The House resumed at 8:01 p.m.
THRONE SPEECH DEBATE (CONTINUED)
The Deputy Speaker: We will continue the debate. The member for Parry Sound.
Mr. Eves: Ontario Hydro has earned $700 million in the last five years by selling electricity. This is one source of energy we have in abundance without relying on other provinces or nations. The development of local sources of hydroelectric power has potential benefits for several areas in Parry Sound riding.
Ontario Hydro provides a low-cost, reliable source of power and has been a powerful ingredient in enhancing jobs and income creation in Ontario. Hydro alone employs 28,000 people, and its capital construction program of approximately $2 billion per annum is directly responsible for thousands of jobs in the construction and supply industries.
Investment in hydraulic and nuclear generating stations gives us a large source of energy while leading the world in the performance of large-scale, safe reactors and heavy water extraction technology.
Bruce and other nuclear reactors also provide Ontario's entrée to the hydrogen era. Hydrogen is produced from electricity and can substitute for fossil fuels in a multitude of transportation and industrial applications. Of course, a mix of energy sources -- nuclear, solar, wind, electrical, hydrogen, propane, natural gas and alcohol -- is ultimately necessary if Ontario is to meet its further needs while minimizing our dependence on foreign oil.
Our government is committed to developing energy sources to provide this mix. Above all, simplistic solutions that can only damage our energy situation and perhaps even our economy must be avoided, solutions such as that proposed by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Smith) on March 14. At that time he suggested a joint venture between this province and a Japanese or European auto maker to take over Chrysler and develop a dual-fuel car. These cars were to be designed to run on methanol, produced in plants to be set up across Ontario.
This proposal flew in the face of his often-voiced objections to foreign firms gaining a greater foothold in our economy. As for methanol, recent studies suggest there are still many unsolved problems to be tackled before it can be used in our climate.
I would be interested in seeing the figures on how much it would cost Ontario's taxpayers to put this grandiose scheme into effect at present, given that all the problems of methanol would need to be solved, plants would have to be built and someone would have to assume Chrysler's debt.
Also contained in the Board of Industrial Leadership and Development program were initiatives designed to stimulate tourism. The tourist sector, in terms of its contribution to the gross provincial product, has become Ontario's second largest industry. It is Parry Sound riding's largest.
In 1979, total tourism-related expenditures in Ontario were estimated at $6.6 billion. To maintain and improve Ontario's position in the tourist industry, we will extend the tourism redevelopment incentive program through 1984. This program provides loans for the expansion and upgrading of tourist facilities and, since 1979, has approved $28 million worth of loans to the tourist sector.
In addition, a province-wide grading system for tourist accommodations will be operating by early 1982, providing an incentive for operations to upgrade their facilities and the development of large, world-class tourist resorts will be encouraged, particularly in the more northerly regions of Ontario.
Recognizing the importance of our boating facilities to the tourism industry, we will also provide financial assistance to marina operators, to municipalities for the improvement, expansion and construction of docking and marina services, and ancillary onshore facilities.
A Sail Ontario program will be introduced to improve the marking and clearing of channels and the safety and routing of sailboats on the Great Lakes. On a larger scale, planned improvements of about $10 million each year for Ontario's harbours and small ports will provide an added incentive for tourists to enjoy our waterways.
As well as expanding the economic potential of the Great Lakes in terms of transporting bulk commodities, these innovative programs are of particular interest to the town of Parry Sound, where several active groups and persons are pursuing the development of beach, marina and waterfront facilities for one of the best natural harbours on the Great Lakes.
Directly related to tourism is the strengthening of sport and commercial fisheries which could have several beneficial results in my riding. Last year the province spent $2 million to improve sport-fish stock, and the Ministry of Natural Resources indicates that these efforts are to be substantially increased in our area this year. Having discussed this situation with a number of tourist-resort operators, I am convinced that substantial strides must be taken in this program. It is estimated that 1,000 tourists in our area generate $99,000 worth of income and create five man-years of employment.
The past efforts and successes of this government in revitalizing sport fisheries in lakes Erie and St. Clair, and more recently in Lake Ontario, provide ample proof of our commitment to improving this industry. I am determined to see the continued success of this effort in Parry Sound riding. Provided that a reasonable agreement can be reached between advocates of increased sport fishing and the commercial fisherman, increased stocking can benefit all parties concerned. These fishery efforts will improve the economic and environmental prospects of the Parry Sound riding.
Equally important to the economic development throughout rural Ontario are agriculture and road development. My constituents are concerned over high interest rates, the preservation and maintenance of agricultural land and the need for better and increased tax incentives to provide assistance and better returns for our farming community.
I know these concerns are shared by all Ontarians. For that reason I am pleased to see the commitment made by this government in the speech from the throne to the agricultural sector and to the continued development of highways and secondary roads so vital to rural communities.
Being a member of the northern Ontario community, an area noted for its great natural beauty, means Parry Sound riding and areas like it must be constantly aware of the need to protect the environment when the economic base of the region is expanded and diversified. But diversity is unquestionably a vital part of economic growth. Because of this we are especially supportive of the development of new technologies as well as of the expansion of Ontario's existing economic situation and strengths.
Because high-technology research centres and industries can be developed without disrupting a clean, healthy environment, they are particularly attractive to areas like ours which need diversity without endangering the natural beauty and the resources of the region. This is particularly true since our environment supports a vigorous tourist industry.
Shaw-Almex Industries Limited, which produces vulcanizing equipment just outside of Parry Sound, is an excellent example of the ability of high-technology industries to blend into communities without disrupting the natural balance in the region. This firm produces an innovative product that is exported worldwide. It is based in a northern Ontario community with relative proximity to the markets of southern Ontario.
The establishment of community development corporations outlined in the BILD program, together with financial input and expertise of the business community, could prove to be the perfect vehicle for matching new industries with areas of the province needing to diversify their economic base. These new initiatives will be heartily welcomed in my area, particularly because of the vast potential they hold for stimulating employment in the riding.
This is an important concern for Parry Sound riding, especially given the fact that over the past few years many of our young people have been moving out of the area to find jobs in their chosen occupations. New opportunities through technological innovation and local initiative, coupled with the advanced technical education referred to in the speech from the throne, will provide our youth with the reality of being able to choose to live and work in their own community.
Not to be forgotten in terms of employment opportunities are the new government policies in the area of native affairs. These include a career development plan for native people in northern Ontario that will provide opportunities for training and permanent employment in the private sector as well as in the field operations of the Ministry of Natural Resources. Of course, creating and promoting new high technology industries will benefit not only the regions in which these industries locate, but the entire province and its economy. Research and development in new areas will place Ontario in the forefront of modern technology and world markets, as well as creating new opportunities for development and employment in many areas of the province.
Up to this point I have touched on many of the BILD initiatives, which were highlighted in the speech from the throne, and which will develop the enormous economic potential of many regions in this province, particularly those areas which, like Parry Sound, are rich in natural resources and untapped wealth. But I would be remiss if, before concluding, I did not mention another aspect of the government's program which I feel is vitally important to our continued strength as a province.
In the speech from the throne, the government reaffirmed its long-standing commitment to providing strong support for social service programs. The past 10 years have seen the construction of numerous facilities for senior citizens throughout our riding. In the years to come, services for senior citizens will be improved and expanded, homes for the aged will be upgraded and continuing emphasis will be placed on community living for elderly and disabled persons, enabling them to live in their own homes. As well, new programs will be created for the handicapped in our province in this International Year of Disabled Persons, and a fresh look will be taken at our mental health programs.
In short, the government will continue to reflect its concern for those in need and will maintain the importance of traditional values and family life as a mainstay of its policies. This is a concern which each of us in government shares.
In the short time that I have been a member of the government party, I have had the opportunity to work and speak with many of my colleagues on the back benches. Their dedication and enthusiasm, combined with the cooperation and guidance of our long-standing members, denies the opposition's assertion that this government is arrogant.
I can assure the members opposite that we are all individuals over here, with varied interests and attitudes, but we are united in our concern for the wellbeing of Ontarians, for the growth and prosperity of small business, for the need to let private enterprise operate without the shackles of overregulation and for the preservation of our environment. We are a government that cares, and our concern will continue to be voiced in our programs.
We in Ontario have good reason to be proud of our province. Our economy is strong and we have tremendous potential inherent in our human and natural resources. In the speech from the throne, the Ontario government has dedicated itself to preserving and building on our province's strengths and securing the continued wellbeing of our citizens in the years to come. I am proud to be a part of that government, and to be able to represent the riding of Parry Sound.
Mr. Elston: Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to address the Legislative Assembly of Ontario on the occasion of the throne speech debate. I start by congratulating you on your ascension to the Speaker's chair with all the duties and responsibilities it entails.
Next, I congratulate all the members, those newly elected and those who are returning for another term. I can appreciate now the work that goes into a campaign. I was a new politician and had never engaged in a political campaign before, except as an assistant to others who had visions of being elected to office. I can now appreciate the amount of work that goes into a political campaign by those who run the campaign and the individuals in the riding who make it a success. I also extend my thanks to those people as well.
It has also come to my attention that, by and large, the democratic process, especially in our riding of Huron-Bruce, is one that has been exercised well and fully. I had the privilege of running against two fine gentlemen and two other party organizations, who worked hard and long hours. The people of Huron-Bruce were well served by a very clean and well-thought-out campaign. Again, I would like to thank the people of Huron-Bruce for the support they showed publicly by electing me as their representative to this House for Huron-Bruce.
I wish to continue by saying a few words in relation to the former member for Huron-Bruce, Mr. Murray Gaunt. Our riding of Huron-Bruce was represented by Mr. Gaunt for almost two decades, Mr. Gaunt having assumed the seat in 1962 in a by-election. He went on from there to sit in the House until he retired just before the last election.
Mr. Gaunt was one of the most able members ever to serve in the Legislature. He was hardworking, dedicated and untiring in his efforts to uphold the rights of the constituents of Huron Bruce. He became known for his booming laughter, which was well known to all members of the Legislature and which became a hallmark. He sat in this House for almost two decades, and those were decades that brought on the most eventful and sweeping changes in government.
We have seen a wide-ranging increase in government activity in the lives of the people of Ontario, and Mr. Gaunt was always on guard to make sure that his constituents were well served and not being swept away by that increased activity. He stood with his constituents at the board level. He went with them to the various licensing agencies, and he protected their interests no matter what their problems.
He was resolute in his representation of his constituents. He was just as resolute when it came time to do his committee work, and he worked hard for constituents throughout Ontario. Mr. Gaunt's untiring efforts and his unselfish dedication in serving his constituents and the province are to be lauded by all, and serve as an example to all members of the House and in particular to the new members here.
Moreover, he remained a gentleman in his dealings with this Legislature and became close friends with very many people who sat opposite as well as those sitting on this side of the House. I think the way he conducted the political affairs in his career is certainly the way we should try to continue to carry them out.
It is with pleasure that I pay tribute to the former member for Huron-Bruce, and it is with pride that I likewise commit myself to represent the constituents of Huron-Bruce to the very best of my ability, to share with them their problems, to find resolutions to their difficulties, and to stand with them when they find it difficult to find solutions by themselves.
I make this commitment, because I find that Huron-Bruce is one of the most impressive parts of Ontario in which to live. The pastoral lands that are nestled against the shore of Lake Huron hide the bustle of the activities that make this riding one of the most productive parts of Ontario. It contains parts of two counties: Bruce county, with a population of approximately 58,000 people, and Huron county, with a population of approximately 57,000 people.
Both counties are equally rich in the natural resources from which their residents have forged their livelihoods, but the riding is more than just a pastoral setting that produces a great number of agricultural products. It has a wide range of modern small businesses which have been largely established by the local initiative of many of the pioneers and resident individuals there.
For example, I can point to businesses such as the Western Foundry Company, which operates in Wingham. It has new electric blast furnaces capable of producing mouldings for many modern industries and in particular has gone on to produce many components for the automobile industry.
I take pride in the fact that there is a brush and broom factory in Port Elgin which makes most of the brushes and brooms we buy from very many suppliers. I also must point out that this particular brush and broom factory has as one of its employees the only person in Canada who is capable of making the push brooms that are used in curling and are now becoming very popular.
We also have industries that have committed themselves to serving the agricultural industry. In relation to those, I wish to point out that many welding and fabricating industries have grown up to serve the local agricultural industry.
I must also point out that the riding has particularly benefited from a large and vital tourist industry. The beaches of the shore of Lake Huron provide a very good recreational site for many of the visitors who come to the area from the cities, especially from the Kitchener-Waterloo, Toronto and London areas.
At the same time, the riding offers many opportunities for those people who wish to expand their own businesses in the area. For instance, we have the Bruce nuclear power development, which can provide adequate resources in terms of energy production for the development of industry by making it profitable for entrepreneurs to set up new manufacturing businesses in the riding.
I must also remark that in the near future the Bruce nuclear power development will, as mentioned in the BILD program, provide some energy for a new Bruce agripark, which will house new agricultural production facilities for our area. This concept of an agripark has been developed largely because of the local initiative of some of the individuals in the riding who have only recently received tacit support from the government to allow them to continue with their plans.
I trust and hope this project can go forward and will help our area to diversify, but as yet we have not seen anything tangible in relation to government support of this particular project. I would like to see it move ahead, and I would be pleased if we could get on with the required legislation so the energy is made available and this project can become feasible.
Although in Huron-Bruce we have many other sorts of industry, by and large we are an agricultural area. Agriculture has been the number one industry of Huron county and it is almost number one in Bruce county.
Along with the agricultural industry, appropriately a wide range of small businesses has developed to serve the needs of the riding. By and large, these small businesses survive because of the vitality of the local agricultural market, although there are some that export their products not only out of the riding but also out of Ontario and Canada.
In this respect, I wish to mention at least two of these small businesses. One is Fritz Concrete at Chepstow, which is in the market of selling concrete slab products for farm and agricultural buildings, and another is Helm Welding Limited in Lucknow, which is an exporter of snowblowers and other farm equipment.
The growth of the agribusiness community in Huron-Bruce has taken place largely as a result of strong initiative on the part of the people of my riding. From the time of the pioneers who first walked into the bush to clear land, to the present time when the farming community forges on to become ever more efficient producers of food for Canada, individuals have held their futures in their own hands and have not only survived but also expanded their local businesses and institutions.
It is in this light that the people of Huron-Bruce are ever vigilant to organize against the erosion of their economic, social and political fabric.
The evidence of this is the strong reliance the people in my riding have on their municipal governments. They go to them first and foremost to meet the needs that they feel arise. Strong interest in local politics, appropriately displayed in the active meetings of both municipal councils and county councils, acts as evidence of this interest in local institutions throughout the riding.
If the local government and business of the area is strong, it is because of the strong, vibrant and independent press that has sprung up all over the riding. In my riding, approximately 14 newspapers are published weekly and provide the residents of the area with the information they need to keep abreast of the happenings in the riding.
At the same time, again as a result of strong local initiative by one particular resident of the riding, Mr. Doc Cruikshank, who was a resident of Wingham and who in the 1920s took up the challenge of radio communication, the riding of Huron-Bruce is fortunate to be served by CKNX radio and TV stations. The FM and AM radio stations, together with locally produced television programming, provide Huron-Bruce with one of the most thorough local communication networks in Ontario with which to participate in the democratic process.
Although I have spoken at length about the vitality of the area, I found recently, just prior to and during the election, that our agribusiness community in Huron-Bruce has been stymied by high input costs and high interest costs and, by and large, they have received very little help.
I have here numerous letters from constituents of mine which plead for assistance from this government, and we have received no help or assistance whatsoever from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food. There are individuals who have written to me, requesting that some assistance be given to them along the lines that it has been given to the farmers of Quebec, that some programs be instituted along the lines of those that have been instituted by other provinces to help deal with the high interest costs. But our appeals, in the form of requests for a debate and requests for the Ministry of Agriculture and Food to forge ahead to help our people, have gone unheeded.
I might point out that, in the speech from the throne, only three paragraphs on pages eight and nine refer to agriculture, and they do not deal specifically with the problem areas we are concerned with. They do not mention the problems of the beef producers or the pork producers. They do make one reference to the concern of the government over the interest rate increases, but that is as far as it goes. There are no plans in this throne speech to help the agricultural business in my community.
That is too bad, because the letters I have just held up come mostly from farmers who should be expanding their operations and not from those who should be closing down. They are people in their late 20s, their early 30s and their early 40s. These are the people who provide the vitality of any industry and not only in the agricultural industry.
I find it very difficult to understand why, in this age of enlightened politics, there cannot be something done to aid those people who are my constituents and, indeed, many of whom are my friends and associates from school days and so on.
Mr. Piché: Our government is going to help.
Mr. Elston: Your government has done nothing.
The Deputy Speaker: Order.
Mr. Elston: Mr. Speaker, I hear one member speaking about federal money and the whole works. I understand that this government refused to take equalization payments of some $500 million before the election. They refused to use that. If they had really been concerned, they could have taken that money. If they did not want to put it into the industry segment, into the manufacturing segment, they could have taken that money from the federal government and put all of it into agriculture. There was nothing put into agriculture.
Hon. Mr. Ashe: You had better read some background before you talk about what you don't know.
Mr. Riddell: Did you read the headlines in the Globe this morning?
The Deputy Speaker: Mr. Elston has the floor.
Mr. Elston: Mr. Speaker, I have pride in the ability of the residents of Huron-Bruce to weather the storm. I have pride in the people of Ontario. However, I think it will take some concerted action on the part of this government to make sure that we do not slide any lower on the list, the list we were speaking of earlier, which was published in the Globe and Mail today.
I would like to mention a couple of words about the BILD program. The BILD program largely forms the basis of the throne speech. During the election in our riding, we dealt at some length with what it was going to do for Ontario. We discovered that the $750 million this government has committed over the next five years was made up mostly of money that had already been committed and that there was not going to be much new money available in the event.
The government has taken credit for providing a program of some $1.5 billion in size, when in fact it is contributing only $750 million. It seems to me it has tried to deceive the people of Ontario about the commitment it has made to the industrial development of the province.
Further, we find there really is no overall strategy for Ontario. Bits and pieces are to be dispersed around the communities of Ontario, but there is nothing that tells us how the industrial development of Ontario will take place. There is nothing in the BILD program that tells us how the agricultural industry is going to develop in the province. There are just a few slight references to that industry, and I find that unacceptable in an area where agriculture forms a vital part of our industry.
My constituents are concerned about our agricultural business. Some of them are going out of business, while in other provinces, notably Quebec, farmers are being sustained by government assistance. They fear we are going to lose the markets we have held for so long and for which we have produced cheap and high-quality foodstuffs. The farmers in Huron-Bruce are very productive and efficient people for the most part and do not deserve to be left in the lurch.
My riding has always been active in the recreational business in the Great Lakes area and in the province generally. We have championship sports teams. Just recently, the Mildmay juvenile hockey club became all-Ontario juvenile hockey champions. I might mention that they have applied for some assistance from Wintario for a project and have been put on a list for future consideration.
To conclude, I want to say again that it is a privilege to represent the fine people of Huron-Bruce in the Legislature. I will do what I can to support them. There are some fine organizations that require some support, including the Winghan and district association for the mentally retarded, which is now trying to establish a new facility to replace the existing one, which is overcrowded by those already receiving the benefits of the volunteer labour of members of that association.
I also want to mention the Town and Country Homemakers in the county of Huron, who perform housekeeping chores for those who are convalescing at home and are unable to help themselves, and in this way are supporting the health system in Ontario. They provide a valuable service and are always in need of funds. I suggest that the Minister of Health should continue to fund the group to help it carry out the services it offers to the citizens of my riding.
I also wish to point out the work of an organization in the town of Kincardine that is very busy now trying to establish long-overdue chronic care beds for the senior citizens of the area. Kincardine has a population of approximately 6,000 people, and any of the elder statesmen of the town must now go either to a home in Lucknow, which is 15 miles or 20 miles away, or to a home in Southampton, which is another 30 miles, or to one in Walkerton.
There is no place in Kincardine that provides the elder statesmen of the town with a place to retire in comfort. I support that group in its efforts to obtain the necessary approvals from the ministries so it can provide that very necessary institution for the people of the town of Kincardine.
I will continue to support such groups in their efforts to obtain the assistance and support for their individual residents. To projects of these types I will lend my full weight and support and make whatever contribution I can to help them attain their goals.
It has been a pleasure to address the House in the throne speech debate, and I look forward to continuing.
Mr. Cooke: First of all, I want to congratulate the Deputy Speaker on his appointment and I would ask you, sir, to pass on my congratulations to the new Speaker as well. I wish you, for your sake as well as ours, all the success in the world as Deputy Speaker.
I also want to congratulate the new member for Windsor-Sandwich (Mr. Wrye), but at the same time I want to express my disappointment at the defeat of my colleague Ted Bounsall. I believe Ted Bounsall served in this Legislature for 10 years with distinction. He worked very hard. Probably the issue that most of us remember Ted for most is the issue of equal pay for work of equal value. It is an issue this party believes in very strongly, and I guarantee that with or without Ted Bounsall we will continue to carry on that fight in the Legislature.
Further, I should indicate to the member for Windsor-Sandwich that I hope he wins his grievance arbitration with CBC, because I have a feeling that in four years Ted Bounsall will be back and he will be unemployed.
I want to make a few comments about the election and then I want to go into a couple of items regarding the auto industry as well as the food processing industry.
During the election campaign I visited about 8,000 homes in my riding and, while my biggest disappointment was the defeats our party experienced, I was also disappointed by the turnout that was experienced in this province -- about 50 per cent. In my riding a traditional turnout is between 66 per cent and 70 per cent, and the turnout dropped to 56 per cent.
I think that says something very clearly to this government, to all of us as members of this Legislature and to all of us as politicians. There is a lot of alienation and cynicism out there about politicians and about politics, and we have a job to do to create confidence in our process to make sure that democracy lives and continues to be healthy in this province.
One of the things that added to this cynicism in the last election was very clearly the types of promises this government made, the attempts to buy votes rather than sell them on their record. I suggest the record was not something they could get votes on, and that is why they decided to go across this province with their $1.5-billion BILD program. It is 50 per cent money from the feds and another portion of the money from private enterprise that we will probably never see.
I think also the attempt that was made by the government for the senior citizen vote was despicable. There was the $500 grant in the fall and then the week before the election was called every senior citizen in this province who receives the old age pension got a nice shiny booklet from this government -- with 27 cents worth of stamps on it -- reminding them what a great government they have in this province. It had a picture of the Provincial Secretary for Social Development (Mrs. Birch) and a picture of the Premier (Mr. Davis) on it, and was just simply to remind them of the services they get. I will say that this booklet did not help some of the constituents I met. There were three in particular I met during the election who I remember very clearly.
There was one individual, an 85-year old man, who lived on Clemenceau Street in my riding. I went into his home and I was rather shocked, Mr. Speaker, at the dirt in the home and the lack of food. The inability of this individual to take care of himself was obvious.
I talked to him about alternatives and where he may look to find better lodging. We talked about rest and lodging homes and nursing homes. I found out that he qualified for an extended care certificate under the Ontario health insurance plan. He had his name in at nursing homes in Windsor and there was a one-year waiting list.
This 85-year old man, who had immigrated to this country, worked hard all his life at Chrysler and paid taxes all his life, now lives in a state of poverty, does not eat well and will probably -- unless he gets some type of care and there is not that opportunity right now -- end up dying in that home because of lack of care and lack of planning. The member for Cochrane North can shake his head and he can make jokes but maybe he should --
Mr. Piché: No, I do not make jokes. What you say is unfair.
Mr. Cooke: It is not unfair. If the member for Cochrane North would go talk to this individual and see some of the people in his riding, who I am sure also exist, maybe he would find out that the senior citizens in this province are getting a raw deal and have had a raw deal for many years under this government.
There is also a 78-year old woman on Grand Boulevard. I went to her house and she asked me to come in. I talked to her for a while and she started crying. The reason she started crying is because she needed eye glasses. She did not have the money to buy the eye glasses and the only way to get funding for them was to go to the welfare office. This individual had never applied for welfare and was determined not to have to go that route. Instead, she could not read her newspaper, could not read magazines, and could not read books because she did not have proper eye glasses.
Finally, there was another couple -- and this is a serious problem right across this province. They both received old age pension and he received a Ford pension. Unfortunately, his health deteriorated and he had to go into a rest and lodging home. Because this province does not have regulation of rest and lodging homes and because this province does not have funding of rest and lodging homes, these people did not qualify for welfare assistance because he had a Ford pension. He went in and had to pay $800 a month and she was left with the old age pension and that is it. The result was she could not keep up her home. She could not pay the property taxes and eat well at the same time and was faced with the possibility of having to sell her home.
These incidents are not isolated. They occur all across the province. They occur all across my riding. I feel extremely strongly about rest and lodging homes and the regulation and funding under the Ontario health insurance program. I also feel very strongly that rest and lodging homes, as well as nursing homes, must be brought under public control. They must no longer be run for profit.
The other day my colleague from Scarborough West (Mr. R. F. Johnston) indicated in his speech that he thought it was not a coincidence that the only types of health care facilities that are run for a profit are the health care facilities used by the elderly and the handicapped. These are the same people about whom we make all sorts of comments and we say that we are doing the best we can.
We have the International Year of Disabled Persons. We put out brochures for senior citizens. We say that they have built our community, they have built our province, but when the bottom line is drawn the fact of the matter is we do not take very good care of those people and we do not help them very much. By putting them in nursing homes that are run strictly for profit, and where care is secondary, we again show very clearly that we do not care as much and the policies and statements of the government are basically rhetoric.
I would judge the government by its record. Anyone can say they care. We often hear the Premier saying that the New Democratic Party does not have any kind of monopoly on caring. I would judge the government by its record and I believe strongly its record on caring for the elderly and the handicapped in this province is not a good record at all.
I want to spend a few minutes talking about the automobile industry and I want to begin by quoting from the Board of Industrial Leadership and Development document as I did the other day in question period. The one statement in the BILD document referring to the automobile industry says the following, "There is good cause to believe that the worst is past."
I am going to review some statistics, some of which I have used before in question period, but which I want to get on the record again tonight.
The latest statistics show the world auto trade deficit for Canada is $2,997 billion. The deficit with the United States is $2 billion and the deficit with Japan is climbing; it is up 87 per cent in 1980 over 1979 and has now achieved $854 million. The only deficits that have come down are the world deficit and the US deficit. That is for one reason only -- because of the recession in the United States.
Clearly, the structural problems in the automobile industry continue to exist in this province and country. There is nothing in the BILD program, nothing coming from my friend from Essex South, nothing from his party and nothing from the federal Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce (Mr. Gray), nothing at all to correct the structural problems in the automobile industry.
Production at Ford Motor Company up until April 18, 1981, is down 23 per cent from 1980, and 1980 was no record year. Chrysler is down 22 per cent. General Motors is up 0.6 per cent. That is the one company where production is up -- 0.6 per cent. The total, of course, is down nearly 10 per cent.
Mr. Eakins: You are down. How many per cent are you down?
Mr. Cooke: Is the honourable member running for leadership too, or is that a rumour I heard?
Mr. Mancini: You kept those birds in office one year longer than you had to, so don't tell us any different.
Mr. Cooke: One of these days we may take the honourable member as seriously as he takes himself, but I doubt it.
The loss figures for Ford Motor Company for the first quarter of this year are over $400 million. The loss figures for Chrysler are around $200 million. Now the interest rates have gone to another all-time high. The consumer loan rate yesterday was 23 per cent. I assume now, after today's increase, we are talking about 24 or 25 per cent for consumer loans for anyone who wants to go out to purchase a car.
The report produced by the Treasurer or his ministry and released earlier this year to the select committee on plant shutdowns and employee adjustment really paints a very difficult picture ahead for the automobile industry.
I want to point out to the one cabinet minister here this evening that, while the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Grossman) may say that is a worst-scenario case study, the fact of the matter is most of the information in the Treasury study is clearly statistical and the scenario it paints comes from those statistics.
What I want to do for the next few minutes is quote some of those statistics and prove to the House and maybe even to the government -- although I suspect it knows the problem but just does not know how to deal with it -- that the problems in the automobile industry are structural, are serious, are still with us and are going to be with us unless there is significant and substantial government intervention.
For example, on page six of the report it says: "Contrary to popular belief, the North American automakers are not likely to close the product gap until 1982 to 1985. In the short term, General Motors, Ford and Chrysler will rely on sales of conventional cars and light trucks, and hence their earning generation potential appears severely impaired, as these models have sold at less than half capacity since the spring of 1979.
"Some illusions: By 1982 model year, less than half of the car assembly plants in north America will have been converted to lightweight front-wheel-drive, four-cylinder-engine, car production. Chrysler, which prides itself as being the small front-wheel-drive company, must sell 600,000 to 700,000 large conventional cars in the 1981 model year to generate cash for debt service and launch costs on the K-car. Ford and General Motors will not be able to tool up for an appropriate mix of four-cylinder engines until near 1985."
Page 12 of the report: "Ford North America is expected to have severe internal cash flow problems over the mid-term which may well require further reduction in capital commitments, greater outsourcing, even to the extent of joint production, and reduced operation. Ford North America is on the way to becoming a much smaller company with serious implications for its commitments in Canada."
That is not a scenario. That is happening to the Ford Motor Company now. The $400-million loss announced last week indicates there is a capital shortage, there is a cash flow problem and Ford Motor Company is going to have to cut back on its capital commitments in North America which does have severe implications for Ontario.
Chrysler: It is obvious that in order to retool their van plant in Windsor and their car plant in Windsor -- in order to have the van wagons and the small cars they want to produce in 1983 -- the only way they can do that is to generate new capital. They cannot do that with the loan guarantees from the American and Canadian governments alone.
The fact is unless profits are turned on the larger cars, that capital will not be generated and the retooling of the plants in Windsor will not take place. The report on page 13 confirms that. It says:
"Expansion at Trenton, in Mexico and Syracuse will require substantial commitments of capital which the operating plant estimates to be between $1 billion and $2 billion over the next two years. Chrysler will have to generate at least $500 million in net earnings over the next year to keep this investment on track since outside guaranteed debt is now limited to $900 million." It is now lower than that since they have taken more of the American loan guarantees.
"Chrysler last reported a comparable level of profit in 1976 when large cars could be sold in large numbers and when Chrysler's market share amongst sales of domestically-built cars was 13.4 per cent as compared with the 9.7 per cent in the third quarter of 1980. Any sales difficulties with the K and L cars will likely lead to a burnup of the remaining secured debt."
The fact is that Chrysler has not turned a profit yet. They continue to lose money -- hundreds of millions of dollars -- and they are not going to have the capital. With the interest rates, thanks to our federal Liberal friends and thanks to Mr. Reagan, there will not be a demand for North American-built cars or Japanese cars. The capital will not be developed and we cannot look forward to those plants in Windsor being retooled unless there is a dramatic turnaround in the market for cars.
Therefore, the short term for Chrysler is limited to production at its present facilities of cars and vans, and in the long term, unless things turn around dramatically, those plants will not be retooled. We are going to continue to have long-term severe unemployment problems in my home town of Windsor, as well as at Ajax and Etobicoke where Chrysler also has plants.
Ford, as I have already said, is having problems with cash flow and that also indicates problems with their retooling because of the capital requirements. In fact, while there is some good news in Windsor right now that the casting plant will be opening, the Ford Motor Company itself indicates that the two V-8 engine plants we have in Windsor have a very limited life and will be closed at best within the next two years. In my opinion it probably will be sooner than that.
Page 23 comments about General Motors: "In General Motors' case commitments to Canada have been virtually limited to the $1.5-billion Windsor transaxle plant. This represents about 60 per cent of General Motors Canada's announced 1979-83 capital program and also signifies what must be interpreted to be a move by General Motors to minimize its dependence on Canadian parts producers and hence maximize its opportunities for purchasing parts from more attractive markets offshore, including the sophisticated Japanese market.
Before the cash crisis, General Motors manufactured 15 different transmissions over the mid-term. This has been reduced to two in an effort to conserve cash. General Motors, Windsor, has been given the order for one of these transmissions and its large production volume will go far towards satisfying what are virtually static Canadian value added -- CVA -- requirements under the auto pact. Since they are going to be producing the inhouse parts in Windsor, that means they will no longer need to source those parts from the independent parts suppliers. So, while there may be jobs at General Motors, the implications of General Motors' decision for the auto parts sector are serious.
Engine production in Canada is very crucial. The report, on page 23, states: "The net effect is that Canada is likely to be cut out of all small engine developments in the mid-term, not only by General Motors, but by other North American auto makers as well. Four-cylinder capacity has virtually been committed worldwide until 1985 and commitments for mini-engines -- two-cylinder or three-cylinder, electric -- are now being planned in preparation for even greater shifts to fuel efficiency."
That says very clearly that the auto makers have made their decisions. We are not getting the small engine production, and we are not getting the diesel engine production. Those are not worst-case scenarios, those are facts. How the Minister of Industry and Tourism and the Premier can say they are going to ignore that report and that it does not have the sanction of cabinet is beyond me.
The auto parts sector is crucial to the future development of an industry which is largely foreign owned. If we are going to Canadianize the industry, the first place it has to be Canadianized is in the auto parts sector. Ontario has always been weak in the auto parts sector. That is one of the reasons the auto pact was eventually negotiated. The report suggests, and proves, that things are getting worse in the auto parts sector.
For example, in 1975 we captured 88.3 per cent of the US market for engines imported into the United States. In 1979, four years later, that had dropped to 64.5 per cent. Engine parts were 41 per cent in 1975 and down to 39 per cent in 1979. Bodies and chassis were 51 per cent in 1975 and down to 24 per cent in 1979. Wheels were at 72 per cent in 1975, but went down to 64 per cent in 1979. Again, those are not worst-case scenarios; those are the facts of what has happened in the auto industry.
This report, produced by the Treasury, has the auto industry pinned and describes very clearly what is happening. Page 60 of the report says:
"The direction for North American engine production in the 1980s is towards four-cylinder engines and diesels. General Motors projects that by 1985, 80 per cent of its North American vehicles will have four-cylinder engines and 25 per cent will be diesel powered. Ontario's position is made vulnerable by the fact that it has no production capabilities in either of these areas. Most alarming is the fact that we are losing the US market that we now hold for auto parts to the Japanese market."
Page 65 of the report states: "In recent years, Canada has been capturing a declining share of the US parts market. Between 1970 and 1979, export of Canadian auto parts to the United States increased from 1.3 billion to 4.3 billion or 226 per cent, while total US imports increased by 427 per cent to 10 billion over the same period.
"In 1970" -- these statistics are more than just a bit significant; they are very important -- "Canada accounted for 70 per cent of all US imports, West Germany for 8.5 per cent, Japan 8.5 per cent and other countries for 13 per cent. By 1979 this picture had changed radically, with Canada accounting for only 43 per cent, West Germany for nine, Japan 29 per cent" -- Japan had 8.5 per cent just a few years before that, as I have already stated -- "and others at 21 per cent."
The report concludes by saying, "If recent trends continue, Japan could displace Canada as the single most important supplier of auto parts to the United States in the very near future."
One of the facts of the problem is we do virtually no research and development in auto parts in this country. Canadian auto parts firms, therefore, cannot compete with the Japanese auto parts firms.
Canadian auto parts firms have not been able to compete with the Japanese because we have not done enough research and development in this country.
The auto parts tech centre suggested under the BILD program is the one positive aspect of the BILD program for the auto parts industry. It is the only part that affects the auto industry at all.
However, as the members know, the auto tech centre was promised to the Niagara Peninsula. It was promised to Chatham. Then, when we were visited in Windsor by one of the cabinet ministers, now the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Walker) it was promised to Windsor, although two days later when the Premier stopped at the airport to go to Japan he corrected him and said it was not coming to Windsor.
Mr. Piché: Who wrote your speech, Chrysler?
Mr. Cooke: The statistics were written by one of the member's ministries, the Ministry of Treasury and Economics. That is why these statistics should be listened to by him, even though his minister does not believe them.
The conclusion of the report is devastating. It indicates clearly that, because of the technological changes, because of the structural problems, what we can expect and look forward to in this country is a 29 to 33 per cent decline in employment in the automobile industry.
The report, as I said, is statistical in nature. There are some scenarios built into the report, but I have quoted statistics and they speak for themselves. The scenarios developed were checked with Payne-Weber. One of the best- known auto people in the United States looked at that report, sent it back and said: "The report is right on. That is what is happening to the Canadian automobile industry, and that is what you can expect."
The basic problems in the automobile industry are an excellent example of what has happened to the manufacturing industries in this country and in this province, whether it be the machinery industry, mining machinery, food processing or manufacturing in general.
I want to spend a couple of minutes talking about the food processing industry and let the members draw their own parallels as to what is happening.
The food processing industry is extremely important to this province. One out of every four jobs in Ontario is dependent on this sector. However, the job loss is also significant. Total employment in 1967 was 90,987 and in 1977 it had dropped to 84,191, a drop of 6,796 jobs. Food processing plants are closing all over. Of the 25 counties for which data is available from 1970 to 1976, 80 per cent recorded a decline in food processing plants and employment.
A couple of examples: Huron county, a 37 per cent drop in the number of food processing plants and a 60 per cent drop in the number of jobs; Lennox and Addington, a 71 per cent drop in plants and a 75 per cent drop in the number of jobs; Sudbury, a 46 per cent drop in plants and a 37 per cent drop in the number of jobs. This is a result, clearly, of a large concentration of ownership in large plants. Basically, foreign interests own them.
Food processing is going the same route as auto did many years ago. Let me take a look at the foreign ownership.
In the establishments that produce food and vegetables, 24.8 per cent are foreign owned, and that represents 61.6 per cent of the employees. For flour and cereals, 40.7 per cent of the establishments are foreign owned and 74.2 per cent of the employees work for the foreign owned plants. In biscuits, 36.5 per cent of the plants are foreign owned and 77.7 per cent of the employees work for the foreign owned plants. In miscellaneous foods, 34.3 per cent of the establishments are foreign owned and 75.3 per cent of the employees work for the foreign owned plants.
Foreign domination and multinational rationalization is clear in this sector, and clearly the result has been that in 1979, $1.5 billion worth of the food we consumed in Ontario was imported. Based on the food that is imported and could have been produced in Ontario, we could have produced 11,567 jobs with a direct payroll of $175 million in wages. The spinoff would have created 34,371 jobs with a payroll of $525 million.
If you add the problems that we have in the food processing industry with the job loss that we have in the auto sector, we are talking about 100,000 jobs in Ontario, Mr. Speaker. The results of the foreign domination and ownership of our economy are clear: job loss, loss of control of our economy and one of the very important problems we have talked about in this Legislature since we have resumed, that is, interest rates.
Interest rates are clearly linked to the fact that we have a serious problem with balance of trade in the manufacturing sector and with the control of our economy by American multinationals. We cannot really attack the structural problems and cure the interest rate problem until we get at the ownership and the dependence problems in this province and in this country.
There are solutions, however. We can take a look at the auto parts sector of the auto industry. It is an area where the vast majority of the individual plants are owned by Canadians. Although the vast majority of workers work for the 35 per cent of the plants which are foreign controlled, we have a base from which to work. We can expand those Canadian owned auto parts firms, but it will take government intervention.
Those across the floor say that government intervention is wrong. They do not know why they say it is wrong, it is just philosophically wrong for them. My support of it has something to do with my philosophy, but it has also to do with the fact that it is practical, pragmatic and the only solution which has not been tried by this government. Handing out grants and forgivable loans has not worked. It is time we looked at direct government intervention.
During the election we put forward the suggestion of Autocan, an auto parts crown corporation. Call it what you will -- ToryCan, Torycar, I don't care -- as long as it gets jobs created and attacks the structural problems in this sector. An auto parts crown corporation could be involved in research and development, which is one of the basic structural problems within the industry, and it could get involved with product development.
It could get involved with process technology and take a look at emphasizing the opportunities for productivity improvement and quality control. We could look at whole vehicle technology. We could take a look at the products which are being imported and where we can expand individual plants to meet those imports, plug the loopholes and make sure the jobs are here instead of in the United States, Japan and the other countries.
It can be done. It will mean that we cannot allow tax loopholes or give out grants. We have to consider loans, perhaps, with very strong job guarantees. The preferable solution, and the one I think can really work, is getting involved in joint ventures. The small Canadian firms do not have the capital to expand. They do not have the technology and therefore need government intervention and government money with equity because government must have a stake in the sector.
We have done it with Petrocan and it did work -- and even the federal Tories have been convinced that Petrocan works -- and it can work in the auto parts sector as well. It is really the only alternative.
During the election campaign, my Tory opponent said to me: "Who is going to pay for autocan?" I ask you, Mr. Speaker, who is paying for the unemployment in Windsor right now? Who is paying for the unemployment in the Niagara Peninsula and in Oakville and the other auto cities? You and I as taxpayers are paying and we have people who want to be productive and want to contribute to our society but are not being given that opportunity.
As a result, we not only pay welfare and unemployment insurance; we pay increased health-care costs, we pay increased costs for the many social agencies. And there is human tragedy involved that we have gone into and have talked about in this Legislature on several occasions.
I could be optimistic if I thought that this government had the will, and I could be optimistic if I thought this government had the leadership ability to get involved in the auto parts sector, one of the basic manufacturing industries in this province. It has been here for 38 years.
It is not going to happen by the Minister of Industry and Tourism and the Premier sitting on their butts and saying that everything is fine, that things are going to pick up and, "You shouldn't be so negative; be optimistic." I have no reason to be optimistic right now. This government has taken no concrete, positive action other than having an auto parts tech centre which was conceived for votes only and had nothing to do with proper economic planning.
The government knew there were problems in the automobile industry; it knew that its document on BILD had to say something about the automobile industry so it said: "The worst has passed. Things are turning around. We will give you an auto parts tech centre. That will solve the rest of the problems. Re-elect us."
It just isn't going to work. The only way the automobile industry can be turned around, the only way the food processing industry can be turned around before it gets into the same kind of shape the automobile industry is in, is by direct government involvement.
I say to you, Mr. Speaker, that over the next few years, you will be hearing this theme on several occasions when the Ford engine plants close down in Windsor, and when other plants close down in this province, and when the automobile industry continues to slide and all we hear from the minister is that things are fine.
We are going to raise these matters time and time again and eventually the government will have no alternative other than to implement these very positive proposals that my party has put forward.
Mr. Runciman: Mr. Speaker, I am delighted, and deem it a privilege as well as an opportunity, to say a few words in this debate in reply to the speech from the throne.
By participating in this debate, I have been given the opportunity to note that I represent the riding of Leeds and that, by virtue of my election, I am sitting in this Legislature instead of a man I have long admired and supported, Mr. James Auld, of Brockville.
I would like in my opening address to pay tribute to Mr. Auld and to his endeavours in this House, and as a cabinet minister and member for 26 1/2 years. I believe Jim Auld is one of the best known and most respected of politicians to pass this way and I am sure the House will join with me in wishing Mr. Auld a long and happy retirement from politics, although I am sure interest in the party and its fortunes will always be near and dear to him.
The throne speech has outlined in broad terms some of the policies that will carry this province forward into the 1980s. I expect and look forward with hope that these will include eastern Ontario in a measure more provident than in the past.
I have the honour to represent the historic riding of Leeds, a riding with an enviable record of loyalty to the Conservatives and the Progressive Conservative cause from the early days of Upper Canada. It also seems that from early times we have had a tough time convincing the government of the day that what is good for eastern Ontario is good for the rest of the province. However, there is -- and I am sorry the member for Cornwall (Mr. Samis) isn't here this evening -- at least one area of eastern Ontario that has not suffered from lack of attention from senior levels of government, and that is Cornwall.
Over the last decade we have seen countless millions of federal and provincial dollars directed to that city for a variety of projects. I do not fault the city fathers of Cornwall, or others. I commend them for their efforts and wonder what it is that attracts these funds to that corner of eastern Ontario. But I would suggest to my government colleagues that many other eastern Ontarians are also wondering about Cornwall's secret for receiving preferential treatment from the provincial government. They feel it is time to share the wealth in a more equitable manner.
For instance, in the speech from the throne there are indications that the government in its BILD program has more in mind for Cornwall -- a theme park. Is Cornwall to be the area in eastern Ontario rewarded again by the government? I hope not, for the sake of the future of the rest of eastern Ontario. God knows I like Cornwall and its people, but there is more to eastern Ontario and its needs than Cornwall.
Cornwall already has Upper Canada Village at its doorstep with the Saunders power station and dam as man-made tourist attractions. I would suggest that Leeds is an ideal place for the government to develop a theme park.
There are many places along the Thousand Island Parkway between Gananoque and Long Beach on land already owned by the province. There are vistas along that 25-mile stretch of road unequalled in beauty in this province. Leeds has its own Blue Mountain located between the St. Lawrence River and Charleston Lake, one of the most picturesque inland lakes in Ontario.
An hon. member: Named for a certain political party.
Mr. Runciman: Right, for a certain political party. The view from Blue Mountain is breathtaking. There is a lake near the top of it, Mirror Lake. Blue Mountain and its environs, up to and including shoreline on Charleston Lake, is owned mostly by the province.
In considering an eastern Ontario area for a theme park I commend these two locations for starters. I say starters because there are other beauty spots in Leeds. Look at Westport, nestled between lakes and mountains in north Leeds, or go east towards Portland on Big Rideau Lake. There is a wealth of choices and there can be no doubt that tourism in our area can stand a shot in the arm. A theme park can provide and ensure its viability as a year-round industry.
BILD also includes provisions for a research centre in the increasingly important field of microelectronics. Eastern Ontario has been mentioned as a possible site for such a centre because of the high technology industries in Ottawa. There are also some leading high tech industries in other sections of eastern Ontario that would benefit from research done in this area of the province. Microtel in Brockville is one of the largest in Canada and together with many others, makes eastern Ontario a logical choice for this type of development, especially if the government's promise to preserve good farm land has meaning.
In this regard, I would point to the BILD program and the need to consider some aspects of it in the light of the government's avowed policy of preserving good farm land.
In my part of the country we have an overabundance of marginal farm land. It is indigenous to eastern Ontario. Much more incentive must be given to industry to locate in eastern Ontario on this marginal land and away from the breadbasket of southern Ontario. Eastern Ontario is fertile soil for industry and a research centre could encourage development between Ottawa and Kingston and make this the Golden Triangle of the 1980s.
This government, I am happy to say, considers a prosperous farming sector the basis of Ontario's wellbeing. Because of the nature of its terrain, Leeds is one of the great dairying sections of Ontario. While Leeds has some of the finest dairy farms in the province, the number is decreasing each year. What we have are large farm operations. The small family farm operation has either expanded to survive or disappeared. A great many small farmers are renting their land to their neighbours to aid in their neighbour's expansion while they either retire to the farm house or seek work in nearby urban areas. Many farmers I talked to would like to see more encouragement for the small family farm which is still the backbone of agriculture.
There is an old saying that the farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything he buys at retail, sells everything he sells at wholesale and pays the freight both ways. Today there is still a lot of truth in that. The farmers in this province are facing tough times and this is an era when we need dynamic leadership in agriculture. I trust this government will continue to provide that leadership.
At one time, Leeds was the centre of the cheddar cheese industry in Ontario. There were more than 100 cheese factories. Today there are only two and both are famous for their products. Perhaps you have tried Plum Hollow cheddar or that made at Forfar, Mr. Speaker. If not I would be happy to see you get a sample.
There was a combination of factors that led to the demise of the small cheese factories. Big condenseries moved in, they needed milk supplies and they bought up the small cheese factory to get its milk supplies and then closed the cheese factory. At one time four of the largest condenseries in Canada were located in Leeds, one at Gananoque and three in Brockville. Like the cheese factories, they have also disappeared, although there is still one milk plant left, Ross Laboratories in Brockville, which produces the world-famous baby food formula, Simalac -- but with a milk base from a milk plant in another riding.
It is impossible to turn back the clock, but I do think we should endeavour more strenuously to ensure that the family farm in Leeds does not go the way of the cheese factories and the milk plants. I would urge the government to assist me in ensuring that the two remaining cheese factories continue to survive and prosper. I say prosper because milk quotas play hob with their ability to meet demands for their products. Plum Hollow and Forfar cheeses of the cheddar variety are considered a gourmet's delight and we don't want to see them disappear.
I realize how important it is to have big cheese factories to compete with the Quebec giant, but for too long we have been throwing the baby out with the bath water. Let us change that policy.
Leeds is also home base for one of North America's largest egg producers, Burnbrae Farms of Lyn. Some concerns have arisen in this area which I would like to relate to the Legislature.
Current government and egg board actions are tending to create segregation in Ontario's egg industry by creating different roles for northern Ontario than for the balance of the province. The decision to pay less levy in northern Ontario even though they get the same price as other producers and the decision to lock quotas in northern Ontario, while still allowing northern Ontario to buy quotas anywhere else in Ontario, are sources of concern for southern producers.
There is a growing need for responsible action by all levels of the egg industry. The system needs to be streamlined. Instead of adding extra tiers of boards and tribunals, cut the bureaucracy, and cut the costs at the board level and at the producer level.
Ontario farmers have to be competitive, keen and efficient. We, as a government, have to keep it as simple as possible. Ontario can and will provide food at very competitive prices for our consumers and still benefit our farmers, if we set things properly in place. We need to examine, on a regular basis, exactly how, when and why things are being done in agriculture in Ontario.
I would also urge the government to come to the aid of the small, independent grocery store, the one on the corner or in the rural village. That is also disappearing in Leeds, like the cheese factory and the milk plant. These family operated stores need encouragement if they are to survive.
Unlike other segments of our society, they are not looking for a government handout. They are asking for help in the form of a change in government policy having to do with the sale of beer and wine. I believe these small independent stores can survive with this kind of help. I have been told by many such small businessmen in Leeds that it would mean the difference between staying in business or closing. They need a shot in the arm, and they believe this would be an answer.
These people have recommended for the government's consideration that licences should be restricted to independent stores. At present, the independents are being squeezed severely by the food distribution system controlled by the big chains and by high interest rates. Introduction of wine and beer sales will give these independents new life.
Distribution is the key. It must be controlled by the province to ensure fairness. This would prevent layoffs of Brewers Retail employees, who could become part of a new alcoholic beverage distribution corporation charged with the vast system of distribution that would be needed. It would indeed create employment.
We always hear the argument that you cannot trust the private citizen with the sale of alcohol. I believe this can be countered by two points. One is that independents already successfully handle fish and game licences and the sale of motor vehicle licences in many areas. The second is to install a two tier system of licences, one for beer only, and one for beer and wine, the latter to be more strictly controlled by the Liquor Licence Board of Ontario.
A selling point in this proposal is the provision that only Canadian beer and wine could be sold. All imports would remain with the Liquor Control Board of Ontario store, which would allow for promotion in competition. This change of policy makes sense in eastern Ontario, adjacent as it is to Quebec and New York State, where such sales have been permitted for years. It would bring our laws more in line with those of our neighbours.
Licences should be handled through existing LLBO channels to ensure that we do not end up with stores with vast stocks of wine and beer and two cans of soup. There must be some provision that will ensure that larger firms cannot buy up small stores in order to remove their licences from the market. I am told that this has happened in other product lines under licences; tobacco wholesale licences, for instance. Firms sometimes exist on paper only. There must be strict control of hours of sale, regular inspections, some restrictions on discounting and payment in advance for stocks of beer and wine.
I believe in supporting these small independents in an effort to keep them in business. If beer and wine sales will do it, and I am assured it would, then I say it is a move this government can and should support.
Mr. Speaker, much has been said before and since the throne speech about labour relations in Ontario, and I have noted over the years with some amusement the third party's claim to be the representative of the working people.
I suspect that the average man and woman in this province has a great deal of difficulty relating to a party that is dominated both provincially and federally by academics, people who profess to understand the problems of the factory worker but who have no first-hand knowledge of the situation.
I have personally worked in industry for 19 years and served several terms as a union president, and a number of my government colleagues have similar histories. I suggest that this side of the House is much more qualified to appreciate and deal with the problems of the province's working men and women.
While I am cognizant of the concerns of many labour people about severance pay, there is another problem I wish to bring forward. It has to do with job security, especially in the provincial civil service. There are many civil servants in the riding of Leeds, be they nurses at the psychiatric hospital in Brockville or workers at one of the provincial parks. Although I have only been a member of the Legislature for a few weeks, I have already had union people and other individuals seeking my assistance in what they perceive to be, and what I feel, is a hardship and a threat to job security. It has to do with the current obsession with job evaluation in provincial work places.
There is currently one investigation going on in Leeds into a system that works undue strain on people in the provincial work places. In the field of labour relations, I feel it is time for the people responsible to re-assess the methods by which employees are evaluated regularly by their so-called superiors. I suggest that the current system of evaluation in provincial work places at least be modified, if not replaced by a more fair and equitable manner of assessing an employee's worth and ability.
Let us not judge a person by his or her name or the colour of their hair. Some people I am told are prematurely grey. Employees in the provincial work place tell me they are treated like school children and not as responsible adults.
There are a couple of other concerns that my constituents feel keenly about: One is the metric system. I don't know if that has been debated in this House or not but I think it is something that should be discussed in detail. My constituents do not like it; they do not understand it; they neither need it nor want it. I think a referendum would prove that the majority of people do not want it. It is not too late. I cannot agree entirely with that viewpoint, but I do believe this government should prevail upon the federal government to call a halt to further metrication.
Under the short-lived Clark government, the brakes were applied to the metric conversion program, a program that was brought into effect by order in council. It was slipped past Parliament in an omnibus bill known as C23, a bill dealing mostly with grain and related matters. The bill, however, allowed for the repeal of the Weights and Measures Act which, in effect, allowed for metric only. It thus removed from that act the limitations of the Governor in Council to abolish Canadian units of measure and trade.
The Liberals, and I will emphasize that, the Liberals had removed a clause from the bill that would have sent any proposals for change in the imperial system to Parliament for debate and approval.
Mr. Piché: That is the federal Liberals.
Mr. Runciman: That's right. Because of the way it was slipped past, metric has never been debated. This past month, delegations from the Canadian organization of small businesses and the Canadian Federation of Retail Grocers and others were in Ottawa protesting the order in council that says Canadian units of measurement shall not be permitted in Canada's retail trade, starting in January 1982.
Canadians have been told 95 per cent of the world uses metric. That is hogwash. Only 44 of the 152 countries in the United Nations have signed the metric treaty.
Actually, two thirds of the world's manufactured goods are to inch specifications and the United States, a source of at least 75 per cent of all Canada's trade, has backed off further conversion to metric. Only 4.8 per cent of Canada's trade goes to metric countries. In Britain, it was decided there would be no more compulsory metrication orders and the British metric board was abolished.
The federal Member of Parliament for Peter- borough has told the House of Commons that 45 members of Metric Commission Canada's working group on scales is the group that will decide whether grocery stores are to be next on the list. Fourteen voting members of that group represent foreign companies selling weigh scales. Mr. Domm says there are 116,800 weigh scales in Canada's retail stores. At an average cost of $5,000 a scale, the cost to buy them will be $584 million and we all know the consumers will have to pay for them.
The federal government's special overview board set up by the Clark government found the metric program was not only an unpopular mistake, but that it had been very costly to Canadians. The report called for the disbanding of the commission. That report noted that mandatory plans now being implemented are not in the public interest. Conversion to litres, for instance, resulted in an immediate hike of 12 per cent to the consumer.
The report said conversion in the dairy milk industry alone would cost Ontario consumers $55 million to $65 million by the time the conversion was complete and we know who pays for that. The consumer once again gets it in the neck. I say, "Let's give the consumer a break."
In 1970, the Liberal government promised to implement the metric system on a voluntary basis. It then abandoned that principle and laws were put into place to force its use, all without the backing of Parliament. Canadians were told to eat cake and like it. Is it not time for a consensus of Canadians on the use of metric? Would it not make more sense to oppose further moves to metric unless those moves are aligned with what is done in the US, our biggest trading partner?
If the federal government is unwilling to put the brakes on metric, I urge the government of Ontario to take action on its own and call a halt to the program within this province. Let us muster the intestinal fortitude required and give the people of this province and this country a clear indication that at least one government in this nation is willing to listen to the people it represents.
In concluding my remarks, I have one additional recommendation to make to the government. I would urge consideration by the Minister of Health (Mr. Timbrell) of the petitioning of the federal government for the legalization, through prescription, of the use of heroin for terminally ill cancer patients. Heroin, although thought of primarily in terms of drug addiction, is the ultimate pain killer and should be made available to those who must suffer in agony at the end of life.
If any members of this House have experienced the trauma of witnessing the unabated suffering of loved ones dying of cancer and the desperate feeling of helplessness when one is told there is no medication available to relieve that agony, I suggest those members would be most sympathetic to making the world's most potent pain killer available to the terminally ill. I ask the Minister of Health to investigate the potential of this drug for such use and to provide the government with recommendations relative to that investigation and the use of heroin, for recommendation to the federal government.
Mr. Ruston: I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the newly appointed Speaker, the member for Peterborough (Mr. Turner) and the Deputy Speaker, the member for Durham East (Mr. Cureatz). When I look at the new map it is very difficult, because a very dark blue has been used this time and it is a little harder to read. I do not know if they were elected on a darker blue program this time or not, but I would like to congratulate you, the Acting Speaker, on being elected Deputy Chairman of the committee of the whole House. You are newly elected and I see you are making strides forward already. I guess that is one advantage of being elected to the party you were running for because you have made some very fast strides there. I congratulate you on it, sir, and I hope you have a very successful term in your office.
In the past few days we have had a number of people speak on different items with regard to the election. I suppose at a time like this when I have had my fifth provincial election, I take a minute or two to look back and see what went on for that five or six weeks. I suppose I have continued in those five terms to win the battle, but lose the war. I said that on one occasion in 1971 when I won the battle, that we lost the war. The candidate I was running against also won the battle because about six months later he was appointed to a judgeship. There are winners and losers and some losers are winners. I will accept that as what the people of Ontario wanted.
I am not sure that the presentation of the government in power, the Progressive Conservative Party, and their policies actually caused them to win the election. I think there are a number of causes. For one thing, there was a very low voter turnout. That does not necessarily mean that if more people had voted the results would have been different, but it concerns me when I see such a low turnout of voters.
One of the reasons I think there was a low turnout of voters in Ontario in this recent election is that people were rather mixed up. They could not understand that in Canada we had a Liberal government, with Mr. Trudeau as Prime Minister, who was obsessed with putting in a new constitution. Eight premiers had gone against him in a very strong way and yet, at the same time, we had Mr. Hatfield and the Premier of Ontario (Mr. Davis) supporting him in a very strong way.
During the election campaign, I attended a meeting with a representative of the chamber of commerce from Alberta. I think his name was Mr. Walters if I remember correctly. He spoke one Sunday at the Cleary Auditorium in Windsor and was leaving at three o'clock that afternoon, but a local church group had him come out to a little village church in Maidstone township where I live. About 50 or 60 people turned out and he talked for about 45 minutes on Alberta and the problems they feel they have with the rest of Canada. I think he spent about 30 minutes talking about oil and about 15 minutes talking about the constitution and then there were questions.
The reaction from the people who attended that meeting was surprising, and these were people in the age bracket of 40 to 65, small businessmen, farmers and so on. It was surprising to hear their reaction to what he was talking about and they were concerned mostly with what was going on between the federal government and Ontario. They seemed to be very confused about the Premier, who has always been at odds with the Prime Minister of Canada, especially during elections -- practically every election I ran in except that of 1967.
The theme the Premier ran on was, "Damn Trudeau, blame everything on him." We took that, and when we went to the door and said we were Liberal, they said, "Oh, you are for Trudeau." Well, that was fine in some elections, but during others he was at odds, because he is the type of individual who can do things so you hate him very much at the time, and yet, on many occasions, two or three years later the same people will go out and vote for him.
They will vote for him because when you see him at the tables of Parliament and in foreign countries walking with those people who are in power, you have a feeling of confidence that the man knows what he is doing when he is there, whereas with Mr. Clark, when he was straggling around for the few days he was Prime Minister, one wondered if he really knew what was going on around him.
What I want to say is that the people who were at that meeting were very concerned. One person's comment was, "Well, Davis does not know what goes on any more than 150 miles outside of Toronto." He said, "That's all there is to Mr. Davis." That was one of the comments I heard. I am not sure what his political stripes were, but I have a feeling he was probably a Conservative supporter.
Anyway, that concern of the people was one of the things I noticed. On the other hand, there were two federal elections within nine months. Of course, I think most people will agree that the Dominion of Canada is probably the most over-governed country in the world. I heard someone get up here a few months ago and say they were going to introduce a bill that we have 155 or 185 members in the Legislature. I want to go on record right now, Mr. Speaker, to say I think that is ludicrous.
We have members from Metropolitan Toronto who do not even have half or two thirds the number of people I have in my riding. What we need is some absolutely proper allocation of ridings to bring the representation more in tune with what it should be. I think the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs (Mr. Wells) if I remember correctly, has the largest population in his riding of any riding in Ontario.
Mr. MacDonald: Does the member know that proposal came from Farquhar Oliver?
Mr. Ruston: I was not here. That was before my time, I'm sorry.
No, it was the member for Oshawa (Mr. Breaugh) last winter. Anyway, I think that definitely was caused partly by the low turnout in voters.
My own campaign was interesting, and I must say the Conservative candidate worked very hard. I have had five elections and I must say, with due respect to the other candidates who are good friends of mine, they ran reasonably good election campaigns. Of course, they are always good friends when you beat them, Mr. Speaker, but that is not really the case. I knew them a long time before they ran against me for office.
I must say they did not get out and pound doors or call on the telephone like the candidate for the Conservative Party this time. I will give him credit for that. I think he was fairly well organized in running the campaign.
One of the things I noticed in my other opponent for the New Democratic Party, a very fine young chap, is that he has a few things to learn yet. That will come about I suppose as time goes on. They generally think they know more than everyone else at any stage, but he is a fine chap, the deputy reeve of the town of Essex, so I am sure he is doing a good job.
However, he was talking about the turnout at the polls, and he said, "You know, if we could have got that other 15 per cent of the people out, we would have just swamped Ruston." I did a little research into some of the polls that had about 65 or 70 per cent of the people out, and then I went down to those that had 45 or 50 per cent. It so happened in the polls that had the big turnouts we swamped them, whereas in the other polls we just beat them by 50 per cent or something. It seemed strange that he was saying, "If we had just got them out ... "
In most cases those who do vote are probably representative of the general population. I know the government is in power here due to 25 per cent of the people who were eligible to vote. It makes it kind of bad when you look over that type of situation. I was always taught at home that one of the rights that we have in --
Hon. Mr. Gregory: If you think it looks bad from over there you should see it from over here.
Mr. Ruston: That is okay. The member for Mississauga East will have his day, too.
I was always taught that the democratic right was something we should cherish. Perhaps I have said this before, but I guess it will not hurt to repeat it for the 22 new members who sit on the fence over there and are waiting to be chosen and brought down to the front. I was always taught at home that you should use your right to vote.
I can recall when I was a young whippersnapper and my father got into the old Model T and went back to the field through the lane with the old car. My oldest brother was driving a team of horses and my father made him tie them up to the rail fence. He said, "You know, son, this is election day and we don't miss voting in our household." So they went off to vote.
Another thing I used to hear him say in the big farm kitchen, which was about 20 feet wide and 20 feet long -- you had lots of room to seat 15 people to eat a good dinner -- was that one of the most important things was voting. He would say, "You will hear some people say: 'Sometimes you have elections too often and they cost so many millions of dollars,' but that is maybe only a dollar per person. There are millions of people throughout the world who would be glad to give $100 to have the right to vote."
I think the main problem is that we seem to have too many elections. Of course, with our type of parliamentary system, where there is a minority in many cases, they want to use every little motion as one of confidence. In the United States if Mr. Reagan does not get his package in the way he wants it we know what he is going to do. The House conference committee, which consists of people from the Senate and the House of Representatives, will make some changes in it and very likely he will accept it. Just because he does not get exactly what he wants does not mean he is allowed to call another election.
Maybe we should look at that some time. I know that it is difficult under our parliamentary system, but I do not know if it is all that bad, really. When you have elections so often I have a feeling they undermine the general system, and I think people lose confidence in it. That is the only reason I can figure as to why the turnout was as low as it was, because I think it was one of the smallest turnouts we have had in a provincial election in a long time.
Mr. Speaker, I do not want to dwell on that. I am sure that many people were very disappointed that we did not have a public debate in the election campaign. The member for Grey-Bruce (Mr. Sargent) alluded earlier this afternoon to the TV debate and Mr. Bassett. Of course, many of us read that.
I am sure the general public does not take much notice of the fact that Mr. Bassett was a personal friend of Mr. Davis, and he was going to go along with him on having the debate. He would either have it in the first three weeks or not at all. Mr. Bassett fell right in line, and then today, of course, he was rewarded. I read that he was given an appointment.
Mr. Mancini: It is just a coincidence.
Mr. Ruston: Yes, it is just a coincidence. I realize that.
Another thing, Mr. Speaker, is the mass-media advertising by the government during the election campaign and immediately prior to it. We know the funds they spent on that are massive compared to most advertising campaigns from other political parties.
That is of a great deal of concern to me. I think it should be to everyone, and I think it should be to the members on the other side. If you were on the other side and could see us advertising with $50 million before an election I am sure you would have concerns about it as well, Mr. Speaker.
Even the federal government is now in the advertising business. They are going to spend $50 million to better inform the people that they have no campaign in mind. I accept that. That is part of the business.
The news media, of course, do not inform the people as well as they did years ago. The newspapers are owned by large corporations -- many of them are owned by the same ones -- and they have deteriorated considerably over the last few years.
In our area, we are not able to see the lottery and Wintario draws on television without a rotary antenna. I like to watch them to see who is winning. During the campaign, it was very interesting to see the Minister of Culture and Recreation (Mr. Baetz) pushing the button to start the drum turning and explaining how it worked. For a few months, all the cabinet ministers were on TV on Thursday night.
In the state of Michigan they have lotteries. We live close to Michigan and have easy access to their television channels. All they do is show the winning number for the day; that is all there is to it. You do not see Governor Milliken or any other politician pushing a button.
It is ridiculous that we spend $10 million or $15 million to advertise the lotteries. The original intent of the lotteries was to stop people buying tickets from other countries. Now they are the subject of mass-media advertising which tells you that if you don't gamble, you won't win. Everyone doesn't win, I can tell you that, Mr. Speaker.
I think I have gone on long enough with my leadoff statement. I am sure that the member for Cochrane North (Mr. Piché) would not want me to stop so soon. I know some of the fine people in Cochrane South, which is in the riding of the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Pope). I do not always win their votes, but I do go up there once in a while to visit them. They treat one very well, and when I return after a few days there, I have to go on a diet. The people of South Porcupine and Timmins are very hospitable.
Mr. Speaker, I want to speak on a few more things affecting my riding and all of Ontario. The county of Essex operates three landfills for the city of Windsor and the rest of the county. One site in my riding is situated on 200 acres of prime agricultural land. Up until eight or nine years ago, each acre was producing about 125 bushels of corn, 35 to 40 bushels of soybeans and 20 to 25 tons of tomatoes. Now it is a mountainous landfill site. It is nice to have mountains in their natural habitat, but when one sees a mountain in that location, one thinks, "My God, we are in flat Essex county; what is going on?" Then you see that it is a mountain of garbage.
We know we have to have landfill sites, but we do not need to put 10,000 tons of garbage a day into a landfill site when the technology is available to have it used for other purposes. The other day I asked the Minister of Energy (Mr. Welch) whether he was working with industry and municipalities to establish projects to convert waste to energy. He told me I had not been reading all the material he sends out in this regard.
So I began to dig. We have been moving for three weeks and everything is still piled up. I do not know where we are going, but that is another story and I will talk about it another time. I managed to find a news release, dated July 28, 1980, in which the minister said how much he was doing to convert garbage into power. There were 11 projects mentioned, and when I called the ministry to get some information, I found that so far, although one project is burning waste, not one of the 11 has created any steam or electric power.
I am aware that the minister is making an agreement with Tricil Limited in the St. Catharines area, and that General Motors is also going ahead with the project, which will convert thousands of tons of garbage to steam each year.
So these projects are feasible. They will cost a little more than a landfill site, but it is better than building landfill sites in prime agricultural land, especially in Essex county, which has a high heat level. The riding of Essex South is one of the two warmest parts of Ontario; the other is in the Niagara Falls area. Essex North is only fractionally cooler, but heat is the key to agriculture. There is good land in northern Ontario and in the clay belt, but one cannot grow all the things which can be grown in Essex county. It takes a combination of good land and heat. I am sure the member for Cochrane North is aware of that from his own experience.
In addition to the loss of good farm lands, landfill sites affect the water table. The county of Essex supplies water to one of the small farms in the area with a disclaimer of responsibility for the quality of the water. Members can make of that what they will, but there must be some reason for it. It is also of concern to many people there who depend on well water.
Ten per cent of what goes in the landfill site now is liquid industrial waste. The ministry recommended they dispose of asbestos there, but the local landfill committee has rejected it so far. We really do not know for sure what is going on, but 45-gallon metal barrels are brought in. Some people tell me they are empty, but I cannot imagine they would be disposing of undamaged barrels, if they were empty, without flattening them for reasons of space. I suspect they may contain a certain amount of industrial waste of some kind.
We accept the principle that there must be landfill sites for certain purposes, but we believe there are alternatives. The member for Kent-Elgin (Mr. McGuigan) recently visited a disposal site in the United States. The plant consists of a large cement block and metal building with four smokestacks. He told me that when he drove up to the installation, nothing was coming out of the stacks and thought that nothing was being burned. One of the men who accompanied him said, "I think you will find out differently when we go inside." They found that, in fact, there were four big burners in operation with nothing visible coming out of the four chimney stacks. That is because they use natural gas as an afterburner to incinerate anything left in the stacks.
So these things can be done. The steam produced can be used to heat buildings, et cetera. This type of new industry would create employment. Instead of ruining good farm land, we would be creating new jobs. It might cost a little money, but it would build something for the future.
I do not want my grandchildren to wonder what is being put into the ground in those garbage dumps, which are going to cover thousands of acres. The rural areas do not object to accepting necessary waste from the cities, but we do object to the excess amounts we are being forced to accept. We think these alternatives should be put into effect.
I also want to talk a little bit about the auto plants. I am sure it has been stressed here on a number of occasions. I want to congratulate our new member for Windsor-Sandwich (Mr. Wrye). He is an asset to our party and I am sure will be an asset to this Legislature.
He ran a hard campaign and worked really hard. We are happy he was successful. We were sure he would be, but one never knows. I am never one to predict what is going on during an election campaign. Sometimes it comes back to haunt one. Going by what a candidate who lost had observed on TV one night, it is probably best not to brag before the votes are counted.
Mr. Mancini: What was his observation?
Mr. Ruston: His prediction was -- and I have great respect for the former member -- "Four out of five in Essex and Windsor for the NDP." It was four out of five all right -- for us.
The auto plants have already been stressed a fair amount. I know the member for Windsor-Riverside (Mr. Cooke) spoke tonight. The member for Windsor-Sandwich spoke about it. It is a great concern.
I think the real problem is that the social benefits in our country have been put into effect in such a piecemeal way. There are local governments that give a certain amount of assistance to people. Then the provincial government and, of course, the federal government get involved in other ways.
We had people running out of unemployment insurance. The great thing was we should pick up the tab, but people who were laid off in areas that did not involve the automobile industry would not be entitled to it.
What I cannot understand is, if we are going to put in social benefits, why do we not make them so that if a person cannot find a job, no matter where he is located he is entitled to those benefits. They should be unemployment insurance benefits and a person should not have to go on welfare. If we had something similar to that, rather than the hotchpotch we have had, there would have been fewer real problems in our area.
We have talked about guaranteed annual income. I have talked to people who work for Canada Manpower. They are criticized at times because they cannot find someone a job and so forth. A person has to keep going there, has to keep registering in order to be entitled to welfare benefits, or social services benefits or unemployment insurance benefits. But they can only find jobs if they are there; they cannot make jobs. Some of them tell me we could finance a guaranteed annual income with about 25 per cent fewer people looking after it as employees in the bureaucracies of all three levels of government. We could finance it much more cheaply than we are doing now.
After reading a number of articles about it, I have a great desire that we start looking at it more seriously and abandon some of this hotchpotch assistance where Harold Ballard gets $500 when he is worth $1 million a year while some person in a nursing home, who has no other income, gets $100. This hotchpotch of benefits is ridiculous.
In most cases senior citizens, people over 65, are pretty well taken care of. We have the guaranteed income supplement and Gains. They sometimes have a problem if they are in areas where they cannot get geared-to-income housing or senior citizens' apartments. But if they are available, there are few people over 65 who are not taken care of.
However, there are an awful lot of people between 50 and 65 who need assistance, and then we have some of these situations where, as I mentioned, one sends a $500 cheque to a millionaire.
I have even had people come to me and say, "Why are we getting this $500?" I say, "Well, you should put it on your income tax." He says: "I don't know. It doesn't make sense to me. Why put it on the tax? If I have more income, then I will get some back. If I have too much income, I won't get any back." I really think the tax credit system is much fairer.
It has been mentioned that the Ford engine plant is now operating. About 1,000 people are working there. Some say the V-6 engine is not economical and that more people are going to the V-4, but I have had occasion to drive my son's V-6 and the gas mileage is 26 miles to the gallon.
Looking back five or six years ago to the 1973 and 1974 models, they were gas guzzlers and did about 15 miles to the gallon. If they have improved that much already, I think we could cut down on consumption. It makes it economical. So I am not throwing out the idea that the V-6 is not still a useful engine. I think it will be used for some time, especially in the mid-size car. There is still a potential for the V-6 engine.
The member for Leeds (Mr. Runciman) spoke a few minutes ago about the metric system. It is interesting; a lot of people talk about it.
I had a call on Sunday from someone who was very upset about the metric system. All the spray material they are using now to spray their land for weeds and bugs and whatever is all in the metric system this year. They are a little concerned as to how they are going to be able to handle it. Of course, some of the big operations have a computer on the machine that handles it all. Just press the button and everything goes, and with luck it is all right.
The member was talking about it, but he failed to mention that his government never, at any time, made any major objection to the federal government when it initiated the metric system. It brought in the metric system for speed limits on the roads. Never at any time I am aware of in the last 13 or 14 years did this government make any objection to the metric system. So I do not think the members opposite can actually stand up in this House and blame the federal government for putting in the metric system when they sat back on their hands over there and never raised any objection.
Another problem I am sure all the members have had or will have -- I tell new members right now -- is with the Workmen's Compensation Board. I guess every one of the older members around here finds it the most frustrating. If they do not, I am sure their assistants do. The Workmen's Compensation Board has to be the most difficult area we have to deal with as members. I really do not know for sure what the answer is.
I visited a couple of doctors a couple of weeks ago with regard to workmen's compensation and it was rather interesting to hear them talk about it in general. They have people come into their office and say they have something wrong with their finger or whatever and they did it at the factory that day, so the doctor puts them down as workmen's compensation cases. They send the claims in to workmen's compensation and about a year later they find such claims were not accepted as workmen's compensation, so then they send them in to OHIP which says, "These claims are six months old and we cannot accept them." One doctor showed me the list of claims he had, pages of them, left on his books for the last number of years. What is he supposed to do with them?
Another thing that doctor said is when he has a patient in, he tries to assess the patient the best way he can. He may suggest the patient should not work for a week because of his injury and workmen's compensation will say there is no reason why he cannot work. The doctor says he feels obligated to his patient. He is doing what he thinks is right for the patient, and yet some other person reading over a report here in Toronto says that patient should not be entitled to anything and he can get nothing.
The problem is finding the file. They file them sideways, upside down and from one floor to the other. I understand if one person calls to make an inquiry on a file, it is then pulled and if that person goes to someone else to inquire about it, the second person will not be able to find it. If most of the recommendations of the Weiler report were put into effect, it would solve a lot of our problems. I hope that will be dealt with soon.
I am sure the member for Hamilton Centre (Ms. Copps) will be delving into this much more thoroughly at a later date. She is our Labour critic and I know she is well versed in workmen's compensation rules and regulations. I am sure she will be much better at looking into those things.
Mr. Speaker, I am going to read an article from the Detroit News. It is rather a strange article, but it has to do with the automobile industry. It was written by June Brown, in the Detroit News of March 8, 1981. I will just read it the way it is, and let members figure out what is going on:
"The foreign country presently most dangerous to the United States is not Russia but Japan. Having lost World War II, the Japanese have embarked on a conscious or unconscious method of revenge. Japan has grabbed America by its industrial complex and is rapidly strangling it to death. The method that Japan uses has become quite clear. Having no antitrust laws such as we have, which prevent corporations from cooperating, Japan allows competing corporations to combine their research and use that information to destroy one American industry after another.
"Years ago, this country had a strong steel industry. Today it is barely hanging on. Once Harley-Davidson was a big name in motorcycles. Today the Japanese have reduced it to an also-ran. The list is long: radios, audio equipment, videotape recorders, TV sets, pocket calculators, sewing machines, pianos and many more. Most people in Michigan did not notice the Japanese attack until it hit the auto industry, displaced thousands of workers and precipitated the current recession. Now it is clear that Japan is blatantly misusing America's friendship.
"For example, US-produced cars which go to Japan must pay all Japanese taxes as well as hidden and open US taxes. But Japanese cars coming into the United States pay only Japanese taxes; all the United States charges is a 2.9 per cent duty.
"The United States is the only major industrialized country that allows Japan to dump its cars with unrestricted freedom. Since Japan is winning the war against the American automobile industry, if not against the entire US industrial complex, one would think that its game plan would be satisfied. Not so. Japan has launched another war against our farm machinery industry. Imported tractor sales have climbed from 13,700 in 1970 to more than 47,300 in 1979. An increasing number comes from Japan.
"That's not all. Xerox has a $20 billion industry that is now under attack by Japan. The Japanese have come in with a cheaper product, made possible by their government's help. Consumers don't need government help to save their jobs. All they need is active consumer leadership and the determination to 'Buy American.'"
That is what I want to say, "Buy American." Well, we say, "Buy Canadian." We have the auto pact and some people may say we should not have had it, but I think it is better than the system we had before.
We are not making the kind of cars people want to buy. We had a number of stickers that said, "Buy the car your neighbour helped to build." One of my neighbours who works in the automobile industry said, "We should build the cars our neighbours want to buy," which in the last five or six years is what has been happening. He is right up to a point, because in the last couple of years we have had to get into a mass changing of our whole automobile lifestyle because of the oil situation.
This year, we can compete with any imported cars, but some people have a false sense of security and seem to think that because the car is imported, it is better made. You sometimes find that with a person working in a factory. A person working at Ford might buy a General Motors car. A person working at Chrysler might buy a General Motors car. Or a person working at Ford might buy a Chrysler car. One may get used to a particular make or might see something built and say: "I don't want this that way. Maybe they do better over at the other place." That is human nature. It is all part of buying and so on, and that is quite all right.
The new small cars that we have now in Ontario, in Canada and in the United States are competing against imports, certainly as far as gas consumption is concerned; they are giving wonderful mileage and, in my opinion, standing up well. We have to sell that to the people of Ontario, of Canada and of the United States and show them that we are capable of building a quality product. I think the workers and industry are trying to make a new attempt to cooperate to see that this comes about.
I have pretty well covered all the things I wanted to, although I have a letter here and maybe it would be a good idea if I were to read it. It is from Scarborough and it is dated either March or April 16, 1981. It is from Premier William G. Davis, 180 Dundas Street West, Suite 301, Toronto, Ontario, to Mr. R. Ruston at my city address, here in Toronto:
"Since becoming Premier in 1971, I have taken time to travel across Ontario to listen to what the people of the province think are the major issues of the day" -- oh, it is marked January 28 -- "and what the government should do to solve them. Unfortunately, there never seems to be enough time to personally visit young people."
I am glad to hear the Premier say I am young. I will have to remind him of that tomorrow. I think I am 10 years older than he is; however, I must look younger I guess. He says right in his letter, "It is very nice to get in touch with you young people." There is his signature in blue ink right there, "Bill Davis".
"The survey is being sent to a limited number of people in Ontario and, as a person who cares about the future of our province, I hope you will take just a few minutes to complete the survey. Your comments, advice and suggestions would be most helpful to me."
Mr. Ruston: He says, "We have made great progress in the last four years." Yes, we went from number one to number 10 in manufacturing. That is the kind of progress that he made. Then he has a questionnaire, of course. He is a great guy for polls. But one of the questions has nothing to do with the province. It says, "What would you like to see the Ontario government do about the national unemployment situation?" I think he should be doing something about the Ontario unemployment situation, which would help unemployment generally. But the unemployment situation in the rest of Canada is not all that bad; it is really in Ontario.
When I fill this out, I think I am going to put in very bold print, "Why not just do something for Ontario unemployment right now?" Then the results of that will compound and the effect will be like a snowball: people will buy more things and it will help everybody in Canada.
I suppose he wants a contribution too. It says --
An hon. member: You mean he sent that around for the money?
Mr. Ruston: I will have to think about that. I do not know who pays for this. I have not figured it out. I guess it is the same address, 180 Dundas Street West. I will have to go down there and see what is going on. Maybe the government whip could tell me what is down there; is that the party's headquarters?
Mr. Ruston: He does not know? Well, maybe we will send somebody down to deliver it by hand so we can see what it is all about.
Mr. Speaker, I have a couple of other things I want to mention, and I can probably finish in a couple of minutes.
I want to speak with regard to agriculture. One of the possibilities that we have in Essex and Kent counties is that we grow great tomatoes down there, and we are trying to get the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. Henderson) to put a little more steam into the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Grossman) to get some tomato paste factories built in Essex and Kent counties.
I received a telephone call from some people involved in an industry in Ontario that is importing tomato paste. They are importing it for 30 cents a pound at the source, which is 36 cents Canadian a pound. With freight, duties, et cetera, they are paying 45 cents a pound. One company is importing three million pounds a year.
We have the ability, the land and the farmers to grow tomatoes. A couple of years ago, the federal government raised the import duties on it so they could get going, but Mr. Whelan says it is up to the industry and the provinces to encourage the factories to get going, and I think he is right. I do not think all the people of Canada should be paying to help Ontario finance some tomato paste factories in Essex county. I think it should be up to the province of Ontario.
We will be following that up, but I think that is a very important part of our economy in Essex county.
I think I have used enough time, Mr. Speaker, and I want to thank you very much.
On motion by Mr. Charlton, the debate was adjourned.
Mr. Speaker: I deem a motion to adjourn to have been made, and I call on Mr. Boudria to speak for five minutes.
Mr. Boudria: Earlier today, Mr. Speaker, pursuant to standing order 28(a), I asked to be heard tonight at this time. It concerns a question I raised in the Legislature this afternoon to the Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. Drea).
At that time I asked the minister whether, in view of the fact that he has now decided to close the Champlain training centre in my constituency, he would be willing to make a special effort to relocate the employees so affected, some 70 full-time employees, and to give a special severance pay to the 15 part-time or contract employees who were there.
The reply given to me by the minister goes something like this: The minister told me that, before I make remarks in this House, I should consider the repercussions of my demands. To me, this insinuates that if I speak on behalf of my constituents in this Legislature and it so embarrasses the minister, the result will be that my constituents will be punished for my doing so.
I resent that very much. I feel the electors in my riding were not very well represented for the past 31 years, and now that I am here I intend to give them the best representation I know how. I feel that as the member for my constituency, it is perfectly in order for me to ask what will be done to alleviate this potential loss of 70 jobs.
The minister also replied, "Surely he is not suggesting that I start placing young offenders into mini-institutions just for the sake of having to build institutions," meaning that I was suggesting that these mini-institutions be built.
I remind the minister it was his own ministry that was already planning to build three separate facilities in my constituency. I have here the details of the dates of the events that were to go on. The dates I have here show May 7 as the date the tenders were called, May 29 as the date the land survey is to be completed, June 16 as the tender closing date and so on. This is to locate these people potentially for some date that was to be after the September 1 opening of the agricultural college in my constituency.
In saying that it is my idea to have these three mini-institutions in the riding, the minister is not correct. It comes from his ministry. The letter I have here, signed by officials of his ministry, discusses this proposed project. If the minister is suggesting now that these three housing units are not required, I wonder why they were required three weeks ago, before I asked this question in this House. All of a sudden the necessity for having these facilities seems to have vanished into thin air.
We are told there are only 13 young offenders located there. Perhaps that is correct and the number has dwindled from 19, which it was at the time the officials of the same ministry gave me the figures less than one week ago. Whether there are 13 or 19 does not really change the substance of the question or the answer I was looking to get.
I wanted to know (1) what is going to be done to find jobs in the neighbouring area for the residents of my constituency, who are principally francophones and would not be very well located 100 miles away; (2) what will be done to help the part-time or contract employees by way of severance pay; and (3) whether the minister will consider building those three small housing units he has now decided not to build, and, if not, the reason for his change of heart.
Mr. Speaker: Mr. Drea, you have five minutes for replying.
Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, to clear the record on the question that was asked about what would happen to the employees in terms of job opportunities, in the second line of my response I said not only what the government position was but also what was told to Mr. O'Flynn, the head of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, on Friday, and to the actual union people at the scene on Monday. It was made very plain that every effort would be expended to try to find them jobs in the government service. That is exactly what I said this afternoon.
Second, a question was asked about severance pay for contract employees. In my response, I provided absolutely clearly that, if there were terminations, they would be handled under the existing procedures of the government when they occur.
To come to the particular situation, there is an institution that holds 13 young offenders. It has a staff, as I understand it, of 73, including civil servants as well as contract employees. That institution is not required. There is space in three other training schools in this province for the rather small number of young offenders who go to that training school.
Some years ago, and I can recall it, there were rather heated exchanges on the floor of this House concerning the matter of training schools as the be-all and end-all for any type of young person, be it an offender under the Juvenile Delinquents Act, a truant or just someone who could not get along at home. I can recall one celebrated Friday in here when this House was determined, as a result of an extremely sad event, that the training school would be put into its proper role, which was as a highly structured program for a limited number who required it.
For the past number of years that has been going on. I was the first Minister of Correctional Services in this province who did not have juveniles. They were transferred into the ministry I now have. And side by side, some years ago, we were closing institutions on the adult side. I closed seven of them. At the same time, four or five of the juvenile offenders --
Ms. Copps: Answer the question.
Hon. Mr. Drea: I answered the question this afternoon.
Ms. Copps: The question is about your government.
Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The minister has the floor.
Hon. Mr. Drea: We are coming to that, if the honourable member will be patient. The policy is there. Before I was minister, there was the thought of building many institutions. Not one proposal was accepted. They were looking around. When I became the minister, I looked at the situation, and the situation is that nothing is required there.
The funds that would be allocated to this waste will be used for expanded children's services in eastern Ontario, where there is a very substantial need, particularly for children's mental health beds. All I am doing is taking money that would have been wasted on an obsolete facility and putting it into programs that are needed in that area, particularly in the Franco-Ontarian community. That is exactly what is going on.
The honourable member suggests that I am punishing him or the area, but I made it abundantly plain when I was asked about this matter by the media, following the Monday announcement. I told them: "I made the decision. We will be announcing, in the near future, a package of children's services for the area."
Mr. Speaker: The minister's time has expired.
Hon. Mr. Drea: That, I hope, ends the matter, Mr. Speaker.
The House adjourned at 10:37 p.m.