32e législature, 1re session

































The House met at 10 a.m.



Mr. Bradley: A point of order, Mr. Speaker: You will recall that a series of questions was placed on the Notice Paper last October requesting information on the advertising budgets of each of the ministries of this government. The interim answer that was given in November was that more time was needed to provide these answers.

The same series of questions was placed on the Notice Paper on April 30, 1981, and we now have an interim answer that the information will be available around mid-June. It appears the Premier (Mr. Davis) is telling the House that it is going to take this government some eight months to compile figures on the amount of money spent on advertising in this, an election year.

What I am asking of you, Mr. Speaker, is that, since the government advertising budget has doubled to some $24 million in this election year, will you secure an undertaking from the Premier that he respect the rules of this House and give the members of the House the answers to those questions before the session ends? Otherwise, we will have no alternative but to assume that the government has something to hide.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, on that point of order: I think my friend is completely misguided in his comments. The question is being answered completely as provided for in the standing orders. We are now in a new parliament, the question has been put on the paper and an interim answer has been given. The honourable member is asking for something that is going to take a fairly significant amount of time to compile, and the standing orders provide that an interim answer be given and that the answer be tabled at that particular time. I think my friend's comments are completely uncalled for.

Mr. Foulds: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: Can the government House leader then explain why it is that when we were making inquiries about this information some people within the bureaucracy told us that the information was available last fall, that they almost had it together and it was stuck at a higher level of government, maybe in cabinet?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, again I just reiterate my answer. This is a new parliament, the question has been put on the Notice Paper and it has been answered in a manner consistent with the standing orders. My friends are perfectly free to argue that we could or should provide the information sooner. All I am saying is that we are within the standing orders and the rules and procedures of this House in how we are handling this.

Mr. Speaker: Obviously the matter is in hand, and we will be looking after it.



Hon. Mrs. Birch: Mr. Speaker, in January this government announced a five-year blueprint for industrial development known as the Board of Industrial Leadership and Development. Today I wish to share more of the details of one component of that program, the establishment of community-based employment counselling services for youth. We have committed $3 million a year for the next five years to assist young people to make an effective transition to the working world.

Most of our young people have the required abilities and skills to make this transition smoothly, but we are aware that some young people, especially some of those who have dropped out of school and some of those who have low educational achievement, encounter difficulties.

The target group is unemployed, no longer in school, interested in full-time employment and under 25 years of age. Most of these young people want to work but are unaware of effective job search procedures. They need basic assistance in learning about how to find and hold a job, and it is for this reason that we will be undertaking the $15-million program through the Ontario Youth Secretariat to develop community-based employment counselling services.

Although the target group is not large in numbers, we believe it deserves our special attention. The community-based services will respond to community opportunities. Counselling in small groups or on a one-to-one basis will allow counsellors to match young people with suitable jobs in the private sector or to direct the young people to appropriate educational and training opportunities and to follow-up assistance as needed. To accomplish this, these locally based services in noninstitutional settings will have links with other employment and counselling services for young people.

The staff of the youth secretariat has had full co-operation from our own ministries of Colleges and Universities, Labour and Intergovernmental Affairs as well as from the Canada Employment and Immigration Commission in designing the program.

The $15 million is for the development of up to 50 youth employment counselling projects across the province. In fact, a number of similar projects are already under way, and they are making a tremendous difference to the lives of young men and women. The secret of their success is the grass-roots community base, and we are determined to protect and foster this characteristic in our projects.

The program, which will be administered by the Ontario Youth Secretariat, will offer matching funds of up to $60,000 per centre per year. The grants will be made to nonprofit, incorporated bodies with representation from such bodies as business, education, labour and service clubs. Municipal approval is required for the establishment of a local program. We feel this local involvement will ensure the participation necessary for the success of the projects.

This new program is in addition to a number of programs already in place which help young people in the job market. These are our summer employment programs such as Experience, Junior Rangers and the Ontario youth employment program. Year round, the Ministry of Colleges and Universities administers the Ontario career action program, which provides on-the-job training for young people who have left school. Altogether, through the Ontario Manpower Commission, the government allocates more than $75 million to provide employment, training, counselling and job placement for about 80,000 young people across Ontario.

Members of the Legislature will find further details of this counselling program I have announced today in the press release and booklet placed in their post office boxes this morning.

Mr. Speaker, before I sit down I wish to thank my parliamentary assistant, the member for Mississauga North (Mr. Jones), for his excellent leadership and support in the development of this new program.

10:10 a.m.


Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, later today I will be introducing a bill to be called the Metropolitan Police Force Complaints Project Act. This bill, essentially the same as the one that was introduced last spring, establishes a three-year pilot project for Metropolitan Toronto. It is designed to provide an independent review of the processing of complaints by the public regarding the conduct of police officers.

There will be a public complaints commissioner appointed by the government, and his office will be totally separate and distinct from the Metropolitan Toronto Police Force. The complaints commissioner will have broad general powers, the commissioner's main duties being to monitor the handling of a complaint at the initial stages by the Metro force and to conduct a full review if the citizen is dissatisfied with the initial handling. It should be emphasized that the initial complaint may be made directly to the office of the complaints commissioner.

The legislation does contain one important refinement from the bill discussed in the House last spring that should meet some of the concerns expressed in the Legislature on second reading. The commissioner will have the power to intervene at any time in certain exceptional circumstances. This can include, but will not necessarily be restricted to, undue delay or any other impropriety related to the initial investigation. We expect that cases justifying this type of early intervention will be relatively rare.

The public complaints commissioner will also have the power to intervene after the receipt of the initial report from the police, which must be prepared within 30 days from the time the complaint is received. This power was contained in the earlier bill.

After conducting a full review where the citizen is dissatisfied with the initial handling, the commissioner may order a hearing, which will take place in public before an independent police complaints board. If the commissioner deems a hearing to be necessary, that hearing can take place before a single, legally trained member of this board or before a three-person panel.

The board will be made up of 15 citizens appointed by the cabinet; five will be legally trained and chosen by the government, five will be on the joint recommendation of the Metropolitan Toronto Police Association and the Metropolitan Toronto Police Commission, and five will be chosen on the recommendation of Metropolitan Toronto council. The new board will have disciplinary power and may impose a penalty within the range of penalties currently prescribed in the Police Act.

It is important to remember that 90 per cent of all complaints received by the Metropolitan Toronto Police Force are resolved informally and in a very expeditious manner. I have said before that we as a government are not prepared to construct barriers or unnecessary impediments that would interfere with that very important process.

This system emphasizes co-operation and conciliation, with confrontation as a relatively last resort. Our extensive studies indicate that any other concept simply will not work, The system must be equitable not only to the public but also to the police officers who must live with it on a day-to-day basis.

The legislation further recognizes the fundamental premise that the police force is committed, of course, to the highest standards of public service, which of necessity includes the disciplining of police officers who fall short of this standard. It would be very detrimental to the public interest to take away from our police this fundamental responsibility.

In conclusion, we believe this legislation is important, equitable and in the best interests of all citizens of the Metropolitan Toronto community, and we hope it will receive the support of all members of the Legislature.



Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, I wish to put a question to the Chairman of the Management Board of Cabinet in his capacity as the principal public watchdog on the Treasury and the public purse.

How can he continue to allow funds to be allocated for the development of the new community of Townsend when the record of moneys spent there has been so seriously unproductive? I refer specifically to the $41.6 million for land acquisition, the $2.3 million for some servicing and the development of a shopping centre, $17 million for the development of other resources in the new community, including advertising, when after a full year of the best attempts of the Conservatives' advertising strengths, undoubtedly normally very effective, there are only 12 houses occupied at present?

Hon. Mr. McCague: Mr. Speaker, that question more appropriately should be directed to the Minister of Housing (Mr. Bennett), who has responsibilities in that area; I do not believe that is a line item in that ministry's budget.

Mr. Nixon: I sympathize with the Chairman of the Management Board under these circumstances but, in the absence of so many of his colleagues, I felt it would be reasonable to put it to the man whose board has to approve the allocation of the funds in support of these policies.

Is he not aware of the extensive advertising campaign, costing $250,000, involving all of the daily newspapers, with the jingles probably written by the "Let's Keep the Promise" jingle man, the most expensive and undoubtedly the most effective on all of the radio and television stations?

This is simply an extract of the publications that his advertising specialists have put forward, and there are only 12 houses occupied, and I understand two of those have for-sale signs in front of them.

In these days, when the need of affordable housing is a serious matter in many parts of the province, but not in Townsend, how can he justify the continuing expenditure of millions of dollars on this scheme?

Hon. Mr. McCague: I think the honourable member knows full well that this is all within the Ontario Land Corporation.

Mr. J. A. Reed: Just say you don't know.

Hon. Mr. McCague: I do know. It is within the Ontario Land Corporation, and it is not an area to which we have allocated funds specifically from the Ministry of Housing.

Mr. Foulds: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Can the Chairman of Management Board, as the chief watchdog of the public purse before the money gets spent, tell us whether his board has any control over additional funds that may be spent on this in the current fiscal year? In the budgetary process that has just been completed, did he chop it down?

Hon. Mr. McCague: Mr. Speaker, there were cuts in the Minister of Housing's budget as it applies to various programs. I think members will see those when the estimates for the Ministry of Housing are tabled a week Tuesday.

Mr. Nixon: That would be useful. Can the minister, in his implication, assure us that the moneys are going to be reallocated or withdrawn entirely from the Ministry of Housing to a program that is going to be obviously more necessary and needed in the eyes of the consuming public? Can he predict that there will be an adjustment in the spending allocations in the coming fiscal year pertaining to this program?

Hon. Mr. McCague: I cannot make that prediction.


Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, I wish to direct a question to the Provincial Secretary for Resources Development. He may find himself in a somewhat similar situation to that of the Chairman of Management Board but, since this deals with policy and not with the on-line decisions of Ontario Hydro, I feel it is appropriate to put to him.

Can the minister explain to the House what sort of policy development discussions took place that led the government to announce the speedup of the Darlington atomic energy plant, when about a year ago it was announced that it was going to be slowed down? The rate of growth of Ontario Hydro at that time was four per cent, and now that it is 3.1 per cent the government is announcing a speedup.

Hon. Mr. Ramsay: Mr. Speaker, I am disappointed that the House leader for the opposition did not ask that question earlier in the week when the Minister of Energy (Mr. Welch) was here. He has been here every day, as has the Premier. I must take that question under advisement. I will do so, and I will have an answer for the member next week.

10:20 a.m.

Mr. Nixon: Since the matter actually deals exclusively with policy, when the minister is examining a possible answer will he look at the statements of Larry Higgins, Ontario Hydro's chief forecaster, as quoted in the May 1981 issue of Canadian Renewable Energy News?

He says the position taken by the Davis government "sort of puzzles me. If there isn't a market for it, then I wouldn't be enthusiastic about the expansion. The mandate is to make the people of Ontario as well-off as possible. Just simply building nuclear plants will create a few jobs but, if the demand isn't there and there isn't a reasonable certainly that it will be there, until that happens it probably shouldn't be built."

The minister must be aware that Mr. Higgins is a highly respected senior projection officer of Ontario Hydro. The minister's colleague knows Mr. Higgins personally. For years, he was right on the button as to the expansion of the requirements of Ontario Hydro. Now that those expansions have fallen almost a full percentage point below what they were when the huge nuclear expansion was slowed down, what possibly can be the policy justification for speeding it up?

Hon. Mr. Ramsay: I will be happy to look into that matter as well.

Mr. MacDonald: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Will the minister, when he looks into it, take particular note of the fact that the 3.1 per cent growth is Hydro's projection on the basis of 1980 calculations, and for this year the growth in the first quarter was zero and in the second quarter it was marginally above zero? In other words, the point of Larry Higgins, why does one build it when one is not going to have a market? is underlined even more significantly by this year's figures.

Will the minister note that, rather than going on something that may be a bit outdated?

Hon. Mr. Ramsay: Mr. Speaker, those comments have been noted.


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations about a case similar to the Canada Homes case which we dealt with in this Legislature earlier this week.

The case concerns a Mr. A. H. Agha of Mississauga, who agreed to buy a new house in January for $87,000 in the Burnhamthorpe Road-Dixon Road area of Mississauga. After failing to qualify for a $60,000 mortgage, he was able to come up with $15,000 more in down payment and to qualify for a $45,000 mortgage but now has been refused by the builder, obviously because the builder expects to be able to sell the house at a greatly increased profit because of the increase in housing prices since January.

What is the minister going to do to help purchasers who simply want homes of their own when builders attempt to break agreements as happened in this particular case?

Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, if it is a matter of contract, then the normal proceedings through the court are available. In this particular case, I cannot tell from the details the honourable member provided me but, if he will be good enough to supply the facts, I will have the matter addressed and will respond to him in due course.

Mr. Cassidy: I will be happy to provide the minister with the details, but I wonder if the minister can comment on what he, as the minister responsible for protecting consumers, intends to do when this situation of builders trying to break sales agreements and push prospective buyers into the courts becomes widespread in the housing market?

Mr. Agha has been informed by his solicitor, and I quote, "The costs of litigation are heavy and there is no guarantee of success." He has been told that should he try to put a caution on the property to stop the builder from selling it to somebody else it could drag out for two or three years; God knows what a house would cost after that time. He has been told the solicitor will not undertake commencement of an action in the courts, as the minister recommends, unless he is in receipt of a cheque for $3,000 as a retainer to start it off. Is that all the protection a house buyer is going to have in the market?

Will the minister undertake to establish a housing ombudsman in the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations who will protect purchasers in situations like this where builders are trying to exploit the market and push out people who should be able to have the homes they contracted for?

Hon. Mr. Walker: The honourable member's first question to me was, what am I prepared to do in respect of a builder who breaks a term of a contract? I tell him I am not prepared to replace the law. What I am prepared to do, of course, is advise people to seek out their lawyers and, where necessary, to prosecute a particular case. This sounds like a case where the civil remedies either for specific performance, or for damages in breach of that, would be appropriate. Then it is simply a matter of law.

I cannot think for a moment that the honourable member would expect me to stand in the place of the courts. That is not what this ministry has been set up to do if people are to seek the remedies that are traditionally available to them.

Whether a housing ombudsman is to be established or not is rather an interesting question. I have not given any thought to that. I doubt that we would have any intention in the next while of establishing a housing ombudsman based on one case that the honourable has raised now.

Mr. Cassidy: Early this week the minister was prepared to have his ministry intervene and talk to the developer in the Canada Homes case on behalf of people who found that their agreements to purchase were being upset by the builder in a situation very similar to this one.

On what basis does the minister pick and choose and discriminate? Is it only when a group of purchasers get together and start to apply political pressure and get some press that he is prepared to move in? Or is the minister prepared to recognize that we have a very unusual situation in the housing market right now, that builders are tempted to break agreements to make profits because houses they contracted to sell a few months ago can now be resold at greatly increased prices, and that the little guy who wants to have a house of his own and who signed an agreement a few months ago should be protected against that kind of behaviour? Will the minister protect the little guy or will he not?

Hon. Mr. Walker: Just a minute. The honourable member should not get carried away with his own confusion on the matter. He asked me whether in the case of a broken contract I was prepared to step in. The normal remedies of the court are available, and I do not intend to act as the intervener and destroy the normal court process.

On the Monday case we looked into the matter and tried to be of some help, and indeed we were of some help; the member opposite would seem to suggest that we were. I have now asked the member to send me over the details of this other case he has brought forward of one particular matter out in Mississauga. Once he has done that and once I have had a chance to look at it then I will give him a more definitive opinion. At the moment I have to tell the member that it is not the responsibility of this ministry to stand in the place of the courts when the courts can provide an effective remedy.


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a new question for the Minister of Labour respecting the regulations that were filed on May 9, 1981 on coke oven emissions -- and long overdue those regulations were.

Can the minister explain why it is that the Ministry of Labour, in putting those regulations together, proposed that the standard on which emissions would be measured would be a time-weighted average exposure calculated over 40 hours? Will the minister say what resources he is prepared to provide to ensure that emissions will be measured over 40 hours, given the extremely high cost of doing those measurements over such a long period of time?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, first of all, as I am sure the honourable member knows, there are a variety of ways that one can approach the time-weighted average question and a variety of options are available to our scientific staff. This was the option that they deemed the most appropriate and the one most universally in place. I am not aware --


Hon. Mr. Elgie: Just hang on. I am not aware of any difficulties that other governments are having with regard to inspection of the work place --

Mr. Bradley: No more Mr. Nice Guy.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Oh, dear. The honourable member used to be so nice.

An hon. member: When was that?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Well, his wife told me he was nice sometimes. Mind you, their water bed is not much used these days; they call it the dead sea now.

Mr. Speaker, I may say that we were not aware of any problems that were encountered in enforcing that approach to the standard in other jurisdictions. If the member has some information that it has proven to be a problem in other jurisdictions, I will be pleased to have it. If he wants a detailed account of the options that were available and why that one was selected, I will be pleased to provide it to him personally or to the House, as he wishes.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary: Mr. Speaker, we would appreciate it if that information were provided to all members through the House.

10:30 a.m.

Is the minister not aware that the US regulations, which have been set at the same level of hourly exposure, call for measurement on a time-weighted average basis only over eight hours, which is a good deal more feasible?

Is he also aware that by choosing a time- weighted average exposure over 40 hours that means a worker in one hour can be exposed to coke oven emissions that are 40 times the standards of 0.15 milligrams per cubic metre of air and the employer none the less cannot be liable to make any changes?

Is he aware that a worker could be exposed to 40 times the permitted exposure and the employer would not be subject to any penalties because of the extreme length of time that has been chosen over which these measurements have been made?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: I am not aware of the accuracy or the inaccuracy of the suggestion made by the leader of the third party. I want to assure him that the considerations that went into selecting the approach to evaluating the time-weighted average were solely on practicability and protection of the worker. I will be glad to provide him with the information he has asked for.

Mr. Mackenzie: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Can the minister tell us two things? One, why was there no income protection in the regulations in the event that a worker is forced to move as a result of exposure to the emissions from his job?

Two, can he tell us whether we can expect that these regulations are going to be printed and law at the end of the 60-day period? I ask that specifically given this government's record on the other toxic substances where we have now been waiting 10 months since the gazetting of the first seven toxic substances that we dealt with some time ago.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, as the honourable member well knows, at the present time where workers are in an area of exposure and it is deemed that they should be taken out of exposure and put into areas of less exposure, or where they have to be withdrawn from the work force, then workmen's compensation payments commence.

If the member is suggesting there should be something in that regulation with regard to the mandatory withdrawal of workers, I think that is a matter I am prepared to look at. It is something I raised the other day for discussion. I am looking at that aspect to the problem.

With regard to the process, I am sure the member is well aware that the initial regulation, which as he knows was the prototype or lead regulation, did follow a prolonged course. But now that the prototype is established, we will be able to deal with the regulations in a more rapid fashion.

That still does not overcome the need for the additional step that we have added, which is an open, public, ministerial defence of the process and of the regulation with management, labour and interested parties having the right to comment on it before a final regulation is presented.

I know that is a step that some members of the trade union movement have said is a troublesome one to them, but I cannot see anything wrong with that final step where ministry scientists are required to defend the positions taken with regard to regulations. I think it is an important additional process.


Mr. Eakins: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Labour. It concerns the decision of the Conservative members in the House last night not to support a recommendation of the Ombudsman.

Why does his government feel compelled to seek other legal opinion when the purpose of establishing the Office of the Ombudsman was to guarantee an impartial and independent decision? Is he not, in effect, taking the first step toward destroying the independence and effectiveness of the Ombudsman of Ontario?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, I do not accept that at all; I said so clearly last night. Indeed, the history of the Ombudsman and the select committee on the Ombudsman shows just the reverse. There is increasing evidence annually of increased sensitivity to the recommendations of the Ombudsman and to the recommendations of the select committee.

What I did say last night very clearly was that, regardless of what we may think of the act, the interpretation of that legislation, in the view of prominent legal authorities, is that the Workmen's Compensation Board is now properly interpreting section 42(1). If the member is suggesting that the Ombudsman's recommendation, or a select committee endorsement of that recommendation, should take paramountcy over the legal interpretation of a section, then I do not think he is right. I say that with a degree of regret.

Is the member saying that simply because the Ombudsman or the select committee say something they are necessarily right? Let me tell the member that there are honest disagreements over many matters discussed between the Workmen's Compensation Board and the Ombudsman and the WCB and the select committee, and very frequently they reach a resolution. Sometimes they do not, and then those matters come to this House for final discussion and determination. It is one of those issues where the government, having sought outside and inside legal opinions, has come to the conclusion that the Ombudsman and the select committee were wrong.

Mr. Eakins: May I suggest to the minister that the Honourable Donald Morand represents to me an outstanding legal opinion in Ontario and that is why he was appointed. Why seek these opinions when the Conservative members of this committee were in unanimous support of the Ombudsman's recommendation? I would also like to ask the minister if he shopped around for legal opinions other than the two he accepted?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: In response to the first part of the question, I think I have already covered that very clearly. In response to the second part, the answer is no.

Mr. Foulds: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Would the minister not agree that the legal opinion of a former Supreme Court judge, who happens to be the Ombudsman, is every bit as good as the legal opinion he obtained? Is it true that through the advice of the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry), the minister deliberately sought an opinion from J. J. Robinette, who was arguing before the Supreme Court of Canada that any resolution passed by a parliament had no legal effect, and that he deliberately sought an opinion that would subvert the opinion by Mr. Morand and by the select committee?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, no, it was not done on the advice of the Attorney General and, no, he was not selected because of that. To suggest that one person's opinion is better than another's is a unique concept, because the member knows --

Mr. Foulds: That is what you are suggesting.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Just hang on and relax. We have a long day ahead of us.

We have before us today the odd constitutional problem where the supreme court of one province disagrees with the supreme court of another and the Supreme Court of Canada may reach a different decision. What the member is saying is that there may be many views on one issue, but we are content that the advice we have from two sources is accurate and that the board was complying, as it has to, with the law as recorded.

Had the Legislature decided to make any other interpretation it would have said so, as it did in British Columbia, and specifically designated the meaning.


Mr. Mackenzie: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Labour. Given that in August 1980 the minister gazetted standards for mercury, asbestos, lead, isocyanates, noise, silica -- I believe there was one other substance -- and these were supposedly then to go through the 60-day period, and given that it is now well into May, 10 months later, and the 60 days have meant literally nothing, can he tell us when we will have the regulations in force for those substances?

Can he also assure us that we do not have a little game of blackmail going and that if someone objects to the hookers that are obviously in the coke oven emission standard regulations we will not see 10 or 12 months go by before we see those listed and printed as well?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, once again, just to reiterate, I frankly admit to the member that the first prototype regulation was a learning experience and there were many problems to be adjusted to and many alterations to be considered. The additional step that was added, that open defence by scientific staff of the ministry to the public and to the interested parties, we deemed to be an important step.

I appreciate it delays matters and I am sure the member knows full well that the final step is being carried out with regard to mercury on May 28, with vinyl chloride on June 9, with noise on June 23, with isocyanates on July 7, with silica on July 30 and with asbestos on September 22.

Following those hearings and following any presentations that may be made by parties, as there have been by trade unions and by employers following the lead regulation, the regulation will go to the Advisory Council on Occupational Health and Occupational Safety for final consideration of the appropriateness of the process, both with regard to the consideration process and the process whereby the standard was reached.

I cannot think of anything that can be criticized with regard to the openness of this process or the meaningfulness of the process, and it is under way.

Mr. Mackenzie: The minister is making a mockery of the safety and health legislation.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: I just do not accept that and I would suggest that responsible people in society do not accept that.

Ms. Copps: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: How can the Minister of Labour stand here and tell us that workers who continue to be exposed will be protected as they are presently, I believe he said, under the Workmen's Compensation Board, when the minister knows full well that just as his ministry and the WCB shopped around for a legal opinion to protect their position on section 42 last night, in the same way they will shop around for exposure levels and medical opinions that will go against the workers of this province?

10:40 a.m.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, I was asked in this House if there was shopping around done. I said I resented the question and it was not true. If the member is challenging my integrity, let her say so in this House right now.


Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Does the member have a supplementary question?

Ms. Copps: The Workmen's Compensation Board not only did not even bother to appear before the select committee with the second legal opinion that was garnered, but went straight to the Minister of Labour in the full knowledge that he would come to the committee. My question is, how can he expect the workers of Ontario to have faith in the Workmen's Compensation Board and in the proper regulation of coke oven emissions with that kind of record?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: I will take the stand any time that the legislation in this province and the approaches that are being carried out to enforce it are equal to any. I take no such comments lightly, but I have to tell the member she is off base. If she is implying that the Workmen's Compensation Board is an insensitive group, she is wrong. They may have legislation which is not appropriate to the times, and that is why this minister instigated a review of workmen's compensation legislation. She will know, if she listened to the speech from the throne, that the government has indicated its intentions with regard to that legislation.

We heard from the member for Erie (Mr. Haggerty) yesterday. He was on the wrong section, but it was interesting to hear him anyway.


Mr. Epp: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations. Ontario's tenants are limited by law to receiving only six per cent interest on their rental deposits applied against the last month of their tenancy, and this permits landlords to make an unearned profit by simply investing the money at current rates. Does the minister find this to be a fair way to treat tenants who are forced to hand over this money at six per cent so that their landlords can reinvest it?

Hon. Mr. Walker: No, it is certainly not fair. Part of the problem involves the reference to the Supreme Court of Canada, and that is part of that package. We cannot implement the nine per cent figure. Perhaps the member is not aware of this, but the committee recommended a couple of years ago that it go from six per cent to nine per cent, which was considered appropriate at that time. The nine per cent figure then became part of the legislation. But that part of the legislation has been part of the reference to the Supreme Court of Canada and we are not able to do anything until that is decided.

The hearing on the matter was last November. We anticipated a response from the Supreme Court of Canada prior to the constitutional debate, which occurred during the last three or four weeks. That has not happened, and we now must wait until probably well into the summer before the Supreme Court of Canada's decision is handed down. That will then perhaps permit us to proceed with the matter of the nine per cent at least. But the member is quite right in his observation that at six per cent it is certainly not consistent with what is happening today.

Mr. Epp: Supplementary: Is the minister aware that one of the landlords in Ontario is making more than $500,000 in interest on this money? That is only one of the landlords; there may be a number of others who are making hundreds of thousands of dollars profit on the deposits. Will he consider taking the matter out of the legislation and putting it into regulations so that it can be adjusted from month to month, or over a longer period of time, so that the tenants can garner a greater amount of interest on their deposits?

Hon. Mr. Walker: I do not know if we can do that or not, but I will certainly take a look at the question. It seems a reasonable suggestion.

Mr. Philip: Would it not seem more reasonable to the minister to attach it to the fluctuations in the interest rates, namely, to something like the interest rate on Canada Savings Bonds, which is set on a yearly basis? This would eliminate the necessity of coming back to the Legislature on a periodic basis and adjusting the interest rate on that particular deposit which is paid by tenants. This has been suggested in a private member's bill which I have introduced twice in this Legislature.

Hon. Mr. Walker: That too seems like a good suggestion, and I would like to consider that at the same time I am considering the one from the member for Waterloo North.


Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Health. Is the minister aware that the Toronto East General Hospital's emergency department had to virtually close its doors this past week and send away all but life and death cases because of the severe bed shortage at the hospital due to the fact that 20 per cent of the beds are occupied by chronic care patients?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, the emergency department of the East General is not, nor has it been, closed. It continues to accept all persons who present themselves at the emergency department. In the last 18 months, that hospital has grown from 594 to 652 beds. I think those are the correct figures. Fifteen of those beds at the present time are not open due to the fact that the hospital has not been able to hire the appropriate nursing staff, but it is not in any way due to a lack of funds.

In addition, in recent months we enlarged two nursing homes in the east end, Craiglee and Kennedy Lodge, both of which made beds available to the Toronto East General. Those offers were immediately taken up, and between them they took 24 patients in order to relieve some of the pressure on that hospital.

Furthermore, planning is under way. First, 224 residential beds have been converted to chronic care at Providence Villa, which is very near the Toronto East General, and planning is under way for the construction work at Centenary Hospital to add over 200 beds, about two thirds of which are chronic and rehab. In addition, planning is under way for construction of a totally new hospital in the east end, to be known as the Scarborough Grace L'Amoreaux, which will be 300 beds. I anticipate a large number of those will be for chronic care.

With respect, while I appreciate that every hospital is facing the pressure of the numbers of people who are chronic or extended care patients, and we will never be able to totally wipe out those numbers, I think we have taken a number of very concrete steps in that hospital and in the east end in the last year to 18 months to relieve those pressures.

Ms. Bryden: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: The minister must be misinformed because the administrator told me yesterday that they were having to send away all but life and death cases because there were simply no beds in the hospital in which to put any patients who were admitted through the emergency.

I would like to ask the minister when he is going to reply to my letter of March 12, in which I drew this serious situation in the hospital to his attention and asked him what he was doing to increase the supply of nurses, which he says is one of the causes for not being able to open some of the beds. What is he doing to provide alternative care for chronic patients in the east end? I understand that 24 beds have been provided, but the need is for at least 200. It is all in the planning stage. When is the minister going to solve that situation by providing beds that will not just be in the planning stage, but will actually get those people out of the hospital or provide them with home care?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, the beds of Providence Villa have been converted and are now part of a heavier level of care in the system.

Ms. Bryden: A drop in the bucket.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: There are 224 beds, which happens to be more than the honourable member just suggested. In addition, I have not even talked about the initiatives in the other parts of the city to add chronic care beds, at the downtown Grace, at the Queen Elizabeth and at West Park. There are additional nursing home beds at the Etobicoke General and the Northwestern General, as a result of which about 100 of those additional beds will be for heavier care.

These are a number of initiatives. I do not know that we will ever totally satisfy the demand because of changing demographics and trying to keep up with them. I would submit that with new hospitals, significant additions to existing hospitals, growth in the numbers of nursing homes beds -- and that is 300 for this year -- I anticipate, depending on the availability of funds from the Treasury, being able to announce more in the coming year for Metro to expand the range of services. By 1982 we will expand the home care program to include chronic care.

10:50 a.m.

Mr. Epp: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Given the fact the minister has admitted there is a shortage of staff at the hospital, has the minister discussed this particular problem with the Minister of Education (Miss Stephenson) and the Minister of Labour (Mr. Elgie) to try to rectify it?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I am sorry I did not answer that part of the question from the member for Beaches-Woodbine (Ms. Bryden). The honourable member will find that over the years there has been a series of peaks and valleys in the whole question of the availability of nursing staff. It is not that long ago, three or four years ago, we were hearing about large numbers of graduates of our nursing programs having to leave the province because they could not find work, and that was a subject of complaint from the other side of the House.

Rather than trying to do it entirely internally, we went to the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario and said, "We would like your help in analysing these peaks and valleys, these trends, and in assisting us in determining what we could do in the longer term to avoid" -- I do not know if we will ever totally avoid them -- "some of the severe shifts that have occurred in the system over the last 15 or 20 years."

I will be meeting with the RNAO on Tuesday or Thursday of next week -- soon anyway -- at which point I hope to get some indication of the progress it has made in developing that report and giving us that advice. The Minister of Colleges and Universities (Miss Stephenson) could tell the member we have adjusted enrolment in some community colleges. It has been a local decision depending upon consultation with the local hospital network. As far as an overall solution is concerned, I think it is best to work with the nurses to try for the longer term to avoid these dislocations, up or down, that have occurred over the last decade or two.


Mr. Ruprecht: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Health. I have another confidential memo here. On May 7 the minister told us in this House, "Not to worry, boys, all is well with the mental health field." Then he went on to tell us, "The mental health programs will continue to expand in the future." Those were his words.

This memo, dated April 16, 1981, from Mr. J. G. Wilson, administrator of productivity improvement programs, Toronto, says: "As a consequence of corporate policy, the psychiatric hospital branch was asked to find opportunities to reduce operating costs by $2.5 million for the fiscal year 1981-82."

I am asking the minister how he can justify saying, on the one hand, "Don't worry; we are expanding our program," and, on the other hand, suggesting to his ministry there shall be a cut of $2.5 million.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, with respect, and I do not have the Hansard in front of me, if I remember correctly the question a week ago yesterday had to do with community mental health aftercare programs. I would point out to the honourable member that in that particular area spending has grown by 100 per cent in the last two fiscal years. There is money included in this year's estimates, which he will see in a couple of weeks' time, for further growth in the community mental health program. There is growth, for that matter, in the institutional program which, I take it, he would have us maybe double so that we could lock everybody up, which seems to be his attitude.

Mr. Ruprecht: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege: The minister has already accused me three times in this House that my personal policy was going to be to lock up all psychiatric patients and throw the key away. That might be his particular thinking or his own policy, but that has never been the policy of the Liberal Party nor has it ever been the policy of this member for Parkdale.

Our policy is simply this. We are asking the minister to clean up his own act in the area of Parkdale where he has been negligent in his duties because there are people on the streets everywhere -- he saw it on TV last night. It is his responsibility to clean up his act. To accuse this member of saying, "Throw away the key and forget about mental patients," is an absolutely nonsensical statement. I wish he would withdraw that because I have never said that anywhere. I am asking him to withdraw that at this point.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: That is my impression from everything the honourable member has ever had to say on the subject. In fact, I am told he campaigned on getting them out of Parkdale. I think that certainly typifies the impression the member leaves with me. I am only passing on my impression.

Let me just carry on. Because we are concerned about the conditions in Parkdale and, for that matter, in the whole system, we commissioned the study on aftercare services to which the honourable member referred a week ago. We recognize and have recognized that more needs to be done in that area. I would remind the honourable member that that report points out on page 28 that, as a result of phase one of their work, the ministry has already agreed to fund Community Resource Consultants' proposal for co-ordination of discharge planning and aftercare services as an additional concrete step on the path we wish to follow.

Coming back to the question of economies, I do not think it is unreasonable for us to ask every branch in the ministry to find ways to economize in order that we can get more out of every dollar we spend. If the member thinks that is unreasonable, he had better talk to the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Smith), who a couple of years ago was demanding that my budget be slashed by $50 million. Obviously, the members opposite have a difference of opinion.

Mr. Ruprecht: Supplementary: Yesterday the Metropolitan council social services committee had a very important meeting, and the minister did not even send anyone to represent his ministry. That is how concerned he is.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: On a point of order, the deputy --

An hon. member: Sit down.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Please -- I have the floor. I think the deputy minister sent a very good reply to the commissioner. He pointed out that we have established a good working relationship with the Metro social services staff and indicated that we are more than happy to maintain that and, through that process, to continue to address our mutual concerns. It is not a case that one side is saying there is no problem or that all is well. I have never said that. We understand that there are problems, and we even understand the member's point of view and want to address them.

Mr. Ruprecht: Supplementary: I understand there are formal discussions taking place right now to phase out the Archway Community Mental Health Centre in Parkdale, which the minister knows is directly responsible to some people in community health programs. Can the minister give his assurance that this crisis centre, which is so vital to that area, will remain open? What does he have in mind?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Is that the one the member objected to having moved last year? I believe my memory is correct in that respect. I am not aware of any plan on anyone's part to close Archway, but I do recall -- correct me if I am wrong -- that the member led a move locally not to have it moved at all before.


Mr. Stokes: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Provincial Secretary for Resources Development. When is the government going to respond to the tripartite council of the Indian Commission of Ontario concerning hunting and fishing rights of Indian people? Specifically, is he aware of the charge made by Patrick Hartt, who is chairman of that commission, that they have written to the former Minister of Natural Resources on at least four occasions and have failed to get a response? Why is the government and why is the provincial secretary specifically, as the minister responsible for native rights in Ontario, refusing to come to grips with this very urgent matter?

Hon. Mr. Ramsay: Mr. Speaker, I do not think we are refusing to come to grips with it. The matter is being looked into, and I hope there will be some action taken within a short period of time.

Mr. Stokes: Supplementary: The minister will recall yesterday the particular incident raised by the member for Nickel Belt (Mr. Laughren). Another one came to my attention this morning, where there was a raid on the Whitefish Bay Reserve on May 7 in the Treaty 3 area. When is the minister going to meet with them? Mr. Justice Hartt said that on at least four occasions they wrote to the former Minister of Natural Resources and have not even had a reply.

11 a.m.

If the minister says he is dealing with it, what specific action can he point to indicating he is prepared to deal with this? He and, before him, the former member for Cochrane North have been specifically responsible for native programs in the province. Why is he allowing the Ministry of Natural Resources to inflict its own very effective, unjustified, but very subtle form of violence against our first citizens?

Hon. Mr. Ramsay: Mr. Speaker, it is my understanding that a response has gone out to Mr. Hartt. He may not have it at this time. I am also consulting and have been consulting with the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Pope) in his new responsibilities in respect to this problem. As I said earlier, we hope to have it resolved in the near future.

Mr. Wildman: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Is the minister aware that Mr. Justice Hartt has ordered the tripartite working group suspended because, in his words, the Ontario government has been refusing to respond and has stalled for 10 months? Is he prepared to recommend to his cabinet colleagues a moratorium on the charging of Indian people and a review of the outstanding charges until this matter is dealt with by the commission?

Hon. Mr. Ramsay: I am aware of the action of Mr. Justice Hartt. I am not prepared to make any recommendations to the cabinet at this time, but I could well be in a position to make recommendations within the next couple of weeks.


Mr. Conway: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Attorney General and it concerns Judge Ward Allen's inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of Kim Anne Popen in 1976. Judge Allen has now spent almost two full years in preparing his report and his office has just recently indicated that this report is not near completion.

We should keep in mind the gravity and the urgency of the matter, and that Mr. Peter Merchant, a Sarnia lawyer who represented the child's mother at the inquiry, fears "there will be other Popens here soon because all the things that happened before the inquiry are happening now." We should also keep in mind that Judge Allen said, "If I delay too long, the impact of the recommendations may be lost."

Does not the Attorney General feel that the time has come to bring to bear all reasonable and judicious measures upon the commissioner to produce that report so that all concerned might have the benefit of his presumably very important recommendations?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: The honourable member is aware of the very important principle of the independence of the judiciary. I am having a little difficulty understanding what sort of efforts he might expect us to make, given that very important principle. But I can indicate to him that the Deputy Attorney General met the chief judge of the county court a few weeks ago to discuss this matter in some detail.

We are concerned, as the member is, about the delay with respect to the writing of the report. I have been advised that Judge Allen is working full-time on the report. My recollection is that the chief judge has relieved him from all other judicial responsibilities so that he might concentrate full-time on the completion of this report. I believe it is estimated that the report will be completed by early summer.

Mr. Conway: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: To be sure, like all other honourable members I can appreciate the Attorney General's point about the independence of the judiciary, but I understand in this case that Judge Allen is a commissioner, like a lot of other commissioners. Keeping in mind the circumstances that led to this inquiry, can the Attorney General share with me the sense of indignation and outrage that the report writing -- not the inquiry, but just the writing of this report -- has taken a longer period of time than Kim Anne Popen lived?

Does not the Attorney General of Ontario think that to be an absolutely outrageous commentary on the degree of urgency with which this government views this very critical matter? I want to know, and can the Attorney General at least give me a commitment that he will report back to this House at his earliest opportunity, exactly the circumstances and the timing of this very important report?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Since the member has been moved into the leadership stakes, I suppose, by being moved to the front row, he really does not have to yell as hard as that to be heard.

Mr. Speaker: Would the Attorney General answer the question?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: We can hear him without this sort of hysterical dimension to the question. This particular inquiry was a judicial inquiry and the same circumstances and principles apply with respect to this as to any other judicial determination of the matter. I have indicated the steps that have been taken by the Deputy Attorney General in order to assist in the completion of this report, in so far as arranging with the chief judge to have Judge Allen relieved from other judicial responsibilities until this report is completed. I think that is all that can be reasonably expected of the Ministry of the Attorney General in these circumstances.

Mr. Foulds: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Can the minister share with the House just exactly what the learned judge's problem is in writing the report? Why is it going to take him several more months simply to write the report now that he is on it full time?

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, that is not something I am in a position to speculate about. I was not present during this relatively lengthy judicial inquiry and I am certainly not going to engage in that type of speculation.


Mr. Speaker: The Minister of Culture and Recreation has the answer to a question asked previously.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, in response to the member for Port Arthur's question regarding the value of Wendell K. Beckwith's collection of artefacts and papers, I would inform the honourable members that both an inventory and an appraisal of these items have been carried out by my ministry. Last fall, Dr. Rogers, chairman of the ethnology department of the Royal Ontario Museum, visited Best Island upon my request to examine the various Indian artefacts collected and made by Mr. Beckwith. In November, Dr. Rogers submitted to me an inventory of these items and most recently I received Dr. Rogers' assessment. In his estimation, the Indian material would be primarily of a local or regional interest.

As regards the Beckwith papers, Archivist Ken MacPherson of the Ontario archives has indicated to me that further assessment by a qualified expert in the field of astronomy would best determine the value of these documents from a scientific point of view, Since the matter of the real property and improvements thereon rests with the Ministry of Natural Resources, I cannot speak to the value of either the property, which is crown land, or the buildings.

It may interest members to know that Wendell Beckwith was a noted US inventor with a strong interest in scientific investigation. He came to Best Island on Whitewater Lake in the early 1960s. Over the years, until his death in August 1980, Mr. Beckwith devoted his entire time to establishing his camp, communicating with native peoples in the area, and working on esoteric scientific theories. During the summer months, Mr. Beckwith received a number of visitors to the isolated regions of the island.

11:10 a.m.

In short, Mr. Beckwith became, in northwestern Ontario, something of a legend in his lifetime. My ministry acknowledges the significant legacy left by Mr. Beckwith and, as I have indicated to the member, we are taking every necessary step to ensure that all artefacts and papers, for which the crown may claim legal ownership, will remain in this country.

As the member indicated, Mr. Harry Worth, the California businessman, has challenged the deed of gift of Beckwith's collection to the crown. Since the matter is currently before the courts, I am not at liberty to make any further comments, not wishing to prejudice these legal deliberations.

I would, however, assure the member that this matter is receiving our active attention, and I am confident that any legal decision rendered will be a fair and equitable one. Needless to say, when the courts have given their final decision in this matter, I will be pleased to report further to this House.

Mr. Foulds: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: Should that not be read as a statement, and would you not add that time to the question period, because the statement was, in fact, over three minutes?

Hon Mr. Grossman: You asked a question; you got an answer. The minister was just trying to be helpful.

Mr. Foulds: You could be helpful in statements too.

I have a supplementary. Could the minister tell us the results of the meetings this week between his ministry officials and officials of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Mr. Worth? Can he clarify whether or not the matter is actually before the courts or is Mr. Worth just threatening at this time to take it to court? When I talked to Mr. Worth he was at that time threatening to take it to court, rather than having it in court.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: My impression is that Mr. Worth is planning to take it to the courts, and for that reason, as I have indicated in my answer here, I am not really at liberty to speak any further about it.


Mr. Philip: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Health. Does the minister recall that in January of this year he wrote to me stating that his staff was considering a proposal contained in one of my private members' bills, that OHIP coverage be extended to brassieres and breast prostheses for those women who have undergone a mastectomy? Inasmuch as four other provinces already provide some type of coverage in this regard, can the minister inform us when we can get that kind of coverage in Ontario?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, that is part of our review of the whole question of orthotics and prosthetics, which is not yet completed, so I cannot give a definite answer on that aspect of it at this time. I hope to be able to do so in the not too distant future, one way or the other.

Mr. Philip: Does the minister not agree that it is traumatic enough for a woman to have a mastectomy without also facing the added pressure that she cannot afford the prostheses and brassieres, which can run as high as $200? Why have we had to wait so long for this one item, which would be such a small portion of his total budget? When, specifically, can we expect that some answer will be given, inasmuch as not only myself and the people affected, but also the Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario division, have been putting the pressure on the minister for an answer to this problem?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: As the honourable member knows -- or perhaps would appreciate if he does not know -- there are a great many proposals on hand at any time to expand OHIP benefits. It is a question of working out a rational approach to not just the one item, but in this case we are trying to work out a rational approach to the whole field of orthotics and prosthetics.

That is necessary whether we would adopt plans like say, Alberta, or something that would be just for children, as some other provinces have started, or however we might do it, in order that we not do it in a piecemeal fashion.

I am aware of the member's private bills, which have been presented here from time to time. I am aware of the position of the cancer society, which already assists those individuals of whom it becomes aware, who are not in a position to afford these prostheses, and certainly all of that is being taken account of.

Certainly, at no point do I envisage that we will ever be able to meet all the demands that are on my desk at any time for additional benefits to the health plan. They are virtually unlimited.



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

Your committee begs to report the following bills with certain amendments:

Bill Pr1, An Act to revive Mildove Mining Company Limited;

Bill Pr5, An Act to revive Stacey's Custom Upholstery Limited.

Your committee begs to report the following bill without amendment:

Bill Pr3, An Act to revive Sioux Petroleums, Limited.

Motion agreed to.



Hon. Mr. Wells moved that estimates be referred to committees as indicated in the estimates statement made yesterday pursuant to standing order 45(b).

Motion agreed to.



Hon. Mr. McMurtry moved first reading of Bill 68, An Act for the establishment and conduct of a project in the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto to improve methods of processing complaints by members of the public against police officers on the Metropolitan Toronto Police Force.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Wells moved first reading of Bill 69, An Act to amend the Ontario Unconditional Grants Act, 1975.

Motion agreed to.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, this bill proposes to implement the revised municipal transfer payments and procedures for apportioning upper tier costs among lower tier municipalities.

Included in this bill is the provision for the $2 per capita increase in the police per capita grant rates which is designed to offset significant municipal cost increases for this service. There are also in the bill a number of other changes necessary for the 1981 municipal grants and apportionment procedures. In general, the bill seeks to ensure that those municipalities experiencing the greatest financial pressures will receive increased funding, and those municipalities which would have been adversely affected by our revised program will be protected.

11:20 a.m.



Hon. Mr. Walker moved second reading of Bill 21, An Act to amend the Liquor Licence Act, 1975.

Mr. Bradley: Mr. Speaker, Bill 21 is simply an extension of a policy that has been enacted by the Ontario Legislature. an extension to the Niagara Parks Commission, the St. Lawrence Parks Commission and the St. Clair Parkway Commission of a policy that we in the official opposition have supported in the past and I think we will continue to support.

It arises out of the experience that the provincial parks have had with the holiday weekend and we are specifically talking about the holiday weekends early in the year. It is always anticipated when the taxpayers put out a good deal of money for our provincial parks that they are going to be used in an appropriate fashion.

However, the experience has been that there has been some rather riotous conditions that have arisen in the provincial parks in past years and this prompted the ministry to begin to restrict the availability and the permissibility of liquor within the provincial parks for that reason.

It became a situation where families, and I guess even nonfamilies, who were going to provincial parks for the purpose of enjoying those facilities that were there and enjoying the outdoors and so on were in effect scared away by the possibility of riotous conditions existing -- drinking to great excess. They saw the kind of vandalism that took place in the parks on these weekends. We saw police costs increase rather dramatically as the Ontario Provincial Police were forced to come in rather large numbers in certain circumstances to make mass arrests and to clear the rowdy individuals, who were prepared to destroy the fun and the enjoyment of others, out of the parks.

As a result, the ministry saw fit, with the approval of the opposition, to discontinue the allowance of liquor in the provincial parks at least for a certain period of time early in the year.

We in the official opposition feel it is a logical extension of this policy to have the same rules apply to the Niagara Parks Commission, the St. Lawrence Parks Commission and the St. Clair Parkway Commission in order that the citizens of this province who want to enjoy those facilities will also have the protection of the law in ensuring that liquor and other spirits -- beer and so on -- are prohibited from the parks for a specific period of time.

We are very pleased to support that bill and our Liberal caucus will be voting in favour of it. We also feel, because of the circumstances of the holiday weekend coming up somewhat early this year, it is urgent and necessary that this bill pass three readings this morning. We will be supporting that provision.

Mr. Swart: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the New Democratic Party I want to say that we support this bill in principle. The policy which was enacted last year, whereby alcoholic beverages were prohibited in a number of provincial parks, by and large was successful and met with public approval.

I am a camper myself and spend quite a bit of time in conservation parks and provincial parks and am therefore aware of some of the problems that have existed and continue to exist and I realize there is no perfect solution to these. On the one hand, we are saying to people who use alcoholic beverages in moderation and create no nuisance that they can't have them, but on the other hand, we are not permitting people who don't use them in that fashion to be a real nuisance to others in the park.

This bill provides an extension to that legislation and to the regulations which were passed in March of last year, if I remember correctly, for the St. Lawrence Seaway Authority, the Niagara Parks Commission and conservation authorities. I was hoping the minister would be making a statement about the application of this to the conservation authorities, because they are in a somewhat different situation in that, to a degree, they are autonomous bodies.

Perhaps the minister will still do that. I invite him to do that, because I think we in this party want to know the exact application of that. I believe there was a request from the conservation authorities to have this enabling legislation. I am aware some conservation authorities would like this prohibition while others do not want it because they have had no problems and do not need it. Therefore, I would hope for a detailed statement from the minister on how this will be applied to conservation authorities.

I had the opportunity to look at the present regulation, 134-81, which applies to the existing provincial parks. I believe it is for this year and it is very specific. It says there will be this period, I believe from May 7 to May 24, when alcoholic beverages will not be permitted in certain parks in this province. I would expect, because the minister wants this to apply tomorrow, that he perhaps has the regulation already prepared. I understand he wants to use it this weekend. Perhaps he could read it into the record today.

I want to know whether the autonomy is going to remain with the conservation authorities to determine whether they want it to apply to their particular parks or whether they do not. In this party, we are determined that decision will rest with those conservation authorities.

Subject to the statements which may be made, or the regulation which may be read by the minister, we will determine whether it should go to a committee of the whole House. I am not asking particularly that this be done. I realize it is going to delay it for this weekend. Hopefully it will be the case that the minister can give a satisfactory, detailed explanation or else read the regulation into the record so we can approve this bill speedily and have it apply to this coming weekend. I await the minister's comments on this.

Hon. Mr. Walker: I welcome the comments from the two opposition parties in support of the proposed amendment. It tends to be one of those which in many respects is not perfect, but it seems to work. It started a few years ago on a trial basis. It was applied for only a few weeks every year, and the results were so impressive that today 20 parks now have it in place. They opt in and they opt out. In this case, I would extend it to the three main parkway commissions in the proposed amendment and, as well, it extends to provide enabling legislation for any of the conservation authorities.

The member for Welland-Thorold has raised the question of what would normally transpire. Of course, it is local option and it is strictly up to the local conservation authorities to make use of this enabling legislation should they choose to.

Normally, under the Conservation Authorities Act, the regulations are passed and regulations come forward drafted almost entirely, if not totally, by the individual conservation authority and over the signature of the chairman of the authority. It is basically that regulation, in its identical form, that is put through as an order in council. It is the option of the individual conservation authority to opt in or remain out, should it choose to.

11:30 a.m.

We now have this legislation in place, so various conservation authorities will be taking advantage of it. In this particular case the only one they are particularly anxious to move on in the parkway commission is the Charles Daley Park just outside St. Catharines, and that park will be able to take advantage of the order in council that we would propose to have passed today by cabinet.

As it turns out, the traditional weekend that one would choose is the May 24 weekend, which happens to come about two weeks early this year, so there has been some speedy movement in getting this passed. Should this House approve what we have presented to you, Mr. Speaker, that the amendment of the Liquor Licence Act 1975 could go forward under those circumstances, if it is passed in three readings today, which I would hope -- and I will be moving third reading if it clears second shortly -- in that case we will have an order in council which designates the park.

I will read that: "Possession of liquor in Charles Daley Park, a regulation made under the Liquor Licence Act, 1975." This is the regulation we would have passed under these circumstances: " ... that notwithstanding subsection 46(2a) of the act, no person shall, from and including May 15, 1981, to and including June 26, 1981, have or keep in his possession or custody liquor in Charles Daley Park, managed and controlled by the Niagara Parks Commission."

As I say, later on during the next few months, should any particular conservation authority or other commission opt in, they merely pass on the regulations to us, in which case we would pass those through the normal channels and make them an order in council.

Motion agreed to.

Ordered for committee of the whole House.

House in committee of the whole.


Consideration of Bill 21, An Act to amend the Liquor Licence Act, 1975.

On section 1:

Mr. Swart: Mr. Chairman, neither I nor the party want to be difficult on this matter, but I am not satisfied with the minister's answer on exactly what will take place with regard to the conservation authority.

To me the act is rather clear. What we are doing here is changing clause (x) of section 40, which begins by saying, "The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations"; (x) will then mean " ... prohibiting or regulating and controlling the possession of liquor in provincial parks, in a park managed or controlled by the Niagara Parks Commission, the St. Lawrence Parks Commission, the St. Clair Parkway Commission or on lands owned or controlled by a conservation authority established or continued under the Conservation Authorities Act." As I interpret it, that gives the minister blanket approval to prohibit or control in those areas.

The minister mentions that the conservation authorities will opt in or out by regulation, but it is absolutely clear that is a regulation which must be gazetted by him. Does he do that and does he give the commitment to do that only on a resolution or official request from the conservation authority?

Will that particular conservation authority request for a particular park in the authority that there be prohibition for a given period of time, and then you will automatically enact that regulation to give them authority to prohibit it? Is that, in fact, the way this is going to operate, or will the minister take initiative on his own?

You, of course, rightly take the initiative with regard to the other provincial parks or even those quasi-provincial parks such as the Niagara Parks Commission, but I want to know the exact procedure the conservation authorities will go through.

Second, if I am right in assuming that procedure will be followed, have you some request at the present time and are you prepared to state here what that regulation, which you will obviously gazette today or pass today, will contain? What will conservation authorities be granted the right to prohibit? This may be all very simple, but I want to have that clearly answered in this House at this time.

Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Chairman, the undertaking I give is that in respect of this particular section and in respect of conservation authorities, so long as I am the minister I would not bring in any kind of blanket amendment that would relate to all conservation authorities, but rather would wait until I received each individual conservation authority's intention to opt in through a request to us to have an order in council passed which allows them to have application under this section of the act.

Mr. Swart: Mr. Chairman, could I have the second part of the question answered? Do you have some that are going to be gazetted immediately, the regulation enacted?

Hon. Mr. Walker: No, Mr. Chairman. As I understand it, we have none from any conservation authority at the moment, although we have some indications that some wish to do it. I believe you made reference earlier to the blanket request made by the conservation authorities of Ontario, at least their association, but we have no specific one which has said, "It is our desire to have an order in council passed in our particular authority."

Mr. Nixon: It is incredible really that the changes in our society have led the House to have to enact this kind of legislation. I know the minister is aware that in previous years there have been some pretty rambunctious weekends in a few of the provincial parks, and I understand that the intention is to include other parks that could come under the ordinary order in council bans or regulations of the ministry that have applied in provincial parks. It is regrettable certainly that because of these circumstances, ordinary people like myself, let's say, and the government House leader could not go into a park or one of these recreation areas with a picnic and have an adequate glass of white wine to wash things down without transgressing what really is an unfortunate change in the statutes of the province.

One of the aspects which seems to me particularly difficult to understand is that the same minister permits the kind of beer advertising which is directed almost exclusively at the very people that this legislation is aimed at; the young people drink a lot of beer, maybe more than they should, and make a fuss in the parks. The minister knows that the beer ads are probably the very best ones on TV, that is, best designed with the most expensive background, similar only in quality and cost to those used by the Progressive Conservative Party for electoral purposes, but if you look at those ads, they emphasize the use of parks. I feel almost compelled to get out my canoe and my pup tent and go away with the boys and several cases of cold Buckeye or whatever it is they are pushing that particular time.

Where the devil are they going to drink the beer you are selling them with your ads? You collect the revenue in tax -- $500 million worth of profit alone on the booze -- and then you say: "By the way, don't go to our parks, go somewhere else. Go to the island or out in your car and drink it there."

11:40 p.m.

Mr. Chairman: Not the ball park.

Mr. Nixon: You cannot go to the ball park either -- thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. This brings to mind another matter I wanted to raise.

Your policy is such a foul-up, to use the kindest word and the one the Chairman might permit me to use, it really is appalling. I find this small addition to our crazy liquor laws regrettable. I personally feel it is limiting my enjoyment of the parks and many others feel that way too.

I can recognize, of course, the situation that has led to the necessity for its introduction. I know you want to have three readings and have His Honour do his thing before the weekend. Luckily for us it is a rainy weekend, because nobody is going to have any fun anyway. It really is regrettable. However I am in favour of it.

Hon. Mr. Walker: The question of the lifestyle advertising and the whole matter of advertising has been under some attack recently. As you know, guidelines were produced years ago --

Mr. Nixon: They were the Grossman guidelines. The Drea guidelines reversed those.

Hon. Mr. Walker: There has been a recent advertising review and new guidelines have been produced that are more responsive to public criticism. The board is charged with that responsibility and just recently developed a revision of it. All advertising -- be it television, radio or print advertising -- has to be approved by the Liquor Licence Board of Ontario. Consequently, a revision to the guidelines has occurred and there have been new guidelines put out to the industry.

Mr. Renwick: What concerns me is simply the implication in the bill, as I take it, that this is going to be some kind of local option that is being granted. Surely the minister has to give us an assurance that the authority we are being asked to extend here is to be used in exceptional circumstances. I am quite happy with that. There are circumstances in which it is necessary, for the orderly use of the parks, for the authority to be able to intervene and prohibit the use of alcohol for a given period of time.

But surely the policy of the government must be to provide for orderly, peaceable citizens to go about the business of their leisure recreation in various parks. The exercise of this power by the government, if we are going to grant it to them, is going to be an exercise of judgemental quality and not simply the granting of local option to whatever conservation authority or other authority wishes to prohibit the use of alcoholic beverages in the parks. Can the minister give us the assurance that the judgement will be exercised and this power will be used only where it is necessary for the peaceful and orderly use of the parks?

Hon. Mr. Walker: As far as we are concerned it takes reasonably exceptional circumstances, but the most exceptional part of the circumstances is that it requires the decision to be made by the local body.

I do not know if you were here a few minutes ago when I read to the House the proposed regulation that we would pass today. That regulation simply specified the Charles Daley Park and specified a period that covered about four weeks, from May 15 until June 15. When the Niagara Parks Commission contacted us, we were satisfied they had some exceptional circumstances they had identified and wanted to correct.

We are certainly not applying this whole hog across the province. Indeed, since it was first introduced in 1977 or 1978 in a scattered number of parks -- I think one was up around Wasaga Beach and another was at the Pinery -- I think over that period of time only 20 today fall into the category. Of all the parks and all the authorities and all the places where people can go and enjoy themselves in Ontario there are still only 20 that have made application under this legislation.

So it appears to be very spotty in its application, and it falls into line with the principle being applied. We do not want to try to take the same brush and paint the entire province with that particular regulation. So indeed it is, if you choose to call it that, a local option, and we are sticking to the point that we require certainly some strong indication that the need is there before we would do it; and secondly, of course, that the regulation would be proposed in the case of the conservation authorities by the individual authorities.

Mr. Robinson: Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the proposed amendment to the legislation, though I am sure the minister would agree with me, as would all members of this House, that it is extremely unfortunate that it is necessary to have this type of legislation at all in Ontario.

Unfortunately some years ago and for a number of years ongoing it became a rite of spring in this province that we would begin our multibillion-dollar tourist industry each year on May 24 with a succession of black eyes in provincial parks across this province, where a variety of activities, most of them alcohol-related, would take place, would be reported widely in the news media and would place us under some sort of tourism inducement stigma for a number of weeks until the summer and the green foliage overtook it and put us back in our rightful position as the number one tourist attraction in this entire country.

As the opposition House leader mentioned earlier when he talked about normal people -- and I must congratulate him for considering that the members of this House, for some reason or other by the very fact they are here, may still be normal -- it does go to show once again that the will and the privileges of the majority of people, normal as they may be, are once again unfortunately sacrificed to protect the overall benefit of this province from a minority who do not choose to respect them.

Mr. Boudria: Mr. Chairman, there are just a couple of things I want to get straight in my own mind as a person who uses parks extensively in the summer months along with my family. It does seem rather unreasonable, for instance, that you cannot go to the park on your wife's birthday with a bottle of champagne and sandwiches or something. That situation would not be one that would be acceptable. Would the minister consider perhaps allowing something in the regulation for hours, for instance, where liquor could not be served or exposed between 6 p.m. and 10 a.m.? At least it would not be as harsh as the possibility of this thing is right now for everyone concerned.

I know that you may want to try to stop the rowdiness that certain groups may be engaging in all night in certain parts. And again, as a user of the parks, I have witnessed some of that as well, and I do resent a gang of people who are partying at four o'clock in the morning when everybody else is trying to rest. But on the other hand I fail to see that it is that essential to make conditions harsh on everyone for an afternoon picnic, and I am just wondering if the regulations would permit something of that order?

Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Chairman, you know that the draft regulation I read in here spoke of a time between May 15 and June 15, and the honourable member from Prescott-Russell told me his wife's birthday is later in July. So in this case it would not be covered, and he will be able to go there to the park --


Hon. Mr. Walker: Is it not the end of July? Anyway, the fact of the matter is that at least there is a regulatory aspect to the proposal before us today, and clause (x) here says, "prohibiting or regulating and controlling the possession of liquor." So it is possible that individual authorities or commissions could ask us to have some restriction during certain periods of time or during certain periods of time or during certain days or months of the year. It is up to them.

11:50 a.m.

On the other hand, I dare say it must be a bit of a problem to say one cannot be in possession of liquor between the hours of 6 p.m. and 4 a.m. It would be rather difficult to do that, given that people come into the park at the beginning of the weekend and leave at the end of the weekend, presumably without leaving in between.

There might be a bit of a problem, but it is up to them to decide what they want to do and how they wish to regulate it. Whatever the case, it is up to the local conservation authority or, in this case, the local commission or, indeed, the parks operated under the Ministry of Natural Resources. It is up to them to decide whether they want to do something relative to regulation within certain hours.

Mr. Boudria: Mr. Chairman, what the minister has now said brings up another interesting situation which relates to the possession of liquor in the parks. We have to remember that if tourists are camping while going through Ontario from out west to the Maritimes or vice versa, they may be stopping in our provincial parks and may happen to have alcoholic beverages in their possession.

Would that mean they would have to dispose of those before entering the park premises under this type of regulation and, if so, what on earth do they do with it from the time they are in the park to the time they leave? I can see it possibly creates other problems for tourists using our provincial parks, especially those who are camping and this type of thing.

Hon. Mr. Walker: There is no question that it presents a problem. It is up to the conservation authority, commission or provincially operated park to make a decision as to what it wants to do. My suspicion is they will use discretion. My suspicion is they will act wisely whatever proposed orders in council they may request from us. This simply gives them authority to request these things. We would have the final authority in passing it.

Mr. Haggerty: Mr. Chairman, I am interested in Bill 21. As I interpret the bill, all the minister is doing is extending it in one or two park areas, particularly the conservation authorities. He has the Niagara Parks Commission, the St. Lawrence Parks Commission and the St. Clair Parkway Commission. I am sure they have well-established outlets now. I am talking particularly of the Niagara parks system which has liquor outlets, dining rooms and lounges along the parkway from Fort Erie straight through to, I believe, Fort George on Niagara-on-the-Lake. I cannot recall any difficulties in that particular area.

I think the intent of the bill is good, but I do not think it covers the problem areas of vandalism and rowdyism in the provincial parks. Maybe this is the area the minister should be looking at. If one permits the conservation authorities to have dining lounges or liquor outlets, they will be controlled.

Maybe the minister should be looking at the province establishing or renting out certain areas for such facilities that can be controlled in the proper manner. The remote areas of the province, in particular, have some exceptionally good parks. It is in these areas, say in northern or northeastern Ontario, where they have had some difficulties. They have had difficulties in the area of the Lake Huron parks.

I suggest this is the path we should be taking, allowing somebody to go in to establish a proper outlet, a lounge, a dining room or whatever it may be, to be served with meals or not. That is one way to control it under proper supervision. I do not think anybody would then have the need to go in and have booze and a party that goes on all night. Once one closes the place under regulations that apply to any other liquor lounge, dining room licence, bar or whatever it may be, it is midnight, one o'clock or two o'clock, depending on the locality and the municipality.

I suggest this is one area which we can control. But it covers nothing to answer the problems of the provincial parks where problems with drinking have got out of hand in the past number of years. I suggest this is an area the minister should be looking at. Perhaps we should be establishing other park areas like the St. Lawrence Parks Commission, the Niagara Parks Commission and the St. Clair Parkway Commission that have local authorities that can administer the policies from there.

Why not establish a provincial park system on Lake Huron, and on other lakes in Ontario along Georgian Bay? Why not establish areas like that where there are provincial parks that can be managed by local authorities in that area? I think it is a good idea that you say: "Sure, we will give the responsibility to the conservation area. Let them, if they want to hire some person to put up a building, do that. They can collect the taxes, give revenue to the municipalities, and so on."

You do have control on it, and I suggest that the bill does not cover the areas where it is required, where rowdyism takes place, and drinking problems take place in the province, in particular in the parks under the Ministry of Natural Resources. That is the area you should be looking at.

Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, I realize that these sections are somewhat confused because when the legal draftsmen get busy with them they seem to double-talk in them. In fact, I think if you had the benefit of the act as it at present stands in front of you and the new act -- you likely do not have the old act in front of you, but if you had the two and compared them -- you would see that, first of all, all provincial parks are now presently and adequately covered, so they are capable of being controlled, where it is appropriate.

As the member for Riverdale suggested, where there is a problem, it is controlled. Secondly, in the new proposal that is before you, the new clause also contains that same reference to provincially controlled parks, so they will be adequately controlled. This merely extends it, not just to provincial parks, but beyond that to include the named commissions and the conservation authorities, so it gives us somewhat wider authority to achieve, I think, exactly what you are saying.

I am somewhat anxious to move the matter as quickly as possible in that the Lieutenant Governor is anxious to depart at noon today. If this is to be passed and signed into law by him giving effect to section 2, so that the act will come into force on the day it receives royal assent, we would hope that royal assent might occur within minutes, as opposed to within hours. That would then make it effective for this somewhat premature May 24 weekend, in this particular location, which, of course, is somewhat close to your riding as well, the Charles Daley Park, where they are anxious to have this control brought into place.

Mr. Haggerty: What park?

Hon. Mr. Walker: Charles Daley. That is one of the parks listed here.

Mr. G.I. Miller: For clarification purposes, if you go to a park, rent a site, and put your trailer on it, is that not considered your own home, and as long you are living within the regulations, you can use that and have a drink on that property?

Hon. Mr. Walker: I am not a hundred per cent sure of the answer to that question. I do think if it falls within the confines of the regulations of the 20 parks presently included within the ban, or if this particular one today, the Charles Daley Park, is to go through, if you happen to put your trailer on that site, then I would assume that trailer is governed by the operation of this regulation.

But again, it depends on local decision making.

Sections 1 to 3, inclusive, agreed to.

Bill 21 reported.

On motion by Hon. Mr. Wells, the committee of the whole House reported one bill without amendment.


The following bill was given third reading on motion:

Bill 21, An Act to amend the Liquor Licence Act, 1975.

12 noon


Hon. Mr. Elgie moved second reading of Bill 7, An Act to revise and extend Protection of Human Rights in Ontario.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, today we move one step closer to achieving significant advances in the field of human rights in Ontario. I believe the legislation we are considering is relevant to the 1980s, and will be recognized as a landmark in the evolution of human rights reform.

This morning I would like to remind honourable members of some previous landmarks in our legislative history so that our discussion of Bill 7 may be undertaken in the context of Ontario's pioneering in the area of human rights.

During the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, Ontario passed a series of acts relating to fair employment and accommodation practices. In 1958, we created the first anti-discrimination commission. In 1962 all of the various anti-discrimination provisions were consolidated in a comprehensive Human Rights Code, and full-time staff were appointed to administer the legislation.

The first code was amended 17 times to expand the prohibited grounds of discrimination, and to decrease the number of situations which could be exempted from the requirements of the code.

During 1975 and 1977 the Human Rights Code review committee conducted an exhaustive review of the entire code and produced a valuable report entitled Life Together. The committee's recommendations, which resulted from meetings and deliberations involving more than 300 individuals and organizations all across Ontario, covered a broad range of issues. The bill which is before us today addresses most of those as well as others that were not included in Life Together.

Many of us are by now familiar with most of the provisions of this bill which is essentially unchanged from the bill I introduced towards the end of the last parliament. The proposed legislation will cover new groups and classes of persons, and protect against types of conduct which have not previously been prohibited. It contains as well miscellaneous provisions relating mainly to the administration of the code -- some procedural, some having to do with the structure of the commission itself, and some relating to expanded remedies for contravention.

I would, however, like to draw the attention of honourable members to certain changes that have been made since we considered Bill 209 in December. We will, of course, have an opportunity to discuss these in detail when we arrive at clause-by-clause consideration of Bill 7.

For example, diabetes mellitus has been specifically added to the definition of handicapped to dispel any doubts about the coverage intended by the definition. This change was made out of deference to views strongly held by such as the member for Windsor-Walkerville (Mr. Newman), who has long been an advocate of this, as well as other members. Although it has been added specifically, I want it made very clear that in doing so the government in no way is intending to limit the definition of physical disability.

Section 15 of Bill 209 permitted a requirement of Canadian citizenship where this is provided by law or adopted to foster Canadian participation in cultural, educational, trade union or athletic activities. We have now made it possible in this new act to accord that same treatment to landed immigrants.

A new section 22, replacing section 21(7) in Bill 209, clarifies the requirements concerning employment applications and pre-employment interviews.

In section 34, the human rights commission is given the power to reconsider its decisions with respect to the dismissal of complaints and requests to appoint boards of inquiry upon the written request of the complainant. This is a consolidation and simplification of two sections in the previous Bill 209.

In addition, in section 38(1) we have changed the maximum award for compensation for mental anguish from $5,000 to $15,000.

These changes have been made to clarify certain provisions of Bill 209. It has been gratifying to hear and to read the general enthusiasm and approval that has been expressed by the opposition critics and by the media and the public about the then Bill 209 and the present Bill 7. I may say that my own mail has expressed widespread support as well for the new code and the propositions contained there in.

I do, however, wish to address one concern that has been raised by the opposition parties. They have questioned the ability of the human rights commission to administer the proposed new code with the present resource level.

I remind honourable members that in October the government increased the commission staff to help deal with an unacceptable backlog of cases which had become evident. At the same time, I also announced the additional resources that would allow the new race relations division to undertake its important mandate.

These increases were significant and have provided the commission with a more realistic level of resources for the administration of the present code. However, as I emphasized when I made these announcements, they are and were independent of the new resources that will be required to implement the significant changes we are proposing in Bill 7.

Today I want to review briefly the key provisions of this bill. It seems appropriate to begin by drawing attention to the preamble, which confirms the universality of human rights and enunciates our commitment to revise and extend human rights in Ontario to reflect an evolving sense of equity and social justice. I believe that our new code achieves this.

Turning to the substance of the bill, I want to refer first of all to the expanded coverage provisions. Protection in all areas -- employment, accommodation and the provision of goods and services -- is extended to the mentally and physically handicapped. Past, present and perceived handicaps are included and "handicap" is defined to include physical disability, mental retardation, learning disability and mental illness. I believe this definition to be as broad as or broader than that in any comparable legislation in any other jurisdiction.

The new code will protect the victims of past injuries, including those who have received workmen's compensation benefits, against discrimination on the grounds of their disabilities, subject only to bona fide occupational qualifications. Discrimination on the ground of handicap is also prohibited in the provision of services, goods and facilities, housing and commercial accommodation and in contracting, employment and membership in occupational associations and trade unions.

In every case, of course, they will be subject to the individual being capable of carrying out the essential functions associated with that particular activity in question.

Application forms may no longer require information about a handicap or a perceived handicap. The revision also addresses the question of insurability of handicapped persons. Generally, discrimination on the ground of handicap will be prohibited in insurance, subject to bona fide and reasonable exceptions in certain classes of individual and group plans, and employment may no longer be made conditional on the enrolment of a person in a benefit or insurance plan and, where a handicapped person otherwise would be excluded from such an employee plan, the employer must pay him or her compensation equivalent to the contribution the employer makes on behalf of nonhandicapped employees.

I am not aware of a statute in any jurisdiction that provides this measure of protection. I believe we have been able to devise strong and effective provisions for the protection of the handicapped. In doing so, we have consulted extensively with organizations representing handicapped persons and others, and I believe their major concerns are met in the legislation.

12:10 p.m.

While the proposed protection for handicapped persons has been the most widely publicized change, there is, as well, significant expansion on other grounds of prohibited discrimination. The limit of protection upon discrimination on the grounds of age has been lowered from 40 to 18 years so that protection for persons over the age of 18 and below the age of 65 is provided.

The question of where the appropriate upper limit of age protection should be fixed is a particularly perplexing one -- I suspect for each of us. The bill as it stands does not propose a change of the upper limit but, as I have indicated previously, I look forward to further presentations on this important matter.

On the one hand, there are persuasive arguments for raising the age limit from the present 65 to 70, or perhaps beyond. As a physician I cannot help but ask myself, as I am sure the members do, whether we really should allow healthy and able-bodied employees to be forced into retirement against their wishes.

On the other hand, I can appreciate the views of those employees who fear that such a change might result in their delayed retirement and delayed benefits, especially for those older workers who wish to take advantage of what they have considered for years to be the normal age of retirement.

We also have to look at the labour market ramifications of extending the definition of age under the code and the effect it might have on younger persons entering the labour force. The rates of unemployment there are chronically the highest.

Family status becomes a prohibited ground of discrimination, subject to certain exceptions in the case of accommodation to preserve what we believe to be legitimate lifestyle preferences. Protection on the basis of marital status -- broadly defined to include common-law relationships as well as the state of being married, single, widowed, divorced or separated -- is assured also, subject to certain exceptions in the case of shared, single-sex, or owner-occupied, limited-sized accommodation. Discrimination in accommodation against those who receive public assistance is prohibited. Again, I believe the latter ground is unique in Canada.

Family protection in employment is extended to domestic workers who are specifically excluded from protection under the present Human Rights Code. I have mentioned that several new areas of activities are added to those stipulated in the existing code. For example, protection against discrimination in contracts is added. This will include contracts involving buying and selling.

Constructive discrimination is for the first time specifically prohibited, that is, imposing a qualification of some kind which would result indirectly in disqualifying a group of persons who are identified by a prohibited ground of discrimination. There are, of course, exceptions where the qualification is found to be reasonable and bona fide.

For the first time, discrimination is prohibited because of association with members of a protected group. Harassment, defined as engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct, is specifically prohibited in the context of employment and accommodation, and protection from sexual harassment is made explicit. Reprisals by persons in authority -- for example, employers -- against those who refuse or reject sexual solicitation, is prohibited. Tenants and employees are protected against harassment by landlords, fellow tenants, employers and fellow employees, based on any prohibited ground of discrimination.

I will touch briefly on the administrative, procedural and structural changes that have been proposed, changes which I believe will clarify the role of the commission, facilitate its operation, and help to ensure greater equity for all parties before it. The proposed code, for example, will bind the crown and will have immediate primacy over all future legislation. Two years after the code comes into force it will also have primacy over all existing legislation. In both cases there is provision for any legislation to state expressly that it excludes the application of the code. In addition, the commission, for the first time, will have the power to review and comment upon all legislation as it pertains to human rights.

Public or private affirmative action programs designed to benefit a particular class of people are exempted. The commission, on a complaint or on its own initiative, will have the power to recommend the implementation of affirmative action programs to rectify systematic discrimination.

The government is very conscious of its responsibility to continue to promote and encourage racial harmony in Ontario. The new code gives a statutory basis for the race relations division within the commission and is headed by a race relations commissioner. This structure is already in place and is, in my view, working very effectively to reduce discriminatory practices and racial tensions in industry, the educational system and the criminal justice system.

The commission's power to refer complaints to boards of inquiry is continued and board hearings will be expedited. Hearings must commence within 30 days of appointment and the board of inquiry must make its findings and decisions within 30 days after the conclusion of its hearing.

Boards of inquiry are, in addition, given expanded remedial powers. They are empowered, for example, to issue orders requiring landlords and employers to take appropriate action to prevent future harassment of tenants and employees by fellow tenants and employees. They may also award damages for mental anguish, and in appropriate circumstances may make orders for access to premises and facilities following findings of discrimination on the ground of handicap, contrary to the code.

Finally, the new code makes it a condition of every crown contract and subcontract that the contractor or subcontractor will not discriminate in employment. This applies as well to recipients of crown grants, contributions or loans. A breach of these provisions may lead to termination of the contract or refusal to enter into further contracts.

I sincerely believe that these proposals deal with the legitimate concerns of the vast majority of Ontario citizens. With their commitment and that of the honourable members, the proposed code can provide new impetus in the fight against discrimination and reconfirm Ontario's dedication to the protection of human rights in Ontario.

Ms. Copps: Mr. Speaker, first of all, I think it is incumbent upon all of us to congratulate the minister upon his introduction of this most crucial and much-needed legislation. It is high time that Ontario, which was once a forerunner in the Canadian human rights field, moved to the introduction of legislation which will eliminate the inequalities so aptly demonstrated in the Life Together report. It is legislation which, in my view, must supersede petty political partisanship and will guarantee human rights and human dignity to some of those members of our society who do not presently enjoy those rights.

If I am to address the issue of human rights, I must consider in the historical context former times which were not as democratic as our own. I would like to tell members a little bit about my grandmother, a widow with six boys to support in the late 1920s.

One of her few pleasures was to see her sons do well in school, giving them a chance at a future much more promising than her own; her other love was politics. In those days, there was not a public meeting that she would miss. She did face one problem, though. Women were not allowed to attend public meetings on their own; so she was always dragging out one of her boys to make sure she got a seat at a local political gathering.

To bring this into context, I should tell you why my grandmother became a Liberal. In those days, for a student to attain his senior matriculation was a costly proposition. Not only did he have to pay for books, but there was also a province-wide examination fee which, for a family of six, was prohibitive. My grandmother, being the enterprising woman she was, wrote to the then Minister of Education, a Conservative I might add, and asked if, in view of her meagre circumstances, he might consider waiving this fee for her son.

The reply, as told by my grandmother was, "Madam, in view of your meagre circumstances, I consider it highly presumptuous of you to even consider senior matriculation for your son, never mind further education." Case closed. Shortly thereafter my uncle gave up his ambitions and got a job working in a local mine where he was killed in a cave-in.

I do not presume to say that this kind of discrimination, discrimination based on class, would be contemplated by our present government. After all, times have changed. I think it would be fair to say that most reasonable people on all sides of the House embrace the notion of equal educational access for all, but the fact is that at that time my uncle was denied the right to further education simply because he came from a poor family.

I thank God that that kind of discrimination does not need to be addressed in this legislation. I thank God not only that I do not need an escort to attend a political meeting, but that I can even be elected to office. But there was a time in the history of our country when women were not even allowed to vote because they were not considered persons in the eyes of the law.

12:20 p.m.

I would respectfully suggest that there are some groups still treated in that cavalier fashion by our society, and by the sin of omission this government has contributed to furthering discrimination. That sin of omission in this legislation applies to several groups. It applies to the disabled, where the government has included antidiscrimination laws but fails to demand reasonable accommodation. How can I justify this legislation to a disabled person who knows that discrimination will continue in jobs and housing as long as there is no provision for reasonable access?

That sin of omission applies to adults over the age of 65. By ignoring their inclusion in the act, the minister is in effect saying that our senior citizens do not have the same rights as the population at large. This government is well aware that citizens over 65 are leading productive, rewarding lives. Some of our own members of the Legislature have passed that magic age. Have they been sent out to pasture? No. Then why would the government impose collective discrimination on those over the age of 65? A man should be judged by what he is able to do, not by his age. Names like Sinclair, Reagan and Sargent are a testament to the fact that people need not be put out to pasture at the age of 65. How can we endorse this kind of discrimination in an act that labels itself a human rights act?

Likewise, the government has omitted the issue of sexual orientation. Is it so that in this province some are more equal than others? I am not seeking special privileges for minorities. I am not demanding extra advantages for our disadvantaged, our aged, our disabled. I am saying that in a country, in a province, that declares itself to be democratic democracy must apply to all people, not just to those who might reflect our own particular philosophy or lifestyle.

My family came to this country at a time when the message was clear: "No Irish need apply." In time the Irish became an accepted and integrated part of our society. Then it was the turn of the Italians, the Jews, the Chinese, the blacks. Our government has moved in an effort to stamp out racism in our society. but if we are to let our citizens live secure in the comfort and knowledge that this government does not take a selective approach to discrimination, then we must amend Bill 7 in such a way as to prove that this government will not tolerate discrimination against any minority.

To put it in perspective, a few short months ago a controversy raged in my community over whether Sikhs should be allowed to wear turbans while driving regional buses. To members of the House this might seem like a ridiculous argument. Obviously, the human rights code guarantees freedom of religion, so there should be no question about it. But some objected. Why? one might ask. Because they were afraid of or did not agree with the particular philosophy, lifestyle or religion advocated by the Sikhs. I ask members as reasonable and democratic legislators, is that nonagreement reason to impose one's point of view on another contributing, responsible member of our society? I submit that it is not.

Believe me, I did not reach my conclusions without serious deliberation. I spent many hours pondering the position I am about to take. But I felt, and I hope that this House will agree, that the issue of human rights must transcend politics. If we as a free society are to grow and prosper we must allow the survival of lifestyles and points of view that differ from our own.

I do not ask you to enjoy spaghetti in order to respect an Italian's right to live and work without hindrance in our society. I do not ask you to wear a turban to allow free expression of various religious beliefs in our province. I do not ask you to live in a wheelchair to understand that the disabled must get a fighting chance at jobs and accommodation within our province.

I do not ask you to carry on working after the age of 65 as long as you are prepared to offer that option to productive, experienced members of our community. I do not ask you to condone a sexual orientation different from your own. I ask you to take the step many shrank from when Hitler was labelling Jews as subhumans in the Second World War. I ask you to consider that if we are to survive as a free nation we must cast aside all differences in guaranteeing freedom from discrimination.

It is for those reasons I plan to propose an amendment in committee that would seek three major changes in the act. It would seek inclusion of antidiscrimination legislation on the basis of age and sexual orientation and it would seek reasonable accommodation to ensure fair application of the act to the physically disabled. I have received my leader's permission to be substituted at whatever committee deals with Bill 7 and, if my amendment is defeated in committee, I will reintroduce it in the House.

I will also be seeking reorganization of the Ontario Human Rights Commission. I will be asking for more expedient hearings and I will be calling for an increase in government resources to ensure that the human rights commission is not bogged down with lengthy waiting lists before respondents can be dealt with.

I will be acting on my amendment in the knowledge that some of the members of my own caucus will not in conscience support me. I will propose the amendment bearing in mind the words of Thoreau: "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away."

If this House is to ensure that legal discrimination is a thing of the past, not only for the Irish, the poor, blacks and women but for all, if this province is to ensure that all those of different lifestyles, religions and races are to be treated equally, if this government is to guarantee, not extra but equal treatment, and to prohibit discrimination against our aged, disabled and homosexual citizens, then this government has no choice but to amend Bill 7 to ensure liberty and freedom for all.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Mr. Speaker, I am privileged to lead off for the New Democratic Party on this important bill. This is not just a revision but a new act.

The importance to my party of civil rights legislation and positions has been set out in the last 40 years. We stood for the Japanese-Canadians in their internment. We stood alone when we stood against the imposition of the War Measures Act. It is important to us as New Democrats that human and individual rights be protected. This is perhaps only secondary in our party to provision for the protection of the economic rights of our citizens in the country as a whole.

We welcome the bill, especially the new improved version of it. The ad hoc way in which things seem to get added to bills, both here and in the federal charter, is a little disturbing in terms of the importance of areas such as the disabled, but it is good to see it amended. It is good to see it here. Although we welcome it and will support it on second reading, we will be producing a significant number of amendments in committee. The governments response to that package of amendments may well affect our third reading response.

Today I will speak to the positive aspects of this bill as well as to its omissions and deficiencies. The Life Together report, produced by Professor Thomas Symons has set the tone for what we all wanted to see in terms of a revised code. Dr. Symons and I go back to the days when I was a student at Trent University and he was the president. I have a great deal of respect for him and his views on civil liberties.

In large part, the minister has seen fit to take the majority of the items which are applicable to the code and put them into the new legislation. I want to read something from the introduction of Tom Symons' report to put in context the things I want to say today:

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"Respect for human rights is an old tradition in Ontario, but it is a tradition that may be more fragile than we think. Public respect for human rights is not something that can be taken for granted in any part of the world, not even in Canada. A climate of understanding and mutual respect will not grow of its own initiative. It requires careful and constant nurturing and encouragement through public education and legislative action."

The notion of what constitutes basic rights is not a constant thing. It is an ever-changing and moving thing and it changes with the mores of our society. Legislation, therefore, cannot be a one-shot affair. It must be something that can be adapted as our society changes and its values change.

A code must reflect the private and public moralities, hopes and aspirations and has to respect individuals and groups. There is a knowledge that whenever one brings in legislation of any sort to protect one group, one is often taking some rights away from another.

The forces that tend to tear us apart, and continue to tear us apart in terms of human rights, are often based on a lack of knowledge, on fear and superstition and on historical grievances. If one looks back to the growth of religious rights and the problems there have been in freedom of religion in this country, it was not that long ago there were not equal rights for all people of all religions.

I remember in the village of Warsaw, an Irish Protestant community where I lived in 1967, the neighbouring township was of Irish Catholic descent. Most of them had come to Canada in 1827 to 1835. Yet when one Catholic family moved into Warsaw, the Protestant village, they only stayed two to three weeks because all the windows were broken, their children were beaten up and their car was vandalized. The law had changed by that point but the old habits continued.

The race question in Canada is even uglier than the religious one. We had rulings -- and Tom Symons lists some of them -- by the courts of this country as late as the 1940s which allowed racial discrimination, saying it was acceptable in our country. The vestiges of that kind of an attitude that was prevalent in this country are shown today on a regular basis in Toronto and throughout Ontario where the racial mix has changed so dramatically over the last 20 years or so.

In terms of sex, the notion of person which comes up in this act and in the old act was not applied to women for many years. Women were less than persons. They were disfranchised. The kinds of attitudes inherent there as to the second-class nature of women and the stay-in-the-kitchen notion of women have continued to arise even in this House as late as a week or two ago. The racial connotations have been shown in this House as late as last year, if not in an idle comment recently. It is a sad thing that even though we have a law that has covered those two areas for the last number of years, the vestiges continue and even in a place which is supposed to be full of honourable members.

Child labour, age discrimination, marital status and our views about that in terms of fairly strict Christian views have all constrained us in terms of our civil rights. But in a modern civilized state like Canada should be, the major focus for us all should be one of tolerance, not one of setting our values on to others. As legislators we should be at the front edge of attitudinal change. We should not be leading from behind because if we follow and wait until the persecutions of minorities have accumulated, no matter whom they may be against, we are adding to the punishment of those people in our society.

The preamble to the act refers to the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations, and it is important that it do so. In that this is not an immutable situation, it would be much more useful if that preamble were amended to include some recognition that there has been movement at the international level on that basic bill of rights.

Perhaps we can refer to the international covenant that was first passed in 1966, to which Canada acceded in 1976 and which took effect in this country in August 1976. I do not understand why that is not mentioned in the preamble, especially when it specifically states that the effects of that international agreement extend to all the states of a federation and, therefore, to the provinces. I ask that the minister look at that.

An important principle that is involved in this bill which concerns me is the principle of listing who should be included rather than having an overall nondiscrimination statement. The danger in that sort of thing is that we will be continually fighting rearguard actions in terms of trying to include groups which as our mores change get discriminated against, instead of allowing the commission to move with the times.

I prefer what is in the British Columbia act and ask the minister to look at that at least as an addendum to that listing, which is to add after the various groups that cannot be discriminated against "and any others without reasonable cause." I think that would be a very useful thing for us to have. The power of the commission then would be to act on that and to move. We have seen, with the past commissioner, that he was at the forefront of change. He was at least four years ahead of us here in the Legislature, and it would be wise to have a commission with more power in that area.

I also ask the minister to consider looking at to whom the commission should be responsible. Professor Symons made a strong plea that the Premier (Mr. Davis) be the minister through whom the act is covered. This would not be done to denigrate the status of our present minister but to give an extra status to that law and to the importance of that to the fabric in this society.

I also ask him to try to include, as Symons has asked for again, the connection to this Legislature, rather than a connection through the government and through the executive. It would be very important that we have more than what you have put into the bill; that is, just an annual report. Instead, perhaps we would have a standing committee, as was suggested by Symons, or at least an understanding that a committee would have responsibility on a regular basis for reviewing some of the rulings that might have implications in terms of future changes in the act; in that way we could move quickly on amendments and not be far behind.

The powers of the commission, as I see them in the bill, are ones of investigation, establishing boards of inquiry, recommending affirmation action, promoting the principles behind the bill and now also imposing penalties. I think those things are important and, although the minister has alluded to the fact that he has put more money into the commission and he is hoping that will speed things up and give them that kind of power, one only has to look at the budget for the Ombudsman, in comparison with the commission, and one can see there is a great discrepancy.

If we are really going to do the promotional kind of work that Symons talked about, if we are actually do active kind of work to inform people about groups like the Ku Klux Klan and what they stand for, if that will be a role for the commission, they will have to have more money to do that positively.

Look at the case load for the moment: The latest figures I have show that there is an ongoing case load -- they do not like to call it a backlog; they say they are "in the pipe" -- of about 1,000. That is a bit of a drop from last year, when there was an addition of funds, but it is still only about 100 fewer than we had last September. It is not a significant drop at this time. When we consider that 51 per cent of those cases that are in the pipe have been there for nine months or less, that means 48 per cent have been in the pipe for more than nine months.

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There is a lack of money, there is a lack of staff, or there is something wrong with the operation of the commission, because it is not able to act fast enough to make people feel confident that they should go there. I am sure there are members throughout this House who have had people come to them with complaints, who are reluctant to go to the commission, because they do not think it is going to take any action, because they think they will wait forever. I encourage the minister to understand that money must be put in if we really want this commission to act in a more productive way.

I am glad they are doing things like producing Affirmation, a document which I gather comes out quarterly and goes out to about 9,000 people. That is a good kind of promotional thing to do. It is the kind of thing that should also come as a report to us here in the Legislature, and it should be geared to the kinds of cases they are coming up to that pose questions for us as legislators. I think that would be very useful from our side of things. Maybe a parallel organ, if they want that one to go out to the public, would be a good idea. But it is designed to go to the public. I would like to see it on a broader distribution than just the 9,000, and more money would need to be given to that.

I might go into some of the groups on discrimination involved in what you have accomplished or not accomplished in those areas in this bill.

I will start with the disabled because, of any group in our society that has been disfranchised or left as maybe third-class citizens for generations, that is the largest group, the group that has overcome not only those people's disabilities but also the prejudices against them and their abilities and their capacity to be seen as real human beings. Those people -- I must give them every credit -- will welcome what the minister has done with this bill, but they are responsible for what he has done with this bill.

When the minister introduced that separate bill last year, it was one of the greatest affronts that I can imagine being perpetrated against that group. What we said was: "They should be separate; they should not be included in this bill." That was the statement made by doing it that way.

The mealy-mouthed motions in there, which are not in this bill -- thank you, they are not in this bill -- about ownership, burden of proof and that kind of thing were an insult to those people. They stood up and said: "We do not want halfway measures; we want the whole thing, and we would rather wait."

They came and lobbied us, the Liberals and the government, and thank God we did not have that go through as just a piecemeal piece of legislation. I think they will be very happy in the things that have come through.

There are some concerns. The member for Hamilton Centre indicated the one about the slow motion of reasonable access, and I think that is something we are going to have to discuss a fair amount in committee. I have some concerns as well about section 38 and subsections 2 and 3, which have to do with enforcement, the power to order changes and what are likely to be the limitations in that. Maybe there should be some tightening up of the wording. But generally speaking I am not too concerned with that. The handicapped individuals I have talked to have not expressed too much concern with me. I think the member for Bellwoods (Mr. McClellan) will be speaking more to that section when he speaks.

I have a little concern about section 20, again not to be specific, but in principle. That has to do with the possible exclusion of handicapped individuals in terms of certain kinds of contracts, insurance programs and that kind of thing. I have some concern that it may be a little loose, and I hope we will have some professional help to determine whether that language is tight enough to make sure there is protection from its being abused.

I get very concerned that the chamber of commerce in February, I think it was, made a statement saying the compliance that was going to be demanded in the legislation looked a little too tough for them. I am a little worried about that lobby keeping the language weak.

At the same time as we have these things in the bill, which I am pleased to see, we have in our society no acceptance in other legislation that mandatory changes must be made to access to our public buildings like schools. Without that happening in terms of our regular legislation, how can we expect the commission to be strong in demanding that kind of access when they are petitioned by an individual?

We have accepted a concept that was abhorrent to Professor Symons. We have accepted the idea that we should have a separate transit system for the handicapped, and a really inferior kind of system. It is a system that keeps some people waiting for two or three hours for a return ride in Metropolitan Toronto. I have constituents of mine who have been only about 20 minutes away by car from a hospital location who have had a three-and-a-half-hour drive home in the bus, going all over Metropolitan Toronto.

They have to book a week in advance. They cannot go out at night. It is expensive, but we know it is possible to try to make our public transit system more accessible. That is something we should be doing. I do not understand how we can talk about equality in real terms if we are not looking at the expansion of the light rail transit in Scarborough, for instance, to make it accessible to the handicapped. It would have cost only approximately one per cent more with new construction to make it fully accessible and yet we did not do it.

There is a really horrible juxtaposition between what is supposedly the spirit of this bill and what we have been doing in this province.

My colleague the member for Bellwoods has raised a number of times the question of pay levels for people in sheltered workshops and the way they are being used and misused. Many of us have raised the whole question of prosthetic devices.

They were talking about equal access of kids to education while children in my riding who are hearing impaired have hearing aids that cost $600 to replace. They have to be replaced two to three times during their growing period at the public school age. They cost $600. Their parents are not covered by the Ontario health insurance plan. They have to make the decision to sacrifice elsewhere to make sure their children can have the same access to basic education as any other child. That should be covered by OHIP. That should not be a decision a parent is forced to make. At the same time as we have this bill we do not have that kind of coverage. That juxtaposition concerns me.

The bill continues to include race and prejudice in that area. It has not made any major changes there, although I have not seen any demanded.

I was struck very much by the Sikh community when we had the potential problems about a year and a bit ago now. In the Riverdale area there have been many instances of violence. They spoke about the racial slur, the use of the racial joke as being as offensive and definitely wounding as the physical blow that might have been perpetrated on one of those people on Gerrard Street East.

I cannot help but feel that, while we have the Ku Klux Klan operating in our province and while we have racial jokes continuing to be regular meat and fare in our public schools, high schools and locker rooms around this province, we should have put more money into the promotion of just how harmful and soul-destroying that is for people. As I said before, it has even happened in this House but, if it is acceptable here, I guess it is acceptable anywhere.

I understand 40 per cent of the present cases looked after by the commission are race-related cases. I have to question whether we have sufficient staff, even with the expansion, to cover those at this time. I think they need much more power in that area.

I think they also need more power to be able to do studies. Both the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) and I raised that and were savaged thereafter by my good friend Claire Hoy for having suggested that perhaps there is a role for the commission in undertaking studies to see what the extent of the problem is in the community.

I want to move to sex and sexuality while I have Claire Hoy in the House and he can hear everything I say. I am putting the two together deliberately even though they are obviously very much separated in the minds of the legislators on the other side; but I think sex, sexuality and sexual orientation are all connected.

In terms of discrimination by sex we have had, and continue to have, discrimination against women in our work force. We continue to have women working at jobs comparable to those of men who are still earning much less than those men. We have no acceptance of the concept of equal pay for work of equal value. We have recently had women who are discriminated against in terms of their ability to get loans.

We have no acceptance on the other side of the House that day care is an essential ingredient in terms of an employment right for women. Instead, we look at it as some kind of social welfare issue. It is not; it is a basic employment issue.

12:50 p.m.

I hope we see some clarification from the minister of the power of the commission in terms of affirmative action. One of the things that concerned me, even in terms of the Symons report, was that it talked about recommendations in affirmative action. In this case it is not just to deal with women but in terms of all groups. It can recommend that a company make changes but there is nothing that tells me just where it goes from there. I think a committee would want to know a bit more about that and perhaps even bring forward amendments that would talk very specifically about affirmative action.

In terms of women and discrimination by sex, I notice the Saskatchewan bill of rights has included a very specific statement about pregnancy and illnesses related to pregnancy. I am not sure why they have done that, but I would be interested to have a ruling from some legal people as to whether that is a necessary thing to add.

In terms of sexuality, I look at sexual harassment as part of the overall question of sexuality and individual rights. Surely at this time in our society, sexuality is accepted as a matter of private choice and as a matter of a person's fundamental rights, something that cannot be messed around with. Surely that is the case and that is the principle behind the move to stop sexual harassment. Surely what we are saying is that women have rights not to be fondled and messed around with on the job, and that men are not in some sort of position where they can do that and get away with it. Surely the principle behind it is that a woman's sexuality and her preferences are to be dealt with seriously.

I worry a little bit when I see an addendum to the wording about persistent harassment to say that an employer or some other person ought to reasonably know that it is unwelcome. I do not think that is necessary today. Persistent advances should be known to be unwelcome. I do not think there is any need for that addendum to be put in. Surely that is an acceptance of the rights of women in terms of their sexuality.

When I look at the marital status change, I look at it as being slightly broader than that, which is to say that it includes the status of living with a person of the opposite sex in a conjugal relationship outside of a marriage. We are accepting that now. That is just not a marital concept; it is a sexual concept. We are now saying something that would not have been acceptable in the 1940s, something our society could not have accepted, is accepted and a landlord cannot discriminate against a couple because they are living in sin or whatever the term is. That in my view is tied in with sexuality; it is not just a matter of marital status.

I refer this to the minister and ask his staff to see whether it is true, but I have heard rumours in the last few days that the Moral Majority types in California are actually bringing in legislation that will prohibit motel and hotel owners from allowing people of opposite sexes to share a motel room if their names are not the same. To say that those things are not included in terms of sexuality, and not just marital status, is to be foolhardy.

This brings me to the matter of sexual orientation and the gross misjustice that is done by omitting that from this bill. The only group that Symons listed in his report, saying it definitely had to be covered, and spent a lot of type on why it should be included, is the group covered by the term "sexual orientation" and therefore homosexuals. He only looked at it in terms of homosexuality and heterosexuality, and for some reason or other that group is not included here. I think we know the reasons why.

When I spoke in November, I basically teased and cajoled the House about there being various kinds of sexual orientations that may not be acceptable to us, but they do exist. I guess maybe that was the wrong attitude to take in the House. I should not have teased, and therefore I was called to order by the then Speaker.

Homosexuality is probably the hardest thing for a large portion of our society to come to grips with, and I think it goes back to society's problems with sexuality in general and its inability to deal with those things openly and in a frank way. It is also tied up with our religious beliefs; that causes us a great deal of legitimate confusion for a lot of people. But there is also a lot of fear. That fear, in my view, is based primarily on a lack of knowledge.

When those of us who have friends who after many years have come out of the closet to express their views as homosexuals, we have found those people do not somehow turn into some weird zombies totally different from what they were before. They are the same persons who, in a lot of ways, now feel very liberated and very much happier than they were before. A lot of us maybe who have not had the experience of having friends who have done that are perhaps not as sympathetic as we might be to the complexities and the pain and torture that people suffer as they go through that process.

In the last two decades I would say sexuality has become much more of a public kind of thing through theatres, cinemas, books, concepts of group therapy and all those kinds of things. Through these, people have started to identify themselves more in sexual terms. That is something we should recognize that has been going on. Whether they are recognizing themselves as heterosexual in the straight, normal family style, or whether they are looking at themselves as homosexual or bisexual -- or as swingers -- that identification of groups in our society has been occurring. People see that as an expression of their individuality and of their right to lead and express themselves in that fashion.

Many decry the lifestyle of homosexuals or heterosexuals who are promiscuous, for instance, in our society. Many dislike the pressure they have felt from groups who have been lobbying on this issue. I can understand that, especially if one has gut fears and concerns about the whole issue as a start. But that pressure is there because that is a reality in our society. It is not just something we should shove away.

It brings me back to the basic principle of tolerance. It is easy as hell to be tolerant of something that one understands or feels sympathetic to; it gets hard to be tolerant when it is something one does not understand or does not like or feels angry about. Surely that is what we should be looking at in terms of an attitude about sexuality and the rights of homosexuals in our society. I think we have to look at sexuality as our private right of self-expression.

Not in terms of homosexuality but as members of this House, whatever one's sexuality is, do members really wish their landlord, their employer, their government ministries to have some say in that? Do they really want them to have some kind of curb over the way one is going to express oneself? Surely not, and surely that is the issue.

Mr. Speaker: I direct the member's attention to the clock.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: I obviously cannot conclude at this time, but you have come right in the middle of the good things I was going to say. I would like to continue on Tuesday.

On motion by Mr. R. F. Johnston, the debate was adjourned.


Hon. Mr. Gregory: Mr. Speaker, prior to the adjournment of the House, I wish to table the interim answers to questions 66, 69, 70 and 72 standing on the Notice Paper. (See appendix, page 752.)


Mr. Speaker: I beg to inform the House that in the name of Her Majesty the Queen, the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor has been pleased to assent to a certain bill in his chambers.

Clerk of the House: The following is the title of the bill to which His Honour has assented:

Bill 21, An Act to amend the Liquor Licence Act, 1975.

On motion by Mr. Gregory, the House adjourned at 12:59 p.m.