32e législature, 1re session








The House resumed at 8:02 p.m.

House in committee of the whole.


Resuming consideration of Bill 191, An Act to amend the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto Act.

Mr. Chairman: I understand we do have some proposed amendments. The earliest I see is to section 2. In that case, are there any amendments to section 1?

Section 1 agreed to.

On section 2:

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment to section 2, 215a(1).

Mr. Chairman: Hon. Mr. Wells moves that section 215a(1) of the act as set out in section 2 of the bill be amended by inserting after "structures" in the fourth line "avenues and vacant lands."

Is there any discussion?

Mr. Nixon: What about the minister? Perhaps it would assist the minister in knowing what sort of an explanation might be helpful if he could respond to the feeling from the residents of the islands that they want the bill to accept the fact that they own the houses. They are quite prepared to lease the land at a reasonable figure. But it is not clear to me that the minister's amendment, by adding "avenues and vacant lands" has anything to do with the reference to "lands and structures."

The structures, as I understand it, in the view of the residents of the islands, are their property. While they are intending to lease the right to have those structures on the property for 23 years, they are quite anxious that we at least consider wording that will make it clear the homes Metropolitan Toronto has said repeatedly are worthless shacks -- that is the way it considers them -- are, in fact, the property of the islanders. Many of them have been maintained in proper condition. But if and when this bill carries in its amended form they will be required to upgrade them to meet the requirements of the bylaws of Toronto.

Hon. Mr. Wells: This amendment concerns the "avenues and vacant lands." It is here in order to indicate that, as well as the lands on which the homes sit, any vacant lots that happen to be scattered in among the homes and certain other lands on Algonquin Island and Ward's Island will also go over to the city of Toronto, in order to provide a buffer zone. They cannot be built on or used for any other purpose but recreation purposes. But it provides, I think, a protection for the integrity of the community.

As far as the point my friend brought up, what this legislation does is transfer all the rights, title and interests that now are vested in the Metropolitan corporation to the corporation of the city of Toronto. In other words it remains silent about any matters of ownership. I do not believe it would be fitting at this time to try to put into this bill anything concerning the ownership of the properties.

There were certain leases entered into by the residents back in 1959 that provided for certain things to happen at the end of those times and Metropolitan Toronto was vested with certain rights in so far as the structures are concerned. This act does not change anything but it provides that all those things -- the rights, title and interests -- that were vested in Metropolitan Toronto are now vested in the city of Toronto and the island residents who will become the lessees and occupants of the homes will deal with the city of Toronto until the year 2005.

Mr. Chairman: Any further questions? I see no further discussion on the proposed amendment. Shall the proposed amendment carry?

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Chairman: Shall section 2, 215a(1) carry as amended? Carried.

I have another amendment in regard to the same section. However, it concerns section 215a(2).

Mr. Nixon: It is a little late for this.

Mr. Chairman: Hon. Mr. Wells moves that section 215a(2) of the act, as set out in section 2 of the bill, be amended by striking out, "and as if the lands were fully serviced and having regard to the duration of the term of the lease and assignment," in the fifth and sixth lines and inserting in lieu thereof, "and having regard to the level of services supplied to the lands on the 9th day of December, 1981, and the duration of the term of the lease and assignment, but for the purpose of calculating the market value rent no consideration shall be given to either the value of improvements made to the structure after the 31st day of August, 1975 or the provision of further services to the lands after the 9th day of December, 1981."

8:10 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Chairman, I draw to your attention that I changed the date from the printed amendment that you have before you. The date now reads "31st day of August, 1975" on the second line from the bottom.

Mr. Chairman: Instead of "19th day of October, 1978"?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Yes.

Mr. Epp: As I understand it, this will be helpful to the residents of the islands and therefore we have no difficulty in supporting this amendment.

Mr. Nixon: Mr. Chairman, I just have one comment. I know the minister has done an admirable job in listening to the suggestions from the residents of the islands, and in spite of the fact the chairman of Metropolitan Toronto has indicated that the minister does not have the support of his colleagues in cabinet, or of the other members of his caucus --

Mr. Gillies: Not so.

Mr. Nixon: There may be those who are more readily whipped into line, who are prepared to support the minister. Certainly we support him on this side.

I just want an assurance from the minister, when we talk about certain leasing charges, that he has given consideration to the overall costs to the people who will continue to reside on the island, at least for the next 23 years. It has been put to me that a list of the increments, or ingredients, of the overall costs might very well add up to something with which a normal family income would not be able to cope.

It would be useful if the minister, or his chief adviser, might give us an assurance that we are not going to have a totality -- a word that comes from the federal level -- that is going to be such that the present residents of the islands are actually going to be forced off their properties. Could he assure us the right to live there for these 23 years will not be taken over by some sort of a crème de la crème moving down from Scarborough, or one of those places, to take advantage of this situation?

I will not take the time of the House, for a number of reasons, to list the various charges the islanders might be subjected to. By the time the new sewer installation is completed, by the time the leasing charges to Metropolitan Toronto are completed, by the time they pay back rent as called for in this enactment, by the time they pay the new leasing charges, which are going to be established by some sort of an agreement, it may very well be that those who are less disposed to support the claims of the islanders than we, are going to come up with a bottom line that might accomplish, inadvertently, what we have gone so far to see cannot be accomplished by our intentions.

I have to admit that my syntax is a little elaborate. I was listening to the Premier (Mr. Davis) earlier on, and I may have been infected by his disease, or one of them.

I wonder if the minister can give us some sort of a review, or an assurance, in this connection? I do not think the islanders are looking for something like $25 a month, although they might accept that if we saw fit to establish that level, but only a fair cost for maintaining the islands community on an individual basis.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Mr. Chairman, we welcome this amendment, and the recent subamendment. We were concerned with the notion that the assessment of market value to start off the new agreements with the people of the islands would be at such a level that we would be changing the nature of that community dramatically by having those assessments at too high a rate. It strikes me that the amendment that has been proposed, in consultation with the executive of the islands' community association, is useful in terms of having some control over that by adding extra elements to the decision-making of what is market value to what was in the bill originally.

We welcome those additions. The move back to 1975, and we realize there has to be an arbitrary date of some sort, will be particularly useful.

Mr. Ruprecht: Mr. Chairman, the minister was not in the House when I raised the question this afternoon. Let me reiterate one of the problems here; I am fairly sure he is familiar with it. The cumulative effect of requiring that the building code not be upheld, but that all total requirements be met in terms of the building code and that the fair market rents be charged as well, will be, as I hope the minister realizes, fairly detrimental to many people on the islands.

I am not sure whether the minister has received the note from Mr. Atkinson. The note outlines, in fair detail, precise numbers and streets and the people affected by it. If current market rents were charged and the building code established and the additional costs involved, the minister realizes that close to 145 people would, within the first three months, be unable to live on the island.

I think probably the most important request I have here is to somehow try to allay the islanders' fears and concerns, in terms of these extra charges which might, to some degree and by some people, be considered a round-about way of clearing out people and establishing a new way of either a grand building design or a new way to get people out of there.

I am sure that is not the intention. I am sure the minister has no intention at all of thinking this would be one new way to get them out of there. But to allay fears, mine and theirs, I would very much appreciate his comments, in terms of the expense and his assurance that this would not be a new way to try to have a large-scale development take place.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Chairman, certainly the purpose of this amendment and this bill is not to remove the community from the island in some back-door way, as the member seems to have indicated. It is to assist and preserve the community on the island. The amendment we have moved assists in establishing a fair way of computing the market value rent that will be paid by Toronto to Metro for each of the various homes, and this provides the ways that will happen.

There is nothing in this bill that forces the city of Toronto to bring those properties up to standard, but there is nothing that prohibits it. My friend who has just spoken knows -- he sat on Toronto city council. It will be up that council. It will have a fair degree of discretion in a number of matters under this bill. It will be up to them in the kind of leases they write to decide what they wish to do and how they wish the matter to be handled. I think we have it demonstrated amply that they will do this in a very helpful and sympathetic manner.

The rent that is paid and will be paid by the occupants who lease properties will also be up to the city of Toronto. As I said in my remarks on second reading, while there is a provision for a computation of the fair market value rent that will be paid by the city to Metro for the lands which the city has now taken, there is no automatic provision that the actual amount is the amount that then must be charged by the city of Toronto to the islanders.

8:20 p.m.

They will have a degree of discretion in deciding the kind of lease and the rent that will be arrived at. Overall I think this is a fair amendment. It strikes a proper way of establishing what will be the market value rent or the assistance in establishing that. I do not think it will be detrimental in any way to people living there or cause the dire circumstances the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk alluded to.

Mr. Nixon: Mr. Chairman, perhaps the minister who is very conversant with this whole matter, I mean amazingly conversant, would clarify for us the charges residents will be responsible for. It will not be wrapped up in one monthly rental payment. It seems to me there is a list of about five ingredients.

Hon. Mr. Wells: It really will be up to the city. The city will be transacting leases with the occupants, and the city will have to build certain costs the city has into the rent charged. At this point, I cannot tell the member exactly what they are going to do. But the city is first and foremost in the forefront of wanting to preserve the island communities, so I am sure they are not going to look for ways and means of eliminating that community, not by bulldozing it out as Metro wanted to do, but by charges that will make it impossible for people to live there.

I think they will look for a fair and equitable lease arrangement with the occupants, given the fact they must also take into account what general taxpayers of the whole area must pay. That responsibility rests with the city of Toronto, and they will have to exercise that as they transact the lease. But they are not forced to do anything by this bill, except they are given the right to make leases with the new occupants.

Mr. Nixon: I do not want to prolong it, but I do not want the minister to get the impression I was suggesting this was some sort of a funny engine which the city was going to use to clear the island. It could well be, with the province moving the responsibility directly to the city and accepting no financial responsibility, that present residents might not find it possible to maintain themselves.

At the same time we have made a commitment in the Liberal Party, as the minister has -- I don't know whether his party has -- for the maintenance of the community on the islands, we have also made a commitment to the people there. I do not suppose we made a commitment to those people by name in perpetuity, but we have to those people who have lived on the island over the years. The last thing we want it to turn into is one of those deals like The Bridle Path that North York has allowed to become established.

Hon. Mr. Wells: I am sure that will not happen. This bill has been worked out in conjunction with the Toronto people, and I am sure they will guarantee the kind of thing my friend says might happen, will not happen.

Mr. Epp: The minister has been very forthright with us. I was wondering if he could be a little more generous in the kind of charges he expects to be charged by the city of Toronto. Surely to goodness after his many marathon meetings with the city of Toronto, with the region, with Metropolitan Toronto, he has obviously discussed the various charges and has a better grasp of them than do the other members of this Legislature. I am sure he would like to share with us some of his discussions, both with the city of Toronto and with Metropolitan Toronto, with respect to these charges.

Hon. Mr. Wells: All I can tell my friend is that I have not had any discussions with them on the dollars and cents of what would be charged. We have not had any of those discussions. All I know is the city of Toronto endorsed the spirit and essence of the Swadron report. They endorsed the community on the islands. They have seen and worked with us on developing this bill and they seem to feel this is an equitable way to move.

I do not think the city of Toronto per se is one of the poor municipalities of this province. It has a very good industrial-commercial base, a good tax rate, and it has developed some good policies towards preserving neighbourhood communities. I do not have any hesitation in believing it will be able to handle this situation very competently.

Mr. Ruprecht: I appreciate what the minister is trying to do and I have one quick question for him. Has he seen a copy of this letter to the Premier from Mr. Atkinson? I gave it to him either this morning or yesterday.

Hon. Mr. Wells: No, I have not seen it.

Mr. Ruprecht: Very briefly, in this letter I referred to earlier, Mr. Atkinson indicates that even with fair market rents, close to 145 people would have to move within a period of two to three months. Would you be able to comment on that so I can get an indication of how you would answer my question?

Hon. Mr. Wells: I am not sure what my friend is saying. Is he asking if I believe that 145 people will have to move if fair market rent is charged? I don't know the answer to that. I don't know what the fair market rent will be. I really believe a majority of people in Metropolitan Toronto want to preserve the community on the island. They do not want anybody to be charged exorbitant rents. They do not want it to become another Post Road or another Rosedale. However, they do want fair rents to be charged. I think it will be up to the people who become the occupants to decide whether those rents are fair.

My friend, as I said, has been on Toronto city council, as has the member for St. George (Ms. Fish) and others in this House over the years. I am sure these people, who are very much aware and on the side of the islanders, will make sure the matter is handled properly.

Mr. Ruprecht: I appreciate what the minister is saying. If that indeed is the case, and the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Grossman) has the letter right now, will we be able to include a phasing-in of the rent increase over three years instead of hitting them all at once? That is my question.

Hon. Mr. Wells: That would be up to the city of Toronto in negotiating the leases. We have left a degree of flexibility greater than some people wanted. There are some who felt fair market rent, period, should be in there with no flexibility. We have left the city of Toronto a degree of flexibility in this bill as to what kind of leasing arrangement it will make with the occupants. Any phasing-in arrangement would have to be made by the city.

Mr. Ruprecht: One final question: Sure, we should leave it at the city level, but would we be able to include as a recommendation from the minister's office, or as an addition to this bill, some kind of rider suggesting that the city of Toronto consider phasing in the rent increases over a period of time?

8:30 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Chairman, I am sure the very keen politicians in the city will read the Hansard of this debate and see the suggestion the honourable member has brought forward. Certainly, no one is going to disagree if they decide there is some case that deserves this kind of treatment. I cannot think of any other way we can make known to them that this is something that could be done. I am sure they would think of that, and I am sure the residents themselves will suggest it if they feel it should apply in a particular situation.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Chairman: Hon. Mr. Wells moves that section 215(a) of the act, as set out in section 2 of the bill as printed, be amended by adding thereto the following subsection:

"(4) Notwithstanding subsections 2 and 3, the rent with respect to all of the avenues and vacant lands under the lease and assignment referred to in subsection 1 shall be $1 per year and vacant lands shall be used only for parks and recreational purposes and no buildings or structures shall be erected on the vacant lands."

He further moves that subsections 215(a)(4) to (20) be renumbered accordingly when the bill is reprinted.

Prior to discussion, there are no amendments to subsection 3; is that correct? No? Carried? Carried.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Mr. Chairman, I welcome this addition to the bill in terms of recognizing the need to have transferred, at this nominal charge, the vacant lands on the islands. But it is with some regret that I will accept the motion. What it does cut out is the possibility of infill construction by the city of Toronto. I note that with some regret, because it seems to me that the possibility of infill would be a useful thing for the city in terms of curbing some of the cost in terms of the new sewer facilities et cetera that will have to go in over there, especially in terms of cutting the costs to the islanders themselves. I prefer to have this included as it is than to be left out as it was before.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Chairman: Shall the amended subsection 4 carry? Carried.

The next amendment I see is to subsection 6; so shall all of subsection 5 carry? Carried.

Mr. Nixon: This is a complicated business.

Mr. Chairman: It sure is. You would think that the bill would have been a little more orderly here.

Hon. Mr. Wells: I apologize for the fact that it may be a little complicated. What we are trying to do here in section 2 of this bill is to write a whole new section for the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto Act; so we are really working on the small numbers here. We are now on subsection 6.

Mr. Chairman: Hon. Mr. Wells moves that subsection 215(a)(6) of the act, as set out in section 2 of the bill as printed, be amended by adding at the end thereof: "and when an occupant enters into a lease under this section with respect to particular lands and structures, the writ of possession for those particular lands and structures shall cease to have effect."

Mr. Epp: As a general comment, Mr. Chairman, I know that the minister means well in trying to rectify a number of weaknesses that were inherent in the original bill. But I sometimes find it difficult to accept the fact that the minister has had the Swadron report for some time and that this problem has been with us for a number of years. Finally, when we get the bill in the eleventh hour of this Legislative session -- maybe at the eleventh and a half hour -- then he comes in with at least 10 or a dozen amendments to the bill. I find that just a little difficult to accept.

I imagine he is a little embarrassed by the whole procedure. I know that he is trying to accommodate the residents, and I appreciate that; I think they should be accommodated. But I find it a little difficult to understand why they were not accommodated in the original bill. We have a bill here of just a few pages and, as I say, we have about a dozen amendments coming in during the very final hours of this session.

Mr. Chairman: I guess you are not speaking to the amendment.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Chairman, I just want to say to my friend that perhaps that illustrates the difference between him and us over here, because we are very open in wanting people to study the legislation, sitting down with them and then correcting things; that has always been my principle when dealing with legislation. I have to tell the member I am not in any way embarrassed about bringing these amendments into this House.

In the terms of what the lawyers want, we do not need this section. If he were to ask any of the lawyers, the legal beagles that we have drafting bills and so forth, they would say this is absolutely not necessary. The fact is that this section, without this amendment, transfers the writs of possession, which this House by its bill has prevented from being served, into the city of Toronto. That leaves the power as to whether those writs of possession would ever be exercised with the city of Toronto.

The other day, my friend's colleague the member for Parkdale (Mr. Ruprecht) argued against telling the city of Toronto what they are supposed to do, however, the feeling being that we would not have to tell the city. Because the city is favourable to the islanders, they would not exercise the writs.

But in our meetings with the islanders over the past couple of days, they said they would feel a little more comfortable if this bill indicated that even when those writs are transferred over to the city of Toronto, if and when -- and presumably we mean when -- a lease is signed with a new occupant, the writ of possession for that particular land and structure will cease to have effect. In other words, we are guaranteeing, by what we pass in this House, the finish of that writ.

I cannot argue with that kind of amendment. I am saying it is the kind of thing lawyers would say we do not need and we would not have to put it in. So I make no apologies for bringing it in here today, but I bring it in because it was suggested by the islanders. To give them a little peace of mind, I am happy to have it in here.

Mr. Chairman: Now that we have had the full discussion about all the amendments, let us get back down to the amendment.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: I thought the discussion about the difference between us and the other side was deemed in order --

Mr. Chairman: I know, but we are trying not to have that discussion. We are trying to have the discussion on the amendment.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: In the spirit of Christmas, I just want to thank the minister for the time and effort that was put into negotiations with the islanders. But I cannot help drawing his attention to last spring, when there was some kind of commitment made that there would be discussions with these same islanders over the summer, which did not occur. Just think what wonderful shape this bill could be in at this point, given their help with these amendments, if we had done that earlier.


Mr. Chairman: We are dealing with Bill 151, An Act to amend the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto Act --

Mr. Nixon: And the minister is getting a little pious on us. We should remind you, Mr. Chairman, that he is the person who wanted to throttle the islanders slowly under his infamous Bill 5, with all of the writs of possession that were involved in that. If it had not been for the assistance that was given him by the opposition, they would have gone forward with this slow strangulation. While all these guys are making Brownie points for leadership conventions in the future, which will not concern me in any way, we might as well get all this information on the record. Let us carry the section.

Motion agreed to.

8:40 p.m.

Mr. Chairman: Shall the amended subsection 6 carry? Carried.

It is my understanding that there is no proposed amendment to subsection 7. Carried? Carried.

Hon. Mr. Wells moves that clauses 215(a)(8)(a) and (b) of the act, as set out in section 2 of the bill as printed, be struck out and the following substituted therefor:

"(a) only one of the applicants is an occupant, as defined in clause 18(a), of the lands and structures that are the subject matter of the application, that applicant shall be the occupant entitled to enter into the lease with the city of Toronto;

"(b) more than one of the applicants is an occupant, as defined in clause 18(a), of the lands and structures that are the subject matter of the application, the decision as to which of such occupants is the occupant entitled to enter into the lease shall be determined by the city of Toronto, having regard to the age of the occupant, his length of residence on the lands referred to in subsection 1 and any other factors considered relevant by the city of Toronto; or

"(c) none of the applicants is an occupant entitled to a lease under clause (a) or (b), the decision as to who is the occupant, as defined in clause 18(b), entitled to enter into the lease shall be determined by the city of Toronto, having regard to the age of the occupant, his length of residence on the lands referred to in subsection 1 and any other factors considered relevant by the city of Toronto."

Mr. R. F. Johnston: Mr. Chairman, I just want to get a clarification on the record that, although these people are tenants, there is no reference in this bill to the Residential Tenancies Act for the province. I want to have some assurance that this clause guaranteeing a lease would give the same kind of protection for these tenants essentially as other tenants in the province might expect under the other legislation.

If the minister is clear about that, or if it turns out later that this is not the case, can we be guaranteed that that is the desire of the government and therefore that amendments would be brought in quickly if that were found not to be the case?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Chairman, I think I can assure my friend that notwithstanding the fact that the Residential Tenancies Act does not apply to this situation, these tenants or residents will be in a unique position. Once they have established that they are the ones who get the leases, as long as they use the homes as their principal residences and pay their rent, they will be there until the year 2005.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Chairman: Shall the amended subsection 8 carry? Carried.

Hon. Mr. Wells moves that clause 215(a)(9)(a) of the act, as set out in section 2 of the bill as printed, be amended by inserting, after "under" in the thirteenth line, "a bylaw passed under."

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Chairman, this is merely a correction of the wording to bring it into conformity. The city of Toronto asked for this. Technically, it is a bylaw passed under the Municipal Act in respect of taxes due and unpaid; that is, the setting of the interest rate.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Chairman: Shall the amended subsection carry? Carried.

I see no further amendments until subsection 15. Shall we presume that all subsections from 10 to 14, inclusive, carry? Carried.

Hon. Mr. Wells moves that 215(a)(15) of the act, as set out in section 2 of the bill as printed, be amended by inserting, after "existing" in the sixth line, the word "walkway."

Mr. Nixon: "Walkway, comma."

Mr. Chairman: We will defer to our scholar.

Mr. Nixon: Well, what is a "walkway water supply"?

Hon. Mr. Wells: "Walkway, comma." Right.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Chairman: Shall amended subsection 15 carry? Carried.

Hon. Mr. Wells moves that subsection 215(a)(16) of the act, as set out in section 2 of the bill as printed, be amended by inserting, after "corporation" in the third line, "on or after the day this section comes into force."

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Chairman: Shall amended subsection 16 carry? Carried.

There appear to be no proposed amendments to subsection 17. Shall it carry? Carried.

Hon. Mr. Wells moves that subsection 215(a)(18) of the act, as set out in section 2 of the bill as printed, be struck out and the following substituted therefor:

"(18) In this section, 'occupant' means,

"(a) a person who on or before the ninth day of December 1981 attained the age of majority and who at any time between the nineteenth day of October 1978 and the ninth day of December 1981 was ordinarily resident on Algonquin Island or Ward's Island in the city of Toronto;

"(b) a person who on or before the nineteenth day of October 1978 attained the age of majority and who on that day had a claim in land on Algonquin Island or Ward's Island in the city of Toronto under a lease which existed on the first day of January 1956 or a renewal or extension thereof unless, prior to the coming into force of this section, the person sold his interest in the land to which the claim relates."

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Chairman: Shall amended subsection 18 carry? Carried.

There are no amendments to subsection 19 or 20. Shall they carry? Carried.

Shall sections 215(b)(1) to (3), inclusive, carry? Carried.

Hon. Mr. Wells moves that section 215(b) of the act, as set out in section 2 of the bill as printed, be amended by adding thereto the following subsection, with marginal note, "Convenience store":

"(4) In addition to the uses permitted by subsection 1, the city of Toronto may by bylaw permit the structure occupied by the Ward's Island Residents Association to be used for the location and use therein of a convenience store subject to such terms and conditions as may be set out in the bylaw."

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Chairman: Shall the section as amended carry? Carried.

8:50 p.m.

Now we are at section 215(c). I guess we have to carry that.

Hon. Mr. Wells: On the schedule in section 3, Mr. Chairman, I move that --

Mr. Chairman: Just a minute. We might as well get it done right. Shall section 215(c) carry? Carried.

Section 2, as amended, agreed to.

On section 3:

Mr. Chairman: Hon. Mr. Wells moves that paragraph 5 of item 1 of the schedule to the act, as set out in section 3 of the bill as printed, be amended by inserting, after "avenues" in the first line, "and vacant lands."

He further moves that paragraph 2 of item 2 of the schedule be struck out and the following substituted therefor:

"2. All avenues and vacant lands on the said island except those lands leased and occupied by the Queen City Yacht Club."

Motion agreed to.

Section 3, as amended, agreed to.

Sections 4 and 5 agreed to.

Bill 191, as amended, reported.

Mr. Chairman: Just before the minister moves that the committee rise and report, might I take notice that we have had a number of guests in the gallery. I compliment all of them on their behaviour, in keeping with the solemnity of the chamber.

Mr. Nixon: Mr. Chairman, there is just one thing I want to say about the motion that I meant to say on the bill. The minister was good enough to give me the information requested on the Order Paper as to the costs of the Swadron report. It was indicated that the total commission cost was $198,649. Legal fees, with no consultation fees, were $44,303, and the total payment to commissioner Swadron was $82,489. I thought that was a footnote to the passage of the bill that might be of interest to history.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Chairman, in making footnotes like that, the member said the total cost was $198,000, or closer to $199,000. It is about $51,000 less than Metro is now spending to fight the bill.

On motion by Mr. Wells, the committee of the whole House reported one bill with certain amendments.


Mr. Van Horne: Mr. Speaker, I have a few words I would like to pass on to the minister and the members of the House this evening in the final throes of this fall session.

I feel very sad in a way that I have to be critical, as I am going to, because personally I do not have too many problems with the minister, but I do have problems with his ministry. That will be the thrust of these few remarks this evening.

I have to begin these remarks by pointing out that the affairs of this House have had a somewhat difficult ride in the last few months because of the ministry's approach to the way it is running its business and the way that it has presented its legislation.

I want to start by referring to Bill 113, the infamous bill that we had to contend with back in the latter part of June and early July, the bill that amended the Public Hospitals Act and in essence gave the ministry absolute carte blanche to move into any hospital in Ontario wherein there was perceived to be some kind of problem.

We all realize the need for this legislation as it applied to the Toronto East General Hospital, but we certainly tried to make the case as clearly as we could that this legislation was far too broad in that it gave the ministry and the minister absolute and total authority to move into any hospital in Ontario, and we do not agree with that. We do not agree with that kind of approach.

We lost that battle, as we have lost other battles with the ministry through the year, for the simple reason that the government now has a total majority. We have all been reminded, so many times between March 19 and now, of the happening of March 19.

I submit that I do not know of any member in this House who is dedicated to anything other than serving his or her constituency and trying to make the lives of Ontarians better. As far as I can tell and as far as I know, the members of this House are all committed to that basic principle.

But it is an awfully difficult chore for those of us on this side of the House to try to work in concert, and at the same time to try to prod where we have to and to be critical where we have to, when by and large we are treated with disdain. I have to accuse the government of that, and I want to give one or two examples of things that have happened to us, that have happened to me particularly, to prove the point.

Let me take one example from today. For the past couple of days, one of my researchers -- one of our researchers, I should say, because we work collectively on this side -- has been attempting to get information from the psychiatric hospitals in Ontario. Today, when I was apprised of the problems that young lady has had in the past couple of days, I joined in with her in making some of the calls to try to garner information. I will tell the minister what we got in response to some of the calls that were made in the last few days and again particularly today.

We were trying to find out very basic information: the number of patients and to define them as male or female. That was one of the simple things we were trying to find out. One hospital told us today that, since we were Liberals, they could not tell us the information and that we would have to call the Ministry of Health here in Toronto. That hospital, by the way, is in Penetanguishene.

Further to another couple of calls that were made, we received a call back to our research office from a certain George Boddington, who had been informed by the Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital that we were seeking information. He told my researcher it would be easier for him to get the information than for us to get it.

9 p.m.

I want to go back to what I said a few moments ago about all of us trying to work in the same direction to serve our constituents. Sure, in part of the process we try to make our political points, or as our former leader the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk said a few moments ago, Brownie points, but for us, as members of Parliament, when trying to serve and work in the pursuit of a better province, to run into that kind of blockage within the system is, to my way of thinking, a form of siege mentality that exists within the government's approach to how it is running things.

One of the basic problems, and we saw it earlier in the House today, is in my view a House that is so divided that it would make most thinking people cry. In my view, what we saw in the House this afternoon between the hours of two and four was a terrible happening. I do not think too many people would disagree if they think about it carefully. Part of the problem is this business of we and they. They are on that side; we are on this side. For heaven's sake, when are we going to put down these silly barriers and work together to get something done?

I asked the minister back in the course of the estimates if we, as members of opposition, would possibly have the opportunity to sit with the government when dealing with such groups as the Ontario Hospital Association, the group that represents the doctors in the province, et cetera. I will be quite candid with the minister and say I do not think I got a fully positive reply to that.

If he wants to respond, if he wants to indicate to me that he thinks such an exercise would be stupid or useless, I would like to hear him say that, because I do not think it would be. I think if he is honest in his heart of hearts he would have to admit that on occasion we do have something to add or to submit which is positive and hopefully useful.

I do not want to go on. I have pages of notes from my research people about the situation that we ran into in the last day or so, but I have to tell him it is pretty discouraging. It is downright -- I want to find a word that I can use in the House without being thrown out -- it is downright terrible for us to have to scrape, to grovel, to try to get information and be told by people in authority at the hospitals, "Sorry, if you want the information you had better go back to the ministry," and then to be told: "George Boddington is the guy who can help you."

I have to tell the minister he is building up a barrier there. He has many people in these hospitals frightened to talk to anyone. There cannot be any progress when there are people running around fearful for whatever reasons.

A few other points I would like to make are things that have disappointed us and things that I think the ministry should have addressed. I am in receipt of a news release from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. It came into my office this past week. The thrust of this is related to the Krever report on medical information of patients.

I do not know when we are going to hear anything about this. Perhaps the minister will send us an early Christmas present this evening. A week from tonight, the minister will be close to the tree. If he is not moved tonight, maybe he will be moved some time closer to Christmas to pass on to us some indication that he is going to address the recommendations made in the Krever report.

I have one or two other points and then I will stop, because I know there are many other concurrences the Speaker is anxious to deal with. Most of us have plans made for the time after tomorrow. If the House carries on next week, I am going to leave my Christmas wish with members this evening, because I will not be here. I think we should finish our business and get out of here by suppertime tomorrow at the very latest. However, I do have one or two final points.

I have criticized the minister, but I say this in all sincerity, I want him to take it as constructive criticism. Let me go back to the personal reference at the beginning of my comments. The thrust of this is to those people who are working with the minister as opposed to him personally. His ministry has to look at itself. When we look at the things that smack of problems within that ministry -- and we can say that is the big one, it is the big dollar spender with the largest number of people -- there is evidence, such as the number of sick days taken off.

We did not get at this in the estimates, but the people within that ministry take more sick days than the people in any other ministry. I would like to see that figure. Perhaps the minister could get one of his people to work out on a per capita basis the number of sick days used. In my view, that is a reflection of a problem there.

If his staff was really with it they would have him acting as a leader rather than a fireman. What he has had to do, unfortunately, is put out the fires. We were hoping to see some indication from him that the Ministry of Health has a plan for the future. We do not see that plan when we hear him say that hospitals may now charge whatever rate they wish for their semi-private and private beds. We used to be concerned with a 50 per cent ratio. Now we do not know what it is. Will it be three to one, 75 to 25? Who knows?

Unfortunately, the minister is in the position of having to put out the fire, to cover the problems that have been created to a degree by a lack of thrust from his senior administrators. I know the minister has to be loyal to them and I know it is unfair for a politician to criticize civil servants, but there is a time for civil servants to take a look at themselves. Perhaps one of the big problems he has in his ministry is that the civil service is not doing the job, not giving us the direction we need.

If I were to have a final wish for us in this House, it would be that the Ministry of Health would say, not to me, but to all Ontarians, "We have a plan, we have a decent system, and we have a plan for it for the next decade or two that will see it continue to be the very best possible service in providing health care for the people of Ontario."

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, I would like to offer a few comments and I will try to be very brief, no more than an hour. First, I thank the honourable member for twice offering his personal remarks the way he did, trying to separate me from the ministry in some of his criticism. I guess though, having been in the portfolio as long as I have, I have started to feel like Matthew Dymond. After this length of time it is hard to separate the two.

9:10 p.m.

If I can take them in order, I would like to respond --

Mr. Van Horne: Do you get a gold watch or a gold thermometer at the end of this thing?

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: I will tell you some time what I do get. It cannot go on the record.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: You get the golden gloves.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: The little rubber ones, yes.

Taking them in order, the member started off his comments by referring to Bill 113. I really must take issue with one of the points he made. I am paraphrasing, but I think I got it down pretty well as he said it. He said this legislation gives the government absolute carte blanche to move in where some problem is perceived. He went on to say his party does not agree with that. We do not either, because in fact that is not what the bill does.

The government has had for many years, and I cannot give him a specific date when this provision was put in, the right under the Public Hospitals Act to appoint an inspector to go in to look at the affairs of a hospital. That is something that has been done from time to time. I will admit I have probably used that authority more than any other previous Minister of Health, maybe more than a number of ministers combined. I think I have used it wisely, selectively and constructively.

An example was the recent inspector's report on the McKellar General Hospital in Thunder Bay, which I thought was a very thorough and well-prepared report. It was a report that was very well-received by the board, interim administration, the medical staff and all the staff, because it was so well done.

Bill 113 is several stages removed and further along from the inspector stage. That authority to appoint a supervisor of a hospital has occurred in the case of Toronto East General hospital after a much more extensive review than the authority to appoint an inspector, and in future would be many steps removed. In order for that authority to be invoked, which we feel on this side is a reasonable authority given the amount of taxpayers' dollars involved and given similar authority that exists with respect to municipalities, school boards and the like, there has to be even more extensive investigation of a hospital than that of an inspector.

This would be prompted only by an inspector turning up a problem he or she could not resolve, then the publishing of that report, and then a 30-day cooling-off period, so that one could be sure the government would not abuse the authority. The hospital where it has first been applied is not in my constituency but it is very near and serves half my constituency.

The fact that we did move in and appoint a very credible individual as a supervisor, who has done a very good job with the co-operation of the board, the medical staff and, indeed, all the staff, has been very well-received by the community. It has been reassuring to them to know that we were prepared to make the tough decision to move in and help the hospital to straighten out its affairs when it was not able to do so itself.

The next point the member referred to is his perceived disdain for opposition MPPs. I am sorry he feels that way. It has always been my practice as long as I have been a minister, which is now almost eight years, to be sure that I know what is happening in the ministry, including when opposition members have a concern about any particular part of it.

I am also concerned about, and I am going to follow up on, some of the answers the member was apparently given within the psychiatric hospitals. I think he has to understand their side of it too. When one considers all the various calls the psychiatric hospitals get, in particular from groups which may not all be as concerned about fair play and doing the right thing as the member is, the member can understand they are perhaps apprehensive, at least, about some of the calls they get.

In my 10 years as a minister, we have regularly tried to channel things -- I have never denied it, I think it is a good way to do it -- through my office to be sure that members get the information they are asking for. Sometimes it may take a little longer than some think is appropriate but I do not know of any instance where a member has ever asked for information and not received it.

I am rather proud of the individual the member referred to, Mr. Boddington, who is on my staff. Unfortunately, he could not be here tonight. He is a new father within the last week. Indeed, I am proud of all of my staff. There is Dr. Surplis, who is here, and Jo-Anne Boluk, my executive assistant. They are all capable people who go out of their way to assist members on all sides of this House to make sure they get the information they ask for and to help solve their problems.

I know some of the members I see here tonight and others from all three parties have freely availed themselves of the services of various members of my staff when they had problems involving a constituent, a facility or whatever. I am proud of the fact they treat everybody equally.

I have to agree with the basic sentiment of the member's concern about the "we, they" mentality. Unfortunately, as well as we members can get along from time to time, that seems to be built into the system. There is nothing the member or I can do that will ever basically destroy that.

The honourable member suggests, "Could you not bring us into some meetings?" As I said in estimates, I took that very much to heart. That is not to say there is going to be an immediate string of meetings around the province with the Ron and Ross and Dennis show or something like that, but I took it to heart. It works both ways, my friend. My number is in the book. If the member has a beef, an idea or something he thinks I should know about, it works both ways. I hope perhaps that is something we could resolve to improve on in 1982.

On the Krever report, I hope the member received a copy of the speech I gave in the spring of this year to the Stratford Kiwanis Club on the Krever report in which I stated that I as minister and we in the Ministry of Health basically accepted the thrust of the recommendations by Mr. Justice Krever. If he did not get a copy of the speech, I will see he does.

The responsibility for overseeing the development of the response to that report has been given to the Minister without Portfolio the member for Carleton-Grenville (Mr. Sterling) inasmuch as the recommendations cover more than the Ministry of Health. They touch on the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations and one or two others. For our part, I think I stated rather clearly that we accept the thrust of those recommendations.

I asked Dr. James Galloway who is a well- respected and distinguished former president of the Ontario Hospital Association to act, not as a fact-finding commission but as a one-man task force to sit down with the various health disciplines, the OHA and any other interested bodies with respect to the recommendations made regarding the Ministry of Health, our legislation and the retention and confidentiality of health and medical records and to report to me. I could then say to the Minister without Portfolio, "Here is the Health section."

That report is imminent. I thought I would have it by now but there have been some other things that have apparently delayed it. I should have that soon and I hope in the first half of 1982 to be able to turn that over to the Minister without Portfolio and say, "Here is what we are proposing."

If my assistant will make a note of this, I will try to get the member some information on the number of sick days because in fact a couple of years ago it was the Ministry of Health that led the way in establishing programs to overcome problems of time off. The Civil Service Commission ended up copying a number of our programs, adopting a number of our programs government-wide.

9:20 p.m.

There are some parts of the ministry, to be sure, where time off is more of a problem, the ambulance service or in psychiatric services for a variety of physical reasons, injuries, lifting problems, that sort of thing. I am not aware that our ministry stands out above all the others with more sick time. The issue has been raised. I will pursue it and see if we can get the member some information on that.

After working with them for five years, it becomes more difficult to be objective, but let me say that when one considers the relatively small number of people responsible for ordering the work of the Ministry of Health, I think they do a very good job.

It amazed me a few years ago. There was a report prepared for the Department of Health, Education and Welfare in the United States by the international arm of the McKinsey Company on health planning. I should not say it amazed me. It pleased me. In that report they had been asked by the American department of HEW to advise them on health planning systems.

In that report, which I think was about 1978, they indicated that one of the best health planning systems they could find in the world was in the province of Ontario in the Dominion of Canada. They went on to praise the staff of the ministry and to praise our system of district health councils involving the local people in planning for local needs within provincial policy guidelines set down by the Ministry of Health.

I had not really sat down and thought about it, but in that report they pointed out we had in our institutional division, for instance, less than one civil servant per hospital in the province. I am referring, of course, to Dr. Dyer's section of the ministry which oversees the operations of the 240 public hospitals and the expenditure of $2.75 billion or $2.8 billion. They were laudatory in their remarks about the job they do.

It is true we have never published a plan. We have never said, "Here, take all the latest guidelines for beds, the latest policies for CAT scanners, for health units, for whatever and publish them in a book." But all the elements of the plan are there and are well-known.

I hope I could convince the member that, if anything, publishing a plan as such could actually be very limiting, as Mr. Lalonde found out with a book he published a few years ago when he was federal minister. But we do have, within the guidelines and the policies of the ministry, and thanks to the local flexibility afforded by health councils, the ability to respond to health needs in a way which is unique in most of the provinces and in North America.

Motion agreed to.


Resolutions for supply for the following ministries were concurred in by the House:

Ministry of Treasury and Economics;

Ministry of Industry and Tourism;

Ministry of Government Services;

Ministry of Energy;

Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations;

Ministry of the Environment;

Ministry of the Environment (supplementary);

Ministry of Labour;

Ministry of Correctional Services;

Ministry of Correctional Services (supplementary).

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, perhaps we could call third reading of Bill 191. Also, I understand the justice committee has completed Bill 178, so if we could have unanimous consent to revert to "Reports" perhaps we could have it report the bill back to the House.

What I am suggesting is that first we call third reading of Bill 191, and then, with unanimous consent, revert to "Reports" so the committee can report.


The following bills were given third reading on motion:

Bill 191, An Act to amend the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto Act;

Bill 147, An Act to facilitate the Negotiation and Resolution of Municipal Boundary and Boundary-related Issues.

Mr. Nixon: Our justice people have not come up from downstairs yet. I suggest that we pause for a moment.

Hon. Mr. Wells: The best I can suggest, Mr. Speaker, is that you declare a recess for about 10 minutes while we get the report, because I think we have completed the business that can be done on the Order Paper. It would be very beneficial for the ordering of business tomorrow if we had the report up from the justice committee.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Cousens): I order a recess now for 10 minutes.

The House recessed at 9:29 p.m. and resumed at 9:43 p.m.

On resumption:

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, with the consent of the House could we revert to reports?

Mr. Speaker: Do we have the consent of the House to revert to reports?

Agreed to.



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

Your committee begs to report the following bill with a certain amendment:

Bill Pr21, An Act respecting the Trusteeship of the Balance Share Warrant of Global Natural Resources Limited.

Your committee begs to report a bill with certain amendments:

Bill 178, An Act to amend the Highway Traffic Act.

Report adopted.

Mr. Speaker: Shall Bill 178, be ordered for third reading?

Agreed to.


Hon. Mr. McMurtry moved third reading of Bill 178, An Act to amend the Highway Traffic Act.

Mr. Bradley: Here is the guy who made this a half-decent bill. You guys should know that.

Mr. Elston: Mr. Speaker, I welcome the interjection from my honourable friend the member for St. Catharines (Mr. Bradley).

Hon. Mr. Welch: Strictly partisan.

Mr. Elston: I recognize the member for Brock (Mr. Welch) and his interjection, which at this time falls by the wayside in the light of the valuable contributions made in committee by all members.

I want to address the matter of Bill 178, which initially appeared to be going through this House very quickly a week ago tonight. I think it took everyone somewhat by surprise that there was a referral of this bill to committee. I must indicate that on the referral of this matter to committee we heard from three very good witnesses, who came to us on short notice and provided us with extremely valuable information that let us deal at length with the serious matters addressed in this bill. I want to acknowledge the efforts of Mr. Borovoy, Mr. Thomas and Mr. Lucas. All three gentlemen showed a great deal of expertise in their fields.

I want to refer to my opening general remarks on this bill when I spoke a week ago in this Legislature and warned the members of the extremely far-reaching effects of this legislation. I asked all the members to consider carefully what we were doing with the enforcement of the laws of this province. I warned at that time we were broadening the powers of the police under the bill as it was presented. I thought there was confusion with respect to the RIDE, reduce impaired driving everywhere, program.

I felt there were difficulties with the automatic 12-hour suspension provided under the program as set out. I went on to indicate that I felt there was a certain amount of difficulty in the automatic three-year suspension imposed under the section, more familiarly known as the high speed chase section. I still have some concerns, but I think we addressed some of the difficulties I raised initially when we spoke a week ago, in particular with respect to the amendments to section 2 of the bill that dealt with the broadened powers given to the police to stop all motorists in Ontario without any reasonable or probable grounds to believe there was any infraction being committed by those citizens.

We have come a long way in the amendment that was proposed and gratefully accepted by the Solicitor General (Mr. McMurtry). I want to congratulate him for seeing there were serious problems as raised in the committee. Further, I think he must be congratulated for seeing that the RIDE program section of this bill should be neatly contained in one package rather than spread throughout the provisions of sections 1 and 2.

In its original form the bill was probably drafted without regard for the ease of administering it. The amendment to section 1 and the addition we made to the proposed section 30a(1) will now make it clear that the power to stop under that section is related only to the provisions of the RIDE program. It is obvious that was a real concern raised by two people, Mr. Thomas and Mr. Borovoy, when they met with our committee and expressed their concerns about the provisions of the bill with regard to stopping individuals.

9:50 p.m.

To get to the section on the RIDE program, I cannot proceed any further without saying the members of our caucus in the committee still have some concerns. I think the Solicitor General appreciates those, but has indicated that policy decisions have been made and he is prepared to proceed.

We still have the considerable concern that the member for Renfrew North (Mr. Conway) has with respect to the double standard of 0.05 and 0.08. We still have particular difficulty in accepting the automatic suspension of a licence for a period of 12 hours without a chance for the individual citizen to find recourse in the situation where he believes he has suffered a grievance at the hands of the police who have stopped him and initiated the investigation for alcohol. We still feel there are going to be times when individuals, while feeling aggrieved, will also suffer some out-of-pocket expenses, which might very well not be high but, in any event, might be unjustified to that individual citizen in the long run.

When we take a look at our jurisprudence and find we are a civilization based on the concept of due process of law, I think this section must concern us all. In many ways, I do think the honourable members who were present in the committee did appreciate that. At the urging of the Solicitor General and others who dealt with matters of policy and weighing and balancing certain objectives of the program, they preferred to go ahead and have this legislation passed, and I could appreciate that.

We do know, and I appreciate, that we are trying to eliminate those people who are under the influence of alcohol from the roads. That is a very serious matter. It is an objective we support fully. I believe it is an honourable and a laudable objective. I want to explain, however, that we do have a serious problem in that one area. I know the Solicitor General appreciates that.

Further, when it comes down to dealing with this legislation, we came into the second section of the bill and limited the power of the police to stop, so that they now can only stop citizens driving automobiles while they are lawfully exercising their duties and responsibilities, and I think that is a good step. The seriousness of the proposed section 189a(3), as contained in section 2, showed us we should deal with it at some length. The matter was raised in committee, and there is still a concern by the member for Ottawa East (Mr. Roy).

Perhaps the member for Ottawa Centre (Mr. Cassidy) after the next election will also be our colleague. It is great to note that my honourable friend is a representative for all of the city of Ottawa, and is looked upon with a great deal of pride and enthusiasm by all the citizens there. Without lauding him too far, I am going to give him an opportunity to speak further. All members will be able to join in our praise for that individual.

I want to get back to the question of section 189a(3), wherein there was a refusal to leave a certain amount of discretion to the judge, who could make a finding that a police officer had been wilfully led on a chase by an individual. We still have some concerns about that. We were pleased, however, that the Solicitor General saw fit to include in that section an amendment to the original form of the bill that would require a judge to make a finding of a wilful attempt to lead a police officer on a chase.

We would have liked to see a discretion placed in there. We talked this out thoroughly in committee, and having just come from there I am not going to repeat at length our discussion. However, I think it is right that we do put this before the House at this time. Noticing how full the House is, some honourable members probably have not heard our arguments to the fullest; I suggest they read Hansard and find out the real problems which faced us.

Perhaps the most telling thing about this piece of legislation was the fact that when we referred this matter to committee, there were some suggestions that this bill ought not have been referred to committee at all; that it ought to have been passed quickly so that the program could have been in effect quickly.

As a result of the testimony given to us on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, I think we can all see the value and merit of using the committees of the Legislature of this province to deal with pieces of legislation which on the surface may not appear too difficult for most members to swallow.

I think the merit of the committee system and the merit of the democratic process has been proven once again. Members of the opposition, who are unable to accept pieces of legislation, can stand in their places and have a matter referred to committee. When we first came up with amendments, there were three or four major ones, I must say. In the last hour or so of committee tonight, we effected changes to several other sections; changes which, in the long run, have eliminated a lot of problems for law enforcement officers and particularly for the chief law enforcement officer of this province.

I think it was a hurried deliberation on the bill. However, I do think it was as thorough as time would permit. I think we have done an adequate reading of the material, as best we could, so that we could improve upon the legislation to such an extent that it now, at least, is workable in its many facets.

I want to personally thank the Solicitor General for undertaking to the committee this evening to bring this matter back to the justice committee before the end of 1981, so that we can study in detail what has happened to this piece of legislation. I believe no matter how good our witnesses were, that there will be some concern remaining because of our three-day committee deliberations. There will be some concern remaining for some of us that we did not come up with the best possible product.

When this comes back to us again next year, in 1982, I think we can sit down and see if we can improve upon the legislation. I recommend to all honourable members that they take another serious look at this piece of legislation when it comes back to us and please do not be afraid to come to the justice committee to make submissions.

We have discovered a certain hesitancy from members of this assembly who are not members of the legal profession to come to the justice committee and make their concerns known. I must indicate that some of the most wise and careful deliberations and suggestions in our committee were made by members who were not trained in the law. I particularly note my colleague the member for Renfrew North (Mr. Conway) whose concerns have spoken well for his dedication to his legislative career. I speak as well of other members of the committee, some of whom are not here at the moment, but whose concerns also spoke well in dealing with the basic concerns in this bill.

With that, Mr. Speaker, I would like to think that this deliberation, the exercise of our committee, has been a success and helpful to the Solicitor General and the people in his offices. Maybe the next time we have some very important legislation coming on, we can have a longer time to deal with it and certainly take a longer time to consider just how much committee deliberation is required to deal with it effectively.

Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to say a few words because I think we are anxious to see this legislation passed. I want to say without equivocation, if that is the right way to pronounce it -- that is a very difficult word for one who has a problem with the second language -- that as I was away last week because of other very pressing duties, I read with interest the deliberations on this legislation.

10 p.m.

I have never been more proud to be a Liberal and a member of this caucus than when I saw this bill sent to committee, under the leadership of my colleague the member for Huron-Bruce (Mr. Elston). He put out the flag and said, "Let us be careful with this legislation. Let us look at it carefully." I think it goes without saying that all of us here are as intent as any one in this Legislature to see to it that if people are a threat on the highway as a result of consuming alcohol, we want to see that threat removed.

But in the process we want to make very sure our civil liberties and the fundamental principles under which the police operate in this province, and that citizens operate under and reciprocate to the police, are not abridged. I am sure, Mr. Speaker, that you would not wish anything less from the opposition than that we accept that responsibility.

The bill was sent to committee. My colleague and other colleagues who participated in this committee, under the leadership of our critic, made major amendments which have been accepted by the Solicitor General (Mr. McMurtry), who showed a willingness to compromise and to show some flexibility. Our colleagues from the government party who, at times, seemed to be anxious to get on with the process, saw major and important amendments, and the legislation was scrutinized as best we could in the limited time available.

I must say that through co-operation with the chairman of the committee, who showed extreme good sense in keeping the lid on and seeing that the process continued, I think we have a better bill. We still have some serious concerns about the legislation, but I felt the major deficiency in the legislation was the fact that the police could any time, anywhere, for no reason, stop someone and not give any reason. That person's failure to come to what is called a safe stop could result in a fine of $2,000 and imprisonment for six months and that was something citizens of Ontario were not prepared to accept. So some changes have been made to that section, and to other sections which have been referred to by my colleague.

The only thing I would ask this evening is to address this comment to the Solicitor General: I read last Saturday with grief -- and I understand this is a partisan assembly -- that the Liberals, by sending this bill to committee, caused, in his opinion, an unnecessary delay. He made the comment that it may result in the fact that lives were lost.

I want to ask him to show some graciousness this evening and say to the House that maybe he got carried away a little. We understand. We are in the cut and thrust of debate and he has his adversarial experience in the courts. We know that people often get carried away. But I would ask him to tell the House of the responsible contribution the opposition made in this bill, and to reciprocate and advise the House accordingly.

Again today we agreed to a motion to bring on the legislation this evening, even though it is not printed. We unanimously agreed again this evening to see to it that the bill was reported and is going on to third reading and may be proclaimed later this evening. So, Mr. Speaker, if you do not have your chauffeur this evening, be careful.

I say to the Solicitor General, I think we have exhibited responsibility as an opposition. I think our contribution, and the fact that we sent the bill to committee, has been extremely productive. I would wish, as he responds to our comments, that he would comment on the fact that last week I think we were unfairly accused of unnecessarily delaying this legislation. I think we were acting as a responsible opposition.

Mr. Conway: I would like to offer some comments on third reading of the bill. I do not believe that in my previous six and one-half years in this Legislature I have had cause to attend the proceedings of the justice committee. Because of an interest I had in this legislation I decided I would like to participate in some way in this deliberation.

I want to say at the outset it is a great credit to the member for Oxford (Mr. Treleaven), the new chairman of this justice committee, that he managed the proceedings as well as he did. I want to extend to him my heartiest congratulations.

I have had the opportunity, as have most members, to participate in other committees of this House. This item was controversial in some respects. The personalities involved, some personalities on all sides, had the potential -- and dare I say the reputation -- of being difficult. I thought the member for Oxford demonstrated a Solomon-like wisdom on many of his decisions.

I also want to echo the comments of my previous two colleagues who have spoken to this matter: I think all of us in this assembly can take some credit for the important work the Legislature did with respect to the committee stage of this matter.

I was distressed to have read last week that, as the member for Ottawa East just said, it was believed by some that it might be an unnecessary, unfortunate and totally uncalled-for act for the opposition to delay passage by referring the bill to the committee. As other speakers have said, that has been proven to be not the case.

When I think of how this all began a week ago today with the nine- or 10-line intervention of the member for Carleton East (Mr. MacQuarrie), the parliamentary assistant to the Solicitor General, I can appreciate some of the difficulty.

It was reported at page 4440 of Hansard for Thursday, December 10, 1981, under the title of "Highway Traffic Amendment Act," that "Mr. MacQuarrie, on behalf of Hon. Mr. McMurtry, moved second reading of Bill 178, An Act to amend the Highway Traffic Act." Quoting the opening statement of the member for Carleton East, he said:

"Mr. Speaker, these amendments to the Highway Traffic Act in effect validate the RIDE program, the reduce impaired driving everywhere program, which has achieved some measure of success in the past. It also provides penalties for people or drivers who leave the scene or fail to stop at the request of police officers. I think the amendments proposed are eminently reasonable and will contribute greatly to the safety of our highways and the users of our highways. I would hope the bill will receive general support."

The honourable member sat down. I think he would agree privately, if not publicly, that upon closer examination there was something more than that by implication if not otherwise. I congratulate him for bringing a kind of Will Rogers-like perception to the deliberations in the committee tonight.

Mr. T. P. Reid: I think that is an insult, Bob.

Mr. Conway: I do not see it as such at all. With respect to the bill -- and I am not ashamed to admit this -- I came to it believing that it was really an attempt to validate or legalize the RIDE program and not much else. I was disposed to believe what was in the statement of the parliamentary assistant a week ago. I do have something of a problem, almost a Cartesian kind of problem with these 0.08 and 0.05 levels. I still have that problem now, notwithstanding some very excellent testimony.

I still do not understand, if 0.08 is too high and too liberal a standard for many people, why we ought not to move clearly and unequivocally in the name of a more cautious and conservative, uniform standard, to an entrenchment of the 0.05. We have created something of a grey zone, what is described by some in the press as a nearly drunk, partially drunk, partially impaired category.

10:10 p.m.

I have some problems with that, because I am impressed by the arguments made about the danger to society posed by drunk drivers, nearly drunk drivers or whatever. I am altogether in favour of making it as tough as I possibly can. I make no apologies for my principal interest being at that level a week ago when I spoke to the bill. I went to the committee and found there were other things that were, in their illiberality, far more worrisome and devastating to my general philosophical outlook. I do not think I have to make any apologies for that whatsoever.

I had the distinct impression that the learned and the honourable Solicitor General --

Mr. T. P. Reid: Certainly learned, but the "honourable" is in question.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Conway: I had the impression that the honourable and the learned Solicitor General, as he sat in the committee, helpfully and patiently, was having no few revelations visited upon himself. I have to believe that honourable members on all sides, with the possible exception of the law lord from Riverdale (Mr. Renwick), were somewhat impressed by much of the weight of the testimony.

I have some continuing problems of a significant kind about section 1 and the lack of due process for significant fines or penalties flowing from the roadside suspension. These are fines which in my part of rural Ontario might very well be more significant in dollar terms than many other offences considered more serious under other enactments. I find it very worrisome that there is no appeal to this particular roadside suspension. We did hear testimony that made me believe we could retrofit some kind of due process to the roadside stop.

I said tonight in the committee -- and I dare say there are some honourable members who think I was being a little facetious; the parliamentary assistant, the member for Carleton East (Mr. MacQuarrie), thought I was stretching the point -- and I want to repeat for the member's benefit and the benefit of others, that one of the significant points in this legislation is the ability of a law officer to stop anyone whom the officer suspects of violating the provisions of the RIDE program, the reduced impaired driving everywhere program.

It concerns me that we in this Legislature are possessed of a tradition to which I made reference earlier this evening. One of the companion changes in regulations that I would like to see is an automatic removal of that provision afforded to members of this Legislature and, I must say, other members of other special categories, that they might have special identifying licence plates. Mr. Speaker, you know what of I speak: MPP 102.

I have to think that by advertising the office, as we do, through that interesting little provision --

Mr. Breithaupt: As who does?

Mr. Conway: All honourable members who volunteer to accept those special licence plates. I just want to say I would have to believe that for those special people, driving about with those special licence plates, we might just place a condition on officers of the police forces of the province anxious to enforce RIDE that maybe, on the streets of the capital region, they had better not stop this car because there they see advertised to their attention, a licence plate which they know is almost certainly going to involve a member of the Legislative Assembly.

I, for one, would feel a lot happier about the even-handed administration of this important RIDE program if I could be assured this very day that the Minister of Transportation and Communications (Mr. Snow) would see to it that all special licence plates advertising special offices in this province were immediately done away with.

Mr. T. P. Reid: Particularly the cabinet ministers.

Mr. Conway: Quite frankly, it is not nearly so significant there, given the fact that chauffeurs are afforded to the honourable ministers of the crown. But in the interests of uniformity, I would like to have that take place.

On the second point, I want to say that I also have problems of a serious kind with section 2(3) of the bill, with respect to the suspension provisions that have been spoken to earlier at the committee stage tonight.

Those two objections I consider to be important and serious as well as significant to me.

I want to conclude by saying that the process was educational, useful and very important, and while I still think in some respects we have a bad bill, we have a much less seriously flawed bill than the one we had a week ago today.

Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Speaker, I rise to make only a few brief comments with respect to this bill.

I noticed, as this bill was brought forward before the House, that there were a variety of things said concerning the provisions of the bill and how it might be imposed upon the people of the province. I am delighted to see that the comments made, not only by my colleague the member for Renfrew North (Mr. Conway) but also by my colleague the member for Ottawa East (Mr. Roy), have been remembered by the Solicitor General in the approach that he has taken to this bill.

The Solicitor General in this situation has made some changes in this legislation that I think are valid and important, as we see the opportunity for dealing with a much better piece of legislation than we had presented to us initially. I commented at the time this legislation was introduced that we had the situation where there were some 10 days before Christmas and an opportunity to deal with a certain aspect of legislation that really was worthy of a far harder look. We have seen not only the circumstance of a variety of editorial comments across this city, as well as across the province, but also the opportunity for certain amendments being made so that this legislation is better than it was when brought into the House initially.

I am really quite pleased that the Solicitor General has made a number of changes in the legislation and has acknowledged that this kind of approach should be worthy of further review in the new year. I believe the law as it is now going to be in place should be supported, and I suggest that the comments made, not only in committee but also in the House this evening, will bring better legislation before the House, with the hope that a serious review as to the practical circumstance of this kind of relationship for the less-than-impaired driver will be an important thing that we will look at in the new year.

I congratulate the Solicitor General on making this kind of relationship that will allow for change in the legislation, and I hope that in the new year we will have the opportunity of bringing forward a better bill and a better pattern of legislation within the province.

Mr. Breaugh: Mr. Speaker, I want to speak briefly to this bill. We will support the bill, but I think it is important that we note that, as in the deliberations of the select committee on highway safety from which stemmed the original proposition for this kind of legislation, the bill itself is not a panacea to solve a great many problems. It is one of many techniques that were recommended and studied by the select committee to try to get at the very difficult problem of people who drink too much and then drive. That select committee studied a great many techniques that have been tried in a number of jurisdictions to get at the problem.

I think it would be wrong for the members here tonight to accept this legislation as solving the problem. It does not. The bill itself causes me some difficulty because it does create something, which is one of those funny little demarcation points between a free society where people can move about without any difficulty at all and a different kind of society where police officers have much more control than we are used to giving them. So there is that difficulty; there is that problem.

10:20 p.m.

To be very specific about it, the difficulty I have with this legislation is that it is here in isolation, and it is here much later than the select committee would have liked it to have been presented to the House.

It is true that the opportunity was there, for a brief period of time, for a committee of the Legislature to seek some improvements. It is true that we agree with the intent of the legislation, but I think, as other speakers before me have said, it is also true that we would like to follow this legislation perhaps a little more closely than we normally do. We would subsequently like to see a report by the minister before a committee of the House, very carefully detailing whether there has been any substantial change in patterns of highway fatalities or alcohol-related accidents.

I want to point out that even in the early days of the select committee, when we dealt with this legislation and all these proposals, the one thing that was bandied about a great deal was that in the collection of data that would generate legislation of this nature, there was a very funny little flaw in this system: there was not really a very scientific way of measuring what was meant by alcohol-related accidents. In many cases, in fact, it came down to the fact that a police officer on the scene of an investigation checked off a little box; it was that crude a technique that was in use.

It will be interesting to follow this legislation to see whether it really does substantially alter patterns of driving habits, whether it substantially reduces the number of fatalities on the roads. I want to say to the Solicitor General that he has raised expectations considerably and he had better produce on this bill.

In closing, I want to add a small voice to some objections that have been raised previously about comments the minister made outside the House.

I think it is time for the minister to swallow his pride a little and say in his closing remarks that he did run off at the mouth just a bit. He should have as much class as the former member for High Park-Swansea who, when he made an error in judgement, with a little bit of pressure did manage to come back into this assembly and withdraw his remarks and apologize.

I think if Ed Ziemba can do that, the Solicitor General can summon up enough guts to do exactly the same thing. I invite the minister, when he puts his closing remarks to this debate this evening, to do exactly that.

I also invite him to make a commitment to provide to the Legislature, as I understand he has done in committee, an opportunity to review precisely how urgent this legislation was, and precisely how effective this legislation was, in less than a year's time.

Mr. T. P. Reid: Mr. Speaker, I rise with some --

Mr. Robinson: Humility.

Mr. T. P. Reid: I am sorry, Mr. Speaker; somebody said "humility." It is a word the member for St. Andrew-St. Patrick (Mr. Grossman) does not have as part of his vocabulary and no doubt will send him scurrying out to look it up in the dictionary.

If I may dispose of the NDP members' contribution to this bill, which was nil, they were sucked in once again by the Pied Piper from Riverdale, who was off on one of his erratic tangents, and they fell over themselves, snuggling up to the Solicitor General and saying, "This is the greatest thing since sliced bread." But I want to tell you, Mr. Speaker, it is not just because they have been bought by the government by being paid for the 30 members --

Mr. Breithaupt: Thirty pieces of silver.

Mr. T. P. Reid: Thirty pieces of silver.

Mr. Breaugh: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege: I do not mind, at this late hour of the evening a little bit of slime and a little bit of sleaze, but I do think the honourable member ought to withdraw that degree of slime and sleaze.

Mr. T. P. Reid: That is not even worth ruling on, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Breaugh: I think I heard the member for Rainy River say that the NDP had been bought. Even at this late hour and under these conditions, I say that is a bit beyond the pale even for that member. I would like the remark withdrawn, and I would appreciate your ruling on the matter, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: In the spirit of the season and the generous nature of the member for Rainy River, I cannot conceive that he would not withdraw that remark.

Mr. T. P. Reid: Mr. Speaker, only because I was so nasty to you; otherwise, I would not.

Mr. Speaker: Thank you.

Mr. T. P. Reid: I will tell you what I meant.

Mr. Speaker: Never mind.

Mr. T. P. Reid: I will withdraw it, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: Thank you.

Mr. Stokes: Why don't you sit down when the Speaker is on his feet? You have been around here long enough to know that.

Mr. T. P. Reid: Jack, you are getting to be an awful bore around here.

Mr. Speaker, I want to tell you one thing about the NDP: They are at least consistent, if nothing else.

Mr. Breaugh: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: I will concede that the member can tell us a whole lot about the Liberal Party and the Liberal-Labour Party, but he knows boo all about the NDP.

Mr. T. P. Reid: There is nothing to know.

Mr. Speaker: Shall we get back to the bill?

Mr. T. P. Reid: All I want to say is that it is passing strange that this particular member who is -- I will not say it, in the spirit of Christmas --

Mr. Stokes: You got plenty of that tonight, I can tell you.

Mr. T. P. Reid: Jack, Jack.

Mr. Speaker: Will the member for Rainy River please ignore the interjections?

Mr. T. P. Reid: I want to say simply that the NDP has been consistent on the bill dealing with civil liberties in Ontario.


Mr. Speaker: Let the member for Rainy River proceed.

Mr. Martel: No. That has nothing to do with the bill.

Mr. Speaker: I think he already made that point, but he was talking about civil liberties.

Mr. T. P. Reid: You will recall, Mr. Speaker, in the debate on the principle of the bill, the member for Riverdale stood in his place, representing the party that claims to be the great defender of civil liberties, amongst other things. As the justice critic of that party, he said they were supporting the principles of the bill.


Mr. Speaker: Order.

Mr. Breaugh: Mr. Speaker, I want to raise one final point of order before we close this evening. The member for Riverdale has been quoted extensively by the member for Rainy River. I just wish that honourable member had the guts to wait until the member for Riverdale was here to engage in this debate.

Mr. Speaker: That is hardly a point of order. The member for Rainy River will please continue.

Mr. T. P. Reid: All I wanted to do was to say that the NDP is consistent because, Mr. Speaker, you may or may not recall --

Mr. Martel: You should talk about the War Measures Act and where you were. Let's talk about where you were on the War Measures Act if you want to talk about civil liberties.

Mr. Speaker: Order. Will the member for Sudbury East please contain himself? We are not debating the War Measures Act.

Mr. T. P. Reid: All it takes is an editorial in one of the Toronto papers and the NDP will change its position overnight. It was this party that opposed the principle of the bill brought in by the Solicitor General. Their critic stood up and supported the principle of the bill.

In terms of Bill 99, the Police Act, in 1964, the member for York South (Mr. MacDonald) --

10:30 p.m.

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


Mr. Speaker: Order. Will the member for Rainy River please adjourn the debate?

Mr. T. P. Reid: I am sorry, Mr. Speaker. I will move the adjournment of the debate.

On motion by Mr. T. P. Reid, the debate was adjourned.

The House adjourned at 10:30 p.m.