32e législature, 1re session




































The House met at 10 a.m.



Mr. G. I. Miller: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege: I rise to bring to your attention the fact that the apples on the members' desks are there with the compliments of the Norfolk Fruit Growers Association. I know that an apple a day will keep the doctor away, and they will probably make all the members have a good summer.

They are from the low-oxygen, controlled- atmosphere storage facility that was opened yesterday in Simcoe. It was their seventy-fifth anniversary, and the apples are compliments of the association. They are going to make a good production towards supplying the needs of Ontario and the world market.

Mr. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I have a pleasant point of privilege for a change.

Mr. Speaker: Thank you.

Mr. Smith: First of all, I hope the doctor that the member for Haldimand-Norfolk (Mr. G. I. Miller) is trying to keep away is either the Minister of Labour (Mr. Elgie) or the Minister of Education (Miss Stephenson), and not me, but one never knows.


Mr. Smith: One cannot be sure.


Mr. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I rise on an unusual point of privilege to give some credit to the government. Last night I had occasion to view a production by a group known as the Famous People Players. These are people who perform in black light using fluorescent material, and it is an absolutely remarkable form of production, which has won great recognition in Canada. It is a brilliant Canadian concept, which has no duplicate in the world anywhere. It has been widely hailed in the United States on the tour recently. I think it is a performance that all of Canada should be very proud of.

The remarkable thing about it -- even apart from its tremendous artistic merit -- is that the vast majority of the people performing are retarded adults who have been organized into a troupe of highly professional players by one Diane Dupuis, who is obviously a person to whom we all owe a great deal.

I was pleased to note in the program that assistance has been received from the Ontario Arts Council and from Wintario, I believe. I think this is something the Ontario government deserves credit for and something that more Canadians should know about, because in my view it is a great Canadian achievement, which can bring meaning to the lives of every human being, frankly, and pride to the hearts of Canadians.


Mr. Speaker: With the indulgence of the House, I wish to express our thanks and acknowledge the service of the 1980-81 Ontario legislative interns by reading their names into the record: Rob Campbell, Gordon Cochrane, David Doherty, Robin Esco, Terri Hilborn, Roberta Jessup. Naomi Overend and John Wright. I am sure all members join with me in thanking them very much.


Mr. Speaker: Before proceeding with the routine proceedings, I want to make a report on a matter raised by one of the honourable members.

I indicated I would be providing a further report concerning recent incidents involving the Ontario Government Protective Service. My inquiries have yielded the following information: The incidents took place between May 3 and May 6 in the main legislative building, not in or about this chamber and, I might point out to all honourable members, in an area of the building over which the Speaker does not have jurisdiction. The main disturbance occurred on May 6, when two members of the Ontario Government Protective Service were suspended from employment. One of these members, a probationary employee, was released from employment on May 13.

Subsequently, four members of the Ontario Government Protective Service launched a total of 22 grievances. The union communicated these grievances to the Deputy Solicitor General by letters of May 12, May 14 and June 12. The letters indicated that the grievors would like to begin at stage two of the grievance procedure. The stages of a grievance procedure are set out in the collective agreement on working conditions. Stage two requires the deputy minister or his designate to hold a meeting with the employee, followed by the giving of a written decision. If still dissatisfied, the grievor may apply to the grievance settlement board for a hearing.

The Deputy Solicitor General has designated the deputy chief coroner, Dr. Ross C. Bennett, to meet with the grievors and their representatives and to reach a decision as required by the collective agreement. The merits of the dispute therefore will be determined by the hearing officer. I do not propose to comment further at this time. I might also mention, as I did earlier, that this entire matter appears to be beyond my jurisdiction.


Mr. Speaker: With reference to a matter raised by the member for London Centre (Mr. Peterson), I wish to advise the House that it is a matter for legal or judicial interpretation, and therefore I am not competent to rule on whether it does or does not constitute a matter of privilege. Assuming that it does, I must again point out to the House, as previous Speakers have on a number of occasions, that it is not part of the responsibility of the Speaker to investigate and report back on matters of privilege. It is the House that must deal with such matters when the proper procedure is taken, not the Speaker.



Hon. Mr. Pope: Mr. Speaker, I have two statements. I wish to table a historic document I had the honour to sign for the province last Wednesday, June 17, in Ottawa. It is an international agreement to adopt a joint strategic plan for management of Great Lakes fisheries. I was joined in the ceremonial signing by representatives of the Canada Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service and all the American states that border on the Great Lakes.

The setting for this important ceremony was well suited for the occasion. It was the twenty-fifth annual meeting of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. This important body is one of the most effective international fishery commissions in the world. Over the past quarter century it has had a profound influence on the management and rehabilitation of our Great Lakes, which contain almost 20 per cent of the world's fresh surface water, a resource we share with our good friends across the border.

I am sure the honourable members are aware that one of the worst predators of Great Lakes fish and a serious cause of loss of revenue for many commercial fishermen was the sea lamprey. Countless good catches were spoiled because of encounters with this scourge of the Great Lakes. At its annual meeting last week I congratulated the Great Lakes Fishery Commission for effective control of the lamprey and for its positive, long-term programs, such as rehabilitation of one of our most important and popular game fish, the lake trout.

This work, and other problems tackled, would not have been possible without the full co-operation of a considerable number of different agencies. Credit also should be given to one other agency for its untiring efforts on the Great Lakes, the International Joint Commission. The 69-year-old IJC has jurisdiction over all questions regarding the use and regulation of all waters forming or crossing over the common boundary of our two countries.

10:10 a.m.

Another strong contribution to the work on Great Lakes fishery matters is Ontario's own program, the strategic plan for Ontario fisheries, or SPOF, as it is commonly called. The SPOF program, prepared in the mid-1970s by my ministry in conjunction with our federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans, was also an important source of reference for the new Great Lakes agreement.

This agreement, which is the joint strategic plan for management of Great Lakes fisheries, provides a framework for future co-operative action. It is based on the principles of consensus, accountability, communication and full consideration of the impact on fisheries values in all decisions on uses of the Great Lakes.

One of the early actions expected under the agreement is the formulation of specific plans for fisheries management in each of the lakes we share with the United States. Consistent with the principle of full communication included in the agreement and the principle of greater public involvement, the cornerstone of SPOF, my intention is to involve fisheries users and other interested members of the public in the development of these Great Lakes plans.

Currently, my staff are investigating the feasibility of adopting procedures similar to those used in the United States. Each state bordering the Great Lakes has a group -- comprising one person representing each of commercial fishing, sport fishing and the public at large -- that is legally mandated to serve as an advisory body to the US commissioners.

To sum up, I am tabling today an important statement of intent by the agencies concerned to work together towards common goals and strategies in managing the vital fish resources of our Great Lakes.


Hon. Mr. Pope: Mr. Speaker, it is my sad duty this morning to inform the honourable members of a helicopter accident in northern Ontario Wednesday night that claimed the lives of four employees of my ministry and the pilot of the aircraft that was on contract from a Calgary charter company. The men were part of a crew performing maintenance work on a radio tower installation at Maple Mountain, about 50 kilometres west of Haileybury.

The last radio contact from the pilot was heard by the operator at Temagami at 6:40 p.m. as the helicopter was apparently setting down at Maple Mountain. Air-sea rescue units from Trenton, a helicopter from the Ontario Provincial Police and several of our ministry planes tried to conduct an air search when the helicopter was reported overdue, but weather conditions were so bad that the aircraft were grounded off and on until late yesterday.

Last evening, just before dark, one of our ministry pilots, Neil Ayers, flying a Twin Otter, spotted the wreckage in the dense bush. He reported no sign of life around the wreckage. An armed forces unit lowered a man on a line and he confirmed the situation.

Investigation of the crash will be done by the federal Department of Transport, as is required in all aircraft mishaps. My ministry will also conduct a review of the incident.

I know the members of this House will join me in extending our deepest sympathy to the families of the victims of this most unfortunate tragedy.


Hon. Mr. Sterling: Mr. Speaker, today I will be tabling the third report of the agencies review committee. The report outlines a sunset review process for all government advisory agencies. This process has been implemented through order in council and included in Management Board of Cabinet's manual of administration.

Sunset review is a process that forces an agency to justify the need for its continued existence. The intent of the sunset review is not necessarily to eliminate all agencies, nor is it to limit unnecessarily the activity of those agencies for which there is a continuing need. Its objective is to ensure effectiveness and efficiency in the contribution of these bodies to the overall governmental process. It does, however, require the elimination of unneeded agencies. It offers the opportunity to review the mandate, structure and operations of the agency and to consider alternatives to the agency form of organization.

To implement this review, the order in council establishes a schedule for the termination of all advisory agencies. In each case, prior to the date of termination the concerned ministry will review the designated agency. Using guidelines established by the agencies review committee, a ministry will undertake that review and submit its recommendation to Management Board, which will then advise cabinet as to whether an agency should be sunsetted. Unless the review clearly indicates an agency's activity is worthwhile, termination will follow.

To keep the members of this assembly and the public informed of this ongoing process, an omnibus report will be tabled each year. That report will summarize the reviews of all advisory agencies and outline publicly the cabinet's subsequent action.

The tabling of this report completes the work of the agencies review committee. With the addition of a sunset review for all advisory agencies, the committee has brought forward an effective and comprehensive policy for the management and control of agencies in Ontario. Therefore, because the agencies review committee has fulfilled its mandate and in keeping with the principle of sunset, I am announcing its termination. Our ongoing program of agency management will now be administered by the Management Board of Cabinet.

I wish to thank the members of that committee for their time and commitment to this project and the various ministries for their helpful co-operation.


Hon. Mr. Leluk: Mr. Speaker, last week I outlined to honourable members a number of cost-effective and highly successful programs within my ministry.

This morning, I want to elaborate on two of our community-oriented programs, community service orders and inmate community work, with special emphasis on those programs that benefit the disabled.

The community service order program was introduced to provide an alternative to incarcerating minor offenders. Last year, 5,000 probationers were assigned community service orders. Collectively, they completed 450,000 hours of unpaid community service work valued at $1.3 million.

The inmate community work program differs from the community service order option in that our probationers are ordered by the court to perform a specified number of hours of work in the community. Last year, 1,737 inmates provided 531,785 hours of community work equivalent to $1.6 million. Last year, these two programs provided close to one million hours of unpaid community work in Ontario by our offenders.

Because this is the International Year of Disabled Persons, I wish to convey to honourable members that approximately 30 per cent of the tasks performed by community service order participants involve assisting handicapped, blind, sick and mentally retarded adults, teens and children. In actual numbers, that translates into approximately 135,000 hours of unpaid community work for the disabled.

Honourable members might be interested in noting some of the cities in which this unpaid community work takes place.

In Belleville, our clients work with the Association for the Mentally Retarded, helping out with both adults and children. They also participate in conjunction with a local service club in raising funds for the deaf.

In Brampton, our community service order clients work with the Association for the Mentally Retarded.

They have worked with homes for the handicapped and the home for the mentally retarded in the Oshawa-Ajax area.

In Peterborough-Lindsay, they assist retarded children in crafts and audiology and the learning disabled in the gym program in conjunction with centres for the handicapped. They also work with Meals on Wheels.

Our clients in Scarborough work with the Canadian Association for Riding for the Disabled, with the Association for the Mentally Retarded and with Earlscourt Children's School. Regarding the latter, one of our clients did such a fine job working with emotionally disturbed children that he became very popular with both the children and the staff. The client proceeded to set up darkroom facilities and other activities for Earlscourt. Another client working at Lyndhurst Hospital for paraplegics and quadriplegics so enjoyed his work there that he is returning as a volunteer.

I want to take just a few moments to tell the House about a truly incredible story involving service to the disabled. A gentleman by the name of Gene Walser, a private individual working with and living in the regional municipality of Peel, designs housing modifications for the handicapped.

Last year, Mr. Walser saw an eating aid for quadriplegics at a medical conference in the United States. He returned to Ontario and designed a prototype model for use by a quadriplegic in the Orangeville area. Improving on the original design took three models. Providing invaluable assistance, according to Mr. Walser, were volunteers from the Mississauga Volunteer Centre and some of our community service order clients. Specifically, community service order clients provided 800 direct unpaid hours of service and 1,200 indirect hours of service.

I should note that the entire project was completed without the aid of a machine shop; that is, all filing, sanding, et cetera was done entirely by hand.

As a result of this project, an eating device was developed that allows persons paralysed from the neck down to feed themselves. In keeping with the International Year of Disabled Persons, it makes the disabled able. I also understand the National Research Council of Canada is developing this device for further use in the future.

10:20 a.m.

As I have indicated, institutional inmates perform extensive community work for numerous groups and associations, such as boards of education, church groups and voluntary associations. Their work with the disabled has included assisting staff in occupational therapy at hospitals in Brantford, swimming programs for the disabled in conjunction with city parks in Thunder Bay, a bikeathon through Variety Village and recreation at St. Joseph's and Grandview Lodge in Thunder Bay.

Other organizations that have benefited from community work are Twin Haven School for the Mentally Retarded, Arc Industries, the Kenora Action Handicapped Group, the Ontario Games for the Handicapped, Participation House, Northwood Crippled Children's Camp, the Lutheran Community Care Centre, Hornby Residential Centre and the March of Dimes.

In conclusion, I am proud to say that, through such programs as community service orders and inmate community work, my ministry is encouraging offenders to behave in a responsible and law-abiding manner.


Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, I have two brief statements.

I am pleased to provide a brief report to the Legislature on a police seatbelt seminar held yesterday at Queen's Park. Representatives of some 63 municipal police departments from across Ontario and members of the traffic division of the Ontario Provincial Police took part in an in-depth study of what can be done to increase seatbelt use in this province.

Since Ontario became the first jurisdiction on this continent to introduce seatbelt legislation, in 1976, roughly 300 lives have been saved on average in each succeeding year. Every member from all three parties who had a part in supporting what was admittedly very controversial legislation can take a real measure of satisfaction from those statistics.

Spokesmen from my two ministries and the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications urged police to increase their efforts to promote greater seatbelt use through both public education and stricter enforcement.

The sad fact is that we could save even more lives and, equally important, prevent many crippling injuries if we could persuade everyone to buckle up. Unfortunately, studies show that seatbelt use has declined in Ontario in the last year or two. Preliminary results of the latest surveys this spring show seatbelt use across the province averaging about 57 per cent.

It is our firm intention to use every reasonable means of increasing seatbelt usage over the next few months. Deputy Commissioner James Erskine of the Ontario Provincial Police told seminar delegates yesterday the force would be stepping up its enforcement efforts immediately. I will be sending a telex to police chiefs across the province urging similar action.

Mr. Tom Campbell, Deputy Minister of Health, told the seminar yesterday that a medical gathering had recently stated in his presence that our seatbelt law had been the most important life-saving initiative of our age. In fact, it had done more to increase average life spans in Ontario than any other public health measure in this century.

I appeal to all honourable members to use their influence and good office to support our seatbelt campaign this summer.


Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, today I am tabling the discussion paper on proposed emergency planning legislation prepared by my ministry in co-operation with the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs.

Members will recall that a general outline of proposed legislation was made available to municipal delegates at the conference on emergency preparedness held last November. Those proposals have been further refined and developed. Delegates at the conference indicated their support of legislation which can be viewed as the successor to the former Emergency Measures Act.

We are confident the proposed legislation will provide the comprehensive framework necessary to ensure effective planning and response in relation to emergencies.

We are asking municipal leaders and others involved in emergency planning to review the draft legislation to communicate their views to the government. Accordingly, copies of the discussion paper will be sent to every municipality in the province, police chiefs, fire chiefs and other interested parties.

Copies of the paper are being delivered to each member of the Legislature, and the ministry will be pleased to have the members' submissions on the proposals.

Since we are desirous of introducing legislation before the end of the year, we are requesting that briefs be submitted by October 1, 1981.


Hon. Mr. Ramsay: Mr. Speaker, in the absence of the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Grossman), I wish to outline the results of the policy and services introduced last year to stimulate the small business sector of this province. Part of that commitment included reporting annually to the Legislature on the status of this important sector of the economy.

Today, I want to report on the services and financial assistance provided by the government to small business in Ontario and on the increasing share of government purchases supplied by smaller companies.

I am tabling today a report outlining the results of the small business assistance programs introduced early in 1980. The 13 programs cover such diverse areas of support as product innovation and development, management development, financial consulting and assistance, and marketing or promotional aids.

Through these programs, 6,804 firms employing fewer than 100 people were helped directly with nearly $2.5 million worth of assistance during 1980. In total, the ministry reached 35 per cent more firms and provided 40 per cent more financial assistance than in 1979.

During 1980, the Ministry of Industry and Tourism established the office of procurement policy, which has been instrumental in assisting small business in selling to government, government-regulated agencies and multinational companies. Through this office's combination of policy-setting and advocacy, we have had a direct effect on the success of the small business sector in selling to government.

This success is shown in the results of a survey conducted jointly by this new office and the Management Board secretariat which I am also tabling today. This survey was conducted in 1978-79 and again in 1979-80 to determine the proportion of Ontario government purchase orders and expenditures related to those orders which were issued to small Canadian-owned firms.

The results clearly show that small business received more than half of the Ontario government's $344 million worth of purchase order expenditures and that the percentage is growing year by year. Last year, for example, firms with fewer than 100 employees received 68 per cent of all purchase orders and 57 per cent of all related provincial expenditures. The share of government orders filled by small firms increased by four percentage points and their receipt of related provincial expenditures by six percentage points.

In all, Canadian firms received 88 per cent of all orders and 80 per cent of all related expenditures, an impressive record indeed for Canadian-owned companies, especially in the small business sector.

These two reports I am tabling today demonstrate the increasing small business activity of this government. Small business is important to the economy of the province. We will continue to provide flexible, pragmatic programs that are adaptable to the needs of small firms and create the climate that helps them grow and develop.



Mr. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I wish to direct a question to the Minister of Natural Resources and recall to his mind the agreement made when the government of Ontario assisted Great Lakes Forest Products in purchasing the Dryden assets of Reed Paper.

The minister will recall that the government announced that in any lawsuits that would cause liability to Great Lakes Forest Products, about $15 million would be met by the government of Ontario, and the liability of Great Lakes would be limited to $15 million. I think all members will recall that very clearly.

Why is it then that mediation with the various Indian bands has been brought to a standstill over the contention by a government lawyer, Mr. Jacobsen from the office of the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry), that future personal injury claims or health claims were not intended to be covered by the government and that the government did not intend, in the letter given by the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller) and the statement that he made in the House, to cover lawsuits that might relate to health claims?

What conceivable reason is there for the government to take a position of that kind now, when it previously made it very clear that all lawsuits would be indemnified above $15 million?

10:30 a.m.

Hon. Mr. Pope: Mr Speaker, I am not aware of the statements attributed to a representative of the Attorney General. I will verify those.

I do not believe that the negotiations are at a standstill. In fact, over the past months there has been considerable progress. We are trying to come to some accommodation with both the Islington and Grassy Narrows bands on the basis of mutual economic interests.

All the aspects of aboriginal rights claims, specific claims for compensation and specific demands and requests of the government of Ontario for certain hunting and fishing rights, trapping rights and certain economic assistance, have been folded into the negotiations.

We are trying to reach some accommodation or some agreement on the basis of all these issues, not just on the basis of a claim with respect to health problems.

I will have to get back to the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Smith) with respect to the statements attributed to the Attorney General's representative.

Mr. Smith: I have to assume that the minister has not been briefed on what has happened. I draw to his attention a copy that I have of a memorandum from Mr. Jolliffe, the mediator, dated June 4, 1981, saying that the mediation itself came to an end on May 30, that he would he unavailable as mediator after June 30 and that if it was not settled by then he would submit a report and recommendations.

Does the minister not know that what has held up the process is the fact that the government is now making this absolutely incredible attempt to say that health claims were not intended to be covered in the announcement made by the Treasurer on November 6, 1979? I quote here: "Mr. Jacobsen stated that the possibility" -- that is, of covering health claims -- "is not contained within the letter or statement of the Hon. Frank Miller, and therefore he would have to seek further direction."

Is the minister not aware that, because of this, Great Lakes Forest Products now is in no position to make any kind of final offer to the bands, and the bands are in no position to know from whom they will have any recourse as time goes by?

Will the minister not agree that a clear undertaking was given to indemnify for health claims above $15 million and not just for narrow definitions of such things as environmental damage or damage to the river or things of this kind?

Will he also not agree that the reason paper companies were unwilling to purchase Reed at the time -- and the Premier (Mr. Davis) knows this very well -- was that they felt they might be the subject of huge lawsuits if mercury poisoning turned out 20 years from now to be a big problem in those Indian bands?

Since the government gave the clear impression that it would cover these claims, why is the minister now trying to weasel out of them?

Hon. Mr. Pope: We are not trying to weasel out of anything. We are engaged in negotiation on a wide range of issues. I have indicated to the Leader of the Opposition that I will review the interpretation.

On the basis of my recollection, I would disagree with the Leader of the Opposition's interpretation of that statement, but in any event I will review it. I also have to say that it is my understanding, based on briefing that I have received from my own staff, that, both within the context of the mediation process and outside it, the negotiations are not at a halt.

Mr. Smith: Is the minister not aware that although agreement has been reached on about 29 or 30 out of 33 items, the major item, namely, the matter of a financial settlement, is at an utter standstill because the government has thrown a monkey wrench into the situation by claiming that the statement the Treasurer made to this House and to Great Lakes Forest Products -- which clearly said that he would indemnify the company above $15 million in the event of lawsuits -- was not related to lawsuits due to mercury poisoning of the Indians, which plainly was the main matter that was being discussed at the time? Would the minister reconsider this position and try to get things going again by accepting the responsibility we in this House were led to believe was being accepted by the government of Ontario?

The Premier keeps shaking his head as though the government never intended to indemnify in the event of lawsuits related to mercury poisoning. I tell him that was the impression we all got in this House and that is the impression the press had at the time. If the Premier wants to correct it, I wish he would stand up and do so.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, there is some discussion between the government and Great Lakes Forest Products related to the agreement. I think it is fair to state it is not the intention of the government to limit liability with respect to mercury poisoning. Quite obviously, that was part of the arrangement but there is some discussion as to what the government's liability is with respect to Great Lakes.

I think the Leader of the Opposition would want us to be very careful in using taxpayers' money for possible liability if that liability should be assumed by Great Lakes. Those discussions are going on at this moment. I am not familiar with some other aspects of it.


Hon. Mr. Davis: With great respect, I was there for part of the discussions. I know what the Treasurer said. I am just trying to be helpful and am saying to the Leader of the Opposition there are discussions going on between government and Great Lakes with respect to the question of liability.

I think there are limitations on the government's liability. It is not a question of saying it does not apply to health matters, et cetera, but there is a limitation. We have not assumed liability in perpetuity for everything.

Hon. Mr. Pope: Mr. Speaker, I would like to add to the Premier's statement that it is true, and the Leader of the Opposition is obviously aware of it, that a number of money offers are on the table among all three parties.

We are attempting to arrive at a settlement that will involve as well some employment opportunities for the people of those bands. What we are attempting to do is to have the entire package negotiated in a way in which there will be some certainty with respect to liabilities and responsibilities.

It is not a move on the part of the government to attempt to evade its responsibilities to the native people of that band and to all the people of Ontario with respect to health problems or issues that may surface, none of which specifically have, by the way.


Mr. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask a question of the Minister of the Environment with regard to Walker Brothers Quarries and the investigation the minister was doing. The minister will remember that in November 1980 the former minister, Dr. Parrott, said that although no criminal actions could be supported at that time, the ministry's investigation of possible environmental violations was under way and its results would be made public as soon as they were available. That was back in November 1980.

Given the fact his ministry has had the regional office's total report on the matter since mid-April of this year, will he explain why it is we have never had the results of that investigation regarding possible violations of the Environmental Protection Act or other environmental violations, and can he now tell us what the results of that investigation consist of?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, the investigation is complete and I suggest to the honourable member he must bear in mind that some consideration obviously had to be given to what, if any, further action might be indicated on the basis of the evidence. That is virtually complete at this point and I would be quite happy to provide him with the information he requests as soon as that is completed.

Mr. Smith: The previous minister said, and I quote, "The results of the investigation will be made public as soon as they are available." That does not seem to square with the report now given by the minister. Would the minister not agree that does not square with what he is now saying, which is he will not tell us what the results are until he also tells us what action he is taking? Why do we not hear the results and then we will judge the adequacy of the actions he might or might not take?

10:40 a.m.

In that regard, is the minister aware of a document supplied by his own ministry staff during the hearings on South Cayuga, which shows that between August 1, 1979, and July 31, 1980, Walker Brothers received 2,045,859 gallons of liquid waste, totally in violation of anything they were permitted to receive? They were never certified to accept liquid wastes of any kind. Yet a document submitted by the minister's own staff says that from August 1979 to July 1980 there were two million gallons of liquid waste deposited there.

Given that his own ministry had this kind of information, why is it taking him so long to investigate the situation and how can he now turn around and suggest that he needs even more time to look further into the matter?

Hon. Mr. Norton: I think it would sometimes be helpful if the honourable members opposite would read back these questions that are purportedly asked in Hansard and try to sort out in their own minds just how many questions there are in one barrage and what they really mean to ask. If they could just be a little more precise in their questioning, it would be much easier to give precise responses.

As I indicated to the honourable member, he will have ample opportunity to judge both the information and the response of the ministry when that is available. I do not know what commitment was specifically made by my predecessor. I have no intention of backing away from any commitment he made and I will certainly take action to honour that.

Mr. Swart: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: In addition to tabling the report, which is long overdue and which I expect will provide some indication of the degree of breaking of their licence, can the minister now tell the House what additional policing is taking place with regard to the material going into this dump and into the new dump so that the flagrant violations which took place before are not continuing at the present time? If he does not have the answer for that, will he table it at the same time as he tables the report?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Yes, I will get specific information on the monitoring or, as the member describes it, the policing that has taken place. I think he is aware there has been a new unit developed within the ministry which is euphemistically referred to as the environmental police, who have been extensively trained at the Ontario Police College and are under the direction of a senior police officer for the purpose of such enforcement of the environmental laws of this province. That has happened, in terms of sequence, since this matter initially arose.

In terms of the specific monitoring that may he taking place at the site, I would have to check to get that for the member and I will.

Mr. Smith: May I ask a precise supplementary: Given that the minister's own ministry had a document which said two million gallons of liquid waste were accepted by Woodington Systems at Thorold -- which is, as he knows, Walker Brothers -- given that they had that document and given that site was never certified to accept liquid wastes at all, how can the ministry pretend it did not know liquid waste was going into a site uncertified for the purpose? If they did know, as they obviously did, why did they not do something about it earlier?

Hon. Mr. Norton: I would obviously have to ask this question of others before I could answer for what might have been knowledge in the mind of any given individual at a given time.

I must say I find it difficult to read a document that the member holds up across the way.

Mr. Smith: I will send the minister a copy.

Hon. Mr. Norton: If he sends me a copy it would be very helpful; then I would be able to tell him whether I have seen it before or not.


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Premier in the absence of the Minister of Energy. Is the Premier aware of the fact that while the demand for electricity in Ontario rose by 2.9 per cent in 1979, and it rose by eight-tenths of a per cent in 1980, that it actually fell by 1.1 per cent in the first quarter of 1981?

Would the Premier explain why it is that Hydro is continuing to plan for its expansion on the basis of a growth rate of 3.1 per cent? Why are billions of dollars being committed to the creation of facilities for electrical energy when clearly the trend of demand is continuing downwards? Will the government now agree to reinstate the select committee on Hydro affairs in order to allow the Legislature to advise Hydro and the government on the proper priorities in the area of energy, with the consequence that we could save Ontarians billions of dollars in investment?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I am not aware of the specific figures, but I would remind the leader of the New Democratic Party that he is using figures from the first part of 1981. That does not necessarily mean those will be the figures at the conclusion of 1981, nor does it take into account what further uses of electrical energy will be generated during 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985 and 1986.

Part of the policy of this government is to encourage the substitution of electrical use in lieu of oil. In some situations we encourage the switch to natural gas, but certainly in the rural areas we advocate electricity because natural gas is very hard to pipe all the way up the concession road. Certainly it is in my constituency; it is not a great problem for the member for York South (Mr. MacDonald) but it is in some of the more rural areas.

We are going to continue to encourage the greater use of electricity as a substitute. The actual figures in 1981 may not be the realities in 1983 and 1984.

I can recall at a first ministers' meeting three or four years ago the Premier of Saskatchewan, whose approach the member always follows religiously, was suggesting to all his fellow Premiers and the government of Canada that one way to stimulate the economy and provide employment was to move ahead with certain hydro projects in advance of actual need. I think a lot of us agreed with that.

The Leader of the Opposition may not be worried about jobs in the nuclear industry, he may not be --

Mr. Smith: That is the third party, not the opposition.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Of course; after last week in Kingston I have difficulty in differentiating between the two parties. I am just not sure who is left of whom or whom is left of who and what is left of the party.

Mr. Speaker: Address the question, please.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Am I not addressing the question, Mr. Speaker?

Mr. Speaker: I think not.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I think you are quite right; I am not.

The government does not oppose consideration of the re-establishment of the committee -- on energy perhaps, rather than just singling out Hydro, I think some consideration might be given to establishing this perhaps during the winter recess rather than this coming fall because of the amount of work. I was going to discuss this, because I know the member for York South wanted to discuss this with me.

Mr. MacDonald: No.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Oh, that was not what the note was about?

But I think it would be very short-sighted and against the interests of the people of this province -- and would in fact be economically a negative -- if Ontario Hydro should limit its present rather modest expansion plans.

Mr. Cassidy: Is the Premier saying he is now making a commitment to re-establish the select committee -- even though it would be a select committee on energy -- but to do it in the winter break rather than now? Is that a commitment on behalf of the government? If that is the case, we in the New Democratic Party will certainly welcome it.

The second half of the supplementary concerned the fact that export sales in the first quarter of this year were down by 16 per cent from a year ago, and that overall sales by Hydro were actually down by 1.1 per cent from a year ago. That is far off the kinds of targets Hydro has been setting for itself. Given this, why is it that in its job creation program the government insists on spending $7 billion now on a Darlington station which may not even be required until the twenty-first century? It is spending this on Darlington as opposed to only $750 million under the Board of Industrial Leadership and Development program for every other aspect of job creation in all of the other important industries.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I think it would be very foolish to say that Ontario Hydro should not proceed because of the large dollar amount. I think the amount can be justified in terms of the economic growth.

10:50 a.m.

I read so many stories about how excited people are about the potential of the megaprojects in Alberta. I would just do some rough calculations. I do not see the press reporting this. Darlington is a matter of some debate. The reality is that the investment, the job creation potential in Darlington is comparable to Cold Lake or one of the major tar sands plants. We are talking about the same dollar amount. We read about all of these great megaprojects. We have one in this province that is providing job opportunities for thousands of Ontarians, with great potential in terms of electrical generation and indigenous resource, and we hear nothing but criticism from some members across the House. That is beyond my limited comprehension.

Mr. Smith: That is obvious.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I understand it is obvious. I have always said to the leader of the new Socialist party that I accept my intellectual limitations. He has never accepted my advice that he would be far better off today if he were to acknowledge he had the odd modest intellectual limitation. In fact, he would be a lot better off.

Mr. Speaker: Mr. Cassidy asked a question.

Hon. Mr. Davis: With respect to the first part of the supplementary, I am not giving a commitment. I am just saying to the leader of the New Democratic Party that I do not have a closed mind on the subject at all. I sense with the number of select committees that will be established and the number of standing committees that will be functioning with respect to some legislation -- on the assumption that some of you, unlike myself, would like two or three days off during the summer, assuming we have the House closed within the next three or four weeks -- if we do it, it should really not relate just to Hydro, it should be a committee related to energy, its alternatives and so on.

I think it could be somewhat interesting and exciting. I would suggest it would make more sense to do it, if we do it. I am not giving a commitment today because I have not really thought it through. I do not have a closed mind on it, but the proper time to do it would probably be during what will be a somewhat longer winter recess.

Mr. Nixon: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Is the Premier really telling the House he believes the projections from Hydro of utilization of load or growth of load are incorrect and that he knows or feels he has enough information to project a much larger growth rate and is, therefore, expediting the $7 billion to $9 billion program at Darlington? Or is he counting on export of energy to use up any slack that might come out of the so-called Board of Industrial Leadership and Development program decision?

Hon. Mr. Davis: No, I do not have any information, nor am I going to put my --

Mr. Nixon: Or information that it is not going to be.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am not going to guess or second-guess some of the load forecasts. I think the honourable member understands that with the increase in fuel prices, for instance, in some of the traditional plants, the potential or possibility of the substitution of some of the generating activity at Darlington, looking ahead seven or eight years, vis-à-vis some of the coal-fired plants for a period of time might make great economic sense.

Mr. Smith: If you are going to close them down, why get scrubbers?

Hon. Mr. Davis: The Leader of the Opposition might even argue that there would be merit in substituting some of the coal-fired plants with nuclear power. I would find that encouraging if he were to suggest that. Actually, it would be more logical with some of the positions he has taken. I know he is not going to reverse his position on that at the moment.

I would say to the House leader of the Liberal Party that I do not have any way of forecasting, certainly any better than Ontario Hydro. I think it would be foolish not to anticipate or be ready for any short-term increase in terms of export. The export of excess electrical energy is one of the great pluses that is potentially available to us. I think the potential in terms of market in the United States is very real.

Mr. MacDonald: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Will the Premier not recognize the fact that in spite of the expenditure of millions of dollars, and God knows how much rhetoric, electric power consumption in this province is persistently dropping? Indeed in the last three years it has been under three per cent. Last year it was under one per cent and the first quarter of this year has it at 1.1 negative.

That being the case, and if it is even in the two to three per cent range -- and it is now getting below that -- we will not need Darlington until the years 1996 to 2004. If we get below one per cent, even zero growth, we will not need Darlington into the next century. Even if we accept that it might be wise to build in advance of needs, are we going to build for needs away into the next century when we have all these other things we should be spending our money on?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I am intrigued because I have heard the member for York South in his capacity of some years ago when he was somewhat more of a visionary, urging the government to look ahead 15 or 20 years. I can recall some of his observations to me related to the need with respect to land use and the accumulation of land assemblies. He said to me: "It's not this year and it's not next year. We are concerned as a party about the housing needs of the next generation." I could even find the phrase for him. I am surprised that he of all members is limiting his vision to the next two, three, four or five years. I am saying --

Mr. MacDonald: Answer the question.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I understand the member is about to become a visionary.

Mr. MacDonald: It's your distorted vision I'm concerned about.

Hon. Mr. Davis: What the member is saying with respect to demand also has application to crude oil and natural gas. I think he will find the Ontario public -- and hopefully the Canadian public -- has become more sensitive and aware of the need to conserve, but I think to plan on the basis of this year's actual figures for three months and not to visualize the opportunities and the great potential we have for the substitution of electrical energy for other forms of energy would be a great mistake.

I would say to the former leader of that great party, to the man who used to have vision, why does he not share with us, with Premier Blakeney of Saskatchewan and with others our confidence in the economic future of this province, in the use of electricity as an indigenous resource so we can stimulate the economic life of Ontario? He should share that with us.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, the announcement this week made it sound as though the election was going to come in mid-August but the Premier's speech right now makes it --

Hon. Mr. Davis: I would be delighted to have one in mid-August and you would have fewer members than you have now.



Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Industry and Tourism about the proposal in the Board of Industrial Leadership and Development program for a microelectronics development centre, particularly since this is the only proposal in the BILD program for the Ottawa area apart from poplar trees.

Can the minister say where the microelectronics development centre will be put? Can he say what facilities it will contain? Can he say when the decision will be made? Will the minister not agree that rather than setting the Ottawa area against the Cambridge area in competing for this particular facility it would make a great deal more sense to locate the microelectronics development centre in the Ottawa region, close to a rapidly developing Canadian industry, and to put into Cambridge or some other part of industrial southwestern Ontario a computer aided design and manufacturing facility which could work with manufacturers in that area?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, to answer those questions in order: The first question was where and --

Mr. Speaker: Briefly.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Briefly, did you say, Mr. Speaker?

Mr. Speaker: Please.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: First, where: Ottawa or Cambridge. Second, what will be determined over the course of the next eight weeks and when do we expect a decision: We expect to have a final decision in early September. I might add to the leader of the third party with regard to the microelectronics centre, it is at the most advanced stage of the four or five research and development facilities we are talking about.

The Ottawa submission, led by the four or five excellent members of our caucus from the Ottawa area, was a fine submission, one of the best I have received on any subject since I have had this job. They made an excellent presentation. Cambridge was in as well. They are not as yet at as advanced a stage in their presentation and we want to give them every opportunity to make an equivalent presentation. They will have the opportunity to do that over the summer and perhaps we will have more to report on the member's suggestion with regard to the robotics facility or the CAD/CAM facility in one of those locations and the microelectronics in another location when this House resumes in the fall.

Mr. Cassidy: I am not quite clear what the minister is saying about the CAD/CAM facility, but given the large number of small and medium-sized manufacturing enterprises in the industrial belt beginning in Oshawa and going through to Kitchener and London, would it not make sense that the CAD/CAM facility be accessible to those industries and therefore located somewhere in the area between here and London, perhaps in Kitchener or Cambridge?

11 a.m.

Just as it makes sense to put the CAD/CAM facility where the manufacturing industry that needs it is in southern Ontario, does it not make most sense -- in view of the rapid growth of the very large and excellent Canadian-owned microelectronics industry in Ottawa, which has the potential to create 85,000 jobs over the next decade and which has provided the first real counterweight to federal government employment in the economy of the Ottawa-Carleton region -- to put the microelectronics development centre somewhere in the region of Ottawa-Carleton, as is proposed in the Ottawa-Carleton brief?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: I am pleased the member has put very cogently and well the arguments in favour of the two locations selected by the Board of Industrial Leadership and Development documents. There are other members of his party who suggest that the decisions on some of the centres were politically based. I am glad the member has confirmed for us this morning that there are overwhelming arguments in favour of the site selected by the BILD document for the microelectronics centre and in fact for all the centres we have talked about.

The Ottawa delegation, led by my colleagues, argued very well the case for placing the microelectronics facility in the Ottawa area. The private sector and other public sector representatives from the Ottawa area -- that is, the municipal representatives -- also argued that the microelectronics facility and the CAD/CAM facility should not automatically be tied together and that there was an argument for separating the two facilities.

On the other hand, my colleague the member for Cambridge (Mr. Barlow) has argued very articulately on behalf of both of the centres --

Mr. Nixon: The former member.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Well, the member opposite will never have one from Cambridge, so his party will never have the opportunity to do that.

Mr. Speaker: Order. Order.

Mr. Nixon: He is not looking very pleased with this answer.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: He will be very pleased with some of the things that will ultimately come out of the BILD document.

Mr. Speaker: Proceed with the question.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: The member for Cambridge has especially pointed out the importance of the CAD/CAM facility and how well that would fit into the Cambridge area in particular.

Those two sites remain the prime sites, and I am confident that the right business decisions can be made at the end of the summer. I am confident that both municipalities will benefit in one way or another.

Mr. Cassidy: Given the fact that the government now appears to be accepting some of the proposals the New Democrats made during the election campaign and earlier about the sense it made to have public participation crown corporations in progressing industries like microelectronics, would the minister assure the House that the proposals from the Ottawa area for a facility that would both design and manufacture uncommitted logic array elements in order to allow the creation of custom integrated circuits for the industry in Ottawa are acceptable to the government, and that it will not for ideological reasons reject the proposal, which is supported so widely in Ottawa, that the microelectronics development facility for Ottawa include the manufacture of uncommitted logic arrays and not just design?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Those are the kinds of things where, rather than guess about them or let them crop up as part of the election campaign -- as the member admits in the case of his party -- we appointed a microelectronics task force, headed by Donald Chisholm from Northern Telecom, a year or so ago. We are expecting that report to come in late this summer. It will shape the kind of facility we build and answer the question the member has put. I think that base of information is the most important base and the only rational base to work from.


Mr. Kerrio: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of the Environment. Does the minister not think he is going to jeopardize his case in Washington in resisting the increase of sulphur dioxide emissions from the states of Ohio and Pennsylvania because he is now talking about creating a great deal more emission by supplying electricity to the United States through the thermal generating plant at Nanticoke?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, I have not been doing a great deal of talking about that. I see this morning that the Globe and Mail has an article wherein they are talking about it. The article is ill-informed, I would suggest, to put it politely; that is, ill-informed with respect to the apparent perception they have of my view on that issue.

I do not know how they came to the conclusion reflected in the headline. I do not think the body of the story necessarily supports the headline, but that is very often the case with the Globe and Mail, as members might have observed.

The fact of the matter is that my position has not changed from the one taken by my predecessor. It is important to bear in mind that no matter what happens at Nanticoke the order that now applies to Ontario Hydro will continue to apply. If they do not live within those emission levels then I will damn well put another order on them. They will live within the order that now is there. We will not back away from that.

Perhaps what gave rise to that story is there may be some knowledge that there are conflicting legal opinions at the moment as to whether the federal legislation relating to the National Energy Board hearings in some way supersedes and overrides the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act. All I can say now is there are conflicting legal opinions, and I do not know how that is likely to be resolved. My position certainly has not changed from that of my predecessor.

Mr. Kerrio: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: My prime concern is -- and I wonder if the minister would address himself to this part of the question -- how good the minister's case is going to be in Washington, as it relates to the states of Ohio and Pennsylvania, which are talking about increasing the emissions of sulphur dioxide. If the minister is going down there to suggest that should not be allowed, how would it look if we in Ontario decide to increase the sulphur dioxide emissions for whatever reason, even in the event there is a hearing?

Hon. Mr. Norton: If the member would recall the order that applies to Ontario Hydro now, there are certain target levels and target dates to achieve those levels. It is clear from that order and it is clear from the statement my predecessor made at the time that order was issued, that regardless of whatever increased production Hydro might engage in, the order still applied. In other words, they must live within the overall emission levels imposed by that order. There is no consideration whatsoever being given to relaxing that order. That may be difficult to understand, but it is true. It was clearly stated in that way by my predecessor.

Mr. Cassidy: Final supplementary for the minister: Since the minister says he holds to the position taken by his predecessor, could he spell it out specifically? Will he ensure there is a provincial environmental assessment on this proposed underwater hydro line to the United States?

Second, will he also hold to the position his predecessor took that the line will not be built unless it is linked to the North American agreement on the reduction of acid rain?

Hon. Mr. Norton: The honourable member knows there are negotiations under way now with respect to an international agreement on that subject. I do not know what the outcome of that will be, so I am not sure one can be absolutely certain it can be linked to something that may not come about.

Mr. Cassidy: So he backs away from it, eh?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Surely the member has to be realistic as well. If the member has any doubt about what I am saying, I would suggest he read Hansard. I could probably send him a copy of the remarks of my predecessor.

11:10 a.m.


Mr. Di Santo: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Culture and Recreation. Is the minister aware of the latest layoff of the seven part-time employees of the Art Gallery of Ontario? Is he also aware that since the certification of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union the bargaining unit has been reduced from 227 to 150 while, over the same period, the number of management personnel has remained constant at 52?

Does the minister consider this is good faith on the part of the management of the Art Gallery of Ontario, or does he agree with the gallery management that it is because of the grants given by the government that the gallery is going down to the same level of the galleries of Timbuktu, Namibia or Tanzania?

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, I am delighted my New Democratic Party critic has raised the question. This is the first one this session. I really thought he was mad at me and was not speaking to me. I do appreciate the question.

Mr. Wildman: It is not for want of trying.

Mr. Cassidy: No, it is not for want of trying.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: I think it should be made very clear that neither I nor the government of Ontario owns the Art Gallery of Ontario. It is an independent organization. We do contribute about $4.8 million annually -- which is very generous; 65 per cent of their revenue comes from the government of Ontario.

We are interested in what kind of a program they are providing for the people of Ontario; what kind of an extension program they are giving; how many days of the week they are open. But that is quite different from my saying to the director or the president of the art gallery, "You must hire this person, fire that person or deploy this person this way or that way." That is not my business. Quite frankly, I do not intend to get involved in that argument at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

If there is an injustice there the people who belong to the bargaining unit have a very clear recourse, and that is the Ontario Labour Relations Board. They will have to follow that. But I certainly do not intend to get involved in some of the questions relating to management and the bargaining unit personnel.

Mr. Di Santo: Supplementary: Does the minister not recognize that by taking that approach the government is abdicating completely its responsibility towards the arts in Ontario? Does the minister not think that by closing the gallery more than previously, by shutting down services that are provided to the public, the gallery cannot perform the role a public institution should perform in a modern society?

Does the minister not agree that unless there is public funding the gallery will rely more and more on volunteers, thus turning a public institution into a private club for wealthy people who have nothing else to do?

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, as I noted in the original response, we certainly are interested in the kind of general service the Art Gallery of Ontario provides. We are very much interested in the kind of extension program, their outreach program, in which they provide services to all the smaller art galleries in the province. We are certainly concerned that they remain open at least six days a week. When they wanted to close down to the public on Tuesdays, I indicated to them very clearly that would not be very satisfactory with us. As the honourable member knows, they have already agreed not to close down on Tuesdays.

So we are keeping an eye on those kinds of services. But certainly I will not become involved in the personnel policies relating to the gallery. There are other public vehicles that will deal with that.

Mr. Nixon: Supplementary: Is the minister not aware that this House transferred the Art Gallery of Toronto to the jurisdiction of the province, which is why it is called the Art Gallery of Ontario? Does he not realize it is really a combination of too much interference at some times and not enough at other times, particularly budget time, and that the minister's policy is gradually strangling that great organization so that it cannot provide the service it wants? It is rapidly heading towards the category of the one in Namibia referred to by the honourable member who asked the question.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, I certainly would not agree for one moment that the Art Gallery of Ontario is heading for the status of the gallery in Timbuktu or wherever. I would not agree to that, and I tell the member the president and the board of the Art Gallery of Ontario do not agree to that either. I would just remind the honourable member that over the last 10 or 15 years the grants of this government to the Art Gallery of Ontario have gone from $6.000 a year to $4.8 million a year. If he thinks that is not an adequate amount of support, then I do not know what is adequate.

Certainly we are financing the Art Gallery of Ontario for 65 per cent of its budget, compared with only 20 per cent of all the other galleries in Ontario. We are doing that because we expect the Art Gallery of Ontario to service the people of Ontario in sending exhibitions to the other smaller galleries. If the member wants us to reduce still further our grants to the small galleries in order to give the Art Gallery of Ontario more money, we can look at that, but I do not think it is in the spirit of the present arrangement.


Mr. R. F. Johnston: Mr. Speaker, I think the members on this side especially, but anyone who can look at the other side, are at the moment offended by the wall poster versions of the backbenchers over there, who are putting up signs on their desks. It is sign pollution in terms of the leadership candidate for the Liberal party, and I am offended by those being up, especially when the name of the member for Downsview (Mr. Di Santo) is nowhere to be seen on the other side.

Mr. Speaker: Your point is well taken.

[ Later ]

Mr. Speaker: Order. To maintain the dignity of the House I would ask the members on the government side -- the point is well made by the member who raised the point of privilege -- to remove those signs.

Mr. Smith: On that point, Mr. Speaker, it has long been contended that Tory back-benchers could easily be replaced by signs and never be missed.


Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, on June 12, the member for Oakwood (Mr. Grande) and the member for Port Arthur (Mr. Foulds) asked about a press report concerning D. B. Hood Community School, which functions under the aegis of the board of education for the borough of York. At that time I indicated there was an investigation or a collection of information being carried out by the central regional office of the ministry, and if any of the findings which resulted from that appeared to impinge in any way upon the spirit of Bill 82, or the implementation of educational programs on a province-wide basis, that I would make that information public.

The York borough board has conducted a very thorough investigation and review of this matter related to D. B. Hood school. Our central Ontario regional office staff have been in constant communication with the board. Intensive consideration of the issue at a board meeting on June 22 led to the issuance by the board of a news release on June 23, and a further statement made at the beginning of this week.

This is a matter for which the responsibility rests entirely with the board of education. It includes some rather sensitive issues in so far as personnel considerations are concerned, and it would seem, as a result of our investigation, that the York borough board has executed its responsibilities in a most professional manner. I wish to express my appreciation to the officials of York borough board for their splendid efforts to keep ministry staff fully informed about this matter.

Further comment on my part, additional to the board's own news release, would be redundant at best, and inappropriate at least, and I have no reason to consider any further action by the ministry as necessary or required. If the member for Oakwood has not seen the news release, I will be most pleased to share it with him.

Mr. Grande: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: In view of the obviously thorough investigation that the minister has carried out, is she not aware that the most vocal parents were not called to attend the meeting with the principal? Is the minister not aware that the officials of the board knew of the situation in November of last year and did not act? Is the minister further not aware that a good many of those parents will not be sending their children to that school next year? Is the minister in agreement with the method that the borough of York found of hiring two extra supplementary teachers to deal with that kind of problem if it should arise again?

11:20 a.m.

Mr. Mancini: Ask the question.

Mr. Grande: It is a question. If the minister is aware, would she inform the other boards across Ontario that a similar program should be instituted so the special education kids will not be treated again in this fashion anywhere in the province?

Hon. Miss Stephenson: Mr. Speaker, I am aware the board attempted to deal in a very sensitive way with a teacher of long standing who became injured. I am aware the board participated in discussions with the parents very early in this year about the appropriate disposition of the educational program for those few children for a period of time and moved only with the agreement of the parents who did become involved.

I am aware the board made its final decision related to the medical condition of the teacher who had been absent since November, and I am also aware the board has made concerted efforts to ensure that the program for those children is appropriate. I am positive that at this point the entire program for those children is excellent and there are no complaints about it right now.

I believe this board has functioned responsibly and should not be castigated for attempting to do so.


Mr. Riddell: Mr. Speaker, I have a question to the Minister of Agriculture and Food. I believe my colleague the member for Wellington South (Mr. Worton) has expressed to him our very deep concern about the plight of the Ontario Veterinary College as reported in yesterday's Toronto Star.

In view of the fact there is now a shortage of qualified veterinarians in Canada, would the minister care to comment on the report that the largest veterinary college in Canada no longer meets the basic requirements to keep its status as a teaching institution because of a lack of funding from this province?

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Mr. Speaker, the member for Wellington South did speak to me about the veterinary college.

At the beginning of the present school year -- the one that is just finishing -- I had the opportunity to meet with the representatives of the veterinarians of Ontario, accompanied by the dean of the veterinary school. At that time they pointed out to me their concerns about the clinical work and the lack of space to operate in. Following this meeting I asked my assistant deputy minister, Dr. Rennie, whom most members know, and who is quite knowledgeable in that area, if he would go into the overall detail and make a report for the government to look at. Dr. Rennie had my director go right into it.

Dr. Rennie was not available yesterday but my director, Dr. McDermid, informed me they have had dialogue and have come to conclusions that were first put together in a letter form dated April 11. They then went back into more dialogue and there is an updated report.

Yes, there is additional clinical space needed. I do not have this report yet. I would hope I would have it next week.

I have the assurance of the Minister of Colleges and Universities (Miss Stephenson) that her funding will remain. There is no problem. This is additional funding needed through my ministry for the clinical work, for the experiments, for the research and what have you. Let me assure this House we have the best veterinary college in North America and we plan to keep it that way.

Mr. Riddell: Allegedly the Minister of Colleges and Universities refuses to provide additional funding to keep the doors of that institution open. If that is the case, will the minister act on the request of the college to provide funding to the college's clinic in the same way the Ministry of Health finances medical hospitals for the practical training of doctors?

Hon. Mr. Henderson: I answered that. I said we are going to keep the best veterinary school in North America.

Mr. Smith: Are you going to keep it open or closed? That is the question.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: It will be open and it will be operating, supplying a service.


Mr. Mackenzie: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Labour. On December 11, 1979, the minister stated in the estimates committee: "It was the summer of 1978, I believe, that the first seven substances were gazetted ... but we're now ready to start the gazetting of regulations." Dr. R. May, Deputy Minister, Occupational Health and Safety, went on to say three regulations were given the previous January, one on noise, one on lead and one on mercury and there would be two more. In March, there would be one on asbestos.

My information from the Advisory Committee on Occupational Health and Safety tells me that now, in June 1981, they are still accepting submissions on these same three toxic substances, part of the first seven listed and to which we added coke oven emissions. Can the minister give this House some idea of what year or decade we are likely to see the regulations for toxic substances, the first seven of which we have had listed since 1978? Since 1978 he has been telling us they are imminent.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, the member and I have discussed this personally many times and we have also discussed it in great detail at estimates. He knows very well the original prototype draft regulation dealt with lead. It was a long process, I frankly admit -- and I have admitted it in the House before -- to get to that ideal first prototype.

He also knows that in response to what I thought were legitimate complaints that there was no final end-stage point where the ministry had to defend its position among labour, management and interested members of the public, I added that final stage to the designated substance program. It has been well received and deemed to be an important part of the process. The member may say it drags it out too long. I think it makes the process more meaningful and more acceptable to people.

We have now gone through three substances. We have gone through lead, mercury and, just this week, through noise. There are meetings already scheduled for the other substances in those initial eight, as the member knows. The process is under way, the prototype model is there and I expect we will be able to proceed in the future in a much more expeditious way.

Mr. Mackenzie: Surely the minister cannot defend a process that has gone through all the steps the first time in 1978 and 1979. We are going through it again now and my contacts on his advisory committee tell me they have no idea when we are going to be ready actually to get down to the first regulations on these three substances. If this is the promise we are being given, God help the workers in Ontario. Can the minister give us a more definite time as to when we will get the first regulation?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: I do not know who the member is getting his advice from, but whoever it is is in error. The final draft lead regulation, having gone through all those processes, has been to the advisory council and is now back in our hands for final gazetting.

The member should stop going back to 1978. He knows the Occupational Health and Safety Act was not in force at that time. We had legal opinions the initial publications were invalid and had to be repeated.

11:30 a.m.

Mr. Mackenzie: Was all the work wasted after you went through the whole process?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: I ask the member to stop going back to those old things he refers to all the time. He understands what the reality is. Certainly we are proceeding expeditiously and he knows that.


Mr. Conway: Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of privilege concerning material contained in today's Toronto Star. It relates, sir, to what I consider to be a breach of the privileges of this House with respect to misrepresentation of proceedings here. I am reminded as well of the exchange in the House earlier this week involving, among others, my House leader and the Minister of Housing (Mr. Bennett). I note in today's Toronto Star the Minister of Health (Mr. Timbrell) is quoted as saying: "'Until the bill'" -- meaning Bill 113 -- "'gets third reading and royal assent, I can't take over the hospital,' Timbrell said later. 'I'm very much in the hands of the opposition.'"

I regret very much the article creates the very distinct impression that the opposition in this chamber is obstructing the government's desire to intervene in the specific problems of the Toronto East General Hospital. Keeping in mind that a wilful misrepresentation of the proceedings of this assembly is -- at least according to Erskine May -- considered to be a classic point of privilege, I think it extremely important to repeat what we told the minister as late as yesterday afternoon: If it is their intention to move directly and specifically on the matter of the Toronto East General, there is no objection from this party or, from what I heard in the debate yesterday, any other.

I think it is not only wrong but mischievous and constitutes a wilful misrepresentation of the proceedings of this chamber yesterday for the Minister of Health or anyone else to suggest that. The public is properly concerned about the serious difficulties at that hospital, and it is wrong for the government to suggest there is opposition in this chamber to moving against those difficulties.

If this government wants to move against that specific difficulty we, in this party -- and I think I speak for the NDP -- will give them that legislative sanction immediately without very much delay or debate. Our objection yesterday, today and for a long time to come is with regard to omnibus legislation. Unless and until this government presents this chamber with a case for omnibus legislation, it is justified only in a specific bill to deal with a specific problem. This minister and this government know this is radical legislation for which there is no general justification.

I consider it a breach of my privilege for the minister to suggest what he did in this article. If he is misquoted, let him stand in his place and clear the record. From my point of view I will not stand in the way of specific legislation to deal with the problems of that hospital. But Bill 113, as it is currently drafted, is a grotesque over-reaction on an omnibus, generalized basis to one specific problem.

Mr. Cassidy: On the point of order.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: If I may, Mr. Speaker, reply --

Mr. Speaker: That was a specific point of privilege raised by Mr. Conway. There is no debate. The minister will reply.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I want to join the point of privilege --

Mr. Speaker: I think the member did join your party in the point of privilege.

Mr. Cassidy: With respect, he does not speak for our party.

Mr. Speaker: Order, order, order. Just very briefly then, please.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I would simply like to join in the point of privilege. It seems to me the government feels that with 44 per cent of the vote it should have 100 per cent of the seats. It should understand that the opposition has the right to put its points of view.

As far as the New Democrats are concerned, we made it very clear we were prepared to accept legislation on the Toronto East General situation, but that we would be opposed to general legislation.

As far as the allegations of obstruction are concerned, I believe there were two speakers for the New Democrats and three speakers from the Liberal Party on second reading of the bill last night. If the minister thinks that is not legitimate participation in the debate, then God knows where the democracy of this province is going. The opposition has the right to speak on behalf of the people of the province.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I thought the member for Renfrew North had a very good point when he started, but by the end of it he was confirming the impression to which he is taking exception.

I had not seen this until he raised his point and somebody handed me a copy of the same paper. If the honourable member will look closely where the quotation marks are, they end before the words "'take over the hospital,' Timbrell said later." I was approached when I was leaving the chamber last night on my way to catch a plane to Niagara and was asked what this meant. They asked if this meant it was held over until the fall. It was at that point I said: "I am in the hands of the opposition. It has gone to committee."

I do not know whether the rest of the article covers this, but I also went on to say that notwithstanding the fact it has gone to committee, Mr. Turner has started his work in meeting with the chairman of the board and the staff of the hospital, but until the bill receives third reading and royal assent he has no legal authority and has to govern himself accordingly. With respect to my friend who for whatever reason has developed an incredible dose of bitterness in the last few months -- it may have something to do with the first caucus after the election, I am told, but that is an internal matter in his party -- I ask him to look again at where the quotation marks are. I think the operative words to which he takes exception are the words of some editor somewhere; they are not my words. He has taken the opportunity to try to debate the bill again. For my part, my colleagues and I do not see the principle of public accountability as radical.

Mr. Smith: May I speak to this, Mr. Speaker?

Mr. Speaker: No. I think there has been quite enough said. The point of privilege has been raised.

Mr. Smith: What are you going to do, Mr. Speaker?

Mr. Speaker: It is not for me to do anything.

Mr. Smith: It is to do --

Mr. Speaker: With respect, I cannot debate.

Mr. Smith: Look, the position of the party is being misrepresented. There is deliberate, wilful misrepresentation. They can have it for Toronto East General tomorrow if they want, but not the whole province.

Mr. Speaker: Order. That point was very well made.



Ms. Bryden moved, seconded by Mr. Breaugh, first reading of Bill 132, An Act respecting Public Access to Meetings of Municipal Councils and Local Boards.

Motion agreed to.

Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, the purpose of this bill is to make it mandatory for all meetings of municipal councils and local boards to be open to the public. Local boards are defined to include school boards, police commissions and other special purpose bodies. Meetings include committee of the whole meetings and meetings of committees and subcommittees.

Meetings dealing with the purchase and sale of property, litigation, personnel matters, contract negotiations with employees and certain policing matters may be closed at the discretion of the municipal council or local board. This act takes precedence over any other act.

11:40 a.m.


Mr. Swart moved, seconded by Mr. Grande, first reading of Bill 133, An Act to amend the Consumer Protection Act.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Swart: Mr. Speaker, the purpose of this bill is to curtail substantially the excessive amount of money being spent on advertising by supermarket chains, which is ultimately passed on to the consumers in their grocery bills. The proposed limit of one third of one per cent of sales would cut advertising to approximately 33 to 40 per cent of the present expenditure.



The following bills were given third reading on motion:

Bill 59, An Act to amend the Fire Marshals Act.

Bill 69, An Act to amend the Ontario Unconditional Grants Act, 1975.

Bill 70, An Act to authorize the Raising of Money on the Credit of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

Bill 72, An Act to amend the Gasoline Tax Act, 1973.

Bill 73, An Act to amend the Motor Vehicle Fuel Tax Act.

Bill 78, An Act to amend the Ontario Pensioners Property Tax Assistance Act, 1980.

Bill 86, An Act to amend the Power Corporation Act.

Bill 116, An Act to amend the Milk Act.

Bill Pr7, An Act respecting the City of Windsor.


Mr. Mitchell, on behalf of Hon. Mr. Walker, moved second reading of Bill 92, An Act to amend the Registry Act.

Mr. Mitchell: Mr. Speaker, I want to reiterate a few points that were made when the bill was first introduced.

The first of these amendments will repeal part III of the act and enact a version that clearly limits the title search period to 40 years.

The second amendment proposes to change section 65 of the Registry Act to eliminate the 10-year time period required before discharged mortgages can be deleted from the abstract index.

These proposed amendments would result in major time and cost savings to the users of this system and satisfy a recommendation of the 1979 report of the registration management committee of the ministry.

We are also proposing that this amendment be complemented by a new section of the Registry Act that would provide that persons who suffer loss through any improper deletion will have recourse to the land titles assurance fund. This deals with a deletion of the mortgage from the 10-year period. This remedy will be available where there has been any omission or other error in recording a registered document.

Mr. Elston: Mr. Speaker, I want to make a few brief comments on the act. I might lead off by saying that I am pleased to see an attempt on the part of the government to alleviate some of the awkward wording involved in dealing with the Registry Act problems.

It has been the intention of the profession for many years to resolve the conflicts that have arisen over the practices in various of the registry offices around the province in their timing for deletion of the discharged mortgage documents.

I rise to indicate our support for that particular initiative on the part of the government and to congratulate them for helping the profession deal with this problem.

Second, I wish to advise that our party is also in favour of the efforts taken to remove the difficulties that have surrounded sections 111 and 112 for some time. We on this side of the House will be rising in support of this bill.

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Speaker, my colleague the member for Welland-Thorold (Mr. Swart) is engaged in a committee this morning. He has reviewed the bill in detail and is quite prepared to accept all the proposed amendments. He believes they are beneficial amendments and they will save public funds. We will support the bill on second reading.

Mr. Mitchell: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the two opposition parties. I feel enough has been said.

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.


Resuming the adjourned debate on the motion for second reading of Bill 77, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act.

Mr. Haggerty: Mr. Speaker, I want to continue from last night, and perhaps I will not have the interjections that I had then.

We in the Liberal Party are concerned about two areas; one is the matter of inflation and the other is the matter of high interest rates. We find that this government today has done little in both of these areas to bring about some sensible approach to development programs in Ontario.

High interest rates no doubt will have some bearing in forestalling development in the private sector. It is just as well that the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller) can put the blame on the federal government in this area.

11:50 p.m.

Quoting from his 1981 budget news release, it said: "The budget criticizes federal action on inflation and interest rates. The inflation race can be won." We on this side have said on a number of occasions it can be won if some initiative is put forward by the government.

To quote again: "Mr. Miller believes that it requires effective, focused federal-provincial action. Ontario is making considerable effort to minimize inflation but success needs appropriate action by Ottawa."

All we seem to be getting here in Ontario is a dialogue between the Treasurer and the federal government as to who is to blame for this and who is to blame for that. No effort is put forth by the government to get down and settle the issue of high interest rates and inflation facing the people of Ontario and Canada.

When I think about the proposed income tax increase of four percentage points, over the past 10 years this relates to -- I mentioned this the other night -- an average increase of about 31 per cent per year in revenues generated by the increase. I suggest that is well above the inflationary trend. I looked at this in some depth and it is in contrast to past recommendations and studies done in the area of income tax.

I would like to quote some of those. This is from a report on the effects of Ontario's personal income tax proposals. It is a staff paper of the Ministry of Treasury and Economics. The report was done in December 1970. It talks about the Ontario proposed income tax rate schedule for Canada and it relates to the debates and proposals between the federal government and the province:

"Design of the Rate Schedule: The design of an income tax schedule represents the final balancing step in tax reform. Given the definition of a reformed tax base, the construction of a rate schedule involves judgements about the appropriate progressivity of the income tax system, that is, judgements on what constitutes a fair tax burden on high-income, middle-income and lower-income taxpayers. The rate schedule also determines the revenue yield of the new system and the growth of revenues over time as incomes increase with economic growth."

We have seen that over a period of 10 years there has been a substantial increase in economic growth and in revenue growth.

"The design of the proposed rate schedule presented in this chapter is based on the following criteria and constraints:

"1. A revised rate schedule, in conjunction with Ontario's other reforms, should generate reductions in the personal income tax field equal to revenue gains to be realized from reforms in the corporate and capital gains tax areas. Ontario's proposals in these latter tax fields provide scope for a $250-million to $300-million reduction in personal income taxes."

It seems that principle has disappeared. Under this system of new taxation with an additional four percentage points, I am at a loss to find out what their method is in this area.

They say what they have done in this area over the last couple of years is to increase productivity and increase investment in Ontario. This year they have put the whole responsibility of tax increases on the shoulders of the individual wage earner in Ontario.

In the past couple of years, corporations have been given some great concessions in this area. It is to be hoped they will improve their productivity and their interest in the economic growth of Ontario.

One cannot hit the individual taxpayer all the time. I do not have to relate to the Minister of Revenue (Mr. Ashe) the increase in corporation profits in the last couple of years. If one looks at the financial statements and reads the newspapers and other things, it seems it has been very healthy for the corporations to receive the depreciation allowance, the depletion allowance, tax write-offs on land investments and so on. We have been rather fair to them.

In the meantime, since they have generated more capital and more profits, it seems the trend now in Ontario and Canada is for these corporations to move out of Ontario and make more foreign investments in the United States and other areas.

I feel that the type of taxation introduced by the Minister of Revenue and the Treasurer, which taxes the individual further and then turns around and gives grants to healthy corporations, is an unjust, unfair tax policy on the part of this government. It is not right, and I do not think it is called for. Individuals and corporations both have a responsibility to pay taxes in a fair and equitable manner. I feel that the burden recently has been shifted on to the individual, and it is not fair.

For example, as I suggested to the Minister of Housing (Mr. Bennett) last night when he was talking about his program for giving grants to the developers in Ontario, perhaps instead of giving the $42 million to developers to increase residential homes and apartments in Ontario and to increase working capital and create jobs in the industry, he should make that money available to individual home owners, the persons who want to buy new homes, to assist them in paying the high interest rates that new home owners are facing today.

If the government gives some assistance to home owners to purchase new homes, I am sure the same number of jobs will be created and industry will have the same opportunities to share in that type of development in Ontario. There are other ways to go about it. But to give an out-and-out grant to the private sector, which has done very well in the past 10 years in building high-rise apartments, is not justified with the present high interest rates.

In fact, if one wants to give home owners a break in this area to reduce the high interest rates, why not give it to them interest-free? Give them a tax reduction on the interest rates they are paying on their homes. That is not asking too much, and it certainly would give some assistance to the person who has to pick up the tab on the heavy increases that the Treasurer has put forward. One has to give the home owner, the person who is buying a home and paying high interest rates, some break now, because many people are going to be losing their homes, and many have already.

The same thing applies to the farming community. High interest rates are killing that industry. I suggest again that to tax the individual is not fair and justified.

When I look at the tax proposals put forward by the government, the high interest rates and the inflationary costs today, and the proposals put forward by this government to move the economy into an upswing, I do not think they are going to reach their goal, because they are working at cross-purposes with the federal government and the Bank of Canada. One cannot have high interest rates and expect people to go out and invest money in new industries. They cannot carry that load.

I suggest that taxing the people at this end and hoping the revenues from that are going to spur the economy in Ontario to generate new jobs, to generate productivity and to gear up industry will not work if one does not have a consumer who is able to buy the product. If one keeps taxing the consumer, one is removing that money from his pocketbook.

All I am suggesting to the Minister of Revenue is that there are other areas. The only way, I believe, that the government can swing the economy around and restore the consumer's confidence is to give him the money; then he will go out and swing it around without the government's having to give grants to industry to do it.

We should not tax the average wage earner to death so the government can give it to the rich. It is wrong; it is an injustice. We should put the money into the hands of the consumer, the local wage earner, and he will turn the economy around without the government's having to subsidize this or that industry.

12 noon

There are other areas I would like to get into but I know that time is pressing and I do have a note here that says, "Wind it up." I tell members that this is an important area, and I suggest that the approach taken by the government is wrong. That is the reason that we on this side will not be supporting the increase in the personal income taxes.

There are other areas that the government should be tapping, and I feel the local corporations have been riding on a crest in the last couple of years through tax allowances and tax benefits given to them. I feel they should be shouldering some of this responsibility in a time of tight money, high inflation and high interest rates. Based upon that, I suggest we will be opposing the bill.

I want to add one other quote that I should read into the record. This relates to the Board of Industrial Leadership and Development program, and is from a speech by the Treasurer delivered on January 27, 1981. It says:

"During this period of adjustment, social priorities have been protected and high standards of service maintained. The fat has been cut from spending, but essential programs have not been eliminated. Local governments, schools, hospitals, universities and other agencies have continued to receive substantial provincial support.

"Prudent management of spending has enabled planned reductions in the provincial deficit. The deficit shrank from $1.8 billion in 1975-76 to $0.7 billion in 1979-80. Because of this improvement, the province has been able to avoid substantial tax increases which would have proved damaging to the economy."

That is sheer nonsense. What the government has done here is to increase almost every level of taxation. It has taken everything but the wallet from the wage earner in Ontario. I suggest, based upon that, we cannot support the bill.

The Deputy Speaker: Mr. Wildman.

Mr. Wildman: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. You were more attentive last night in recognizing me when I was about to speak in the debate.

I rise to speak in opposition to Bill 77, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act, and to express the concern of this party about the fiscal policies of this provincial government.

I suppose the Minister of Revenue (Mr. Ashe) might expect the members of this party to support an increase of the provincial income tax since, of all of the tax increases in the budget, this is the only one that in any way could be considered progressive.

It is certainly true that a provincial income tax that is geared to ability to pay is a more progressive type of taxation. It is not like a sales tax where everyone, no matter how much money one makes, pays the same tax on a purchase of a certain commodity. It also is not like the ad valorem approach the government is taking towards gasoline, fuel and other commodities in this budget. It is not asking for the ability to automatically increase the tax rate without coming back to the Legislature for approval.

It is not enough simply to look at the income tax increase in a vacuum and to act as if this is the only tax change that this government is bringing in as a result of the budget. When members look at the whole fiscal package the government has introduced, they will find it is in no way progressive.

Certainly, when we look at the effect of the Ontario health insurance plan premium increase and the fact that the government is requiring every family in this province, no matter how much that family's income is, to pay an additional $72 for OHIP, and then look at the fact that the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller) in his budget statement made the comment that he was unwilling to change the corporate tax rate because of the need to maintain a good investment climate, that is why we are very unhappy and very much opposed to the fiscal approach of this government.

The Treasurer is so determined to protect the corporate sector, to protect what he calls the good investment climate, that over the years the share of provincial revenues provided by the corporate sector has dropped. The average share in the 1960s was around 17.7 per cent of provincial revenues. By this year, that share will have dropped to 12 per cent.

Obviously, when the share of taxes paid to the provincial government by the corporate sector is lowered, the government must look elsewhere for its revenue to meet its fiscal obligations. All of us in this Legislature and throughout the province know where this government has looked to obtain its additional revenue. It has looked to the ordinary individuals and families of this province at a time when the Treasurer himself admitted in his budget statement, "Over the past three years, wage increases have lagged behind inflation in Ontario."

The Treasurer admits that the average wage earner in this province is dropping behind in terms of his real income, the amount of money he has to spend for food, shelter, clothing, transportation and so on at a time when prices are rising, and it has been more and more difficult for the ordinary wage earner to meet his obligations over the last three years.

To be fair, this government does not try to participate in the charade that the federal Liberal government has tried to perpetrate on this country. At least this government admits that wage earners have fallen behind in Ontario. The Prime Minister of Canada, through subterfuge, would have us believe that the real incomes of Canadians have risen over the last decade, that things are not really too bad and inflation is all right and that therefore he can justify not doing anything on behalf of the average wage earner.

To be fair to Mr. Trudeau, I suppose, at least he tries to justify that the federal government is not doing anything for the average wage earner. He tries to justify it through an argument that I believe is fallacious, but he at least tries to justify it.

We have the unusual situation here, where this government honestly admits that wage earners have fallen behind over the last three years, that inflation is hurting them, and then says: "Despite that, we are going to increase their income tax rates. We are going to take more money from them, even though their real income has been dropping. We will increase personal income taxes by nine per cent in the province."

At the same time, of course, the Treasurer says in his statement that he wishes to "leave the corporate income tax and capital tax rates unchanged." It is obvious what interests are represented on that side of the House. The average wage earner will pay more and will be hurt more. The corporate sector will continue to pay the same rate, and the trend of a lower and lower share of the provincial revenue from the corporate sector will be continued and maintained.

That is always justified on that side of the House on the basis that they must maintain what is called an investment climate to maintain jobs in the province. They like to argue that if we did not follow this fiscal policy the economy of this province would be hurt so badly, investment would taper off, that there would be no growth of any significant amount, and that would mean there would be no jobs and therefore the wage earners whom they are taxing would not be making any money -- they would be out of work.

12:10 p.m.

Basically that is a scare tactic, and it is not based on fact. If their policy of a good investment climate is actually working then why is it that we have had such a slow rate of real economic growth over the last few years? If their whole economic policy is adequate, why are we facing the economic problems we face today?

Since the budget was introduced no one on that side of the House -- neither the Treasurer nor the Minister of Revenue nor anyone else -- has stood up during this whole debate in this session and tried to justify the government's economic and fiscal policy. They have just sat and listened.

The Minister of Revenue, when he has heard the opposition spokesmen make their points, has sat somewhat impatiently at times and at other times more patiently; he has stood up at the end of the debate to move second reading and has looked at the clock and said: "Because of the time I really do not want to respond at too great a length to the comments made by the opposition. I am sure everyone understands the policy of the government, and, besides, as the Minister of Revenue I do not set the policy; it is set by my colleague the Treasurer."

Hon. Mr. Ashe: I did not say that.

Mr. Wildman: The minister has said that at times in this House. Quite frankly, it is true, he does not set the policy. I do not debate that. It is set by his colleague the Treasurer, who in most cases does not even appear when budget bills are being debated in the House. He leaves it to his friend and colleague the Minister of Revenue.

Hon. Mr. Ashe: Well, colleague anyway.

Mr. Wildman: Perhaps they were friends before the minister got into this role; I do not know.

The problem with the argument that the government puts forward about the need for a good economic climate and thus about the need to maintain lower corporate tax rates is that if we look at the performance of the economy in whatever industry one wants to pick -- whether it be food processing or the auto industry especially, machinery, electronics or whatever -- we can see serious problems. We can see plants that are being shut down; we can see parent firms that are withdrawing from their operations in this province and moving and consolidating their operations in the parent's plant. We do not see any evidence that the government's policy of further concessions to the corporate sector has worked. Yet this government continues it like a broken record, over and over.

If the government feels the opposition has been making the same kinds of points over the last couple of months I think we might be forgiven if we look at the performance of this government over the last few years in its economic policy and planning. It is the same thing over and over again despite the fact that it does not work.

I suppose the Treasurer and the government are trapped by their ideology. They like to talk about this party as being too firmly committed to a particular ideological view, but when one looks at their performance it is really they who are the ideologues. They are the ones who are determined that the only real way to provide economic growth in this province is through concessions to the corporate sector. When they do that it means they must raise taxes elsewhere because they have obligations they have to meet, and that means the burden must fall on the ordinary wage earner in this province.

It makes sense, as I said, when one looks at the overall view of things. This government perhaps represents the interests for whom they are not raising taxes. They would like to think they represent all the interests in the province. I do not think this budget and this bill indicate that they represent the workers of this province, the average wage earners or the small businessmen. Why does big business get off so easily while there is no additional assistance for small business?

It is interesting that in his budget statement the Treasurer admitted that the policy of concessions to the corporate sector to encourage development had failed in one specific area, and that is in encouraging the growth of research and development in this province. The Treasurer said the concessions this government had given for R and D had been a failure, and we were not going to meet, by 1985, the target the federal government has put out for encouragement of R and D for this country. We are just not going to make it. The Treasurer admitted that, but he did not have any other options, he did not have any other suggestions. All he could say was: "We have given all these concessions. They have not worked." He has no idea what can be done, so he says, "Perhaps the federal government should give some more concessions."

He has admitted his policy of concessions is a failure, yet he is suggesting the federal government should follow a further policy of the same sort and perhaps some way -- through magic, I suppose -- it will not fail where his government has. There is just a complete bankruptcy of ideas over there. The government cannot come up with any other proposal, so it continues the same tired policies that benefit the corporate sector but do not provide the results the government wishes. There is no question the corporate sector benefits from tax concessions or rebates on taxation; no question about that. But it does not produce the results in terms of jobs that this government would like the people to believe. In most cases, all it produces is an increase in profits, and the profit picture has not been bad over the last couple of years.

Ironically, on the few occasions when these concessions, which are directly aimed at providing for jobs in the province through modernization of plants or R and D or whatever, do have the desired effect, when the corporation does indeed become involved in those kinds of new developments, the net result in terms of employment is a loss of jobs, not an increase in jobs. We have seen that not just with tax concessions but with the other very invidious approach, I think, of this government, and that is through direct grants, either from the employment development fund or the Board of Industrial Leadership and Development program. The worst example, of course, is the pulp and paper industry, which this government does not like to hear about, because even its own advisers are telling it those grants were not needed for its purposes.

At the time the announcement was made under the EDF program, the vice-president of Spruce Falls Power and Paper Company made a statement that his company, and the pulp and paper industry in general, did not need, nor did they want, grants from the public purse for modernization of equipment; that they were good corporate citizens; that they were innovative; that they were good free enterprisers and did not believe a so-called free enterprise government should be involved in that way in the free market; that they would carry out their responsibilities without this kind of money from the public sector.

But despite that, this government went ahead and made the grant. It is interesting that the corporate executive to whom I was referring then said, "Well, of course, if the other companies are going to get grants, our company should get one too, in order to remain competitive." I have always felt with some sadness that this government, which professes to be a free enterprise government, has subverted the free enterprise philosophy of a man like the vice-president of Spruce Falls.

The Deputy Speaker: What is more interesting to me is how this relates back to the bill.

Mr. Wildman: Mr. Speaker, as you are well aware, this relates to the bill. As we know, the reason this government is increasing the personal income tax rate is to assist it in raising $603 million in revenue so that it can maintain a deficit level in revenues of less than $1 billion. The reason they are having to move to this kind of taxation is because they are unwilling to raise it in the corporate sector. If they do not collect money in one area, they have to collect it in another.

12:20 p.m.

We have seen what they have done in terms of sales taxes and ad valorem taxes and so on. There has been protracted debate on that in this House and now we see what they are doing with the corporate sector in giving them a free ride while collecting more and more from the ordinary wage earner in the province. That is how it relates.

Mr. Di Santo: They are making bums out of the corporations. Corporate welfare bums.

Mr. Wildman: Corporate welfare, that's right. Where have we heard that before? I am sure the Minister of Revenue will reiterate this when he gets up to respond -- if he responds. He will argue that in relation to the federal tax rate this government is only raising the personal income tax rate from 44 per cent to 46 per cent this year, and then to 48 per cent next year and that it is one of the lowest in the country. I think the government argues it is the third lowest in Canada. They like to go around telling the world, "Yes, we did increase personal income taxes but they are still lower than most of the tax rates in the country."

The argument ignores the fact that most of the other provinces to which this government compares itself do not collect health insurance premiums. They are taxing at a higher level partly because of the fact they pay for their health care systems through direct government revenues, through taxation. We cannot ignore those health care taxes, because that is what they are. It is unfortunate that we do not have the opportunity of voting directly on that policy except through a no-confidence vote, because when we combine the Ontario health insurance plan premium increase with the increase in personal income taxes we see that the percentage of the federal tax is much greater than 44, 46 or 48 per cent.

I will not go into this at length, but a family earning $15,000 a year will be paying 80 per cent; one earning $20,000 will be paying 70 per cent; and one earning $25,000 will be paying 65 per cent. That is the real level. I know the Minister of Revenue said in the House before that it is unfair, we should be talking about real dollars and not percentages, but the fact is we do not have a progressive tax system when we combine the OHIP tax with the personal income tax. In fact, the less people earn, the larger percentage they pay. That is not progressive and that is the reason we cannot accept the fiscal policy of this government. We believe the taxation must be made as progressive as possible and the rate paid in taxes must be related to the ability to pay and to the amount of money earned. We cannot accept it.

It is not as if we are saying we are opposed to this increase and we are opposed to the OHIP premium increase and that is it; we are just opposed, we are not providing any alternative. That is not the case. Over and over this session we have indicated to the government that we understand it has to increase its revenues. They have a fiscal problem. We do not really believe they should be increasing their revenues to give away grants to the private sector which are not needed, but there are certainly social programs being cut, health care programs, hospital programs where there are cuts taking place that we cannot accept.

We understand that the government must increase its revenue in order to pay for those programs, but we suggested ways that could be done. We said the corporate tax rate could be increased by one point. That would be $82 million. We said some of those tax expenditures, the concessions to the corporate sector, could be closed. That would provide revenues. Even in terms of the fast write-off on machinery and equipment, that would be $340 million this year.

We talked about the possibility of re-establishing a succession duty on the top three per cent of estates in this province. That has been objected to by my Liberal colleagues because they say we are interested in taxing the dead. I have said before that if we do not collect those kinds of revenues what we are doing, by increasing revenues through personal income taxes and Ontario health insurance plan premiums, is taxing the poor and the sick because we are not taxing the dead.

If the government really believes it should increase the income tax rate why must it look at an across-the-board increase instead of being a little more imaginative and looking at the possibility of a surtax, for instance, on incomes over $40,000 a year so that those making more would be paying more? Those kinds of wage earners might have recourse to other exemptions to protect them, such as registered retirement savings plans and so on, but why did the government not at least try to be progressive in its approach?

We have said repeatedly over the years this government should look at a return on resources development in this province even approaching the rates obtained not only in Saskatchewan but even in Alberta. By looking at Saskatchewan, discounting oil and gas energy and just looking at metal and nonmetal resources, we could be collecting more than five times as much as we are collecting in Ontario today.

Those progressive sources of revenue would provide more than the $603 million this Treasurer is increasing the revenues this year and more than enough to provide for progressive programs we believe are necessary in this province. We are opposed to this kind of increase. We are opposed to an across-the-board income tax increase which, combined with the health care tax, means we have a very regressive system. For that reason, the members of my party will vote against this bill.

Mr. Laughren: Mr. Speaker, I will speak briefly to this bill because I know the minister would like the wisdom of a couple of New Democrats in this debate. I hesitated for some time before deciding I wanted even to vote against this bill. I do not mind confessing that to you.

Hon. Mr. Ashe: Stand up when we do.

Mr. Laughren: I am standing up now telling you why I came to the decision I did. It seems to me as a Socialist, when it comes to progressive taxes, that is what I am in favour of and, therefore, I should be supporting progressive taxes such as those based on income.

I was thinking about an old friend of mine -- in spirit, if not in other ways -- Mr. Kenneth Carter, who through the federal Royal Commission on Taxation made some profound comments on taxation in this country and who was scuppered by the federal Liberals in implementing any kind of true tax reform. Mr. Carter talked about how, when one looks at any one tax, one can make the mistake of saying one has a progressive tax system or a regressive tax system.

He said: "In the light of these criteria, we believe that the present tax system is inequitable in many important respects. The combined effect of sales taxes, corporate income taxes, property taxes and the present personal income tax rate and base is such that lower income individuals and families pay higher taxes than is equitable when compared to the middle and upper income individuals and families."

That was the late Ken Carter speaking. Those are very true words. I suspect this government would not deny otherwise when discussing its own tax system.

12:30 p.m.

What it boils down to is that, despite all the taxes, all the tax credits and all the income supplement programs in this country, in 1981, roughly 35 years after the end of the Second World War, we still have zero redistribution of income in this province or anywhere else in this country. There has been no redistribution of income and wealth whatsoever. The bottom 20 per cent of income earners now earn four per cent of the national income and the top 20 per cent earn 40 per cent in round figures.

That has not changed since the Second World War, despite the plethora of income support programs and tax credits. It does not change and it will not change as long as we have these great free enterprise luminaries sitting on the other side of the House and in Ottawa. As a New Democrat, I am offended by that. One reason I am a New Democrat is because I believe in a more equitable tax system.

In its recent budget, the government has chosen to raise some user fees, some sales taxes and some income tax. I do not disagree with the need for some user fees. For example, I have no hangup about special taxes on liquor, cigarettes or even racing at the tracks. However, I am greatly offended by a tax on OHIP premiums. That tax offends me a great deal. As my colleague the member for Algoma (Mr. Wildman) said, when we add all the personal taxes that apply to individuals in this country, Ontario ranks as number one in imposing taxation on its citizens. There is no other province, including the poorer maritime provinces, that imposes as high a level of personal taxes on its citizens as Ontario does.

Over the years, Ontario has been able to disguise that by raising things like OHIP premiums. In a society as wealthy as Ontario, it is a disgrace that to this day we have OHIP premiums. It will be one of the major gains for the people of Ontario when they decide it is time to replace that tired old group over there with exciting New Democratic Party government in Ontario. One can tell from my colleagues that it is going to happen. Would they thump their desks for an idle promise? No, they would not.

Hon. Mr. Ashe: It depends which way you are going to move to make room for the Liberals.

Mr. Laughren: The Liberal Party has a long way to move to the left before it starts bumping into New Democrats in Ontario.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Or until they bump into us, for that matter.

Mr. Laughren: As a matter of fact, they could lurch perceptibly to the left and still not bump into the Tories in Ontario, at least some of them. I look at the member for Waterloo North (Mr. Epp). He could sprint to the left and not even get close to the Tories. However, there are others over there who would not have to sprint so far, I suspect, including their leader.


Mr. Laughren: We are trying to save the good people of Ontario from a continuation of Tory rule that has gone on for almost 40 years now.

Mr. Elston: Is that why you want extra money from them?

Mr. Laughren: As free enterprisers, they should know that they live in a smash-and-grab society. If they think New Democrats will stand by and not obtain as much research money as possible in order to make that government honest, then they really are silly and they do not understand New Democrats.

Mr. Speaker: Could you return to the bill now, Mr. Laughren?

Mr. Laughren: I shall try very hard, Mr. Speaker.

There is the member for Sudbury (Mr. Gordon). I am glad to see him in here this morning. When it comes to revenue that could be used, instead of regressive taxes, the member for Sudbury could give the government some suggestions as to where to get it. I do not know whether he intends to --

Mr. Gordon: I can give you suggestions as to where to spend it.

Mr. Laughren: Yes, where to spend it. But unlike the member for Sudbury I have always believed one has to create wealth before one can spend it. The Tories are very bad that way. They go about willy-nilly spending money without really changing the tax base. It is like when we created regional government in Sudbury -- a whole new level of government but no new resources for it, no continuing resources for it in the form of increased resource revenues in the province.

Mr. Gordon: It is a great city.

Mr. Laughren: Sudbury is a great city, yes. I went there voluntarily. I was not born there -- I went there by choice. So, like my colleagues, I am not going to support this bill, because it is part of a package of taxation we find so terribly regressive. You cannot accept one tax without taking into consideration all the other taxes that go to make up tax policy in Ontario. For that reason I am going to oppose the bill with my colleagues, although I did some soul-searching to come to that decision, quite frankly.

The government had the possibility of raising money through succession duties, which they have walked away from completely, on estates of over $300,000. They had that floor in place and they wiped it out. Now no succession duties are paid in Ontario. They had the opportunity for all sorts of increased resource revenues and they walked away from it. Finally, they have an opportunity to take up the 50 per cent on capital gains tax that is not being taxed at the present time. That would be truly a progressive tax in the province, and it could raise some substantial revenues as well.

So for those reasons I join all my colleagues in opposing this bill.

Mr. Speaker: Does any other honourable member wish to participate in this debate? If not, the minister.

Hon. Mr Ashe: Mr. Speaker, I will try to respond briefly to a few points and questions raised by the honourable members opposite. I think it is only fair, since I did not have an opening statement, to clarify for the benefit of the record that during 1981 the effective rate is not 48 per cent but 46 per cent, because the --

Mr. Wildman: I said that.

Hon. Mr. Ashe: I appreciate that, but there was some uncertainty somewhat earlier. Forty-six per cent is the effective rate for 1981, since the 48 per cent rate is only applicable for half of the year. I shall point out for the benefit of honourable members, as I was told I should, the fact that, with the increase, Ontario still has one of the lowest personal income tax rates in Canada.

Reference has been made to hitting the individual taxpayer again. Yes, that is true. But it is not at the expense, to use the words of others, of "big profits of corporations and still growing." It is true that some parts of the corporate sector have had great success recently in their profit and loss columns -- mostly in the profit column -- but I suggest that this does not necessarily mean that right across the board all corporations are making more and more money.

There was also the suggestion -- and I think there is some uncertainty in the minds of some members -- as to the way the corporate tax rate works vis-à-vis the profits of the corporations and the personal income tax rate. We seem to be talking about a low rate of 10 or 14 per cent when we mention the corporations, and we are talking about these big numbers, 46 or 48 per cent, when we talk about personal income tax rates. That is not really the case at all.

The personal income tax rate is a percentage of the federal income tax, whereas the corporate rate is a percentage of the profits of the corporation itself. When one puts those numbers into perspective it is clear that both the tax rate and the percentage of growth of the tax rate of the corporate sector have grown over the last number of years. In the last decade -- I think that was a period of time used by at least one member opposite -- personal income tax revenues, including the estimates from fiscal 1981-82, are projected to increase 328.6 per cent. In the same period the total revenues from corporation taxes will have increased 353 per cent, contrary to the position that their percentage has gone down in the last decade. Of course that is not so.

If we were to look at actual rates themselves we would note, for example, that someone with a personal taxable income as low as $2,000 pays an average rate provincially of something in the order of five per cent of their actual income.

12:40 p.m.

I would suggest this will have great appeal to the members of the third party. A person would have to earn a personal taxable income of $100,000 before the average rate provincially reaches 14.7 per cent. That is really the first level where it has exceeded the corporate tax rate even when we exclude the small business deductions. So whether we are looking at the dollars or looking at the rates, the corporations are paying their fair share.

I find something else rather difficult in the third party's rationalization in deciding not to support this legislation. That is the lack of recognition that not only is the personal income tax progressive -- which has already been identified, I acknowledge that -- but the fact that in this legislation we have lowered the taxes for an estimated 60,000 Ontarians at the lower end of the income scale. This must have great appeal, I would suggest to the members, if for no other reason than humanitarian, particularly to the members of the third party.

This has not been recognized at all in the comments being made opposite. There was no recognition, and some comparisons with the corporations have not been mentioned at all. Of course, we are not discussing the amendment to the Corporations Tax Act at this time. I suggest to the members that those who have made those references should go back and look at the budget document, and the statements that were contained therein, and they will find there have been impositions on certain parts of the corporate sector, vis-à-vis extra demands on them during the coming fiscal year.

I give one example, which relates to the resource sector. There are going to be limitations to the deductions for expenses and allowances for write-offs, and a reduction in the extent to which oil and gas corporations may deduct depletion allowances. These will generate an additional $15 million.

There was also reference to the fact we have done nothing to help small businesses. Again, may I draw the members' attention to the budget under the heading "Small Business Development Bonds," which I think is a very attractive vehicle for the small business to raise necessary capital.

Mr. Speaker, I hope my brief comments have convinced at least some members opposite in the third party to reconsider their decision and support this piece of legislation.

Mr. Speaker: Those in favour of the motion will please say "aye."

Those opposed will please say "nay."

In my opinion the ayes have it.

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.

12:50 p.m.


Hon. Mr. Bennett moved second reading of Bill 85, An Act to amend the Planning Act.

Mr. Nixon: Has the minister got a statement?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, if the members wish to have some debate on it, that is fine. I think the compendium to the bill has been issued to the opposition. The bill has four relatively simple amendments to the Planning Act.

One has to do with the Partition Act, but I think it has been explained on more than one occasion. It is causing us some difficulty with subdivisions being approved as a result of a presence before a judge. I doubt very much anyone in this House or this Legislature could agree that a judge should be trying to do the planning for any given municipality.

The second section deals with the fact that, in land drainage which abuts one piece of property to another for a longer period than 21 years, it would require to gather a consent. We are eliminating that requirement. Drainage really applies more to the Minister of Agriculture and Food.

The third one relates to the Ontario Municipal Board where there are appeals from Ontario Municipal Board decisions that relate to decisions made by committees of adjustment on severances. Where they are of a strictly local nature, we have moved the amendment to the act so that the appeal ends at the time of the OMB decision. It cannot be brought forward to cabinet.

The other issue relates to land division and committees of adjustment where they have asked for an increase in fees for applications made before them. It has been some years since there has been an upward change and we are now bringing it up to a maximum of $100. It is optional. In the new Planning Act that will come forward in the fall, there will be further amendments to that situation.

Mr. Epp: Mr. Speaker, we also will be supporting this bill. They are largely technical matters or housekeeping measures that are included in the bill.

If we look back over some years we find that back in the 1940s and the 1950s there was little time spent on planning matters as far as municipal councils were concerned. I recall my father-in-law, who was planning board chairman in the city of Waterloo back in the 1950s, telling me even at that time the map for the city of Waterloo was on the back door of a shed that a blacksmith was using. He had the map for the city there in the late 1940s and the early 1950s, so they did not have a planning department in the city of Waterloo. I presume that a lot of other places did not have the sophisticated staff they now have to deal with planning matters.

As a result of the disinterest, or less emphasis on planning matters, a lot of the other acts we had in the province dealt with planning. Since that time it has been the custom or the intention of government to concentrate planning more in certain planning acts, rather than have them concentrated in other statutes.

As the minister has indicated, one of the measures included in this bill deals with mutual agreements made between land owners on drainage matters and with subdivision control. This will help to clarify that part of the act.

The second part is very important, particularly to various municipalities in this province -- the reason being that individuals who have sharp lawyers representing their interests have been able to take those matters to judges and have decisions made on the basis of the Partition Act, rather than on the Planning Act. These decisions have not always been ones that would have had concurrence if they had been dealt with under the Planning Act.

It is proper the ministry should take the initiative at this point and give less emphasis to the Partition Act and more to the Planning Act, particularly with respect to section 29 of the Planning Act.

When we look at the Partition Act, we find that in the Supreme Court of Ontario, the Court of Appeal, a judgement was written by Judge Arnup back in December 1980 in a case between William Yeotes, George Zegouras, Peter Zegouras and David Ross as the defendants, and the Attorney General, William Harry, Catherine Harry and Hazel Harry as the plaintiffs.

We find in that case Judge Arnup is speaking to these two joint actions that the Partition Act can be used as a means of subdividing land without complying with provisions of the Planning Act as amended in section 29. Judge Montgomery held that in the method adopted and the result achieved by the respective sets of defendants there was "a censurable evasion of a statute." He said the defendants constituted "a censurable evasion of a statute" and that there was "an insult to an act of Parliament." I suppose he was referring to the Planning Act in that particular judgement.

He goes on with a number of cases, such as the case of Kilbourn and the committee of adjustment in 1975, where he finds that "where the divisional courts said direct devices were not a method of severance of land that fell inside the list of prohibited transactions." In other cases, he goes on to say: "A number of the other acts were used for instance in getting divisions of land." He cites the Devolution of Estates Act and Married Women's Property Act.

Obviously, different acts were used. This particular bill will give us an opportunity to concentrate greater emphasis on the Planning Act. The various municipalities have asked for an increase in the fees and, as the minister has indicated, it is optional.

With respect to the committee of adjustment and land division committee decisions going to the cabinet, these are not major decisions and for that reason we will concur with the Ontario Municipal Board being the final arbitrator with respect to these disputes. Some consideration had been made with respect to sending them back to municipal councils -- something that Comay recommended in certain instances -- but, on second thought, we will go along with the government on this particular recommendation that the Ontario Municipal Board be the final arbitrator with respect to the divisions of opinion on committee of adjustment and land division committee decisions.

Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, our party is also supporting this bill because it is closing some loopholes that have developed in the Planning Act. It is incredible to me how long this government takes to close loopholes when people are making great financial benefits from them. I think part of the delay has been the long delay in revamping the whole Planning Act. I hope that will not be delayed too long.

The major loophole that this act is closing is preventing end runs around the planning process by use of the Partition Act. Certainly, land conveyances under that should be subject to the same consents as land partitions and subdivisions under the Planning Act. We certainly support the closing of that loophole. We also support the other section of the bill which raises the fee, because I understand the costs of this kind of process are considerable. We agree with all the other changes in the bill.

I will support second reading of this bill.

Hon. Mr. Bennett: Mr. Speaker, I just want to thank the members of the Liberal Party and of the New Democratic Party for their support. I trust the amendments we have made not only will meet with the satisfaction of the municipalities and the land divisions and committees of adjustment but indeed will also improve the general planning in communities throughout this province.

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I believe that His Honour awaits us so that he may give royal assent to some of these bills.

1 p.m.


Hon. Mr. Aird: Pray be seated.

Mr. Speaker: May it please Your Honour, the Legislative Assembly of the province has, at its present sittings thereof, passed several bills to which, in the name of and on behalf of the said Legislative Assembly, I respectfully request Your Honour's assent.

First Clerk Assistant: The following are the titles of the bills to which Your Honour's assent is prayed:

Bill 59, An Act to amend the Fire Marshals Act;

Bill 69, An Act to amend the Ontario Unconditional Grants Act, 1975;

Bill 70, An Act to authorize the Raising of Money on the Credit of the Consolidated Revenue Fund;

Bill 72, An Act to amend the Gasoline Tax Act, 1973;

Bill 73, An Act to amend the Motor Vehicle Fuel Tax Act;

Bill 77, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act;

Bill 78, An Act to amend the Ontario Pensioners Property Tax Assistance Act, 1980;

Bill 85, An Act to amend the Planning Act;

Bill 86, An Act to amend the Power Corporation Act;

Bill 92, An Act to amend the Registry Act;

Bill 116, An Act to amend the Milk Act;

Bill Pr7, An Act respecting the City of Windsor;

Bill Pr14, An Act respecting the City of North York.

Clerk of the House: In Her Majesty's name, the Honourable the Lieutenant Government doth assent to these bills.


Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, before moving the adjournment of the House, I want to indicate the business for Monday.

The House will be sitting on Monday afternoon and evening to consider legislation. Immediately after question period, we will begin with Bill 67, followed by Bill 129, the amendments to the Workmen's Compensation Act. Then the House will go into committee of the whole to consider Bill 89, Bill 90 and Bill 95. The House will then consider second reading of Bill 68, followed by Bill 124, Bill 126 and Bill 127.

The House adjourned at 1:04 p.m.