32e législature, 1re session



















The House met at 2:02 p.m.



Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, on Thursday last there was a resolution presented by the member for Yorkview (Mr. Spensieri) from the Liberal Party. In the Votes and Proceedings on that day it is indicated that the New Democratic Party, along with several Liberals, objected to that resolution being voted on when, in fact, it was the Conservative Party that took the opportunity to block the possibility of a vote on a very important resolution.

I think the Speaker should ask the table officers to correct the error to show that it was solely the Conservative Party that blocked the matter coming to a vote. I would appreciate it if that error could be rectified.

Mr. Speaker: Thank you very much, Mr. Martel. That will be looked into and corrected.



Mr. Smith: A question for the Minister of Health, Mr. Speaker: The minister will recall that I wrote to him on May 4, some two weeks ago, concerning Mr. Tony Riggio, a man resident in the Toronto area who is in Oak Ridge maximum-security unit at Penetanguishene simply because there is not a medium-security facility in Toronto, like that in the Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital where he used to be taken care of quite well.

Can the Minister tell us how many others there are like Tony Riggio who, although they have committed no crime, are in a maximum-security centre for the criminally insane simply because of a lack of medium-security facilities in our own home area including, it seems, Metropolitan Toronto?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I do not have any figures at hand on that, but I will tell the honourable member that over the last couple of years we have been developing medium-security facilities in various parts of the province. If one goes back four or five years ago, there were none. We have since developed them in North Bay, Brockville and St. Thomas, and by the end of this year we will have a medium-security facility of 26 beds at the Queen Street Mental Health Centre.

Mr. Smith: Will the minister explain to this House why it should be taking this much time to develop medium-security facilities in a large centre like Toronto and how he can justify having closed the Lakeshore hospital, where such a facility existed, in such a manner as to leave people like Mr. Riggio, and presumably dozens of others, with no alternative but to be incarcerated in the very harsh conditions of the maximum-security facility for the criminally insane at Penetanguishene?

Why has it taken until now to announce that there is going to be a facility this fall, by which time Mr. Riggio will have been there for a year, having committed no crime and certainly not requiring, according to the minister's own ministry, a maximum-security facility?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: First of all, the Leader of the Opposition uses the term "the centre for the criminally insane" in such a way as to leave the impression with some people that all those at Oak Ridge are there by reason of some kind of court order. In fact, since the beginning of the system some people are there by virtue of being under Lieutenant Governor's warrants; others are there because, given the nature of their illnesses, a maximum-security facility is deemed to be most appropriate for them. I point out to the member, and he may know this from his earlier career as a practising psychiatrist, that there are eight wards of varying levels of security at Oak Ridge.

With respect to the member's observations on Lakeshore, that was known as the special observation unit, as I recall. It was headed by a Dr. Frank. It was not what we would refer to today or at any point as a medium-security unit. It had higher levels of staffing -- that is why it was called the special observation unit -- but it did not have the type of security that we have now at St. Thomas, Brockville or North Bay or that we are going to have at the Queen Street Mental Health Centre. That unit was going to change whether Lakeshore closed or not, inasmuch as Dr. Frank was to retire that year. It was anticipated that his leaving system would in and of itself have a profound effect on the program, because basically it was his program.

Given that it was not what could be called a medium-security unit, it was felt that we could probably get along with the forensic facilities that exist at the Queen Street Mental Health Centre and the facilities at the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry and at the Whitby Psychiatric Hospital.

We have concluded in a review over the past six months that, looking to the future, we do need something more secure in the Metro area, but not as secure as Metfors or Oak Ridge. Within the last month we have already instructed staff to begin, and we are now basically subject to the availability of contractors to complete the negotiations --

Hon. Mr. Davis: And the availability of money?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: No, not subject to the availability of money, the money is there in the budget; subject to the availability of the contractors to carry out necessary renovations, it will be operative as soon as those renovations can be carried out.

In addition, I anticipate that when we rebuild the Whitby Psychiatric Hospital in the next few years a medium-security facility will be included in that as well.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Will the minister table in the Legislature the details of all the Lieutenant Governor's warrants that are currently outstanding, with the number of years that the patients have been in provincial facilities as a consequence of the warrants and with the time at which the warrant was last reviewed and the level of official or cabinet minister who reviewed those warrants, so that we can be assured that people are not locked up and the key thrown away because of this device?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: That is a very good point, Mr. Speaker. The cases are reviewed regularly; at least once a year or earlier if I ask for a special review, as from time to time I do after representations by the patient's family or legal counsel or whomever.

2:10 p.m.

The cases of patients under the Lieutenant Governor's warrants are reviewed by the advisory review board, which is chaired either by Mr. Justice Haines or by Mr. Justice Krever. Then the reports come to me. I read every report, including all the background information and decide whether to confirm any recommendation to the executive council of Ontario. I will tell the honourable member that from time to time I do not agree with their recommendations and I recommend something different.

I do read every single report. The cases are reviewed at least once a year and more frequently in some instances. As I say, sometimes I am not satisfied with representations made to me and sometimes I will say, "Do this one again in six months time," just as a check on the system.

Mr. Ruprecht: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Further on the impact of the closure of Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital, will the minister not agree that it would make a lot more sense to follow through with this program of deinstitutionalization only if alternative services were in place, such as the 26-bed medium-security centre he was talking about today?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, when we closed Lakeshore, we moved the entire inpatient population, with the exception of maybe three or four cases -- I think it was three or four -- to the Queen Street Mental Health Centre. The balance went to Hamilton Psychiatric Hospital, if I --

Mr. Smith: And from Queen Street to Penetanguishene.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: No. Well, on an individual basis they may well have, depending upon the nature of the illness. Surely the member, as a former practising psychiatrist, will agree that there are times when people become so ill and so dangerous to themselves, to the staff or to other patients that they require medium security or in some cases maximum security.

Mr. Smith: At Lakeshore, they had it.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. The minister will reply to the question.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: No, with respect, it did not. Further, in answer to the member for Parkdale, at the time we decided to close Lakeshore, I committed us to spend half of the savings from the closing of Lakeshore on new community mental health programs. If memory serves me correctly, the original estimate of savings from the closing of Lakeshore was approximately $2.6 million. I could be mistaken, but I believe the actual savings have turned out to be around $2 million.

Going by the original pledge based on $2.6 million, we would have put in $1.3 million. In fact, I think we have put $1.5 million into new community mental health programs in the Queen Street catchment area, a great many of them in the member's own constituency and in downtown constituencies where, because of the nature of the type of patient we are dealing with in Queen Street, and for that matter in most provincial psychiatric hospitals, there tends to be a concentration. That is part of the 100 per cent increase in spending in the last two years on community mental health programs.


Mr. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Premier in the absence of the Minister of Energy (Mr. Welch).

The Premier will recall that, when Ontario Hydro announced it would write off approximately $160 million on the closure of the Wesleyville generating station, there had been an examination to determine whether Wesleyville could be converted from oil to burn coal instead. Hydro said, and I quote: "Although Hydro examined the possibility of converting Wesleyville to burn coal, such a station would not likely be needed until the late 1990s or beyond."

Has the Premier examined the figures used by Hydro, and is he himself convinced that, if Wesleyville were converted to coal, there would be no need for such a station until the late 1990s or after 2000?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I have not personally examined them. I will be delighted to do so; although, quite frankly, I think I will ask the Minister of Energy to examine them and reply to the Leader of the Opposition.

Mr. Smith: Will the Premier ask himself as well as the Minister of Energy the question why, if there would be no need for such a station burning coal until the late 1990s or 2000, it could be that there would be a need to speed up Darlington generating station? If there were no need for this additional generating capacity until after the 1990s, why would there be a need to speed up Darlington?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I can only guess that the decision to speed up Darlington made the Wesleyville plant less than necessary until the 1990s.

Mr. Smith: If the Premier is saying one of the costs of speeding up Darlington is to write off an additional $160 million on Wesleyville when otherwise it could be converted quite easily to coal, then I wish he would state so as an absolute fact and not have to guess at it. It was the Premier's decision to speed up Darlington, not Hydro's.

Might I ask, therefore, whether any other coal stations will be rendered unnecessary as a result of the speeding up of Darlington and what coal stations might be closed down before it was previously planned to do so, as a consequence of speeding up Darlington?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I would have thought the Leader of the Opposition would be the first one to congratulate Ontario Hydro for its great leadership in moving ahead with Darlington. In that classic windup to the throne debate, I know he was engaged on pressing public business elsewhere. He felt strongly about the leadership of Ontario Hydro, and one of his personally signed letters during the fund-raising aspect of the recent campaign was sent to Hugh Macaulay, the chairman of Ontario Hydro.

Mr. Bradley: Answer the question.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I did not want him to miss the fact that he had asked Hugh for a contribution.

I seem to recall the Leader of the Opposition, at some point in his political career when it suited him, making a fuss about acid rain. I am sure if Ontario Hydro were not taking the appropriate moves at Nanticoke, that would have been the question today. If there were some alternatives to coal-fired plants, the Leader of the Opposition, to be consistent, which is unlikely, would be saying to Ontario Hydro, "Why don't you move away from coal?"

I can only say to the Leader of the Opposition that I find his line of questioning somewhat illogical in the light of what he has said in the past with respect to acid rain. He cannot have it both ways. If he wants to reduce acid rain emissions and he is going to single out Ontario Hydro, as he has done consistently -- I am not saying they are writing off $180 million to expedite Darlington -- I am very surprised to hear him urging Ontario to move ahead with further coal-generated plants. It just does not make sense.

Mr. Smith: Which stations are being closed? That is a very direct question.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. MacDonald: Mr. Speaker, I have a supplementary but, if the Premier is concerned about indiscriminate fund-raising letters going to Hugh Macaulay, perhaps he can do something about it within the Conservative Party, because they are going to everybody, including myself.


Mr. MacDonald: And they got nothing!

Hon. Mr. Davis: Neither did the voters of York South.

Mr. Speaker: Order. Question, please.

Mr. MacDonald: My supplementary to the Premier, if he can get his mind back on track, is this: Since Darlington in its speeding up is going to be completed in 1990 and, according to the present load forecast, its fourth unit will not be needed until about 1996 or 1997, do I presume correctly that beyond Darlington, if there is ever going to be another station needed in Ontario, it may be Wesleyville?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I must confess that I have not really projected much beyond 1990 so far in terms of what this House might be doing -- I have projected that far ahead -- but I will only say in answer to the member's preamble that he may have had a letter from our very important group of people who assist in the political process, but at least none of them had ever accused him of being appointed through political patronage to the position he has at present, as the Leader of the Opposition did with respect to the chairman of Ontario Hydro. I find that a bit --

Mr. MacDonald: Back to the question.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Listen, the member led off with a totally irrelevant statement.


Hon. Mr. Davis: I cannot tell the member what the next plant will be with respect to Ontario Hydro's capital program. I do know we have asked them to expedite Darlington, and we hope that will accommodate their needs until 1990. I cannot evaluate what the load forecast will be five or six years from now, but I will try to ascertain that information for the member as soon as I can.

2:20 p.m.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I ask the consent of the House to call on the Minister of Labour to introduce some guests from Italy.


Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to introduce some visitors from the region of Abruzzi in the country of Italy: Dr. Marinaro, president of the regional council; Dr. Giannunzio, head of the Department of Public Works; Dr. Ricciuti, member of the regional council and past president of the regional government; Dr. Cicerone, member of the regional council and leader of the regional Communist councillors; Dr. Pertricone, president of the provincial council of the province of L'Aquila; Dr. De Rubeis, mayor of the city of L'Aquila; Mr. Santini, president of Teatro Stabile de L'Aquila; Mr. Calenda, director of Teatro Stabile de L'Aquila; and Mr. Centofanti, manager of the Teatro Stabile de L'Aquila.

Mr. Di Santo: Mr. Speaker, if I may add my own welcome to the representatives of the region of Abruzzi, I wish to say that this is the second visit they have paid to Ontario. It has already been fruitful because since Mr. Ricciuti came, there has already been a cultural exchange with students from Oakwood Collegiate visiting and being guests of the region of Abruzzi. Their visit will be reciprocated by Ontario.

They are here to announce the cultural exchanges between Ontario and Abruzzi. I welcome them because that will certainly make sure that the relationship between the people of Ontario and the people of Abruzzi will be better than it is now.

Mr. Mancini: Mr. Speaker, I want to join the Minister of Labour and the member for Downsview in welcoming our Italian guests from Abruzzi, the region of Italy where I was born. We certainly hope that they enjoy their visit in Ontario and that we can continue the cordiality that is being expressed by us to the Italian visitors, and I am sure by them to us.

I hope that when they return to Italy, if they happen to meet any of the friends and relatives that I still have in the region of Abruzzi, they can tell them that I am enjoying my stay here in the Ontario Legislature quite a bit and that I intend to stay here for quite a bit longer. I am sure we all hope that we might get a chance to meet these distinguished gentlemen personally later on.

Mr. Speaker: Thank you. Two minutes will be added to the question period.

Mr. Cassidy: [Remarks in Italian]

Mr. Speaker, I very much hope that they enjoy their stay here. I also hope they can understand the rather strange ways of this Legislature which at times must make them wonder how democracy is practised here.

I say to our friends that the group over there have, unfortunately, been in power for far too long, 38 years. It is very strange. There must be some compromise, surely, between the frequent changes of government in Italy and the fact that we never have changes here in Ontario. I hope we can work out a compromise.


Mr. Cassidy: I have a question for the Minister of Labour, Mr. Speaker, about the promise made a month ago in the speech from the throne that there would be legislation early in this session to implement the government's action with respect to the Weiler report on workmen's compensation and specifically the promise that there would be legislation relating to benefit calculations and levels and the structure and adjudication procedures of the Workmen's Compensation Board.

Can the minister explain why it is that after only a month it appears that that promise by the government has been broken and that no legislation has been brought forward to meet the needs of injured workmen across the province? Can he explain why there has been no indication to members of this party that the legislation will be enacted before we rise for the summer, despite the very grave need of injured workers today?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, just so the leader of the third party goes home and rests more comfortably tonight, let there be no doubt this government will be introducing legislation to implement the recommendations of the Weiler report, as clearly outlined in the speech from the throne.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary, Mr Speaker: Since the government promised to introduce the legislation early in the session, could the minister say when the legislation will be put forward? Will we see the legislation before the House rises? Will the minister guarantee that this time the government will not try to ram through these very important amendments at the last minute, as it did a few days before the House rose in December 1979? The injured workers of the province and this Legislature deserve to have a look at the legislation now and deserve to be able to give it full consideration and then get it enacted to protect injured workers at the earliest opportunity.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Again let me reiterate there are very active preparations going on. The final review of the matter will be reported to cabinet in the very near future and legislation will be introduced following that in good time.

Ms. Copps: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Since the minister and Mr. J. J. Robinette have overruled the opinion of the Ombudsman regarding section 42 of the present act, would the minister at least give us the assurance that he is prepared to move an amendment on that section of the act in this session of the Legislature?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: No, Mr. Speaker. We are proceeding with the recommendations of the Weiler report as indicated clearly in the speech from the throne.

Mr. Smith: That is disgraceful.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: You are disgraceful.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Renwick: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: If the minister will not give the undertaking to include section 42(1) in the proposed amendments, will he at least refer the question to the court for determination as to whose opinion is correct about that section so that we can settle it once and for all?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, if the member reviews in great detail the principles outlined in the Weiler report, he will find the concepts outlined in 42(1) either are incorporated or are irrelevant to the concepts proposed by Weiler, whichever the case may be. No, Mr. Speaker, I will not refer the matter any further.


Mr. Cassidy: I have a new question for the Minister of Industry and Tourism, Mr. Speaker. He has two representatives in Cannes to promote the Festival of Festivals, which is to take place in Toronto in the fall, and to promote Ontario as a centre for film making. Since the ministry plans to meet some of the expenses of the Festival of Festivals -- the government is contributing $65,000 to that event -- would the minister say what steps he is taking to ensure this important film festival, which also is an important tourist attraction for Ontario, is not jeopardized or forced to be cancelled because of actions of another government agency in Ontario, the Ontario Board of Censors?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: I know from my own experience in the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations there has always been a high degree of co-operation between the Festival of Festivals and the censor board. I have no reason to believe that this year they will not be successful in working out the various disagreements they have from time to time.

The festival has thrived in this province over the past seven or eight years. One of the reasons it has succeeded is because of the good working relationship it has had not only with my ministry but with Consumer and Commercial Relations. There is no reason to expect that will not sort itself out this year as well.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary: Would the minister then explain why it is that officials of the government in Cannes have expressed publicly their fears that the attitude of the censor board would have the effect of knocking out so many films or making it so unworkable that the festival would have to be cancelled? How can the Minister of Industry and Tourism be supporting a major tourist attraction that could find its future in the balance a few days prior to the opening because of interventions by the film censor board, and what is he going to do about it?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: All I can tell the member is that any suggestion that the Festival of Festivals is in danger because of the attitude of the Ontario Board of Censors is pure fabrication.

2:30 p.m.


Mr. Van Horne: Mr. Speaker, a question for the Minister of Health: There is an interesting juxtaposition between the announced settlement of the 14.75 per cent increase in doctors' Ontario health insurance plan fees and the minister's apparent intention to reduce the number of doctors by further limiting medical school enrolment. Surely we are not going to suggest reducing service each time we see an OHIP fee schedule increase.

Can the minister explain why he is suggesting to Ontario's medical schools that they reduce their enrolment by a certain percentage, and what criteria he is using to establish this percentage reduction?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, in the last couple of years there have been several reports dealing with the question of availability of physicians generally. Going back to 1964 when the report of the original royal commission on health care was released, it was proposed that we set as our goal for Canada at one physician for every 850 or 870 of population, I believe it was. At the present time in Ontario we have reached a point where we have one physician for every 560 people.

Mr. T.P. Reid: Is that in northern Ontario?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I will come to that. We have far exceeded even the ideal goal set out by Mr. Justice Hall and his fellow commissioners almost two decades ago. Of course I have to acknowledge that like every other jurisdiction in the western world we have problems of distribution. While we have far exceeded the goal suggested by Mr. Justice Hall, we do have to have in place bursary programs in cooperation with the Minister of Northern Affairs (Mr. Bernier), the underserviced area program for physicians and dentists and a host of other programs designed to even out the distribution.

In the latest review of physician availability carried out by Mr. Justice Hall, he indicated that if current trends continue -- including the output of physicians from Canadian medical schools, not just Ontario, as well as the emigration of physicians -- it was his calculation that by the year 2000 we would have one physician for every 300 people.

He pointed out in his report that was not a goal we should set, that we probably have about the right number of physicians or ratio of physicians to population, and that we -- the 10 provinces and the two territories and the federal government -- should set as one of our major programs for action in the next two years, ways to maintain that level but not continue to diminish the ratio. He said this, based on a variety of factors, such as the desired availability and the natural increase in utilization that comes with an expanding growth in physicians, and that has occurred.

I want to assure the member that when we talk about utilization, the question of undergraduate physician enrolment is not the only area we are looking at. As was pointed out in the recent Weiler report, we must address this issue in co-operation with the medical profession.

I can assure the House that this is part of a national problem, one that has been discussed at various times over the last six years by the ministers of health of the provinces and the territories. It was because of this concern that in 1975 we basically put a cap on physicians coming into the country from other countries. We have not been able to close it off entirely, of course, because a number of physicians do come in as sponsored spouses of landed immigrants, for instance. So that has not been closed off entirely.

It is not a new issue and it is not to suggest anybody is trying to put all the blame for increased utilization on the heads of the physicians. If there is a problem, and indeed there is a problem of our increased utilization, it is one that transcends the whole health care system and involves everybody, users included.

Mr. Van Horne: Supplementary: I wasn't trying to suggest to the minister that the whole thrust of this should be to find some rationale for the OHIP rate increase, but I would submit to him that medical science here in Ontario and for that matter in Canada is apparently, and I think very rightfully, one of our greatest commodities, if not one of our greatest export possibilities.

Given that we have the expertise and that we have the demand for our services on an international basis, why would the member try to reduce the number of doctors, which is obviously what he is trying to do? When we compare Ontario with the other provinces, the number of student places is not the highest provincial total in all of Canada. It would seem that everything he is trying to do will limit or reduce the number of medical people here in Ontario.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, we are certainly not thinking in terms of reducing the numbers. As I said, we have already far surpassed the desirable ratio of population to physicians, our goal which was set a number of years ago. So we are not talking about cutting; we are talking about maintaining -- for that matter, of finding ways and means of further improving the availability of physicians in remote communities.

I would remind the member of some initiatives we announced in January with respect to telemedicine, travelling teams of specialists, the air ambulance system in the north and that sort of thing. These were to try to improve on the availability of physicians' services, especially speciality services, in our remote communities. But we are certainly not talking about cutting.

When the member talks about export, I hope he is not talking about sending our graduates out of the country. That is a matter that has been of concern to all of us and about which his leader spoke on several occasions two or three years ago when the number of physicians leaving the country was up sharply. I am glad to say the number is down to norms of 20 or 30 a year now.

But there is no question there is potential for Canadian physicians, Canadian hospital administrators, Canadian health professionals in general, to market their expertise in medicine, health planning, administration and so on in the Third World. There is no question about that and I think we should do more of that in the future.

Mr. Stokes: Is the minister saying there is not a shortage of doctors in Ontario, simply a maldistribution? If that is the case, why does he not deal with the question of supply and demand? If he has too many practising in southern Ontario, eventually they will gravitate to those areas of the province where there is a shortage.

If he is going to maintain the number of places in medical school in Ontario, why does he not put it on a quota basis to assure sufficient spaces in the medical schools? Enough students would have to be willing to indicate unequivocally they will practise for a period of five to 10 years in the north. He would then have to leave sufficient places to fill the dire need for doctors in the north that exists at the present time.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I think my colleague the Minister of Colleges and Universities (Miss Stephenson) can probably speak more knowledgeably about the enrolment figures, but it is my understanding the situation has turned around. There has been a variety of factors: the reintroduction a couple of years ago of the bursary program, which last year was increased to $5,000 for dental and medical students, is one example. Our underserviced area program is the model; it is being looked at and copied by many other jurisdictions, not only in this country but around the world. I know the member is aware of this.

I found it interesting in my almost four and one half years in the portfolio that whenever we have been visited by such people as the former Secretary of Health for the United States, Mr. Califano, or the Minister of Health of Australia, Mr. Hunt, each one has described similar problems: there is no shortage of physicians but an improper distribution.

We have constantly to be finding new ways -- such as the ones regarding telemedicine and travelling specialists we announced in January, which particularly affect the member's area -- to take the services to the people. It is an ongoing problem. There is no simple solution.

I do not think issuing practice numbers or anything like that -- saying to doctors they cannot practise in southern Ontario, they have to go north -- is the answer. I think we have to find ways to provide incentives in the individual physician's remuneration and practice style in the north, as well as services such as telemedicine, improvement of lab services, improvement of radiological services as we are doing in the five hospitals in the member's riding, and so on. Those are the things we have to look at.


Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Labour. He will recall on Monday last I asked the Provincial Secretary for Justice whether he agreed with the reported statements of Judge R.E. Bogusky that in his opinion the worker in the final analysis was responsible for the health and safety legislation. He will recall the silly answer we got from that minister.

Does the minister agree with the position taken by his colleague or does he agree with the legislation, which says that in the final analysis the responsibility rests with management for health and safety.

2:40 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, to the best of my recollection the member for Sudbury East was asking a question about some reported remarks by a judge who was determining the appropriate sentence with regard to some charges that had been laid under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. I might say he does not expect me to comment on the appropriateness of judicial comment; the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) can review those matters if he wishes to.

But I think he is quite right in saying the Occupational Health and Safety Act clearly delineates areas of responsibility imposed upon workers, supervisors and management. The implication is clearly there that management has an obligation to exercise all reasonable precautions to make sure the work place is safe.

Mr. Martel: I really should not ask the next question but I will anyway. Based on the minister's response, does he not find it strange there were four violations and the fine was $250 for each of four violations? At the same hearing one of our native people was found guilty of kicking down a door causing $40 worth of damage; he was fined $400. Does it not seem strange that for violations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act the fines are $250 and for the kicking down of a door they are $400?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: I cannot get into commenting on the appropriateness of the decisions that one judge --

Mr. Laughren: Why not?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Because -- or another may make in handing out sentences in a variety of situations. All I can say is to reiterate what I have said before, that there are obligations imposed upon all parties in the work place and there are penalties available to the judiciary when responding to charges laid under those acts.


Mr. Bradley: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations. It has been two weeks since members of the official opposition confronted the minister with allegations from a publication known as Bimonthly Reports, which charged the Ontario Securities Commission with consistent failures in the handling of the Astra/Re-Mor affair. Could the minister inform the House why the OSC has still not provided those answers through the minister and could he indicate to the House when we might expect those answers?

Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, I know there is some concern on the part of the Ontario Securities Commission that if it does respond directly to some of the allegations posed, it prejudices some of the matters that are before the criminal courts and it is certainly very loath to do that. I expect it will probably be responding before long in respect to the matters the member raised.

Mr. Bradley: I encourage the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations to encourage, in turn, the Ontario Securities Commission to quit hiding behind the same excuse the Attorney General of this province (Mr. McMurtry) hid behind for so many weeks previous to this matter coming before the committee.

Last week when the minister responded to the same question he said the Ontario Securities Commission told him that "the publication contained a blend of half truths, part truths, total truths and inaccuracies." Could the minister please indicate which charges were half truths, part truths, total truths and so on, and, if he cannot, would he inform the House on what basis he reached the conclusion they were indeed half truths, whole truths or whatever they were?

Hon. Mr. Walker: I think it was the first few and the last few and the ones in between that fell into that category.

Mr. Swart: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Is the minister not aware all these arguments about sub judice were put forward by the members of his party and by the government last fall in opposition to the committee's dealing with this issue, and that not once during those four weeks of hearings was there any question, even by members of that committee, that there was any jeopardy with regard to the hearings that were before the courts? Would he not now think we and the public would think he is just using this as an excuse for not providing the information?

Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, I do not think there is any reason for the member to be saying that.


Mr. Cooke: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Industry and Tourism. I would like to ask the minister whether he is aware of an announced plant closure in the city of Windsor of FCM Division, a division of Gulf and Western (Canada) Limited, which produces bumpers and other auto parts. Is the minister aware that will eliminate 58 jobs?

Is the minister further aware that there was no explanation given to the workers for the closure, and that General Motors had renewed a contract for provision of bumpers for its Chevy Chevette and CK truck van? Still there was no explanation offered, no severance pay offered to the workers -- just simply a letter handed to them last Friday at 10 o'clock in the morning indicating that as of July 10 they had no jobs.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: No, I am not aware of those events, Mr. Speaker. Those are ordinarily reported to the Ministry of Labour in accordance with the rules and legislation set down by the Ministry of Labour.

Mr. Cooke: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Perhaps the minister is not concerned about the workers, but perhaps he will be interested in the industry. Is the minister aware that General Motors' cancellation of one of its other contracts with the company this fall, Chrysler Corporation's cancellation of its contract for hub caps with that company, and the shifting of both firms to sources in the United States is a further example of the Big Three auto makers shifting their sourcing of auto parts to the US, which is one of the main reasons we have a $3-billion deficit in the auto pact? Does the minister care about that if he does not care about the workers?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, I know that as long as the honourable member is in the House he is going to try to suggest that we do not care about the auto workers. In point of fact --


Hon. Mr. Grossman: Well, no, I do not have a letter.


Hon. Mr. Grossman: I do not have to bring it. All his letters to me are public letters.

I do want to say to the honourable member that we can stand here and talk about who cares about the auto workers, but I also have to tell him that I have invited the honourable member to point out any other jurisdiction that has done more for the auto industry than this government and this jurisdiction have, and he has been unable to do that because there just is not a jurisdiction that has done as much as we have.

I grant that it becomes uncomfortable for the honourable member when things such as the Ford V-6 engine plant open because of us. But I thought that perhaps since the honourable member does not accept anything we say as proof that some of the allegations he makes are untrue, I might quote for him someone whom I am sure he will respect and accept as gospel. I have with me today, as luck would have it, the words of Kenneth Eck. Does the member opposite know who that is?


Hon. Mr. Grossman: The honourable members want to hear it first before they decide whether they know him or not. They probably do not. Kenneth Eck, who is the assistant director of the independent parts suppliers department of the United Auto Workers, said: "US multinational auto parts companies are not withdrawing capacity from their Canadian plants in order to keep their US plants operating." He says the plant layoff and closure situation is as bad or worse in the US.

If the honourable member does not accept my word for it perhaps he will call Mr. Eck and ask him why he is lying through his teeth and denying everything the honourable member says is gospel. There you have it; there is the Bible; there is the authority. The honourable member should call him and check it.

2:50 p.m.

Mr. Mancini: Final supplementary: Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the minister whether he would now be prepared to make representation to the cabinet to have the plant shutdowns committee reconstituted, in view of the fact that these closures are continuing at an unabated pace, so that this committee can finish the work it was at first appointed to do, so that we can make a proper proposal to the Legislature so that this Legislature can take action.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: We should have a select committee on plant openings. Was the honourable member not pleased when this government stepped into a situation in his riding -- albeit it was a multinational firm -- when he complained to us about the treatment that Freedland was getting? We stepped in when he asked us to; we looked at it and we were able to provide them with financing that added jobs once again to a firm that, for a variety of reasons, had lost some orders. We got jobs back into his riding.

Notwithstanding the wailing we got from across the floor when the Ford casting plant closed last year -- which the member said was closed forever and I was a fool living in a fool's paradise if I believed it would ever open -- was he not pleased that it reopened? Is he not pleased that we were right on this side of the House when we said, "It's an adjustment in market. It will likely reopen another time." Why does he not offer to go back in front of the plant shutdowns committee -- if it ever needed to be restruck, which it does not at the present time -- and say, "Some of the things they say on the other side are right. Sometimes, would you believe it, these are market decisions"?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Do they not rejoice?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Did the member rejoice when Freedland reopened? Did he rejoice when the foundry plant reopened? Did he rejoice when the Ford V-6 engine plant opened a couple of weeks ago? That is what is happening in this province, not plant closures as the member suggests.

Mr. Wrye: Mr. Speaker, I might add that we on this side will rejoice when the Minister of Industry and Tourism starts to look into some of these matters instead of making glib statements.


Mr. Wrye: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of the Environment. The minister is obviously aware of a resolution adopted by the council of the city of Windsor earlier this month which urged it to communicate with the US Environmental Protection Agency, the International Joint Commission and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources regarding the city's concerns over potential air quality deterioration resulting from any relaxation of state implementation plans in Michigan, potential relaxation of amendments to the US Clean Air Act and budget cuts to the EPA.

Will the minister advise this House whether he has communicated these concerns to these agencies, and further will the minister inform us whether anyone from his ministry will be making any presentations in the proceedings on the reauthorization of the US Clean Air Act to voice Ontario's concerns about the impact of potential relaxation of air standards in the act, relaxations that may impinge on the province in general and border cities such as Windsor in particular?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, I think the honourable member ought to be aware of the fact that my ministry has taken very decisive action with the Environmental Protection Agency in the United States, in the form of interventions before the EPA in hearings that are coming up as a result of requests from certain states and corporate entities in the United States seeking relaxation of existing controls in those states. I suppose we have taken precedent-setting action -- to the best of my knowledge it is precedent-setting -- as a foreign jurisdiction initiating an intervention before that agency.

In addition to that, as a result of the proceedings initiated before the court of appeal in the District of Columbia by some of the power corporations attempting to have the actions of the previous director of the EPA found invalid, in so far as they have proclaimed a section of the act which would have given us jurisdiction or at least given us the authority to intervene and require the agency to recognize the potential impact upon our environment of any requests or any applications before it, we then became involved in that action before the court of appeal in the District of Columbia.

I am pleased to say that last week we were advised by the law firm representing us in Washington that the agency and the other parties to that action had agreed to withdraw their action before the court. To the best of my knowledge, action has now been taken to do that, so that action will now be terminated.

I can also assure the honourable member that in addition to the actions we have already taken we are watching the developments in the United States very closely. At every opportunity, we will continue to bring to the attention of American agencies and the American government the seriousness of any actions on their part that may have the effect of jeopardizing further the environment in this province as a result of transboundary pollution.

Mr. Wrye: I remind the minister of a 1977 report from the University of Waterloo which identified high instances of respiratory ailments and disorders in children from the west side of Windsor. Based on these findings and the continuation of this problem, will the minister assure this House that he will make every effort to ensure that air emissions, particularly from Wayne county, Michigan, will not increase and will not deteriorate the air quality in the city of Windsor and the health of its citizens?

Hon. Mr. Norton: I must confess at this point that I am not familiar with the specific report to which the honourable member has referred, nor am I in a position, regardless of what action we might take, to give him a guarantee that sources of pollution in the United States will not increase. I can assure the member that we will take every possible action open to us to prevent an increase in pollutants from the United States.

Mr. Foulds: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Can the minister be specific about whether he himself or anyone in his ministry will be appearing at the series of hearings that are being held not only in Michigan but also in Minnesota and other states with regard to relaxing the EPA standards?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, if the member is referring to hearings before the EPA -- and he might indicate just by nodding his head if that is so -- we will be represented before those hearings. I will have to check whether the hearings in Minnesota are part of that. They may well be. If not, I will advise the member.

A whole series of states have applied for permission to relax the standards. We have initiated not only interventions that stipulate particular sources by name and location of the corporation but also a general blanket intervention against any action on their part that would have the effect of relaxing standards. I think the blanket coverage in the wording of the intervention would probably apply to all, whether they are specifically named or not.


Hon. Mr. Ramsay: Mr. Speaker, two questions were put to me by the member for Welland-Thorold (Mr. Swart) in respect of pits and quarries controls.

The first question was whether the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Pope) was planning to reintroduce Bill 127. At that time I responded it was my understanding that the minister was reviewing Bill 127. I have since learned that he hopes to reintroduce Bill 127 this fall.

The second part of the question asked whether the government would respect a recommendation of the standing committee on resources development last fall. In that regard, I will answer that the matter is under consideration by the Minister of Natural Resources at this time. If the matter is to proceed, the policy proposal, as are all policy proposals, will be submitted by the Ministry of Natural Resources for review and approval by the cabinet committee on resources development and by the cabinet.

I have also been assured that the concerns the honourable member expressed at the standing committee on resources development will be considered by the minister during the deliberations by him and his staff and then further examined by my cabinet colleagues if submitted to the cabinet committee on resources development.

In the interim, I will be pleased to meet with the member at a mutually convenient time to further receive his views and advice.

3 p.m.

Mr. Swart: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Will the provincial secretary give an assurance that when the bill comes back it will include the changes, which were substantial, that had been accepted by the former Minister of Natural Resources, and if it goes to committee that the right will be given to interested parties to take part in the debate on clause-by-clause consideration, as was promised during the last session?

Hon. Mr. Ramsay: No, Mr. Speaker, I cannot give those assurances at this time.


Mr. Swart: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Health.

Will the minister immediately look into the case of Kirk Wendland, five-and-a-half-year-old son of Klaus Wendland, of 25 Surrey Avenue in Scarborough? Mr. Wendland had his home insulated with urea-formaldehyde foam last October.

Will the minister confirm that prior to that time Kirk was a healthy boy, that he very soon after developed respiratory problems, haemorrhaging through the nose practically all winter, serious skin rashes, that he was under the constant care of a doctor, who now suspects formaldehyde gas, and that he moved out for three or four weeks -- although he is back home now -- and his condition improved while he was out?

In addition to looking into that aspect of the case, will the minister also find out why the tests requested from the federal, provincial and municipal levels more than three weeks ago have never been taken?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, obviously I am not familiar with the condition of every citizen of the province. I can only take the member's statements as his conclusions or as those of the parents, and I will not challenge them.

As regards the question of the tests, as I have told members several times here in the chamber, we simply do not have the resources, either in the ministry or in the 43 local health units, to do every house overnight, as the member, with respect, has suggested.

We do have some resources and the health units, which are the primary contact for the public, are doing what they can. I remind the member that I indicated to the federal minister that we were quite prepared to devote all the resources available from my ministry, or for that matter any other ministry of the provincial government as well as local health units, to assist her in carrying out her responsibilities as recommended by the expert medical advisory committee.

Since last we discussed this, and I have not had this confirmed by Miss Bégin yet, I have had it suggested to me by other federal members that they have begun the survey about which we have spoken previously. I have not had an indication, though, from the federal minister, who apparently was out of the country until last Tuesday or Wednesday -- she had been in Geneva at a World Health Organization conference -- as to what she intends to do with respect to the other recommendation we have discussed, namely, a program of retrofit in those cases where, as the committee found, probably as a result of improper installation, a problem has arisen. I will keep after the minister on that until we get a satisfactory answer out of the federal government.

Mr. Swart: Does the minister not realize that the sampling being done by the Minister of National Health and Welfare, which involves only 400 homes out of perhaps 100,000 in this nation and which will take two or three months, is totally unsatisfactory to those people who are now suffering the effects of the formaldehyde gas?

Does the minister not realize that he has prime responsibility for the health of the people in these homes, and will he get the resources so he can test these homes and give the appropriate directions to the people who have this foam insulation in their houses?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I do not know whether the honourable member has read the report of the expert advisory committee. I think it is appropriate to remind him of excerpts on pages four and six that point out the undetermined level of risk with this substance. They said: "The committee is unable to identify formaldehyde as posing a significant acute threat to life, as concentrations to which people are ordinarily exposed are small and the effect treatable." It goes on and on from there.

The fact of the matter is, if the member is right and there are 100,000 homes, that there is no way we could test them all overnight or in the space of a very short period of time. If they have begun the survey, and I have been led to believe they have, then 400 to 500 is a fairly representative sample, based on which they would be able to determine the extent of any possible hazards and then, I hope, to determine a retrofit program. I think that is a responsible approach to the problem.

The committee points out, and its report is on the floor there, that there is not a threat to life and limb from this.

Mr. Nixon: Final supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Did the minister indicate in his earlier answer that some of the medical officers of health did have some facilities? If so, in what areas can these tests be done, and which medical officers of health do have the facilities? I am sure it is a widespread problem and all of us have constituents who are deeply concerned, and we want to know where the tests can be carried out.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, on February 20 or 23, we wrote to the medical officers of health, bringing them up to date on what was then a temporary ban on the use of this product, giving them some of the technical background, and pointing out to them that if they needed technical assistance it was available from the government, more particularly from the Ministry of Labour. At this point, that resource is available.

My understanding is that a number of the MOHs have been making use of the Enersave advisory service, which is an arm of the federal administration, to advise them.

Those two sources are available to them if they do not have the staff and/or the equipment, which is likely in some of the smaller, more rural units, perhaps including the member's own.


Mr. Sweeney: I have a question to the Minister of Education, Mr. Speaker, concerning the comparative funding between grade nine and 10 students under boards of education and under separate school boards.

Given that the present discrepancy is approximately $415 per student, and given that the secondary education review report had recommended that this discrepancy should be eliminated, can the minister give us any indication as to whether her estimates, coming up shortly, will include some provision for this elimination?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I am sure the honourable member is aware of the fact that the level of funding for grade nine and 10 students was established at precisely the same level, equally, for grade nine and 10 students in a continuation program at a public school and at a separate school, wherever they were established. The discrepancy suggested by the honourable member relates specifically to the level of funding for a program that is less complex and less costly at the grade nine and 10 level than it is at the grade 11, 12 and 13 level.

I remind the honourable member that the suggested recommendation contained in the initial secondary education review project document is a preliminary recommendation. I feel there will be discussions about that throughout the entire province as a result of the issuance of the SERP document. The final recommendation will be made in September; therefore, it will not be possible to include that in the allocations made on the basis of our assessments for this year.


Hon. Mr. Wells: Before the orders of the day, I wish to table the answers to questions 74, 77 to 78, and the interim answers to questions 65 and 92, standing on the Notice Paper. [See Hansard for Friday, May 22.]



Resuming the adjourned debate on the motion for second reading of Bill 7, An Act to revise and extend protection of Human Rights in Ontario.

Mr. R.F. Johnston: Mr. Speaker, on Friday I was stopped in mid flight. I was soaring with an eloquence that had left two or three members awake in the chamber. It was a most impressive performance. I find it impossible merely to take off from where I finished on Friday.

Mr. Nixon: Start at the beginning again.

3:10 p.m.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: I thought I would do that; I thought I would start again.

The major reason I find it difficult is that the topic I was discussing was one of some sensitivity, not that one would know that from the reports of certain columnists on the weekend. Also, today I am able to speak about areas of the bill on which the New Democratic Party will be moving amendments. I will be able to speak more in hard terms than I did on Friday in terms of where we stand.

On Friday, when I was speaking to the matter, I was talking about the importance of the legislation, about how we welcome it and about how, although we will support the bill on second reading, it is important to have a bill that reflects the changing mores of our society and that has some powers to move.

A few of the things I have discussed that will now go as amendments are as follows. Because of the importance of the bill we feel the minister responsible should be the Premier himself and he should be so named in the bill. It should not be any minister named by the Lieutenant Governor.

We feel it is vital that the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights or the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 1976 of the United Nations should be included in the preamble, because it has ramifications for Ontario at this point. It already extends to all within Confederation, and it is a different and more progressive bill than that of 1948, which was the initial Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

I also think we will be proposing a motion to reintroduce a part of the old bill that has been stricken from this new bill. It is section 1(1) of the old bill. Section 1(1) spoke about a prohibition on advertising by the use of notices, emblems, postings on bulletin boards, et cetera, which may have racial or other discriminatory connotations. For some reason, that has been slipped out of this bill, and we think it is important it be reinstated.

I also wish to talk a bit about extending the power of the definition of discrimination in this bill. At the moment all we have are specific listings of the groups that may not be discriminated against. One of the reasons that the whole sexual orientation question has come up is that from time to time there are changes in terms of our mores and groups which we will identify in our society.

This time to the initial group we have added family, handicapped and marital status in terms of conjugal living. What we will be proposing is an amendment that will open up and give more power to the commission to broaden its definition of what is a discrimination. Therefore, we will want to add that other bona fide and reasonable grounds be added to that list so that in the commission's day-to-day work, as it comes across new grounds and new unfair practices, it will be in a position to state that such and such an act is discriminatory. This will make a major change in the bill as it is now and a major change in the commission, giving it much more power and status than it has had in the past.

The inclusion of the disabled in this new, revised human rights code is extremely important for Ontario. As I said on Friday, we welcome its inclusion. We think the broad definitions of who is disabled are adequate. We are pleased with a number of the provisions.

I raised a couple of concerns about section 38, which is the power to order changes given to the commission. I am a little concerned it may not have enough strength. I think we will be proposing an amendment about reasonable access.

The Deputy Speaker: Excuse me for a moment. Can I just bring to the members' attention that there seems to be an undue din of conversations going on. If we can keep the conversations a little quieter, perhaps to the back lobby, the member for Scarborough West can continue.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Mr. Speaker, on Friday I had a much quieter audience. Perhaps those who are not interested will please adjourn outside.

Mr. Nixon: It is much better when there is no one here at all.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: That is when my friend gets most of his attention. I have noticed that.

There is another very important element of the bill which at this point is missing and which, in our view, needs beefing up. Those are the affirmative action powers of the board in all areas -- sexual discrimination or otherwise. At the moment -- even in the Symons report, the power given to the board in terms of affirmative action was limited to recommendations -- the board can recommend to the minister or to an employer that action be taken.

Our view is that needs to be changed so that it not only recommends but also has the right to order those changes. Then, if all the workers on the night shift in a certain plant are of one racial extraction and all the people on the day shift -- the easier shift -- are white Anglo-Saxon, traditionally accepted individuals in Ontario society, there would be the power not just to recommend but also to ensure there are changes in that plant. The power to monitor those changes and the placing of those changes in that plant should be given to this commission. We do not want it just to be a body sitting out there making recommendations that may or may not be heeded by the companies involved, by this Legislature or by this government.

On Friday I spoke at great length on sexuality and ended my remarks on our difficulties in coming to grips with the need for a number of changes in the code. I pointed out that there has been recognition in a couple of areas. One is the whole area of recognizing that there can be legitimate relationships between heterosexual couples and you do not have to be married, in the strict sense of the term. That is now included in the act as a positive thing.

I made the argument on Friday that it is not just a matter of marital status; it is a matter of a new view of sexuality and sexual expression. In the 1940s and 1950s that kind of thing could not have found its way into the code. It would not have been an acceptable practice. In our society today it is something we would not discriminate against.

Mr. Stokes: I hate to interrupt my colleague, but it seems to me there should be a minister in the House to pilot this through. Can you explain where he is, Mr. Deputy Speaker?

The Deputy Speaker: Thank you, Mr. Stokes. As soon as the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. Henderson) finds the minister responsible for this bill we will have the explanation.

Mr. Stokes: Would it be appropriate to have a brief recess until we find the minister?

The Deputy Speaker: I am confident he will be here in a moment. I am sure he is listening close by. I think, without interrupting Mr. Johnston's very worthwhile and energetic train of thought, if he will continue I am confident the minister will appear in a very short time.

Mr. Brandt: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: The minister said he was going to be detained for a few minutes and would be back in the House shortly.

Mr. Martel: Speaking to the point of order, Mr. Speaker: I find it a bit strange that we are attempting to debate a bill when the minister responsible for carrying that bill is not in attendance. It seems to me we might recess for five minutes until the minister has finished and then continue. What is the sense of carrying on with this charade?

The Deputy Speaker: Thank you, Mr. Martel.

Mr. Stokes: It ranges from indifference to disdain.

The Deputy Speaker: Yes, Mr. Stokes, I am sure it does, in your estimation. But, referring to Standing Orders, I do not think there is any specific procedure that indicates the House has to recess because the appropriate minister is not in the House at the moment.

Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, what are we supposed to do if this sort of charade continues? Are we supposed to proceed with debating bills without appropriate ministers, or at least parliamentary assistants, in their places? I understand no parliamentary assistants have been appointed yet and they are all panting and waiting for appointment, but none the less why should we proceed with the bill without a minister here to know what my colleague or any other member might say? I think we should adjourn the debate, and I move the adjournment of the debate.

3:20 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I am sure that the minister has just stepped out for a minute; it is not uncommon for that to occur. I agree with the honourable member that a debate should not continue here without the minister who is sponsoring the bill or his parliamentary assistant if the minister is not handling the bill.

I am sure that within a minute or two the minister will be returning here. I see nothing out of order in this procedure. Certainly if it were to last for a protracted length of time, then I think the member would have a point.

The people on that side have never had the discipline of having to sit through a debate without leaving. A minister generally sits here through the whole debate and through the whole estimates.

Mr. Stokes: That's what he gets paid for.

Hon. Mr. Wells: That is what the member gets paid for too, but he does not stay.

Mr. Stokes: I am here.

The Deputy Speaker: Mr. Wells has the floor.

Hon. Mr. Wells: The members do not sit in this House through a debate. A minister sits in this House through a debate while every speaker speaks. The members on that side come in, make their speech and then leave when they wish and come back when they wish.

Ms. Copps: I am here. I made my speech on Friday and I am here.

The Deputy Speaker: Order please, Ms. Copps.

Hon. Mr. Wells: They do the same thing at committees. If the minister has had to step out for a few minutes, surely they will grant him that little privilege.

I realize the members opposite have to make a little thing about it while he has stepped out. But I just draw to their attention that the ministers do sit through hours and hours and days and days while those people make their speeches and come and go. For a few minutes that he steps out, surely they will grant him that. It is all recorded in Hansard. I can assure them everything that is said will be adequately paid attention to.

Mr. R.F. Johnston: Still on the point of order, Mr. Speaker: I appreciate the intervention of my members, but I feel a little shocked that the minister has not been here at all, and not that he has stepped out for two or three minutes. He has not been here since the end of question period. I have been talking about introducing some very important changes to this bill, and he should be here to hear them. I do not intend to speak again until he enters the chamber.

The Deputy Speaker: Is there any further discussion on the bill?

Mr. Foulds: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: A motion to adjourn has been placed.

The Deputy Speaker: Mr. Johnston had the floor at the time, and not Mr. Martel. It was Mr. Martel who moved the adjournment of the debate, and he did not have the floor.

Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, if I might speak to the point of order, one of the things this chamber is about, especially on a bill as important as this one, surely is the exchange of ideas. That exchange of ideas takes place in a debate. That is what the second reading is, the debate in principle. If the principal person who is responsible for carrying the bill cannot be present, surely we should schedule some other House business.

The Deputy Speaker: Mr. R. F. Johnston moves the adjournment of the debate.

Those in favour will please say "aye."

Those opposed will please say "nay."

In my opinion the nays have it.

Motion negatived.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: What's the problem?

The Deputy Speaker: Well, just in time the minister has arrived.

Mr. R.F. Johnston: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to see the minister here. I am not going to repeat a number of my comments. I see he is being handed a brief summary of the things I have said up to date. I hope it is accurate; if not, he can read Hansard afterwards.

I was just moving to the item of sexuality and sexual orientation. I was beginning to think that if he did not come in I was not going to get around to finishing my remarks today as I did not get to them on Friday.

I was speaking about the importance of recognizing changes in our society. On Friday, I spoke to the fact that, whether or not we approved of a particular lifestyle sexually, the identification by group in the last 20 years of individuals by one's sexuality, by that expression, has been a fact of life and is something that we recognize. Certainly discrimination on those terms has been taking place in our society. No one will deny that. We have seen a number of cases that have been pleaded before the courts and other bodies, mostly without success because of a lack of provision for protection in that area.

We will be proposing an amendment as a caucus that sexual orientation as defined by the Symons report should be included as one of the sections of this bill. We will do so not feeling that somehow we are at the forefront of society and leading the change in attitude on this particular matter.

When I was speaking on Friday, I was just about to come to the particular point that, although the matter is quite controversial and the emotions around it are very strong, and when involved with religious belief and followers in terms of dealing with sexuality in general it is understandable that there is a sensitivity in our society, we as legislators at this point are not so much ahead of the rest of society in looking at this as a realistic inclusion in a bill in 1981.

In 1977, I remind you, the report from Mr. Symons came down and spoke very clearly on this matter. He was one of the first to speak to this matter in a clear, distinct way, although the discussion and the argument had been going on for some time before.

The federal human rights report in 1979 recommended the inclusion of an amendment of this sort in the federal legislation. It now exists. That means people who work in federal institutions, in Air Canada et cetera, have that protection in legislation at present. People in Ontario who work in federal institutions, therefore, have that kind of protection or can argue their case in terms of discrimination by sexual orientation at this time.

The commission in Quebec also recognizes sexual orientation. We will not be the first to be recognizing this if the amendment is accepted by the minister. The Canadian Labour Congress has been on record for a number of years. The Ontario Federation of Labour has a very clear and specific resolution that was passed by its latest council. The union labour councils in Metropolitan Toronto, Oshawa and other areas have passed this kind of motion. It is now on the books, and a number of union locals are now actually including this in their bargaining. I think a number of faculty unions in the province also have done so; CUPE unions at city hall and others are now including it in contract bargaining.

We are not way ahead of what is going on in society. We are bringing into law something that is already finding a real connection with the world outside. Groups like the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and others have been calling for the inclusion for some time. This is a historic moment. This is not just a small and minor amendment to a bill. This is a major revision of the Ontario Human Rights Code.

At this point in history it would be a major mistake for us not to recognize something that is a fact in our society. It does not mean that members opposite or members on this side are particularly endorsing or wanting people to follow a homosexual lifestyle by so doing. Please let us be very clear about that. What one is doing is recognizing the fact that in terms of sexuality there are no grounds for an employer, a landlord or a government service to discriminate against you. Those are not legitimate grounds, and surely we would agree to that in terms of our own sexuality. So we will be proposing that amendment.

The Deputy Speaker: Mr. Johnston, just while you are hesitating, there appears to be some feedback on one of the microphones. I do not know if you recognize it.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: It is from the TV cameras behind me.

The Deputy Speaker: As long as it is not disturbing, we will continue with your contribution to the debate. Is that fine with you?

Mr. R. F. Johnston: I have been troubled by hearing voices for years now --

Mr. Nixon: Like St. Joan.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Exactly, and other great figures.

3:30 p.m.

I want to raise the matter of age discrimination. In the old code we had a provision that one could not discriminate in terms of age against people 40 to 65 years old. The proposed change in the bill is to move that to 18 to 65, reflecting the age of majority and the age of retirement.

The Liberal speaker said she and her caucus would be opposed to the question of discrimination by age for people over the age of 65. The NDP position will be slightly different from that, and I would like to talk a bit about that today.

We will be proposing an amendment that will basically preclude discrimination against people over the age of 65 in all terms, except the one section that covers employment. Therefore, we will be saying clearly the bill does not protect older people from all the other kinds of harassment that other people are protected from, because it cuts off arbitrarily at 65.

We do not accept the notion that mandatory retirement today should be dispensed with in terms of human rights legislation when the economic underpinnings for an end to mandatory retirement are not in place.

Flexible retirement is a goal that most of us will want to see in our society. To somebody who has worked many years with retired people, it is something to which I think we should all aspire. I would see us moving in the next few years to something in the neighbourhood of a flexible pensionable age at the age of 60, and moving upward from that age.

It is no time, however, to move what will be a right to say to somebody at this point that he may continue to be employed up to the age of 65 and that his protection for pension rights would be therewith taken away, as would be the case with the human rights commission if we were to just change the age of mandatory retirement at this stage.

It is absolutely vital, before we do that, that we bring in a flexible pension scheme that protects workers so that people on the line who will want to get out at age 60, who will not want to continue that job at age 65 or 70 to accrue enough pension benefits, can get out and can have adequate income afterwards.

Those middle-class and professional people -- a small percentage by all studies -- who choose to work afterwards will be able to do so, while the average individual who wishes to retire will have the ability to do so on an adequate pension. That is why the movement to the removal of a mandatory retirement concept in this bill of rights is not appropriate at this time.

The inclusion of family as one of the grounds upon which one cannot discriminate is something we welcome, and it is a positive thing. But we are concerned about the section that applies to adult-only buildings. It has been a major battle in the city of Toronto for some time that some people should not be discriminated against in terms of the fact that they have children.

One of the dangers in a place like Toronto is that one sets up what the Minister of Housing (Mr. Bennett) wants, which is a ghetto for the rich in the city of Toronto and send the poor to Peel. Not only can that kind of thing happen, but we can also have a ghettoized situation in the city of Toronto which has just single people and married people with no children living in the central core and takes away what is essentially part of the fabric of the community. We will be discussing this in committee and trying to propose amendments that will deal with the matter of adult-only buildings so that will not be a right in the act.

I am also very pleased to see the inclusion in this bill of public assistance recipients as people who cannot be discriminated against. We have seen too many cases of family benefits mothers and welfare families who have been denied access to housing throughout this province because they happen to be on public assistance. The inclusion of that amendment to the act will make their lot an awful lot better.

I want to raise a question about the appeal mechanism, because I think it is very important that it be seen to be a fair and just process. We are concerned that there is no statement within the bill about the appeal process which states that somebody who has been involved in the initial inquiry cannot be involved in the appeal. It seems to me that is a basic inclusion that should be involved. If we look at another section of the bill there is that kind of provision, but not in the appeal process. We will be proposing a motion to ensure that somebody who has heard the case initially is not then just rehearing the case again, but that it goes to new board members to be heard.

I am a little concerned as well about the notion of class actions. I do not pretend to understand the law that well on that matter, but it seems to me that in the act at the moment the only people who have the right to decide whether an action will be taken as a group or individually are the commission. They have the right to determine whether individual cases will be lumped together, and it seems to me we should perhaps be talking in terms of consumer rights for individuals to come together to say that they wish to be represented in a class action and not just on an individual contract basis.

The principle of compensation being open-ended is one that should be included in this bill. At the moment, there is a generous rise in the amount of compensation for people who are victimized by discrimination; it is raised to $15,000 maximum at this point. In much legislation, when there is a kind of compensatory factor, there is an open-endedness at the upper end and the right of the commission to determine what the upper end should be. I suggest that would be a good thing to include in this bill, again giving more power to the commission; there would be less need to bring it back for legislative housekeeping, and it would enable them to make determinations on the changing needs in the society at the time.

I want to raise a question in terms of the need, within this bill, for the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) to be the controlling factor over whether there is any legal action taken. I am not sure that is a necessary thing to do. I forget the section offhand, but near the end of the bill there is a section that says the Lieutenant Governor -- what section is it? Anyway, take my word for it, will you, Mr. Speaker?

The Deputy Speaker: I will.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: I cannot find it here in the gobbledegook. Has the minister found it?

Hon. Mr. Norton: The member wouldn't take our word for the fact that the minister was on his way back.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: I took the minister's word for the fact that he might be on his way back from God knows where, but he definitely was not here and I could see that as well.

The Attorney General, for some reason or other, is the one who is given the control over whether legal action is taken pursuant to a ruling by the board. It seems to me that is an unnecessary factor.

The question was raised today in the House about Lieutenant Governor's warrants and the ability for people to be put away in secure situations in mental institutions and in some cases to be put away for quite some length of time. I think the appropriate group to oversee the Lieutenant Governor's warrants would be the Ontario Human Rights Commission. In committee we will be suggesting exactly that kind of role for the commission in the future.

I am a little concerned as well about the exclusion in the new bill of insurance and other kinds of contracts that may be developed, which allows for the possibility, for instance, in car insurance et cetera for special discrimination in favour of women on actuarially based decisions. We will be recommending that section be deleted and that the principle of equality in all those contracts be accepted in the bill.

I think I have covered all the points I wanted to raise at this time. There are about 14 or so major points that we will be raising in terms of the bill; there may be one or two more. The matter of whether political involvement should be grounds for discrimination is something we will want to debate further in caucus before it goes to committee.

Generally speaking, although we are very pleased with this bill and feel it is a great improvement on what has come before, we take very seriously the package of recommendations that we have brought forward. Our view on third reading of this bill will be determined by the government's reaction in committee to the series of amendments I have suggested today that we will be introducing.

The Deputy Speaker: Is there any further discussion on this bill? Mr. Nixon.

Mr. Nixon: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I believe there will be a --

The Deputy Speaker: I am sorry. I guess we might have missed a rotation; and if we are following the rotation, Ms. Fish is next.

Mr. Nixon: I certainly do not want to interfere with this speech.

Ms. Fish: Thank you indeed, Mr. Speaker, and my honourable colleague from Brant-Oxford-Norfolk. How did I do? Did I get the riding name right? I did better than some of my own colleagues on this side.

Mr. Stokes: The premier always gets it wrong.

Ms. Fish: So I've noticed. Some of us on the back benches learn very quickly.

3:40 p.m.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the debate on the bill that is before us today. I rise in very strong support of the amendments that have been put forward by the Minister of Labour (Mr. Elgie) to this House. In my view, these amendments have been the subject of considerable study, are appropriate and are long overdue.

I share some of the concerns that have already been suggested by others as they have spoken in two areas, and I will note them briefly. The first is the question of age discrimination and the matter of whether the 65-year limit should be lifted, particularly as it applies to employment.

I am mindful of the statement made by the Minister of Labour in the previous parliament when a similar bill was introduced. If my memory serves me correctly, in that opening statement the minister singled out the question of age and mandatory retirement as a matter that he would ask the committee considering the bill to give particular attention to, in view of the fact that we have seen changes in our society over the years: an ageing population and people wishing to remain more active. As well, we have the route of bringing in mandatory retirement to protect workers who might otherwise have been exploited and required to remain on the job far beyond a reasonable time.

While I did not hear the minister specifically single out that section as a matter for review by the committee, I hope the committee considering this bill will give very careful and specific consideration to that question, consideration which I suspect will warrant discussion from all sides of this House and probably will involve considerable deputation and representation.

The second area of concern I have is not one of commission in the bill but rather one of omission. I have already spoken on a number of occasions about my view that this code should be amended to provide protection on grounds of sexual orientation and to bar sexual orientation as grounds for discrimination in this province. I think the reasons for so doing have been very amply and eloquently set out by the member for Hamilton Centre (Ms. Copps). I listened with great care to her remarks, because she took considerable time in preparing them and setting out for all of us, whatever our views on the matter, the reasons why an amendment of this sort should be made to the code. I very much endorse her views in this regard, and I welcomed her remarks and her advice as to her intentions with respect to amendments.

I intend to support any amendments that are put with respect to altering the code to provide protection to bar sexual orientation as grounds for discrimination. I look forward to the continued debate in this House on the code and the amendments in this area, as well as on my other concern as to age. Equally with other members, I look forward to the debate and the deliberations on this matter in committee.

Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, I believe we in Ontario should be quite proud of the leadership that the province and this Legislature have given to other jurisdictions, both in Canada and elsewhere, in the matter of human rights. I was not in the House when the first bill came in under the premiership of Leslie Frost. Many of the problems we will be debating in connection with these amendments were practically unheard of in those days. Things change, however. As representatives of the community, we are in the business of attempting to reflect these changes fairly and judiciously.

I was interested to note that the first three speakers, one from each party, have indicated there will be a supportable amendment having to do with sexual orientation. I suggest this is the very thing the Legislature would not have been very quick to act on in the days when the code was originally introduced.

I do not want to be facetious about a matter as sensitive as this but, in my own constituency of Brant-Oxford-Norfolk, where I meet the constituents at Earl's Shell Service Station, Lloyd's Barber Shop and St. George Feed and Seed, they would not be quick to jump to the support of such an amendment.

However, it is interesting as discussion progresses -- and it is nice to know these matters can be discussed now with neither blushes nor smirks -- that it is seen as something in the community that is here, that it was dealt with at least in part under the Criminal Code of Canada as long ago as 1968, when Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau was the Minister of Justice, and that certainly the community's response in these matters has changed.

I think I indicated as recently as the last time these amendments were before the House that I felt, in my own view, with my own background, with my own beliefs and representing a constituency such as mine, I could not support such an amendment. I am probably still in the same position, but I can assure the members that the debates on the amendments will be very significant for me and may well persuade me that I can support the amendment. I hope the other members of the House find themselves in a similar position.

By that, I am suggesting that we here, having recently been elected or re-elected, are reflecting the views of the community as they are changing. They are changing more rapidly in urban centres such as Metropolitan Toronto. But the rural areas are not left entirely behind; they now know what goes on in their own communities. Certain taboos, sexual and otherwise, have been put aside to a large extent, and people can look in a rational way at the community as it is and perhaps make newer judgements based on reality and a broader view of what the community is and what it needs as far as the protection of human rights is concerned.

My real plea to my fellow members is to keep an open mind at least to the extent that we can listen to the arguments. In this connection, I understand that the bill, when it receives approval in principle -- and I believe it will -- will be going to one of the standing committees. By an odd quirk of circumstances around here, it will be going to the standing committee on resources development, because that is the committee that deals with the Ministry of Labour, which has carriage of this matter. I hope the committee in its wisdom sees fit to put advertisements in the press calling on the community to come in and express views.

Perhaps it will not be necessary to have hearings that extend for many months, but I think the committee ought to be prepared to spend a week or two to hear views from various segments of the community before dealing with the bill clause by clause and the amendments that have already been referred to. Undoubtedly, whatever happens to the amendments in committee, they will be coming back to this House; so that all of us, whether or not we are members of the resources development committee, will be called upon to exercise our own good judgement.

My colleague the member for Hamilton Centre spoke first for the Liberal Party in response to the introduction of the bill on second reading. I was extremely impressed with the well-prepared speech, which was delivered with a certain amount of bravery. It is not everybody who can cope with the spectrum of opinions found in a political party, and that is as true of the Liberal Party as it is of any other.

Her proposal was that she would put forward the amendments -- and now we know others will either support them or put them forward themselves -- and that the members would be called upon to exercise judgement free of the political whip, as we call it around here, in a matter of this importance and this sensitivity.

I suppose there are those in all parties who are of different opinions in these matters. Certainly, it has been obvious that there is a difference of opinion among the members of the Conservative and Liberal parties. I hope and expect -- and hope the Minister of Labour will use his good offices to bring this about -- that the members in support of the Premier and in support of the Conservative government will have the right I believe they were elected to exert, to express views having listened to the arguments.

If the motion does not carry, so be it. It will be brought up, I am sure, in future Legislatures. It may carry. I think the debate on this matter is going to be one of the most interesting and in many respects of more significance and importance than many we have had in recent times.

3:50 p.m.

My own experience is that, unfortunately, there is more prejudice in the community now than there has been at any time in my elected experience. I am going to spend a moment or two talking about that, because I feel it is getting worse, probably at an exponential rate.

When I listen to young people -- sometimes around my own dinner table when my kids come home for the weekend with their friends -- and the jokes that have been with us for a long time about other races and other lifestyles, nothing much has really happened. And yet some of the real bitterness we find in the community is, in my opinion, worse than it was 20 years ago when I first entered the Legislature.

I do not believe our education system is accepting the responsibility it should have, and the teachers should have, to assist our young people in developing a broader point of view to other people and other views in the community.

At the same time, the community has been changing more rapidly during the last 20 years than it has in the previous century. It is hard to imagine that there are more black people in Toronto now than there are in Buffalo, as I am informed. Many people are still quite prepared to go through life with an unreconstructed view, a holdover from generations before, having to do with that sort of racial prejudice.

I need not list them because members know from their everyday discourse with colleagues, family, people in the community at large, there is probably more bitterness of a racial and prejudice type now than there was 20 years ago.

One of the things that brought this forcefully to me -- and none of us feel he or she is prejudiced; we all feel we are informed enough and broad-minded enough to make these personal decisions -- was an article in the February 1981 issue of Toronto Life by Maggie Siggins entitled "Roots of Tragedy," subtitled "Albert and Lemona Johnson -- the Sweet Beginnings and Painful End of a Love Story."

I suggest members should take time to read the article, which is in our library. It will give new insights to many of us who probably followed the Johnson story in only a superficial way. Members may recall that Mr. Johnson was killed by a police officer in the execution of the officer's duty. The officer and one of his colleagues were charged and appeared in the courts, and this is another approach to that story since it has been completed in the courts.

I could be criticized, I suppose, for being selective in the two paragraphs that I want to read from this story, but one is the introductory paragraph and the other one is almost the closing paragraph:

"On the wall a few feet from where Albert Cecil Johnson was shot and killed by Constable William Inglis on August 26, 1979, is taped a black and white poster, which reads in part: "I am an angry black woman without a man, who died in another man's land. I am an angry black woman; you would see me anywhere. Does anyone really care at all?"

As I followed the story, I was under the impression that from the point of view of a staid, provincially oriented WASP, while this was an extremely difficult situation, it was something that could only be expected as the community became more and more populated by immigrants and particularly, in this instance, by immigrants from the Caribbean. But it really struck me: Does anyone really care at all? I am not sure people like me did. Perhaps I am not sure that people like me do -- unless they put themselves out to find out what sort of information probably is not conveyed to us by the regular media, unless we take the time to read all of the details, and maybe not even then.

The last paragraph I want to read, if I can find it, is a very tough paragraph indeed; it is about the trial:

"The trial of constables William Inglis and Walter Cargnelli on charges of manslaughter in the killing of her husband was a devastating experience. Lemona, and indeed most of the black community, was outraged by the trial. With some justification they concluded that it had not been the two officers on trial but the character of Albert Johnson himself. Day after day, Lemona sat tense and angry as a parade of witnesses -- mostly white and Anglo-Saxon -- described Johnson's bizarre behaviour. Lemona dismissed much of the testimony as either untruthful or distorted.

"Once Albert's character became the focus of the trial Lemona pleaded with Crown Attorney Bill Morrison to allow her to take the stand again to defend her husband. He refused. He took the narrow view that Albert Johnson's past history and the state of his health were not relevant to what went on in the Johnson home on August 26. While this was a correct legal position, it left the character of the dead man in ruins. The defence attorneys successfully convinced the jury that Johnson was mentally ill and so violent that the police officers had no choice -- indeed showed great courage -- in kicking in his back door, clubbing him with a two-pound flashlight and, finally, fearing for their lives, having one of them shoot him dead."

That is very strong journalism. Perhaps, even probably, it is an unfair slant on the circumstances. But the article, which is a long one and an in-depth description of what the Johnson family's background was in their own country, why they came to Canada and what they faced here, was a great education for me. It was more of an eye-opener than anything I have read in a long time. The point in this is that I feel there is no one to assist even receptive individuals, and perhaps I could be immodest enough to say I am one of those, to assist us in getting the kind of information that would dispel the prejudice that many of us seem to have no matter what our intentions are.

Frankly, I put some of the blame with the human rights commission itself. I am glad to see that the bill before us says, in section 26, the prime function of the commission is "to forward the policy that every person is equal in dignity and worth and is entitled to equal rights and opportunities without discrimination contrary to law." I repeat for you, Mr. Speaker, to forward the policy.

Frankly, I have not been under the impression that the human rights commission is forwarding the policy. I am not sure whether the minister and his long line of predecessors have fulfilled that mandate. They share the mandate with all of us, because we are in a position to give some leadership, but more specifically with the education system and with the commission itself. This is not the place to be critical of any individuals, and I do not intend to be, but I have felt that the commission leadership has been inadequate in recent years.

I have read that the budget of the commission has also been inadequate, and there have certainly been modifying circumstances having to do with that. But as far as putting forward the policy, I think they have been acting as some sort of a reticent tribunal that from time to time we read about on page 37 of the Toronto Star, or one of the other newspapers, or hear of in a special on radio or television, but they have not been pushing themselves into the community to teach the lessons that would allow the community at large to move away from the blackness of prejudice -- that is probably not a very good word to use.

Ms. Fish: It certainly is.

Mr. Nixon: Let us say the murk of prejudice that seems to be engulfing us more now than it has been in the past.

I am going to say something in great seriousness. One of the forces that dispelled prejudice in the past, but which is no longer effective, is the Christian Sunday school. They hardly exist any more, but the Christian ethic -- and in this instance I do not say Judaeo-Christian ethic, but the Christian ethic -- makes a big thing of man's brotherhood to man. I am not prepared to say that other religions do not, but I am about this one. Many of us have spent hours, some of them boring hours, with a Sunday school teacher going over the teachings of the Bible and the life of Christ to indicate an example of what is acceptable and what we should do. We do not have that any more. Nobody goes to Sunday school any more. The schools certainly do not and have not picked that up.

4 p.m.

My own prejudice, I suppose, is that there is as much benighted prejudice in the staff rooms of the schools of this province as there is anywhere else, including the St. George Feed and Seed Mill and Earl's Service, because we have got away from an understanding in our community that it is our responsibility as human beings and as individuals to be informed about those matters and to be sure, not with any holier-than-thou attitude, that the community is always moving in the right direction vis-à-vis ignorance and prejudice.

I fear we have been moving in the wrong direction and for too long. I blame the school system and again say with this new act it is the minister's responsibility -- and we are all going to see that he does it; at least I for one am -- to ensure that the commission is properly funded and that its number one aim, which I have already read, becomes its aim in practice and administration. I want to see some action down there and, frankly, I want to see a change in personnel. Perhaps I will have more to say about that on some other occasion.

I do want to speak briefly about section 6, sexual solicitation by a person in authority. Once again, this is something we have probably never heard of in the township of South Dumfries, although I am sure it has been around for a long time. It seems to me there can be nothing more inhuman, nothing dirtier than the kind of blackmail that would go with a situation where somebody of either sex in authority is going to persist unreasonably in a sexual solicitation, as described in the amendment.

It is going to be very hard to police, but I believe we must have all sorts of facilities whereby people who feel they have been unsuitably solicited, harassed or blackmailed, which is the best word, will have ample opportunity to bring this forward. There are traps, pitfalls and problems, but I am delighted the section is here. I have heard of too many instances where man's inhumanity has been put forward in this completely unacceptable way. I compliment the minister for putting this in again as an amendment and wish him good luck in its application.

It has occurred to me as well that it is a good thing there is envisaged a race relations division separate from the rest of the work in the commission itself. I believe that is worthwhile and, once again, we are going to expect and look for a high profile approach. There are dangers -- the easiest thing in the world is to avoid publicity -- but I feel this House would want people of the community of Ontario to know we have a statute with teeth in it and that we are not going to stand for the continued harassment of our people in our province without the punishment being suitable to the crime under the circumstances.

I was interested to hear the spokesman for the NDP say he hoped the commission would report to the House through the Premier. Certainly I wholly support that. I personally thought it might well be that the function of the commission -- and there is no intention in my mind of weakening its impact in this connection -- should come under the Ombudsman himself, who is one of the principal servants of this House. There has somehow been an understanding that the Ombudsman is divorced and separate from government and responsible to this House directly.

With the concept of a race relations division, it might more readily become an additional responsibility for the Ombudsman in the growth and the gradual change of his office. I would have no complaint that way. In that instance, reports from the Ontario Human Rights Commission would come to the Ombudsman directly, to a committee of this House, and would then be debated in this House as we did just last Thursday when the Ombudsman's report came forward.

I am glad to have a chance to express some of my views in a matter that I consider, as we all do, to be of great importance. I for one am quite a supporter of the minister. I hope he is not being subjected to undue harassment by his superiors having to do with any commitments he has made having to do with termination pay, severance pay or anything like that. If he needs any help in defending himself against that kind of harassment, while we cannot put it in the act, we are on his side and certainly we wish him well in his endeavours.

As for the bill, certainly I urge all of us to pay attention to the arguments. I sincerely hope we can vote with conscience in respect to the amendments that will be put forward. In general I congratulate the minister and his staff in putting forward the bill.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a number of comments about the bill. Obviously on our side of the House we welcome the changes that are being proposed in the Ontario Human Rights Code, although we will have a number of changes and further amendments to make to the particular bill.

We are not happy about the length of time that it took the government to come up with this comprehensive reworking of the human rights code, since the report Life Together appeared in 1977. It seems inexcusable to me that the government should have put such a low priority on the extension of the bill and the improvement of the human rights code that they would wait until 1981 in order to actually present their amendments and have them passed into legislation.

I want to talk in particular at some length about the matter of the rights of the disabled that are covered in this bill. Some of my comments are going to be critical. Let me begin by saying that on our side of the House, New Democrats welcome the fact that the human rights code will at last ensure that discrimination against people in the enjoyment of public facilities, in the job market and in housing on the grounds of physical disability will not be permitted under Ontario law when this bill is proclaimed. Since this is the year of the disabled and since the government is doing very little else to recognize the year of the disabled I think it is at least worth noting that the province, through the Legislature, will have enacted this protection in the human rights code in order to protect the disabled.

But that is only a beginning, because the fact is that putting these changes into the human rights code will not change a great deal for a large number of Ontario citizens and residents who are disabled if it is not accompanied by a series of other policies in order to make sure that the right of the handicapped to live in this society on conditions and terms as normal as they can achieve is a reality and not just a dream. The changes to this code and this legislation on its own will not achieve that unless many other things are done.

I draw to the House's attention the excellent report of the task force that was produced by the special committee on the disabled and the handicapped in the House of Commons, whose final report came across our desks just a few days ago. That task force's first recommendation was that the federal human rights code should be amended in order to include the disabled. However, that was the first of 200 recommendations, and there were 199 others. As my friend from Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) pointed out during the throne debate, many of those relate to provincial jurisdiction, provincial responsibilities, and without action in those other spheres the disabled will continue to suffer effective discrimination whatever the law may happen to say.

I think the basic principles of the task force are well worth repeating here in the Legislature. They talk about ensuring that the disabled should have an adequate income; they talk about support for promotion of self-help efforts. That means two things. One is that it should be recognized that people can look after themselves and should be allowed and encouraged and be given resources to look after their own needs to the maximum extent possible rather than being dependent. Secondly, it means that self-help groups, such as groups of the disabled, should be recognized and encouraged to help solve the problems of the disabled.

The report recommends focus on the provision of technical aids and community-support services, such as attendant care in intervener services; they recommend equal benefits and protection under the law, something to which we are moving in this particular bill; they recommend equal opportunity of access to public buildings, programs and facilities. There, this bill is in fact wanting.

4:10 p.m.

This bill is weak and it could be much stronger, as it should have been, had the recommendations of the 1977 Life Together report been followed, because that report said very clearly that the obligation to make public buildings accessible should be recognized by government and should not be left out or should not be enforceable only by means of a long and difficult process -- the process which is called for through the means of an inquiry under this particular act.

The federal task force spoke about the need to ensure that the disabled have equal access to a full range of opportunities in employment, housing, education, transportation, recreation, communication and information. They talked about the need for community support services to reduce and eliminate the need for institutional care and they talked about improving the quality of life for disabled persons who live in institutions.

I asked myself what, in fact, is the record of the government in terms of achieving those goals, which effectively make up a charter of rights for the handicapped. The answer is that the record is a mixed one and in many areas the record is sorely deficient even in this International Year of Disabled Persons.

Take the question of achieving adequate income: If an Ontario citizen is injured on the job and breaks his back, for example, and becomes a paraplegic, he becomes eligible for a substantial pension and substantial rehabilitation services from the Workmen's Compensation Board. They may even be able to keep their pension if they are able to return to work, as well as getting retraining and that kind of thing. Their pension will be approximately double the pension which is available under Gains to another Ontario resident who has a similar accident but happens not to be covered by compensation, who happens to have the accident off the job rather than on the job.

In addition to that, if the compensation recipients go back to work, they may be able to keep their pension or a substantial portion of that, but if the family benefits or Gains recipients who had a similar injury which has been disabling go back to work, they will find that once they have passed their very low limit, every dollar they earn on the job means a dollar or so lost in terms of their Gains benefit.

What about community support services? The fact is that those community support services are often inadequate, and are often completely nonexistent. I call to mind the difficulties we have had in Ottawa in terms of getting provincial funding for halfway houses that help keep people who are mentally ill out of the revolving-door syndrome that keeps on taking them back to the psychiatric hospital in Brockville. That is something that has not been a priority for the government, despite the fact that for that group of people who are disabled by means of mental illness it is essential that they have a place where they can work, socialize, and where they can learn how to survive in this society rather than constantly going back to psychiatric institutions.

I think of the number of people who are either retarded or mentally ill who have been put into the new form of back wards, back wards which cast no credit on this government at all because they are back wards in homes for special care and in boarding and lodging homes across the province where there are no community support services at all, where people are basically left to vegetate and where nothing at all is offered in terms of rehabilitation that would help those people who are retarded or those people who are mentally ill to be able to function more normally in this society.

I know what some of those back wards are like. On my street in Ottawa Centre, a few doors away from my house, we used to have rooming houses where people from the psychiatric institutions used to be sent into what was called "community living" but, in fact, it was a form of isolation that made the psychiatric hospital far more attractive because at least it was possible to have some social interaction with other people in the community.

What about providing technical aids for people who are disabled in order to enable them to live more normally in this society? The other day we had an example when the question was asked of the Minister of Health (Mr. Timbrell) about prosthetic devices. The Minister of Health of the province is absolutely paranoid about what might happen to Ontario's health budget if prosthetic devices became covered, despite the fact that to function more normally in this society those devices are often an absolute necessity.

I call to mind the case of paraplegics and quadriplegics at St. Vincent Hospital in my riding of Ottawa Centre who are compelled to wait until the local Lions Club or the local Kiwanis Club can scrape up enough money to buy an electric wheelchair so they can have some mobility. One does not have much mobility if one has to wait to be pushed in an ordinary wheelchair because one cannot move around oneself.

It is an essential means of giving mobility, both within the hospital and also in other places if one gets out. It is something that is not available in Ontario unless one has money, which one does not have under the guaranteed annual income system, or unless one has some group of benefactors or somebody in one's family who can afford to give one that kind of mobility and help to give normalcy to somebody who is disabled because of being a paraplegic or quadriplegic.

I call to mind the fact that if one is blind and can demonstrate to the Ministry of Community and Social Services of this government that one might be able to work if one had a visual aid, one can then get that visual aid paid for under the rehabilitation services of the Ministry of Community and Social Services.

If, however, one's vision is impaired and one has only five or seven per cent vision, but one happens to be of an age where it is unlikely one is going to work, then the normalcy of being able to watch television, read a newspaper or read a book, which is available with some of the visual aids now on the market, is denied one unless one can scrape up the money from private sources.

The government does not intervene, we in our society do not intervene to ensure that particular aspect of normalcy is encouraged by making visual aids available to people who are blind if they do not happen to be employable.

There is discrimination right there. If one is blind but one is not going to go to work, then that is too bad, it is not worth giving one something that would help to make one's life particularly normal. When one considers that 60 or 70 per cent of people who are blind are also not in the work force and are unlikely to be in the work force, one can see systemic discrimination which is engaged in by Ontario at the same time the government is moving this particular amendment to the Ontario Human Rights Code.

I call to mind the question of equal access to housing. What access is there for the disabled if they cannot afford to pay the rent? That is often a problem. What access is there for the disabled if there is no attendant care for disabled people who need an attendant to get dressed or undressed or to wash themselves? In most parts of the province, that kind of assistance is not available. Therefore, people who are disabled may live in hospitals or institutions at a cost of $25, $35 or maybe $100 a day when, for a much lower sum, they could be living more normal lives in the community. There is systemic discrimination which continues there.

What about a person who is disabled who would like to live with his family, but the family finds caring for that disabled person 52 weeks of the year is simply too much to cope with? The family says, "Look, if we could put our disabled relative in an institution for two or three weeks in the summer and a couple of weeks in the winter, that would be enough to get us over the hump and we would be prepared to continue that."

But try to get an elderly person or a disabled person into a nursing home or some other provincial facility for a short-term rest care like that, which would enable that disabled person to live a more normal life by staying in the community, and the fact is it is often not possible, in many cases not possible at all.

The task force talked about improving the quality of life for the disabled in institutions. I would like to ask the minister whether he is satisfied that has been done for people who are retarded and living in institutions for the retarded across the province. My visits to institutions for the retarded have convinced me that rehabilitation, training and the other things that could be taking place, such as stimulation of the young to ensure they can move to more adequate levels of functioning, is simply not a reality in many institutions today. Where it is not a reality, it is sometimes because of policy but often because the funding that is being given is quite seriously inadequate.

4:20 p.m.

Finally, the task force talked about equal access to opportunities for employment, and that is covered in the bill. The bill says you cannot discriminate against somebody in hiring because of the fact that they are disabled, in a wheelchair, or disabled in some other way. But once again what guarantee is there that people who are disabled will get the training they need in order to get jobs? The guarantee is not there. What guarantee is there that somebody who is disabled will, in fact, get the equipment he may need in order to be able to function in a job?

I know of situations where people became blind while they were at work, and because they were with an employer -- I think of the federal government for example -- they were able to make arrangements to have visual aids or other aids that enabled them to stay on the job. Would that employer have been prepared to make those arrangements had they come knocking at the door? The answer is very likely no, and the possibilities of redress, of sorting that problem out even with these amendments are only limited.

I believe we have to go beyond just the bill if we want to ensure that the disabled have, in fact, equal access to opportunities for employment. The bill is not going to wipe out sheltered workshops where the disabled earn 30 cents an hour. It is not going to change that. That is covered somewhere else in the law and that is going to continue to be permitted. The bill does not provide for affirmative action as a matter of obligation on employers, and this government presenting the bill is the same government which has consistently rejected the principle that we put forward of affirmative action in order to ensure that people who are disabled have a guarantee that a certain number of positions in any large employer's work force would be available to people who are disabled.

It is several years now since the member for Downsview (Mr. Di Santo) presented his bill, the Disabled Persons Employment Act, which would have ensured that three per cent of the work force in any large work place would be disabled people, that disabled people would have access to at least three per cent of the jobs. He was not sure and I am not sure whether three per cent is adequate or whether it should be five per cent, 10 per cent or two per cent, but the principle, it seems to me, is an important one, and that is that major employers should be required to have an affirmative action program to ensure that people who are disabled do, in fact, have as a matter of reality, not just a principle, access to employment from which they are now barred. It would ensure that the varying obstacles for that employment are analysed and taken care of in a way which is very difficult if the only means of redress is for somebody in a wheelchair to go to an employer, to lodge a complaint, to have the complaint considered by a board of inquiry, and then to have the board of inquiry make recommendations.

Where there is something that is easily analysed and easily discerned -- for example, the refusal of the employer to spend a few hundred dollars to put in a wheelchair ramp or to put in a toilet that would be suitable for a person in a wheelchair -- then the board of inquiry route can probably sort out the problems, but what do we do when there is systemic discrimination by a corporation like Shell Canada, Bell Canada or some other corporation like that which goes right across the whole corporation and which means that the company is quite systematic in dragging its feet in terms of opening up positions to people who are disabled? We cannot get to that through boards of inquiry.

I am disappointed in the fact that affirmative action programs or an affirmative action approach is not even required for corporations that deal with government. All the law says, when we get through the verbiage, is that a corporation dealing with government should not be in violation of the human rights code. I would assume that if we pass the law, we expect that every corporation will respect the code. The minister can talk to that.

It is true that the government will have the power to break a contract where there is evidence that a corporation that contracted with the government was not adhering to the code. That power is there but that is all, and we have to assume that the government would be prepared to use that particular muscle. They have not always been prepared to do it in the past. We have to be prepared to assume that this is the best thing that can be done when the other route is so much more obvious, which is to look at affirmative action as a concrete means of implementing priorities which have been set out by the members of this Legislature acting on behalf of the people who elected us, the citizens of Ontario.

I will go briefly through the other points that affect the disabled, such as the transportation system. Right now in certain major cities we have, on a pilot project basis, an alternative transportation system for people who are disabled that is separate and unequal. In certain cases it is costly; in other cases it does not cost the user a great deal but is extremely unwieldy when compared to the transportation system available to most people in the community who can just hop on a streetcar, a subway or a bus.

It would certainly inhibit my social life if, whenever I wanted to go out to a movie, I had to make the arrangements two days in advance, negotiate with the provider of public transportation to make sure they could arrive, pick me up and then pick me up when the movie was over. Once I was in the movie I would have to decide that even if my friends suggested having a drink or a coffee in a restaurant later I would not be able to do that. It would inhibit me as well if any time I went to the restaurant I had to telephone in advance to make sure the restaurant was accessible and I would not be embarrassed when trying to get in.

The fact is that for major groups of the disabled the public transit system of the province is almost totally blocked off. I have heard stories from disabled people about trying to come in from Oshawa to Toronto, for example, for medical treatment. I am told that if you are in a wheelchair and you try to get on GO Transit they let you on the first time but they make it very clear, "Would you mind not coming on the GO trains again, because we do not want you." Instead a person who is disabled has to arrange for limousine service to come from Oshawa to downtown Toronto at a cost of $25 or $35 -- and perhaps as much for the return trip -- or else arrange for somebody else to give them a lift in a private car.

That is clearly not equal access to transportation. If trains and buses are the only means of transportation, surely we should be doing more than we are now to make sure those public modes of transportation are available to people who are disabled.

I am not convinced the will to implement a comprehensive policy for the disabled exists as yet within the government. I want to echo the words of my friend the member for Riverdale. He suggested during the throne speech debate that now we have the report of the special committee on the disabled and handicapped from Ottawa -- an excellent parliamentary report -- we do not need more studies and reports around here. What we need is an implementation plan, a program for action.

The member for Riverdale suggested -- and I pass this suggestion on to the minister who was probably absent at the time of that portion of the throne speech debate -- that we set up a select committee over the course of the summer, to meet from the end of June until September or early October. It would come in with an implementation plan not just with respect to the human rights code but with respect to those other areas I have mentioned and other areas which are mentioned in the federal parliamentary report. These would ensure that equality for the disabled and the handicapped in this International Year of Disabled Persons becomes a reality in every walk of life and not just in the human rights code.

If the human rights code on its own is not enough for the disabled, that is true in other areas as well. A few months ago, for example, I was at Seneca College meeting with a group in an introductory course for women in nontraditional occupations. They told me stories about what it is like to be a woman in the work place in Ontario today.

They earn just over half as much as a man on average. If it is shift work they probably cannot get day care for their kids under any conditions. If it is daytime work it may well be in an office where they are in a dead-end job. It may be in a bank where they stay as a teller forever while the men work for a few weeks as tellers and then move into management positions. If it is daytime work they probably cannot get day care at an affordable price. If she and her husband have an income they find that most of the woman's income is taken up with paying the costs of day care for their children.

If a woman who wants to get training and applies to the employer-sponsored training program, that great initiative of the government of Ontario, she will find that four women and 1,500 men were enrolled in that program at last approach. This is another indication of the systemic discrimination that exists in Ontario for which the provincial government is responsible and which will not be wiped out by the re-enactment of the discrimination on sex provisions of the code.

4:30 p.m.

If one is a woman with a child and she is on her own the chances are that she is going to be a tenant, because she cannot afford a house, particularly in high-cost areas like Metropolitan Toronto. So when she goes knocking on doors for an apartment near the day-care centre and near where she works she is liable to find that the apartments there are adults-only apartments and will not take children. The apartment owner takes upon himself or herself the judgement as to whether or not that accommodation is suitable. It is time that discrimination against people with families be wiped out, and it is time that the government in fact put its action where its mouth is in terms of its commitment to the family.

I read with some dismay the throne speeches of the last three years. In 1979, the government said in the throne speech, "Throughout 1979, the observance of the International Year of the Child offers a special opportunity to reinforce the awareness that our children are the single most important assurance for the future."

In 1980, the throne speech said: "My ministers believe that personal, family and community responsibility are basic to the direction and welfare of any free society. Limiting the role of large institutions supporting the family" -- I repeat -- "supporting the family" -- and other things -- "these are the appropriate roles for government in the 1980s."

In the throne speech in 1981 the government said: "The importance of the role of the family in our society cannot be too strongly emphasized. This has been a consistent view of the government, and one which it upholds in a range of accepted provincial policies and programs."

How can a government that mouths those slogans, that puts forward those principles, be so hypocritical as to tolerate the continuation of adults-only rental accommodation on the scale that exists right now? I cannot understand that at all. How can it condemn women with families, families on low income with children, to second-class or substandard accommodation, or to having to travel for 45 minutes to an hour each day each way to and from work, because the only place that family or that woman with a child or two can find accommodation at an affordable price and that would accept children was way out in the suburbs of Ottawa, Windsor, Hamilton, Toronto, or London or some other community?

That, it seems to me, is pure, arrant hypocrisy that exists right now here in Ontario, and it is another example of systemic discrimination; only in this case the discrimination against families in accommodation is in fact explicitly endorsed in the bill, and it should not be.

I want to suggest that the minister consider that buildings for senior citizens are an appropriate kind of exception to the law. But apart from that, other exemptions that allow landlords and developers to discriminate against families should simply become a thing of the past and be wiped out by a change in this particular bill.

I want to suggest, returning to women, that here again we need more than the human rights code antidiscrimination provision. We need affirmative action, and we need affirmative action that is going to work. The efforts of the Ministry of Labour in the area of affirmative action have been puny and ineffective. They just have not worked. The reason has been that this has not been a priority of the government. In the case of the civil service itself, two thirds of the women who work for the Ontario government earned less than about $13,000 the last time we looked, whereas 70 or 80 per cent of the males who work for the government of Ontario earned more than that amount -- another example of systemic discrimination that is not going to wiped out by this particular bill.

I turn next to the question of racial discrimination. In this case a race relations division is being set up in this bill. It is overdue, but it is welcome. However, that again is not enough. I want to suggest it is time that the commission and the government woke up again to the fact that there is systemic discrimination on the grounds of race, ethnic origin and colour. Recently the Toronto Sun sent out a couple of reporters, one white and one who was a member of a visible minority. They were looking for apartments, and many of the doors that were open to the white reporter, where an apartment was available, were closed to the reporter who was coloured.

Surely that is an example of the continuation of discrimination, and surely, rather than waiting for individual complaints, the Ontario Human Rights Commission should have the right and the authority to go and look for those kinds of violations, whether they are deliberate or inadvertent, and to use its good offices first, and its legislative powers second, to ensure that kind of concrete racism in society in Ontario becomes a thing of the past.

We have questioned whether the government is prepared to provide adequate resources to the commission in order to stamp out racism. The minister knows that Albert Johnson several months prior to his death had launched a complaint to the human rights commission, and that complaint had not been acted upon because of the backlog of cases before the commission. Is that going to be changed, or are we going to continue to see a situation where justice delayed is justice denied?

Is the minister prepared to stand up and insist that the Solicitor General (Mr. McMurtry) change the police complaints bill so that it will have the confidence of visible minorities, the various ethnic minorities here in Metropolitan Toronto, or will the minister tolerate a half-baked bill that will not be adequate in calming the fears and misgivings of people who want to have confidence in the police, but are not satisfied with the complaints bill as it is being proposed right now? Will the commission be given the power and the authority to reach out with an information program, to teach about the dangers of racism, and seek to inculcate positive attitudes within society rather than some of the negative attitudes that exist right now?

I will pass quickly over a concern of mine, political rights for public servants. I am not sure whether the international conventions to which Canada subscribes cover this matter, but it seems to me that a person who is a carpenter, a secretary, a clerk, a bus driver or a snowplough operator in the public service should surely have the same political rights as somebody who carries out those occupations in the private sector. The discrimination that exists right there is not tolerable or acceptable, in my view. Back in 1972, I initially proposed a private member's bill that would give political rights to public servants and make them equal with every other member of the community, apart from that handful who are in very sensitive, high level jobs. I regret the fact that the government has not been prepared to move in that area.

Our party has believed, as a matter of policy, that discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation should be outlawed through the human rights code. This is quite simply a matter of civil rights. The minister knows that not only has that been enacted now in the Canadian Human Rights Act, but it is also now a matter which has been looked at and endorsed by a wide variety of groups in this society, including the Ontario Federation of Labour, which unanimously reiterated that policy at its convention a few months ago.

It is the sole major recommendation of the Life Together report which has been ignored by the government. Obviously not every recommendation has been enacted in letter perfect form, but this is the sole major recommendation that has not been acted on. I regret the way the government has handled this particular issue. Frankly, I believe it has been trying to exploit the issue for political purposes, and that is one of the reasons why it delayed, until the eve of the election, enacting or taking action on the 1977 Life Together report.

There is no question that before the election this issue was emotionally charged. The chances of being able to have the public understand what the issue was all about were next to nil, and therefore, the government by its choice of timing on this particular bill not only jeopardized that particular reform, but also jeopardized the whole area of civil rights.

I do not think the government should play politics with the question of human rights in that particular way. There is no question that with respect to sexual orientation, whether it is heterosexual or homosexual orientation, there is a need for a process of public education. Were we the government, I think we would probably begin with the process of public education and then move to legislation. But we are facing a situation where this is the only opportunity, probably in 10 years, when it is possible to make any further changes to the code.

I suspect that for some long time, at least as far as this government is concerned, it is not the intention to bring the code back before the Legislature.

4:40 p.m.

We are looking at a code that covers very restricted areas, jobs, housing and access to goods, services and facilities. We are not looking to endorsement by this Legislature of any particular lifestyle, just as by acting on the bill are we believing that we can therefore wipe out prejudices which may exist in the community. When this bill is proclaimed it is not going to mean that people suddenly forget race prejudice, forget their male chauvinist tendencies -- or their female chauvinist tendencies, if that is what they have -- forget ingrained prejudices based on ethnic origin, or on religious belief or other things like that, although I hope that the bill and the actions of the commission will contribute in that direction.

What the bill does, however, is it seeks to ensure that people who are in the various minorities that are covered by the bill do not suffer discrimination as a result of prejudices that people may happen to have. If the prejudices did not exist then I would assume that the Ontario Human Rights Code would not be necessary. But the prejudices are there. They are worked out from time to time, and in respect of a disabled person it means that disabled people have been denied jobs, housing, access to restaurants and things like that. In the case of people whose sexual orientation is not that of the majority, they too have beer fired from jobs.

I cite the case of John Damien, the racing steward, who was one such case of people who have been fired from jobs. They have been denied housing. They have been threatened with exposure and they have been excluded from public facilities such as restaurants, pubs and that kind of thing because of a particular sexual orientation, which I understand is something that most psychiatrists and experts in the field indicate is not a chosen thing but is something which is basically innate and either difficult or impossible to shake.

I stress that this is a matter of civil liberties. It is a matter which I would hope the three parties could come to an agreement on, as happened in Quebec. where it is now a part of Quebec's Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, and as has now happened with respect to the federal Canadian Human Rights Act. It seems to me that since this is the last opportunity to look at the code for a number of years -- I presume at least for the life of this Parliament -- we should take this action now and have it over and done with and then say quite clearly to the Ontario Human Rights Commission that there is a job of education to be done both in the narrowness of what is being done and also on just what the limits of it are.

I want to stress that whether we are talking about the disabled, whether we are talking about women, whether we are talking about accommodation for families, whether we are talking about race relations, whether we are talking about political rights, or whether we are talking about sexual orientation, the human rights code on its own is only a part of what needs to be done in terms of wiping out discrimination and the aspects of discrimination in Ontario.

The code is not enough. We will seek to expand it and to improve it, but we believe that the commission should take on the responsibility when this code has been re-enacted. It should take on the responsibility to monitor the application of human rights, including those areas where it does not have direct responsibility.

I call to the attention of the minister and the House section 26(a) of the bill, "It is the function of the commission to forward the policy that every person is equal in dignity and worth and is entitled to equal rights and opportunities without discrimination contrary to law."

As I have pointed out, there is systemic discrimination which often cannot be hit at directly through the human rights code. I want to suggest that the human rights commission is the logical body to pinpoint where that systemic discrimination exists, to demonstrate what can be done in order to wipe it out, to make recommendations on a regular basis and to put those recommendations before the Premier, the cabinet, the Legislature and the public of Ontario in the same way, for example, that the commissioner of official languages acts with respect to the application of the Official Languages Act and the principle of equality of the two official languages in the country at the federal level.

In addition, I believe that the commission should be empowered and encouraged to reach out. It should move its offices out of the high-rise towers downtown into communities where race relations or other forms of discrimination are a problem, rather than hide its light under a bushel. There should be a possibility of bringing class actions under the human rights code which is not adequately covered in this particular bill.

The commission requires adequate resources and most of all, in major areas such as discrimination against women and against the disabled, we need an effective affirmative action program on the part of the province of Ontario with respect to its own employees and reaching out into the private sector. It is not enough to pass a bill, it is not enough to utter pious good wishes; they have to back those good wishes and that policy in the legislation with effective action to make sure that discrimination is not practised and that systemic discrimination is wiped out in the province. I believe that we in Ontario can achieve that goal if we have the political will and if we have the will to make all of the other changes in legislation and government practice that are required to back up these amendments to the human rights code.

Mr. Shymko: Mr. Speaker, in declaring my support for the amendments to the Ontario Human Rights Code and to this act, I would like first of all to begin by quoting a letter dated January 30, 1981, which was signed by the chairman of the human rights and antidefamation committee of the Ontario Advisory Council on Multiculturalism and Citizenship, Jean Gammage, whose name is familiar to some members opposite. The letter was addressed to the minister, and I would like to quote from this letter because of the significance of its contents:

"The Ontario Advisory Council on Multiculturalism and Citizenship and its human rights and antidefamation committee wish to express congratulations to you on the presentation of Bill 209" -- which was the present bill numbered a little differently -- "an Act to revise and extend Protection of Human Rights in Ontario, on November 25, 1980.

"For many years groups and individuals have been diligently seeking amendments to the Ontario Human Rights Code in order to make it a more effective tool in the fight against discrimination and all forms of racism. Therefore Bill 209 represents to us at the council as well as to concerned groups a positive response to years of discussions, research and deliberations.

"We are very pleased with the bill, as it represents one of the most significant pieces of legislation tabled in this decade. We are concerned, however" -- and I recall that this is January 30 -- "that there may not be time for third reading and that the bill may die on the Order Paper." That was the big concern at this date. "Should that indeed happen it would be a most tragic turn of events for all Ontarians, but particularly so for residents who suffer the consequences of discrimination, whether it be in housing, employment or services."

There was a concern about an excellent piece of legislation, which unfortunately died on the Order Paper, by an individual who was very nonpartisan in her support of this particular bill, and who urged the minister and the government that should there be an election, should they form the government, one of the very first decisions they would have to make would be to reopen this bill and have it as the first legislation presented before the House because of the quality of that bill.

Certainly what is happening today in having made this decision is indeed an historic moment in this province. No doubt it is not perfect; nothing in life is perfect. But it is a sincere attempt to provide one of the best legislative acts and codes in the western hemisphere.

4:50 p.m.

I would like to make reference to two international acts to which this country has been a signatory. The first one is the Helsinki Final Act of the Commission on Security and Co-operation in Europe. Basket three dealing with human rights is one of the most progressive concerns jointly agreed to and signed by Canada. I do not have a copy, but there has been a review of Canada's compliance. By Canada's compliance we refer to every provincial compliance to that very important historic act.

It is a truism that our form of government is superior to some other governments that have been signatories to that act. They pass laws and there is no opposition, there is no criticism. They interpret the law and punish or reward people according to their interpretation of that law. But I think one of the great truisms about this government and our federal government is that the right to criticize is the best guarantor of human liberties and civil, economic and social rights. There are states that have proceeded from the opposite premise: that it is the governing party or government alone which can determine what is right and just for its citizens.

There is no doubt a great deal of the quality and character of this bill came as a result of concerns of all members and of debate in this House and in committee. We have progressed, we have evolved in having this excellent piece of legislation. This province and this country have used the legislative process to express commitment to the protection of the most vulnerable members of our society, of our communities, to the enhancement of human dignity and to the development of that full potential of all our citizens.

This bill is indeed a landmark piece of legislation that gives tangible evidence to that commitment and to that responsibility that this ministry and this government have always shown to citizens.

I do not have a copy of the report of our compliance with that international treaty, but I would like to quote something from the United States' compliance in human rights to the Commission on Security and Co-operation in Europe. I think it has relevance to what we are witnessing and what we are debating today. One comment of a member of that commission, the Deputy Undersecretary of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, whose department is similar to the Ministry of Labour here, was:

"Our department has an essential role in the domestic implementation of that act, as all our states have a domestic role. I think we are fulfilling that role. We are not looking back to our past accomplishments but are looking ahead to the challenges that remain as we seek to ensure that citizens who are vulnerable to poverty, to discrimination or disability are fully integrated into society."

That is the type of legislation we are witnessing today. It is one that is looking ahead to the challenges of the future. It is not perfect, as I have mentioned earlier; it does not pretend to perfection, but it is a sincere attempt to reach what we may call perfection in our relations with our fellow human beings.

A report I have before me is the report of Canada on the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights. It presents all the human rights legislation in all our provinces. In this preface it is said that Canada acceded to this covenant of the United Nations on May 19, 1976, and the covenant came into force in Canada three months later. It is the first such report to be submitted by Canada under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. It was submitted in April 1979.

What is unfortunate in this submission is that we do not see this bill in the section that deals with Ontario. We do not see the bill as it will become law. When these amendments are accepted, voted on and become the new amended code, it will be one of the most progressive pieces of legislation that will be seen in a report by Canada in 1981 or 1982.

There are certain parts of the bill on which I want to comment briefly. One is the fact this bill will have primacy over all other acts. It is so important to realize there may be statutory acts in this province that will have to be reviewed as a result of the implementation of this bill. I can point to one specific province, Saskatchewan, and to one area that deals with minority rights. Saskatchewan has experienced some of the problems the members opposite are now discussing. I will make reference to it later on.

Saskatchewan, for example, has an act called the Saskatchewan Multicultural Act, which I am sure may be raised some day in this Legislature. But what is important is that the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission forwards the principle that cultural diversity is a basic human right and fundamental human value. It has integrated this. It is interesting.

It is an area we may discuss again, an area we may perhaps look at as a possible integration of our policy of multiculturalism which is mentioned in Canada's report, which made reference to the May 1977 announcement by the Premier and made reference to the Ministry of Culture and Recreation Act. I am sure there may be some aspects where we may look at the integration into the Ontario Human Rights Commission of a reference to that. Nothing is perfect. There is a whole process of education that society will have to undergo before we can possibly enact some of the propositions and suggestions from members opposite.

Society has been labelled and relabelled and divided over and over again by various definitions, be it the concerns and interests of the aged, the young or the handicapped, be it on the basis of race or religion. Protection has been given to them. To what degree do we continue to place more labels?

I am sure there could be excellent arguments in this House to have another group, pregnant women, listed. Single parents could be listed as a separate sector of society that has concerns. Protection of the unborn foetus could be listed. We could go on and on being genuinely concerned. But I think there is a process of education that society must undergo. Unless society is educated to accept the special concerns of particular groups, there is no point in making this the prime issue or focus that disregards all the positive aspects of this bill.

As I have mentioned earlier, the government of Saskatchewan did attempt to introduce a certain amendment dealing in this case with sexual orientation. The members to my right on the opposite side of the House are concerned, but perhaps they might discuss it with their colleagues in Saskatchewan. Why is it they rescinded and are reviewing that particular proposition? I am sure there must be some reason why the Attorney General of Saskatchewan has made suggestions to perhaps review that and it is not in the code.

5 p.m.

Mr. Foulds: How about referring to the lack of leadership of the Conservative government of Ontario.

Mr. Shymko: I am referring to the NDP government of Saskatchewan, Mr. Speaker.

There is no doubt that at present we have protection for particular groups of people. Whether they are male homosexuals or female lesbians; whether they are of one religion or another; whether they are of one ethnic background or another; on the basis of their age; on the basis of their being handicapped--there is protection. To what degree do we continue to label society more and more?

The human rights commission will be receiving a vaster and more extensive mandate. In terms of economic constraints, some people may say that the allocation of moneys to fulfil their responsibility may seem expensive. But it points out the determination of this government to try seriously to change some of the negative incidents that have occurred over the past number of months and years in metropolitan areas such as Toronto, where society has reacted in a bigoted manner.

Where conflicts exist, it is trying to solve this problem by providing a law and by providing the means of implementing t. I certainly congratulate both the minister and his staff in applying strength and forcefulness in trying to find these solutions and to provide harmony for our society.

In conclusion, I express my support. I certainly do not say this legislation is perfect, but there will be time to debate. It will go to committee, and I am sure there will be various views. Perhaps there will be some improvement; who knows? At least let us be sincere in admitting that this represents one of the best pieces of legislation ever passed in this chamber.

Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, I want to make a few brief comments pertaining to Bill 7. As one who has had a serious commitment to human rights, I would hate to think that a piece of legislation as important as this one would pass without my making a very few comments.

I would like to congratulate some of the members who have spoken prior to my intervention. Some of the comments made, at least the ones I heard, were extremely positive, and there were suggestions that will be very helpful in making this a better bill. I am sure the minister will welcome some of the suggestions that have been made.

I remain silent on the small tirade that took place in the absence of the minister when the member for Scarborough West (Mr. R. F. Johnston) mentioned that the minister was not here. It was quite right that the minister should be here during the comments on the bill, and I think he will agree.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: There are not many members over there.

Mr. Roy: The minister comments in jest that there are not many on my side, but we are not the minister; he is. He has been entrusted with that sacred office. He is even getting extra pay to be here and, considering the constructive comments that are being made, he should want to be here to take notes.

It was typical of the government, if I may say so, that generally speaking, in a minority situation, they at least had a parliamentary assistant here or somebody to take notes. But I suppose it is part of the --

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege: I wonder if I could take this opportunity to introduce my parliamentary assistant, the member for Sarnia (Mr. Brandt). The member for Ottawa East is unaware that --

Mr. Foulds: On the point of order, Mr. Speaker: We could recognize him if he were in his seat. The member for Sarnia is not in his seat.

Mr. Roy: I am pleased, Mr. Speaker, that a parliamentary assistant has been named. I have discussed the matter with my colleagues, and I believe it is news to most of us here. We did not know the member for Sarnia --

Hon. Mr. Elgie: You should come on Mondays and Fridays.

Mr. Roy: The member keeps talking about Mondays and Fridays. He is not even here himself on his own bill; so he should not talk about the attendance of other people. He should look at the front row there and start talking about the attendance of some of his colleagues. If he talks about attendance, he should look at --

The Deputy Speaker: We are talking on Bill 7, Mr. Roy.

Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, what I want to say to the minister is that I think the comments made by a number of speakers have been constructive and I hope they will be implemented by him to make this a better piece of legislation.

I agree with my colleague who opened the debate, the member for Hamilton Centre (Ms. Copps). In spite of the fact that this may be excellent legislation, there are serious gaps within the bill.

The member for High Park-Swansea (Mr. Shymko), who just preceded me in the debate, must be bucking for cabinet; he started talking about human rights, the UN assembly and the signatories to the charter, and then went on to say how this probably was the finest piece of legislation in the history of the world.

It is one thing to be partisan, it is one thing to be enthusiastic, but one cannot go overboard because then it challenges one's credibility. The member will make it into cabinet. As I said to the members in the back row before: "Hang in there; don't be too impatient; you will see eventually you will make it into the cabinet. Keep looking at the front rows, and you will see that in some areas the talent is something for you to be encouraged by."

I think it is a positive step, but the member should not go overboard. There are other jurisdictions where positive steps have been taken.

This province is going through what I consider to be a very important time in human rights. Here we are in the Legislature of Ontario discussing Bill 7. At the federal level there have been discussions for about a year pertaining to the charter of human rights, and the question is now before the Supreme Court of Canada. Other jurisdictions have made major amendments to their human rights legislation as well.

I think it is extremely important when we do have the opportunity to amend legislation as important as the human rights code, something that does not take place all that often -- and the same thing applies to our new constitution -- that we avail ourselves of the opportunity to make this legislation as all-encompassing and as effective as possible.

The member for High Park-Swansea asks why we should be so specific; are we going to start outlawing discrimination against red-headed people who are walking on the right side of the street? He says if we get too specific, we will forget somebody.

That is the argument of people who want to avoid facing responsibility. According to this report Life Together, there is discrimination in certain areas and that is what the bill should prevent. That is the purpose of the bill. If we do find there is discrimination involving pregnant women or in other areas, it should be outlawed in the bill. That is how legislation evolves. It is based on fact and reality. It is based on the real world. That is how we arrive at legislation.

5:10 p.m.

Somebody looking at a piece of legislation like this might say: "It is much too specific. You are excluding some areas. Obviously, we do not understand why you prohibit discrimination in one area and not in another." Basically, it is because there is a realization on the part of society that there is discrimination. That is what we are trying to prevent. That is the purpose of some of the comments we have made involving discrimination as far as sexual orientation is concerned.

One reason it is so important that we discuss human rights and avail ourselves of the opportunity to participate actively in this type of legislation is the fact that we see what happens elsewhere in our society. We see what happens when discrimination is based on things we would never accept; for instance, how discrimination based on religion so divides a country like Northern Ireland. How is it that a situation can so deteriorate?

We talk about the ultimate sacrifice, but what sort of evil or what sort of problems exist in a particular country that would drive people to starve themselves to death over an issue, basically, of religion? Can one even fathom the fact? As one dies, another one goes on a starvation diet. It takes a matter of 50 or 60 days, and one sees a gradual deterioration.

It is hard for us even to think about a country that is so divided. As far as I can see, and possibly other members of the House can correct me, it is religion that is driving people to do that sort of thing. This morning's news told of an army vehicle that was blown up in Northern Ireland, killing five people. That is one example of what happens when we take certain things for granted and allow a situation to deteriorate. It continues to deteriorate and sometimes one forgets what one was fighting about in the first place.

I am distressed to see what is happening in France, where apparently there is serious concern about the human rights of the Jewish minority in that country. There is serious concern about their public activities. They are having to take steps in a country as democratic as France to get special security to protect themselves.

Basically what I want to say is that human rights, the protection of fundamental freedoms, is not something we can take for granted. At all times, we must be very jealous in guarding such freedom.

I heard my colleague the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk (Mr. Nixon) saying he sometimes gets the impression things have not advanced, a feeling there is more discrimination and more harshness towards a variety of groups in our society than in the past. He may well be right. It was easy to be gracious when there was plenty, when things were good and certain minorities were not as obvious as they are today.

At one time it was easy to say there was no discrimination in Metropolitan Toronto, in this province or in this country against certain minority groups such as blacks or people from other countries. But when things get tougher, when the numbers become greater, when they are more obvious on our streets, when there is competition for jobs, that is when one hears people at various levels making comments like: "Is there something wrong with our immigration laws? Are we letting too many people in?"

I suppose there is some duty on the part of society to be reasonable as well. We have to have a certain type of accommodation or education so that society accepts us. By and large, we are a kind and generous society, but at certain times we need to accommodate. We will see if we are serious about certain of these aspects as things get more difficult, when there is more unemployment, when there is more competition, and when the ravages of inflation may diminish the graciousness or generosity that we have had in the past. That is when we will see whether we are really serious about human rights; that is when legislation such as this and the education and attitudes of the people will be put forward and when we will see whether we are serious.

That is why I am sad to some extent to see that after so many years we are finally bringing forward major amendments to the human rights code. Some other members have mentioned it before, but I find it somewhat interesting that back in 1977, when the chairman reported on the recommendations that he had in the report called Life Together, he stated at the end: "I hope that this report will receive both wide public discussion and careful legislative consideration, and that its recommendations will be acted upon with dispatch."

Here we are four years later, and we are, I hope, going to act on it with dispatch at this time. Nevertheless, four years unfortunately went by before we brought forward overall, comprehensive legislation. I think the present minister is serious about the contents of the bill. I think he means well in bringing forward a bill which he and his colleagues on that side feel will be acceptable to the majority of the citizens of Ontario.

Nevertheless, what is sad about the process is that in certain areas there is evidence of discrimination that we are not going to deal with. I suppose the most obvious one -- and it has been mentioned on a variety of occasions here in discussions by a number of members, some of whom are for it and some of whom have reservations about it -- is the question of sexual orientation.

The first question to be asked when one is dealing with an issue such as this, obviously, is, "Is there really a problem?" I go back to the comments made by the member for High Park-Swansea, when he was saying: "You cannot be too specific. How narrowly do you want to be in bringing forward this legislation?" As much as we would like to say, "No, there is no evidence of discrimination, really; they are a very vocal minority who have a high profile and who have at various times paraded and managed to get far more attention than larger groups of people who deserve just as much attention;" the fact is that there is evidence of discrimination.

I go back to the report Life Together, where the chairman stated that there was discrimination. I read from section 81, page 95 of the report, where he says: "Because they are not protected from discrimination on the grounds of their sexual orientation, many people in Ontario who are homosexuals live in constant fear that they may lose their jobs, their living accommodation and other basic necessities if their sexual orientation becomes known. As things now stand, this can and often does happen despite the fact that individuals concerned may be exemplary employees or tenants. They are being discriminated against because of something which is part of their private life."

This is not just a report put forward by the group itself.

This was a serious group of individuals led by an individual who in the field of human rights probably has as high a profile, has as much knowledge and has contributed as much as anyone in this province; that is Tom Symons.

5:20 p.m.

He goes on to say: "Because of the possible consequences of public disclosure in these circumstances, many people in Ontario who are homosexual in their sexual orientation are vulnerable to blackmail and intimidation. The scope for such blackmail and intimidation would be radically reduced if the Ontario Human Rights Code provided protection from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation."

There it is. There is evidence, and other members have cited cases of this; the fact is that it does exist. After all these years, in making a major amendment to the Ontario Human Rights Code, are we going to leave a void? The bill is wide-ranging and prevents discrimination on the basis of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, age, marital status, family or handicap. As a society that cares about preventing discrimination in all areas, how can we justify leaving out an area where there is discrimination?

We are leaving that area without the protection of the law. How can we in this place say we have acted objectively, that we have given leadership on this issue, that we are serious about preventing discrimination in all areas, when we prevent it in one area but are not prepared to face it in another area?

I quite understand that it is difficult; I look at the minister and the difficulty he must have with his caucus. For instance, it was interesting to hear this afternoon the comments of the member for St. George (Ms. Fish), who said she would support such an amendment. I do not mind saying that in our own caucus there is far from unanimity on that issue. But there are precedents, there are effective ways for dealing with an issue as touchy as this one -- and there is no doubt about it that, politically and for other reasons, members are very cautious about such an issue. I thought Quebec, for instance, dealt with it as practically and as efficiently as any jurisdiction I know of.

All the parties got together and agreed that no one would try to take political advantage of such an issue. They agreed, for instance, that the amendment would be passed expeditiously in the House and, through all-party agreement, it became part of their law. They are preventing that type of discrimination in Quebec. I say to my colleague the member for Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry (Mr. Villeneuve), "My God, can you imagine this happening in a place like Quebec, where Catholicism is so deeply engrained?"

I recall that back in 1968, when Trudeau, as Minister of Justice, made his famous comment that the government has no business in the bedrooms of the nation. In that election Réal Caouette, the leader of the Creditistes, went throughout Quebec, saying: "It is terrible what Trudeau has done." He was talking about--in French there is the expression "les fifis"--about whipping les fifis in the rural ridings all over Quebec, saying: "You know what Trudeau is saying. I am going to be whipping les fifis."

The fact is that in a province like Quebec, which is as urbanized as Ontario and which on many issues is as small-c conservative as Ontario, it was accepted. And in Quebec-- the minister may correct me--has it caused problems?

I quite appreciate that many groups, and the gays are one of them, groups sometimes are far more aggressive and far more obvious than many of us would like to think. Sometimes, in challenging certain institutions, when they have the protection of the law, they make it very difficult for certain groups and certain individuals to be supportive of their position. The fact remains that in a jurisdiction like our sister province of Quebec that is the way one goes about getting this type of legislation.

I understand the difficulty the minister had but I find it sad that we as a Legislature and as a group have not managed to deal with this problem. Not only have we not dealt with the problem, but I have had my suspicions at times. I have heard the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) just recently in the House deny this, but the incidents that took place just before this last election involving the raid on the bathhouses, the intensity of the raid, the timing of the raid, the number of charges laid against what we call the found-ins, is something that most often does not take place when we are dealing with heterosexual abuses, offences or whatever. There is something in that particular case which leads many people to question whether we are dealing with the problem, or if there are times when we are trying to take advantage of that issue.

The Attorney General denied this, but for those of us who have been sitting here for a number of years looking at the operations of this government at different times, we have our suspicions. If that was not the case, if I was in the government and if I was the Attorney General of this province I think I would be talking to some of the people in the law enforcement agency. That whole experience is not something which is conducive to educating and asking society to accept a group of individuals whose lifestyles or orientation sexually, or otherwise, is different from the majority.

My colleague from Hamilton Centre dealt with the question of age. I agree with her that there is no reason today why discrimination should only be prohibited on the question of age to age 65. I thought the report Life Together made a very important point on this. I read from the report where it states:

"Many briefs also drew attention to the need to protect people over the age of 65 from discrimination because of their age and called for the broadening of the definition of age in the code to achieve this purpose. Sixty-five initially appears to have been picked out for official recognition as the appropriate year for retirement by Chancellor Bismarck when he introduced the first old age pension law in Germany in the last century. Apparently the Iron Chancellor assumed that not many would reach that age. But the world has changed since"--as you know, Mr. Speaker.

I think what is important is what is stated here: "Older people, like the young, face many threats to their human rights in a society designed largely for the convenience of middle-aged people. But the human rights issue that was raised most frequently in the briefs concerning age was the question of mandatory retirement at age 65.

"If the present trends persist"--and this was a report in 1977--"a minority of younger people will support a majority of senior citizens and children, and in consequence the cost of the kinds of programs now in existence will skyrocket."

That is one of the concerns. We just had a commission report recently on the question of pensions. That is a concern that we have for later on, but an important point is made that we should not continue to restrict discrimination on the basis of age as ending at 65. I thought when my colleague from Hamilton Centre stated age she meant the age of 18 years or more, and it should end there, it should not have "less than 65."

I understand that the members to our left have some problems with that issue. There was some attempt by their critic this afternoon to come to some accommodation on it. But as we could see, they are starting to feel the pressures of reality. We are sure it will not be very long in any legislation where we continue to have limitations for the age of 65.

5:30 p.m.

In closing, I would like to support the comments of my colleague from Brant-Oxford-Norfolk who mentioned his concern about the composition of the human rights commission. We do not want to be too harsh towards any individuals, but I think there could be some improvement in the composition and in the initiatives to be taken by the commission.

Some of us have often felt the commitment on the part of the government towards human rights was less than enthusiastic in spite of the legislation. It is all very well to say the legislation is on the books, but the legislation is only as good as the capacity or the goodwill of the individuals involved in the processes. We have all heard the statement that some of the best constitutions exist in some of the Iron Curtain countries. That is farcical. I do not want to make such a comparison, but the commitment of the government must be not only in the field of legislation but also in the composition and direction given by the government to the human rights commission.

I look forward to listening to submissions from a variety of groups when this legislation goes to committee. I think some accommodation will be required on the part of the business group. I have a tendency to support the recommendations of the handicapped in the province who feel it is not enough to say we will make it illegal to discriminate. In some areas we will have to go a step further towards reasonable accommodation. It would seem to me without some mention of reasonable accommodation as part of our law it will be too easy for individuals or corporations to find a loophole to get out of the requirements of the legislation.

It is important when the government brings forward this type of legislation to have people on the commission who are able to give proper direction. The government also should consider certain areas of attitude and what happens to various minorities. I am not referring to the same type of discrimination as when we talk about the francophone minorities in the province, but the fact remains it is a question of attitude.

In situations as volatile as elections there is the type of thing that was tried in the Carleton by-election, and what I talked about in the throne speech debate about giving one type of publicity in the English-speaking ridings and another type in the French-speaking. When the government continues in some measures to refuse to legislate the rights of certain groups in the province by having double standards it is awfully difficult for it to have credibility on such issues.

It is not enough to bring forward this legislation. It is important that in doing so the government set an example by its own legislation and by its actions towards a variety of groups across the province.

Mr. Charlton: Mr. Speaker, I am going to try not to be too repetitive because there have been a lot of things said and a lot of good points made -- a number of things I probably would have said myself. I will start out by saying most of us here are happy to see most of the things in this bill. All of us here, including probably all the members of the government party as well, can find some things we feel are missing from the bill.

I suppose when the member for Ottawa East (Mr. Roy) made the point that we tend to deal with human rights and the granting of human rights when society reaches a point where it perceives a particular thing as being discriminatory, he is very valid. This is probably the real problem with this kind of human rights legislation.

It is a situation where, although we talk about rights and freedoms in this society, we as a Legislature and as part of this society find ourselves regularly and continually in a position where we only grant those freedoms and rights which have evolved to a stage where society recognizes the need for them and recognizes them as a discrimination against someone or some group. We find ourselves in a position where we cannot sit down and decide what basic human rights there should be and grant them to everyone across the board. We are probably far from being able to reach that situation.

It seems to me the discussions about human rights have been going on for some centuries and will continue to go on for several more centuries. For every individual, group or situation in society we eventually decide is being discriminated against and for which we decide to legislate some rights, there will be those of us who think of others and say, "Hey, you have remembered the handicapped, but you have forgotten another group or another situation."

To some degree I find the approach we take to human rights a little offensive simply because the approach we take is itself discriminatory. There are a number of the specifics of the way this debate has evolved over the past couple of years that I also find somewhat discriminatory and somewhat ironic as well. In the case of the disabled, for example, it is all well and good that we are here and that everyone in this House is happy we are dealing with the disabled in this bill. But as many of the others who have spoken in this debate have mentioned, it is just not good enough to grant these so-called human rights to the disabled in employment, in accommodation and so on under this legislation if we are not prepared to make the real and total commitment to see that all of the kinds of discrimination the disabled in this province face are eliminated, at least over time if not immediately. In most cases immediately is probably impossible.

I would like for a few moments to throw out a few examples of what I am talking about. I have heard a few other examples thrown out, but I went through a situation last spring and summer with a young handicapped gentleman in Hamilton, a gentleman who happened to appear on the front page of the Hamilton Spectator within the last week or two. Many of you inadvertently may have seen him out on a jogging exercise in his wheelchair.

This young gentleman is a paraplegic. He is 27 years old. He had reached that point in his life where his father was dead and his mother's health was deteriorating at such a rate that she could no longer look after the home they lived in -- a home, I might add, which had been renovated to accommodate his handicap and in which he could look after himself fairly adequately. But as a result of a recommendation by his mother's doctor that because of a heart condition and other areas of failing health she should get rid of the house and get into a senior citizens apartment, this young fellow found himself in the situation of either having to find accommodation for himself or ending up in an institution.

5:40 p.m.

He dreaded in a very dramatic way the thought of ending up in an institution for two reasons: first, he felt that if he were institutionalized most likely that would be his life for the rest of his life; and second, he felt that he was capable of far more than that. In fact he was right. We went through a process of some six or seven months of desperately looking for suitable accommodation for this young man in a situation that he found almost stupid. Again I would have to agree with him.

The city council in Hamilton some three years ago had voted $100,000 to make renovations to accommodation in Hamilton to provide up to 50 units for handicapped people. That $100,000 was still just sitting there unused some two-and-a-half years later. We went through a very hasty process of scrambling around the city of Hamilton -- myself, a number of people from the regional subcommittee on the handicapped and some professional people from the Ministry of Housing. I have no criticism of the efforts they put forward in trying to find accommodation in the city of Hamilton that we could use some of this $100,000 to renovate to accommodate this handicapped person -- a person who in the right situation is perfectly capable of looking after himself.

We went to private landlord after private landlord after private landlord trying to find, first, a landlord who was willing to allow some of the units in his building or one of the units in his building to be modified, and second, a landlord whose units were modifiable. We found that in 99 per cent of the cases this society had not built the kind of rental accommodation which was suitable for renovation and accommodation in the first place.

We did find some landlords who were prepared to allow the modifications, but we could not find a landlord who was both prepared to allow the modifications and had accommodation that could be modified to be suitable. So we found ourselves in a totally ludicrous situation where we had money that we could use and we had a commitment by the Ontario Housing Corporation and the Hamilton housing group to subsidize the rents once the modifications were made, but we could not find a place to do it.

This young gentleman ended up in a modified unit in a senior citizens building. He is 27 years old, and I do not think it is a particularly appropriate or happy situation for him to find himself in, but it is a reality. It is an example of how, although these amendments dealing with the disabled are welcome, they still do not deal with the real root problems that handicapped people out there in this society face. Unless this government is prepared to make a fairly substantial commitment in all of those other areas that affect the handicapped then these amendments will end up being meaningless.

I will give a couple of other examples just quickly: the chronic care charge, for chronic care beds, which the Ministry of Health of this government imposed some two years ago. At that time, I, the member for Hamilton West (Mr. Smith) and a number of other members from the city of Hamilton visited the continuing care unit at Chedoke Hospital and spoke with a number of paraplegics, quadriplegics and people affected by a whole range of different diseases and physical problems, all of whom were confined to wheelchairs. These people find themselves discriminated against by this government, yet this government is proposing legislation to ban discrimination against the disabled.

The chronic care charge on chronic care beds and the way that process is set up so badly discriminate against these kinds of people, yet one would think a government and a minister who can present this kind of legislation could be as understanding in all of the other things it does.

A group of these people at Chedoke had, with their own money, over a number of years set up a radio room at Chedoke. All the equipment in that radio room, with the exception of a couple of rather expensive pieces that were donated by local industry, was bought with their own money, money they no longer have as a result of actions by this government.

Other speakers here today have mentioned the problems the handicapped have with transit and the cost of transit for the handicapped. Unless this government is prepared to deal with all of those kinds of issues, then all of the sections in this bill will be meaningless in terms of eliminating discrimination against the handicapped.

It is all well and good to say that you cannot discriminate against the handicapped in employment if they are capable of doing the work. But unless the government is prepared to make a commitment in terms of dealing with access, in terms of dealing with who is going to pay the cost of providing access and whose responsibility it is, then the question of whether a handicapped person is capable of doing the work in many cases will become irrelevant.

The person may be able to do the work, but if at the time he or she is applying for the job there is no access to the premises and to the change rooms, the showers and the washrooms and the different areas in the premises, then because of the circumstances that handicapped person is not going to get the job anyway. As I said, a number of these things have been mentioned.

There is the same problem with the section in this bill that deals with domestic employees. I beg for the minister's attention for just a moment on the question of domestic employees. Nobody is unhappy to see this section in the bill, but I recall discussions in this House a year and a half ago, when the minister promised a major package dealing with all of the bills and all of the discrimination against domestics in legislation in this province, including this bill, the Ontario Human Rights Code, the Employment Standards Act, the Labour Relations Act and the Workmen's Compensation Act.

The minister promised us a comprehensive package to deal with the problems domestics have, and all we have had to this point is this small amendment and regulations that the minister put in place by order in council last winter. Those regulations provided them with some new benefits but did not deal with all of the problems they had under the Employment Standards Act.

This is the same situation. Unless the government is prepared to deal with the discrimination that exists in legislation against domestic employees in Ontario, then to grant them rights under this act will be irrelevant for all intents and purposes if they cannot deal with the real day-to-day economic and social crises that confront them because they are discriminated against in legislation.

5:50 p.m.

The same is true for women. Until the day comes when this government is prepared to deal in a serious and straightforward fashion with the questions that confront women in accommodation, borrowing, employment and their ability to earn while in employment; until it is prepared to take on the questions of affirmative action, equal opportunity and equal pay for work of equal value; how can it provide full human rights for women in the work place if what they receive does not adequately represent their full contribution to the process in which they are involved in the industry or agency for which they happen to work?

Basically, the same is true in the area of sexual orientation. It is a real shame that the question of including these sexual orientation amendments in this bill, instead of being a human rights question of whether we treat homosexuals, heterosexuals, bisexuals and asexuals the same as human beings in terms of employment, accommodation and other basic human rights, has become one of allowing, sometimes for political reasons, the debate around inclusion of sexual orientation to degenerate into whether including sexual orientation in the act is and/or will be an acceptance of a lifestyle, of a way of life, of a sexual preference that is not yet acceptable to the majority in this society.

It is unfortunate we have allowed that to happen, because the case of sexual orientation of homosexuals is no different, in terms of the human rights we are trying to provide, from trying to provide them now to the disabled.

Obviously, at some time in the past when we were discussing human rights the disabled had not yet reached the level of public understanding and acceptability in terms of their capabilities and their basic need to have the same human rights as any other human being. That was not acceptable either and they were not included in amendments passed by this House prior to this time. I guess that goes back to what I said at the outset. By dealing with human rights only when a specific group or situation reaches a level of public knowledge and understanding which the public perceives as discrimination against a particular group or whatever the case happens to be, by dealing in that specific, limiting way, we create a situation where this process most likely will never end. Some time in the future we may be striking out some of the people we have given coverage to and adding new ones. It is the wrong process. It is a process that will cause us problems for as long as there are legislators and one we should be thinking seriously about getting away from.

We will be dealing with a number of issues, as my colleague the member for Scarborough West (Mr. R. F. Johnston) has pointed out, in terms of amendments to this bill. One of those amendments will try to deal at least in part with the question of the narrow scope of this legislation as it exists in an attempt to broaden it so that perhaps some of the problems that will confront us in the future can be eliminated now.

I ask the minister and his colleagues on the other side seriously to consider that kind of amendment to this piece of legislation so that we do not have to go through the question of sexual orientation and the present debate as to whether gay rights are acceptable today and whether they will be tomorrow. We all know full well that if sexual orientation is not included in this bill at this time, it will be in the next round. The examples elsewhere will force us to that point.

Mr. Boudria: I want to be very brief, Mr. Speaker. I will only speak for a couple of minutes on the bill.

Mr. Speaker: That is about all we have.

Mr. Boudria: That is fine. I will try to end before six o'clock, Mr. Speaker.

It is interesting to note that the member for Ottawa East (Mr. Roy) explained in his exposé that human rights legislation is quite often a reaction to circumstances of discrimination that we recognize already exist. We recognize that, and it is the very nature of this particular bill.

In looking at this bill, there are certain omissions that are obvious to everyone. One has to question whether those omissions were made deliberately. The issue of discrimination based on sexual orientation is by far the most obvious one. It may not have been easy for the government to include it. I suggest that a preliminary draft of the same bill may have had such wording in it, and perhaps it was removed later because of certain objections from members of the government party.

It is obvious to some of us when we look at this legislation and we see the specifics in it. When it talks about place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship and so on, we recognize those are obvious areas where there has been discrimination in the past. Along with the obvious areas, there is an obvious omission. One really has to question what the government was trying to do. I think the government wants to be selective in its freedom from discrimination.

In the text we read, "every person is equal in dignity and worth and to provide for equal rights and opportunities without discrimination that is contrary to law." It is interesting that only two paragraphs below that statement, we see those specifics I mentioned a while ago, again with the obvious omission.

I will turn briefly to the next page in the document which has the following phrase, "without limiting the generality of the foregoing." That phrase is not in part I, where it could be. Why is that same phrase not used when we are discussing race, place of origin, et cetera? If the government did not want to indicate what they would consider embarrassing words, why did they not include that phrase, "without limiting the generality of the foregoing," so that it would be obvious to everyone that there would not be this discrimination based on either group?

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

Mr. Boudria: One final statement, Mr. Speaker, if I may--

Mr. Mancini: We will be here until seven o'clock.

Mr. Boudria: No, I will not do that. I will just indicate that, when we are discussing age, to specify age 65 is not what I consider should be done. I do not see why, when somebody has reached a certain number of years after his birth, that should entitle anybody else to discriminate against him. Again, in the bill it is obvious that the opportunities for discrimination on the basis of age are there, once a person has reached the age of 65. I will speak against that further in committee and later, Mr. Speaker, because I recognize the time is here now that we will want to adjourn.

Those are briefly the words I wanted to say on the contents of the bill, specifically on that omission and on the age 65 matter.

On motion by Ms. Bryden, the debate was adjourned.

The House recessed at 6:01 p.m.