32e législature, 1re session








































The House met at 2 p.m.



The Deputy Speaker: The chair has two notices this afternoon, the first being on the Order Paper. It indicates the House will be commencing routine business at 2 p.m. and then again at 8 p.m. The 8 p.m. order is incorrect, as agreed to by all party House leaders. It will be struck from the record.


The Deputy Speaker: Further, I beg to inform the House that the Clerk has received from the commissioners of estate bills their favourable report on Bill Pr21, An Act respecting the Trusteeship of the Balance Share Warrant of Global Natural Resources Limited.


Mr. G. I. Miller: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege: The apples on the desk are courtesy of the member for Haldimand-Norfolk. They were grown in Vittoria. The purpose is to get us all in the Christmas spirit and to bring to the attention of the Premier (Mr. Davis), the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller) and the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. Henderson) what agriculture really means to Ontario. I hope they will not put us in the position of the people in Poland while we have plenty of food. This is to draw it to the attention of this Legislature.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, on the same point, if an apple a day keeps the teacher away, why is it that while enjoying these apples we still have to endure the presence of the Minister of Education (Miss Stephenson)?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, it is the doctor the apple keeps away. I used to take one regularly when Morty Shulman was my critic in Health.



Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, on Monday and Tuesday of this week I met with the federal Minister of Finance and my provincial colleagues in what I viewed to be a critical session. I would like at this time to provide members with my perspective on what transpired.

The most immediate area of discussion was the recent federal budget with its massive tax changes, cuts in federal transfers to provinces and lack of an economic strategy for the nation. In approaching this meeting, I felt it was necessary not only to make clear Ontario's concern with the budget, but to present to Mr. MacEachen a positive plan of action.

Prior to the ministers of finance meeting, I consulted with a number of associations and business groups in order to hear their views on the federal budget. It was clear from their comments that faith in the economic leadership provided by the federal government, already in serious question, had been dealt a severe blow by the recent federal budget. This confirmed the view that I had expressed previously.

Maintaining a healthy degree of confidence is essential to ensuring an attractive investment climate, a climate where small businesses and large businesses, sophisticated investors and those of more moderate means, will provide the effort, capital and the degree of entrepreneurship that creates jobs and prosperity for all Canadians.

In this regard, I am convinced that certain measures in the federal budget, plus the incredibly abrupt manner in which the changes were brought forward, have serious implications for both short-term and long-term economic prospects. To me, tax measures which encourage individuals and businesses to invest for future economic return are not loopholes but are necessary and legitimate incentive devices.

The federal proposals to reduce significantly provincial transfers are another serious concern.

Mr. Nixon: Did the minister pay $2,000 for this livery?

Hon. F. S. Miller: This is not printed in my new type.

Mr. Nixon: What a waste of tax money.

Mr. Stokes: I am glad you are treating this with the levity it deserves.

The Deputy Speaker: Yes, I thank the member for Lake Nipigon. Would the Treasurer please continue?

Hon. F. S. Miller: The members of this House have been kept fully informed on developments in respect of the negotiations on new fiscal arrangements.

I believe something quite remarkable was achieved in the past two weeks, which should not have been missed by Mr. MacEachen. During the ministers of finance meeting the provinces tabled two reports reflecting their collective position, one on equalization and another on established programs financing. I have made arrangements to ensure that all members receive copies of these reports today.

I was impressed during our meeting with the soundness and strength of the provinces' position on fiscal arrangements. It would have been only too easy to cite all the things the provinces could do to enrich their health delivery and education systems in order to ask for considerably more in transfers than under existing arrangements. Instead, all provinces emphasized the integrity of the long-term established programs financing arrangement negotiated in 1976.

In respect of equalization, the provinces raised some legitimate concerns about the proposed formula and pleaded for more time to examine these problems as well as alternative formulas. Yet, they also indicated a willingness to make any agreed-upon formula, once established, retroactive to the beginning of the fiscal year.

2:10 p.m.

Mr. MacEachen did indicate that his officials will consult with their provincial counterparts during the next few weeks to consider alternatives. Although I question the amount of progress that could be accomplished within such a short time, Ontario will of course participate constructively in an effort to persuade Ottawa to reconsider its EPF proposals.

I also told the Minister of Finance that federal interest rate policy and the timing of additional tax incentives, on top of already large oil price increases, showed a total lack of sensitivity to current economic conditions.

A concrete economic strategy for long-term growth, which if properly designed could encourage activity now, was completely lacking. The federal government once again failed to recognize that action on its part to reinvest petroleum revenues in those sectors facing difficult adjustment problems is essential to promoting solid growth prospects for Ontario and Canada.

Rather than simply criticize, I presented to Mr. MacEachen a five-point program to restore confidence in the Canadian economy.

Mr. Renwick: A mélange of unrelated measures.

Hon. F. S. Miller: Listen to what I proposed. How many points will the honourable member disagree with in his riding?

First, a number of the most damaging tax provisions in the federal budget should be withdrawn. In this regard I must emphasize the critical need for continued incentives for investors, small businesses and farmers. I am also concerned about the impact on our steel industry.

Second, the federal government should withdraw its proposals to reduce federal contributions for established programs and, over the next year, without threats, enter into serious discussions with the provinces about program changes desired by the federal government, their associated costs and a mutually agreed upon allocation of those costs.

Third, the Minister of Finance should turn his immediate attention to the developing economic crisis and encourage the governor of the Bank of Canada to allow Canadian interest rates to decline further relative to United States rates.

Fourth, Mr. MacEachen should re-examine, in conjunction with the provinces, the reinvestment of federal petroleum tax revenues to reflect the priority needs of the non-energy sectors of the economy.

Finally, both the federal and provincial governments should work together to monitor the economic situation and respond with joint actions as required. The improvement in the small business development bond program for farmers would be an example.

I feel that Ontario's proposals were endorsed to a large extent by my colleagues. There is great concern among provincial ministers of finance with the federal budget tax proposals and interest rate policy, and unanimous rejection of the established programs proposal.

The degree of provincial consensus is a critical message to Mr. MacEachen. That is why I am quite disappointed with the response of the federal Minister of Finance. Major changes to certain federal policies and substantial new policy actions are urgently needed. To try to discredit provincial proposals as inconsistent is not only incorrect but also a disservice to the people of Canada and their needs.

Ontario's concern on this matter is sufficient that it may be necessary to consider withdrawing from the personal income tax collection agreement to provide an Ontario income tax structure in line with the needs of its people. This is, of course, a matter of major proportion and one I would look at only as a last resort.

Ontario recognizes the need for a federal deficit reduction strategy but, as demonstrated by our own efforts, this strategy has to be sensitive to economic conditions. Economic and fiscal policy must recognize the high social and personal cost of bankruptcies, layoffs and postponed investment. The fight against inflation has to be waged in a way that is equitable, and not on the backs of small businesses, farmers and ordinary working people.

While a reduced federal deficit is an important element in the fight against inflation, it is also vital that we improve productivity. We must encourage much-needed investment activity, not discourage it, if this is to be achieved. Furthermore, it is questionable how much is gained in combating inflation if the result of the federal actions is that the provinces are forced to raise taxes or increase their deficits to maintain acceptable standards of public service.

Major reductions in the federal deficit, at the expense of investment and the provinces, and at a time when our economic performance is slipping, are inappropriate. Mr. MacEachen's problem is that never having had a viable deficit reduction strategy, he is defending his efforts on this front without regard to legitimate concerns about the nature and timing of his policies.

Ontario is trying to be positive and constructive in its suggestions. We feel the need for federal action is urgent. I honestly hope that upon reflection the Minister of Finance will respond positively to the reasonable and necessary suggestions put forward by Ontario and the other provinces.


Mr. R. F. Johnston: Mr. Speaker, I wish to rise on a point of privilege concerning the Ombudsman, Mr. Morand. It has come to my attention the Ombudsman will be visiting South Africa in the new year as a guest of the International Bar Association, not as our Ombudsman. It strikes me that it is totally inappropriate for the Ombudsman to visit that country. It is wrong because he is known as our Ombudsman, because of South Africa's apartheid policies and oppression, and especially because our select committee will be meeting in February to discuss some of the international ramifications of terrorism, Amnesty International, and human rights problems around the world.

Mr. Bradley: How about Cambodia?

The Deputy Speaker: Order.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Because he is a servant of the Legislature, and because he reports to this Legislature through you, I would hope that you would discourage him from taking this trip.

The Deputy Speaker: I think the appropriate action would be through the committee of the Ombudsman, so that all members might reflect their concerns directly to him.


Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the government I rise on this occasion to pay special tribute to Mr. F. Norman Scott, the Provincial Auditor, who retires at the end of this year after more than 40 years of service to the people of Ontario. He is that shy unassuming man in the Speaker's gallery.

It was the good fortune of the government and people of Ontario when in 1940 Mr. Scott accepted a position with the then Department of Labour. Just a year later he left to join the Royal Canadian Air Force, and following distinguished wartime service, including 18 months as a prisoner-of-war, he returned to the Department of Labour. His career took a new direction when in September, 1952, Mr. Scott joined the Office of the Provincial Auditor as chief audit accountant, subsequently rising to become Provincial Auditor.

Under his guidance and direction, conversion was effected from a pre-audit to a post-audit basis of examining expenditure, and he also shepherded the introduction of the Audit Act, effective on April 1, 1978, which greatly improved the independence of the auditor and broadened his scope and responsibility in many areas.

In recognition of Mr. Scott's distinguished service to his profession, he was made a Fellow of the Ontario Institute of Chartered Accountants. Throughout his career he earned the high regard of his colleagues in the Ontario government, including the civil service and elected members on both sides of the House.

As Mr. Scott now prepares to relinquish his onerous responsibilities at the end of this year, I would like to express to him deep appreciation for his efforts to ensure sound accounting and the utmost integrity in the handling of public funds. Mr. Scott takes with him our warmest good wishes for many happy and active retirement years, secure in the knowledge and satisfaction of a job well done.

At the same time I would like to introduce to the House Mr. Douglas Archer, who will succeed Mr. Norman Scott as Provincial Auditor. As an addendum, following the concept of the act, he will act in consultation with the member for Rainy River (Mr. T. P. Reid).


Hon. Mr. Davis: Why is the member the only one to applaud?

Mr. Archer is very young. He is 53 years of age, which makes those of us who are 52 even younger, was born in the city of Toronto, attended St. Michael's College High School and he obtained a Bachelor of Commerce from that great university, the University of Toronto, and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of this province. He joined the provincial government in 1966, with the Department of Health, as head of internal audit for the medical services insurance plan. In 1971 he was assigned to the Office of the Provincial Auditor as the director, crown agency audit branch. In 1971 he was named the director of the public accounts audit branch and appointed assistant provincial auditor in 1978.

2:20 p.m.

Prior to becoming a member of the public service, Mr. Archer was with a certain life insurance company known as "a piece of the rock," Prudential. That is the only plug I will give. From 1953 to 1956 he held various internal audit capacities, which saw him assigned to the head office in Newark, New Jersey, and to regional head offices in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Toronto.

As a further indication of his competence, he has been not only a great auditor, one in whom I am sure members of this House can repose great confidence, but has also demonstrated he did take some time away from his responsibilities, because he is married, and he is one up on me, having four daughters and two sons. The new Provincial Auditor is in the gallery to the right of the present Provincial Auditor.

Mr. T. P. Reid: Mr. Speaker, I rise to join with the Premier in wishing Norman Scott our best wishes and a happy and healthy retirement. Mr. Scott became the Provincial Auditor for Ontario in 1974, and I was appointed chairman of the public accounts committee at the same time. It is fair to say the operations of the Provincial Auditor and the public accounts committee are about as arcane and esoteric as anything we do in this Legislature.

I want to assure the members in this House we have indeed been fortunate in having Mr. Scott as the Provincial Auditor. I attended numerous conventions with Mr. Scott over the years of our association, but one incident sticks in my mind. Although I would rather say it happened at the Ontario provincial level, to be fair this incident happened in Ottawa. A federal deputy minister was on a panel and said, "I have all this money in my budget that I do not know exactly how to spend." And our auditor said, in his own quiet way: "Mr. Deputy Minister, that is not your money, that is taxpayers' money."

In the last two weeks there was a gathering in the Legislature to honour Mr. Scott on his retirement. It was interesting to me that a number of the people there were those he had audited and criticized over the years. I think that is really the measure of the man. They appreciated two things about Mr. Scott, and I will be proud if, when I leave this Legislature at some time, somebody will say them about me. In his dealings as Provincial Auditor he has been both a professional and a gentleman. We wish him well in his retirement.

I would like to add a word about Doug Archer, who will be the new auditor after December 31. I have also had an opportunity to work with Mr. Archer over the years. I feel we will again be well served by Mr. Archer in the coming years.

The Deputy Speaker: On behalf of the Speaker's office, we would like to express our great gratitude for the long years of service Mr. Scott has provided to this government in Ontario. On behalf of all members of the Legislature and Mr. Speaker Turner we wish you well, and also on behalf of the member for Lake Nipigon (Mr. Stokes), who has served along with you for some four years. I know that member would also like to say a few words.

Mr. Stokes: Mr. Speaker, I would like to associate myself and members of the New Democratic Party with the sentiments expressed by the member for Brampton (Mr. Davis) and the member for Rainy River (Mr. T. P. Reid). As you have said, Mr. Speaker, I have had the opportunity to work very closely with Mr. Scott in the position you now hold. All the work he has done has made the Office of the Assembly and indeed this Legislature look very good. I happen to know a lot of the innovation Mr. Scott has brought to financial accountability in this province has been emulated in a good many jurisdictions, from one end of the country to the other. Not least of all, those procedures turned things around in Ottawa, as a result of some of the innovations made here by Mr. Scott and his staff having been accepted by the former Auditor General, Mr. Macdonnell, and the incumbent there.

As a result of the very diligent and unselfish way Mr. Scott has served this Legislature, the democratic process, and literally everybody in Ontario, all the accolades being cast his way are well-deserved.

While I do not know Mr. Archer as well as I knew Mr. Scott I know of his reputation. I am sure he will follow in Mr. Scott's footsteps in the same way we have been used to under Mr. Scott since 1974.

I would like to join with the Premier and the member for Rainy River in wishing Mr. Scott and his family many years of peace, happiness, harmony, contentment and good budgeting at home.

The Deputy Speaker: As members of the Legislature can appreciate, in terms of ministerial statements, there is a limit. However, under the circumstances, in recognition of Mr. Scott, we will abide an excess of opening statements and now turn to the Minister of Culture and Recreation.


Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, Poland and her people are very much on the world's mind this week.

On Monday, my colleague the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs (Mr. Wells) and other members of this House spoke of the current situation. In his statement, the minister pointed out that the provincial government is working with the federal government to help Polish self-exiles resettle here.

Six weeks ago I made a detailed statement on the resettlement question. At that time I indicated the province was taking special measures to help. I also pointed out that the outstanding voluntary agencies in the community are essential to this resettlement effort. In the first 10 months of this calendar year some 1,300 eastern European self-exiles, most of whom are Polish, have come to Ontario.

Over the past number of weeks, my officials have been working closely with representatives from both the Polish Canadian Congress and the Canadian Ukrainian Immigrant Aid Society. Together, we have been developing a plan to deal with the arrival of Polish self-exiles, some of whom are Ukrainians by ethnic origin. These meetings have helped to determine what financial assistance from my ministry is necessary to ensure the most effective types of reception and settlement services are provided.

I am pleased to announce today that I have just approved a grant of $34,000 to the Polish Canadian Congress to assist in voluntary resettlement work.

Our discussions with the Canadian Ukrainian Immigrant Aid Society are in the final stages, and I hope to be announcing our assistance to the society in the very near future. Thank you.

The Deputy Speaker: A further statement from the minister.


Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, while I am on my feet, we would like to draw to members' attention that we have with us today in the House a young Canadian whose accomplishments are truly remarkable. Her name is Jocelyn Muir. Earlier this year, on September 4, at the age of 15, she swam Lake Ontario. Jocelyn is the youngest person to have done this. She entered the water at Niagara-on-the-Lake and emerged 32 miles away in Toronto. Despite high winds and choppy waters, her swim took only 15 hours and 56 minutes, just 21 minutes more than Cindy Nicholas's world record.

Jocelyn's crossing was a family affair. Her brothers, sisters and parents all had a role to play. The guiding light behind this young woman's extraordinary endeavour was her coach, Joan Lumsden. It was she who convinced Jocelyn's understandably reluctant parents that the marathon swim was within their daughter's capabilities.

I am sure all honourable members will join with me in congratulating Jocelyn Muir and her coach, Joan Lumsden. I know we all look forward to Jocelyn's future exploits and wish her the very best.

2:30 p.m.


Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, later today I will be introducing a bill that will abolish nine statutes of the Legislature and repeal several sections of three existing statutes. This bill, called the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations Statutes Repeal Act, represents the single largest abolition of laws in one statute in the history of Ontario. It will eliminate laws and specific sections that have become obsolete with the passage of time or no longer serve any worthwhile public purpose or duplicate protections contained in other legislation.

I wish to stress that this will be accomplished without in any way affecting our continued commitment to consumer protection. During the last few months, we have contacted groups that might be affected by statutes slated for repeal. They are most enthusiastic about our initiative to clean up and unclutter the province's laws. I should note that we are continuing our review of statutes under the administration of my ministry to determine what other laws could be abolished.

Perhaps I could quickly give a few examples of statutes on which the sun will finally set in our campaign to reduce unnecessary government meddling in the lives of Ontarians. Under the bill to be introduced today, we propose to repeal the Bills of Sale Act. This pre-Confederation statute was originally enacted by the Reform Party government in 1850. It provides that when goods are sold but not delivered immediately, the seller must register the bill of sale with the government as evidence that he no longer actually owns the goods still in his possession.

Theoretically, a wise buyer should check the government's records to determine actual ownership of goods he is interested in purchasing. However, the act would pose colossal problems if its existence, after 131 years, were to become common knowledge, even among lawyers. Many tens of thousands of wholesale and retail sales would be technically void. Businesses, large and small, would be burdened with yet another layer of costly paperwork. In fact, if we ever dared to enforce this act, commerce in this province would be brought to a halt in a confused snarl of paper held together by streams of red tape.

We propose to repeal the Egress from Public Buildings Act. This statute was first enacted in 1866 by the great coalition government. Perhaps its creation a year prior to Confederation was symbolic of a more open and outward vision among Upper Canadians as it requires that doors in public buildings shall open outwards. It is the position of this government that the most appropriate hingeing of doors should be decided by the fire code as a question of safety.

We propose to repeal the Debt Collectors Act. This Victorian legislation, first introduced by a Liberal government in 1896, prohibits the printing, publishing or use of forms which imitate any form used in small claims court or in any other legal process. This act has changed very little in 85 years and, most significant, has not resulted in a single prosecution.

One reason for this is that violations are most likely to be made by unethical collection agencies, which we prosecute under the Collection Agencies Act. We can improve consumer protection by abolishing the Debt Collectors Act and including a code of ethics in the regulations under the Collection Agencies Act to deal more effectively with unscrupulous agencies that attempt to harass the public by passing off their own forms as intimidating legal documents. Regulations will be updated quickly to keep up with the ingenuity of the unethical collection practices.

We propose to repeal the Consumer Protection Bureau Act. This act, which was passed in 1967, requires the creation of a bureau to disseminate consumer information, promote credit counselling services, investigate consumer complaints and enforce consumer protection legislation. Since then, the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations was created, which is devoted to carrying out the information, educational, investigation and enforcement duties once assigned to that bureau.

We propose to repeal the Paperback and Periodical Distributors Act. The act empowers a government registrar to specify the actual territory in which registered Canadian businesses will distribute foreign periodicals and paperback books. In this respect, the act is anticompetitive and infringes on the consumer's choice.

The other statutes marked for abolition are: the Petroleum Products Price Freeze Act of 1975, the Quieting Titles Act, the Co-operative Health Services of Ontario Assets Protection Act and the Ontario Credit Union League Limited Act. These are in addition to the Mortmain and Charitable Uses Act and the Bread Sales Act which are being repealed under separate statutes.

We are also proposing to abolish the licensing of sales agents under the Liquor Licence Act, the Cemeteries Act and the Travel Industry Act. We have found these sections are unnecessary because we already have other, more stringent controls on these industries.

Mr. G. W. Taylor: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker: I would like you and my colleagues to recognize the members of the municipal councils of Innisfil and Barrie, who have just settled the annexation issue. They are here today to watch the progress of Bill 156. I would like you and my colleagues in the Legislature to recognize them. They are seated in the east gallery.


Mr. T. P. Reid: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker: I rise to bring to your attention another promise that has been broken by the government in regard to the freedom of information act. The minister, who is sitting there looking very lonely and intimidated, as he should, indicated that on December 15 we would have an information act. He then backed off and said that at the very least we would have a white paper. Is the minister going to keep stalling until the next election, or can he tell us when we will have it?

Hon. Mr. Sterling: Mr. Speaker, I would be pleased to answer a question on that if it was posed in question period.


Mr. Riddell: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: To make it unnecessary for yet another demonstration by the farmers planned for the Legislature tomorrow, the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. Henderson) must surely have a statement to make in the House today.

The Deputy Speaker: That remains to be seen.


The Deputy Speaker: The member for Kitchener.


Mr. Breithaupt: I hope the members will all be there when I need them.


Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Treasurer with respect to the statement he made in the House today. Four of the five recommendations the Treasurer made call for increased federal spending, and at the same time he has endorsed the federal deficit reduction strategy -- indeed he demanded it in his Reaganomics speech in October.

Why does the Treasurer not give the federal government some feasible economic advice instead of seeking some cheap political headlines with threats to pull out of a national income tax system? Does the Treasurer not realize this is the type of inconsistency that is certainly destroying the credibility he has as Treasurer of Ontario?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, if that is so, then it is agreed to by at least nine other provinces -- in fact in the main by all 10. That was the key point I was making. At that conference, the 10 provinces were united on most issues. One of the things one has to recognize is that we are not inconsistent.

Mr. MacEachen has had great increases in his own revenue because of the oil agreement. Thank goodness for that. At the same time, he has allowed his own personal spending to grow at a large rate and has allegedly had a constraint package at the expense of program transfers to the provinces for health and post-secondary education. We counselled him year after year to show some fiscal constraint. His government not only did not do so, it increased the deficit and debt of this country at a rate never before seen in the history of Canada.

Mr. J. A. Reed: You did too.

2:40 p.m.

Hon. F. S. Miller: Oh, no. At the same time as we were reducing spending below the inflation rate, they were well above. However, there are times in the history of an economy when obviously it is in the interest of the economy to ease up. If one looks at 1975, 1977 and 1980, one will see that we made discretionary changes in Ontario's budget to allow for the fact that the economy had softened. We suggest that is one of his responsibilities.

Mr. Breithaupt: Since the recent report of the Conference Board of Canada shows that Ontario is the sick man of Confederation and that the last two years of the Treasurer's stewardship of the Ontario's economy have confirmed us in tenth and last position, something even he cannot blame on a six-week-old federal budget, what is the Treasurer's reason for suggesting that Ontario has to have its own income tax collection system, which will cost, not his six-year-old figure of about $35 million, but probably more than $100 million in startup and administrative costs?

Hon. F. S. Miller: If the honourable member had read the Toronto Sun or whichever paper quoted me, when they asked me a question they very kindly said after it that I had made a wild estimate of the figure. I told them that. I was told earlier today by my colleague that it was closer to $45 million for the administrative costs of running the program, plus startup costs in the order of about $10 million, as I recall the figure. It costs us almost that much each year for the program the federal government runs for us, something the member may forget.

On the other side of the coin, can the member sit there and watch the tax incentives for small business people get destroyed simply in the interests of tax harmonization? I have to argue that we at the provincial level must have levers open to us to stimulate our economy. If we cannot convince the federal government that its tax changes are wrong, then I certainly must have that option open.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, since Quebec now pays $167 million to raise its own taxes, can the Treasurer explain why, this being a larger province, he is anticipating this kind of commitment to be made some time in the spring to raise his own taxes? Why does Ontario not recognize instead that there are 300,000 people unemployed in the province today and bring in a mini-budget now that will put Ontarians back to work over the course of this winter?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, the very reason I chose to make a suggestion to opt out of the tax collection agreement, which I did with great reluctance because I believe in the tax collection agreement, was that the federal government itself did more to cause unemployment in one budget than any budget we have seen since Walter Gordon's day.

Mr. Breithaupt: Since the Treasurer has stated that his primary goal in what would amount to economic separatism is to restore these investment incentives, how can he ensure that the burden of introducing the new tax system with new rules would not really fall effectively on the lower- and middle-income families in Ontario? Will it really be those people who are again going to pay for these incentives to others in his proposed system? If he loses revenue by that decision, how will he make that up without further cutting into his health and educational programs?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. MacEachen carefully left the impression that people who had capital gains reserves in their income tax calculations were at the high end of the scale. We did a little run through our computers which showed that two thirds of the people who have that kind of protection in their income tax have gross incomes of less than $25,000 a year in Ontario. I would also say that in designing any program we would be very careful to see we did protect those people, (a) who invest in our economy, and (b) who have need of protection.

Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, six months ago the Treasurer was admonishing the federal government to cut its deficit --

Mr. Cassidy: That was the final supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

The Deputy Speaker: It was a new question.

Mr. Peterson: This is a supplementary.

Mr. Cassidy: It is a new question.

Mr. Peterson: He allowed it; I want to ask a supplementary to the Treasurer --

Hon. Mr. Ashe: This is the second question.

The Deputy Speaker: The member for Kitchener began with a new question, and the member for London North is now following up with his supplementary.

Mr. Peterson: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My supplementary question to the minister is this: Six months ago he was advocating that the federal government should cut its deficit. Today in his statement he is saying that major reductions in the federal deficit are inappropriate at this time. In 1980, he had a no-tax-increase budget, as he will recall. When things were far worse, in 1981, his budget of this year had the largest tax increases in modern history in this province.

On the basis of that, does he never wonder why people do not take him seriously as Treasurer of this province or as a spokesman for the financial philosophy of this province?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, I am going to have to help the member with those lines because they were not coming out too clearly in that question.

I would only suggest that, had the member had the good luck to attend this conference the last couple of days, he would have found the Ontario position was the lead position of the conference. It was recognized that Ontario was effectively leading the combined provincial attack on the federal budget.


The Deputy Speaker: Order. I would want to go with a supplementary because we had missed the rotation.

Mr. Wildman: Mr. Speaker, when the minister says the other provinces agreed with him, is he saying they agreed to his proposal for withdrawal from the federal tax collection system; or is he saying the rest of the provinces agreed to this kind of fiscal arm-twisting in order to ensure that he gets the federal minister to agree to his position?

Is he aware it costs Quebec three times as much to collect its taxes as it does in Ontario?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, it costs them three times as much to do almost anything in Quebec as it does in Ontario. That is one of the measures. Does the member know they have far more civil servants? Does he know what their budget deficit is this year? Come on -- $3 billion plus. Does he know that they are faced with measures from their rating agencies that are going to be traumatic and dramatic in the next few weeks?


Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Provincial Secretariat for Resources Development. Today, after seven extensions in three and a half years, the final mediation meeting is taking place between the federal and provincial governments, Ontario Hydro, Great Lakes Forest Products Limited and the Grassy Narrows and Whitedog Indian Bands. Will the minister tell us whether there has been any change in his government's commitment, as confirmed on June 26 by the Premier (Mr. Davis) and on June 29 by the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry), that all health claims on the $15 million Great Lakes Forest Products obligation will be covered by this government?

Hon. Mr. Ramsay: Mr. Speaker, with respect to the mediations, I would not like to think that they are definitely over as far as today is concerned. There has been a great deal of progress made; 34 items have been resolved and there are nine outstanding items. It is true that Ontario placed a final offer to the natives that is being mediated today. I really do not think it would be appropriate to outline that offer in the House at this time because the mediation process is still going on.

I will be quite prepared to table Ontario's final offer later this week in the Legislature if the mediation process does break down today.

Mr. Breithaupt: The minister may feel it is inappropriate to table the offer but I will tell the minister that it is not inappropriate. We were told by the negotiators of the Indian bands at noon today that the province had reversed its decision on December 9. It will not include adults; it will cover only children and the unborn. Will he explain why the Indians have been told that in order to receive any compensation adults must sign away their rights to future health care?

Hon. Mr. Ramsay: I would like to redirect that question to the Treasurer, who was involved in the earlier discussions as to compensation to natives.

Mr. Breithaupt: Who is the minister?

Hon. Mr. Ramsay: I am sorry. I was suggesting that the question be redirected to the Treasurer in respect to the earlier assurances that were given to the natives.

The Deputy Speaker: In the standing orders, it is my understanding that redirections are not always allowed.

Mr. Breithaupt: In case the Treasurer has not heard it, Mr. Speaker, if you wish I will repeat the question.

The Deputy Speaker: Under the circumstances, would you be so kind?

Mr. Breithaupt: Will the Treasurer explain to the House why negotiators for the Indian bands informed us at noon today that the province reversed its position on December 9 and it will not include adults for health care coverage over the $15-million commitment, as part of the purchase price that was shared between the two companies?

2:50 p.m.

Can the minister explain why the Indians have been told that in order to receive any compensation and to clean this entire matter up, the adults must sign away their rights to any future health claims as the province apparently is not prepared to cover any of these additional claims beyond the $15 million, even though we were told in the House, not only by the Attorney General but by the Premier, that this was the policy of the government?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, my involvement in this stems from a letter given, I think, to Great Lakes Forest Products Limited, signed on behalf of the government at the time the assets of Reed Paper were being purchased. I stress assets, as opposed to the company. At that time there was some grave doubt as to whether tortious -- I think that is the word -- liability could follow through an asset.

The law was not only a bit vague on that, but there was some concern in the minds of the lawyers advising Great Lakes that the law could be subject to change and that they could, in fact, be responsible for something that no lawyer, at that point, would have foreseen.

It was in the interests of the economy of the province and of the people of Dryden and the whole northwestern area to see the company carry on. Because no reasonable businessman could take on an unpredictable, unknown responsibility, we gave a letter stating we would assume responsibility for claims arising from the assets charged against them in excess of $15 million that arose from the purchase. That permitted the sale to go through and the renovation of the industry, and virtually the salvation of a community.

Since then there has been a great deal of interpretation as to what comes first. There have been discussions at a number of levels. My colleague and I have talked with them, and so has the Attorney General. They are being dealt with by very competent lawyers at this point. Because they are in a negotiation stage, I find it best to leave the direct negotiations to people who are in the middle of them rather than interpreting them to the member right now.

Our purpose was to protect both the people and the Indians there against unknown and large costs. I do not see any major change in our position. I know we are now dotting i's and crossing t's in the process as to what various commitments mean. Our intention is to see that costs over $15 million are borne by the province.

Mr. Breithaupt: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker: The Premier of Ontario said on June 26 in this House -- and I quote from page 2135 of Hansard, "I think it is fair to state that it is not the intention of the government to limit liability with respect to mercury poisoning." The Attorney General's comments were on the same line in a point raised on June 29. I have now asked and I have not received an answer with respect to whether that privilege is still guaranteed or whether the negotiators are correct in having told us that we have not received the right information. Now which is it? It is a simple question, sir.

The Deputy Speaker: I am having difficulty with it on the basis of whether it is a point of privilege. In that light, I will now hear from the member for Lake Nipigon on a supplementary to the question.

Mr. Stokes: Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the Premier, the Treasurer, the Attorney General, the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Pope) and the Provincial Secretary for Resources Development (Mr. Ramsay) if they will go back over the agreement originally signed between Reed Paper, the province and the Islington band to see whether there was not an ironclad commitment made by this government to satisfy any of the legitimate claims of our first citizens beyond the $15 million that was adjudged to be the responsibility of the previous company, Reed Paper.

Does the provincial secretary not agree he should get the lawyers out of it and sit down with Mr. Justice Hartt and his tripartite mechanism, and Al Baxter, who has been seconded from the Ministry of Natural Resources, to see what is fair by way of compensation to our first citizens, and accept everything in excess of the indemnity that has been inherited by Great Lakes Forest Products Limited, since he gave an ironclad commitment not only to this Legislature but also to our first citizens over that very serious problem?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, since the member mentioned us all, I would now like my colleague to respond.

Hon. Mr. Ramsay: Mr. Speaker, these negotiations are quite complex. If I may correct the record, the Ontario negotiator in this case is Mr. Bob Burgar, and Mr. Burgar rather than Mr. Baxter is dealing with the mediation process we are referring to.

There are actually four different parties involved in these negotiations: Canada, Ontario, Ontario Hydro and Great Lakes Forest Products Limited. It is extremely important that, following the step that is being taken today, the mediation process that is going on today, the native people then in turn -- and I understand they are fully prepared to do this -- meet with Great Lakes Forest Products to try to straighten out some of these points the member is raising.

Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Speaker, will the minister inform this House whether the government is committed, without question, to paying the additional amounts as may be needed to resolve the obligations it has to the adult population as well as the children and those unborn in this health concern? Has he given his negotiators instructions to try to cut back and force a settlement to the agreement required of the adults, or is he simply removing that from the negotiation and saying he is going to stand by the obligation that the Premier has made and that the Attorney General referred to? Which is it?

Hon. Mr. Ramsay: Mr. Speaker, as far as my personal knowledge is concerned, and as far as my involvement is concerned in the past three or four months, we are not cutting back on anything. As I say, that is to my knowledge.


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a new question of the Minister of Labour with respect to the strike at Irwin Toy which has now gone on for six months and which has been provoked because of the archaic labour legislation in this province.

Is the minister aware of the case of Winnie George, who is one of the strikers there, who gets $230 every two weeks when she is working but has to pay $100 for her child care?

An hon. member: Look, here comes Santa Claus.


The Deputy Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Cassidy: I am telling a story about a strike, Mr. Speaker.

The Deputy Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Cassidy: I am in order, Mr. Speaker.

3 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker: I am trying to bring you to order. Under the unique situation of having a very distinguished gentleman who is now walking through the chamber, it would no doubt be appropriate for the chair to leave for 10 minutes and resume the debate at an appropriate time. But all things considered in the festive season, and I am sure the distinguished gentleman will be very short and quick as long as all members do not leave a very long list with him as to what they want for Christmas, we will commence now with the question from the member for Ottawa Centre.

Mr. Cassidy: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Given the fact that the employer, Arnold Irwin of Irwin Toy, is refusing to grant a contract despite the fact --

Mr. Mancini: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker: I want to know if the Santa Claus uniform is union-made.

An hon. member: Yes, that is a union suit.

Mr. Cassidy: I can tell you that the occupant of the uniform, Mr. Speaker, is one of the finest defenders of the labour movement that Ontario has known.

My question to the minister is very simple: Given the adamant refusal of Irwin Toy to grant a contract when all that is being asked is a wage that is 10 cents more than the minimum wage in Ontario, will he give a Christmas present to those strikers and bring in first-contract legislation that will ensure they are able to go back to work with dignity and with a union contract?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, if I may first of all comment on the remark made that this province has archaic labour legislation, I do not accept that, and neither do thoughtful people in society. I mean that seriously. I do not know of any person I have talked to who really seriously thinks we have archaic legislation. As a matter of fact, we are looked upon as having model legislation. I do not think the honourable member does himself or the system any service by making charges like that, which are patently not true.

On the issue of Irwin Toy, anyone would be fooling himself by saying we are not concerned about what is happening at Irwin Toy. The member knows that. He knows how long mediators have been involved in that. He knows that a disputes advisory committee was appointed by this minister to try to help resolve the issue. And he knows that, starting Monday, there is an allegation of unfair labour practices being heard before the Ontario Labour Relations Board. He really does not seem to understand that we feel we have achieved in this province, partly through legislation and partly through remedies that the board has been able to fashion, a method of dealing with first-contract disputes which we think is on a par with any place.

The member's view that first-contract compulsory arbitration would solve the problem is one that I know he has held for a few years. There was a time when he disagreed totally with it. Certainly when it was introduced in British Columbia, let me tell him, the British Columbia Federation of Labour stumped the provinces of the west arguing against it. But then they changed their minds.

If one looks at that legislation out there and how effective it is, one finds that very few of those first contracts are renewed in second agreements. What we are saying here is that the legislation that has been introduced to date has produced a dramatic change in first-contract climate and negotiations and that we feel the board is now fashioning remedies that put us on a par with any province in this country.

Mr. Cassidy: Since the minister refuses to bring in first-contract legislation and since his government's labour laws have failed to get jobs back and to get those workers back to work now for six months, will the minister and the government demonstrate their concern for the strikers at Irwin Toy by declaring an official government of Ontario boycott on Rubik's Cube, Atari electronic games, Strawberry Shortcake dolls, Stomper trucks, the products of Kenner, Tyco or the Ideal Toy Company, Slinky, Transogram, Star Wars models and all of the other products made by Irwin Toy, until the women can go back with a decent contract?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: I know the member for Ottawa Centre does not agree with me when I say that the position of the Minister of Labour is to make sure that the mechanisms are in place to deal with unfair labour practices. Such an allegation is being heard by the board next week, and I do not intend to comment further on it.

Mr. Wrye: Mr. Speaker, given the fact that the problem in getting first contracts seems to involve an inordinately large number of lowly paid female employees, not just at Irwin Toy but also on previous occasions at Fleck Manufacturing in Centralia and K mart in Windsor, surely the minister must understand by now the need for some changes in legislation or some changes in the ministry's attempts to get first-contract bargaining in these disputes.

What kind of changes do they propose which will allow these disputes to be peaceably settled and which will not allow these kinds of long strikes?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member knows that the number and variety of first-contract disputes involve a great number of citizens. I am surprised that he considers there is a sexist element involved in it. The Labour Relations Act was not drafted to deal with particular sexist problems. It was to deal with problems all people were having, and that is what it is doing.

The member and I have had discussions about this before, and he does not seem to be able to come to understand that if one does accept the principle of first-contract compulsory arbitration, there is a necessary consideration before implementing that to have an element of bad-faith bargaining. What I am saying to the member is that if there is bad-faith bargaining found by the Ontario Labour Relations Board next week --

Mr. Martel: Oh, come on. Get serious.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: I cannot predict what they will do, but in the past in the face of those findings, if they so find, they fashioned remedies. I have that kind of confidence in the labour relations system in this province, and so should the member.

Mr. Mackenzie: One final supplementary --

The Deputy Speaker: Order. I wish to bring to the attention of the honourable member that under standing orders, traditionally, hats are not to be worn in the Legislature.

Mr. Kerrio: And that ain't no Santa Claus.

Mr. Mackenzie: In all seriousness, Mr. Speaker, I want to suggest to the minister that it might pay him as Minister of Labour to take a little trip out to the picket line at Irwin Toy and talk to the very good men and women who have been in that long, hard strike out there and to see what they think about this wonderful legislation he talks about. Maybe he could have a little personal talk with some of them about what they are going through in trying to establish a first contract. I invite the minister to go out to the picket line at Irwin Toy.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, this minister has not hesitated in the past to talk to strikers and other workers about a variety of issues. I think the honourable member realizes that if a matter is before the labour relations board, this minister has an obligation and that obligation will be fulfilled.


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a new question for the Treasurer about that other Christmas present, which was introduced a couple of weeks ago, the cut in the maximum rate of taxation from 65 per cent to 50 per cent for people earning more than $25,000 in taxable income per year.

Can the Treasurer explain why it is that all of this government's objections to the federal budget concentrated on loopholes that were mainly of benefit to people earning more than $50,000 a year? Specifically, in terms of the limit on deductibility of interest costs, which the minister now wants to take away and to restore that loophole, 31 per cent of the benefit of that goes to people earning more than $50,000. In terms of income averaging, 21 per cent of the benefit goes to people earning more than $50,000. For income averaging annuities, 87 per cent of the benefit goes to people earning more than $50,000 a year.

Why did the minister seek to restore those loopholes for people in the upper-income brackets and not say a word about the huge tax cut for people in the upper-income brackets which brought their tax rate down to 50 per cent? Why did the minister not propose restoring that rate of taxation and giving a tax cut to ordinary Ontarians instead?

Hon. F. S. Miller: First of all, Mr. Speaker, I completely agree with the tax reduction to an average rate of 50 per cent at the marginal level, for the simple reason that when tax rates get up around 65 and 70 per cent, there is a lot of tax avoidance by illegal means. It is a simple question of collecting more tax and keeping a more honest tax system and, secondly, leaving the persons with the marginal rates some reason to carry on making investments in this country.

3:10 p.m.

The honourable member talked about income averaging annuities as being something for only the very wealthy, but the truth is that one only buys an income averaging annuity in a year when one's income is high. That is the purpose of it. If one has just sold a farm that one has worked all one's life for and made a $100,000 capital gain, then once in a lifetime, once in 20 years perhaps, one obviously has the right to spread that out over a number of years through some device like that. That is what it is aimed at: one-shot income. It is not for people who, on average, have high incomes. There would be no reason to use it if, on average, one's income were high. The member knows that. He could not have been a member of the Financial Times staff without understanding that kind of logic.

The honourable member says the tax loopholes were "for people on a high-income level." Is it true that the average person who buys a life insurance policy with a saving element is at the high end? Of course it is not. They are people who for one reason or another may find it difficult to discipline themselves to put money in a savings account and find it safer to put it into a life insurance policy with a savings element. Is the member going to tell me they should be taxed before they get the income from their investment? I think the member is on the wrong wicket.

Mr. Cassidy: I was around long enough in the financial game, before I was here, to know that when a Treasurer comes in making that kind of claim, he is putting widows and orphans to the front to defend tax privileges for people who are wealthy. That is what the Treasurer is doing.

Why has the Treasurer focused on the loophole with respect to capital gains reserves and asked that go back, when 55 per cent of the benefit with respect to capital gains reserves goes to people who are earning more than $50,000 a year and who have only four per cent of the employment income in the country?

Why is the Treasurer so intent on giving loopholes to people in high brackets and then doing nothing about the tax cuts that they got and that ordinary Ontarians did not get in that budget?

Hon. F. S. Miller: I taught school for nine years and I have recognized that not everyone learns the lesson the first time around. Let me try to go through the lesson once more.

If a person is using what the member calls a loophole, that is, the right to spread income over several years, no matter whether it is income averaging annuity contracts or capital gains provisions, it is because his income will not stay at the high level it was at in the year of taxation. It is as simple as that. If one is consistently going to have a high income, it does one no good to do that.

Mr. Cassidy: Can the minister explain all this concern he has voiced on behalf of middle-income Canadians to the point where he is threatening to withdraw from the federal tax system and have an Ontario personal tax system instead?

What does the Treasurer mean, when the budget he introduced last spring specifically raised Ontario health insurance plan premiums, the gasoline tax and the personal income tax and hit the middle-income Ontarians the Treasurer says he is out to protect? How can he be so hypocritical as to say he will have his own income tax system when he did last spring exactly what he is accusing Mr. MacEachen of doing this fall?

Hon. F. S. Miller: I have a responsibility, which the member and the Socialist party would never accept, to try to bring in as much money as I spend. Therefore, I have to use the gamut of taxes to do that. I only change nominal rates when I need to meet spending requirements. The federal government in this budget has chosen to increase my cash requirements by cutting my transfers. I think that is counterproductive.


Mr. Mancini: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Transportation and Communications. The Hamilton-Wentworth regional council has turned down the Urban Transportation Development Corporation proposal for an intermediate-capacity transit system by a vote of 18 to eight. The system was described by many members of the Hamilton-Wentworth council as being very premature, costly and disruptive and as a system searching for a reason to exist.

Can we assume that the minister will use the $111 million allocated for that project in the Hamilton area to improve local transit service and to improve GO rail service between Hamilton and Toronto?

Hon. Mr. Snow: No, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Cunningham: Mr. Speaker, why does the minister prefer to leave the misconception with the chairman and members of regional council that if they did not accept his rather gratuitous offer of this system, which they did not want and which they rejected last night, they would not have any transit money in the future, notwithstanding the fact that Bill 53 standing on the Order Paper in his own name would increase the subsidy to 90 per cent for the capital costs of electrified buses? Why would the minister leave that misconception with those people?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, with all due respect, I did not leave that misconception with anyone.

Mr. Breithaupt: What misconception did the minister leave?

Hon. Mr. Snow: I did not leave any misconception, I say to the honourable smart aleck who would like to be leader.


Hon. Mr. Snow: Is that unparliamentary, Mr. Speaker? If it is, I will withdraw it. I do not think it is.

There was absolutely no misconception like that. As I have said, and as the member has just pointed out, and as I said to numerous members of the media last night around midnight and this morning --


The Deputy Speaker: Order. The minister has the floor.

Hon. Mr. Snow: The special program funding that was offered for the intermediate-capacity transit system was specifically for an ICTS project. This government will continue to meet the needs of the regional municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth for its transit systems under our normal subsidy program. When the bill on the Order Paper is passed, I hope tomorrow, one of these will be a special subsidy of 90 per cent for electric trolley buses. But that funding will come from the normal municipal transit vote of my ministry's budget.

Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, with this concern over ICTS, can the minister tell us why the Urban Transportation Development Corporation made the determination that the vehicles for ICTS would have to be finally assembled and manufactured in the Kingston area, thus precluding the manufacture of ICTS vehicles anywhere else in the province?

Mr. Smith: That is not a supplementary.

Mr. Foulds: It is tied in to his answer.

Hon. Mr. Snow: With all due respect, Mr. Speaker, I answered that question. In any case, it is not a supplementary question to the original question.

The Deputy Speaker: Order. Let us start from scratch. Let us hear the member for Port Arthur again, and then I will make a ruling on whether it was a supplementary.

Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, a supplementary question may arise out of the answer of the minister as well as out of the original question. The minister himself in answering the question referred to the ICTS; therefore, I asked why, in their determination to build ICTS vehicles, the ministry and UTDC had decided those vehicles would be assembled and built in Kingston, and not anywhere else in the province, thus precluding the building of that kind of future transit car from any other existing facility in Ontario.

The Deputy Speaker: We are stretching it, but does the minister have a response?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, as the honour- able member knows -- I believe he sat through five hours of meetings yesterday, and I was there for two and a half hours of those meetings -- this matter was discussed a great deal. It was fully explained to him by the chairman of the board of directors and the president and the board of directors of UTDC why that corporate decision was made. The details leading up to that decision were also explained to him by the Premier (Mr. Davis) and myself at the meeting yesterday afternoon. It so happens the Hawker Siddeley company did make a submission but, of the five submissions for the development of these cars, it was not successful. That is the long and the short of it.

3:20 p.m.

Mr. Mancini: Since the ministry and the UTDC firmly believe that transit service in the Hamilton area must be improved, and that must be one of the reasons why they wanted to go ahead with this particular project, why would the minister reject, out of hand, any other suggestions coming from Hamilton for an efficient, cost-conscious people-mover? Why would he be so intransigent and stick with this particular proposal when the real end of the whole system should be to move as many people as efficiently as possible?

Hon. Mr. Snow: I must answer that, because first of all I have rejected nothing out of hand that Hamilton has proposed.

Mr. Mancini: You rejected my first question. You said no.

Hon. Mr. Snow: I answered the honourable member's first question with a blunt "no" when he asked whether the money committed for the Hamilton ICTS project would be used for other projects. My answer to that is, as I have said many times, that the regional municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth gets funding on a normal basis for 75 per cent of its capital costs. They get funding for their operating costs. They have capital plans that they present to my ministry on an annual basis.

I know they are planning a new transit garage to be built over the next two or three years, I believe. They will be buying additional buses, I am sure, as each transit system is doing. That will be funded out of our normal transit program. It has nothing to do with the special funding that was allowed for the ICTS.


Mr. Charlton: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of the Environment. In response to test results released by the citizens of Stouffville yesterday, results of tests that were done privately and paid for by those citizens, the minister said the water in the Stouffville area was still perfectly safe.

In view of the fact that those test results clearly showed significant quantities of dangerous contaminants moving out of that dump site which have not been detected by his ministry in its monitoring program; in view of the fact that the citizens have documented serious health difficulties in a number of families along the route that those contaminants are taking; in view of the fact that last Thursday his staff told us, and he concurred, that his test results indicated a declining level of migration of chlorides and sulphates out of that dump site, and these test results show the opposite --

The Deputy Speaker: The question is?

Mr. Charlton: Is the minister now prepared to close the dump at Stouffville and do whatever is necessary to stop all movement of contaminants out of that dump site?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, I do not know whether the honourable member has had an opportunity to look at the report of the tests for the citizens' group that were done by Advanced Environmental Systems Incorporated in the United States. I have, and if he would look at those results carefully and compare them with the earlier results of similar tests done by, probably the same laboratory -- I do not know that, because I did not see the actual copy of the report of the earlier tests, nor did the individuals divulge the name of the laboratory to us, but I assume it was probably the same laboratory that did the earlier tests -- he would see that they confirm what we have been saying all along about the tests that were being used.

He will recall that the earlier series found what the citizens believed to be elevated levels of organo-halogens in two wells; one was the Hutchinson well, I believe, and the other was the Coughlan well, with the Hutchinson well having 31.4 parts per billion and the Coughlan well having 50.2 parts per billion of organo-halogens. If he reads the report, he will see that even the individual who does the tests and comments on the report in the discussion section indicates it is merely a new methodology and it is one of the survey parameters used for monitoring well samples as an indicator of ground water contamination.

The Deputy Speaker: Supplementary?

Hon. Mr. Norton: Mr. Speaker, I have not finished my answer. This is a serious question the honourable member has asked.

If we look at those earlier results and compare them with this, we will find that in these tests the Hutchinson well is barely at the level of detection of the tests, much lower than the earlier tests indicated, and the Coughlan well has no detectable level in these tests.

We have maintained throughout that this series of tests is not of much value but that the tests we do, where we go into much greater depth and detail for specific contaminants, and where nothing has been indicated, are the next step after the screening tests. This confirms what we have said from the very beginning.

Mr. Charlton: Everybody is clear that these tests are indicators. The minister is taking them as indicators of nothing. Last Thursday, his ministry clearly said that levels of contaminants coming out of that dump site were declining. These test results clearly indicate the opposite. The minister has said there were no wells in the area anywhere near the limit for chloride, for example. We now have one over and one just below. The toxic test results indicate contaminants coming out of the dump.

The Deputy Speaker: Order. Can you two not get this sorted out outside of question period? It is a very important question, but we have had a long dissertation from the minister and now we are having a long dissertation from the member and still no question.

Mr. Charlton: If there are no problems and the minister is so sure, why in the case of the Hutchinson well, for example, was he denying yesterday that anybody had warned him against drinking the water? The letter from the health officials clearly told him he should not use the water. Since the ministry was saying last week that levels were declining, why do these test results indicate increasing levels? The minister is still ignoring that fact. Why is he not prepared to look at what the people are asking?

The Deputy Speaker: The question is "why?"

Hon. Mr. Norton: The answer is "because." The honourable member does not understand what he is talking about. I will acknowledge that my response last week or earlier this week, whenever it was, on the contents of the letter from Dr. Slingerland, was based upon a telephone conversation.

At that time, I had not seen the letter. I was told in that conversation his advice was that they restrict the consumption of water. I have since seen a copy, and he does advise them for the time being not to consume the water. I agree that is what Dr. Slingerland communicated in writing to that one family.

I will provide the member with a copy of that letter if he does not have one. Dr. Slingerland goes on to indicate to the Hutchinsons that the tests are indicator tests and what is required beyond that are more specific tests for specific contaminants.

That is precisely what we have been doing all along. We have done literally thousands of tests with the most sophisticated equipment in the world, and there has been no indication of those specific contaminants. We will continue to test as required.


Mr. Robinson: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Treasurer. Some weeks ago, the Treasurer announced in this House a program whereby the Ontario sales tax would be rebated on stockpiled 1981 motor vehicles. Will the Treasurer report to the House on the success of that program?

3:30 p.m.

Mr. Smith: Oh, so he can make a statement. That is an abuse.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Good question.

Hon. F. S. Miller: It is better than most I get from that side.

Mr. Speaker, the answer to that question is that while the data is not yet totally in, about 27,000 plus vehicles were sold in the 23 days, something close to 65 per cent of the inventory in Ontario, as compared with 25 per cent in other provinces.

Mr. Robinson: By way of supplementary: I would further ask the Treasurer whether or not the substantial sales figures recorded on 1981 vehicles during this fall period are predicted to have any adverse effects on the 1982 model year, whether on jobs, production or the sales forecasts?

Hon. F. S. Miller: We probably received more letters of thanks on this program than on any other I have run since I became Treasurer.

Mr. T. P. Reid: Imagine how many you will get when you retire.

Hon. F. S. Miller: The interesting thing is that the sales of 1982 cars in Ontario during that period were better than they were in any other province, which shows a basic fact of retailing; if one gets people into the showroom, one will make a sale. I have been told in many letters -- and I think members on that side of the House must have received some too --

Mr. Bradley: None.

Mr. T. P. Reid: I got a lot of complaints.

The Deputy Speaker: Order.

Hon. F. S. Miller: Two or three members opposite have privately told me they did.

Mr. Smith: Those were from Quebec.

Mr. T. P. Reid: One guy is going to sue.

Hon. F. S. Miller: But many on this side of the House did. How many of my members received letters?


Hon. F. S. Miller: See what I mean?

The Deputy Speaker: I think we have got the point.

Mr. Smith: Will the Treasurer tell us how many imported cars were sold under this program? Can he also tell us how many cars were brought in to the great relief of dealers in Quebec and other provinces of this country? Did he receive any letters of thanks from the dealers in Quebec who had their lots cleared at the expense of Ontario's taxpayers?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Mr. Speaker, I think of Canada as one country and I am rather pleased to be able to help another province. It happens that virtually every vehicle made in Canada is made in Ontario and the member knows it.

Mr. Smith: You are bringing in your own income tax. If it is one country, why are you doing that?

Hon. F. S. Miller: The answer to the first part of his question is while there were 27,000 domestic cars sold in Ontario, probably 2,000 to 2,500 imports were sold.

The Deputy Speaker: The time for oral questions has expired.

Some hon. members: There are five more minutes.

The Deputy Speaker: Five more minutes? I am sorry, five more minutes.

Mr. Roy: You should add on five minutes for this foolishness.


Mr. T. P. Reid: Mr. Speaker, I also have a question for the Treasurer and it is in regard to corporate concentration. Is the Treasurer, who is also responsible for the economic life of Ontario, concerned about the number of corporate takeovers in the last few years? Since 1977 there have been a total of 99 corporate takeovers, with a total value of $24.9 billion, which are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange 300 composite index.

Is the minister not concerned that these takeovers do not do anything for the productive facilities of the province, create no new jobs and no new wealth? As has been pointed out by my colleague, in some cases they are raids on treasuries of corporations that are doing well. Is he prepared to bring in, along with his colleague, any regulations and guidelines in regard to corporate concentration in Ontario?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Competition lies in the domain of the federal government. They have been considering it lately. This province has taken a very positive stand in response to the federal government's intention to take actions in restraint.

In the main we believe more restrictions on competition are counterproductive. We are seeing reorganizations that are quite often necessary if Canadian companies are to survive, because we are in an age when it is very often necessary to lump companies together to do just that. I saw one occur today in western Ontario. I think it was the George White and Sons Inc. machinery company and the McKee Industries Limited machinery company that came together to survive. Those kinds of things should be welcomed.

Also, Canadians have been very active in taking over foreign assets in the last while.

The third thing is that the share prices on the marketplace today for many firms, like Suncor, are far below the replacement value of the asset. Therefore they make those firms very good buys for companies that want to expand.

Mr. T. P. Reid: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: A lot of these corporations are controlled by people like the Reichmans, the Bronfmans, Thomson and Argus. A lot of corporate concentration is in the food industry, the newspaper industry, and particularly industries that are not necessarily international in scope and perhaps require a larger corporate body; is the minister not concerned that these corporate takeovers in Canada and Ontario are counterproductive?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Again it is my understanding that the existing laws do have tests that can be used. Admittedly they do not result in many judgements being handed down. Maybe that is a good thing. Maybe the tests are fair and the accusers are a bit aggressive.

Mr. Smith: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Why does the Treasurer not recognize that billions of dollars are being loaned by banks in order to finance these corporate takeovers? In a time of inflation, when the idea of high interest rates presumably is to cool borrowing, does he not realize that while he criticizes governments for borrowing heavily on the market to finance their deficits, the impact of corporations borrowing for no productive purpose other than a takeover is every bit as important in terms of the effect on inflation and the interest rate? Why is the Treasurer criticizing governments for borrowing on the market but not large corporations -- in this instance for nonproductive purposes, merely for takeovers?

Hon. F. S. Miller: Many of the takeovers do not involve cash and I am sure the member knows that. They involve trades of shares of one corporation with another. It also happens in many cases the vendor receives cash that immediately goes back into the banking system. So I am not as upset about it as the member is.


Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the House leaders could have their meeting in some other location.

I would like to direct my question to the Minister of Transportation and Communications. It has to do with the background information that was supplied to the board of directors of Urban Transportation Development Corporation for the meeting yesterday with the officials from Thunder Bay, but not supplied to the delegation that came down from Thunder Bay.

UTDC expressed some concern over the quality control program at Hawker Siddeley, and Hawker Siddeley offered to go over the system with UTDC. They said they would "consider any modifications or refinements that you," UTDC, "may wish to propose." Can the minister say whether UTDC did propose to Hawker Siddeley refinements and improvements in their quality control program?

Hon. Mr. Snow: UTDC was not responsible for writing the proposal put in by Hawker Siddeley. All UTDC could do was assess the proposals that were received from the five companies involved on the basis of submissions that were put in.

Mr. Foulds: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker.

The Deputy Speaker: Time for oral questions has now --

Mr. Foulds: It is very urgent.

The Deputy Speaker: I know it is, but time has expired. I appreciate that the member for Port Arthur sees this as urgent but time for oral questions has overexpired.

3:40 p.m.



Mr. Barlow from the standing committee on general government presented the following report and moved its adoption:

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

Bill 156, An Act respecting the City of Barrie and the Township of Innisfil;

Bill Pr45, An Act respecting the Armenian Community Centre.

Your committee would recommend that the fees less the actual cost of printing be remitted on Bill Pr45, An Act respecting the Armenian Community Centre.

Report adopted.

The Deputy Speaker: Shall Bill 156 be ordered for third reading?

Ordered for third reading.



Hon. Mr. Wells moved that standing order 72(a) respecting notice of committee hearings be suspended for the consideration of Bill Pr21, An Act respecting the Trusteeship of the Balance Share Warrant of Global Natural Resources Limited by the standing committee on administration of justice on Thursday, December 17, 1981.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Wells moved that any orders for concurrences in supplementary supply be included in the order for concurrence in supply for that same ministry.

Motion agreed to.



Hon. Mr. Walker moved, seconded by Hon. Mr. Drea, first reading of Bill 201, An Act to repeal Certain Statutes Administered by the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations.

Motion agreed to.

Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, I believe my statement at the opening of the session is sufficient. I will be glad to read it again if members wish.


Hon. Mr. Walker moved, seconded by Hon. Mr. Drea, first reading of Bill 202, An Act to repeal the Mortmain and Charitable Uses Act.

Motion agreed to.

Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, I am introducing for first reading in a moment an Act to amend the Corporations Information Act, which flows from the act we have before us at present, which is the concurrent amendment to the bill that repeals the Mortmain and Charitable Uses Act. The amendment repeals subsection 3(6) of the act so that the corporations will no longer be required to file information notices simply because they hold a licence in mortmain.

There are two housekeeping amendments as well. There is a clarification regarding the use of the words "limited," "incorporated" or "corporation." It eliminates any apparent conflict between the Corporations Information Act and the Business Corporations Act. The amendment makes it clear these words may only be used as part of a proper corporate name.

The second housekeeping measure clarifies the intent of the section of the Corporations Information Act which deals with information notices. It requires that only the latest information notice be retained by a corporation. Consistent with that statement, and married to a large extent to the Mortmain and Charitable Uses Act, I will introduce a bill.


Hon. Mr. Walker moved, seconded by Hon. Mr. Drea, first reading of Bill 203, An Act to amend the Corporations Information Act.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. McMurtry moved, seconded by Hon. Mr. Wells, first reading of Bill 204, An Act to amend the Charities Accounting Act.

Motion agreed to.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, this legislation is complementary to the bill to repeal the Mortmain and Charitable Uses Act. In 1974, my predecessor the member for Brock (Mr. Welch) wrote to the Ontario Law Reform Commission requesting it to undertake an examination into the utility of the Mortmain and Charitable Uses Act and the Religious Institutions Act. The recommendations of the commission on religious organizations have been implemented by the Religious Organizations' Lands Act, 1979. The bill I am introducing today I believe completes the implementation of the commissions report.

Some of the laws in this area date back to feudal times and beyond. The Mortmain and Charitable Uses Act, as it now stands, is complicated, its terms often conflict and it is little understood by the legal profession itself.

The Mortmain and Charitable Uses Act consists of two separate though closely related parts. The first part concerns the law of mortmain which has to do with the ownership of land by a corporation, whether charitable or not. Basically, these provisions prohibit the holding of land by corporations in perpetuity unless they are authorized to do so by statute or licence. Where they are not so authorized they may obtain a licence in mortmain under the act.

The Ontario Law Reform Commission and the Ontario select committee on company law recommended the mortmain provisions be repealed and the government concurs. However, at the same time, it is necessary to provide some control on land holding by charities to ensure that charities are not used as investment vehicles.

Under the bill to amend the Charities Accounting Act, the public trustee may take action to register a notice against the land of a charity if it is of the opinion the land is not being used and occupied for the charitable purpose for three years, is not required for use and occupation for the charitable purpose, and will not be required for use and occupation for the charitable purpose in the immediate future, although the land remains the property of the charity unless the public trustee takes such action. Where he does so, the land vests in him. The public trustee will then sell the land and apply the proceeds of sale to the charity.

It is further provided that land that has been vested in the public trustee under the existing act which has not been sold will be deemed to have remained the property of the charities or their trustees. This validates the title of third parties to land conveyed to them by charities which lack the title to convey.

3:50 p.m.


Mr. Grande moved, seconded by Mr. Wildman, first reading of Bill 205, An Act to establish the Cultural, Multicultural and Recreational Council of Ontario.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Grande: Mr. Speaker, the bill creates the Cultural, Multicultural and Recreational Council to deal with the profits of Wintario and promote cultural, multicultural and recreational activities.



Hon. Mr. Wells, on behalf of Hon. Mr. Walker, moved third reading of Bill 151, An Act to amend the Credit Unions and Caisses Populaires Act.

Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, I just want to make one comment on Bill 151. I must confess to a certain degree of unpreparedness, but I trust this legislation will give the powers that be authority to intercede when necessary in certain of these institutions before members -- or at least those involved -- start to panic and get concerned about the administration of some of these institutions.

I see the former Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Drea) in the Legislature. I think he is one member in this House who knows what I am talking about. In these very difficult financial situations some of these caisses populaires and credit unions have unfortunately encountered very serious problems.

I am not convinced ministry officials were all that helpful at times, in the sense that they gave proper guidelines for investment of assets of these institutions and guidelines for what to do because of radical changes in interest rates. Consequently, some of these institutions -- some right in my riding, one especially -- ran into serious financial problems. I find that unfortunate.

With the power given in this legislation, I trust the ministry people will accept their responsibility to keep an eye on these institutions and be of some assistance when necessary. I trust they will have in mind as well, when it is necessary to give the body that is created by the legislation -- the body that is going to supervise should there be a problem -- the authority to move in when they think it is necessary, that the body will not have to wait too long and let too much damage happen.

I am pleased this legislation has come forward. The reason I am speaking on third reading is because yesterday on second reading I was involved in other legislation which I find extremely offensive and which is now before a committee --

Mr. Nixon: You will make a speech about that too.

Mr. Roy: Yes, there will be a further speech about that -- with considerable more enthusiasm, I might add. Mr. Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to have the chance to say a few words on this legislation.

Motion agreed to.


Resuming the adjourned debate on the motion for concurrence in supply for the Ministry of Community and Social Services.

Mr. Cooke: Mr. Speaker, I think I was in the middle of what I was saying last night and the honourable member caught me off guard. I would just like to finish my comments about the mental health facilities in southwestern Ontario for children and ask that the Minister of Community and Social Services reply.

Last week, when I raised the case of the 14-year-old girl in Windsor who could not find appropriate placement, the minister seemed to indicate, as I said last night, that St. Thomas Psychiatric Hospital for adults was an appropriate setting. I want to go through some of the comments made by some of the professionals in Windsor who have dealt with the case so that the minister might be better informed about the case and may better understand it.

Let me begin by reading from an article in the Windsor Star on December 9, 1981:

"Directors of local agencies say the case of 14-year-old Mary Bulat is just one glaring example of inadequate social and medical services for mentally disturbed youngsters in the area.

"Dr. James Johnson, director of the regional children's centre and a psychiatrist says, 'This case simply reveals that we don't have any reasonable facilities for people under 17 who need long-term care' ...

"Johnson said the centre has sent two other severely disturbed children to the hospital in the last nine years because no other treatment could be found. 'The first one was a teen-age girl and, to my knowledge, she is still there,' he said."

Just for the minister's information, she was sent in 1972 at the age of 15 or 16, and is now in her mid-20s and still resides in the hospital.

"The children's centre," and we are referring here to the regional children's centre, "only provides long-term care to emotionally-disturbed children under 12 years of age.

"The centre, which closed 14 beds after provincial budget cutbacks in 1979, does not offer any residential care to emotionally-disturbed girls older than 12. Younger girls and boys up to 16 are admitted for a maximum of only about seven months.

"The centre, which provides the most complete child assessment services in Windsor, currently has a waiting list of 300 waiting for treatment and assessment."

The article goes on to say -- and all these statistics are right from the regional children's centre:

"In a needs assessment report that came out earlier this year, the children's services committee found that one child had waited 1,244 days for psychological help and the services of a social worker from the centre. It also reported the following average waiting periods: 380 days for outpatient psychological help for behaviour and emotional problems, 339 days for outpatient psychology for academic problems, 339 days for outpatient psychiatry for speech and language difficulties, and 303 days for outpatient social work and family problems."

These are the waiting lists for the tri-county area which includes Kent county, Lambton and Essex county for children who need services at the regional children's centre.

"'The community no longer has long-term residential facilities for severely disturbed young teens,' Johnson said. 'Since this situation,'" and they are referring here to Mary Bulat, "'was severe and there were medical and psychiatric problems involved, we were unable to handle it,' Johnson said."

These are quotes from Dr. Johnson that contradict what the Minister of Community and Social Services said last week. "Attempts to place the child at London Psychiatric Hospital and the London Children's Psychiatric Research Institute also failed, he said."

It goes on to say that I criticized them for not using the hard-to-place committee, which I did. Johnson's rebuttal to that was, "But Johnson said he had already talked to officials from all the agencies on the committee and was unable to find a suitable facility.

"She was sent to St. Thomas as a 'last resort,' he said. Agency officials say the case illustrates the effects of an inadequately funded and poorly co-ordinated system of children's services in Essex county.

4 p.m.

"Art Vossen, director of Maryvale and a member of the children's services committee, said city hospitals have facilities for adult psychiatric patients but that the lack of suitable programs for adolescents had long been a problem. 'What do you do for a 14- or 15-year-old?' he asked. 'If you attempt to have them managed in foster or group homes, you're doing them a disservice if they're not set up appropriately.'

"John MacNeil, director of the children's services committee, also said the city lacked long-term facilities for severely disturbed patients.

"Dr. Johnson said funding cutbacks by the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services have made it more difficult to provide adequate treatment to people needing the services of the regional children's centre. 'We're making acute problems more serious simply because we can't handle them,' he said.

"With an uncomprehensive patchwork of child services variously funded by ComSoc and the provincial Health ministry, the centre is unable to meet the demands put upon it."

The only point I would make is the minister tried to indicate last week there was no problem and tried to indicate this child was appropriately placed in an adult psychiatric centre. I phoned the psychiatric branch of the Ministry of Health and they told me one aspect of St. Thomas Psychiatric Hospital was assessment of adolescents. They also made it very clear to me that the only time assessments were to be done at St. Thomas was when it was a last resort and no other facility was available, because it is an adult psychiatric centre. They also pointed out they do not have a program for adolescents.

Hon. Mr. Drea: They want to know who you talked to.

Mr. Cooke: The minister can say there is a program, but if he calls drug therapy and some craft recreation therapy a program, he is contradicting what the people at the hospital and the people in the psychiatric branch of the Ministry of Health have told me.

Hon. Mr. Drea: They want to know who talked to you.

Mr. Cooke: They might want to know who talked to me, but the minister can talk to people from the office of the Minister of Health (Mr. Timbrell) or anyone else at the hospital.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Who did you talk to at St. Thomas?

Mr. Cooke: I have the names and will give them to the minister, but I am not going to read them into the record. That is not the point. The minister pointed out to me last week in his statement that the program there was a recreation program and drug therapy. That is not a program of therapy.

For what conceivable reason did this young girl need to be assessed again? She has been assessed for five years. Her problems are clear. The reason she was sent there by Dr. Johnson -- maybe the minister should talk to Dr. Johnson -- was there was simply no alternative looked into. If the hard-to-place committee should have been used, it should have been used. As the minister knows, that case has now been referred to the interministerial committee in Toronto to look at an appropriate placement for the child.

Also, the children's services committee decided last week that it was setting up a task force to look at a facility that would be for this type of child.

Hon. Mr. Drea: No, that is not correct.

Mr. Cooke: John MacNeil told me that and it was also reported in the local media after the meeting dealing with this child. The fact of the matter is the professionals who were quoted here, Art Vossen, Dr. Johnson and Mr. MacNeil from the children's services committee, all point to the problem.

There are other problems. There will be other cases that will be raised in this Legislature before we adjourn. I hope the minister, instead of looking at this as a political battle, will admit there is a problem that needs to be addressed by providing a facility for children who have serious psychiatric problems. It is not appropriate or good enough to put them in an adult psychiatric centre.

Mr. McClellan: Mr. Speaker, I do not intend to take more than a minute or two if I could have the minister's attention --

Hon. Mr. Drea: That's a cheap shot. I am trying to sign an autograph for the kids.

Mr. McClellan: I did not mean it as a cheap shot.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Cousens): The member for Bellwoods has the floor. The Speaker is all ears.

Mr. McClellan: There was a time in this Legislature, not that long ago, when the referral of a child to an adult psychiatric facility was regarded as a major scandal.

I can recall back in 1976 -- I pulled some material out of my files -- a child was referred to the adult ward of the Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital. It was reported in the Globe and Mail on May 12. At the time the member for Lakeshore, Pat Lawlor, issued a statement expressing his concern that a child in this province would be referred to the adult ward of a psychiatric hospital, and he spoke in terms of it being dangerous to the wellbeing and welfare of the child and something totally inappropriate in a civilized community.

He suggested at the end of his statement that he suspected an inquiry into why a child would be sent to an adult ward in a psychiatric hospital might be in order. The very next day, on May 13, the then acting Minister of Health (Miss Stephenson) rose in her place in this Legislature and announced there would be an inquiry. Under questioning from the then leader of this party, Mr. Stephen Lewis, the minister conceded the principal thing to be investigated would be how it had come to pass that in 1976, after all the programs had been established to make sure that children are not sent into adult psychiatric facilities, this could still happen. An inquiry was ordered, and took place.

There was a recognition five years ago that this was not just abnormal but intolerable. It was a scandal. It warranted a public inquiry as to how in the hell this could possibly happen in Ontario.

Last week, we had to listen to the minister, when an analogous case is brought to his attention five years later --


Mr. Cooke: It is analogous. A 14-year-old girl.

Mr. McClellan: Yes, precisely the same kind of problem. The appropriate facilities do not exist, so a child is shunted off into something that is potentially very harmful. The minister makes a long justification instead of trying to find out how this could possibly happen, conceding that it should not happen, and advising us what steps he intends to take, how his ministry intends to organize itself to make sure it does not happen again.

The only comment I make is that simply indicates to me a deterioration in our own sensibility over the course of the last five years. I say with considerable regret that, despite all of the structural changes that have taken place within the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Community and Social Services, we do not seem in this Legislature to have the same sensibility, the same sensitivity, we did five years ago, that would cause us all, collectively, to recognize that children should not be in adult psychiatric facilities.

Mr. Di Santo: Mr. Speaker, I would like to raise with the minister an issue that has been debated at great length in the past, but in the light of what has been happening since November 1, I think it shows once more how this government intends to deal with people who are entitled to social services in Ontario. I am referring to people who are recipients of family benefits.

On November 1, the director of family benefits, Mr. Alfieri, wrote a letter to 1,160 Workmen's Compensation Board recipients informing them that the money they had received as back payments as a result of amendments to the Workmen's Compensation Act in July 1981, would be considered another payment and therefore it would be subtracted from what the Ministry of Community and Social Services considers the basic needs of a person who is receiving family benefits.

4:10 p.m.

This situation is quite devastating for people whose basic needs, as considered by the Ministry of Community and Social Services, are $262 a month. An example is Mr. Iannelli, who appealed the family benefits decision to the review committee last week. I attended the hearing. The matter was that Mr. Iannelli had received a $123.30 lump-sum payment from the Workmen's Compensation Board in arrears for his disability pension. As a result of the letter sent to him by the director of family benefits, the ministry is keeping some money, on a monthly basis, until the $123.30 will be reimbursed.

This is the most callous way of dealing with people who are on family benefits. It is also the result of the fact that the minister changed the regulation, regulation 287, on the same date. In fact, the previous regulation said any income that may come to recipients of family benefits should be considered as part of the needs of the recipients. If there is any increase in income, that should be considered as overpayment, and the ministry should be reimbursed.

Apart from the fact that with $262 we are far below the poverty line by any stretch of the imagination, I think the minister changed that regulation saying not any income but any payment will be considered in assessing basic needs of the recipient and, therefore, payments received from the Workmen's Compensation Board will be considered overpayments and should be reimbursed to the ministry.

I want to tell the Minister of Community and Social Services this is the most invidious way of dealing with recipients of family benefits or other allowances, in this case, Workmen's Compensation Board pensions. I want to tell the minister that payments are made by the WCB which are done not because recipients are entitled to any increase in their benefits, but perhaps because they had paid a medical report. In that case, he considers that payment as an increase of his total income and he subtracts a few dollars from the family benefits recipients.

We tried to convince the director that in the case of Mr. Iannelli, as a gesture of generosity from the ministry, $123 could very well be considered as part of the liquid assets the law allows to the recipient. But the minister said, "No, you have to repay $123."

This is a situation that affects 1,160 workmen's compensation recipients. I think the minister was wrong when he changed regulation 287 and he did it in a really mean way. People who are totally disabled or unemployable according to the definition of the ministry are people who have no other source of income. They do not even receive the minimum sufficient for them to survive on.

The minister has the nerve to take from them a few dollars given to them by the government through the Workmen's Compensation Board, not because it wanted to increase their income but because it was a partial repayment for what they had lost in the past two years since 1979 due to inflation.

In fact, the Workmen's Compensation Board Act amendment was intended to put them where they were in 1979, according to the government. Therefore on July 1, 1981, they were receiving 10 per cent more in benefits because the cost of living had gone up by the same percentage, according to the government. Of course, that is not true, but that was the rationale given by the government. The minister has the nerve to steal that money from them.

Regarding regulation 287, going back to the previous situation which was not satisfactory at all, does the minister not think he should advise his director of family benefits to send a letter of apology to the 1,160 workmen's compensation recipients who also receive family benefits and tell them: "We did that in a moment of madness and we apologize. We will not steal that money from you"?

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I will answer the member for Downsview first. I think he should apologize to me for the reference to stealing. He knows or ought to know that the law of the Dominion of Canada requires that we treat WCB payments as income. He knows that.

Mr. Di Santo: No.

Hon. Mr. Drea: It is true. The member has raised this many times before and I commend him on his industry on behalf of WCB recipients.

4:20 p.m.

Mr. Di Santo: Why did you change the regulation so surreptitiously?

Hon. Mr. Drea: I think the member should apologize to me for the word "surreptitiously" too. He should also apologize to Mr. Alfieri, because Mr. Alfieri, notwithstanding the law of the land that takes away our sharing portion unless we treat this as payment, worked out the most productive and the most efficient scheme for the WCB recipients to keep the bulk of their money. It is that simple. I want to assure the honourable member -- I am on record and WCB is changing -- I do not believe any recipient of workmen's compensation benefits should get benefits that are so low as to qualify him or her for social assistance.

Mr. McClellan: Why don't you talk to the Minister of Labour (Mr. Elgie)? Where have you been for the last 10 years?

Mr. Di Santo: That is nonsense.

The Acting Speaker: Order. The minister has the floor. You had your opportunity. Let him talk.

Hon. Mr. Drea: The whole point of workmen's compensation benefits, the whole point of such a program, is twofold. One is to replace the income of people while they are injured, on a temporary basis until they go back to work; two is in two phases, either to provide rehabilitation, retraining and so forth so people are able to go back to work, or if they cannot, to provide them with a pension. Where I part company with the system is that I do not think social assistance payments should be involved by virtue of the fact that those allowances should be much higher than they are.

Mr. McClellan: Why don't you tell the Minister of Labour then?

Hon. Mr. Drea: I have told him that and the member knows that.

The changing of the regulation was a technical one because that regulation was there before, it just specified the new amount. Rather than deducting it month by month from these people, Mr. Alfieri treated the whole thing as income within one month. Therefore, while they lost their allowance for that one month --

Mr. Di Santo: What do they eat that month?

Hon. Mr. Drea: They have their cheque from the WCB. The whole thing was treated as the income for one month, not averaged out month by month. Mr. Alfieri worked out the most beneficial arrangement for them while obeying the laws of the land. About a week ago the member for London Centre (Mr. Peterson) raised a point about a minor inheritance of $100, I believe, that was received by a person in a chronic care facility in London.

Mr. Nixon: From his mother.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Yes. As you know, Mr. Speaker, I managed to have the interpretation of the law changed. Why could I do it within a day? Because it so happened that within 24 hours I was meeting with the federal minister and we discussed this matter over my desk. Madame Bégin was most emphatic that she agreed with my solution and she would arrange that it would be interpreted for sharing purposes for the other provinces as long as it was three figures.

We had such a great conversation and agreed on so many things --

Mr. Nixon: She is a great lady. I should have known the change came from her.

Hon. Mr. Drea: No. I suggested --

Mr. Nixon: Well, from the member for London Centre, through her.

The Acting Speaker: Order. We are speaking to the concurrence.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I say in all candour she agreed to that. She agreed to a few other changes I suggested. She is having some difficulty back in Ottawa, but we will have them together before Christmas.

Mr. Nixon: I understand that. Just like you.

Hon. Mr. Drea: The reason I mention that is to emphasize that it is the law of Canada through the Canada assistance plan --

Mr. Di Santo: It is your law, not the law of the land.

The Acting Speaker: Order. The minister has the floor. Each member has had an opportunity to speak.

Mr. Haggerty: Are you going to send the welfare cheques out a week early?

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I believe I have. It is not stealing. It is not all of the things that have been attributed to me by the honourable member. That is fine. He can call me names, I do not really mind.

Mr. Di Santo: I did not call you names.

Hon. Mr. Drea: You sure did for about five minutes.

Mr. Di Santo: Those are the facts, not names.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Yes, okay. But when a public servant of this province obeys the law of the Dominion of Canada and the province, it ill behooves the member to use those words about him.

Mr. McClellan: He was not talking about you, just so we are clear on that.

Hon. Mr. Drea: No, no. The "stealing" referred to Mr. Alfieri.

The Acting Speaker: Order. The minister has the floor. This cutting back and forth must cease.

Mr. Di Santo: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker: The minister is suggesting I have accused the civil servant because he obeyed the law of the land. I want to correct the record. I said that when the civil servant, Mr. Alfieri, director of family benefits, wrote the letter on July 31, 1981, he was obeying the orders of the minister; orders that were and are wrong.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I would think he had better read his remarks and direct the appropriate things to Mr. Alfieri in the process of the Christmas season. The member does know about Christmas, does he?

Mr. Di Santo: You are the one who didn't know about it, because you stole $120 from a poor person.

The Acting Speaker: Order. Has the minister completed his statement? The minister will proceed to the discussion of the concurrence.

Mr. Di Santo: He knows that is wrong.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Was I called a name, Mr. Speaker?

The Acting Speaker: I did not hear any name calling.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Are you sure?

The Acting Speaker: The minister will proceed.

Mr. Cooke: It may have come to mind, but he didn't call you names.

Hon. Mr. Drea: And a merry Christmas to you too.

The Acting Speaker: I call upon the minister to proceed with his response to the member.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Laughren: Santa Claus was a New Democrat. Did you notice that?

Hon. Mr. Drea: He was kind of thin though.

Mr. Laughren: He is not overfed like the Tories.

Hon. Mr. Drea: No hair.

The Acting Speaker: Order. The minister will proceed with debating on the concurrence issue at hand.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Coming back to the Windsor situation, I do commend the member this time for one thing. I notice the particular person involved was described throughout, except in a quotation from a periodical, as a 14-year-old. I very much regret, and I do not think it was intentional by anybody, that the name was used and by virtue of being used in the Legislature became public property.

The member is scowling at me so perhaps the references to the 14-year-old girl in that context were not intentional.

What has been raised is the question about assessments of adolescents that are done in adult psychiatric hospitals. Let us make it quite plain that adults also include adolescents, because there are assessments that are done under remands from adult court in psychiatric facilities across this province. While those people are listed as part of the adolescent caseload, there is no question that they are adults both in criminal law and for purposes of any psychiatric or mental health treatment or assessment they will receive there or in the future.

The use of health facilities, particularly in southwestern Ontario, is on a relatively limited scale. It is used for assessments and not for long-term residential care. For the particular 14-year-old girl in this situation, I draw to the attention of the member that in the assessment and diagnosis that was done in St. Thomas there are certain very specific, and hopefully very significant, neurological and neuropsychological tests that will be done in CPRI in January.

I do not want to get into the medical matters, and I am sure the member does not either. The particular diagnosis and assessment done there may be most valuable and significant to the future of this particular young person.

Mr. Cooke: So why was she sent to St. Thomas? That is the question.

Hon. Mr. Drea: The whole question of this case began when there were certain allegations made that she had been placed in an adult mental institution in St. Thomas because there was nothing available in the community and that she had also been passed around from place to place. I think I have a right to correct that, because she was not passed around from place to place.

4:30 p.m.

Mr. Cooke: Five programs.

Hon. Mr. Drea: It was not five programs, and my friend knows it. I will name them from memory; I do not even have to read the note. She was in Windsor Western regional children's centre totally. Then they released her to Glengarda and had her coming back on weekends. That is the same program. They were loosening up. They then went to the extent that she was going home on weekends, but she was still under the direct control of the same therapist and the same psychiatrist.

It was suggested she was denied entrance to Maryvale. They were never contacted. The member knows that. London Psychiatric was not contacted.

Mr. Cooke: Why does Dr. Johnson say they were?

Hon. Mr. Drea: I think perhaps the member should ask Dr. Johnson. But we checked over and over again at CPRI in case he perhaps got a secretary or something. The answer is no.

It has also been alleged that the hard-to-serve committee of the Windsor-Essex county children's services committee, which met Thursday, December 10, suggested a new facility.

Mr. Cooke: What?

Hon. Mr. Drea: That they suggested a new facility.

Mr. Cooke: They referred the case down here.

Hon. Mr. Drea: No. They suggested a task force for a new facility. Let me read the minute.

"It was also moved by Dr. J. Johnson, seconded by A. Vossen, that the children's services committee immediately establish a task force to develop a long-term residential program for severely disturbed children within an existing mental health centre."

That is not a new facility. That is considerably different, because it is exactly what I said last Friday.

Mr. Cooke: You did not say that.

Hon. Mr. Drea: I certainly did. I read a long statement. I said we had so many psychiatric beds as well as a number of other beds that could be converted on an almost instant basis by locking the doors, by drug therapy and so on and so forth.

Mr. Cooke: Don't be so silly. That's not what we are referring to at all. You are over your head in this ministry.

The Acting Speaker: Order. The minister will complete his statement without the interjections.

Hon Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, you might wish him a Merry Christmas. He is only merry at night.

I want to conclude this matter by reading another page out of this report, because it has been alleged -- not necessarily by the member; there is a good deal of irresponsible media material in this event, which is not the direct responsibility of the member, and I want him to know that I am not accusing, hinting or anything else -- that this family has been completely disrupted and destroyed because nobody will help them, that there never has been any help for them. That has been suggested quite widely. I just want to quote from this report:

"It was agreed by all the participants" -- that is, those at the meetings, all of the social agencies, all the personalities named here, et cetera -- "including the child's parents, that the child had received excellent services to date. All of the services provided in the past by the regional children's centre, Glengarda and the Roman Catholic children's aid society were felt to be appropriate and beneficial to the child."

Mr. Haggerty: Who wrote that?

Hon. Mr. Drea: That is out of here. Then they go on to say, "The child's situation, however, changed significantly recently." I want to skip some lines in here out of fairness; I am not trying to get out of anything but there is some clinical diagnosis in here.

Mr. McClellan: You were not hesitant about that last week.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Yes, I was. The diagnosis was originally put forward in this House by the honourable member, not by me.

"The child's parents felt unable to maintain her at home even on a very limited basis." I wanted to make that point very abundantly plain.

I think we are very fortunate in this ministry when we are able to use specialized services of adult mental health centres. We are going to continue to expand our own services, particularly in nonresidential areas. We are going to enrich in the psychiatric field, because this is a very difficult and a very long-term area. We want to make the nonpsychiatric treatment centre beds, I guess you would call them, more flexible so they can deal with crises like this.

But we are very fortunate in this ministry to have the active co-operation of the Ministry of Health where, if an assessment is needed, we can obtain very expert services, and in this case they may be very providential.

In closing, on the basis of concurrence in my estimates, I want to thank the two critics and the two health critics who attended and raised points. Indeed, I think they provided considerable input for a new minister. I want to assure them that their suggestions, their concerns, their complaints and even some of the praise will be taken very much into account by this ministry in the ensuing years.

Motion agreed to.

Resolution for supplementary supply also agreed to.


Mr. Edighoffer: I would feel remiss, Mr. Speaker, if I did not say a word or two. It has been quite some time since these estimates have been before the committee; a lot of things have taken place since that time.

Very quickly, I want to make note of the fact that the minister did make some sort of an announcement very recently about the new Canada-wide lottery, which is affecting the 10 provinces. I again remind him of the report from the standing committee on procedural affairs, which I believe I read to him some months ago. I thought he took particular note of that, because in that report this nonpartisan committee recommended that the Ontario Lottery Corporation should place a moratorium on the proliferation of its lottery games. I just wanted to remind the minister again of that report in the hope that he will consider it further.

Also, I have noticed the chairman of the Ontario Arts Council and, very recently, the deputy minister, have been making some headlines throughout the province. The other day, I noticed the deputy minister got the headline: "Do Not Rely on Province for Cultural Funds." Also, the chairman of the Ontario Arts Council, Mr. Gelber, said recently:

"The lack of sufficient government funding to professional artists and art organizations, which has failed to keep pace with inflation, could well be destroying 20 years of investment in Ontario's flourishing art resources."

He went on to make many other comments. I suppose I could refer to the great Stratford Shakespearean Festival, which receives only 11 per cent of its budget from all governments in Ontario. I think it is one of the lowest beneficiaries from government of any organization.

4:40 p.m.

Since the minister's estimates, I have received many letters and deputations from groups because of the so-called lack of funding from his ministry. The one view I want to place on the record is from the Ontario Federation of Symphony Orchestras, which discussed this matter with me very recently and wrote as follows:

"Our federation is very concerned about the level of funding by the Ministry of Culture and Recreation and, hence, to the arts council and our member orchestras. This should be of particular concern, in that recently released Ontario Arts Council statistics indicate that for every $1 in grants received by orchestras, $7 is turned back into the economy in artistic salaries, fees and operating expenditures. If we take only provincial dollars granted to orchestras in the 1980-81 season, $1,530,000, and use the $7 multiplier, our orchestras are generating $10,710,000 back into the economy directly in salaries and operating expenses alone.

"We would appreciate your bringing to the attention of your colleagues, and particularly the minister, the need for a restored level of funding to the arts in Ontario, of at least inflationary level, and a higher visibility consistent with what the arts have earned through their accomplishments for this province."

I have, very briefly, two suggestions for the minister.

Mr. Laughren: Parliamentary?

Mr. Edighoffer: Oh yes, very parliamentary. Given the fact that the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller) announced very recently that he would be re-implementing the seven per cent retail sales tax on accommodation at the end of the 1981, and because much of this revenue comes about through tourism and the arts, I hope the minister has made or will make representation to the minister that at least some of this revenue would be available and could be directed directly to cultural activities. I really think this would sort of reflect the complementary relationship of arts and tourism in most communities.

The minister may be interested to know that in Texas, where of course all things are big, the funding from that type of tax goes directly to cultural activities and that it grew from $350,000 in 1976 to $1.9 million in 1980. I know he would not want Texas to outdo Ontario in any way; so I hope the minister will discuss this with the Treasurer very quickly.

The only other very simple and plain suggestion I would make would be that, because his deputy minister is going around and saying there will not be many more funds available and because the chairman of the Ontario Arts Council says funds will not be available, I hope he will suggest to the Premier (Mr. Davis) that he get rid of that jet and put that money into cultural activities.

Mr. Di Santo: Mr. Speaker, I want to make a few comments as well because, as the member for Perth said, quite a long time has elapsed since the estimates last spring and we have not seen very much activity on the part of the minister.

Not that we have great hopes, but we in this party think the Minister of Culture and Recreation has a very important role to play in today's society. In fact, in some instances the minister has defined himself as the minister of multiculturalism. The implication of this definition is that we live in a society that is no longer a homogeneous society as it used to be many years ago. It is a society that comprises many nations and many groups of people with different cultural backgrounds and racial origins.

It is understandable, because of this situation, that we are faced with new problems that were not here a long time ago when this society was more homogeneous. Since we are also faced with an economic crisis that is becoming more and more serious, then we have all the negative effects that a multiracial and multicultural society provokes.

Just last week, we had the mayor's report on minority groups and interethnic relations in North York. It is a report that raised the concerns of many citizens. There were questions asked in this House. In that situation, we have different racial groups living in an unhealthy environment which was created for regrettable purposes by the people who planned the development of that area in the interests of the developers rather than the interests of the citizens who are living there now.

We have probably the highest concentration of population in Canada in a very limited area. Because of the lack of social services, because of the lack of the supporting services, including recreational and cultural services, we are faced with a situation that could become explosive. If we add to that the fact that unemployment in this area is very high, and the competition for the few existing jobs is becoming tougher every day, then we can foresee very serious problems in this area; we hope that will not prove to be the case, but it might.

We have had reports almost every year since 1976 on the relationship between the minority groups, or the visible minorities, which is the euphemism that is used for the coloured people, and the Metropolitan Toronto Police Force. We had a report on inter-racial relationships. The last report we had was the one that Cardinal Carter gave last year. They are the symptoms of a situation that we and the government have to deal with if we do not want Canada to become a country with the same problem as we have seen in other parts of the world, most recently last summer in England.

4:50 p.m.

What is the role of the Ministry of Culture and Recreation? To say the least, it has been negligible. The Minister of Culture and Recreation has been absolutely invisible in the last year, except when he was forced to come out in the open because of the McMichael collection question. As Minister of Culture and Recreation, he has a duty to promote better relationships among the various ethnic groups living in Metropolitan Toronto and in Ontario. But he has failed to do so; he has done absolutely nothing.

Not only has the minister done nothing, but he probably does not understand what his role is as Minister of Culture and Recreation in this province. If we look at the grants he has been giving all over the province through Wintario, we see that the criteria used by the ministry are based on patronage rather than on the promotion of culture and recreation.

My colleague the member for Oakwood (Mr. Grande) today introduced a private member's bill calling for a culture, multicultural and recreation council of Ontario. This is a proposal we have made several times to the minister.

What we want and what we are asking for is that we should remove the money raised through the lotteries from the hands of the minister to prevent him from being tempted to use that money on the basis of criteria that some people think are partisan. Rather, it should be used for the promotion of culture and recreation by a body that is independent, that understands the needs of the province and that is responsible to the parliamentary assembly of Ontario.

I do not think the minister will accept that principle, even though it would be to the advantage of the government, because it would be an enlightened step forward. It would use the money raised by lotteries, which is quite sizeable, to promote the type of civil coexistence that should be one of the purposes of his ministry. I hope the minister will give some consideration to this bill, even though I do not know what his clout is inside the cabinet.

My friend the member for Perth asked the minister whether he had made any presentation to the Treasurer vis-à-vis the elimination of the exemption of the seven per cent accommodation tax. I think my colleague is an optimist if he thinks the minister made a presentation, because that exemption expires on December 31, which means that either the minister did not make any presentation or, if he did make a presentation, the Treasurer did not give any consideration to it, in which case it indicates a blatant failure of the role of the Minister of Culture and Recreation.

Also, when we discussed the estimates, we went into, at length, the Fisher report on amateur sports. I have not seen any great activity on the part of the minister in promoting amateur sports, except on some very rare occasions when he has introduced Ontario athletes here in the Legislature. But I do not think that is the role of the Minister of Culture and Recreation.

I also want to speak briefly about the way the role of this minister is perceived by those who are supposed to be the recipients of the deliberations of the minister. On September 18, 1981, the Bielaruski Holas, a newspaper published in Metropolitan Toronto, criticized the Ontario Ministry of Culture and Recreation for sponsoring an 18-minute movie about multiculturalism shown during Canada week. "How can an 18-minute movie show the character of 80 ethnic groups in Ontario?" asks the newspaper.

For the sake of mutual understanding and integration, we need a steady series of multicultural programs on TVOntario in English. The series shown recently on Rogers Cable TV 10 does not resolve the problem, because only a fragment of viewers have cable.

This is the way the ethnic groups perceive the Ministry of Culture and Recreation. I have frequently raised this issue with the minister. I have asked the question of the ministry on the Order Paper as to what TVOntario is doing for multiculturalism, because when the minister talks motherhood he says great things but in reality he does very little.

We suggested that the minister should use TVOntario in order for Ontarians to get to know themselves. We know how reluctant the government is to undertake programs for the French-speaking minority and how hard we have to push them. Until today, the government had not even accepted the reality that the other provinces have accepted.

For the other ethnic groups, the minister is even more reluctant to undertake any programs. I do not understand why. Is it for fear of backlash outside Metropolitan Toronto? Is that the reason?

Perhaps it is too much to ask but the minister would do a service to everyone if he undertook an intelligent program, through TVOntario, illustrating the various ethnic groups existing in Ontario and allowing Canadians to understand each group: what they are, what their cultural background is, where they come from and what values they bring with them. We would understand each other, and we could appreciate the presence of other people. In the long run, we could remove some of the prejudices that are the basis of those tensions that are lamented and may, although we hope not, cause very serious problems in the future.

The minister refuses to do that. He does not make a commitment. He very rarely speaks. I have never seen him stand up and say to the assembly that he would recommend his government undertake very serious multicultural policies. I do not know whether it is because of lack of ideas, lack of commitment or lack of understanding, but the fact is that to date we do not have a multicultural policy in Ontario.

5 p.m.

I am saying this in the perspective I outlined at the beginning defining the role of the Minister of Culture and Recreation. If he is really serious he should make presentations, not only to the Treasurer when he removes the seven per cent accommodation tax which will create problems for the tourist and recreational industry, but to his colleague the Minister of Education (Miss Stephenson) when she tries to curtail the heritage programs.

Perhaps he should suggest to the Minister of Education that is a mistake because it creates more social problems. He should tell her that by cutting the funds she does not help to solve the problems that are part of the portfolio of the Minister of Culture and Recreation.

He should tell her the problem could be solved if they took the same route taken in Alberta and recognized third language programs as an integral part of the curriculum. It would not create any great financial problems or any upset in the structure of the educational system of Ontario. I do not think the minister is willing to do that. In fact, he never said he was going to do it.

Going to some specific issues within his ministry that we debated at length during the estimates, I would like to reiterate our position vis-à-vis the problems of the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Royal Ontario Museum.

In the last two years, 1980 and 1981, we have seen the minister taking a less conspicuous role in this area. He was accused quite vehemently during the estimates by the directors of the Art Gallery of Ontario. We had raised the issue of the layoff of personnel at the AGO in 1980 and 1981. We raised the same issue with regard to the Royal Ontario Museum. I do not think that situation has changed because the minister thinks galleries and museums are a pastime of the wealthy in Ontario and that it is not a cultural service offered to the citizens.

The number of volunteers has increased while the number of professionals has decreased. The chairman of the Ontario Arts Council said, 'Don't expect money from the ministry." The Deputy Minister of Culture and Recreation last week reiterated that the minister will not give much more money for art in Ontario.

The minister should reconsider at this point whether in 1981 we can run a decent art gallery in Ontario counting only on the support of what he calls the private sector. I do not expect the minister understands it is now accepted all over the world that art is a public function, a public service given to citizens. If the minister went to the Art Gallery of Ontario he would realize how many services were offered to students and those interested in art before the cutbacks. I do not expect he accepts this very simple concept that is accepted all over the world.

For the sake of saving a few dollars now he undermines the activity of the gallery. We may be faced with circumstances later on that will put us not in the big leagues he talks about but in a situation that will be very difficult to overcome. This prevailing trend is probably encouraged by the Minister of Culture and Recreation.

Last weekend, a key gallery was closed off at the Royal Ontario Museum and will no longer exist. That gallery had been marked off for museum social functions. With its closing the design has to go back to square one. That key gallery served as an introduction to other galleries, gave directions and announced what was to take place. It will cost a fortune to go back to square one. We know the government has invested a lot of money but we have not had a progress report on what is happening at the museum. The minister probably does not know much about that either.

I would like to raise another point regarding the Stratford Festival, one which I raised in the estimates. The minister will say we deal with the Stratford Festival and the Art Gallery of Ontario at arm's length. The member for Perth was at the festival's general meeting when the board of directors was elected. In that case the democratic process was nonexistent. I think a couple of people had a number of proxies that made it possible for them to act as a board of directors.

The Stratford Festival plays a very important role in the culture of Ontario. I wonder whether the minister has given any thought to reviewing the rules so that important institution can be run democratically with the participation and input of citizens who are now prevented from doing so because of the club atmosphere and rules that prevail there.

5:10 p.m.

I could go on at some length, Mr. Speaker. Even though the Minister of Culture and Recreation is not one who makes one upset because of his profile, as does the Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. Drea), I have to express my disappointment. Therefore, we will vote against concurrence.

Mr. Laughren: I will be very brief, Mr. Speaker. I want to express my awe to the Minister of Culture and Recreation for his ability. He has a very rare talent, which I am sure members of his own caucus appreciate. I know at least one member does. It takes a very rare talent to take an Ontario benefactor and folk hero and put a cloud over his head for some length of time. I do not know how the minister accomplished it, but he succeeded in doing to the McMichael collection what no critic could do. The minister somehow succeeded in doing that.

There is going to be a committee meeting the first week in February for a couple of days to take a look at the whole issue of the McMichael collection. I am going to be on that committee. It is with very mixed feelings that I am on that committee for those two days of hearings. I do not get much satisfaction out of having that occur. It bothers me a considerable amount. I can recall when the collection was first put into legislation -- back in 1972, I believe. I recall speaking on that bill when it was up for second reading in this chamber.

Because of what the minister has done and the way he has handled the issue I cannot help but wonder who has won and who has lost. I hope the minister will search his mind and see if he can find a winner out of this whole issue, either now or after those brief hearings have been held. When I was up at the McMichael collection in Kleinburg a couple of weeks ago and saw the minister answering questions from the press and from other people on the tour of the collection, it occurred to me at that point the minister had crossed the Rubicon.

There had been an opportunity several weeks earlier for him to have taken the high road. Robert Frost's poem occurred to me about "the road not taken." The road the minister did not take was the high road. He succumbed to pressures within this chamber and made an issue out of what should not have been an issue. I regret that very much.

There is no need for the minister to respond at this time; there will be an opportunity before the committee. When I began my remarks I said it takes a rare talent to do what he has done. The minister is indeed a rare bird. He may go down in history as Ontario's culture vulture.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, I would like to comment quite briefly on some of the observations made, and I will try to follow them in the sequence they were made.

I appreciated the observations of the member for Perth. I recognize some of his concerns. His first observation referred to the possible new Canada-wide lottery game that may take place. We over here are as concerned as he is that the lottery should not proliferate, because with proliferation comes competition and with competition comes hard-sell advertising. We think that is most unfortunate.

Mr. Laughren: Is this a free enterpriser speaking? Is that a free enterprise ethic?

Hon. Mr. Baetz: The member should just keep quiet for a minute.

What has triggered this response from all 10 provinces was the unfortunate announcement by Mr. Gerald Regan of his intention and the intention of the federal government -- apparently he had cabinet approval -- to come back into the lottery field. This was after the provinces had finally reached an excellent modus operandi with the federal government in so far as lotteries were concerned, during that brief and wonderful period when the Progressive Conservatives were in power in Ottawa.

It is most unfortunate. He comes in disguise. He says: "I am coming back, but it is not a lottery, it is a toto. It is not loto, it is toto. There is a difference."

That kind of difference is not recognized in any country in the western world, but the federal government has indicated to us that in January they are going to define through legislation that in Canada there is a difference between a toto and a loto.

Of course, they are not coming back in with their loto but they are coming back in with a toto, which is a different thing. Therefore, they feel the agreement that exists at the present time, where the provincial governments pay the federal government something like $30 million a year to stay out of the field, should continue.

When this move on the part of the federal government took place, the provinces understandably reacted, responded and co-operated to see what they could work out in a satisfactory way to avoid this proliferation. It could easily take place when the feds come back, not with the loto but the toto. I share the member's concern that it looks as if we may have to develop a new game. We will have to see what transpires. In Ontario this matter has not gone to cabinet and it has not yet been approved here. Certainly it is of major concern.

As to the press reports on the comments made by the chairman of the Ontario Arts Council and my deputy minister about local arts organizations not relying too heavily on the provincial government for support, I know Mr. Gelber, the chairman of the Ontario Arts Council, well and I have high respect for him. He is an enthusiastic and dedicated man, dedicated to the development of the arts in this province. He regards them as flourishing. I think that was the comment he made. He recognizes that in Ontario the arts are indeed flourishing.

I can understand why he would say, "We want still more." That is fine, that is understandable. The comment made by my deputy saying the local arts organizations should not rely too heavily on the provincial government is prudent advice. We are simply conveying to them that there is not an unlimited reservoir. In spite of a lot of money going to the arts the amounts are limited. We have been trying to encourage funds from other sources to be directed towards the arts, from corporations, better box office results, other levels of government, private business and so on.

One way to encourage a considerable increase in the funds going to the arts was our challenge fund. In this we contribute $2 for every $1 an arts organization raises over and above the amount it raised last year. That has really generated a lot of additional money.

5:20 p.m.


Hon. Mr. Baetz: I think it is 37 of the largest ones, including of course the member's favourite and our favourite, Stratford, that have benefited very substantially from that fund. I hope they will continue to do so. Quite frankly, I think all of the arts organizations have to realize that it is not a bottomless pit here.

The member commented on the Ontario Federation of Symphony Orchestras. That again is an organization that has grown very rapidly in recent years. It now has a total budget of $139,000. Out of that, my ministry contributes $76,000, which is obviously a very large part of their budget. The Ontario Arts Council contributes another $9,600.

It is another example of the flourishing arts in this province. We now have something like 34 symphony orchestras in Ontario. It is a very rapidly growing field. Their umbrella organization feels growing pains and needs additional money; we will certainly try to do our very best, as we have in the past, to see they are adequately funded.

I have also noted the observation of the member for Perth that I might discuss with the Treasurer some tax arrangements which would allow some of the tax funds to accrue to the arts. I will do that. We have done it in the past but I am sure the honourable member understands that treasurers must look at all sides of an issue. They must look at the revenues and they must look at the expenditures. I am sure our Treasurer will look at this whole issue in the very enlightened way in which he looks at everything else.

The member for Downsview referred at some length to my ministry's role in the whole field of multiculturalism. I will not, of course -- and for good reason -- accept his opinion that this ministry or this government is really not committed to the field of multiculturalism. I could spend a great deal of time giving case after case, point after point, where we are making a very substantial contribution to our multicultural society.

We recognize over here, just as well as do the members over there, that we live in a multicultural society in Ontario. There is no longer a question as to whether we are a multicultural society or we are not. We know we are. Our concern is to keep this society healthy. We feel the present multicultural society has a very substantial degree of good health in it. We will do what needs to be done to maintain that.

The member for Downsview commented on the grants from lotteries. He suggested these should somehow go into a fund, and that a great deal of political patronage is involved in making these grants. I would be prepared at any time, as we have been in the past, to give the member for Downsview or anybody else on that side of the House or on this side, a complete breakdown, riding by riding, as to where these grants go.

I think if the member saw the report in the Toronto Star just a few days ago, it should have confirmed to him once again, for the second or third time, that there is no sign of patronage there at all.

Mr. Di Santo: What about the auditor? Tell the auditor that.

The Acting Speaker: Order, order, order.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: I know it is easy and the members like to hear themselves say this; they stand up and say it is political patronage, but they have to substantiate it. That is all I am asking them to do. They should take a look at the latest breakdown in the Toronto Star and if they still have questions we will be very happy to answer them.

The initiative for the lottery program and the grants for Wintario and so forth has to start at the local level. We do not go out to this riding or that and say, "How about starting this project or that project?" We wait for the local initiative, and if the criteria are right then we help to finance. I think it has been done in a very fair way.

The member for Downsview commented on the Fisher report, saying he felt nothing had been done about it. I can tell him that almost half the recommendations made in the Fisher report have been implemented. So it is not a matter of letting the report gather dust on the shelf. That is just not happening.

As to the member's comments about the Art Gallery of Ontario, I can simply tell him that following the estimates debate a study has begun. We are working with the art gallery. We are looking at some of the services it had planned to cut back on or cut out. Most of those have, in fact, not been cut out. We think a lot of progress is being made there.

I just want to go through this very rapidly, Mr. Speaker, because I know my honourable colleague, the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Pope), wants to get on right away. I would like to make a closing comment on the Royal Ontario Museum. The member has once again raised the spectre here that somehow or other -- and we heard this a few years ago, when we closed the Royal Ontario Museum for a much-needed renovation and expansion -- the place might never even open again, or that it would open with some galleries closed up. I think the member is on record in Hansard as having made those observations. Of course, they were totally groundless.

What he will find if he goes there, and I would invite him to go there any time, is what a magnificent world-status museum it will be. The curatorial science centre opened a few weeks ago. Some members were invited to it. When that museum opens it going to be one of the really great museums of the world. So we are looking forward to that.

In the final comment made by the representative from Nickel Belt -- I do not want to get into a debate at this time -- he pointed out that the McMichael matter is going to standing committee. As I said the night of the debate I find that most regrettable. I do not think it was necessary, but I would remind him it was his party and the Liberal Party that insisted on that going to the standing committee. That was their decision, not ours. We will see him at the standing committee.

Mr. Laughren: No, it was the way you responded that made it inevitable.

Hon. Mr. Baetz: Anyway, it is there that we hope to discover the truth and see what the proper judgement will be. That is a very brief response to the members opposite.

Motion agreed to.


Mr. Nixon: I want to say something rather personal to the minister, since I have been an admirer of his for some time. When I looked across the House I always felt he had one of the most pleasant smiles and probably a pretty good sense of humour. But somehow or other, now that he has been elevated to the northern papacy practically, he tends to take his responsibilities perhaps a little more seriously than is warranted.

He gets aggressive and defensive at the same time. I do not know why that should be, because many people, while they would just as soon a Liberal had the job -- and we look forward to that happening in the very near future -- but with that caveat, we would just as soon have him as the minister as anybody over there, since at least he comes from Timmins. Even though he has made his living as a lawyer for so many years, we do not feel he has lost all rights to the respect that members of the House should have for him. As I said, I do not want to be unduly personal but I felt I should say that.

5:30 p.m.

Sometimes his responses get a little sharp for us. Mind you, the questioning does too. But a few days ago he indicated that no one in the opposition had much of an interest in the forestry situation or the development of our mines. As a matter of fact, I had the opportunity to be our official spokesman in these estimates a year before. I am not sure -- that was before he was the minister -- if he even attended, but that is another matter. His interest in natural resources is much more intense now than it was a year ago, as I recall.

We did have a very full discussion. As a matter of fact, my colleague the member for Rainy River (Mr. T. P. Reid) and our whole northern caucus deal with these matters on a regular basis. For the minister to indicate that we are anything but intensely interested is, of course, incorrect.

I am not a northern member -- the minister knows that -- but as a member of this House for 20 years I have had many opportunities to visit the north and talk to people immediately involved in the problems -- industrial, social and otherwise -- in that part of the province. I have been down in the mines in Sudbury and Timmins; I have had the best Chinese food in Ontario in Mount Joy, as it then was; I have gone over the great railroad to Moosonee perhaps more times than I would care to; I have slept on the floor of a schoolhouse in Trout Lake; and I have addressed a throng of people in Attawapiskat over a loudspeaker stuck in the belfry of the church.

Opposition members have had many opportunities to meet the people of the north, go through the pulp mills, talk to the owners and the working people in the industry about their problems. We can, I believe, converse as knowledgeably as anybody with the minister and his staff about those matters.

One thing that has been lacking in the recent decade, frankly, is proper opportunities for members not from the north to have the experiences I have had, largely 10 years ago. It is fine to say we have access to Air Canada flights and other flights into the north part of the province to go and look at whatever we want. Many members avail themselves of that opportunity. I am sure the minister is aware, if he looked at the records, that sometimes at the same time we fly into those areas other events are scheduled which take place parallel to those. He cannot say that the primary purpose of the trip is to go to look at the resources and talk to the people actually involved in them.

For that reason, I would simply tell the minister again that I strongly advise him to lead an expedition into his home country with all members of the Legislature he could persuade to go with him. It should not be a process where we go from town to town and the mayor and corporations come out and give us a big dinner that we pay for. We do not want to do anything like that. But we can, in fact, go up and see the real north. If some local politicians want to get into the act too, we have no objection.

This really means he is going to have to use his air force to get us into some areas of substantial interest to us, not just like communities we are used to seeing down here, where we look at the same old McDonald's, the same old shopping centres and talk to the mayors who want the same increases in money that everybody else wants. They have problems that we can deal with in another way.

It is fine to go through sawmills and pulp mills and look at those marvellous paper machines, but many people have seen those. We really want to talk to the people who are directly involved. We want to feel that we have gone into the real north.

Somebody indicated once that if one cuts out a map of Ontario in cardboard and balances it on his finger, the centre of gravity is north of Kapuskasing. We tend to forget that we have a fabulous hinterland that many of us here know little or nothing about. I simply suggest to the minister that I would like him to lead the expedition. He may have whatever help he wants, but he should not simply call in a bunch of people and have them do it. He can consult with whomever he wants, but I have a great deal of confidence that he should do it.

We have lots of planes. More than a decade ago, we went with 15 Otters and Beavers. Everybody went up there and we flew all over northern Ontario. Those of us who had an opportunity to go at that time feel we gained almost sort of a possessive knowledge; so we do not feel ourselves southerners as opposed to northerners, we feel ourselves Ontarians. I think that would be a big help for us here.

I would also suggest as a footnote that there ought to be at least a few hours set aside where we can catch some fish. The reputation of the minister depends on us catching fish. I do not want the minister to be nervous about this, but just bear it in mind.

Mr. Havrot: Are you a good swimmer? You have to chase them swimming, you know.

Mr. Nixon: Yes, our former Minister of Agriculture and Food went over and raided the Indians' nets under the water on one occasion and came back with a lake trout in each hand and an Indian war canoe about 10 feet behind him. That is no exaggeration. If they had caught him it probably would have been to the benefit of the farmers of Ontario, but that is another matter.

I want to assure you, Mr. Speaker, and in your private capacity as a member I know you would agree with me, that we do feel compelling interest in the north and in the people of the north. We want to have the members of the House, particularly those fairly recently elected, to have an opportunity to go up there and participate in the life of the north and meet the people and see what the problems are.

Mr. Stokes: Do it the last two weeks in February.

Mr. Nixon: The member for Lake Nipigon makes a good point. It should be the last two weeks in February. I have tramped around Nipigon and Red Rock and Schreiber in that weather. I did not win many votes, but on one occasion we almost beat the honourable member -- almost.

Mr. Stokes: When was this?

Mr. Nixon: When were you first elected? In 1967 we almost cleaned his clock.

Mr. Stokes: You came third.

Mr. Nixon: Well, we were close. I have a feeling we may not have as good an opportunity in the immediate future.

However, there would be nothing wrong with going up there in the winter time if the former Speaker wants us to suffer. He tends to get a little personal gratification out of that. He makes a good point. We look forward to seeing what plans come out of the minister's imagination as we approach the warmer part of 1982.

Mr. Laughren: Mr. Speaker, I concur in what the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk said about a tour of the north. We keep hearing rumblings that it is going to happen, but never get any confirmation. Perhaps when the minister responds he could tell us what his intentions are in that regard. I hope whatever he does it is his ministry that is the lead ministry, because if we leave it up to the Ministry of Northern Affairs they will screw it up so badly we will never get north of Finch Avenue.

I would encourage the minister to take that under his wing and get us across northern Ontario.

It is particularly appropriate that we should be discussing these occurrences today following the announcement yesterday that the minister had signed a forest management agreement with Abitibi-Price. Not that there is anything wrong with signing a forest management agreement; everyone agrees, I believe, that there should be agreements. There have been agreements in the past with the forest industry, and here we go again, around the mulberry bush.

It is the manner in which the minister is proceeding with the forest management agreement and other matters dealing with forestry, dealing with planning, dealing with native rights in northern Ontario and other parts of Ontario as well, that bothers us a great deal. It is not, as the minister would have everyone believe, that it is simply the opposition opposing for the sake of opposing. There are some very real concerns out there about what the minister is doing and about what the Royal Commission on the Northern Environment is doing.

No one knows what the royal commission is doing. The minister does not know what the royal commission is doing. If the royal commission knows what the royal commission is doing, I wish it would tell us, and I wish it would tell the Ministry of Natural Resources, because with the ministry doing what it is doing under its strategic land-use plan and the royal commission doing what it should be doing under its mandate, either there is duplication or one of the two is not doing its job. It is as simple as that.

The minister would be the first to defend his role and say he is doing the job; therefore, we can only draw our own conclusions about the royal commission.

Mr. Stokes: He can't get anybody to pay any attention to him, that's all.

Mr. Laughren: Who?

Mr. Stokes: The minister.

5:40 p.m.

Mr. Laughren: The minister? Yes, there are people who pay attention to him.

When he took this ministry, the planning process was already in place, the forest management agreements were already sort of in place and some had already been signed. It is not as though the minister launched any new program in this regard. The minister undertook to complete existing programs. He has succeeded in causing a great deal of doubt surrounding the planning process in northern Ontario. I could not say it better than people within his own ministry are saying it. I will quote at more length later on.

When he responds, I hope the minister will tell us how it is, when the district land-use plans are not going to be completed until the end of 1982, he can feel the need to sign the forest management agreements now, a year before the district land-use plans are going to be completed.

I do not know how in the world he expects anybody to have any faith in the integrity of the planning process or in public participation when he is doing this to them, saying: "Here, the forest management agreement is taken out of this district. Now fight over the crumbs. Fight over what is left." The forest management agreement is taken out of that district for all intents and purposes when he signs that FMA. Yet that is what the minister insists on doing.

The minister says, "There is public participation with the FMAs." We saw what public participation there was. People were not allowed to take documents away from the open house. They were given less than 10 days to respond, although some pressure was applied and the minister relented and gave them more time. That was the intention of the ministry and the minister, to allow people less than 10 days to respond. That is simply not right.

No options are being put before people out there in the planning process. The minister is saying, "This is what we want to do." He is not saying, "These are the possible options and these are the ramifications of those options." They are just laying out the alternatives for people and saying, "This is what we are going to do." They are not really even alternatives. They are his idea of what should happen. He is saying to people: "It is public participation when you come in. Look at what we want to do. Then you can respond and we will consider your views." We know how much consideration is given to public views by the ministry. That is not meaningful participation.

When those FMAs are signed, that is it for that area. It excludes any further negotiations for tourism, wilderness areas, parks, roads, for waste disposal sites or even for farming in the north. When the minister does that, he really does cause a deterioration in the planning process and in public participation.

Since he became the minister, a number of things have deteriorated. The negotiations with native people have deteriorated. The significance and importance of parks has deteriorated. The master planning process for parks has been put on the shelf. There is no other way to describe it. The minister says, "Oh, well, we are going to complete the parks planning." In fact, he has not. He has put it to one side. That is simply not right. He has an obligation to complete that planning process.

I know it is always easy to deal with the problems of today and to put the long-term problems to one side and let them go away. But if the minister planned properly for our parks and wilderness areas, that would last for generations. The trees one cuts will be gone tomorrow. The parks and wilderness areas that are set aside are terribly important to this province and to future generations.

While it may be more expedient to cut trees today, in the long run it is not a good policy when one starts abandoning the parks like that. The minister pretends he does not, but I believe the Abitibi-Price agreement includes the cutting of protection forest.

If I am wrong, I am sure the minister will correct me. I do not know how he intends to regenerate that protection forest. I see the minister smiling. I want him to make a commitment that in all the FMAs he signs there will be no cutting of protection forests. That would reassure me to a considerable degree.

The role of his ministry has been downgraded. If I was the minister I would be worried about my own ministry. When we had the estimates of the Ministry of Natural Resources, and when we had his debate, he sat there at the front with his deputy, and not even always with his deputy, and there was nobody else from the ministry there.

With most ministry estimates the minister and the important people throughout the ministry are in attendance to answer questions and to feel that they are part of the process; to feel they are important to the running of that ministry; to feel that they can answer questions. Who expects the minister to be able to answer all questions, on all possible topics, in a ministry as diverse as Natural Resources? I do not think anyone expects that.

It is not a put-down of the minister to say, quite frankly, that we would have been getting better and more complete answers from the key people in his ministry throughout this province. That is not a put-down of the minister, it is a simple fact. No one can have the knowledge that the experts do, and if the minister thinks he can have that, then he really does put his key people in a funny position. It is causing problems in his ministry already, and I suspect it is going to get worse.

None of us is well served with a demoralized ministry in this province, and least of all the minister. I cannot tell him precisely how he should conduct his affairs with his employees, but when I see letters such as the one from one of his regional directors, from which I quoted briefly yesterday, then I worry that the minister is rushing full speed ahead on policies and only consulting those people he wants to listen to or those who listen to the minister and always nod in agreement. If that is what he is doing, then I am not surprised there is dissension, dissatisfaction and unhappiness within his ministry.

I see a short paragraph like this, "With respect to the principle being addressed, that is land-use planning prior to forest management agreements, I would agree wholeheartedly, but what I am at a total loss to understand is how a district land-use plan can discuss in any credible public forum land exclusions within an FMA area when the FMA itself was approved eight months previous."

That says it better than I was saying it during the estimates. It is exactly how I feel. It is exactly how those people out there in Ontario feel who want to have a say and who want to feel that public participation is meaningful in this province. It is like Pierre Trudeau's old slogan about participatory democracy, and we all saw what a hollow shell that was.

Mr. Boudria: How dare the member criticize our Prime Minister?

Mr. Laughren: Don't get me going. The minister is not doing himself or the province a service.

One other point is that in the spring, I gather, the Premier (Mr. Davis) asked this minister, and perhaps all ministers, what their long-term priorities were as ministers. The minister replied to the Premier as to what the long-term priorities were within the Ministry of Natural Resources. It is true, is it not, that the Premier asked for that, and the minister responded, and told him his priorities in his ministry?

If it is not, that is funny. This says, "Dear Mr. Davis, I have given your letter of May 5, 1981, on the subject of long-term priorities considerable reflection, and have the following comments and suggestions to offer in response to it." That sounds like a response to a request from the Premier for long-term priorities.

Hon. Mr. Pope: Some of them.

Mr. Laughren: Yes, some of them. In the minister's response, he talks about a number of his priorities, and I would not disagree with --

Mr. Boudria: Does he have all of your cabinet documents, or just some?

Hon. Mr. Pope: Whatever he wants.

Mr. Laughren: I have only the important ones. The minister says a couple of things that bother me a great deal in his response to the Premier. One of them is this paragraph: "This government needs to develop, on a priority basis, a holistic approach to water as a resource. We should be in a position to anticipate and respond effectively to initiatives by the United States on this resource; such as water diversions, oil and gas exploration of the Great Lakes and its associated problems, or possibly the outright bartering of water. To this end, we must consolidate our legislation and policies on water as soon as possible with the support and co-operation of Ontario Hydro and other ministries concerned."

I want the minister to stand in his place when he responds and tell us what his plans are for the diversion and bartering of water in this province. I want the minister to respond --

Hon. Mr. Pope: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker: The letter does not say that. The letter says that was a possible problem. It does not say that was my policy. The member had better read it again. He got caught on another item during the estimates in the same way.

5:50 p.m.

Mr. Laughren: I will read it again: "This government needs to develop, on a priority basis, a holistic approach to water as a resource. We should be in a position to anticipate and respond effectively to initiatives by the United States on this resource; such as water diversion, oil and gas exploration in the Great Lakes and its associated problems, or possibly the outright bartering of water."

I ask you, Mr. Speaker, how would you interpret that?

Hon. Mr. Pope: If the honourable member reads it correctly, he will indicate to this House that we are talking about possible United States initiatives.

Mr. Laughren: I have not misquoted a single word in the letter. I do not know why the minister is so uptight. I suppose because he has played fast and loose out there with the diversion of water. I want the minister to tell us exactly what has gone on to this point concerning the negotiations over the diversion of water, the outright bartering of water. It may sound relatively harmless until one thinks about the possible ramifications for the diversion of water in this province. That is a very serious policy even to be discussing with the United States.

The minister and his colleagues did not run in the election in March on the diversion of water or the bartering of water with the United States. There was never any mention of that, was there? Is this part of its program to export hydro, through nuclear, to the United States as well?

Hon. Mr. Pope: The honourable member is deliberately misrepresenting my position and that of my ministry.

Mr. Laughren: Mr. Speaker, are you going to allow the minister to say that?

The Deputy Speaker: Well, what do you want me to do? I do not have the paper in front of me. We are having a discussion over a document that I have no privilege to. I would possibly hope at some future time you two distinguished, fine gentlemen would get together and clarify what was or was not meant by the letter, and carry on maybe without being so provocative in terms of the letter.

Mr. Laughren: Mr. Speaker, who are you referring to?

The Deputy Speaker: You.

Mr. Laughren: Me? The point is, it is a little scary when I read what the minister has said in response to the Premier.

The Deputy Speaker: When you read what you think the minister has said to the Premier. That is the point that is bothering the minister.

Mr. Laughren: What do you mean? I am quoting from a letter of the minister to the Premier. The minister first of all denied it existed, then decided it did exist when I quoted from it.

Hon. Mr. Pope: I did not deny it.

Mr. Laughren: You did so. That is exactly what you said.

Hon. Mr. Pope: I did not. I said it did not represent all my priorities.

Mr. Laughren: That is not what you said at the beginning.

Perhaps I could read another couple of paragraphs and give the minister the opportunity to tell me I am misquoting him again, even though I am not misquoting a single word: "This government will also be faced with the challenge of maintaining a favourable investment climate for the exploration and development of mineral resources. This challenge may require a program stressing Ontario's investment opportunities for the junior speculative metal mining, including some encouragement for the prospection and development of small and medium-sized mines.

"It is a question at this point of building on the momentum created by BILD initiatives, such as the hydrocarbon inventory, the test custom gold milling and the provincial core library programs. Introduction of a new mineral resource act as part of our legislative package will be a step in the right direction."

Have I quoted the minister accurately as he recalls? Ah, Mr. Speaker, perhaps I am gaining credibility in the minister's eyes again. He does not disagree with that. How about this paragraph? Let us see if he agrees this is an accurate quote: "Finally, I would like to touch briefly on the subject of outdoor recreation. With the squeeze on wildlife, fisheries, wetlands and wilderness stemming from increased tourism, resource exploration and extraction in agricultural activity, it is apparent that an intensification of our management programs will be required."

Here is the interesting part: "Because of our limited financial resources in this area, we might have to consider, sooner than later, a transfer of the management of at least certain outdoor recreational resources to the private sector. This would force a system where the user would indeed pay the private sector for certain outdoor recreational opportunities, such as some components of hunting and fishing programs.

"Although the implementation of such an alternative would necessitate a commensurate rise in legislation, it would have the educational value of pointing out, contrary to a widespread public perception, that public resources are not free resources and that wise management necessitates expenditure of funds. However, I anticipate that if we proceed with privatization on any kind of scale, we will face resistance, as total or partial government disengagement from previous commitments is often not deemed acceptable by the public."

Do I quote the minister accurately?

Hon. Mr. Pope: Yes.

Mr. Laughren: Good. Perhaps when he responds, the minister could tell us what particular resources he is talking about transferring to the private sector.

"A transfer of the management of certain outdoor recreation resources to the private sector." Perhaps the minister could tell us which resources he is thinking about transferring to the private sector. He has every reason to be cautious when he says to the Premier, "I anticipate there will be some flak out there about such a program." He is damned right there would be some flak about such a program. The public in this province has a huge investment in those resources, and we are not prepared to transfer them on the minister's whim to the private sector. That is what the minister is talking about.

I would like to know the minister's views on the management of our provincial parks. Perhaps that is what he is talking about; I do not know. If the minister is prepared to state that we may have to consider the bartering and diversion of water to the United States, then I would like to know what the stakes are as well. What are we getting in return for this?

I never hear the minister talking about these things in his public statements, either in the leadoff to his estimates or when speaking in different parts of the province. I never hear him talking about these things. Why? If these are the priorities the minister outlined to the Premier, why does he not talk about them when he is talking to interest groups all across the province? Why does he not talk about them in his estimates? Are they priorities he does not want to talk about publicly now? I think the minister owes it to us to be on the level when it comes to these things.

In closing, during the debates of his ministry's estimates, I asked a fairly large number of questions of the minister. I look forward a great deal to receiving those answers. I assume I am going to get those answers. The minister is shaking his head.

Hon. Mr. Pope: The members would not let me answer.

Mr. Laughren: What is the minister talking about? He was not answering anyway.

Hon. Mr. Pope: I was so.

Mr. Laughren: The minister promised to answer those questions even if it was after the estimates debates were over. The minister shakes his head, is that right?

Hon. Mr. Pope: Yes.

Mr. Laughren: That is simply not true. I ask the minister and his staff to check Hansard to see whether he made a promise to answer questions that were put to him, very legitimately, during the estimates debate. What kind of incredible arrogance is it by which the minister can sit there and say, "I am not going to answer questions even though I promised previously to do so"? What kind of arrogance is that?

Hon. Mr. Pope: What kind of arrogance is it when the members would not let me answer?

Mr. Laughren: Who would not let the minister answer? That is total and absolute nonsense, and the minister knows it. He is too defensive to respond coherently, if yesterday is any example. Is that why? Do those questions touch a nerve? Is that what is bothering the minister? He should answer the questions; that is his job.

Does the minister think he is put in that position to paternalistically look after the resources of this province, ignoring public participation, the advice of people within his own ministry and the opposition when they put legitimate questions to him? If that is the kind of minister he is going to be, he is in for a very rough time. He can sit there and smile if he likes, but majority government does not give him the right to ignore the people of this province or the members of the opposition in this chamber.

The Deputy Speaker: I am wondering if it is close to six o'clock.

Mr. Haggerty: Mr. Speaker --

The Deputy Speaker: You are going to move the adjournment?

Mr. Haggerty: Yes. I will move the adjournment.

The Deputy Speaker: Shall these estimates --

Mr. Stokes: No, no. "Shall the motion carry for the adjournment of the debate?"

The Deputy Speaker: A motion? I said, "Carried." I am sorry. Carried.

On motion by Mr. Haggerty, the debate was adjourned.

Mr. Haggerty: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: Am I correct in believing that we are not through with concurrences for the ministries?

The Deputy Speaker: No, we are not.

Mr. Haggerty: I thought you said it was carried.


Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, before the adjournment of the House I want to indicate the business of the House for tomorrow and Friday.

As members are aware, the House will begin sitting tomorrow at 10 a.m., going through until 1 p.m., recommencing at 2 p.m. with routine proceedings and again at eight o'clock in the evening.

Between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., and again in the evening from 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., we will be calling third readings and private bills on the Order Paper, followed by committee of the whole on Bills 191 and 147, second reading only of Bill 194, and completion of Bill 178 if it is reported from the standing committee and available to the House. Then we can continue concurrences in the order in which they appear on the Notice Paper.

Tomorrow afternoon we will be having private members' ballot items. Those items are in the names of the member for Lake Nipigon (Mr. Stokes) and the member for Oriole (Mr. Williams).

On Friday morning we will call committee of the whole on Bills 2, 53, 93 and 160. Then, if Bill 178 is reported and is not completed, we will continue the completion of that bill. We will then resume any concurrences that might remain, with the final budget motion speeches and the supply bill to follow.

Mr. Haggerty: That's on Monday, isn't it?

Hon. Mr. Wells: That is on Friday.

The House adjourned at 6:02 p.m.