of information they would give us in order for us to give them that kind of advice would be confidential. It would not become public.

Those advance rulings we give, however, are binding. Once we give an advance ruling, that ruling stands. In other words, we cannot decide at a later date we are going to change that ruling unless the law has been changed. Once we give them an advance ruling, we stand behind it.

Ms. Bryden: I can appreciate the kind of advance ruling you mention that may not have general application. I was also thinking of interpretation rulings, such as whether a certain item is exempt from sales tax. When you make a decision on that, do you pass that out to the general public?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: Yes, we do. We put out special bulletins on that. That goes out to the public. Whichever tax it is, it is a ruling that applies right across the whole tax field. That becomes public. If it is a ruling we think is important, then we will send out a bulletin on that. We not only send out a bulletin when there is a change in the tax statute, but if there is a change in the ruling because of some investigation or some flaw that we found, then we advise the people who may be affected by it.

Item 8 agreed to.

On item 9, systems development services:

Ms. Bryden: While this item appears to be only $832,000, it is actually an expenditure of $6,752,000 because a great many of the expenses are charged to the other branches that use the management services provided. Can the minister tell us what the figure of $4,787,000 covering services is for? I presume this is probably for electronic equipment or things of that nature. Could he give us an indication as to what the $4.7 million is spent on?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: I am informed that most of that figure is for computer costs. I guess it is a rental-type payment we make. We do not necessarily own the computers. I am told we buy computer time. That is where most of this money is spent. Is that enough detail? Do you buy it from other ministries of the government?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: Most of it is from Government Services, within the government itself. There are some private data centres we deal with as well, but the bulk of it would be from the Ministry of Government Services.

Ms. Bryden: For the seniors’ tax grants, are the costs in here for putting those on computer?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: No. If you will recall, these estimates were printed prior to that program coming in. You will not find much financial information in this book on that program because the estimates were printed prior to that program really being in place. When we get to that vote, we will have all the financial data for you. It is separate and apart. I am not sure what is happening on that at the moment. It is not included in this set of estimates because this was printed, as you know, last spring. That program was implemented since then, so it is not contained in here.

Ms. Bryden: We could probably expect a rather whopping supplementary estimate.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: I am not sure at the moment, but there is no question that the cost of operating the program under discussion is not included in the estimates we are dealing with here. I can probably get that information before these estimates are over and let you know better what is going to happen. I presume it would require supplementary estimates.

Item 9 agreed to.

On item 10, relocation project:

Ms. Bryden: Under this program, on the move to Oshawa and the move to Kingston, you will notice the vote is up considerably. In fact, the estimated actual for 1979-80 is $224,000. The estimated actual for the current fiscal year is $397,000. That is not quite a doubling, but it is a very large increase.

First, I would like to spend a little time on where we are with the Oshawa move. I understand an office building is being built in Oshawa and that it is a leaseback deal. I would like to know what company is building it for us and what the per-square-foot rental is going to be. I understand it is a 25-year leaseback deal with the province, which is going to own the building at the end of 25 years. Presumably the builder is going to get his money back plus a profit in 25 years.

I would like to know what it is costing us to operate this building compared to the

Ms. Bryden: From whom do you buy it? Do you buy it from several private firms or present space the ministry occupies in Toronto and the square-foot cost there.

Also, I would like some information on the cost of relocating employees and what provision is being made to help employees relocate in terms of either purchasing their homes or enabling them to commute. I would like to know whether there are any retraining programs for employees who do not want to move out of Toronto, who have set up their families here and who have had long service with the ministry, but who do not particularly wish to pull up their roots and go to Oshawa.

I think we have to look at all the costs of this relocation operation before we can judge whether it is a wise decision. It may be a little late to turn it around, although perhaps that building could be leased to somebody else. I presume we have a firm contract on it but perhaps the minister could fill us in a bit on that Oshawa relocation.

9:10 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: I was hoping you would stop before you have too many questions. I couldn’t remember them all.

First of all, you asked who the contractor is. Tom Jones and Sons Limited of Thunder Bay is building the building. You wanted to know what the annual rental is. Was that one of your questions? The rent will be $3,261,000 over 25 years. I cannot tell you what the rent is for the building we are in at the moment because, as you know, the Ministry of Government Services actually looks after that.

I just happen to have this information here. I do not negotiate with the contractor.

I do not negotiate as far as the rent or the lease purchase agreement is concerned. That is all done by the Ministry of Government Services and that information would have to come from that ministry. It is a lease purchase contract. It is a seven-storey building, plus a basement. The gross floor area is 461,000 square feet. The total cost of the project is $33,700,000, which excludes the land.

The projected occupancy date at the moment is June to November of 1982. That is when we expect we will be in the building.

As to some of the costs of moving, we are dealing now with my ministry costs over a period of time. All this money is not going to be spent in one year by any means, but to give you some idea of what it is going to cost to relocate the staff of the Ministry of Revenue in Oshawa, the project team -- and that is a team we have within the ministry working with the staff to help them find accommodation and so on in Oshawa -- are providing staff with information about Oshawa, for instance, the educational facilities, the recreational facilities, the cost of land, the cost of housing, that kind of thing.

In other words, they are orienting them to the community of Oshawa with the hope that the majority of them will move to Oshawa. We want them to be aware of what is in Oshawa and the surrounding area. We are dealing with more than just the city of Oshawa. All the other municipalities in the Durham region certainly will be just as hospitable to our people as Oshawa itself. So it is not just the city of Oshawa by any means. Anyway, that project team I have talked about is in the ministry and has been there for some time. The estimates we have been looking at are related to that team particularly: in-house staff, $1.3 million; staff training, $500,000; parallel operations -- and by that we mean that when we start to relocate in Oshawa, we will have probably two different locations where the same sort of operation is going on. In other words, we will have to maintain the operation here until the offices in Oshawa are in a productive capacity because we just cannot suddenly quit and stop collecting taxes.

It is important that we have an ongoing system, so we are talking here about parallel operations which we think will cost about -- and these at the moment are very rough figures obviously -- $1.5 million. Employee relocation is going to cost about $3.5 million, as near as we can estimate at this particular moment; telecommunications, $500,000; courier, $240,000; transportation, $120,000; special equipment, $550,000. That is a total of $9,310,000.

As I say, these are very rough estimates at the moment, but it is the best we can come up with. It gives you some sort of an idea of the cost that we anticipate in relocating our employees to Oshawa after the building is built.

You asked about staff who would not be moving to Oshawa. Consistent with the Premier’s commitment of June 27, 1980, the Ministry of Revenue is currently working with the Civil Service Commission to develop measures for placement of those employees not willing to move to Oshawa. We are going to attempt to find places with some other ministry within the government here in Toronto for those who do not wish to move.

Obviously, a lot of them are not prepared to move, and that is quite understandable. You were quoting figures earlier of the number of female employees there are, for instance, in the Ministry of Revenue. A big percentage of the employees are female, and a big percentage are probably married and their husbands probably have jobs in Toronto; therefore, they do not want to relocate and move to Oshawa. They would probably much sooner find another job within government here at Queen’s Park, or in this general area, than to go to Oshawa.

The last survey that we did -- and it is not recent any more -- showed we have a commitment from about 50 per cent of the staff who say they will move to Oshawa. At the moment, there are some 38 civil servants who have moved to Oshawa awaiting our transfer when the building is completed. I think you will find that more people will be moving in the spring -- people don’t very often move at this time of year.

I say that because up until two or three months ago I do not think the staff were really sure we were going to move. I think there was some doubt; they were not really convinced that we were going to move. Now that the building is under construction, I think they now know the transfer is going to take place, and I think they will become a little more serious about relocating, although there is still quite a bit of time before 1982.

I do not blame them for not wanting to move out there too quickly because it means they are going to have to commute from there back to Queen’s Park. Obviously, some of them will wait until much nearer the time of the official transfer. The other thing, of course, is that some of them will commute from here rather than pull up roots in Toronto, or maybe they might live in some other community north of Toronto. Some of them will never move to Oshawa; they will commute.

All in all, though, I think the staff are certainly aware that a commitment has been made. The building is under construction, the contracts have been signed, and there is no question that the Ministry of Revenue is moving to Oshawa. Now they have to govern themselves accordingly and make their decisions as to whether or not they will go, whether they want a transfer or whether they want to remain here and commute. These are decisions the staff will have to make.

Ms. Bryden: Mr. Chairman, when one hears these figures of $9.3-million costs for moving this ministry of a little over 1,000 people to Oshawa, one wonders whether it was not a rather costly pipe dream of some previous provincial Treasurer, or maybe by the cabinet as a whole, to effect what was known as the thrust to the east, to try to decentralize employment in the Golden Horseshoe area. They are still within the Golden Horseshoe when they go to Oshawa. When you think of the dislocation to the ministry and the fact that you are going to have to spend $1.5 million on more or less duplicating services during the transitional period, it seems to me it is a highly questionable expenditure of the taxpayers’ money, particularly in this time of restraint.

9:20 p.m.

It is true that Oshawa, particularly with the present auto situation, may be very anxious to have additional employment. But I am not sure it is going to get very much additional population moving in. Because it is within such close commuting distance of Toronto it may just lead to a lot more commuting. A great deal of this commuting will be done using fossil fuels, which we are running short of, rather than by train or some other method. From that point of view also, it is an additional energy cost if there is a great deal of commuting done.

I would like to see employment spread around the province as much as possible, but to pull up a ministry that has been established for many years in one city and just move it to another at great cost to the taxpayers, I am not sure whether that is the best way to help the city of Oshawa.

It seems to me the development of new industries and the use of our natural resources in Ontario to develop more manufactured goods and for import replacement are better ways to help the development of places to the east, where we would like to see population grow.

It looks to me as if it has grown in cost far more than was anticipated when this move was planned. I just think it is another example of the government not looking before it leaped. Again it was going along on some dream of trying to solve all the problems of the province by a quick stab here and a Cayuga purchase there and a new town somewhere else, such as up in Pickering, without looking at the consequences and the costs to the taxpayer. I think we should hope that if they plan any further moves of this sort they will look much more closely at the cost.

The minister may want to comment on my last remarks. I would also like to get on to the Kingston move, and get some information on that.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: Mr. Chairman, I am sure there are quite a few of my staff members who would agree wholeheartedly with the member. They do not want to move to Oshawa either. It was a decision that was taken before I became Minister of Revenue. We have moved now so far down the line that I do not think there is any chance of that move being cancelled. I think we have to accept that the decision has been made.

I guess we can be criticized for the amount of money that is being spent in moving, but I can assure the member the reason this kind of money is being spent is twofold. One is to ensure that the staff are looked after properly and that they are properly compensated for having to move. There is a special program in place for the Ministry of Revenue staff who are moving to Oshawa that does not prevail across the civil service. We have given special attention to them.

The reason it is costly is because we are trying to look after the staff and because we must maintain the service the ministry has been given to do. There is absolutely no way we can just close down the Queen’s Park office and take a month or so and move everything to Oshawa. We have to have them both going at the same time, so we can have a smooth transition between the two areas. While the member may argue about the $9 million, I do not think she would argue that to do the job, we have to try to do it as well as we can, the commitment having been made.

If I were arguing four years ago, I might have agreed with the honourable member about the move to Oshawa. But the fact is that decision has been taken, and it is something I will not be able to change. Nobody can change it at the moment. The building is already under construction, the contract has been let. I might tell the honourable member that if she wants to talk about Kingston, she is going to have to wait until she gets into the Ministry of Health estimates because it is not my staff that is moving to Kingston.

Ms. Bryden: Yes, I just realized as you were speaking that for Kingston it is the Ministry of Health. Anyway, I think Oshawa may have taught us some lessons; I hope it has. That is all I have on that item.

Item 10 agreed to.

Vote 801 agreed to.

On vote 802, administration of taxes program; item 1, comptroller’s office:

Mr. Haggerty: I notice in this item there is a substantial increase in expenditure. Could the minister indicate the reason for it? Was there additional staff in this comptroller’s office?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: If we go to the third page it gives a better idea of where the increases are. If you look under salaries and wages, there is an increase of $65,500. Employee benefits is $179,200, which, of course, the ministry has no control over. Transportation and communication is $148,600. Services is the big item again and that is the money we are spending on computers to keep up with our program. The other increase is $199,000 for supplies and equipment. The total increase is $2,264,500.

Mr. Haggerty: I hope I heard you correctly, that the transportation and communication costs were $146,000.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: I beg your pardon?

Mr. Haggerty: What was the cost of transportation and communication?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: The actual cost for 1979-80 was $1,883,900. The 1980-81 estimates are $2,032,500, which is an increase of $148,600.

Mr. Haggerty: What does the increase in transportation and communication consist of? What are we talking about when we talk about transportation and communication? Do you have staff on the road?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: Certainly. We have auditors on the road all the time. We have a lot of vehicles and a lot of people on the road. The ministry is such that they have to go to various places to do auditing. We are talking here about the tax division. We are not talking about the assessment division. They must travel from one corporation to another and from one small business to another. There is a great amount of travelling. When one thinks that the prices of fuel, vehicles and all that are going up, it is not hard to realize an increase of $148,600. Telephones are included in that too and their costs have gone up.

Mr. Haggerty: There are regional offices in certain localities in the province. Welland has one, I think there is one in St. Catharines and there are others. Is there not someone there who can do the investigation and auditing from that area?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: You have to understand we are not talking about assessment now. We are talking about the district taxation offices. We have 12 of those in the province, so you can understand they cover a pretty big area. When there are only 12 of those offices throughout the province, they travel a lot of miles to get to the people who are in their areas.

I do not mean all this travelling originates here at Queen’s Park. Most of it originates from those district taxation offices. We do have specialists here at Queen’s Park who on certain occasions have to go all over the province with certain expertise that may not be available in a district taxation office. That is a completely different matter.

9:30 p.m.

Mr. Haggerty: What is the mileage rate that is allowed under this vote? Is it 17 cents or 21 cents per kilometre?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: I think it is the same as the one that is consistent throughout government -- I think it is 17 cents per kilometre. By the way, regarding my previous answer when I was referring to people going out of Queen’s Park, mostly those are people from the corporations tax branch. They go out and do auditing in the various corporations.

Mr. Haggerty: You said the mileage allowance is about 17 cents per kilometre. Is that consistent with other government agencies such as regional governments?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: I am not sure about regional government. We have a blanket policy in the Ontario government and the same rate applies to every civil servant in every ministry.

Mr. B. Newman: Is it periodically adjusted?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: Yes it is. It is usually adjusted at least once and sometimes twice a year. I believe that is done through the Civil Service Commission, which recommends it to Management Board.

Mr. B. Newman: Is it adjusted every time there is an increase in the cost of gasoline?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: Not always. Sometimes, as you know, there could be three or four increases during the year. We do not do it that often. But I would think that it very rarely goes beyond six months. If there is no major increase it might go a year. Usually, it is not more than six months that it is adjusted.

Ms. Bryden: Mr. Chairman, I think under item 1 we can perhaps take a look at our entire tax structure. The taxes are all listed under items 3 to 1 but it gives us a picture of what the Ontario tax system is made up of and what kinds of tax system we have. Until you look at the actual revenue figures for each tax, you do not know whether we have a progressive or a regressive tax system. We seem to have a fair mix when you look at the headings there. However, when you start to look at the budget projections for each of those taxes which are collected under this vote --

Mr. Chairman: You are referring to the administration costs, are you?

Ms. Bryden: Yes. I am referring to the revenue costs and then I was going to ask what are the collection costs for each of the taxes. I presume this goes through the controller’s office.

Looking at the budget estimate of the revenue from each of these taxes, the personal income tax produces about 37 per cent of the total. The corporation taxes of several kinds, including the insurance premium tax and mining profits tax, all of which come under this ministry, produce less than half of what the personal income tax produces -- about 17.5 per cent of total tax revenue. The commodity and the retail sales taxes produce the balance, except for small amounts from the racetrack tax and the succession duties.

I think the story that comes out is that in this province we do rely greatly on what might be considered regressive taxes. A retail sales tax without adequate exemptions is especially regressive. I do not think it is a fair tax system because there is too great a reliance on the taxes on the individual. There are not enough taxes on wealth, such as succession duties and gift tax, which this province has abolished. We really do have a tax system that is skewed towards hitting the small man more than the wealthy, and that is not what a progressive tax system should be doing. Even with our income tax, while we get a large percentage of the total revenue from it, we do have one of the lowest income tax rates in Canada. It is added as a surtax or collected through federal income tax.

I do not know whether your ministry analyses our tax structure from time to time. I think we should have more reports on the actual incidence of these taxes on various income groups. That is one of the things on which I would like to see more research done and publication of the results. Have you done any of that recently? Do we have an idea how much the different income groups are contributing to the total tax revenue?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: That kind of research should be done not by this ministry but by Treasury, because they are the ones who are going to set the fiscal policy, as I indicated. We will give the Treasury any information we can to help them, but I do not think that would be our responsibility. Treasury would make those kinds of investigations, to decide which way the Treasurer would go in his tax policies. I do not believe the Ministry of Revenue is involved other than to assist and to provide them with any information they may need to arrive at those decisions.

We may not have all the information necessary to make those kinds of decisions. We are the ones who collect the taxes but we do not necessarily have a breakdown on all the different things that happen out there. That would come under the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller) rather than myself. Any information we might have would be at the disposal of the Treasurer, but Treasury are the ones who have to arrive at the kind of thing you are talking about if there is going to be any change in the tax structure in the province.

Ms. Bryden: You are probably right that they have the income data on which to base any analysis of the effect on different income groups. However, somebody asked earlier whether you ever took any polls. It might be useful to take a poll as to what kind of taxes people prefer and see whether there is any bias in favour of one kind of tax or another. Most people feel all taxes are too high and they would like to see them not only minimized but placed as equitably as possible. That is the real objective, so that taxes are based on ability to pay. I do not think we have that in this province.

Item 1 agreed to.

On item 2, special investigations:

Ms. Bryden: Mr. Chairman, the special investigations branch intrigues me. I noticed the ministry had an advertisement in the paper recently for a senior manager of this branch at a salary of $35,800 to $44,800. It is obviously considered a very senior operation. I would like to know a bit more about it, whether it is our chief attack on what might be called white-collar crime. Has there been an increase in the number of investigations it has been handling in the last year or two? What sort of cases does it handle? Do its investigations end up in prosecutions? If so, can we have some figures on prosecutions in the last fiscal year compared to the previous year?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: I have a lot of information on this. Do you want me to read you the whole thing? I do not think I will. Basically what happens is that the special investigations branch usually investigates when an auditor uncovers something of a nature where charges may be laid or should be laid. The special investigations branch might be called in. They might also investigate such things as the statement I made in the House the other day regarding the loss of tobacco tax because of tobacco going through the Indian reservations and back out to the public. Those are the types of investigations they do.

9:40 p.m.

In this particular branch we have 20 investigators. We had 18 last year and there are now 20. There are five additional management support staff and a couple more, for a total of 27. There were four completed prosecutions up to September 30, 1980. At the close of that particular period, there were 23 more in progress, which is a total of 27. For the full year last year there were 41, so it is running at about the same number of prosecutions.

There were 39 investigations, which include prosecutions, completed in the period up to September 30 and there are 69 more in progress. In the same classification last year, there were 155 for the total fiscal year, so it is maybe running a little bit ahead of last year.

There is one vendor currently serving a three-year jail term in default of paying a $50,000 fine levied in a case completed in July 1977. Not many people go to jail because of these things; usually it results in fines and so on.

The four prosecutions by statute that have been completed are under the Retail Sales Tax Act. Last year there were 22 under the Retail Sales Tax Act, one under the Corporations Tax Act, three under the Ontario’s Guaranteed Annual Income Act and two under the Ontario Home Buyers Grant Act.

I do not know if you want any more information on that. If you do, I will probably let you ask questions. I can go on and on here, but it is really all just detail. Specifically, it gives you an idea of what the branch is there for. It is a tough area to work in. Tax matters, as you know, are very complicated and it is not always easy to uncover enough evidence to warrant laying charges. I think they do a pretty good job.

Ms. Bryden: Mr. Chairman, it is interesting that the minister mentioned 200 prosecutions under the Ontario Home Buyers Grant Act.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: No, just two.

Ms. Bryden: Two, oh, I am sorry. Well, even two reminds us of one of the major administrative fiascos of this ministry before the present minister’s time. It was certainly an area where the ministry rushed in without adequate auditing procedures, it would appear, and a considerable number of people got grants who were not really entitled to them.

I hope the seniors’ tax grants will not develop into the same sort of shemozzle, shall we say, where ineligible people receive payments they should not have got due to lax checking and inadequate information being provided to the public, and some fraud as well, which is always a possibility with these programs if there are not tight controls. The home buyers’ grants certainly attracted the attention of the provincial auditor, who criticized the administration rather severely. Apparently, it is still around haunting us. There are some prosecutions going on.

The other area the minister mentioned that intrigued me was the prosecutions under the Ontario Guaranteed Annual Income Act. Could he tell us if people are collecting Gains fraudulently? Is that the nature of those prosecutions? I did not quite catch how many cases there were.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: There are only three cases. Those cases arose out of people continuing to collect the Gains cheques after the parents had died. I am not referring to senior citizens being prosecuted. The parents died and cheques kept coming and the sons, daughters or relatives kept cashing the cheques. That is where the prosecutions arose.

For the benefit of the members as well, there is one item here that might be of interest. That is the amount of revenue that was brought back to the province in direct taxes through the activities of this branch. I am talking now of up until September 30, 1980.

In direct taxes, because of those investigations, we collected $486,416; in interest, $51,683; penalties, $4,062; fines $54,896, which is a total of $603,057 that came back to the revenues of the province through the investigations that this branch has made. Last year, for the whole fiscal year, using the same categories that I just mentioned, they were responsible for bringing back to us a total of $1,103,438.

It is pretty obvious they are doing a pretty good job out there, but the prosecutions, as far as the Gains thing was concerned, were not senior citizens who were prosecuted but people who retained the cheques after the parents had died, cashed them and were using the money. That is why those prosecutions resulted.

Before I sit down, it was pointed out to me, and I think it is important, that besides the fact that we recovered this money is the effect it has on the taxpayers out there knowing that there is somebody who is going to see the laws of the province are enforced. It does not necessarily mean they have to harass everybody to do it, but it is important for the public to perceive that the province is prepared to collect the taxes that have been legislated. You must have this kind of group out there so the public does not become too complacent and careless. It is important we collect the money.

Ms. Bryden: I agree with the minister that you have to keep a sharp eye on any possibility of taxpayer fraud because there will always be some people who will try to beat the system. I am wondering what percentage of success you have on the prosecutions. Is it difficult to obtain convictions, to obtain sufficient evidence in many cases?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: I do not have the rate of success. I have only the number of prosecutions that are in process, and the ones that we have already completed. When we talk about prosecutions -- and I am reverting to my own police experience -- a prosecution is a prosecution whether you convict or whether it is dismissed. Regardless of whether you get a conviction or a dismissal, it is still a prosecution. I am not sure of the percentage of success. I am told by staff the percentage of success in the prosecutions is very high, that we do not lose many cases.

9:50 p.m.

Ms. Bryden: I would like to ask the minister, does this special investigations branch do spot checks on the claims for property tax credits? I am not talking about the seniors’ ones, but the existing system under the income tax. I think all one need do is declare one had a certain amount of rent or property tax and no proof is required. Are spot checks done in the submissions through the income tax for the claims for Ontario property tax credit? If so, does this branch do it?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: It is done, but not by this branch. It is done by auditors in the guaranteed income and tax credit branch. This is the special investigations branch. Those checks are done by auditors rather than the special investigations branch.

Getting back to the prosecutions, I am told there were two cases in the fiscal year 1979-80. Out of all the cases I talked about earlier, there were two cases where there was an acquittal. In 1980-81 -- that is, the present fiscal year until now -- we have not lost any cases. They have a pretty good record.

Item 2 agreed to.

On item 3; revenue research:

Mr. Haggerty: I asked the minister previously what areas of research we are discussing here. What information has he on the areas of research his ministry is carrying out now? Are consultants used for any of these?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: To be helpful, let me give you an idea of what this revenue and operations research branch does. It includes the design of research electronic systems; systems for revenue forecasting; technology research; co-project management services research and other branches. It fills tax information requests from agencies, groups and individuals.

Research is conducted into all areas of applied taxation. Approximately 19 research projects are currently under way in that branch of the ministry. Additional funding is going into computer-based analytic systems. You will find there is additional funding for this branch in here.

There is a heavy liaison with Treasury for design and revenue impact estimation. This branch probably deals more with Treasury than any other branch within my ministry. This branch supplies the type of information the Treasurer requests in order to make his decisions.

Mr. Haggerty: Do you have a computer model as it relates to revenue forecasting? If so, how accurate have you been over the last 10 years?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: We do have that. Let me say that we have been more accurate than some.

Mr. Haggerty: Some what? Some other ministry? What area are we talking about when you say “than some”?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: I cannot talk about our forecasts before I was in the ministry. Since I have been in the ministry the forecasts from this branch regarding projected revenues have been very close. I am told once the tax policies have been set, our branch in this ministry has about a one per cent error in the projections. That is pretty close.

Mr. Haggerty: That sounds very reasonable. Is this your document then? Is this one that Revenue forecasting has done?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: Is that in the budget? No, that is not my document

Mr. Haggerty: This is Ontario Finances.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: No, not mine.

Mr. Haggerty: It is not yours?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: No.

Mr. Haggerty: Could it be the Ministry of Treasury and Economics?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: Yes.

Mr. Haggerty: You do have some consultation with the Ministry of Treasury and Economics. How close is this then? For example, if I use the retail sales tax 1979-80, the budget was $2,295,000,000 and you had increased that. Your estimate was rather low. In other words, there is a substantial increase in revenue generated from the retail sales tax. In this particular document, in the retail sales tax, it is indicated that by June 1980 there had been an increase in the forecasting of $68 million. I do not know if that will continue up until the third quarter but the point I want to bring to the attention of the minister is that since you forecast this particular area of revenues I think there have been some changes made in one or the other documents that followed.

There was a decrease of a projected $70 million in forecasting and with the projected revenue in total I believe the estimate would be about $300 million over last year’s generated revenues. In other words, the Treasury has about $300 million that it can play around with because it has underestimated its revenues. Actually, when you look at the announcement made in the mini-budget, you are not giving the people anything because, as I mentioned before, it was only estimated. If you come out with $25 million more than last year, you will look good. You came around and said: “We have given you this back.”

Actually, you have not given anything back because you have underestimated. You can juggle these figures around any way you want and this is what the Treasurer is doing. He is juggling these figures around to suit his own needs. He has estimated high, knowing full well that he is going to come in low, so he has already allowed for that loss there.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: The Treasurer has not made any secret of the fact that he does not estimate high in revenues. He usually underestimates a bit and I think he has said that in this Legislature. What you have presented is not quite factual. If we are talking about revenue he rarely estimates high. He usually estimates it lower than what he really expects. We make projections, but ours are based on administrative knowledge rather than forecast to account for economic forecasts and policy changes. The Treasury does not necessarily use our figures when they make their forecasts in policy papers such as that or even in the budget, because ours are for a little bit different purpose than the Treasurer’s and the Treasurer has to take economic forecasts into consideration.

We do not do that when we forecast. We base our forecast on administrative policies and as things exist on the day we do that. Now, as I say, we are very close, within one percentage point, but Treasury has to use different methods to arrive at its projections. I must tell you that their projections are not always the same as ours. We supply our projections to the Treasury but they also work out their own. The Treasury documents and the budget and so on are not necessarily our figures. Sometimes they might be but they are figures arrived at by the Treasury.

Mr. Haggerty: I was just wondering how you can be consistent in your revenue collecting in Ontario if you do not have some closer dialogue with the Treasury department. I was hoping that you both used the same model for forecasting or projecting revenues.

10 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: No, we do not. What I am saying is Treasury adjusts Revenue’s forecasts. We give them our forecasts. They adjust them to account for economic forecasts and policy changes that Treasury might make after we give them those figures. So it is very reasonable to assume they would change our forecast to bring it into line with these other two items that I have just mentioned. It is not being inconsistent. We are giving the Treasurer the figures we can give him, based on the information we have at hand. Then he has to add the other two elements I just talked about in order to arrive at his forecast. Therefore, our forecast is usually different from his.

Mr. Haggerty: Is your forecasting by this model done on a monthly basis, or weekly, or quarterly?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: It is done on a monthly basis.

Mr. Haggerty: What would that be running now, based upon the estimates of the Treasurer?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: You want our forecast compared to those; is that what you are asking me?

Mr. Haggerty: This is right. How successful are the revenues coming in?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: The Ontario forecast is very close to ours, but the mini-budget came in after. The mini-budget is now going to change the whole thing again.

Mr. Haggerty: I suppose the forecasting of revenues generated will be down?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: Obviously it has to be. Since the mini-budget we are not going to collect as much retail sales tax as we intended to collect. We are exempting all of those things.

Ms. Bryden: Mr. Chairman, I agree with the member for Erie that it often looks like some of the estimates that come out of the Treasury are perhaps tailored to the circumstances in order to make the final outcome look more favourable than it might otherwise have shown if the revenue estimates had been a little more accurate. It is very difficult to know what the Treasurer puts into his models. I find it hard to understand how the minister can say he puts in only the administrative effects of taxes or how they work out. I do not see how you can forecast anything without putting in the economic situation, and I do not see how any forecasting system can work without adequate input of a whole lot of factors into the model. Some people think that forecasting is little more than crystal ball gazing.

I used to do tax forecasting at one time when I worked for the Canadian Tax Foundation, and I know that the more factors you took into account in your model, and the more past history as well, the better your chances of making an accurate forecast. But you had to look at changing circumstances and build estimates of that impact into your model as well.

I do not think the minister’s model -- if it is, as he says, just based on tax administration -- would be very accurate. But if it is based on a proper model with all sorts of economic factors taken into account, then I think it might be worth asking him if he would publish it monthly as the Minister of Revenue’s model results. The University of Toronto has a model of the economy and publishes results periodically. The Conference Board in Canada has another model, and the public can look at the results from the different models and draw its own conclusions.

I think it would be very useful if the ministry model did produce -- it does produce a monthly figure -- if those figures were published. Then the Treasurer can bring out his quarterly reports and indicate that he has put other factors into his model. I think the public needs more information of this sort as to what the models are showing. Then we can judge more easily whether the figures are being manipulated for aesthetic reasons or budgetary reasons. I would like the minister to comment on whether he might not publish a monthly report of the results from his model.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: Mr. Chairman, I think maybe I can explain this a little better for the member. What I am trying to say is this: Our forecasts are based on existing economic conditions and existing tax policies in place. We supply that information to the Treasurer, but usually he is projecting ahead, based on other economic policies he is taking into consideration that we are not looking at, or on tax changes. Therefore, his projection does not come out with the same sort of figures as ours does. That is why I say we are within one per cent of being right in our projections. But our projections are not based on the same projections he is making.

We are basing our projections on existing taxation policies and existing economic conditions. We are not trying to guess what the economic condition is going to be three or four months down the road, as the Treasurer is. That is why his figures could differ from ours. We do it on a month-to-month basis. We are projecting only a month ahead. It is not quite so hard to do it that way as it is if you want to project six months or a year ahead.

Mr. Peterson: What about $10 licence plates?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: I wanted to talk about $10 licence plates.

Ms. Bryden: I think it would be very useful for the public to know what the projection is, based on existing taxes and existing economic conditions. That gives them a start to plan their lives. They obviously cannot know what the Treasurer has in mind for tax changes. That is a budget secret. But it still would be useful to have a projection of the present situation available on a monthly basis. We do get those sorts of projections from organizations like the Conference Board in Canada and some of the banks. It might be useful to have the Ministry of Revenue’s projections.

I have just one other question on this subject. In describing the work of this branch, the minister mentioned they have 19 research projects under way. I wonder if he could supply us -- maybe not right now -- with a list of those research projects. I think it is quite conceivable that some of them might be published and could add to the knowledge of our tax system. But the way the minister operates right now, all this valuable research is kept very close to the vest and the citizens of Ontario are not getting the advantage of it. I think some of it might be very useful for all of us.

Hon. Mr. Maeck: We do not have the list of all the projects here, but certainly I would be happy to supply the member with a list of what we are doing.

Ms. Bryden: Has this group undertaken tax expenditure studies in the past? Are there any studies of that sort or are they now preparing some?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: I am informed they have not done any tax expenditure studies in the past, but they are in the middle of one at the moment.

Ms. Bryden: Have you considered whether that might be published, in the same way as the federal government is now publishing this kind of study?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: As a matter of fact, I have not given it any consideration at the moment, but I will. I do not mean I will publish it. I mean I will give consideration.

10:10 p.m.

Mr. Peterson: You said there was a tax expenditure study under way. May I ask what area you are studying?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: The area of retail sales tax in conjunction with the statement the Treasurer made in the recent budget when he talked about this particular item.

Mr. Peterson: May I ask what advice you gave to the Treasurer for his recent mini-budget when he entered into a tax expenditure of some $260 million in retail sales tax? What was the advice of Revenue to the Treasurer in the compilation of that marvellous political response to the economic problems of the day?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: You may think it was not a good mini-budget, but I disagree with you.

Mr. Peterson: I did not ask you that. What is your opinion on the tax exemption?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: I know, but that is going to be the supplementary question so I thought for a change I would second-guess you.

I discussed these matters with the Treasurer personally and I approved each one of them. I gave them my blessing, so I am supporting them all.

Mr. Peterson: Did the initiative for those tax expenditures come from Revenue, from Treasury, from the Conservative Party office or from the field organizational staff? Where did those suggestions come from?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: The initiative came from Treasury, of course. As far as I am concerned, Treasury discussed with my staff what the effects would be and how many tax dollars it would take to implement certain programs. That information was given to the Treasurer and he chose the ones he felt would do the most good for the economy of the province.

Mr. Peterson: You will recall I presented a private member’s bill to this House. It was passed on second reading, as far as I recall, with the unanimous support of this House. It said that, at budget time, tax expenditure studies should be published on every new tax expenditure entered into by the government leading eventually, one would hope, to a complete analysis of tax expenditures in all areas.

What is your view of that bill and would you feel free to support it with the great weight of the Revenue officials you have with you tonight?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: I am not familiar with the bill itself. I do not see anything wrong with the principle. I think the Treasurer has already indicated in this budget that he is looking into that very thing, but I really do not know what your bill says or what it instructs the government to do. I do not know the timing. It is something one cannot move into tomorrow without a lot of study. I think in principle there is no disagreement.

Mr. Peterson: Were you not struck, as I was and as every other right-thinking citizen in this province was, with the blatant hypocrisy of the mini-budget in that the Treasurer made a major pitch for tax expenditures? He was going to use those moneys far more wisely in the future. He was going to study them. He was going to quantify them. Presumably that means having some sort of goals and objectives. He made a big pitch about that, as you recall. On the other hand, he expended $280 million worth of taxpayers’ money up to June 30 of fiscal 1981 with absolutely no indication what it would do to the economy, the number of jobs it would create, what it would do for real growth, what it would do to stimulate consumption, jobs or anything else in this province.

Do you not agree with me this is a backwards approach to this matter? Surely, the tax expenditure study should have some idea of creating some goal or objective, in the absence of the Treasurer saying what that will do in terms of jobs or any other stimulus to the economy, one can only come to the inescapable conclusion there was a strong political motive in that budget, particularly when every other study on retail sales tax cuts admits there is no overall new consumption. At best, it just moves the timing of purchases around a little bit.

That being said, someone who would ordinarily buy a van in June or July, August or September would be well advised to buy that van in June, particularly if he wants to put a refrigerator in it. But it creates no new jobs; it just moves it around a little bit. Would you not agree with that? Would you not think, as the serious-minded fellow you are, that there are better ways to spend $260 million worth of the taxpayers’ money?

Hon. Mr. Maeck: First of all, I do not think it was the intent of the budget to create new jobs; it was to retain employment -- to keep people working. That was the thrust of the whole thing; to get some of these articles moving so that they would be replaced by other articles and people would work during this period of high unemployment. I do not think there was ever an expectation, as far as sales tax cuts are concerned, of creating new employment. I do not think that was in the back of the Treasurer’s mind; it certainly was not in the back of my mind. What we are trying to do is retain as many jobs as we can during this tough period of the year. I think you misconstrue the intent of that if you think we are trying to create new employment.

As far as the other parts of your remarks go, those are questions you are going to have to direct to the Treasurer; it is his decision, not mine. My input with the Treasurer was in the retail sales tax end. That is what affects me. At the moment, I am sure the Treasurer has in the back of his mind some plans after he has got the information that he needs from the studies that are being conducted. He has made the announcement, but what the final plans are going to be or how he is going to handle the situation will be decisions he will have to make. I really cannot speak for the Treasurer on that. The extent of my involvement in the budget was the retail sales tax exemptions.

Mr. Peterson: Studies have already been conducted in these matters. I want to direct your attention to the Chapman-Wilson study of tax expenditure measures in the 1975 budget and a variety of other looks at these kinds of things. No one sees that it creates any new consumption on a long-term basis. I am much happier with at least your attempt -- only in rhetoric at this point -- to recognize there are some certain fundamental structural problems in the economy and that you are going to allocate some moneys for that even though, as I said before, the programs are remarkably lacking in specificity at this time.

When revenues are so scarce, when you and other people in the community are so committed to balancing the budget, you have taken yourself $260 million further away from that goal by these tax expenditures. As I said earlier, all they will do is steal from the future. They will steal a job from August and put it into June or May or they will steal a job from September and put it into March. In the long-term health of this economy they will contribute nothing.

It is one more case of stealing from the future, which is an easy political way out. But one of the reasons we have the problems in the economy today is because that has been the practice of your government, and I should say in fairness, various other levels of government at various points in time. I refer specifically to the federal Tory interregnum six months or so ago. They did the same kind of thing.

I think it is a very superficial and silly look. This time what was striking about that amount of expenditure was the size of it -- $260 million is a significant amount of money, particularly when by your own admission the import leakage is so very high. We have an appliance business in this province of about $250 million, as I recall. About 50 per cent of that comes from outside our provincial border. The furniture business is about a $1 billion business and about half of that comes from outside our provincial borders. It is up for grabs in the building industry, and as you know you have created a number of problems in that way. You have included clay bricks, excluded calcite bricks, then put calcite back in and caused a lot of confusion all over the place.

It is just like the confusion in the upholstery business. You have created a number of heart attacks in this province for people in that business. It was very poorly thought out. There was another contradiction where in one place restaurant equipment was exempted and in other places commercial equipment is not exempted.

10:20 p.m.

There are a lot of tiny things. Granted, these things take time to work out, but it was not terribly well thought out. Going back to my point about import leakage, 40 per cent of the vans will be imported from outside our borders. When you take that $260 million expenditure, depending on how you look at it, around $100 million or $120 million of that will go to create employment outside our borders or stimulate imports. That is a pretty high amount of money to pay when we are collectively so strapped for cash and when we are looking for more creative ways to deploy those resources rather than spending them in the willy-nilly fashion we have in the past.

I have said a lot of these things to the Treasurer in a variety of different ways. In my judgement, as the Minister of Revenue you are an important figure in this community. You have to stand up for the revenue side in many ways. You are not only our chief tax collector, you are not just an expediter or a high-paid gumshoe, you are also a very important decision maker and you have a lot of high-priced officials to help you do that.

Meaning no disrespect, but because of a perceived weakness in the Treasury today -- and I am not the only one who has that view; I have had that view longer than other people but that is the reality -- you have a greater responsibility to make sure consistent and worthwhile policies are carried out, particularly since your job is to raise the revenue. You have a meaningful and important role in the fiscal and tax planning of this province and I would like to see you be a little more parsimonious, a little tighter, a little more judicious in the advice you give the Treasurer before you allow such a superficial document -- as the last mini-budget turned out to be -- to come back to this House again.

Most serious observers see that as a political response to economic problems. You did not fool anybody. You may have fooled some people in Carleton; I do not know. It is very difficult for me to assess the impact of that budget on the Carleton by-election. If it had any effect, I am very sad because it just reinforces all the old principles about buying people off with their own money that you have talked about, and I am sure abhorred, on a number of occasions in public when you have been forced to speak about it. Yet you come back here and become party to that kind of old pork-barrel scheme.

I do not like it. Perhaps in times of riches and excess we have some latitude with those things, but we are learning some very important lessons in this province and this country about the excesses of the past. We are running debt servicing now that is close to 10 per cent of the budget every year. It is almost the fastest growing part of the provincial expenditures year after year. You are getting into more and more trouble every year trying to keep up your budget allocations with the proper percentages going to the various ministries and policy fields. It is something you have to be very concerned about.

I do not think the kind of action taken was one that served this province very well. It will be looked back upon by economic historians as one more “political move” -- and an expensive one at that -- that achieved very little.

I give the minister this admonition, a minister whom I personally happen to like very much. I think he is getting a good handle on his portfolio and I compliment him for that. Take it one step further. Do not be afraid to stand up in the inner councils of this province and fight for the proper economic policy. You have earned that right. You have shown you can manage this place; now you can be a major figure in the policy making. There is a void there and it needs you. I just wanted to pass that admonition or little bit of advice on to the minister for his consideration.

We are running close to the end of the time and there may be some other members who want to speak. But what do you think about $10 licence plates? I know you want to speak about them.

Mr. Chairman: Some other time may be more appropriate. Are there any more questions to item 3?

Mr. Haggerty: I have a question on this, but perhaps we can adjourn at this time.

On motion by Hon. Mr. Maeck, the committee of supply reported a certain resolution.

The House adjourned at 10:27 p.m.