32e législature, 1re session





















































BUDGET DEBATE (concluded)




The House met at 10:03 a.m.



Mr. Smith: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker: As you know, apart from this being my last day in the Legislature as leader, it may turn out to be my last day in the Legislature in any sense depending on circumstances that may or may not develop in the near future. I am sad to leave, but I do want to say I am perhaps a little less sad in the light of some facts which have come to my attention. I think they impinge on the privileges of every member of the House and are of considerable importance to all members.

There is a genuine health concern and a genuine concern about the building itself which I think you should know about, sir. There are three electrical transformers in this building filled with polychlorinated biphenyls. There is a large transformer in the sub-basement under the corridor between the main building and the north wing which has in it 2,638 litres of PCBs. There are two smaller transformers filled with 428 litres each of PCBs and these are located at the far east and west ends of the basement of the building.

My research staff has been shown two of the three transformers, the large one and the one at the east end of the basement. Both of these are visibly leaking PCBs. My concerns about a potential health effect are well-founded, for if there were to be a fire in the building affecting the transformers, or even a relatively small fire just in the transformers themselves, this building might actually have to be closed forever.

I draw to your attention, sir, a building in Binghamton, New York. This is a skyscraper that was the centrepiece of downtown development. There was a fire in the transformer almost a year ago, on February 5, 1981. That building is empty; it is padlocked; it is contaminated. Although some of the furniture and so on has been moved to landfill sites, after certain procedures have been carried out, people have to don special equipment to go into that building. The fact is that building is empty and may remain so. In fact the cleanup may cost in the tens of millions of dollars.

The concern I have is that this sort of thing could happen here. It could happen in many buildings all over the province. In Toronto, for example, it could happen in the Whitney Block or the south Frost Building, many of the major hospitals such as Toronto General, Toronto Western, Mount Sinai, and a number of secondary schools. They also have transformers. I do not know if those transformers are leaking the way two are in this building, but I do know there are transformers that contain PCBs in this building as well.

The Binghamton lesson to us is a very real one, and I simply want to draw your attention to the fact that this is a serious concern. I urge that action has to be taken to remove the PCBs from the transformers in this building and other important buildings, particularly in view of the fact that leakage is occurring.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Cousens): I thank the honourable member and I will refer this whole matter to the Speaker upon his return later today. I know it will be dealt with quickly.


Mr. Cassidy: On a matter of privilege, Mr. Speaker: I was absent from the House yesterday and, therefore, I did not have a chance to comment on this matter at that time. The matter I wish to raise is related to the article that was published in the Toronto Sun yesterday by its political columnist Claire Hoy. On Sunday of this week I was out at the Polish consulate, and subsequently the Polish credit union. On Wednesday of this week, I was on the steps of the City Hall in Toronto at a rally that was jointly sponsored by the Canadian Labour Congress and by the Canadian Polish Congress in support of the workers of Poland and Solidarity.

It is something this House felt very strongly about and had a debate about on Monday. I would say the tone and content of Mr. Hoy's article is not only an attack on me, it is also an article that is full of distortion, innuendo and untruths and I believe it affects the privileges of all members of this House. I would ask if I could just say a word or two about this. It is my last day as leader, and over the course of the last four years I have kept my cool, as is my duty. I bit my lip at times at criticism.

It is something that goes with the job of being the leader of any party, as the Premier (Mr. Davis) and the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Smith) happen to know. But when I, and my own integrity -- which I believe I have maintained over the course of this four years -- are impugned, and when the New Democratic Party and the Federation of Labour and even the Roman Catholic church are slandered, I believe that sometime, somewhere, somehow, a person should get up and speak. I believe the history of societies, not just of Canada's society, shows that when no people get up and speak against this kind of thing in the end everyone's liberties and everyone's freedoms are diminished.

This was the most vicious attack that has been made on the New Democratic Party or on any party in this Legislature in the four years since I became leader of the New Democratic Party. I am wearing a button that says "Solidarnosc" and underneath that "Canadian Labour Congress/Congrès du travail du Canada". It is the button that was prepared by the Canadian Labour Congress in conjunction with its support for the Canadian Polish Congress rally on Wednesday.

10:10 a.m.

Mr. Hoy's article quotes his colleague, Barbara Amiel, who in turn was quoting one of, I believe, three delegates who opposed their resolution in support of Solidarnosc in the debate at the Ontario Federation of Labour. Those three delegates were all people who have identified themselves with the Communist Party. Val Bjarnason, one of the speakers, who is secretary general of the United Electrical Workers, has also been a candidate for the Communist Party.

I believe the person who is being quoted in the article and was trying to defend the indefensible in terms of the actions of the authorities in Poland was a Mr. Lee, who was also connected with Mr. Bjarnason's union and also connected, therefore, with the union which has leaned very heavily towards the Communist Party.

The fact is we have a democratic trade union movement that does not speak with just one voice and --

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Why do you criticize me for saying that? Do you remember that day?

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Cousens): Order. The honourable member has the floor.

Mr. Cassidy: -- that permits dissent. Over in the Soviet Union or in Poland or places like that they outlaw parties which are democratic parties, which are not Communist Parties. If anybody in this Legislature or in the press of this province were to suggest that Ontario or Canada should outlaw the Communist Party, we would simply be putting ourselves into that kind of camp, and that I simply could not accept.

The vote at the Federation of Labour in support of Solidarnosc was overwhelmingly in favour. At that rally at city hall square, the Federation of Labour was represented not only by Dennis McDermott who spoke and was quoted but also by Cliff Pilkey, the president who was on the platform, by Terry Meagher who was the secretary treasurer, by Wally Majesky, of Polish descent himself, who was the president of the Labour Council of Metro Toronto and by other labour leaders.

The federal New Democratic Party leader Ed Broadbent, was there to speak at the rally at city hall square. To suggest anything other than our condemnation of the Polish Communist Party and the repression of the trade unionists is simply untrue.

In another part of the article Mr. Hoy said and I quote: "During his speech," my speech, "he actually had the gall to argue it's not really the Polish Communist Party at fault for this oppression." That is not only a distortion, it is untrue. I will read what I stated during the course of that debate.

I read, which Mr. Hoy failed to report, the resolution that had been passed by the provincial council of the Ontario New Democratic Party at our meeting on Sunday, when we said and I quote: "The provincial council of the Ontario New Democratic Party condemns, in the most severe terms possible, the harsh suppression by the Polish Communist Party against the Polish people and their free trade union federation, Solidarity. We in the Ontario New Democratic Party wish to convey our strong support to the efforts of the working people of Poland in their struggle for political and economic democracy."

I said as well, in that debate, and I quote, "Freedom is a mighty word, a mighty and powerful concept, and that is what has happened in Poland over the course of the last 16 months. Not all the Soviet tanks and missiles, not all the powers of a dictatorial Communist system, nor all the abuses of socialism that have taken place in that country and the eastern bloc were enough to repress that thin, small voice which has been getting louder, clearer and more powerful day after day and month after month in Poland." That too was not reported in the distorted account of Mr. Hoy.

Mr. Hoy says, and I quote, that leftist, totalitarian systems are the inescapable result of Cassidy's philosophy. Not true. Witness West Germany which has a social democratic government. Not true. Witness England, which has had a labour party in power off and on for the last 30 or 40 years. Not true. Look at the fight of the socialists who restored democracy in Greece. Not true. Look at Saskatchewan. Not true. Look at Manitoba and the recent election. Not true. Look at the way the social democrats have been in power for many years in Sweden and they are democratic. Not true.

Mr. Hoy says we have the same mentality as the Soviets. He should know, as I think all members of this House know, that the New Democratic Party has been first and foremost in the defence of human rights in our country, as social democrats have around the world for many years. In fact, it was our party which alone stood to oppose the War Measures Act and the withdrawal of human rights in this country some years ago.

The Acting Speaker: The honourable member has made his point. I think the House understands what has been said. And the point of order has been very clear.

Mr. Cassidy: I want to conclude briefly, Mr. Speaker. I am a journalist by profession. I was a journalist for a number of years before I came into this House. As a journalist I cannot defend that kind of innuendo, that kind of distortion, and that kind of untruth. I find it very difficult to defend, when a journalist in this country uses the same tactics that have been used by the Polish authorities in their attacks on Solidarity over the course of the last 16 months.

That kind of thing brings this House into disrepute. I have no means, nor would I wish, to censure Mr. Hoy. It is a free society. However, I believe that his fellow journalists have a responsibility to speak up, as I am now speaking up. The press gallery members, or the journalists' association, or some other group, should look into whether it would not be proper to censure Mr. Hoy for bringing their profession into disrepute, and I wanted to put those comments on the record.



Hon. Mr. Henderson: Mr. Speaker, first, a brown envelope for the leader of the New Democrats, and, second, this morning, the leader of the Liberal Party.

Hon. Mr. Davis: There is an old saying, the first shall be last and the last shall be first.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Things do turn around.

Hon. Mr. Davis: That is a biblical saying.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Mr. Speaker, today it is my pleasure to table the report of the farm action committee. As members are aware, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture submitted a report last month on farm credit and financing. Following the presentation of this report to the provincial government, our Premier established an action committee to review the OFA's proposals. The report I am tabling contains some excellent recommendations. We are studying these proposals and I expect to be able to announce the government's plan of action before Christmas.

I should like to point out to members that this government has already made major commitments in the agricultural sector during this difficult period. In all we have committed nearly $60 million to the hardest hit group -- namely, the beef sector. We would certainly like to see some positive action on the part of the federal government. By comparison with what we have done, it has done very little, and the recent budget only made matters worse.

I would like to refer this House to the remarks made by the provincial Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller), my colleague, in his opening remarks to the finance ministers' conference last Monday. He pointed out that the small business development bond program --


Hon. Mr. Henderson: Just listen. The truth hurts, and the members on the opposite side do not like the truth.


The Acting Speaker (Mr. Cousens): The minister has the floor. Order.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: I repeat, he pointed out that the small business development bond program has been seriously weakened, to the point that it can do little to assist the small businesses and farmers of this country. In addition, the underfinancing of the Farm Credit Corporation is little short of a national scandal.

I would add to his remarks by noting that if we had an adequate farm stabilization program for national commodities, many of our producers would not be in such desperate trouble. I should like to take a moment here to deal with a few items in the action committee's report.

The committee has recommended financial assistance for farmers who have been hard hit by high interest rates and high rates of inflation. They have made it clear they believe assistance should be given to those with a reasonably good management record and outlook for the future.

10:20 a.m.

They recommend that applicants be screened by local committees composed of the bank manager and farm accountant and an official of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food. These recommendations would be sent to a provincial body for final approval.

The action committee recommends three ways of providing assistance. One is a six-month bridging program. Under this, banks would defer interest for six months and would not compound the interest. This would be useful to a farmer with a cash-flow problem. For example, a farmer might be short of cash right now but would be fine once his livestock or crop is sold.

It would work this way. Suppose a farmer had a loan for $100,000 outstanding at a 20 per cent floating interest rate. His interest for six months would come to $10,000. The bank would agree to defer this interest payment for six months without any compounding. The government would guarantee the $10,000 since the bank would agree not to charge interest on the deferred amount. It would be losing $1,000. At the end of six months, the farmer would repay the $10,000 and the bank would absorb the $1,000 loss in compound interest.

Under the second mechanism, the government would make a grant that would reduce the interest on floating rate bank loans by five percentage points for a period of one year. Interest rates would not be reduced below 12 per cent, however. This mechanism would produce a positive cash flow for the one-year period.

If a producer had a floating rate bank loan of, say, $200,000 with interest at 20 per cent --

Mr. Smith: That's not what the book said.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: The member does not really care or he would listen. It is easy to see why it is his last day as leader.

The Acting Speaker: Order, the minister has the floor.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: -- the local committee might decide that he needed the reduction. If so, this subsidy would reduce his interest payments from $40,000 per year to $30,000 per year. This would immediately increase his cash flow by $10,000 for the year.

If the prime rates and the effective rates to farmers fell to say 15 per cent, the subsidy would be three per cent. The increase in cash flow in this example would be $6,000.

The third option is a provincial guarantee of a line of operating credit. This would be used by a producer who needed new credit to put in his crop, or buy livestock, or to cover some other operating expense.

The example I could give here would be a producer with 200 sows in a farrow-to-finish operation. If he needed, say, $300,000 in a new line of operating credit the bank would issue the line of credit at the prime rate and the government would guarantee the whole $300,000. The bank would make no profit on this new line of credit as it would be offered at the prime rate. This kind of program would be offered to keep a good working farm in production.

Mr. Smith: Are you going to do it?

Hon. Mr. Henderson: As I said, we are giving this report very careful consideration --

Mr. Nixon: Oh, that is what we are getting. That is a nice Christmas present.

Mr. Smith: Careful consideration. Are you going to give it consideration?

The Acting Speaker: Order. Carry on.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Mr. Speaker, again, it is easy to understand why the Leader of the Opposition is here for the last day as leader. I hope to make an announcement before Christmas.

Mr. Bradley: Now?

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Yes, before Christmas.


Mr. Riddell: Mr. Speaker, I firmly believe our privileges have been breached in this House. From time to time both the Treasurer and the Minister of Agriculture and Food have indicated to this House that prior to the close of this session an announcement would be made committing assistance to the farmers. All we have now is a report from the action committee of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, which we can read ourselves, with absolutely no commitment to those farmers who were hoping to have a good Christmas by learning of some kind of assistance in order to keep their farms operating. They have not received it.

We will not have an opportunity to debate in this House any kind of program for the farmers because the minister has just indicated he might bring something in before Christmas. We are not going to have a chance to have any input into that whatsoever. Our privileges have certainly been breached because we are the party that has been insisting that emergency help be given to those farmers and as yet they have not received it. And further --

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Cousens): The honourable member has made his point. There are still more statements, there is question period, and there will be other opportunities to rebut this.

Mr. Riddell: I have one more point of privilege, Mr. Speaker.

The Acting Speaker: Another point of privilege?

Mr. Riddell: Yes. I believe the minister inadvertently misled this House when he said, and I quote from the Toronto Sun, "If we had that amount of money to spend from the government of Canada we could certainly equal any payments to our farmers that the farmers of Quebec got."

In other words, yesterday he stood in the House and said Quebec received a $1.8 billion equalization payment --

The Acting Speaker: The honourable member's point of privilege has been made. He is making a suggestion. There are more statements and I see no point of privilege at this time.

Mr. Riddell: You are not going to let me finish that point of privilege?

The Acting Speaker: No.

Mr. Riddell: He inadvertently misled the House. What he failed to say was that --

The Acting Speaker: I have the floor. The honourable member will take his seat.

Mr. Riddell: What he failed to say was that Ontario was eligible for $1.4 billion --

The Acting Speaker: The honourable member does not have a point of privilege --

Mr. Riddell: -- for 1981 and 1982, and we didn't take it because we are too proud to admit we need it --

The Acting Speaker: -- and he will resume his seat.

Hon. F. S. Miller: I want to add my assurance to the agriculture minister's that this government is committed to a support program for our farmers before Christmas.

Given the difficult times our farmers are facing, the government will make available an extra $60 million in additional funding for this purpose.

Mr. McKessock: Mr. Speaker, a point of clarification:

The Acting Speaker: There is no such thing as a point of clarification.

Mr. McKessock: Okay, a point of privilege. Was that $60 million or $600 million?

Hon. F. S. Miller: This program will bring genuine help as efficiently as possible to those who need it. For that reason we want to be sure the mechanisms suggested by the committee will work and that the decision process will function smoothly and efficiently. The banks have been consulted several times in the last few weeks. They are being very co-operative and are willing to give full backing to this assistance program brought forth by this government.

We have the main outline of a program now and are proceeding very quickly to deal with the operational details. We will be in constant contact with the banks during the next few days to settle the final details of our program. I would like to remind members that this brings to $120 million this government's commitment to producers since July 1 to assist them during these most difficult times.

I repeat, the government will make available $60 million in additional funding for this purpose.

10:30 a.m.


Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, today the government is ready to make announcements regarding the establishment, location and mandate of new facilities for advanced manufacturing technology. Members of the Legislature will recall in the economic development strategy of the Board of Industrial Leadership and Development that we proposed to establish a facility for computer-aided design, computer-aided manufacturing and robotics technologies.

Since that time we have held extensive consultations with the private sector, members of our own task force on microelectronics, leading experts from the academic community and a number of municipalities. These consultations indicated that to be successful our programs should take advantage of existing expertise. The best way to accomplish this objective is to locate the functions of our high-technology centres near that expertise. As a result, BILD has decided to create two distinct divisions of the advanced manufacturing technology facility.

The first will specialize in robotics and will be located in the great city of Peterborough. In the final analysis, Peterborough was selected as the best site for this facility because both the municipality and local industry in the area demonstrated extensive pragmatic assistance for the establishment and continuing program support for this new robotics facility. I am pleased to report that Canadian General Electric, which has established expertise in robotics at its Peterborough plant, is prepared to undertake a short-term startup contract. I believe the expertise of this firm will ensure the centre begins activity immediately and will assist us in securing appropriate staff.

The second facility for advanced manufacturing technologies will specialize in general promotion, application and development of computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing technologies, referred to as CAD/CAM. Following extensive consultation with industry, universities and several municipalities, the government has selected the great city of Cambridge as the site for this centre. These two great municipalities are well represented in this assembly, I might add.

Cambridge was selected because it is centrally located to client industries and has easy access to the available expertise at the Universities of Waterloo, McMaster and Toronto, as well as community colleges such as Conestoga, Mohawk and Durham. In addition, both the municipality and local industry in the Cambridge area demonstrated their willingness to provide assistance and support for the establishment of this new centre.

I am also pleased to report that several industrial organizations have already offered startup assistance on a contract basis to enable us to acquire the best available staff and technical expertise. We hope to complete those negotiations shortly so that the centre will be able to begin its activities early in the new year.

The mandate of these advanced manufacturing technology centres will be: To assist Ontario industry to adopt new technologies such as computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (prime responsibility, Cambridge); to assist Ontario industry to adopt robotics (prime responsibility, Peterborough); to provide demonstrations of advanced manufacturing systems to industry through orientation seminars for management and technical workshops for engineers and technicians (prime responsibility, Cambridge; robotics responsibility, Peterborough); to conduct surveys of industrial plants to help identify potential applications and the provision of technical assistance on request (prime responsibility, Cambridge; robotics responsibility, Peterborough); to undertake fee-for-service development projects in areas where no commercial capabilities exist (CAD/CAM responsibility, Cambridge; robotics responsibility, Peterborough); to encourage Canadian manufacturers to produce the required hardware and software, wherever feasible (CAD/CAM responsibility, Cambridge; robotics responsibility, Peterborough); and to stimulate the introduction of new operational and product technologies (prime responsibility, Cambridge).

In addition, to promote both the use of advanced technologies, as well as the products and services of Canadian high-technology companies, the Cambridge and Peterborough centres will both operate outreach programs.

As part of these programs, a mobile demonstration unit equipped with the latest technology will conduct onsite demonstrations. Indeed, our objective is to promote and encourage the adoption of leading edge innovative manufacturing technologies for small and medium-size firms throughout the province. We believe both of these centres and their outreach programs will be critically important to the future viability of Ontario manufacturers.

These new technologies can improve significantly our ability to compete internationally and domestically by enhancing product quality, reliability and the cost effectiveness of our manufacturers. Indeed, if we fail to take advantage of the improvements in efficiency that these new technologies now permit, our manufacturers could become noncompetitive in world markets.

Extensive studies that my ministry has undertaken in conjunction with the Ontario Research Foundation indicate that Canada lags in the introduction of computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing and robotics. We are determined to close this technology gap in Ontario.

The majority of the existing high-technology machinery and equipment is currently being imported. This is of concern because both the domestic and international demand for these products is expected to grow rapidly over the next decade. Therefore, one of the major activities of these new centres will be to stimulate the production of these sophisticated products here in Canada.

These centres have been designed to assist and complement the private sector. As is the case for the microelectronics technology centre, any patents that may be obtained by these centres will be offered to Ontario manufacturers for commercial development.

Moreover, we expect that the promotional and training activities of each of these centres will create a substantial market for the services of research organizations, private firms and consulting engineers.

The two centres for advanced manufacturing technology will report to the Ministry of Industry and Tourism. They will have combined funding estimated at $40 million over the next five years. These centres will have a combined initial allocation of $500,000 for the startup phase to March 31, 1982. We anticipate that by the fifth year, half of the operating costs of both centres will be recovered from fees for services provided to the private sector.

Following legislation on these centres which we intend to introduce early in the next session, we expect to recruit an executive director for each centre in the new year. The executive directors and senior core staff will be recruited from the most qualified professionals available anywhere.

The centres' staff -- most of whom will be drawn from our community colleges -- will receive practical training in advanced manufacturing technologies and will be encouraged to transfer to industry to assist in the implementation of new technology within the private sector.

The high quality of submissions from several municipalities made the decision of the locations for these centres extremely difficult, but we are convinced that the choice of Peterborough and Cambridge as the sites for these centres is prudent from the point of view of Ontario industry as well as for the long-term viability of the centres themselves.

With the new microelectronics centre in Ottawa, combined with the Cambridge and Peterborough centres for advanced manufacturing technology, our government, through BILD, has now committed close to $70 million to establish high-technology centres. In addition, we expect to have further BILD high-technology announcements in the new year.

I believe that with these measures we are taking significant steps towards initiating a new era of technological advance for Ontario manufacturers and are positioning our industries with the help of this government to reap the full benefits of high-technology innovation and the industrial applications.


Hon. Mr. Ashe: Mr. Speaker, my last formal report to this Legislature on the 1981 property and sales tax grant program for seniors was on October 29. Recently, I have provided a comprehensive update to the honourable members in the form of a letter. At that time I detailed the progress of the program and also made the commitment that my ministry would continue to make every effort to get as many property tax grant cheques as possible to Ontario seniors by Christmas.

I would now like to report on our recent progress towards achieving that goal.

10:40 a.m.

By December 16, 526,894 applications for the second instalment of the 1981 property tax grant had been received by the ministry. Of this number, 484,831 -- or 92 per cent -- have been processed and cheques generated. Included in this total are 45,701 cheques produced in the last two weeks alone. Of these, more than 30,000 have been mailed in time for postal delivery by Christmas.

However, we judged that the remaining 14,555 cheques produced earlier this week stood a good chance of not clearing through the postal system in time. Consequently, to make sure that senior citizens receive these cheques before Christmas, we have made special arrangements for their delivery through our network of regional assessment offices.

In Metropolitan Toronto and other major urban centres, this will mean hand delivery of the cheques by our ministry assessment staff directly to seniors' doors, while in other areas the cheques will be delivered by the local post offices for distribution by letter carriers or through postal boxes.

This hand delivery method has proved to be a most efficient distribution system for my ministry during periods of postal disruption, and I am personally very pleased with the willingness of my staff to perform this task at this time. This special customer service measure will ensure that as many seniors as possible will receive their cheque in time for the holiday season.

Furthermore, I would point out that this last mail-out and special delivery effort leaves the ministry with a balance of 48,439 applications. Of this number, we expect about 17,000 to be processed for payment before year end. At that point, therefore, we will have successfully serviced 95 per cent of applications received, which in turn will leave about 31,000 applications to be processed.

This final total comprises two groups. The first are people who have only recently filed their applications. For example, we are still receiving over 1,000 new applications each week. Second, there is a group of applications involving a wide variety of problems such as ineligibility and insufficient information.

Inevitably, these will require a great deal of individual attention. My staff are working diligently to contact these applicants to acquire the correct information to determine eligibility. However, our experience in this and other programs tells us that it could take some time to contact and clear the residual of difficult cases.

Finally, we estimate there are 40,000 people who became 65 between July 1 and the end of the year, and who are not due for payment until 1982. I am pleased to report that these people will be receiving their applications on target very early in the new year.

I have been very straightforward with this Legislature in the acknowledgement of several technical problems associated with the 1981 Ontario tax grants for seniors program. I have already recognized the work of members' constituency offices in dealing with inquiries. However, as this report today clearly indicates, the ministry has moved quickly to resolve these difficulties to the extent that 95 per cent of all applications received by the Ministry of Revenue will be fully processed by Christmas. Given the complexity and scale of a program of this magnitude, I am pleased with the considerable progress my ministry has achieved.


Hon. Mr. Ashe: Mr. Speaker, I have a second statement. The member for London Centre (Mr. Peterson) directed a question to me in the House on December 14 concerning the assessment of certain properties in the city of Toronto. The honourable member raised five examples in support of his assertion that, and I quote, "Assessors are not making a conscientious reinspection of these various properties." He went on to say, and again I quote, "I understand they are inspecting them from a slowly cruising vehicle, presumably with a chauffeur at the wheel."

Before I provide specific information to the honourable member on those subject properties, I would like to highlight the procedures which every assessor follows during reinspections.

Prior to commencing a reinspection of a property, the assessor reviews the records of the property to familiarize himself with all pertinent data, including the issuance of building permits. The assessor visits the property to contact the resident for the purpose of gaining access to the property. If the resident is not at home, the assessor will leave a notice indicating that he was there and requesting the resident contact him to arrange a mutually convenient time for a return visit. At the same time, the assessor will complete a visual inspection of the exterior of the property, noting any improvements.

If the resident does not subsequently contact him, the assessor will attempt to personally visit the property again for the purpose of completing an interior inspection. If the resident is not at home for that second inspection, the assessor will again leave a notice of his visit, verify the data collected on the last visit and, to the best of his ability, assign a value to the property.

I would now like to set the record straight by reviewing the properties in the order in which the member for London Centre presented them.

First, 411 Dupont Street: The member states that the assessor did not enter the property. The facts are that the assessor visited the property on October 3, 1980, and no one was home. The assessor left a notice at the property advising the owner to contact him to arrange an appointment for an inspection. The owner called the assessor October 6, 1980, and advised that unless he had a proper letter of authority the assessor could not inspect his property.

The assessor attempted to deliver a letter of authority and do the inspection simultaneously on October 8, 1980. The owner advised the assessor to deliver the letter to his home and he would advise him further about doing the inspection. The letter was delivered that same day. The owner did not contact the assessor until he had received his assessment notice mailed this fall.

123 Cothingham Street: The assessor visited the property on February 29, 1980, and again on August 4, 1980, and found no one at home. He revisited the property in the evening and spoke with the owner's daughter, leaving a notice with his name, address and telephone number, advising her to have her father contact him for an appointment to conduct an interior inspection of the property. The owner did not contact the assessor until he received his assessment notice mailed this fall.

273 Brunswick Avenue: This is a situation similar to the one I have just mentioned. The property was visited on June 8, 1981, and again on August 26, 1981. Since no one was home, the assessor left a notice requesting the owner to contact him for an appointment to inspect the interior of the property. Once again, the owner did not contact the assessor until he received an assessment notice this fall.

405 Dupont Street: The assessor visited the property on May 1, 1980, and no one was home. The second visit was in June, at which time the owner refused permission to the assessor to inspect the interior of the property. However, the owner did respond to questions of the assessor at the door. Based on this information, the assessment was made and a notice was mailed in the fall. Upon receipt of the notice, the owner contacted the assessor and an interior inspection of the property was completed on November 26, 1981. An amended notice reflecting a revised assessment was then issued.

804 Euclid Avenue: The assessor conducted an interior and exterior inspection of the property on April 15, 1981. An assessment notice was delivered in the fall. The owner is dissatisfied with his property assessment. He has, of course, the right to lodge a complaint with the regional registrar of the Assessment Review Court, the final date for filing an appeal being January 12, 1982. The owner has been advised of his right to appeal.

In conclusion, I would like to reiterate a point I made yesterday. The assessors, in not only the Toronto regional office but in all 31 regional assessment offices across Ontario, are always available and willing to meet with ratepayers to discuss their assessments. While we have established the open house program for that very purpose, I want to stress that a ratepayer can always meet with the assessor at the regional office during regular business hours any time throughout the year.

Mr. Peterson: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker: It is obvious the facts that the honour- able minister has gleaned in some of these particular instances are different from the facts that we have been able to ascertain. I am not impugning the minister's credibility; I am saying he has different information sources than we have.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Cousens): I do not see this as a question of privilege at this point.

Mr. Peterson: It is, because the minister is presenting a set of facts to this House --

The Acting Speaker: That is not a point of privilege.

Mr. Peterson: I think it is.

The Acting Speaker: I've just ruled that it is not.

Mr. Smith: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: Could you give us some guidance in this regard? If a minister stands up in ministerial statements and speaks for five or 10 minutes or longer about statements made by a member, apparently to dispute statements that have been made by a member, the minister certainly has the right to do that.

The question I have on the matter of the point of order is, could you advise us as to what circumstances a member on this side of the House can then stand up to defend his reputation after such a series of ministerial suggestions? If he cannot do it at the time on a point of privilege, when would it be germane to debate in this House, for the member to stand up and do what he believes would be defending his reputation in this matter?

10:50 a.m.

The Acting Speaker: I thank the member for Hamilton West. Question period will follow. Further, as the question of privilege was raised, the minister has dealt with an issue and there will be plenty of opportunity to follow it up.

Mr. Peterson: Because of the difference in the facts, Mr. Speaker, as there is obviously in this circumstance, I think you have the obligation, sir, to hear me out, as does the minister so that he can make a response or so you can make a determination. This is my question of my privilege. We are not disputing the subject.

The Acting Speaker: Make your point quickly.

Mr. Peterson: My point quickly, sir, is this: The facts as I have ascertained them and as our research has ascertained them are different than the ones the honourable minister presented to this House. I am not suggesting for a moment that there could not be error, perhaps on our side, perhaps on their side, but I want to tell you, sir, that subsequent to the publication of this discussion in the House I have had at least 20 telephone calls from ratepayers in the city of Toronto. At least half of them have told me there was absolutely no notice, be it verbal or written or of any other type, before massive increases in assessment were imposed upon them, in the range of 400 to 500 to 600 per cent.

I think the minister should be aware that his information system is not completely accurate or does not conform with the common perception of most taxpayers in this city.

Mr. MacDonald: A related point of order: Mr. Speaker, I am rather intrigued with what is happening today. On two or three occasions the chair has exercised the right and the obligation to exercise its judgement as to when a point of order has been made. Is there not an equal right and obligation on the chair to exercise its judgement when a minister has answered a question and wanders off into irrelevancies? If the chair is going to exercise judgement in chopping down the opposition, is there not an obligation on the chair to exercise its judgement when too lengthy answers are given to something of that nature?

The Acting Speaker: I thank the honourable member. We will continue with statements.

Mr. MacDonald: What is your reply to that, Mr. Speaker?

Hon. Mr. Ashe: They are statements, they are not questions anyway.

Mr. MacDonald: It is an uneven application of the rules; judgement to chop down here and not judgement to chop down there.

The Acting Speaker: The Speaker yesterday spoke very eloquently on this. There is no further comment by the Acting Speaker. The Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations has two statements.


Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, I would like to bring the House up to date on the status of Co-operative Health Services of Ontario, a now defunct company which offered individual and group health care plans to Ontario residents. Members may recall that the superintendent of insurance revoked this company's licence to operate under the Prepaid Hospital and Medical Services Act on February 6, 1981, because it was not financially viable. The Clarkson Company Limited was appointed as liquidator on February 9 to administer the estate and realize the assets of the company and pay as many creditors as possible.

Since February 9, the liquidator has been working efficiently and diligently with my staff to have the matter resolved. I am pleased to announce that the liquidator has recently negotiated a very attractive settlement with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, thanks to the member for Scarborough Centre (Mr. Drea) having moved in very quickly to retrieve the assets pledged by the co-op shortly before its licence was revoked.

On October 30, Master Dunn of the Supreme Court of Ontario, approved the settlement in which the bank agreed to pay $550,000 in cash to the co-op's estate and to withdraw any claim to the assets available to unsecured creditors. It was a phenomenal settlement.

The bank would also have had claim to approximately $300,000 as an unsecured creditor against the assets of the co-op. By withdrawing its claim it will leave a larger sum of money to be distributed among many small subscribers who still have outstanding claims.

To date, the liquidator has determined that there are 31,716 claimants entitled to compensation, consisting mainly of individuals from groups plans, travel subscribers and pay-direct subscribers.

To date, the liquidator has (1) realized all of the co-op's liquid assets, (2) paid all the outstanding claims made by the employees of the city of Toronto, (3) closed the offices of the co-op and sold the computer by tender and all the furniture and fixtures at auction, and (4) reviewed all claims received by the co-op and sent out proof of claim forms to 31,716 individuals and groups.

More than 70 per cent of the proof of claim letters have already been returned to the liquidator. However, the liquidator anticipates that it will still take some time to process all the new claims which are arriving and which still relate to the liquidation period.

I also want to report that legal action has been commenced against various parties which are indebted to the co-op and the liquidator. If the actions are successful, another substantial amount may be realized for the estate. As a matter of fact, as a result of the bill passed by the Legislature some time ago, it appears to be settling and we expect the matter will result in substantial funds being made available.

At this time a date cannot be given for distribution of the estate, but it is hoped there will be an early resolution.


Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, I wish to take this opportunity to bring to the attention of the House an innovation that will take effect in the spring regarding the production of birth, death and marriage certificates.

By mid-1982, all Ontario birth, death and marriage certificates, which are now produced manually by the registrar general's office of my ministry, will be prepared by computer.

Installing a computer, together with a highly automated mailing system, is expected to significantly streamline the operation and reduce overall operating costs over the course of a year by an estimated $250,000, and at this rate the computer will pay for itself in a few years.

In the majority of cases the introduction of automation will eliminate several costly and time-consuming manual tasks, such as index searching, record retrieval and the manual stuffing and metering of envelopes. Of course, we will retain the ability, in an emergency, to issue certificates manually should our computerized system break down temporarily.

In the last year, the registrar general's office issued 300,000 birth certificates, 30,000 marriage certificates and 33,000 death certificates. Although growth in the number of certificates processed has been stable over the past few years, inflation has and will continue to increase processing costs. I would therefore like to commend the registrar general's office for arriving at a solution that will not only improve the level of service but decrease operating costs at the same time as part of our continuing service.

There is one additional benefit that I would like to mention. Wallet-sized birth and marriage certificates have been redesigned, and the new format will be compatible with the automated process and consistent with the uniform size recommended by the Vital Statistics Council for Canada.

By way of background, in 1978 the Vital Statistics Council, representing operations in Canada, the Yukon and the Northwest Territories and Statistics Canada, agreed that a uniform wallet-sized certificate would be desirable. British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba have already accepted the new format, and we are as well and will be introducing it.

The new birth and marriage certificates also will have a number of improved security features considered by our country's security forces, by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, to be far superior to the present certificates and virtually impossible to counterfeit.


Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, today I am tabling a draft emergency plans bill designed to provide a comprehensive framework for emergency planning and response by municipalities and the province.

We are tabling the draft bill so that all honourable members can be aware of what is being proposed and to encourage further public input before legislation is introduced during the next session.

An interministerial committee was established in 1980 to prepare draft legislation on the subject of emergency planning and response. Last summer, I released a discussion paper, including the draft legislation, for public comment. Public response was received, particularly from municipalities, and reviewed by the ministries of the Solicitor General and Municipal Affairs and Housing. Amendments were made to the draft legislation as a result of this public comment, and we will be happy to consider further suggestions from any honourable member and any other interested citizens.

Also today, I am tabling the independent study of the Mississauga evacuation by the Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Toronto. Some honourable members will recall that the government committed itself to an independent study in the aftermath of the Mississauga emergency in November 1979. It was felt that detailed study of that emergency by a group outside government would be helpful to our own emergency planners and those in other jurisdictions.

11 a.m.

The report by the institute has proved to be a very thorough and useful document. It was given wide circulation in draft form to the various ministries involved, to municipal officials in Mississauga and to fire, police and social service agencies.

Many of the institute's recommendations have already been acted upon in the various reviews done by each ministry and agency. I am sure the document will be of continuing use as we upgrade and refine our emergency planning procedures.


Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, there was concern voiced in this House yesterday regarding certain children's mental health services in this province. I wish to address and allay those concerns and misconceptions.

The member for Scarborough West (Mr. R. F. Johnston) charged yesterday that our facility known as White Oaks Village was being closed and that children were going to be "dumped on the community" as a result.

Yes, White Oaks is being closed. We announced some time ago that it would be closed by March 31, 1982, because it would be simply too costly to renovate it to acceptable standards to meet a need that now can be met elsewhere.

We announced at the same time, and I can only assume the honourable member opposite did not read his copy of the news release, that the emotionally disturbed boys in residence at White Oaks would be accommodated in alternative community programs, including 15 new spaces at CPRI in London.

In so far as the current White Oaks program is concerned, there are 25 boys in residence there. By December 22, when the Christmas break period begins, four of the youths will have completed their programs at White Oaks. The other 21 boys will be going home for the holidays but will be back January 4. Following their return from Christmas break, the boys will stay at White Oaks until their transfer to other treatment centres.

We have no intention of dumping anyone on the community. On the other hand, the member may be concerned because some children will be spending Christmas at home and in their communities. Frankly, I am glad for them.

There were also questions raised in this House yesterday regarding South Shore School in Sudbury. Again, the allegations were wrong. South Shore School does not have 120 children in care, as was suggested; it has 68. Half of those attend school on the property, while the other 34 attend McMillan school in the community.

We are not destroying the South Shore School program. Indeed, a new $1-million school on the Algoma Sanitorium site is just about completed. It will replace the old school, which required massive renovations. I find it curious that we are criticized for that.

There was also the inaccurate statement that children benefiting from the South Shore School program will be sent south for treatment. That is simply untrue. I want to assure this House that those children will be provided with treatment programs and other services in Sudbury, as they have in the past.

The member yesterday also spoke of another attempt to destroy the Humber Bay clinic, a children's mental health program serving the south Etobicoke and south Peel areas. I wish to assure this House that we will not be destroying Humber Bay but strengthening it.

Two thorough reviews of the operations of the Humber Bay Child and Family Clinic have been carried out recently, and they will help in developing the most appropriate services for the catchment area. While we intend to divest ourselves of that facility, and this was discussed with board members some time ago, we intend to continue to support it financially and otherwise, and we intend to investigate other ways in which we can provide these types of services to the citizens of south Etobicoke and south Peel.

There was a suggestion that with the so-called destruction of Humber Bay, the program would be transferred to our Thistletown centre. As I said, Humber Bay is not closing, and I have no idea where the Thistletown reference came from. Certainly there is no plan to start a Humber Bay program at Thistletown. The Humber Bay program will serve south Etobicoke and Peel and will continue in that area.

Yesterday, the member opposite also most unfairly attacked the province for the programs and services provided for troubled children. He said we seemed to be saying to parents, and I quote: "Look after your own kids. We in this province are not taking any responsibility." That is a most misguided perception.

As the member knows, or certainly should know, there is a total of 81 residential and nonresidential centres throughout Ontario for emotionally disturbed children and youth. The budget this year for that line item alone is almost $73.5 million. The year before, the figure was approximately $64 million. In the past five years, the budget for those programs has been increased by 67 per cent. That is most certainly not a reduction in our commitment to these children and their families.

I hope this brief statement has addressed the concerns raised yesterday by the member for Scarborough West. I wish he would find out the facts before leaping to his feet. This is the same member who in June surprised me and everyone else by alleging that children were being placed in jail in northern Ontario because there were no other facilities for hard-to-serve children. He was wrong. He later said he had not meant to say "jail" and said he was "provoked" into doing so. I call that irresponsibility, not provocation.

This is the same member who, on October 19, criticized my ministry for its alleged lack of progress in the area of day care and day-care initiatives. He alleged we were planning a $750,000 television campaign when that had never been our intention. He said we had reneged on our commitment to fund 20 day-care spaces for handicapped children in Metro when, in fact, we had agreed to provide 28.

The member accused us at that time, in that regard, of not having paid, to use his term, one red cent to Metro for those handicapped spaces. He was right. We had not paid one red cent. We had paid seven million red cents, or $70,000, in support of that addition. Again, he was wrong.

Against that backdrop, I hope the honourable member will be more committed to fact and less to histrionics when he next takes the floor.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker: I could never compete in histrionics with the honourable minister across the way who today is again distorting things I have said and is again giving half the facts. If I do make errors on occasion, and I do not accept all the errors he is alluding to here, I do not try to distort the facts to cover up mismanagement in his ministry as he is doing now.


The Deputy Speaker: The Leader of the Opposition.


Mr. Smith: I thank the members of the House for their kindness in that greeting. I appreciate it very much.


Mr. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I want to ask my first question of the Minister of Energy. There is a report in the Hamilton Spectator of December 17 that says, quoting a Hydro official, "Hydro plans to renegotiate the uranium contracts starting in February." Can the minister confirm whether that is true? Can he tell us whether he has analysed what will be the cost to Ontario of getting out of the contract and what the cost would be of staying in the contract?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, I know of no plans to renegotiate the contract.

Mr. Smith: May I draw the minister's attention to this article, which I will be glad to send over to him. It says that a senior Hydro official said the utility plans to renegotiate the contracts in February. While he is looking at that, might the minister consider why the reports are that Denison Mines will be claiming that its costs of production, which we have to pay plus a $5 profit on top of that, are approximately twice what they were predicted to be when the select committee on this matter met back at the end of 1977 and the beginning of 1978?

A New York firm then predicted a $22 price of production which would go up with inflation. We are told now that the price of production claimed by Denison is more in the realm of $50. Can the minister give us an explanation for this, given that it might cost the people of Ontario somewhere between an extra $500 million and an extra $1.2 billion because of this discrepancy?

Hon. Mr. Welch: As I understand the question, the honourable member will know that the contracts are very specific with respect to the strict auditing of costs; so whatever claim is being made for costs is subject to audit. I am quite satisfied the auditing procedures will supervise that particular matter. There is no doubt there has been an increase in those costs. I understand about 80 per cent of any increase is related to inflation. Another 20 per cent is related to safety regulations and some changes in design.

11:10 a.m.

Mr. MacDonald: Mr. Speaker, may I ask the minister, since Ontario Hydro now admits that the extra costs it is going to have to pay for uranium will be upwards of $50 million a year and that the interest-free, up-front loans it has had to provide to the mining companies to expand their facilities to meet these contracts and everything else they produce is now something more than $600 million rather than $340 million, why has the government not exercised the contractual right it has under the contract of giving five years' notice to opt out? Admittedly, five years puts it down the road a little time, but why has it not exercised that contractual right?

And, upon quiet reflection, does the minister not think that the government made a mistake when it rejected the Ontario Hydro board's initial proposal in 1973 that the way to handle this situation was to put those mines under public ownership, like the heavy water plants are, as part of the Hydro system?

Hon. Mr Welch: Mr. Speaker, I think it is very important to recognize that some of these figures being used were not discovered for the first time the day before yesterday. If the honourable member has been following the Ontario Energy Board hearings, Hydro at the OEB hearings last summer indicated something with respect to cost, if that is the right way to put it, in regard to protecting the security of supply for Ontario electrical customers, and related that to what it would be on hydro bills.

I am sure there is no member in this House more knowledgeable about these contracts than the member who just asked about them, because he went through these contracts very carefully. I think under the circumstances, before he passes judgement, he has to understand the circumstances at the time of the negotiation of the contracts. It is very important. It is not particularly clever to have hindsight some years later; 20-20 vision is always there. One has to call the shots as one sees them at the time. The honourable member then, because of his knowledge of the contracts, will know that the earliest possible cancellation date for Denison is 1993 and the earliest possible date for Rio Algom is 1989.

Mr. Smith: Since the world price for uranium is now less than half of what we are going to be forced to pay for the uranium we have contracted for under this unfortunate contract, and since we cannot get out until 1993, will the minister let the people of Ontario know whether he agrees that the total loss to Ontario might well be over $1 billion over the life of this contract, because of this discrepancy and because Hydro was overtaken by events and did not realize uranium prices would go down?

Will he agree also that we have lost $500 million in the Petrosar deal because Hydro did not realize the price of oil would go up; $460 million in Wesleyville because Hydro did not realize oil was going to go up; about $411 million at the Bruce heavy water plants because Hydro did not know demand was going to go down?

With Hydro consistently being overtaken by events and thus losing a total of $3.5 billion because of these mistakes, does he not think the select committee should be reconstituted and given real power to oversee these decisions that Hydro keeps making and that cost the people of Ontario dearly?

Hon. Mr. Welch: I simply repeat what I said to the member for York South. I suppose it is always a comfortable position to be in of making all sorts of pronouncements on the basis of the experience that follows the events. I remind the member that when people are negotiating contracts --


Hon. Mr. Welch: Let us just give an opportunity to understand. When one is charged with the responsibilities of ensuring a continuation of electrical power for the people of this province -- and, I remind the member, at rates we should be proud of, compared with those in other jurisdictions in North America; I do not think we should overlook that particular fact -- matters of security of supply are very important.

One has to understand that decisions are being made in the context of the facts available at the time. It would be difficult for me to project what the total cost might be without knowing what the price of uranium might be at any particular time in the future, but I feel quite sure the decision that was taken with respect to these contracts must be hailed every day in places like Elliot Lake, where there are hundreds of people at work, compared with what might be the fate of some people in similar mining in other parts of this country. At least we look after the people of Ontario in many ways with respect to these contracts.


Mr. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I had hoped to direct a question on the matter of PCBs to the Minister of the Environment (Mr. Norton) or the Minister of Government Services (Mr. Wiseman). It is my understanding that those two gentlemen are now conferring in the Speaker's office. Since only they would have the information, I wonder if one of them would be good enough to come out.

I will start with the Minister of Labour (Mr. Elgie), because his ministry does have a certain responsibility for occupational health, and there is a poor chap working down there beside the transformers plus a number of other people here.

Here is the Minister of Government Services. I will direct my question to him.

A very real danger exists here at Queen's Park with respect to 3,495 litres of PCBs in the three electrical transformers in this building. There was a minor transformer fire in Toronto, as we recall, in December 1977. Understanding the problems of Binghamton, can the minister tell us what plans he has to get rid of those PCBs in all three transformers, particularly in the those that are leaking, and to replace the PCBs with other coolant materials?

Hon. Mr. Wiseman: Mr. Speaker, since the Leader of the Opposition brought this question up this morning on a point of privilege, I have been meeting with my people as well as people from the Ministry of the Environment. We have just had a chat with them.

There were five drops under one of the transformers, I believe. Under the other one, there was estimated to be approximately 30 drops over a period of approximately five years. This had been there for quite some time. The people from the Ministry of the Environment have told me there is nothing to worry about with such a small amount.

These rooms are completely sealed off from any air intake going to any other part of the building. In fact, when the environmental people came down this morning, they had to get through three different locked areas to get in to where it is. Where they are located, there is enough of a wall or holding area to look after all the oil that is contained in these areas, more than double if there was such a thing as a spill.

They have assured me that we are in no danger. It is not a leak as we know it.

Mr. Roy: Call it a small drip.

Hon. Mr. Wiseman: Well, it is really not a drip if there are five drops and 30 over five years. Every five years our people test the oil there, and it could be a little bit from that.

We are aware of it. All three ministries have been checking it out this morning, and it is under control.

Mr. Smith: The situation is that although the doors are locked, they are not sealed off and air does get in and out of those rooms. The person tending those transformers told our researcher when he visited that they were aware the stuff under the transformer was PCBs. They did not want to get into the whole business of cleaning it up because of all the decontamination procedures.

Given the danger of fire, which is after all a greater danger than leakage, will the minister take steps to have the PCBs replaced by other less dangerous coolants through a retrofill system? Is the minister not aware that there is a retrofill system, developed by a Canadian, that has now been licensed by the Environmental Protection Agency in the United States? They are going to go about replacing the PCBs in Sheraton hotels shortly. Why are we not replacing the PCBs in public buildings at least, and in hospitals as well as this Legislative Building, here in Ontario?

11:20 a.m.

Hon. Mr. Wiseman: As I said before, if there is any danger at all, we will take steps to correct that. From meeting our people this morning and the people from the Ministries of the Environment and Labour, I understand there is no danger like that.

I understand a call came to my regional office from the Liberal research department early in the week, saying they had someone connected with one of the universities who was up on PCBs and so on and could they look at the three we have in place. Being the good people we are, we allowed them to come in and have a look. Now, with the experts in the other two ministries as well saying there is no problem, I am assured there is no problem; but if there is, we will certainly correct it.

Mr. Smith: Is the minister not aware of what happened to this skyscraper in Binghamton, where I am sure the experts also said there was no problem but where a fire occurred and because of the contamination the building is virtually a write-off now, even though it was a relatively small fire?

Given that we have PCBs not only in our own buildings here but also at Mount Sinai, Toronto East General, Toronto General, Toronto Western, several schools, secondary schools, the university and stadiums and so on, has the minister explained to you, Mr. Speaker, why this province is not moving to take the PCBs out of those transformers and replace the coolant with something that is less dangerous? Why wait for a fire to occur and then scramble to try to do something about it?

Hon. Mr. Wiseman: I think I have answered the question. I will just say I find it hard to believe that the Leader of the Opposition would try to scare people, in my opinion unnecessarily, at this time of year. Certainly we may have a fire, and one can always use examples. I know it is the member's last day in the House, but I really do not think he should scare people unnecessarily. If there is a problem anywhere, we will look after it, but please do not scare people.

The Deputy Speaker: A new question; the member for Ottawa Centre.


Mr. Cassidy: Thank you.


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I hesitate to ask any kind of critical question in view of the suggestion by the member for Lanark (Mr. Wiseman) that, this being the Christmas season, no criticism is in order. None the less, I want to ask a question of the Minister of Agriculture and Food, since the government has now broken his promise that he would have an agricultural plan which would be announced in the Legislature by today.

Can the minister explain why his representatives on the task force are party to recommendations which in effect gut the recommendations of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture task force by refusing to take any action to impose a moratorium on bank foreclosures, despite the fact that this has been done by Saskatchewan, but not by Ontario; by telling the province not to re-enter the long-term credit field, despite the fact this is done in Alberta and in Quebec; and by refusing to make any recommendations about involvement in land banking on a long-term basis, despite the fact this has also been done in the provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan?

How can the minister claim that anything he comes up with before Christmas is going to solve the problems of farmers when the major recommendations of the Biggs task force have been thrown out of the window before the minister even sat down to look at them with his government?

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member has a copy of this report. I personally had it delivered to him this morning. He knows everything in the report. It is signed by the president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture. I took them to lunch and spent one hour with them, one of the top farmers in Ontario, the president of the federation of agriculture and two deputy ministers. I gave them no directions. This is their report.

There was no guidance from my ministry on this report. It is their report that is before the member.

Mr. Cassidy: I do not know if the minister understands how government works. I believe he is acquainted with a certain Duncan Allan, who happens to be the Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food and who, therefore, was there preparing this report and was clearly carrying orders from the government to gut the recommendations of the OFA and to come up with something which they say will be a response only to short-term adjustment problems.

Is the minister not aware that the farmers who were here yesterday and the farmers who have been raising concerns across the province are also talking about the long-term problems under which they have been put because of the high interest rates and the lack of agricultural policy coming from this government? How does he expect the 80,000 or 90,000 farmers in this province to survive the present interest rate crisis when, at best, only several thousand farmers will be assisted even if what is left in this report is implemented before Christmas?

Hon. Mr. Henderson: I will try to respond to the member's comment that I personally do not understand the operations of government. We know he never will understand --

The Deputy Speaker: I do not think that is the question.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Well, he asked me. The report is fair. They responded fully to the Biggs report. If he would read both reports --

Mr. Cassidy: They gutted it.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: They did not. They responded as they thought fit. The member is telling the president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture he does not know how to represent the farmers. That is what he is saying.

Mr. Cassidy: I am saying your deputy minister called the shots there and he was under orders to take that stuff away.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: He is telling that to the president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture. We are disappointed in him. We believe in the president of the federation of agriculture.

Mr. Riddell: Mr. Speaker, when the action committee gave its report, I believe it indicated that $60 million was a good starting point but that if it was proven more than $60 million was needed, it was hopeful the government would continue to assist those farmers in need. When the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller) made his statement, he said the government would make available $60 million in additional funding for this purpose.

My question is, if he finds it is going to take considerably more than $60 million to give those farmers in need the assistance they must have, is the minister prepared to recommend to the Treasurer, and will the Treasurer be prepared to accept, that more than $60 million must be committed?

Second, how does the minister intend to implement the program? Is the program going to be made available to all farmers who are in need, or is he going to select certain groups of farmers in need of this program? In other words, is more than $60 million going to be made available if it is needed? How is the program going to be implemented?

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Mr. Speaker, the member is reading something into the report that I have not been able to read into it. Let me read from the report, "The province should allocate a pool of $60 million in 1982 to fund its share of this special assistance program." It is there in black and white on the last page of the report.

There is no indication to me that it will take more or less. I went by that report. The member is trying to read something into it that the committee did not put into it. Our Treasurer has responded this morning that he is ready to put up the $60 million. We have to work out the details.

Mr. Riddell: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker: I anticipated what was coming this morning, and I phoned the president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture. I spoke to Ralph Barrie, and he made it very clear to me that their proposal was to have an open-ended program and that if $60 million was not sufficient they fully expected the government would commit more. That came from one of the --

The Deputy Speaker: I am having difficulty deciphering your point of privilege.

Mr. Cassidy: I hesitate to ask this of the Minister of Agriculture and Food, but it concerns the announcement he has promised about the special assistance program for farm adjustment directed to farmers who are hardest hit by the interest rate increases and who are in dire straits. If the announcement is made before Christmas, will the minister undertake on behalf of the government that home owners, who are also in dire straits because of the increase in mortgage rates and the effect that is having on their being able to hang on to their homes, will also qualify for an assistance program coming from this government?

Is it the government's position that it was prepared to respond when farmers took direct action in Port Elgin and by depositing dead livestock down in Toronto? Must home owners do likewise in order to get action from this government to rescue them from their difficulties?

11:30 a.m.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Mr. Speaker, I am more than disappointed. There is no good farmer out there associated with depositing dead animals in this city. In fact, the good farmers out there are very disappointed in that action. Let that be known quite clearly.

Mr. Cassidy: How about Port Elgin? Are they not good farmers? Is the minister saying they are not good farmers?

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

Mr. Cassidy: There were 30 farmers here yesterday who were in the demonstration at Port Elgin. Is the minister saying they are not good farmers? Will he come to Port Elgin and say that?

The Deputy Speaker: Order. The Minister of Agriculture and Food will please continue with his answer.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: The Leader of the Opposition -- no, he is not the Leader of the Opposition.

The Deputy Speaker: Fine, just continue with your answer.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: Mr. Speaker, in response to the leader of the third party, had he been here yesterday he would have heard my comments about those farmers. They are the cream of the crop. Put them any place --

Mr. Cassidy: And they had to demonstrate in Port Elgin to get you to act.

Hon. Mr. Henderson: In response, Mr. Speaker, I am attempting to implement the recommendations of the committee.


Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, my first question in this Legislature four years ago was to the Premier and it was about the creation of jobs. I would like to ask the Premier: Is he aware of the situation in Woodstock where 30 per cent of the manufacturing labour force -- some 2,100 workers -- are now on indefinite or temporary layoffs out of a total manufacturing work force of about 7,000? Is he aware that 20 of the 27 firms we spoke of now have substantial layoffs, including such major firms as Kelsey-Hayes; Standard Tube; Harvey Woods; La France, where the entire third shift has been laid off; and Timberland, where 36 workers have been put on indefinite layoffs and all of the workers will be off during most of the month of January?

In view of the situation that now exists in Woodstock -- that house prices have come down because of the economic situation, welfare demands are up and the whole community is suffering -- what proposals does the government have or what action has the government taken that will ensure there are more jobs for the workers in Woodstock to help them weather a very difficult winter ahead?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I must confess to the Leader of the New Democratic Party I cannot recall with the same measure of accuracy his first question to me some four years ago or whatever length of time.

Hon. Mr. Pope: It was about coal in Michigan.

Hon. Mr. Davis: The very distinguished Minister of Natural Resources reminds me it was about coal in Michigan. It may have been about jobs, I would never debate that.

I think I answered a similar question relating to another community some six or seven days ago. I really cannot add a great deal to that response. I made it quite clear this government is concerned about the economic situation -- not just as it applies to Woodstock but to many communities across this province.

I did make a point of reminding the leader of the New Democratic Party that in many respects the year-over-year job creation figures were beyond even our own expectations. I think he knows why the economic conditions are as they are. I think in his more logical moments he might understand that much of this relates to the automotive sector.

As I have said on many occasions, the automotive sector is impacted primarily by the economic policies of the government of the United States. I need not remind him that 80 per cent of the production of the automotive sector from this province finds its way to the United States and 75 per cent of farm machinery production finds its way to that country or offshore. This government cannot control the economic policies of the government of the United States.

We have been in the process of giving encouragement to certain sectors of the economy. The leader of the New Democratic Party heard the announcements this morning. I think even he, in his logical moments, when he recognizes the accomplishments of this government, probably takes some modest credit for the decision of this government to expand and invest several millions of dollars in the Ottawa Valley, more particularly in the Ottawa-Carleton region, not too far from his own constituency. I suspect he would not be saying --


The Deputy Speaker: Order. I think the question was well answered. A supplementary.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, do not make editorial comments.

The Premier says he is concerned about layoffs, but during the month of November some 4,000 workers lost their jobs, a rate of six workers losing their jobs through layoffs every hour last month. Could he explain why, when he has that concern about layoffs, the members of his party blocked efforts last night in committee to have layoffs referred to the resources development committee over the course of the winter break and have this Legislature look at needed action in order to prevent future layoffs.

Could he also explain why it was not only the back-bench members of his party who blocked efforts to have layoffs referred to the legislative committee, but his House leader, acting on behalf of the Conservative government, also resisted and refused our efforts to have that layoffs committee set up? If he really has that concern, why will he not even let this Legislature discuss it during the winter break?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, this Legislature provides ample opportunity for discussion of this issue. I was not part of the committee's discussion and, unfortunately, I was not here last evening.

Mr. Foulds: You never are.

Hon. Mr. Davis: That is fine. I am not going to suggest the member for Port Arthur is somewhat politically motivated, but I think it is quite obvious. I had a lot of fun with the member at a meeting with some of his constituents the other day.

Mr. Foulds: Too bad you didn't answer them.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I had great pleasure in reminding them that if it had been left up to the member, even the debate we had in the cabinet room would never have occurred because of his opposition to the Urban Transportation Development Corporation, and his leader's opposition at one point in history. I enjoyed that thoroughly.

I think it is obvious to all members that one can go to company after company -- it might prove to be somewhat beneficial and it might be interesting -- but the reality is that most of the economic impact is being felt in the manufacturing sector, and it is because of the economic situation, not only in the United States but in some other parts offshore. There is no question the export part of some industries in this province is being impacted.

I think a legislative committee could meet day after day, hour after hour, and come to the conclusion that the automotive sector is one example where no amount of effort on the part of a select committee could alter the economic policies in the United States that would lead to greater consumer confidence and consumer demand. I do not care how he tries to debate it, the reality is that the automotive sector is depressed at the moment because of economic conditions in the United States. He knows that, and if he does not I can take him to several hundred workers at American Motors in Brampton who are fully aware of that being the reason.

Mr. Wrye: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: I have just been informed by my office in Windsor that the Ford Motor Company of Canada announced today it will be closing its Ensite engine plant in Windsor next spring permanently. This closure will throw another 500 people in that city out of work. In light of the fact the government gave the Ford Motor Company $28 million for the new Essex engine plant, I ask the Premier these questions: Was he informed of the closing of the Ensite plant in advance of today's announcement? And what does he intend to do to try to keep that facility open and try to keep the people in Windsor working?

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I am informed by the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Grossman) that we were informed at 10 o'clock this morning. I am not familiar with the details. Certainly the Minister of Industry and Tourism will be pursuing it. The member relates the announcement to the government's investment in the Windsor area for the new engine plant, which he may or may not agree with. I would remind him that every single Windsor and Essex county member was present and taking great credit --


11:40 a.m.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I just thought I would point out that some of his colleagues were very much in support of that at the time it occurred.

Mr. Martel: All he does is encourage more foreign direction. That is all he does, contrary to the select committee's recommendations.

The Deputy Speaker: The member for Ottawa Centre has the floor. The member for Sudbury East (Mr. Martel), your colleague has the floor.

Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: No job targets were attached to the Board of Industrial Leadership and Development program at all, and there are no substantial BILD initiatives targeted for the Woodstock area. Could the Premier say what specific long-term plans the government has in order to ensure there are adequate jobs for the people in Woodstock and they are not forced to move out to Alberta or leave the area they live in right now?

What specific plans does the government have beyond telling them to hope and pray the American economy turns around some time in the future? What specific plans does this government have in order to counter our economic distress? According to the federal government's statistics and forecasts it will lead to unemployment exceeding 400,000 people in this province by 1985 unless there is a new strategy. What new strategy does he have to ensure that does not occur in Ontario?

Hon. Mr. Davis: I am not going to comment upon projections from the government of Canada and how they might be interpreted. I would only say, as I did in answering a very similar question a few days ago related to another community, the BILD initiatives, while they did not have an employment figure attached to them, did single out those areas of economic activity which will enhance economic development in Ontario.

If the member does not agree with those initiatives, then I just wish he would go back home to Ottawa and say he does not. I cannot --

Mr. Cassidy: It does not single out St. Thomas; it does not single out Chatham; it does not single out Windsor.

Hon. Mr. Davis: With great respect, it singles out certain areas of economic activity. If he does not like what we are doing in the Ottawa Valley he should have the intestinal fortitude to go home to Ottawa and say to the Ottawa Citizen that he disagrees with that initiative.

I have a dollar bill here, Mr. Speaker. I will wager a dollar bill that the member for Ottawa Centre will never make any such statement.

The Deputy Speaker: New question.

Mr. Mancini: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: We have had 20 per cent unemployment in Windsor now for the past two years. There are a further 500 people who are going to be permanently laid off. I think, under these circumstances, you should allow another supplementary.

The Deputy Speaker: No. New question.

Mr. Mancini: We want to know what this government is going to do for Windsor and Essex county. What new economic programs and also initiatives --

The Deputy Speaker: Order, please.

Mr. Mancini: -- are they going to take up for Windsor, Essex county. There are 500 more people who are going to be permanently laid off. This government sits on its butt and does nothing.

The Deputy Speaker: Order. The member for Essex South, your own colleague, the member for St. Catharines (Mr. Bradley), has a new question.

Mr. Mancini: We heard announcements today for Cambridge.

The Deputy Speaker: This is the second time, the member for Essex South. Order.


Mr. Bradley: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations. As we already know, the ministry's chief investigator, David Mitchell, was seconded by the ministry in April 1980 to act as the director of the inspections branch of the Liquor Licence Board of Ontario.

Will the minister acknowledge that the termination of Mr. Mitchell's employment at the LLBO was done without the foreknowledge or consent of the ministry? In such a situation where the ministry has parachuted in its own investigator to examine a crown agency, and that crown agency summarily gets rid of the investigator, does the minister not find it surprising at the very least that the ministry so readily acquiesced to the shunting aside of its investigator?

Hon. Mr. Walker: Why would we ever do that? I cannot understand what the member's question is about. The man was director of investigations.

Mr. Roy: You have to answer.

Hon. Mr. Walker: Just a moment. Now come on, Albert. Sit back.

Mr. Roy: You are the minister. You have to answer a question, not ask it.

Hon. Mr. Walker: Want to bet? The fact is that Mr. Mitchell --

Mr. Roy: If you cannot answer the question, get out.

Hon. Mr. Walker: The member has to listen to the answer. If I give it, he has to listen.

Mr. Roy: If he cannot answer it --

The Deputy Speaker: All right, all right. The minister has the floor.

Hon. Mr. Walker: To the member for St. Catharines, I would like to say that Mr. Mitchell did leave. He was seconded from our ministry, where he was director of investigations. He went down to the board to fill a position there as director of investigations; when they had a vacancy, for one thing, and because they did not have a suitable candidate to fill that job in April 1980.

By January 1981, not only had the necessity for his presence down there come to an end, but they had also found a new person to fill the role of director of investigations, which is something they could not have done earlier. They did not have a suitable candidate for director of investigations in April 1980 when Mr. Mitchell went down. Mr. Mitchell's work came to an end. Does the member think we were going to leave him down there all the time? No -- the opposition leader should be careful -- no, we are going to have him come back to our place and work where he belongs. He was seconded from our ministry. Does the member not think we want him back? In any case, what was there left to do?

Mr. Bradley: The minister is saying that when Mr. Mitchell was -- I will say turfed out -- by the board and landed on the ministry's doorstep, the general consensus was that his work was, for all intents and purposes, completed. If that is indeed true, why will the minister not table in this House the reports Mr. Mitchell was making to the deputy minister concerning the goings-on at the LLBO, so that we can determine whether or not he was gotten rid of because of what he was finding out?

Hon. Mr. Walker: First of all, after that question was posed a few days ago in this same area, my understanding was that the reports were in writing. I now gather the reports were verbally given and sent back, and this is confirmed by my colleague sitting beside me, who was the minister of the day. I do not know how we are going to table the verbal communications, but if the honourable member can suggest a way, we might do that as well.

Whatever the case, the situation changed down there. The fact the auditor was called in is attributed to my colleague here, who insisted that the auditor go in and do a report on the matter, and it was properly dealt with. What is the issue? What is the member talking about? I do not even see what he is trying to get at.

Mr. Smith: Mr. Speaker, since the minister professes not even to understand the issue, may I outline it for him this way, and could he explain it to the House: if the minister felt a necessity to send an investigator to the LLBO to see what was going on there, and if the investigator did send back reports which showed there were grave irregularities in the place, why is it if his work was done, that either the investigator did not voluntarily resign or the minister did not voluntarily call him back?

Why was it the decision of the LLBO to get rid of the investigator? When a minister sends an investigator to investigate an organization, gets information and then finds his investigator has been shipped back to him, would the minister not agree the ministry has the responsibility to send the investigator back and say, "Don't you stop my investigator; he is getting information for me." Would the minister not agree with that?

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege, which may clarify the matter before the minister replies --

The Deputy Speaker: Order. Under the circumstances, will we allow the Minister of Community and Social Services to respond to the question if it would clarify the issue? We have agreement.

Hon. Mr. Drea: The reason I rise on a point of privilege is that the words have been used, and I think inadvertently, that the minister, and that was me, sent Mr. Mitchell as an investigator to the board. That is not correct. Mr. Mitchell was seconded to the LLBO in April 1980 following the convictions of the chief liquor inspector and the deputy chief liquor inspector. Because of suspensions and because of a criminal trial, neither one of those people had been operating in normal duties at the board for a considerable time.

Mr. Mitchell was sent there as a director to ensure the proper administrative procedures, according to the manual of administration of this government, would be followed until the board could find someone with experience to take the job. He was not dispatched in April 1980 to investigate the board.

11:50 a.m.


Mr. Swart: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations. As the minister knows, there are press reports and information directly from the office of Mr. Ouellet to indicate he is proposing some joint federal-provincial program for removing urea formaldehyde foam insulation from the homes where there is a health problem and from the homes where there is a reading of formaldehyde gas in excess of 0.1 parts per million. Have any proposals been made, formal or informal, by Mr. Ouellet to the ministry? If so, what are they?

Whether or not the minister has received them, what is the proposal of his government to deal with this problem? Is he willing to assist even in a minor way towards removing the urea formaldehyde foam insulation from those homes?

Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, I spoke with the federal Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs two days ago by telephone in respect to the telex he had sent me on Monday indicating there was a proposal coming. He suggested in some vague way what some of the arrangements might be. I think he would expect a certain amount of support from the province. The proposal he will submit ultimately to public scrutiny will likely be forthcoming some time after January 1.

He had indicated he intended to do it within a few days when the press reports came out several days ago, but more recently, as a result of our conversation, I think he is intending to make an announcement some time after January 1, which will be in the form of a concrete proposal.

I do not think it appropriate for me to share with the member now the contents of the discussion other than to say there was an indication on his part that he wanted the provinces to play a role financially in the matter. It seemed kind of strange that he was asking us to correct their error. However, that was the submission he put forward. When it comes forward, I will be taking the matter to my cabinet colleagues and asking for their direction.

Mr. Swart: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: I am sure the minister must be aware that from the preliminary statistics of his own government's Ministry of Health there are at least 3,000 urea formaldehyde foam insulated homes already identified where the occupants are suffering health problems. Will the minister assure this House that whatever action is taken will be taken quickly?

Will he also assure this House that he will be co-operative with the federal government and not let buck-passing between the two governments cause those people to stay in their homes indefinitely suffering from these very serious health problems?

Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, it is a very serious matter, of course. We have to assume that we know all the answers on the matter as to whether urea formaldehyde should or should not be removed.

There are some who say that to remove it dislodges the material and makes it unstable. This, therefore, creates a health hazard where one previously did not exist. The member knows that well. There are other aspects of it. I am told by Mr. Ouellet that as a result of some of their studies, they can indicate, or perhaps even prove, that modest corrective measures will resolve the problem in a large number of cases. In any case, all I can say is that until the federal minister puts forward his program we are not in a position to make any comment on his program. We have to see the final picture of it. I have some indications of what his program will be but I think it would be unfair for me to announce those prior to his having the opportunity to make them public.

Mr. Philip: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Does the minister agree with the comments made by Mr. Wilson, the member of Parliament and Treasury critic of the federal Conservative Party, that the reason the minister is not making the announcement now while the House of Commons is in session is that there is very little that is going to be offered. If the proposal turns out to be exactly that, is the member's ministry prepared to step in to the vacuum which the federal government obviously is creating?

Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, I think the latter question is presuming an awful lot; indeed, so is the former question by the sound of it. From what I heard, when he spoke to me, I had an indication from him that it was a fairly substantial program.


Mr. Smith: I have a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker, regarding a point that was raised by the former Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations and the present Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. Drea). He said the person who was seconded to the Liquor Licence Board of Ontario was sent as a director, and not as an investigator. I would simply say that he was sending back reports regularly regarding what was going on at the LLBO. The present Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Walker), on December 9 in Hansard, is quoted as saying to me: "Does he not understand? He was our investigator; we wanted the guy back. Why would we not?" I simply want the record to indicate that he was obviously regarded as an investigator by the ministry and by the minister. He acted as an investigator, and he was sent back at the instigation of the very people he was investigating.

The Deputy Speaker: I think the point has been made. If I could beg the indulgence of the House, the Minister of Industry and Tourism has an answer to a question previously asked. But before he continues, is it a short, medium or long response?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Short.

The Deputy Speaker: Continue.


Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, I would like to reply to a question from the member for Hamilton East (Mr. Mackenzie) concerning International Harvester. Officials of my ministry have been monitoring the International Harvester refinancing situation very closely, although we are not an active participant. Negotiations for a refinancing package are at a delicate stage, and I cannot comment on them at this time. However, I am informed that International Harvester is confident it will be able to continue its Canadian operation. At present there are no planned major new layoffs, and all employees who are, or will be, on temporary layoff over the normal holiday shutdown will be returning as expected on January 4, 1982.

With regard to the 78 engineering staff employees, International Harvester has been forced by economic conditions, in its view, to consolidate some of its development activities worldwide. This is similar to what Massey-Ferguson was forced to do as a result of its difficulties. I am informed that most of those employees will be offered employment either in other Canadian operations or in related operations of International Harvester.


Mr. Runciman: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Energy. My question relates to layoffs we are now experiencing in the manufacturing sector of this province, and more specifically to the pending layoff of 150 workers at the Black and Decker plant in Brockville. While Canadian manufacturers of power tools, such as Black and Decker, are abiding by the rules, Ontario Hydro is giving a Japanese manufacturer, Makita, a six to nine months' edge in introducing new products to the market by issuing safety approval stickers for Makita power tools without testing. It is thereby bypassing the Canadian Standards Association approval route that Canadian manufacturers follow in accordance with the Canadian electrical code.

Based on this information, is the minister prepared to take whatever action is necessary to discourage Ontario Hydro from carrying on a practice that is discriminatory and economically harmful to the Ontario power tool industry?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for giving me notice with respect to this question, in order that we might --

Mr. Peterson: Would you expect otherwise?

Hon. Mr. Davis: There is great merit in it. You should try it some day.

Hon. Mr. Welch: This honourable member was very interested in having an answer. One wonders about the other side.

Mr. Speaker, I am advised that Ontario Hydro's electrical safety regulations require that all electrical equipment used in this province must be CSA-certified, or in cases where a small quantity of equipment is involved and formal submission to CSA cannot be economically justified -- and I underline once again, a small quantity of equipment -- then an alternative approval method has been established whereby this equipment can be approved by Ontario Hydro electrical inspectors.

This safety-related approval service provided by Ontario Hydro is complementary to the CSA approval route. I am further advised by Ontario Hydro that this safety-related service is available to every manufacturer of electrical equipment, including Makita, to which reference has been made, and Black and Decker. I am also advised that Black and Decker is fully aware of this service provided by Hydro.

12 noon

Mr. Runciman: Mr. Speaker would the minister be willing to investigate claims that are in conflict with a number of the points he raised in his answer? These are that Black and Decker has been refused Ontario Hydro equipment approvals on the occasions the company has applied, and on many occasions Japanese equipment receiving Ontario Hydro approval has subsequently failed CSA approval. Further, Makita tools with only Hydro stickers are being sold in many outlets in this province and in Quebec.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Yes, Mr. Speaker, I would be very happy to check into the details there.


Mr. Roy: Mr. Speaker, I had a question for the Attorney General and Solicitor General (Mr. McMurtry), who I understand was here earlier. I will direct my question to the Provincial Secretary for Justice.

In view of the fact there is a tremendous increase in the number of armed robberies taking place in relation to financial institutions, banks, caisses populaires, credit unions and so on, I wonder if the minister would advise if he is aware of this statement made by the deputy police chief of Ottawa, Tom Flanagan, who is the chairman of the law amendment committee of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police:

"There is a complete lack of co-operation from the bank security people. Because of this refusal to update their security, people are robbing banks the same way Bonnie and Clyde did it. All they have to do is jump over the counter, take the money and run. Bank robberies are the only crime that has continued exactly the way it was years ago."

In view of the fact that the banks have had tremendous increase in profits, and in view of the fact I understand there is a committee looking into the question of armed robberies and security but it will not report for two years, would the minister call in the security people from the banks and discuss with them how they can improve their security, thereby assisting the police of this province?

Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, the suggestion sounds quite reasonable and I will convey that to the Solicitor General and Attorney General. I have to say the statement provided by Deputy Chief Flanagan is a very credible statement. I know the man and if he said it there is a lot of truth in it. I will see the Attorney General has this information brought to his attention immediately. Would the member mind sending over a copy of the newspaper clipping?

Mr. Roy: I certainly will send the minister a copy of the editorial in the Ottawa Citizen. Is the minister aware that the bank security people --


The Deputy Speaker: Order please. The holiday season has not quite started yet. We are having difficulty hearing the question.

Mr. Roy: I would ask the minister if he is aware of the response, apparently on the part of the bank security people, that they have taken steps to protect their staff in the event of these robberies. According to Deputy Chief Flanagan the security people in the banks have not taken steps to install bullet-proof glass around the tellers; they have not taken his suggestion that the cash be in a vault like a central depository, or the possibility of planting security bugs within the cash itself. I wonder if these aspects of security might be discussed with the security officials for the banks?

Hon. Mr. Walker: That too sounds reasonable.


Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, I have a question of the Minister of Labour. In a recent accident at Inco operations in Levack, a driller was struck by a piece of loose and as a result his leg was amputated above the knee. I would like to send the minister a copy of this picture it I might, so he has an opportunity to look at it.

Is the minister aware that his inspectors only arrived 24 hours after the accident? Even more important, can the minister indicate why it remains the prerogative of Inco to determine what is considered to be a serious accident? They determine when the police have to be called. If they do call the police, they must notify the union; but if they do not contact the police, they do not have to notify the union hall. Why should Inco have the right to determine what is a serious accident, considering the seriousness of the situation?

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for forwarding the picture to me.

I do not have the details of this particular case. It is my recollection of the Occupational Health and Safety Act that the union should have been notified in the event of a serious accident or a fatality, in this case a serious accident. I can only say I will have it looked into and report to the member.

Mr. Martel: I want to indicate to the minister that a member of the occupational safety, health and environmental committee was there but he is not as skilled in doing that type of investigation as the people on the inquest team, which is responsible for looking into serious accidents.

The situation is very simple. If Inco decides it is not serious and does not call the police, then the union hall is not notified. And a member of the occupational safety, health and environmental committee underground has no access to a telephone to contact the union. In this instance a man lost his leg.

Under the bill, not only with respect to Inco but also right across this province, I do not think the corporation should be left to determine whether it is a serious accident. That should be left to someone else.

Hon. Mr. Elgie: I will have not only the particular case but also the whole issue reviewed.


Mr. G. I. Miller: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege: I rise to correct the record on my statement of December 11 with regard to the closing of Sprucedale. I said on the record it was Sprucedale and it should have been White Oaks.

I also want to bring a point to the attention of the Minister of Community and Social Services. He said replacement beds would be placed so that the children would be treated in centres closer to their homes, at CPRI in London for those in western Ontario and in Toronto for those from the Hamilton-Wentworth area. I point out to the minister that the present facility at White Oaks is much closer to Hamilton-Wentworth and the Niagara Peninsula than the centres in London or Toronto.

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, I made it absolutely plain in my remarks in estimates that there was also one resident child from Haldimand-Norfolk who had to go to Hamilton. We also made it very plain that the day program would remain in Haldimand-Norfolk.

Ms. Copps: Mr. Speaker, on the same point of order and correction of the record: The minister said today that White Oaks was being closed so the children could be sent to CPRI. Last week he said they were going to be kept in their local areas. Which is it?

Hon. Mr. Drea: Mr. Speaker, if the honourable member will read the original announcement, we said the children from western Ontario --

Ms. Copps: It's written right here.

Hon. Mr. Drea: I ought to know what I said. I can probably find it here. We made it very plain that 15 were being sent to CPRI, 13 were located in the Metro area, et cetera --

The Deputy Speaker: I think we have had enough on that discussion.

Hon. Mr. Drea: -- and that White Oaks was being closed because the cost of bringing it up to standard was enormous.

Ms. Copps: May I read it into the record?

The Deputy Speaker: No, you cannot read it into the record. You will have to do it at another time. We have taken enough time on this.

Does the member for Scarborough West have a point of privilege?

Mr. R. F. Johnston: I will deal with it by press release instead of burdening the House with his misinformation.

The Deputy Speaker: Thank you very much. Before going on to routine proceedings, on behalf of the Office of the Speaker I wish everyone the best of the holiday season to come.



Mr. Ruprecht: Mr. Speaker, I would like to read this petition:

"In the opinion of this House, the government of Ontario should give serious consideration to granting funds to the Canadian Polish Congress relief fund on a dollar-for-dollar matching basis to private donations raised within the province of Ontario for the purpose of providing emergency medical supplies and food for the people of Poland. The transmittal of these supplies would be subject to the lifting of martial law within Poland and the agreement of the Polish Roman Catholic Church to act as the distribution agent."

12:10 p.m.



Mr. Treleaven, on behalf of Mr. Eves, from the standing committee on regulations and other statutory instruments reported the following resolutions:

That supply in the following amounts and to defray the expenses of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications be granted to Her Majesty for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1982:

Ministry administration program, $24,437,200; planning, research and development program, $6,433,100; safety and regulation program, $39,299,800; provincial roads program, $374,449,500; provincial transit program, $48,266,000; air program, $3,395,900; municipal roads program, $330,794,700; municipal transit program, $141,952,500; communications program, $1,605,800.

That supply in the following supplementary amount and to defray the expenses of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications be granted to Her Majesty for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1982:

Provincial transit program, $18,920,000.


Mr. Harris from the standing committee on resources development presented the following resolution:

That supply in the following amount and to defray the expenses of the Resources Development policy field be granted to Her Majesty for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1982:

Resources development policy program, $2,240,300.



Hon. Mr. Wells moved that the following substitutions be made: on the standing committee on administration of justice, Mr. Laughren for Mr. Swart, Mr. Spensieri for Mr. Bradley, Mr. Eaton for Mr. Williams; on the standing committee on general government, Mr. Swart for Mr. Wildman, Mr. Epp for Ms. Copps, Mr. J. M. Johnson for Mr. Brandt, Mr. J. A. Taylor for Mr. Runciman; on the standing committee on social development, Mr. O'Neil for Mr. Ruprecht, Mr. Renwick for Mr. R. F. Johnston, Mr. Laughren for Mr. McClellan, Mr. Edighoffer for Mr. Sweeney, Mr. Conway for Mr. Van Horne;

On the standing committee on public accounts, Mr. Di Santo for Mr. Foulds, Mr. Bradley for Mr. Peterson, Mr. Gordon for Mr. Cousens, Mr. Kolyn for Mr. J. A. Taylor; on the select committee on pensions, Mr. Van Horne for Mr. Epp, Mr. Haggerty for Mr. Peterson; on the select committee on the Ombudsman, Mr. Gordon for Mr. Andrewes, Mr. MacQuarrie for Mr. Barlow, Mr. Mitchell for Mr. Dean, Mr. Piché for Mr. Eves, Mr. Treleaven for Mr. Kells.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Wells moved that the House continue to sit today until it is prorogued by the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor.

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, before the orders of the day, I would like to table the answers to questions 186, 191, 264, 270 and 272 standing on the Notice Paper. (See Appendix A.)


Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I would like to call the government motions, notice of which has been given and which are printed on the Notice Paper.

Mr. Nixon: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: Is it possible that since these are printed on the Notice Paper and will go in the Votes and Proceedings that they could be considered as resolutions by number rather than totally read out?

The Deputy Speaker: That sounds like a good idea. Can we do that?

Hon. Mr. Wells: That will be perfectly agreeable to me, Mr. Speaker.


Hon. Mr. Wells, seconded by Hon. Mr. Snow, moved resolution 12.

Reading dispensed with. (See Votes and Proceedings).

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Wells, seconded by Hon. Mr. Snow, moved resolution 13.

Reading dispensed with. (See Votes and Proceedings).

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Wells, seconded by Hon. Mr. Snow, moved resolution 14.

Reading dispensed with. (See Votes and Proceedings).

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Wells, seconded by Hon. Mr Snow, moved resolution 15.

Reading dispensed with. (See Votes and Proceedings).

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Wells, seconded by Hon. Mr. Snow, moved resolution 16.

Reading dispensed with. (See Votes and Proceedings).

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Wells, seconded by Hon. Mr. Snow, moved resolution 17.

Reading dispensed with. (See Votes and Proceedings).

Motion agreed to.


Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, with the consent of the House, I have one further substantive motion I would like to make. It is a motion that is necessary. It is an address of the House concerning the appointment of the Provincial Auditor. If I could have consent, I would like to present it now.

The Deputy Speaker: Do we have consent?

Agreed to.

Hon. Mr. Wells, seconded by Mr. T. P. Reid, moved that a humble address be presented to the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor in Council as follows:

To the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor in Council:

We, Her Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Legislative Assembly of the province of Ontario, now assembled, request the appointment of Douglas Francis Archer as Auditor for the province of Ontario as provided in section 3 of the Audit Act, RSO 1980, to hold office under the terms and conditions of the said act.

And that the address be engrossed and presented to the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor in Council by Mr. Speaker.

Motion agreed to.

House in committee of the whole.


Consideration of Bill 2, An Act to amend the Toronto Area Transit Operating Authority Act.

12:20 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment to move to section 4 if there is nothing before that.

Sections 1 to 3, inclusive, agreed to.

On section 4:

The Deputy Chairman: Hon. Mr. Snow moves that section 6(b) of the act as set out in section 4 of the bill be struck out.

Mr. Mancini: Mr. Chairman, the minister was kind enough to arrange a very lengthy meeting between myself and the critic for the New Democratic Party and several of his senior staff people. We were informed at that meeting some time ago that the minister would be moving to strike out subsection 6(b) of section 4 and we concur with the minister's actions.

Mr. Samis: Mr. Chairman, we will support the amendment. I think the reasons are self-evident.

Motion agreed to.

Section 4 agreed to.

Sections 5 and 6, inclusive, agreed to.

Bill 2, as amended, reported.


Consideration of Bill 53, An Act to amend the Public Transportation and Highway Improvement Act.

On section 1:

Mr. Samis: I have one question, Mr. Chairman, on section 1(5)a. I would ask the minister, since time ran out in the second reading debate, if I recall the answer to opposition comments why the decision was made not to apply this to trolley cars just to buses. It talks about vehicles with electrically driven motors, as the minister may designate. Could he clarify that for us?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Chairman, under the reading of the clause it would allow this to apply to streetcars; that is what the honourable member is saying. But it is not the intention or the policy that this high rate of subsidy would be available only to the trolley buses.

Mr. Samis: Could I just ask for some information? Am I right or wrong that, the way it is written there, trolley cars would come under this bill? They are eligible? It is just that you are saying your policy intention is not to provide it at present?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Yes, Mr. Chairman, that is what I said. The way the bill is written it could apply to streetcars but because of the incentive, the initiative, streetcars are an existing program of the ministry. The incentive there is for trolley buses to replace diesel buses, to save oil and use electricity. We intend to apply this and the program has been announced that this would apply to trolley buses.

Mr. Samis: One final question: I still do not think the minister has given us the reason why he specifically excludes, because he is going to, although he includes it under the bill -- why are we not applying it to trolley buses? If a certain municipality wants to opt for that form of getting off the fuels we are trying to get people off, why does he not apply it to them?

Hon. Mr. Snow: I guess the same argument can be used for subways. Subways are electrically motivated and it is not our intention to include them. Although the section here does allow the higher rate of subsidy, it is our intention, as an incentive program, to do it only for trolley buses.

Mr. Samis: I find it strange, in view of what the minister is saying, that the bill is written this particular way. If he does not want to include subways or trolley buses, I would have thought he would specifically designate the specific kind of vehicle rather than leaving it wide open. We support the overall intent, there is no question of that, only the wording strikes me as a little awkward considering the intentions of the minister.

Section 1 agreed to.

Sections 2 and 3, inclusive, agreed to.

Bill 53 reported.


Consideration of Bill 93, the Dangerous Goods Transportation Act.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Chairman, I have amendments to sections 4 and 11.

Section 1 agreed to.

On section 2:

Mr. Samis: Mr. Chairman, I have a question on section 2(2), which says, "The minister or a person designated by him may issue a permit exempting..." Since we have expressed reservations about exemptions and how they may be used, and since we have some reservations based on what has happened to the Environmental Assessment Act, I would ask the minister if he would give us a little clarification on the clause, "or a person designated by him may issue a permit."

We find that rather broad. In fact, the whole section 2(2) is rather broad. I would like some explanation of who he would envisage being designated to grant these exemptions, which we think are so important and which could undermine the whole intent of the bill.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Chairman, I think I explained this during the debate on second reading of the bill. The necessity for this clause is in case of an emergency where it would be impossible under the terms of the act to move a particular material. I am thinking of a roadside spill or something like that where it would not be possible to ship the material, whatever it might be, in accordance with the regulations.

To move material, when it is probably of great advantage to get it moved quickly, an exemption might be necessary. I envisage I would issue that exemption myself or assign responsibility through the deputy minister or the assistant deputy minister of drivers and vehicles.

Section 2 agreed to.

Section 3 agreed to.

On section 4:

The Deputy Chairman: Hon. Mr. Snow moves that section 4(1) of the bill be struck out and the following substituted therefor:

"(1) Every person who contravenes section 3 is guilty of an offence and is liable,

"(a) on the first conviction to a fine of not more than $50,000; and

"(b) on each subsequent conviction to a fine of not more than $100,000 or to imprisonment for a term of less than two years."

Hon. Mr. Snow further moves that section 4(2) of the said bill be amended by adding at the end thereof, "or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year."

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Chairman, this has been explained to the critics. I am sure they are familiar with it. This is to bring our legislation directly in line with the federal bill with minor changes.

Mr. Mancini: Mr. Chairman, we concur with the change recommended by the minister. We concur that the provincial regulations should be similar to the federal regulations if at all possible. The amendment proposed by the minister makes contraventions of this act a very serious matter indeed. We hope it will allow people to understand the seriousness of the nature of distributing dangerous goods across this province. We take this matter to be very dangerous. What we are doing is trying to go to great lengths to protect the public interest.

Mr. Samis: We will support the amendment because we think it should be dovetailed with the federal legislation, and the addition of the possibility of imprisonment is a further deterrent to people who may be tempted not to abide by or to violate the provisions of this act. There is no question that we will support this amendment.

Motion agreed to.

Section 4, as amended, agreed to.

12:30 p.m.

On section 5:

Mr. Samis: Mr. Chairman, I have one question on section 5. I think I understand why it is there, but I would appreciate hearing from the minister as to why that clause was inserted in the first place.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Chairman, I presume the honourable member is referring to section 5 of the bill. Section 5 reads: "It is a defence to a charge under this act for the accused to establish that he took all reasonable measures to comply with this act."

It is my understanding that this is a direct clause from the federal dangerous goods legislation. Other than that, I think it is self-explanatory. If one can produce very strong evidence that all reasonable action was taken, that should be considered at least as part of his defence.

Mr. Samis: The only reason I raise the point is that it seems to be self-explanatory to the extent that one would almost wonder why it has to be included. But if the minister says this is taken directly from the federal legislation, I will accept that explanation.

Section 5 agreed to.

Sections 6 to 8, inclusive, agreed to.

On section 9:

Mr. Samis: One quick question, Mr. Chairman. Section 9(1) says: "The minister may designate any person as an inspector for the purposes of this act." Do we have some sort of guarantee about the training and qualifications for this? I understand the intent, but I noticed it seems to be fairly wide open. Can the minister explain that?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Obviously, Mr. Chairman, I have to have authority to designate inspectors to administer the act. The intention is that the inspectors under this act would be the inspectors of the highway carrier branch of the ministry. We do not intend to have a separate group of inspectors roaming around the country duplicating things. We have the highway carrier licensing section. There will be special training. I believe the federal government is setting up a program to train its inspectors and it is going to work with us in training our inspectors, once we get this act passed and they get all the regulations, so they are familiar with the act.

Section 9 agreed to.

Section 10 agreed to.

On section 11:

The Deputy Chairman: Hon. Mr. Snow moves that section 11(1) of Bill 93 be amended by adding thereto the following clause:

"(o) requiring persons having charge, management or control of dangerous goods escaping a container, packaging or a vehicle on a highway to report the occurrence to a designated person, designating the person to whom the report is to be made and prescribing the information to be included in the report and the manner of reporting."

Mr. Mancini: Mr. Chairman, I think this is a very good suggestion by the minister. If we are serious about controlling dangerous goods, we have to know when the spills occur. We have to have an orderly system of reporting and we have to have a person in charge. We have to have a person compiling files so that we know, if there are constant abusers of the system, exactly who they are and how these spills occur. Possibly, through the accumulation of this information, we could curtail other such problems which may arise in the future. We concur with the minister's amendment.

Mr. Samis: Mr. Speaker, we will support the amendment, as it closes a gap in the bill, through the whole reporting process. I would just ask the minister one question. Would he tell me how this amendment would apply, for instance, to a major industry that has a spill on private property? How is that handled? The amendment talks about a vehicle on a highway, but do big companies like Inco, Stelco or Imperial Oil come under these provisions? Are there any provisions requiring them to notify a public authority about a spill of dangerous goods?

Hon. Mr. Snow: Not under this act, Mr. Chairman. There may be other acts of the Ministry of the Environment or federal acts that might require them, but this act relates only to the transportation of these goods on the highway.

Mr. Samis: Can the minister clarify whether the spills bill would encompass the situation I described?

Hon. Mr. Snow: I am not familiar with it. I could not say.

Motion agreed to.

Section 11, as amended, agreed to.

On section 12:

The Deputy Chairman: Mr. Samis moves, seconded by Mr. Mancini, that there be a new section 12(3) as follows:

"The minister shall, as soon as possible after the end of each year, prepare and cause to be laid before the Legislature a report on the administration and enforcement of this act for that year."

Mr. Samis: Mr. Chairman, this would be added to section 12 as a new subsection 3. The reason for the amendment is that the federal legislation does incorporate the principle of requiring an annual report. There was considerable debate in committee in the federal House on this.

I think this would be a very worthwhile way for the elected officials to know what charges have been laid over the course of year and how the act has been administered; this would give us a better handle on its administration. I realize the government has a fairly good handle, but I think this would provide for a more general reporting system for the public and the opposition, and would provide further information to the public as to how effectively the act is being enforced.

Mr. Mancini: Mr. Chairman, as you are already aware, I concur with the amendment being put forward by the member for Cornwall (Mr. Samis). We want to have a normal and regular opportunity, on a yearly basis, to review this section of the bill. We think it would be in the public's interest to have this information distributed. I know it is possibly going to take a little more bookkeeping effort on behalf of some of the minister's staff, but I think it would be worthwhile work.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Chairman, I have no objection to this amendment. We did not feel it was necessary to put that in the bill, because in the annual report of the ministry we report on the number of charges laid under all sections of the Highway Traffic Act. Under this act, we would be doing the same. The honourable members may be looking for something a little bit more in the way of a report, but I have no objection to the amendment and am prepared to accept it.

Motion agreed to.

Section 12, as amended, agreed to.

Sections 13 to 15, inclusive, agreed to.

Bill 93, as amended, reported.

12:40 p.m.


Consideration of Bill 160, an Act to amend the Public Commercial Vehicles Act.

Section 1 agreed to.

On section 2:

Mr. Samis: I have a question, Mr. Chairman, on section 2(2)(g). There was some concern expressed by the Ontario Trucking Association about the fact that we are not restricting it to the people who actually own it; it is left wide open there. I was wondering if the minister would give us some explanation of the wording as it is. It leaves it fairly wide open as to who may transport wheat.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Chairman, I have fully explained that many times. Section 2(2)(g) is a recommendation of the Biggs report. As I explained previously, Ontario winter wheat is in theory the property of the Ontario Wheat Producers' Marketing Board, although it may be in the local co-operative elevator or a private elevator. It may have been paid for by that co-op or elevator and it may have to be shipped out. For all potential purposes, the farmer sold the wheat to, say, the local co-op, delivered it there, the co-op paid for it, but really it is only acting as an agent for the wheat board.

This would allow the co-ops to use their own trucks to move that wheat from their elevators to a shipping elevator or something of that type. Without this amendment, there is some doubt as to whether the elevators can use their own vehicles to haul what some would say was their own wheat but technically is not; it belongs to the wheat marketing board.

Mr. Mancini: Mr. Chairman, I concur with the section of the act the way it is written in the bill. I think it will make things a little easier for some of our farmers who are under tremendous pressure as a result of present economic conditions. If we can alleviate any of their problems in any way whatsoever without causing great disruption or damage to other sections of our society, I am afraid at this time I am going to have to concur entirely with the minister.

Section 2 agreed to.

On section 3:

The Deputy Chairman: Hon. Mr. Snow moves that section 4(a)(2) of the act, as set out in section 3 of the bill, be amended by inserting, after "licence" in the third line, "or freight forwarder's licence," and by adding at the end thereof, "or freight forwarder's licence."

Motion agreed to.

The Deputy Chairman: Mr. Samis moves that section 4(a)(5) of the act, as set out in section 3 of the bill, be amended by adding, after the word "certificate" in the third and fourth lines, the words "and that the fee for such a certificate be made the same as that charged to for-hire operators in this province."

Mr. Samis: Mr. Chairman, the purpose of the amendment is (1) to ensure that if we are to have intercorporate trucking, those engaged in it will be paying the same rates as those who are in the for-hire business and (2) to provide an added source of revenue for the province. If intercorporate trucking becomes extremely popular or common, it will provide more than a minuscule amount. I think the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller), having a deficit of $1.5 billion, would appreciate this initiative.

Mr. Mancini: Mr. Chairman, I sincerely hope the minister will agree to have section 3(5) amended as has been suggested by the member for Cornwall. The honourable member and I met a short time ago to discuss this particular amendment. Mr. Chairman, you may have seen today's Toronto Star where the member for Cornwall mentioned that possibly two parties of the Legislature could get together and work on a mutual basis for the betterment of the people of Ontario. This is just an example of how that process could work.

We have discussed this amendment, and I have to put on the record that I understand why we need intercorporate trucking, but I am not enthusiastic about intercorporate trucking. I know this matter is going to be reviewed over the next few months, and we will be provided with some information as to how this intercorporate trucking is affecting the basic trucking industry in this province. We are trying to make the law more equitable here.

The Ontario Trucking Association and its members, to receive a licence to haul goods across the province, have to go through a very complicated procedure. It takes quite a bit of time. It costs an awful lot of money, and they have to pay a fee for the licence once it is issued.

We feel that the people involved in intercorporate trucking are not going to have to spend quite as much time, nor are they going to have to spend quite as much money, to be allowed the privilege of intercorporate trucking. The very least that should happen, to make the system seem fairer and equitable, is that they should pay for the certificate.

I concur with the member for Cornwall that we are short of dollars. We are going to be running a huge deficit, and this is one way of attracting money to the Treasury.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, I am not prepared to consider this amendment. We are not licensing these companies to carry on any kind of trucking for compensation. What this section of the bill does is provide for an exemption of the Public Commercial Vehicles Act for the movement of goods. This is private carriage.

We are not giving these companies a licence to go out and haul goods for hire, or for any specific route, or any specific product. What we are doing is giving companies, where they are related and where there is a 90 per cent minimum interest, the opportunity to better utilize their equipment to be better able to compete with their American counterparts who have this type of legislation.

The whole matter will be reviewed by the PCV Act review committee, and the whole matter of PCV fees is under review at this time. I am not prepared to accept an amendment that would charge the PCV fee for these certificates.

Mr. Mancini: Mr. Chairman, it should be placed on the record that intercorporate trucking is giving a privilege to corporations, with the passage of this bill at this time, that they did not previously have. That is a very clear point. They are going to be allowed to hold a certificate which will allow them to carry on certain trucking activities which, by law, were not afforded to them prior to the introduction and the passage of this bill. I speak as if the bill is already passed, but it will be passed shortly. The very least the minister could do is set up a system whereby they pay for the administrative costs of the certificate.

12:50 p.m.

The minister just moved this past year to eliminate preferential licence fees on all the vehicles owned by the municipalities across Ontario. He did that, and I wrote him a letter. I got a response from the Treasurer, saying this was being done because the Treasury needed more money and the municipalities were getting away for a mere pittance of the real cost of being able to have these vehicles on the road. Yet when it comes to corporations being asked to pay for a certificate, which everybody else has to pay for, the minister says: "Well, we are reviewing the matter and, until then, I am not prepared to charge them." That is not a very good reason.

Mr. Samis: Mr. Chairman, I would like to express my regret about the fact that the minister will not accept this amendment because, as my colleague has said, first of all the intercorporate people are now getting something they have never had before and, in effect, we are not really making them pay for it.

Second, it puts the for-hire carriers at somewhat of a disadvantage, because obviously they have to pay the full shot, whereas the intercorporate people will be getting off virtually scot-free in comparison in terms of dollars and cents.

Third, if we have a complete review to be finalized in the next 16 to 18 months, why not impose this to see what sort of revenue it does bring in, if we are going to devise a permanent program in 1983.

Fourth, I am just surprised that this minister would not be willing to help out his colleague the Treasurer to accumulate more funds to pay for various government programs and to put a slight dent into that huge deficit he has to contend with.

The Deputy Chairman: All those in favour of Mr. Samis's amendment will please say "aye."

All those opposed will please say "nay."

In my opinion the nays have it.

Motion negatived.

Section 3, as amended, agreed to.

On section 4:

The Deputy Chairman: Mr. Samis moves that section 4(9) be amended by changing the wording of the first line from "Every operating licence authorizes the holder thereof..." to "Every carrier licence to move bulk fertilizer be authorized to..."

Mr. Samis: Mr. Chairman, very briefly, the intent of the amendment is to deal with the obvious problem in the whole question of transporting fertilizer in Ontario, especially in the spring months.

I think the farming industry and the trucking industry, as well as the ministry, recognize that problem. This section does make an attempt to deal with that problem. However, it is the opinion of some that the essence of the problem is not so much the number of trucks or carriers available to move the fertilizer but the problems of storage and distribution and some of the inefficiencies contained therein.

While I would commend the minister for eliminating restrictions on the carriers, the intent of this amendment is to restrict it to the existing carriers to see how it works out. If that does not work out, then obviously a further change is needed. Otherwise, we would have all sorts of people moving into the field, and it is a feeling of some that this would only compound the problem of inefficiency, lineups, waiting and all sorts of things of that sort at the storage and distribution facilities.

The intent of the amendment is to restrict it to the carriers we now have, to see if they can work out the problem in view of the changes in section 4, rather than the change proposed by the minister.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Chairman, I will be voting against this amendment. I am not prepared to accept it. This whole matter has been discussed thoroughly, and we feel the section should stand.

The Deputy Chairman: All those in favour of section 4 remaining part of the bill will please say "aye."

All those opposed will please say "nay."

In my opinion the nays have it.

Motion negatived.

Section 4 agreed to.

On section 5:

The Deputy Chairman: Mr. Samis moves that section 5 of the bill be amended by inserting the words "if required" after the word "jurisdictions" in line seven.

Mr. Samis: Mr. Chairman, this amendment is to deal with situations involving certain carriers, especially when we are talking about trade between Ontario and Michigan. It is my understanding that certain licensing requirements are radically different from Ontario's. For example, no licence is actually required for fruit and vegetables. Just adding those two words would facilitate the whole process of reciprocity for that segment of the trucking industry. It is something the Ontario Trucking Association has recommended.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Chairman, it is difficult to give an immediate response to adding two words to a bill. It seems rather innocuous, but my staff advise me that this is not required. There is no problem with the bill as it is.

Mr. Cassidy: Go on; accept it in the spirit of magnanimity at Christmas.

Hon. Mr. Snow: I accepted one from the member for Cornwall already.

Mr. Samis: Mr. Chairman, I do not think this amendment will cause any further problems. It is just to inject recognition of the actual situation into this section. I do not see where it complicates the minister's position or policy.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Chairman, the minister is obviously hesitating. He is on the verge of saying "yes" because he understands. It is clear that what has happened is the minister's officials are stuck and are saying, "We want it the way we want it". He is the politician. He is the fellow who is meant to call the shots. The minister should not let those bureaucrats push him around. Let him make a decision and give the member his amendment.

Hon. Mr. Snow: At least I am a politician. I would not say that about the member for Ottawa Centre, who just spoke.

The Deputy Chairman: I ask that we speak to the bill.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Chairman, this section only applies to the class of wide licences and is connected with the Interstate Commerce Commission licensing in the United States. There is no need for this amendment.

The Deputy Chairman: All those in favour of Mr. Samis's amendment will please say "aye."

All those opposed will please say "nay."

In my opinion the nays have it.

Motion negatived.

Section 5 agreed to.

Sections 6 to 10, inclusive, agreed to.

On section 11:

1 p.m.

The Deputy Chairman: Hon. Mr. Snow moves that clause 31(a) of the act as set out in section 11 of the bill be amended by inserting after "certificate," "or a copy thereof."

Mr. Mancini: It is strictly housekeeping. We will be glad to support it.

Mr. Samis: There is no problem for our party.

Motion agreed to.

The Deputy Chairman: Any further comments on section 11?

Section 11, as amended, agreed to.

The Deputy Chairman: Does anyone have any points to raise on any further sections?

Sections 12 to 17, inclusive, agreed to.

Bill 160, as amended, reported.

Mr. Mancini: Last night, when we were completing our estimates for the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, there were quite a few disruptions in the committee. Things were going on, the hour was quite late and I did not get a chance to wish the minister and his staff a very merry Christmas. I would like to do it now.

The Deputy Chairman: That was the nicest thing.

Mr. Samis: I cannot let that go by without joining in this festive spirit. In the dying hours of this session, somehow this place takes on an absolutely bizarre character. I want to join with my colleague. This is not necessarily, for the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk, a further manifestation of some of my ideas on the Ontario Legislature and how it should work.

Mr. Nixon: I like your ideas.

Mr. Samis: I know you do. I do want to extend congratulations and best wishes for the festive season. I hope the minister will take to heart the suggestion made last night about the next convention and the two critics.

Hon. Mr. Snow: On behalf of my staff, I accept the wishes for a merry Christmas from everyone except the honourable leader of the third party who has made terrible remarks about my staff and my bureaucrats. I do not accept them.

Mr. Cassidy: On a point of order, Mr. Chairman: I do not share the minister's selective sense of the world. I would like to wish the minister a happy Christmas and a happy new year. Maybe he can spend some time over on this side of the House for a change after too many years on that side.

Mr. Samis: The member referred to disruptions last night. I should say they were of a rather jocular nature as opposed to some other disruptions we heard of. The minister did inject a unique flavour or aroma to the room last night which some of us did appreciate, although some members, I suspect, did not.

On motion by Hon. Mr. Wells, the committee of the whole House reported some bills with certain amendments.


The following bills were given third reading on motion:

Bill 2, An Act to amend the Toronto Area Transit Operating Authority Act.

Bill 53, An Act to amend the Public Transportation and Highway Improvement Act.

Bill 93, Dangerous Goods Transportation Act.

Bill 160, An Act to amend the Public Commercial Vehicles Act.


Mr. Treleaven, on behalf of Mr. Rotenberg, moved second reading of Bill Pr21, An Act respecting the Trusteeship of the Balance Share Warrant of Global Natural Resources Limited.

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.


Resolutions for supply for the following ministry and provincial secretariat were concurred in by the House:

Ministry of the Solicitor General;

Provincial Secretariat for Justice Policy.


Mr. Renwick: Mr. Speaker, I have two brief matters I would like to deal with on the concurrence motion. I hold no brief for any of the advocates one way or the other nor do I hold positions with respect to them, but I would ask the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) to give consideration to taking an objective and detached view about the two matters I want to raise. He need not reply today.

The first one is in connection with the request by a large number of people to the Attorney General that there should be a public inquiry into the allegation of 16 instances of serious misconduct by members of the Metropolitan Toronto Police against members of the public. I have tried to follow this matter since it first arose and I believe some of the instances were presented before the committee dealing with Bill 68 in a very proper, objective and concise way in certain of the evidence.

In any event, since the development of the issue and the concerns that have been expressed about it, I would ask the Attorney General to consider again the request for a public inquiry. I think it would accomplish two results. First, it would allay a significant area of public concern about the activities of the police as to events preceding the appointment of the police complaints commissioner. Second, I think it would be an extremely valuable process for Sidney Linden to have going along as he begins his work as police complaints commissioner.

It seems to me it would be unfortunate if the work of the police complaints commissioner should be muddled at the beginning by these allegations, rather than permitting him to go about his business in his new office untrammelled by these historical incidents. Without being too legalistic about it, I share the concern of those interested in this problem. The Solicitor General, the police commission and the public complaints commissioner are all under a misconception if they believe the complaints presented to the police commission can be dealt with and resolved by the public complaints commissioner without the consent of the complainants.

1:10 p.m.

Bill 68 does not empower the public complaints commissioner to do anything with respect to a specific complaint unless that complaint is made by a member of the public to the police complaints bureau or the public complaints commissioner. A complaint made to the police commission cannot confer any jurisdiction upon the public complaints commissioner. Therefore, any attempt by the public complaints commissioner to conduct an inquiry or order a hearing into a complaint made to the police commission would likely be illegal, or beyond his jurisdiction, which is probably a more accurate way of expressing it.

I would, therefore, seriously ask the Attorney General to review the request objectively, detached from all the emotions and feelings involved in its inception, and detached from whether he agrees or disagrees with the establishment of the citizens' independent review of police activities. I do believe a public inquiry into these instances, whatever the result would be, would establish a sense of confidence so that the new process, despite the fact we have significant differences about it, could go on on its own. Otherwise, I am afraid that whatever good will come out of Bill 68 will be significantly hurt in the eyes of the public simply because of this. I ask the Attorney General to take that into consideration.

The second matter I wish to deal with is the Praxis matter, detailed summary number 28 of the McDonald commission report, volume 3. The minister knows I raised this matter in his estimates and that Mr. McLeod, when he responded to me, referred to the minister's statement, on May 23, 1978, about this matter in this assembly. That statement was the basis on which earlier this year, in January I believe, the stay of proceedings in this matter was entered by the Attorney General.

I have read and reread the statement. I have discussed the matter with Mr. Paul Copeland at some length. I share his concern that the statement was not particularly responsive to the reasons why the possession -- and I emphasize "possession" -- by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police of the documents that were stolen from the Praxis Corporation did not give rise to charges being laid by the crown itself. I am concerned about the reasons why the crown saw fit to stay the proceedings when the private citizen involved decided to try to proceed to lay an information through a justice of the peace.

I am aware that leave has now been granted in the Supreme Court of Canada on the application dealing with the matter. I do not think it is a question of being sub judice. It is a question of the meaning of a particular stay of proceedings' provision of the code. But I would again ask the minister if he would not see fit to make a further statement on the question of why, in his view, there are no grounds on which a charge of possession of stolen property should not be laid. It would be laid at the present time against unnamed people, because I do not know their names or in what circumstances it should take place.

I do not know whether it is because there is insufficient evidence, which would be one way of dealing with the matter. I do not know whether it is a question of prosecutorial discretion that the minister is exercising in the matter. I do not know whether it is a question of the actual possession of those documents, coupled with what appears on the documents that were returned seven years later to the Praxis Corporation, notations indicating that they may well have been used by the RCMP.

In any event, whatever the technical ingredients of the charge of possession, I find the minister's statement inadequate, particularly those portions dealing with the question of possession and the reference in summary number 28 in the McDonald commission report. Reading and rereading the statement leads me to believe a further statement by the minister is required in this instance. It is required if he is insisting that the stay of proceedings is forever in that matter, rather than that the matter should proceed in the ordinary way to a free inquiry before a justice of the peace to determine whether or not charges should finally be laid.

At this time I would hope the Attorney General would see fit to reconsider that question, with a view to providing the public with a better statement than the statement given in this assembly some time ago. Those are the only two matters I wanted to raise on the concurrence motions. On the other issues which I raised during the estimates, and which were not answered quite properly and appropriately, I will deal with the ministry by correspondence over the next several weeks.

Resolution concurred in.


Mr. J. A. Reed: Mr. Speaker, I realize it is late in the session, but I have a couple of questions I think are worth asking the Provincial Secretary for Resources Development because his ministry is the umbrella ministry which covers both energy and natural resources.

I wonder if the secretary would table or communicate publicly the answer in the near future to a question I am about to ask him, understanding, first of all, that the Ministry of Natural Resources and Hydro are either about to or are engaging in some talks concerning water rentals. I am sure the minister is aware of what water rentals are. That is money paid to the government by Ontario Hydro in return for the use of the water or for putting the water through generating turbines.

I wonder if the minister will be able to state categorically, at some time, just how high new water rentals will be and whether the revenue from those increases will be used to pay for the purchase of Suncor. If this turns out to be true it would mean that electric power consumers in Ontario would be asked to purchase an oil company.

I hope the answer the minister will table, if he will agree to table an answer to that question, will be in the negative, but I think he should certainly be made aware that those water rentals are about to be or are in the midst of being renegotiated.

Hon. Mr. Ramsay: Mr. Speaker, I will be happy to look into that, and I will table a response as requested.

Mr. Wildman: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have a very short question for the minister in his role as minister responsible for native affairs. It has come to my knowledge this morning that apparently the director of public relations and corporate affairs for Woolco, a Mr. Keith Elliott I believe, has sent a directive to Woolco stores in this province advising them to no longer accept treaty cards from status Indians who are purchasing articles in those stores, so that they will no longer be exempt from paying the sales tax.

Apparently the director has confused treaty card exemption with the campaign being carried on by a group in the province opposed to sales tax. I understand there is a group centred in Peterborough that is protesting sales tax by saying its members are not going to pay it. Apparently, this director has confused that with treaty card exemption and has issued a directive against the acceptance of treaty cards.

While this only affects one set of stores, the Indian people are concerned that if this is allowed to continue with Woolco, it might spread to some other retail outlets in the province.

1:20 p.m.

Mr. Ramsay: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate that being brought to my attention. That is new to me and I will look into it as soon as I get back to my office.

Resolution concurred in.


Resuming the adjourned debate on the motion for third reading of Bill 178, An Act to amend the Highway Traffic Act.

Mr. Renwick: Mr. Speaker, I just have a brief, non-provocative comment to make. Fortunately, I believe, I was absent from the assembly last evening when the debate took place. I am pleased the principle of the bill has permitted the Liberal Party to finally adhere to it and to accept it. I think the bill is a wise and beneficial move by this assembly in a very difficult and controversial field, as it touches many people's feelings quite deeply.

The three amendments on the bill that were passed in the committee met, in a very real substance, certain concerns which I stressed on second reading of the bill. I am glad the Liberal Party sent it out to the committee. I appreciated the co-operation and the assistance the committee had from staff members of the Ministry of the Solicitor General, and particularly the illuminating information from Mr. Lucas of the Centre of Forensic Science. It will be an important and valuable contribution and is one which could not have been made had we simply gone to committee of the whole House on that bill.

I am pleased the bill is now in satisfactory form and on behalf of our caucus, I just wanted to record that I think it is one of the most beneficial pieces of legislation we have had the opportunity to be associated with.

Hon. Mr. McMurtry: I would like to conclude the debate by saying I am grateful for the support and participation of all members, particularly those who participated in the debate in the justice committee. I think it was a very useful discussion, and there is no question the legislation is better as a result of this process. The debate and the support the legislation is now receiving would indicate that all members regard this issue as a matter of considerable importance.

I do not think there is any question the tragedy reflected day in and day out by the grim highway statistics probably represents the number one social problem facing the community today. While there may be some differences of opinion from time to time as to how we may best reduce the carnage on the highways, there is no question in my mind that all members are committed to this goal. I hope that the issue of highway safety will continue to receive a very high priority from all members of the Legislature.

In my opening remarks, I referred to the very important work that had been done by the select committee on highway safety in 1977. I hope this would be an ongoing commitment of not just members of the select committee but of all members. There is no question but that this legislation is an important initiative, but at the same time we recognize, as was said in committee yesterday, that this does not represent any panacea.

At best we can hope to reduce the carnage on the highways, particularly that related to alcohol abuse, probably only slightly; but obviously, if it is a slight reduction, including the saving of lives and the avoidance of terrible injuries, it will have made this initiative really very worthwhile. In relation to the review I had undertaken on behalf of the government, I think the legislation to be given by the justice committee before the end of 1982 will be another important opportunity, not just to review the working of this legislation but also to consider again the problem of highway safety, and particularly the problems related to alcohol abuse on our highways.

Mr. Speaker, before concluding my remarks, I would like to read into the record a very sad, very pathetic, but very moving letter that was written to the Premier (Mr. Davis) of this province some time ago. For reasons I do not know it did not reach his office until October of this year. It deals with the RIDE, reduce impaired driving everywhere, program. It deals with the initiatives this legislation does provide a framework for, and of course it is very relevant to this legislation. This very tragic letter requests that the Premier encourage the introduction of such legislation. It reads as follows:

"Dear Premier Davis: I am Gerald Riosa. I am in grade four now. My parents were in an accident last December 12. My mother, Bernadette Riosa, was killed. My father, George Riosa is still in critical condition at Sunnybrook Hospital and he is still sleeping since the accident happened.

"My sister and I would like it if you would bring back the spot checking of cars once more to avoid accidents like what my dad and mom was in. They were bumped by a drunk driver. A judge said it is illegal to spot check people but if nobody will bother to check drunk people from driving, accidents will never be less and many children will be like my sister, Faye, and me.

"I hope you will give this letter a little of your time and do something about spot checking. Gerald A. Riosa."

I think in passing this legislation the members of the Legislature are keeping faith with this young man and are demonstrating our commitment to prevent the tragedies that occur virtually every day of the week.

I reiterate this is not going to solve the problem of alcohol abuse on the highways. but if it does, as the member for Riverdale very eloquently stated the other day, prevent even one tragedy like young Gerald refers to, it has been well worth while.

Mr. Speaker: Shall the motion carry?

All those in favour will please say "aye."

Those opposed will please say "nay."

In my opinion the ayes have it.

Motion agreed to.

1:30 p.m.


Resuming the adjourned debate on the amendment to the amendment to the motion that this House approves in general the budgetary policy of the government.

Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, I have a few comments to make about the amendment to the amendment and also, since this is my last speech as leader in the Legislature, I have some comments to make which touch on the session, which touch on the last four years and which to some extent touch on the record of the government in the 10 years and a couple of months since I became a member of the Legislature for the great riding of Ottawa Centre.

I think some members have already heard I have indicated quite clearly that I intend to stay on in this Legislature as a private member and as a back-bencher. I am working in order to try to ensure that the transition to our new leader, whoever that may be, will be smooth and rapid and that whatever knowledge of the province I have gained in the period I have been leader I can pass on to my successor.

I wish well to the member for Hamilton West (Mr. Smith) -- I will repeat this when he comes in -- a man who has been in the Legislature for a shorter time than I, but a man who has served the province hard and well by his lights. He has sought to accomplish a task which has defeated many other leaders, both of his party and of my party, over the course of the last 38 years. Both of us know this is not an easy province for an opposition party and both of us know that the Conservatives have been fortunate to have faced a divided opposition, because never in 38 years have they actually won a majority of the votes cast in Ontario, let alone a majority of all of the eligible voters.

The member for Hamilton West may not be back with us when we return in March and to some extent I regret that. I know the contribution which has been made to the life of this Legislature, both by the member for York South (Mr. MacDonald) and by the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk (Mr. Nixon), has been a considerable one. I think the wisdom and knowledge of the province and knowledge of the politics of the province which they have contributed has been valuable in a Legislature which too often has too little sense of history.

I depart as leader, and I depart this session, with some sense of disappointment and sadness and some sense of melancholy and it is not entirely a personal kind of thing. I sought to do things within the party and within the province. I succeeded at some in terms of pointing the direction, not just of my party but also of the other parties in this House, to the economic issues which I could see back in the mid-1970s were of enormous importance, of crucial importance for all of the people we represent in Ontario.

I believe one of the reasons the last election was fought on economic issues and one of the reasons the government decided to bring in the BILD program was because of the kinds of programs which the New Democratic Party has been developing and putting forward in a very positive way under my leadership in the last three or four years.

When I say I am staying on it is because the New Democratic Party, which is a democratic socialist party, is a movement and a party which has a great tradition, not just in this province but in this country and across the world in the democratic nations. In fact, as the recent events in Poland have indicated, our ideals which we have sought to achieve in this province, the ideal of freedom, the ideal of equality, the ideal of human rights, are ideals which move people behind the Iron Curtain as well.

I have gone home every night this week and watched the television anxiously, hopefully, hoping against hope that somehow the workers of Poland could triumph against the repression of both the Communist Party and also of the military which has taken power.

Since the member for Hamilton West has just come in, I will repeat what I had to say before in terms of tribute to his effective leadership of his party. I suspect his party may be making a mistake in making it difficult for him to stay on. I suspect his efforts to try to bridge the centre and try to reach out as a populist and as a somewhat left-of-centre Liberal, perhaps were the wisest courses for his party. Perhaps, in terms of the Liberal Party, it is too bad the Liberal Party as a whole was not able to appreciate that course of action was a wiser one than to retreat into right-wing reaction, the likely consequence of their convention in February.


I notice the member for Kitchener-Wilmot (Mr. Sweeney) applauding the retreat into right-wing reaction. I am sorry, I hope he was, in fact, applauding the member for Hamilton West.

I will repeat, as a tribute to him, he has served this province according to his lights and he has worked very hard. Only he and I know how hard opposition leaders work. It is a lot harder, I suspect, than the honourable members on the government side, although, to give them their due, a lot of politicians on all sides work hard and their work is often unsung or unknown to the media or to many members of the public.

My party was created back in the 1930s. The other day I was looking at the manifesto adopted by my party in Regina, a manifesto which my father, Harry Cassidy, was instrumental in creating. The Co-operative Commonwealth Federation was a bringing together of farmers, workers, teachers and intellectuals who felt that things had to change fundamentally, that the principles of the economic system had to be subjugated to the needs of people, and not that the economy should come first or that profit should come first. The needs of people, we said then and we say now, should come first, ahead of the needs of private profit.

Those principles are as true today as they were in the 1930s. Given what we face over the coming years, I suspect we are now seeing a repeat in the 1980s of some of the feelings of revulsion at the way governments proceed and the way they embrace archaic economic concepts and ignore the needs of ordinary people.

I believe in the ideals that brought my party together back in the 1930s. And I believe -- I have seen it across the world, I have seen it in this province as well -- in the way my party has overcome adversity, representing working people of this province and of this country, how it has been able to bounce back and come back again and again, and I believe that is happening and will happen for the New Democrats in Ontario as well.

I have had a chance in the last four years to travel to every corner of Ontario. I have yet to go to Woodstock and to Sioux Lookout, but I believe those are the only two communities with a population of more than 250 that I have yet to visit. I will make up for that in the spring. Travel cannot help but change one. It cannot help but impress one with the enormous diversity of this province, the forests in the Canadian shield in the north, the vivid ethnic communities of Ottawa, Toronto and Windsor, the misery, the glory, the beauty.

Coming down the road from Godin Lake to Thunder Bay on a beautiful winter's night, I thought there is no other place in the world that I would like to be or like to come home to than Ontario. Northern Ontario has now become a part of me in the way it never was when I was just the member for Ottawa Centre. I have had a chance to learn about the north and learn about some of the things that make this province great.

I spent time on the back roads of Lanark county, a county in eastern Ontario that has always been dear to me. That is a part of our heritage as well. I am still moved by a dream of what this province can be: the resources that we have, not just natural resources but also human resources; the education we have been able to have; the technology which we are masters of; the political system through which, for all of our disagreements with the Conservatives in this province and with the Liberals in Ottawa, none the less, we share a political system which, let us face it, is a hell of a lot better than most systems under which most people have to live in most parts of the world.

My dream is to see the potential of this province achieved, not just for those who are rich and powerful, not just for those who are fortunate enough to have a fine education as one can still occasionally get in the province, but for the people living in LeBreton Flats, in Rochester Heights, in Dalhousie ward and elsewhere in my riding, for the old people who used to live in rooming houses down the street from my home on Waverley Street and their counterparts in Parkdale, their counterparts in certain sections of Windsor and in isolated native Indian communities in northern Ontario.

I want to see equality and justice for those people as well in Ontario. That has moved me as a democratic Socialist for the 10 years I have been in politics, and it is one of the reasons I intend to stay in this place for a while in order to see whether those ideals cannot still be achieved so we can build a base in order to ensure that a New Democratic government can be elected in this province and we can start to put those ideals into practice.

Some people say there is such a fundamental flaw in our politics in this province that the opposition will always be divided between the Liberal Party, essentially on the right wing of the spectrum, and the New Democrats on the left, that the Conservatives will always be masters of the centre and be able to swing a bit to the left or a bit to the right in order to continue hanging on to power indefinitely.

1:40 p.m.

I want to warn the Conservatives that power, even after 38 years, is not an indefinite right or an indefinite privilege. The Conservatives do not have a perpetual lease on power in this province. Our party is on the move again. We became the official opposition in 1943; we were set back in 1945. We became the official opposition again in 1948; we were set back, to the point of almost disappearing, during the Cold War era of the 1950s. We came back from that to form the official opposition in this province in 1975.

When one considers that the member for Rainy River (Mr. T. P. Reid) is the only provincial Liberal member between the Bruce Peninsula and Vancouver Island, when one considers there is not a single sitting Liberal member in any provincial legislature west of Ontario, one has to say that when a decision is finally made by the people in this province around which party to polarize as the alternative to the Progressive Conservative Party, the situation here will be the same as in Manitoba.

It will be the same as the decision was in Saskatchewan; it will be the same as has occurred in British Columbia; it will be the same as will occur in Alberta, where the Socreds are now a rural rump soon to disappear and it will be the New Democratic Party confronting the Conservatives. After that, it will be the New Democrats who come to power.

Any leader likes to think he has tried to accomplish a few things. Obviously, I have failed to accomplish what I had hoped in terms of leading our party this time into official opposition or into power. On the other hand, I give to my successor, whether it is the member for Port Arthur (Mr. Foulds), the member for Scarborough West (Mr. R. F. Johnston) or Bob Rae, a party which is strong and growing, which is not just capable of recovery but is demonstrating that capability; a party which is rejuvenating and renewing itself; a party which, for the first time since 1966 and 1967, is expanding its base in terms of membership and money; a party which is showing enormously vital interests in terms of involvement in the 1982 municipal elections.

I give to the members for Scarborough West and Port Arthur or to Bob Rae, a party which in the last four years has mastered, as we had not for many years, the problems of what is going wrong in the economy of Ontario. That has not just been mine; that has been an accomplishment of all members of the New Democratic Party and of our friends and affiliates in the trade union movement.

Over that period we have been able to project an alternative industrial strategy that would get this province on its feet and start to cure some of the problems that have been created over so many years of Conservative rule.

What we said in the last election was true. We may have been a bit ahead of our time, because back in that election people still did not quite grasp what was happening in the economy of Ontario. The member for Hamilton West will attest to that as well. I see from the Conference Board of Canada that his predictions about Ontario's being tenth and last in terms of economic growth are now predicted for 1982 with the authority of the conference board. Dismal economic growth is anticipated. That has a meaning in terms of what that does for the working people of this province I represent and for whom I sought to form a government in Ontario.

That is the legacy I leave. I believe the New Democratic Party is poised to move forward while the Liberal Party, whether they choose the member for London Centre (Mr. Peterson), or I would suggest that perhaps the member for Kitchener (Mr. Breithaupt) has learned enough about this province and has some fire in his belly, perhaps a bit more than the member for London Centre will ever have no matter how many years he happens to lead his party. But that is beside the point; the fact is that the New Democratic Party is on the way back and I am proud to leave a legacy like that to my successor, even though I was not able to do it myself.

I think perhaps those six years of minority government blurred the issues and, therefore, helped the Conservatives to hang on to power but that those issues are becoming clearer now.

Even the Chinese eventually realized that they could not go on forever with Chairman Mao. This province cannot go on forever with Chairman Bill either.

Mr. Martel: He's becoming a Socialist.

Mr. Cassidy: My colleague from Sudbury East says the Premier (Mr. Davis) is becoming a Socialist. I accused him the other day of being a crypto-Socialist.

Mr. Foulds: No, no, you go too far. He doesn't have a principle --

Mr. Cassidy: That is right. One of the reasons the Premier has been successful -- and for all my differences with him I acknowledge that he has been a successful politician in terms of electoral support -- is because he has had the suppleness and flexibility that is either based on being a red Tory, which I doubt, or, I believe more likely, that is based on pragmatism carried to its extreme and the fact that he is a total stranger to any political principles as far as being a Conservative is concerned.

There are within the Conservative caucus, by my count, perhaps only four or five other Tories who are, by any stretch of the imagination, red Tories or who display that kind of suppleness and absence of principle. I asked Colin Vaughan from CITY-TV last night if he could name five red Tories, and after about 20 minutes he managed to get a list together. It is as hard as that. He mentioned the member for St. George (Ms. Fish), the Minister of Energy (Mr. Welch), the Minister of Labour (Mr. Elgie), the Minister of Industry and Tourism (Mr. Grossman) and the Premier himself.

An hon. member: That's two too many.

Mr. Cassidy: That is perhaps two too many. The fact is that unless the Conservatives can get a new leader who has that kind of suppleness and flexibility and pragmatism, they will take the kind of right-wing line one gets from the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (Mr. Walker), the architect of sunset laws who wants to sunset this entire province if he has his way; or the Minister of Education (Miss Stephenson), the only minister who is completely oblivious to truth and falsehood in the entire Conservative caucus; or the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller), genial Frank, who, if the parliament buildings were burning down, would say how nice it was to toast his feet in front of a fire; or the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry), a leadership contender, a man so blinded by his concern to serve all the interests of the police in this province, right or wrong, that he has totally abdicated any of the other responsibilities he bears in terms of being the chief defender of civil rights in the province; or the Minister of Natural Resources (Mr. Pope), who has treated this House to a display of juvenile blustering all the time he has been a minister such as I have not seen in 10 years; or the Minister of the Environment (Mr. Norton), originally thought of as a red Tory when he came into this place, who seems to be dissolving in a sea of environmental mush.

It seems to me those are the contenders for the mantle of leadership and the Conservative Party will not be able to carry on, as the Premier has, with one of those people. Not only that, that party has invested a great deal in the Premier. It has invested so much and put it all on one man. It sold him like soap during the course of the election campaign. It happened to work this time, partly because of the unfair election laws we have in the province. We are selecting a new leader, and the other day at our provincial council meeting I warned my party that one man alone cannot turn it around for the New Democrats. In the same way, one man alone as Premier obviously cannot turn this province around and the Tories had better learn that lesson.

I would add something else about the qualities that have been brought to Ontario politics by the Premier and his party, particularly since the minority government situation ended. We helped to humanize the Tories and that is one of the reasons we perhaps helped, and perhaps the leader of the Liberal Party helped as well, to give a majority back to the Conservatives on March 19, 1981.

We helped to humanize them because we were here in opposition, at times with and at times not with the other party, and we kept the Tories from fulfilling or implementing their baser instincts, their own worst instincts. It is now clear the Conservatives have learned nothing and forgotten nothing from the bad old days prior to 1975. I have never seen such displays of arrogance and contempt by the government as we have seen in the last few months, except that it reminds me of the days when Eric Winkler was the House leader and I was a back-bencher.

Mr. Foulds: Ugh.

Mr. Cassidy: My colleague from Port Arthur remembers that time. The Premier does not seem to understand the importance of this institution, of this Parliament. I was born in Canada and happen to have enormous regard for the parliamentary system. As a political scientist, I studied other systems of government -- the systems in America and continental Europe. Frankly, if there is any system I would rather work under, it is the parliamentary system. I think it is supple, I think it is flexible, it is capable, as we proved in this country and the British proved during the early 1940s, of responding to the challenges of war and other crises. It has a tremendous amount going for it. As well, it has 1,000 years of tradition.

1:50 p.m.

I said earlier that whatever our differences we are united in this province in terms of endorsing the principles of a parliamentary democracy. Those have been confirmed in the constitution which will be coming home shortly from Westminster.

But then we sit here and look at the way it is abused by the Premier and by his colleagues. Look at their failure in terms of understanding why it is important to have an informed electorate and the refusal to bring in freedom of information which has once again been rejected.

Look at the way the government has continued to treat the administration of this Legislature on a partisan basis despite the fact that, during the minority situation, we thought we had got somewhere in terms of getting the independence of the Legislature confirmed.

Look at the way the Speakership was handed out last March; the last crumb on the Premier's table after he got down to appointing his Ministers without Portfolio. He decided at the very last minute and put the poor member for Peterborough (Mr. Turner) into a very unenviable situation. I and my party have come into conflict with the Speaker. We have come into conflict, but we did not put him there; the Premier put him there. The Premier abused the system in putting the man there in the first place and faced the Speaker with a situation which I suspect is completely untenable.

Mr. Martel: He had 48 hours to learn the job.

Mr. Cassidy: Forty-eight hours to learn the job.

Further, we have a partisan who has consistently leaned in favour of the government who happens to be the Clerk of the House. Mr. Lewis was born on July 2, 1911, according to the Parliamentary Guide. That makes him 70 now. I think that is past the mandatory age of retirement for every other public servant, and I suggest the rules that apply to other public servants should apply to him.

Mr. Speaker, let me give you another example. This week there was a vote in the Hamilton city council which I know was very disappointing for the Premier and for the Minister of Transportation and Communications (Mr. Snow). By an 18 to eight vote, the council decided it would not go along with having an Urban Transportation Development Corporation demonstration project in Hamilton. That is a disappointment for all of us in one sense because I have seen the UTDC train. It is a good concept. It is probably at the leading edge in terms of technology for rapid transit in the world, as we demonstrated by winning the contract out in Vancouver a few months ago.

But the fact that this government decided it would exploit that whole transit stuff for the field of transit for political purposes has permanently soured an awful lot of people across this province and, therefore, destroyed or undermined the credibility of the UTDC.

I was up at the Ontario Science Centre some years ago when the Krauss-Maffei scheme was announced. We were told one would ride for a nickel down by the Exhibition grounds because this was such great transit and it was so cheap. We were told they would have it in Ottawa and in Hamilton. Ottawa is building bus ways now and is not having any of it. Hamilton has decided not to have any of it either.

There were sordid or rather shallow political deals by which the UTDC project is going to be installed in Scarborough. The people of Scarborough will lose transit for a year and a half so the demonstration project can go forward to the town centre.

Down on the Lakeshore here, the government is pulling wires with Metropolitan council in order to get a UTDC system that the city of Toronto sees absolutely no need for.

Then when we go across the country or across the world to try to sell good technology, the government has to face the fact that the technology is only marginally accepted here in Ontario. Why is it marginally accepted? It is because the Tories, instead of doing something that was right, consistently sought to exploit that for their own cynical political purposes.

This fall we have been questioning the government again and again about whether or not it is going to keep the promise with respect to the Board of Industrial Leadership and Development program that was the centrepiece of the election campaign back in the spring. I recall back in January the emphasis that was made about how the BILD announcements would have Ontario embarked on a "massive industrial expansion program aimed at creating jobs." The government said then that the principal economic goals were to ensure growth and high job creation, and it called job creation an imperative of our economic policy and talked about strong job performance continuing to be delivered by the Tories.

This fall, of course, the anthem changed and the Premier said: "Oh no, we didn't mean that at all. It is a selective program. No, it is not to create jobs this winter. Whatever made you think we would have enough employment over the course of this winter? It is not a cure-all. It is specifically designed to deal with specific sectors. Do not think anything more of it than that."

When I asked today about Woodstock, he said: "Oh, did we not tell you? Woodstock was not covered." Neither was St. Thomas, neither was Chatham, neither was Windsor. Many communities across this province were completely ignored in the BILD program. We have brought the evidence here and the government simply shrugs its shoulders and says, "We have a majority and you guys can simply go and sit out in the cold for the next three or four years."

The record of this session shows what we have now is a Tory government exactly like the government we had prior to 1975. In the course of a few short months, the Conservatives have shown they are repeating the mistakes they made before 1975. Those mistakes led them to lose their majority in the election of 1975 and the government is making the same mistakes, which will lead it to lose its majority in the election of 1985.

Be it recorded that not a word was said in the concurrence on the estimates of the Provincial Secretary for Social Development (Mrs. Birch). I know I digress but the reason is that not a word was said. Let me tell the provincial secretary, the reason nobody said anything is that in all the years she has been a minister in this government not once has she had a single substantive answer or done a single substantive thing on behalf of the people of Ontario.

We are facing the worst winter in 20 years in terms of unemployment. We may be facing a depression comparable to the one we had in the 1930s. A year ago, in November 1980, the government was prepared to bring in a mini- budget, which sought to get things going and create jobs over the course of the winter. This winter it did not do so.

Even you, Mr. Speaker, who sometimes wear a Conservative label -- fortunately not when you are in the chair -- would admit that the reason we had a mini-budget a year ago and did not have a mini-budget this year is that when elections loom the Tories get worried about the economy. When there is no election around, the Tories do not give a damn about the working people threatened by unemployment in Ontario.

Nothing could speak more to the priorities of this government than to see it speculating in the stock market in Suncor shares with a $650 million program and not prepared to come up with one single dollar or one single program in order to help to create work this winter for the people all across the province who are faced with massive unemployment.

In Terrace Bay, the mill has had a disastrous fire. Close to 1,000 workers are now faced with a prolonged period of unemployment. The government could have come in with a program to get those workers working in the woods over the course of the winter and help to maintain jobs in that part of northern Ontario. Nothing was done. In southern Ontario, the housing industry is in a mess. Homes are not being built.

If the government built homes now, it would create jobs for construction workers. It would create needed accommodation for people who cannot get a place to live and it would create jobs for those workers in the sawmills up in northern Ontario, most all of whom are having prolonged periods of layoffs and of unemployment. But not this government. It has $650 million for Suncor and not a thing for the working people of Ontario.

I want to say to you, Mr. Speaker, and I know when you are sitting in your seat you are a Conservative, that politicians can run dry. Being in office, being in government can be a draining experience. One starts to run out of ideas and to run out of stuff, to run out of energy, vitality and those kinds of things in reaching and reacting to the challenges that are there. That happened to the Schreyer government after eight years in Manitoba. The New Democratic Party took a rest for four years, elected a new leader and came back a few weeks ago in one of the most magnificent victories the NDP has ever had in its history.

2 p.m.

This is a government that has run dry in terms of ideas. We have been drifting in the course of this legislative session. The control of the legislative time basically has passed by abdication to the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Smith), to myself and to the two opposition parties. We have set the agenda this fall because the government, faced with the worst economic and social crisis this province has known in a generation, has had no agenda of its own in terms of coming up with solutions.

Perhaps I should correct myself. The government has had an agenda, but its agenda was one it drew from Jerry Falwell, Jesse Helms and all the apostles of the new right in the United States as well as from Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in Britain. It is clear that Thatcherism is backfiring. While it may be the Social Democrats rather than the Labour Party that takes over, whether it is Michael Foot or Shirley Williams, Britain is going to be a hell of a lot better off when the Tories go out and Margaret Thatcher passes to her just reward, which is perpetual opposition from now on.

I had a chance the other night to read an article in the Atlantic called "The Education of David Stockman," the young whiz kid who is the budget director for President Ronald Reagan and who came in at the beginning of this year. How disillusioned he is after only 10 or 11 months in office. He is now faced with a government that is going to have a budget deficit of perhaps $100 billion, who knows? They looked at it and said, "It cannot be;" so they changed the computer programs to try to pretend something better would happen.

This government is the same way. They pretend something better is going to come along, but they have no plans to achieve it. They have bought the nostrums of the neo-Conservatives, hook, line and sinker. They do not work in Britain, they are not working in the United States and they are not going to work in this country either.

Yet what happens? The Treasurer goes up to the federal Minister of Finance, Mr. MacEachen, and says: "Let us restore confidence by doing the same things as before. Let us give the loopholes back so that people earning $200,000 a year can escape income tax once again." That is a principle I certainly cannot subscribe to. He does not even have the good grace to suggest that if there are going to be incentives, everybody in the country, including those people in the fast track making $100,000 a year, have an obligation to contribute a certain minimum amount in taxes.

Why does he not say that, at a minimum, nobody in the upper-income brackets should get an incentive to bring his tax down to less than 20 or 25 per cent of what he earns so that everybody, and not just the working people, makes a contribution in terms of tax revenues to the needed things that we can only get through government here in Ontario and in Canada?

There was not a word from the Treasurer. He was mum as well with respect to the reduction of tax rates for high-salary earners from 65 per cent to 50 per cent. The Treasurer is prepared to cut taxes for the rich and not to cut taxes for people who are poor.

The Conservatives cannot come to grips with the problems of 6,000 people on the unemployment insurance rolls in Peterborough, thousands laid off in St. Thomas, Woodstock, Windsor, Chatham, Toronto and across the province; 300,000 unemployed in Ontario with even more people to lose their jobs in 1982. Even the Treasurer recognizes unemployment is going to go up, but he will not do anything about it. It is time they made way for the party that will.

That is why one of the things we have put forward over the course of the last few months and in the course of this budget debate is the need for an emergency program, a mini-budget such as there was a year ago prior to the election, that would come into force now.

I spoke to the NDP's task force on economic development a few weeks ago. I proposed that what Ontario should do is take the $650 million we are spending on Suncor and use it for a four-point economic program that would include immediate programs to spur residential construction to build affordable housing, and investment in the automobile sector through the creation of Auto-Canada, a crown corporation that would be designed to protect automobile jobs and to get a fair share for Ontario of auto production and parts.

It would implement the warm-up Ontario program for energy conservation which I proposed during the course of the election campaign. It would provide direct action to save farmers in the food industry by helping farmers with interest rates and with the costs of their own financial inputs. I think there is still time. If necessary, we could come back next week to see that program implemented in Ontario. I am ready, and I know my colleagues on the NDP benches are ready as well, because, by God, this province needs direct action now.

I said I wanted to look at the perspective over 10 years as well. We have had 10 years of shattered dreams and hopes under this administration. It is not just a matter of the last few months. We have had 10 years of inaction. We have had fiddling while our economy fell apart. Our social service system has been systematically cut back and our schools and universities starved.

When I came to this place in 1971, young people could look forward to a real future with real gains, with real jobs, with a secure environment and a place to stand. That is what the government promised: a place to stand. The place to stand they are promising young people today is a place to stand in the unemployment queues or leave the province. That is not good enough, as far as I am concerned.

Ontario was to stand at the cutting edge of the good society. I came into politics because I thought that we could achieve the good society and I would be able to contribute to that. More and more, that good society is slipping away. There was a fundamental turning point in the Conservative approach to government back about 1970 and 1971. Under Drew, Kennedy, Frost and Robarts, the Conservative Party was known as builders, as a group committed to expanding Ontario's wealth and base of services to the people. We may not have agreed with everything they did, but at least they were there as builders.

The Premier and leader of the Conservative Party has changed all that and has abandoned the good traditions of his party. Instead, he has moved in an utterly cynical fashion and turned the politics of substance into the politics of the superficial.

He moved from a debate about the basic issues of the day to American-inspired techniques of mass persuasion. I give one example. My friend the member for Sudbury East (Mr. Martel) and the former member for Hamilton-Wentworth, Ian Deans, were members of the select committee on economic and cultural nationalism, surely one of the crucial issues of the day in terms of the agenda for this province.

They came forward with first-rate research and a first-rate report in the early 1970s. Not a line of that report has ever been taken up for adoption by the Conservative Party since. Instead, the Premier created the Big Blue Machine, which is literally the last word in political cynicism in Canada today. The year 1971 is a long time ago; some of the members on the Tory benches were not even around at that point, perhaps were not even Tories at that time.

Let me go through the promises of the Brampton charter of five years ago to see how sorely we are losing, how far we are from the targets the government itself put out.

In the Brampton charter, the government promised 100,000 new jobs over the next decade. So far, we are bouncing along with 90,000 jobs per year. Unemployment has decreased in this province in only one year since the Brampton charter was announced. In 1977, unemployment was 280,000; now it is 320,000 and the forecast indicates it could be 400,000 in 1985. In 1982, we will be tenth and last with a projected real growth in our economy of 0.4 per cent.

Five years ago, the Brampton charter talked about a commitment to the continued security of food supply for all Ontarians. For up to 38 years, there has not been a long-term strategy for agriculture in the province. The Tories today specifically rejected long-term loans. They rejected land banking, which has been done by New Democratic governments in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

They rejected real interest rate relief. They rejected the moratorium we have been calling for, even though their provincial colleagues in Saskatchewan have voted for that. They have come up with a program which, at $60 million, is equal to only a bit over one per cent of the interest cost on the outstanding loans to farmers.

In the Brampton charter there was a commitment to a target of 900,000 housing starts over the next 10 years in Ontario. They had better get building because, instead of building 90,000 homes a year, the average so far over five years is no more than 56,000 homes. We have vacancy rates in rental housing of less than one per cent in Hamilton, Kitchener, Ottawa, Niagara Falls and Sudbury. It is 0.3 per cent in Toronto and, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the vacancy rate is 0.0 per cent the city of Oshawa. Six hundred homes have been repossessed in Essex county this fall because of the economic situation there.

2:10 p.m.

The idea of having a home of one's own is becoming a dream of the past. The Tories are looking for a way to abandon rent controls. When they brought in condominiums 10 years ago, they failed to give the same kind of thrust to co-operative housing. We could have as many co-operative homes in this province as we have condominiums if the Tories had not been ideologically wedded to the idea of housing for developers and housing for profit.

In the Brampton charter, the Conservatives made a commitment to reducing the municipal tax burden on senior citizens and, ultimately, to the elimination of this tax. They have not eliminated it. When one looks at the plight of senior citizens generally, 45 per cent of those senior citizens still live on an income of less than $5,000 a year. One hundred thousand senior citizens --

Hon. Mrs. Birch: That is not true.

Mr. Foulds: It is true.

Mr. Cassidy: The Provincial Secretary for Social Development should listen to that: the ones who rent and who live in Ontario's homes for the aged have, in fact, lost their $110 Ontario tax credit.

If I can be parochial for a minute, four or five weeks ago I met with about 75 very anguished and very concerned senior citizens who live at 415 MacLaren Street in an Ontario Housing Corporation development, an Ottawa Housing Authority high-rise in the heart of my riding. Those people have supported the Conservatives quite faithfully. More of them vote for the Conservatives than vote for me. They were asking me, "Why is it that after that promise made by the Tories, we are having such massive rent increases?"

It is ironic that while the rent increases granted by rent review had been averaging about 11 per cent or 12 per cent, the rent increases these people have had to pay at 415 MacLaren Street are 28 per cent in one case, 27 per cent in another case, 28.9 per cent in a third, 28.6 per cent in a fourth case and 44 per cent in another case. These are people who gave their names to me, but I cannot give their names because they do not want to have their names made public; they are afraid they might be victimized.

What kind of a government is it that makes a commitment to senior citizens and then turns around and savages them with rent increases that are higher than almost any private development anywhere in the province? In the Brampton charter, with all the fanfare, the government made a commitment to reduce waste and social spending and to ensure that the truly --


Mr. Cassidy: Where was the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing (Mr. Bennett) when I was talking about his shoddy record in housing, and why does that minister insist that the rights of private property always have precedence over tenants and people who want to have a home?

Hon. Mr. Bennett: No, no.

Mr. Cassidy: Oh yes.

Hon. Mr. Bennett: No. I said individual owners have the same thing.

The Acting Speaker: Order.

Mr. Cassidy: The honourable member should go a bit north, now that he is the member for Ottawa South and Russell Hill. He should go a bit north from there and see where people in apartments renting at $250 a month, who have lived in them for 10, 20 and in some cases 43 years, are now being evicted in order that those apartments can be replaced by town houses that will sell for $250,000. That is the minister's housing policy. That is what he has tolerated in the province. Low-income housing is systematically being eliminated in Toronto, and it is going to happen in other parts of the province as well.

Hon. Mr. Bennett: I presented the facts. You don't want to listen to them. You want to listen to your own facts. Keep them straight.

Mr. Foulds: Back to your cage, Claude.

The Acting Speaker: Order. The member for Ottawa Centre has the floor.

Mr. Foulds: Spit it out, Claude. Spit it out.

Mr. Cassidy: For 10 years, that great humanitarian, the member for Ottawa South (Mr. Bennett), has supported a government which in its compassion made a commitment in 1977 "to reducing waste in all social spending" -- they have done that to the point of being savage -- "and to ensure that the truly needy and those who serve them get adequate and fair support." I suppose those who serve them are the hospital workers who were savaged in that strike and they do not have the right to strike.

Mr. Martel: But not the interns.

Mr. Cassidy: Not the interns; that is right.

Mr. Martel : They can strike illegally.


The Acting Speaker: Order.

Mr. Cassidy: Let us talk about the truly needy and about adequate and fair support.

The Ontario Welfare Council has just brought out a report which indicates that between 1975 and 1981, for a mother with three kids on family benefits, the value of that woman's family benefits was cut, in real terms, by $945, or by almost $20 a week. It estimates that from 1975 to the present, the value of those family benefits was cut by 12 per cent to 25 per cent. God knows, it was bad enough in 1975.

In these days, the cost to rent a house in many parts of our province is equal to or greater than family benefits gives as an entire income for a family that has to receive family benefits. Ontarians who receive some form of social assistance now live on incomes that range from 31 per cent to 45 per cent below the poverty line. That is what the member for Ottawa South supports. That is the kind of humanitarianism and compassion we have had from this Ontario government.

The government said in the Brampton charter that it would continue the battle against inflation, now running at 12.2 per cent, by providing the private sector with opportunities for job creation. As I said before, the jobs are not being created and unemployment may exceed 400,000 before we get to the middle of the decade.

The government made a commitment to replace two trees for every one harvested henceforth in Ontario and to regenerate every acre harvested. How long do we have to wait before any of these promises actually get to be implemented? This promise was made back in the 1940s by George Drew as well.

I remember how the government resisted when my colleague the member for Sudbury East thought we would get the two-trees-for-one principle endorsed in actual legislation. Three years after the promise was made in the Brampton charter, James Auld made a speech to the International Union of Forest Research Organizations and admitted that out of 195,000 hectares cut annually, we were as yet able to treat only 80,000 acres, or 41 per cent. In fact, a smaller proportion of the forests is being regenerated today because of this government's policies than were being regenerated back at the time of the Brampton charter. Talk about keeping the promise!

In the Brampton charter, the government made a commitment to increasing the sale of Ontario goods and services outside of Canada by five per cent a year. I am not sure what they meant, but I know that in their background report, which was presented as part of the Board of Industrial Leadership and Development document, they recorded that Canada's deficit in end products exceeded $16 billion in 1980, six times the deficit recorded in 1970. Half of the manufacturing deficit comes from Ontario, because this is where half the country's manufacturing is located.

They made a commitment to decrease the size and expense of government in Ontario, resulting in -- remember this? -- a balanced budget by 1981. There are 12 or 13 days left in 1981, and I am not sure what the final figure is going to be, but the government projected the $1-billion deficit and now they have added $650 million, thanks to the purchase of Suncor.

In the Brampton charter, the government made a commitment to maintain the highest quality of health and hospital services based on a system that allows individuals to work together with their own doctors for their health and wellbeing. What it did not say then was that even today 25 per cent of the full-time physicians in Ontario are opted out; even today, 40 per cent of obstetricians and 60 per cent of anaesthetists are opted out in Ontario. That is not what we fought for when we fought for medicare in Saskatchewan, in Canada and here in Ontario.

Since 1974, Ontario health insurance plan premiums have increased by 95 per cent. Today, with the OHIP premium and Ontario taxes, a family with an income of $15,000 a year in Ontario pays higher provincial taxes than in any other province in Canada. That is the record of those compassionate, humanitarian Conservatives.

2:20 p.m.

The latest talk is that the Minister of Health (Mr. Timbrell) has now given freedom to the hospitals to charge what they will for private and semi-private beds. He talks about a bottom-line mentality. I suppose that means he is going to encourage the hospitals to put pay toilets on every floor for visitors to patients; they are going to start charging extra for a room with a view; they will have a Saturday night special; they will give specials such as 50 per cent off on gallstone operations in February and March. I can see it all coming, because that is what happens when one gets health care for profit rather than health care as a service for the people of Ontario.

In the Brampton charter, the government made a commitment to preserve an educational system of high quality with accessibility to higher education based on individual choice and individual merit. Talk to the people who want to go to Humber College next year to take theatre arts; there will be no first-year program, and nothing comparable to that is available in Metropolitan Toronto.

Talk to the people who want to take the career action program under the Ontario government. That program, which is the only initiative for youth employment this winter, has run out of funds at Algonquin College in my riding. It has run out of funds at St. Clair College, at Loyalist College, at Mohawk College and at Sault College in Sault Ste. Marie, despite the fact that 140,000 workers aged 25 or less, 12.9 per cent of our young workers, are unemployed today.

Financial support for university education has fallen behind all other provinces to the point where at the University of Toronto they have laboratories in lavatories. That is a scandal, but that is a situation the Tories have accepted and created.

I have visited many of the community colleges. They say to me, "How the devil can we do our job?" They say to me at Confederation College, Algonquin College and at Humber College, "How can we do our job in preparing this province for the technological changes of the 1980s when we are being forced to eat up six or eight per cent of inflation every year?" I cannot give an answer.

The Tories in Brampton made a commitment to the value of municipal government in the democratic structure of Ontario society. I suppose that is why provincial transfers to fund municipal governments have been declining and why the government has been systematically backing off. I suppose that is why the government has failed to implement the report of the Robarts Royal Commission on Metropolitan Toronto and continues to allow people like Paul Godfrey to be nonelected leaders of a government that is seemingly democratic.

The government made a commitment in the Brampton charter to balanced growth and development in the north. I suppose balanced growth is why Atikokan now has virtually no industry with the closing of the two mines at Steep Rock. It is the same at Capreol with the closing of the mine at Moose Mountain. I suppose balanced growth is why there has been no significant increase in secondary manufacturing in Sudbury despite the fact the day will come when the nickel will run out. There has to be something else in Sudbury to take up the slack if one really believes in balanced growth.

The government made a commitment to the pursuit of excellence in the fields of industry, technology, management and so on, so that all Ontarians might share in the collective pride and self-confidence that stems from living in an environment of progress and achievement.

I suppose that is the 30,000 people who had permanent or indefinite layoffs last year. I suppose that is the 169,000 people who were laid off permanently or temporarily in Ontario last year, according to the federal government. These fields had 92 per cent of all the layoffs in Canada. I suppose those are the people laid off in November this year when six workers an hour were being laid off.

This government's commitment was so shoddy and weak that it would not even reinstate the select committee on plant shutdowns and employee adjustment, which did some useful work a year and a half ago.

The government made a commitment to fair profit in terms of encouraging the free enterprise system. Why have they sat idly by while real wages have fallen but profits rose by 26 per cent in 1978, by 48 per cent in 1979 and by some further monumental amounts in 1980 and the first part of 1981? It is clear where their priorities lie. They are not with the working people of this province.

They made a commitment to reducing work stoppages and slowdowns through more advanced labour-management negotiations and through outlawing strikes, et cetera. They certainly outlawed strikes. We saw the way they were prepared to be vindictive with the Canadian Union of Public Employees workers. But they would not have the layoffs committee. They will not bring in first-contract legislation for the workers at Irwin Toy. They sat idly by through such things as the Radio Shack strike, Blue Cross, Boise Cascade, Maple Lodge, the CUPE strike and Irwin Toy.

Mr. Martel: But they did not touch the doctors.

Mr. Cassidy: They did not touch the doctors. That is something different.

They made no commitment in the Brampton charter to women's economic equality. We have made no progress on that since 1977 and, as I pointed out the other day, women today still get 0.5 per cent of the apprenticeships in Ontario. I spoke earlier about the lack of commitment to democratic and open government. They have a closed and arrogant government, no matter what decisions have to be made.

I go through that, because that is the record of the Conservatives. I compare it with what we have done. We have been an opposition party, but we have been a constructive opposition party. Sometimes we feel too much that it is our job to oppose and it gets to be rather tough; we like to be positive as well. But this party, under my leadership and before I became leader, has consistently been positive in making recommendations and putting forward programs that would benefit the people of Ontario.

We have proposed fundamental reforms in health. They have been ignored by the government. We have proposed fundamental reforms in ensuring equality in education. They have been ignored by the government. We have proposed that prosthetic devices be covered under the Ontario health insurance plan. That has been ignored by the government. We have proposed to save medicare and to stop doctors from billing extra. Instead, they were given a huge increase. The biggest increase of any group that works for the Ontario government went to the doctors under the Tories.

We proposed a manufacturing strategy. They came up with a cynical election document in the Board of Industrial Leadership and Development. We proposed automobile insurance to ensure that people do not have to pay extra by paying all the profits in auto insurance. It has been done in the western provinces and should be done here. It has been ignored by the Conservatives, despite the report of the select committee on company law. We have proposed effective legislation for worker health and safety. They finally passed a bill, and now they are not prepared to implement it.

We have proposed that the government move decisively with respect to Franco-Ontarian rights and that Ontario now be prepared to accept that section 133 apply to this province. I am proud of our record in that area. The government made a cynical deal with Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. We proposed to continue tenant protection while the government is seeking to undermine rent review. We made proposals with respect to women's economic equality. The government treats them with the back of its hand.

I am proud to have led my party over these four years. We have made something of a contribution. I wish it could have been more.

I want to say in conclusion that on Wednesday of this week virtually all my colleagues joined me on the picket line at Irwin Toy out in Mississauga, or is it Etobicoke? We were there for an hour and a half. When I heard the news yesterday that Irwin Toy had finally cracked, even though the final dispute is not resolved, I was proud of the women there who had the courage to confront an unprincipled employer, a man who thought it was fine to be a playboy in his Mercedes but not fine to pay his employees more than $3.60 an hour.

One of the reasons I am a Socialist, and one of the reasons I get angry and upset over what is happening in this province, is from talking with people like Winnie George, who was on the picket line when I was there on Wednesday.

Winnie George is a woman of about 30 who is West Indian by origin. She has lived in this city for a number of years and has a three-year-old child. Fortunately her husband works as well; so they have two incomes. She certainly could not live on her income at Irwin Toy. She takes home $230 or thereabouts every two weeks at the rate that prevailed at Irwin prior to the strike breaking out. She said to me, "I finally decided I was going to hang in with this strike, because there has to be a better way." Maybe she has won right now. Winnie George has to pay $100 every two weeks for day care for her child so she can go out to work.

I was reading the paper last night. It had a story about what is happening in Yorkville with the boom in retailing which is hitting one area and one area alone, the area of luxury goods. While angry farmers storm this Legislature, Creed's is having its best Christmas season ever and sales are $500,000 ahead of last year. While 100,000 workers were standing up on Parliament Hill, those luxury merchants were stocking up for a sales boom such as they say they have not had for many a year. While interest rates were forcing foreclosures on small businesses, farmers and home owners, the wealthy classes were buying. They were buying such items as an ashtray costing $214, just about what Winnie George takes home in two weeks; nailclippers in ivory for $165; a beach towel costing $210; or, if one is feeling a bit cold because of the energy shortage, a vicuna blanket from South America costing $5,400.

2:30 p.m.

That is the kind of system the government has; that is the kind of system the government supports; that is the kind of private property the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing (Mr. Bennett) thinks is so important when he ignores his responsibility as minister; and that is the kind of system I for one want to change. I am not going to give up trying to change that, because I happen to be taking a new role in my party. I happen to think the New Democratic Party will be able to come back and will be able to effect those changes and realize the dreams we have had for so many years in this province.

I want to say a word of thanks to all my colleagues in the Ontario NDP caucus here: the member for Sudbury East (Mr. Martel); my friend the member for Port Arthur (Mr. Foulds); the member for Bellwoods (Mr. McClellan); the member for Nickel Belt (Mr. Laughren); the member for York South (Mr. MacDonald), who has served this party faithfully and well and strongly for 25 years now; the member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick); the member for Hamilton East (Mr. Mackenzie), who is a labour critic without parallel in any party, any Minister of Labour, any labour critic in living memory of the Legislature of Ontario.

I want to thank the member for Lake Nipigon (Mr. Stokes), who likewise I believe did the finest job as Speaker that anybody in memory can recall in his tenure in your chair, Mr. Speaker; the member for Beaches-Woodbine (Ms. Bryden); the member for Oshawa (Mr. Breaugh); the member for Welland-Thorold (Mr. Swart); the member for Oakwood (Mr. Grande); the member for Algoma (Mr. Wildman), our finance critic who initiated this debate; the member for Dovercourt (Mr. Lupusella): the member for Etobicoke (Mr. Philip); the member for Scarborough West (Mr. R. F. Johnston); the member for Windsor-Riverside (Mr. Cooke); the member for Hamilton Mountain (Mr. Charlton); the member for Cornwall (Mr. Samis); and the member for Downsview (Mr. Di Santo).

I want to say a word of thanks to them all and also to Patrick Lawlor, Fred Young, Monty Davidson, Mike Davison, Ed Ziemba; to my colleague from Ottawa and friend, Evelyn Gigantes; to Janos Dukszta, Ted Bounsall, Bud Germa, Mac Makarchuk, Cohn Isaacs, Stephen Lewis, Ian Deans and David Warner, all colleagues and friends, who in the last four years have worked alongside with me for the ideals our party will continue to struggle for and fight for. I want to thank them for their hard work and support for me personally and for the people of Ontario.

I believe only a genuine movement of the people, the ordinary people of this province, galvanized to action and change and organized by a powerful party -- and that will be the New Democratic Party -- can remove the Tories from the government. That is the commitment on the side of the NDP and our pledge to the future of this province. I, for one, will move forward with this party from now on under a new leader from the convention we are having in the spring. We will be a united and powerful party, determined, democratic and always focused on the building of a humane and decent society in Ontario.

In the name of people like Winnie George, of all the Winnie Georges across this province, I want to reiterate the motion of the amendment to the amendment to the motion. I would urge all members to support that motion, the amendment we are putting forward: "This House rejects the increase in personal income taxes, OHIP premiums and regressive taxes and the refusal to increase taxes on private corporations and to end corporate tax concessions; deplores the failure to provide relief from high interest rates and to institute a housing speculation tax; condemns the lack of commitment to rebuilding our manufacturing sector and to creating employment opportunities;" -- how trenchant the motion of the member for Algoma (Mr. Wildman) was in the spring, because the problems have not changed from March until now -- "censures the continuing giveaway and mismanagement of our natural resources; and finally, disapproves of the underfunding of health and social services and the increasing dependence on user fees."

For these reasons the government no longer enjoys the confidence of the New Democratic Party, and I would like everybody to join with me in saying that, "for these reasons the government no longer enjoys the confidence of the House."

Mr. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I mentioned earlier that, depending on how things develop in the next week or so, this might be not only my last speech as Leader of the Opposition but my last speech in this Legislature. We shall have to wait a few more days to know whether that is a fact, but in many ways I have a series of mixed feelings on this occasion. While the six years I have spent as leader of this party and as leader of Her Majesty's loyal opposition have not always been easy, they have always been challenging and exciting. Therefore, although one looks forward to new challenges outside the Legislature and almost to one's liberty upon release from the bondage of this position, I think in fairness it is highly unlikely that there are many other positions I am likely to find in life with the degree of challenge, and the kind of excitement and tension that exist in this job.

It may be that much that follows will be epilogue. I hope not. I hope this has been prologue to more exciting things to come for my family and myself. I have the feeling it will not be easy to duplicate a job like this elsewhere. The one thing I am looking forward to, very honestly, is a position in which instead of having to criticize, cajole and otherwise direct folks who are in power I might find myself in a small way in a position where I can actually do what I used to do, as a physician and a scientist. That is, implement some ideas I feel are worthy of being implemented and then be judged by their success or lack of it. There is a certain satisfaction in that, rather than always having to tell other people what one thinks they should or should not do or ought to have done better.

That is not to demean the job of the Leader of the Opposition. As we see very plainly in Poland, in some ways the job of opposition is more important, more intrinsic to democracy, than the job of government. Lots of countries have governments but only democracies have oppositions. Therefore it is a role that has been for me and my colleagues, albeit frustrating, none the less, in any way one wishes to look at it, a very great honour. In my view there can be no doubt about that.

I feel I was one of a very small number of people to be given an opportunity of a lifetime to be the leader of a party of this kind, one for which I have very great respect. It has been an honour to be the leader of people of the kind I have associated with, and to have an important role in the conduct of this assembly with good people from all parties, all of them serving their constituents, their country and their province in the way they feel is best. This is an honour greater than anything else I have ever had in my life. I hope my contribution here has been constructive and helpful.

While it did not result in displacing my friends opposite as I would have liked and as they would not have liked, I do not regard my time here as a failure. I believe we were an effective, honest, decent opposition and we provided a good alternative for the people who in their wisdom chose not to elect us in the numbers required to form a government. There is no shame in that. I believe we have conducted ourselves with integrity and have improved the political life of Ontario. In that sense, I feel the time has been successful.

I have formed some friendships, though they are not always obvious. I have actually formed some friendships on the other side of the House and with my friends to the left, with a number of people I have very great respect for. I would hesitate to start naming individuals for fear other individuals might feel that reflected a lack of warm feeling when that might not be the case. I am especially happy to see some people for whom I have very deep respect and for whom I have grown to feel very great admiration over the years. It is not my style to be very outgoing in that respect. Even my own staff and my own caucus members have commented over the years that I tend to keep myself a little aloof.

I hope people understand that in no way reflects any lack of feeling for my staff, my caucus colleagues and even my friends in other parties. I have very deep feelings of respect for these people and very deep feelings of gratitude for being able to participate in the democratic process with people of such quality.

2:40 p.m.

I want to say a word about my friend, the member for Ottawa Centre (Mr. Cassidy), who is also giving up the leadership of his party. I believe whatever faults one might want to find in his policies from time to time, or even in the tone of this speech or that speech, whatever one might feel -- and he and I have our differences -- I honestly think he is an honest man and a very hardworking individual. I believe he gave more than 100 per cent of himself to his party and to the democratic process.

I believe he is a man who has accepted leadership and has conducted himself under very trying and difficult circumstances, yet I think he held his head up and conducted himself well even when life looked pretty difficult politically. I want to pay personal tribute to him on that level and wish him every kind of personal success in whatever he undertakes in the future.

I should just say, lest he is in any suspense about this, that although our party has some difficulty with one or two phrases in his motion of no confidence and the amendment to the budget speech, because we are more in sympathy than against the general thrust of that argument we shall be voting for the amendment and of course expressing our lack of confidence in the government. I am sure that comes as a tremendous surprise to my friends opposite.

I have the feeling the members opposite will get over the disappointment.

More than anything else, my six years as leader and my barely more than six years in the House have been a learning experience. Some might say I learned too little and even, I might admit perhaps, learned too late in some instances, but I do believe it has been mostly a learning experience. I have had the privilege --

Mr. Stokes: You learned well.

Mr. Smith: Thank you. Coming from the member for Lake Nipigon I appreciate that, I have great respect for him, as he knows.

I have had a chance to get to know a province that perhaps I did not know enough about when I took on the leadership. I have been treated well by the people. I have been received into their cities, their homes, their meetings, their churches and their businesses. I have had a chance to see the geography of Ontario, the very soil, the very rocks out of which Ontario is constructed, but most of all I have had a chance to meet the people and get to know them.

That is an experience money cannot buy. One could live several lifetimes and not get to meet the number of people I have had a chance to talk to, learn about their outlook on life, about how they spend their days, their hopes for their children and their communities. These are things which are really difficult to describe but they are the things that have made this experience worthwhile.

I think back to when I first came to this House. We were sitting over there and I remember I had the honour to sit behind my good friend the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk (Mr. Nixon). Having had him first as my leader and then my adviser and then my House leader after a period of time in which we were well served by the member for Kitchener (Mr. Breithaupt) as House leader, the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk is a man for whom I have the utmost respect and affection and for whom I will always feel undying gratitude. No one could have been better served by an outgoing leader and a righthand person, supporter, adviser and friend than I have been served by the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk and that has been a great honour.

I think back to when we were sitting over there and I made my first speech in the House. It was a very memorable occasion -- for me, of course; not for any other member of the House, I am sure. I think back especially of my naivety. If members have nothing better to do some time, they might look up that speech. The strange thing is that I honestly believed it. I am almost embarrassed to say this, but I honestly thought I could come into the House and make suggestions to Darcy McKeough, a man for whom I have great personal respect and affection. He is a man of great principle even if I disagree with some of those principles, but I happen to like Darcy very much.

I thought I could suggest from my bench in the opposition, to Darcy, some way we could solve the regional government difficulties, much along the lines of a recent bill the government has finally got around to introducing about the solving of boundary disputes. It is a sort of arbitrated settlement rather than regionalizing everybody.

I honestly felt I could make a constructive suggestion that we might get together and come to some agreement about. I do not see the Treasurer who was here a moment ago with his jacket. If he was anywhere near I am sure I would spot him. From my experience in teaching the subject of health care delivery at McMaster University, I remember honestly believing I could actually make some suggestions to the member for Muskoka, (Mr. F. S. Miller) who was Minister of Health at the time. I was going to suggest how to reduce some waste that I knew existed in the hospital system at the time without doing real harm to the core of our hospital system.

What happened eventually was that I found myself being quoted as an ally of his, when he went around shutting hospital beds mostly in my Liberal riding. That, I may tell members, did not make me very popular.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: It made me very popular.

Mr. Smith: It made the member for St. Andrew-St. Patrick popular with the Doctors Hospital but it did not do a lot for me.

The reason I bring it up now is because I have very mixed feelings about the difference I see in the man who stands before you now -- who, perhaps, has learned more about politics and the naive person who would have stood before the House six years ago. In some ways I almost wish the naive person were right and the present one wrong.

I almost wish the House could operate in a way so that decent people on all sides with good suggestions to make could meet and put the suggestions down and come out with compromises. I wish we could settle on helpful policies without always having to first posture in the newspapers and then set up the media and then see whether something could be worked out behind the scenes, while the reporters are busy writing what a good fellow he is and what an awful chap the other guy is. I do not know if there is any way that could be done.

In a way I am sorry that over the years, what I have learned, although it probably is reality, is relatively unpleasant compared with the naive picture I had of the place. I had another naive picture of the place before I came in, and that is that it was a place where issues would be debated. Please understand, I do not blame anybody for this. This is not a partisan speech members are going to hear today. Members will probably not even hear a word of criticism of the government. If that is a shock to them, they will understand --

Mr. Nixon: Not even for George?

Mr. Smith: I will try to find the occasional word for one or two of my friends, but it will not be too many.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: We knew we'd get to you eventually.

Mr. Smith: The member got to me a long time ago.

Mr. Stokes: The tragedy of it all is that you really are not understanding what he is trying to say.

Mr. Smith: In fairness, perhaps they are.

Fair is fair, but I thought when I came that issues would be debated. I had this naive view of the Legislature as a place where whatever the issue happened to be -- health care, economic policy -- the Premier would stand up or a minister would stand up and say what he believes on a certain subject. Perhaps he would talk for 20 or 25 minutes. The various other leaders or critics would stand up and do the same and there would be a debate, perhaps leading to a resolution, perhaps not, but subjects would be debated on occasion.

The press gallery would do its job by watching and listening to the various points being made and would inform the people of the stances being taken by various parties in the Legislature. I realize it sounds like sheer naivety. It was sheer naivety. But I still have a lot of difficulty understanding why that does not happen.

2:50 p.m.

I still have a lot of difficulty understanding why there has never been an occasion over the years, with the exception of the sort of artificial confederation debate we had in here, in which the Premier and each leader stood in the House and spoke consecutively. While the other two persons of this triumvirate would listen, each leader could have spoken consecutively for a reasonable time on a given topic -- 20 or 30 minutes let us say -- then sat down and in that way elucidated how we looked at the issues in our various parties. I do not know why we cannot do that.

I do not blame anybody for the fact that has not happened. I do not think it is a conscious decision on anybody's part to prevent it. Perhaps it is the role of the House, I do not know. I have talked to the member for Brant-Oxford-Norfolk (Mr. Nixon) about that. He has said it has always been that way too in his memory. But I regret it. I really do. I think it would not have been a bad thing.

Perhaps it sounds a bit like a university debating society. I do not really mean it that naively but it would not have been a bad thing to have issues debated with each of us listening to the other guy and maybe spending a couple of hours that way once in a while. But it has not happened that way. It has not worked out. So one loses one's naivety and tries to learn the game. Unfortunately the game is not always pleasant but I guess it is the way things work.

The other thing I know very well, and members do not have to tell me, is that in some ways I have not been what one would call "a member of the club." I have tended to sort of keep to myself a bit. I guess I have not really participated in a lot of the informal friendships at all the informal social gatherings and so on, which members have. I do not want members to feel that is because there is anything wrong with it; nor should members feel it is because I feel myself to be, in any way, sort of above it or beyond it or anything of that kind; nor do I feel it is because I feel I have been rejected, because I have not been rejected. It just is not my nature.

In that sense, perhaps I have missed out on an aspect of life in this Legislature. On the other hand, I guess I just have to be myself. It has been my style to avoid a lot of the social interactions that tend to go on. I want people to know that it is not for any reason other than it is just my nature; not because I lack respect for members or a feeling of friendship for members, it is just not true.

I admire the people who serve here. It just happens that I never did get to be a member of that club mentality. I do not know if I have suffered for it or not. I do not think I have. I think there is room in this Legislature for everybody to do things as they prefer. But it is something I have to note because, frankly, I think a lot of the bad press I used to get and a lot of the sort of inappropriateness that seemed to occur in some of the debates and so on is partly due to that. As I have been reflecting on it, I have asked myself whether, if I were to do it all over again, I might approach it differently. I do not think I would but I have had some reflections on it.

I want to say a few things about what little I have learned of what is happening in Ontario and in our great country, Canada, and perhaps what analysis I have been able to make of this situation. It is not a unique analysis. I do not suggest it is vastly creative or original but it is genuine. It is something I honestly believe and something which I have put a lot of thought into. Whether at the end of all that thinking I have come to a mundane conclusion will be for members to judge.

But if I can leave a few thoughts with the members, they should not do any harm over the holiday season. If they are useful that will make me very happy. If they are not useful I am sure they will join the many thousands of words that go into Hansard each day and each week and are forgotten and not mourned.

I am very impressed with the people of this province. I am also convinced that with our eight million people constituting the major population centre of this country they really are our main resource. We sometimes forget that because of the vastness of our geography.

But I ask members to reflect for a moment about the people of Ontario -- the farmers, the miners, the loggers, the people who have shown tremendous courage, tremendous steadfastness, great rockhard integrity -- people who have a willingness to work, to face difficulties.

I look at the immigrant communities we have in Ontario. The Ontario of today is not what it was 60 or 70 years ago. It is not even what it was 20 years ago. Look at the vitality in those communities. Look at the willingness to work, the willingness to take risks, the willingness to really put in that extra effort. Our immigrant communities are a source of enormous energy, power and strength. I sometimes have the sense that we are not harnessing that sufficiently.

I do not have an answer of exactly how to do it. But when I am among the various so-called ethnic communities, and I see the energy, the drive these people have, the belief they have in our country and in its greatness, I think the system is not working right when so many of these people are not drawn in to the very essence, the very leadership of our various commercial, bureaucratic and governmental efforts. I really believe we are missing out, that we have isolated many of these communities more than they should be, and it is to our great loss and detriment.

I look at our young people. I have had a chance to meet so many of them. I am very proud that my daughter is here today just to be with her mother and father on this occasion. But I look at these young people and talk to them. They are a tremendous generation of young people growing up in Ontario today.

These are people who, thank God, have not known war and who are being brought up by parents who also, generally speaking, thank God, have not known war. These are people who have a great optimism about the world. They want to contribute. They have energy. They have enthusiasm. They have tremendous natural talent and, God knows, they are growing tall.

I find it absolutely amazing to see this new generation. They are a tremendous generation of people. It honestly worries me -- and please do not take this as a criticism of any government in Ottawa, Queen's Park or anywhere else -- that all of us collectively are not perhaps providing the system these young people are going to need if they can bring their talents, their enthusiasm and their desire to bear to make a maximum contribution to our society and its advancement.

I look at our factory workers. I hear all kinds of things about unions, about strikes and everything else. But comparing our factory workers to any group of industrial workers in the world I think they are a very law-abiding, basically very loyal group of people who, if given proper direction and management want to do a decent job. That has been my experience with the working people in the various industries of this province. I think, frankly, we are lucky to have people in the industries who are basically not disruptive by nature. They would rather do their work and get on with it if given a choice, and fundamentally are law-abiding, co-operative individuals.

So I really have to ask myself a key question, one I puzzled with for six years: why have we not harnessed the vitality of our people into tough competitive teams that could take on the best the industrialized world has to offer? It is a very important question.

There are some success stories. There is the story of the steel industries, of Mitel Electronics, but these generally are not well known and there are not enough of them.

3 p.m.

But look, my friends, we are supposedly the manufacturing centre of this great country. Yet Canada has now amassed, in this coming year, a deficit in international trade and manufactured end products that has reached the astronomical total of $23 billion. I remember when it was $2 billion and we thought it was shocking, then $7 billion, then $8 billion, then $16 billion and now $23 billion.

What this means is that, generally speaking, in the industry of making things we are having the pants beaten off us by other parts of the world. Yet we have the people who have the brains, the willingness, the vitality to be competitive in the world and to do as well as anybody else.

It is wrong when 37,000 people, mostly young and skilled, leave Ontario for western Canada. Not that it is wrong that anybody goes to western Canada, of course not. There is great opportunity in the west and thousands will go there to seek those opportunities. That is wonderful. Our country is opening up and there is nothing wrong with that. But a lot of people, let us be honest with ourselves, are leaving because of a lack of opportunity here. That is a different story.

It should not be that way because we can all live on western resources, but if we do not hold up our end of things in the manufacture of products, sooner or later the folk who move out west are going to wonder why their efforts should be expected, and their resources should be used, to keep going a large population base that is not paying its own way in the world. That is going to divide our country in a way that is already beginning to show in the east-west problems we now have in Canada.

I had to ask myself: "How did this happen? Why with such great people are we not utilizing our human resources to compete with the rest of the world?" My first answer to this, about five years ago, was that there was too much confrontation. I felt we had government on one side, business on another and labour on another, and that we failed to work together. The more I look at it, however, the more I feel that is more a symptom of the situation than the root cause. Whenever things are not going well, people do not want to share either authority or money. I do not believe confrontation is the main problem, although it is a problem.

I next looked at this question and came to the conclusion, which I think is closer to the truth but still not the whole truth, that our problem is our branch-plant economy. After all, if most of our manufacturing is owned by foreign owners and they have their major enterprises outside this country, naturally they are only going to use their branch plants here in most instances to produce things they develop elsewhere. They will not do the research and development. They will not inspire the worldwide attitude, the competitiveness that, let us say, a local enterprise, developed locally with great ambition, might otherwise inspire. I think there is truth in that.

I do not think there is any doubt it is true that the control of our manufacturing industry from abroad is one of the reasons we have insufficient research and development in our province and to a great extent in our country as well. Although they are interchangeable in many respects, our country and our province, unfortunately manufacturing is mostly located in Ontario and therefore whichever view one wants to take, national or provincial, it ends up that we have to do something about it as Ontario citizens.

I noticed even when the dollar fell some time ago Canada did not benefit. The reason was that the branch plants still imported their components from the mother company at an agreed-upon price between the mother and daughter companies. Consequently, we are so controlled from abroad that even having a lower dollar does not help us. There is the symptom, which I think is an important one. But it still begs the question. That is what I want to discuss today. I will not be much longer.

Why are we so branch-plant oriented? Why are we the only country in the world that has such huge foreign control of our manufacturing enterprises and our industries generally? There is no other developed country that comes even close to the level of foreign control we have in Canada, and particularly in Ontario -- no other at all. Our own domestic market is penetrated fully to the tune of one third by foreign-made goods. No industrialized nation comes even close to that high a foreign penetration of its own market. That is just unheard of in other industrialized nations. Of course, it is true in Zaire, but it is not true in industrialized countries.

I have to ask why that is. Why are we somehow satisfied to be on the fringe of great industrial enterprises elsewhere and take the spinoff and let them set up branches here, rather than getting in there with a burning desire to start our own enterprises and take on everybody in the world, the Americans, the Japanese, the Europeans? Why do we somehow not have that fire in our bellies that would enable us to go out there and be competitive?

I have puzzled about this because I look at the people, and the people seem to me to have everything required, and I do not have to tell anyone we also have the natural resources. In a funny way, the fact that we have the natural resources is probably the reason we have not learned to rely on the human resources. That is the conclusion, in essence, I had to reach.

I spoke to my friends from Japan. Very plainly, as they look at each other on their little islands, the Japanese recognize they do not have anything but each other. They have nothing else over there. So, like it or not, they have organized themselves with a strategy, with group efforts of various kinds, and they are going out and taking over the industrial world today. There are plans in Japan to be the most powerful industrial nation on the face of this earth within the next 10 years. Furthermore, they honestly feel, according to a recent symposium sponsored by the Globe and Mail -- and the papers delivered at that symposium are fascinating -- they are going to be the financial centre of the world in just another decade or two.

They believe that the Pacific area, the Pacific rim and mainland Asia, will be where world power will shift as time goes by, and they are well placed to become the industrial centre of this world. They are well on the way to doing it now. In talking with them, they will say at any given moment what their five priority industries happen to be, and they change them every three years or so.

Why have we not organized ourselves as well? The only answer I can come to is the fact that we have not had to do it. Necessity is what brings about great creativity and great effort, and we have not had to do it. We have been able to be relatively complacent, and we have been able to live very well on our resources, essentially, and on the spinoff and spillover from our rich friends in the United States of America.

I have to go a little further. Our history contributes to that. There is an elite that runs our country, an elite which is largely a corporate elite, to some extent a bureaucratic one, much less a political one and much less an intellectual one. Having had a chance to meet on a personal basis most of the bank presidents, most of the large finance people in Ontario, the heads of about every large industry in this province, I honestly believe two things. First, they are good people who honestly believe themselves to be good Canadians. Second, they have adopted, unconsciously for the most part, a policy and a view of this nation that has more confidence in its resources than in its people.

The people who make the fundamental decisions in this country are quite prepared to lend money to large American enterprises to come in and exploit or manufacture our resources when these same people are not prepared to put their effort behind a struggling Canadian company that might be interested in the same field of endeavour.

3:10 p.m.

They honestly believe the dollar knows no boundaries and that, living beside the United States of America and being a country with a relatively small market, we really have no choice but to link ourselves in industry to a continentalist view and to retain our autonomy by the use of our resources.

We can retain autonomy that way. The Americans will gladly permit us to fly our flag as long as they have pretty well unrestricted access to our resources at a fair price. We can fly a flag. We can pretend we are autonomous. We can pretend we have independence. But for Ontario this does not bode well.

If we go this route of continuing to depend on the continentalist view of industry and on resources as our only source of wealth, our country will be less autonomous but, more than that, Ontario's traditional industries will not be able to provide the employment our people will require. Things will wind down even when Americans start buying cars again. There still will be thousands of jobs lost in the auto industry, just as an example. That is true of almost every other industry because the technology is changing.

Unless we change the attitude which says we will live on our resources and let the Americans take the risks for us in terms of branch plants, I say right now -- and I am not saying this to get votes because I cannot get any more -- we will decline just as the northeast of the United States has declined. We must turn our attention away from this dependence on foreign capital, foreign ownership, foreign ideas and foreign development and depend on our people and their abilities.

There are many signs that we have chosen to depend on our resources rather than our wits and the ingenuity of our people. I will review some of the signs briefly.

I have already mentioned our trade balance in manufactured end products. It is a $23-billion negative balance. I have talked about the degree of foreign control and about the fact we do not lend money to our own people. Our major banks have the lowest loss rate for bad debts of any major banking system in the world because they never take risks. Why should they take a risk by lending money to some poor, struggling middle-sized Canadian company when they can lend the money to a large American company to come in, buy out the small Canadian enterprise and make it a branch plant?

They say it is safer to lend to the big aggregations of capital. They say they have an obligation to their shareholders. So they have the lowest loss ratio in the world and we have the largest degree of foreign ownership in the world. We have sold the country using our own money because two thirds of the assets in this country today which belong to foreign people and foreign enterprises were purchased with money earned or borrowed in Canada. It is an amazing figure and something worthy of reflecting upon.

Does the House know Canadians have the highest amount of life insurance and other forms of insurance of any people in the world? Again, we are so security conscious. We have to reflect on that -- the lowest loss ratio for our loans to businesses and the highest amount of insurance.

One does not make it in the world competing with the Japanese, the Americans, the Germans and the Swiss by playing safe all the time. Yet we seem to feel that is what we have to do.

Look at the great projects in our history, all the ones we talk about such as the Canadian Pacific Railway or the great improvements in the Algoma Central Railway and the forest products industry which grew up in northwestern Ontario. In almost every instance, thank God not all, these were foreign inspired, sometimes using government money, of course, but they were foreign-inspired ideas brought by thinkers from other lands.

An American will come here and say, "I am willing to bring in money from my friends, the Rockefellers, or my friends in Texas and we can fix up this piece of forest, put a railroad through here and start an industry there." Canadians historically sat back and said: "Can you, sir? Really? You will do this for us? Isn't that terrific." We reaped great benefits from that because we did not have the technology or the pools of capital. We were a colony.

When are we going to shrug off that colonial mentality? When are we finally going to accept that we have pools of capital in this country and that people do not necessarily do us a favour when they come in and teach us how to exploit our resources? We are not stupid any longer. We have educated people, technology, science, training programs and a population that is capable of handling its own projects of this kind. Yet we spend our money begging other companies to come in and do things for us.

Look how we have failed to do enough training of our own people. Why is the population so complacent about that? They have not been bothering the government about funding universities. Let us face it, there has not been much public outcry about that nor about the lack of good training programs for our working people, even though many of them will shortly be rendered obsolete by the new technologies. Our people do not seem to get excited about that because we seem to lack confidence in our human resources and our ability to develop them.

In this country, we do not have an industrial strategy as the Japanese have. Look at inventions. I remember hearing a radio program not long ago -- perhaps some of the members heard it -- which asked would one believe that this, that and the other thing was actually invented by a Canadian. Everybody shakes his head and says, "Gee, I didn't know that." Recently there were a whole lot of different inventions by Canadians and everybody says, "Gee, I didn't realize that."

Why did we not realize it? We did not realize it because in 99 cases out of 100, after the Canadian invented it it was developed in another country. That is why we do not realize it. If we had huge companies here based on these Canadian inventions, we would know about it.

Somehow we as Canadians have come to define ourselves in terms of our land, our geography, our water, our mountains and our forests. We think of ourselves in terms of the land, the rock upon which this country is built and we do not have that same inner confidence in ourselves as people as we have in the very geography, the topography of the nation. It is a subtle thing. Even the confidence we do have in ourselves as individuals usually relates to our sense of ourselves as being able to survive in a sometimes barren, tough, desolate and frequently cold existence as happened with our pioneer forefathers and happens now in many Canadian communities.

Even when we do have confidence, it is frequently in terms of our response to the land rather than our sense of ourselves as being ingenious, shrewd, tough, clever or competitive. We rarely think of ourselves in those terms. The immigrant communities do, but strangely we do not. We think of ourselves more as enduring, as lasting despite the tough winter's night most of us have to go through. It is a strange aspect of the Canadian cultural mentality.

If we continue that way, little by little our industries will grind down, our young people will go west, our country will become more of a portion of a continentalist entity, our autonomy will be less and less meaningful and Ontario will play a much lower role than need be in our great country of Canada.

The answer is for us to have as much confidence in ourselves as people as we have in the land and its resources so that we can marshal those resources to our benefit. That means we must organize ourselves. We must work with our financial elite to make certain it is the Canadian entrepreneur who is given the break. We must see the world as having potential for our market. We must train our young people. We must take risks.

We must tell our story, have national heroes, teach our history in the schools, tell the story of financial and personal successes, make Canadians proud of our people, not just our territory and the great land the Lord has given us, but rather, in addition to that, make us proud of ourselves as people who can take on all comers.

3:20 p.m.

We are going to have to live by our wits because if we will not live by our wits and our ingenuity then we shall decline as a province and our country shall lose its autonomy, little by little, if it bases it solely on natural resources. We are going to have to have confidence in ourselves as people. We are going to have to invest in our people, train them, organize them, learn to work together in different groups and basically see ourselves as people who are every bit as good, as tough, as clever and as competitive as any people on the face of this earth.

If we do that, with the gifts we have already received by being citizens of this great province in this wonderful country, I am convinced we can make a future for our children that is even greater than any that has been dreamed of in the past. But first we must believe in ourselves as much as we believe in this great land.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Mr. Speaker, I will have one or two observations to make about the speech from the Leader of the Opposition. I would like to make one reference right at the outset. After listening to his observations, I sense he is going to encourage his colleagues to vote in support of the government. I cannot gain any impression other than that as a result of his observations and I certainly welcome it. In case I am not quite correct in that assumption, I will take a very few minutes to try to persuade the distinguished members of both opposition parties as to the merit of supporting the very excellent budget of the Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller).

I shall not be too lengthy in my observations, which I know will disappoint members opposite, but I do have one or two observations to make. Because of many things that have happened in the last couple of days, I regret I was not able to hear the leader of New Democratic Party in his final speech as leader of the party in this House. While I missed some of the beginning of the member for Hamilton West's observations, I did hear a goodly portion. I am sure the leader of the New Democratic Party will understand if I do not comment at great length on some of his observations.

I feel we are all part of a political process. As a former member for Sudbury, Elmer Sopha, once said, as he did every year while sitting over there, "Reorganize the cabinet of Ontario." He did it with great enthusiasm and great delight and always pictured himself as being on the Treasury benches at some point, but he did it with wit, a certain fairness and a certain sense of humour. I have never felt in this House, particularly on occasions like this, that there is a great deal of purpose being served in, shall we say, sort of zeroing in on the personalities of people. We do it on occasion. I may even have done it myself, although I cannot remember any occasion when I might have.

I would only say to the leader of the New Democratic Party that I guess this House is this House. If he wishes to make observations about the very distinguished Clerk of this House, that is his right. If he wishes to be critical of one of the great members of this House, a very distinguished member of cabinet and one of the great ladies in this province, the Provincial Secretary for Social Development (Mrs. Birch), that is his privilege.

He can use some of the phraseology he did. It may have given him some comfort, some consolation. Perhaps it may give him a sense of power. I do not know what it gives him to go the route I understand he went a few moments ago.

I have lived in this House for close to 22 years and I know what it is like. I know the motivations that guide all of us. But I would only say to the leader of the New Democratic Party -- in spite of the very personal observations he made, I know borne out of frustration, perhaps a sense of inadequacy, who knows what motivates people in speeches of that nature -- that I will not reciprocate.

He will understand if I tend to ignore most of the things he said in what was, I assume, his last major speech, certainly as leader of that party in Ontario, except to simply say this: in spite of what he has said, on behalf of my colleagues we wish him well and we wish him well with sincerity. That is all.

This debate is traditional in one sense, coming as it is close to Christmas. It is a time not just to discuss issues of the past several months but to spend a few moments anticipating, to the extent one can in government, what the future may hold for us as well. It is a time to review, a time to recognize what this House has accomplished, the directions we have taken and the challenges that remain in front of us.

I can be fairly objective in my assessment, not just of the Treasurer's great budget but of many other activities in the House. I know we confront one another on occasion and we debate with one another. That is the system. I respect it and I understand it. I do not always like it, but that is the system. I think on balance it works relatively well. When the government does not do those things the members opposite feel it should do, I know they always desire to bring these matters to the attention of the public in as aggressive a posture as they can. That too is part of the system.

I also think there are those occasions when members opposite actually share quietly with the government of the province some of the positive accomplishments that are not quite as controversial. That too is human nature, part of the system, and one that we understand.

I have not had an opportunity to keep up to date with the newsletters and weekly columns written by members opposite, but I remember the former member for Huron-Bruce -- if I have the right riding -- I used to read his columns with great regularity and I enjoyed them, because he used to write those columns as though he were a member of the government. In fact, most of the major policy announcements that were made that had a positive influence, I really thought he had been the minister responsible for the introduction of those policies.

Every week or so he would have the odd column where he dissociated himself from government. He pointed out that his true affiliation lay in some other direction, and proceeded to be critical. That too is part of the system and I appreciate it.

I can go up to the riding of the member for Victoria-Haliburton (Mr. Eakins), I can talk to friends of mine who, on occasion, support him, except at election time. They say, "He is a very nice fellow, he really is a Conservative at heart. He comes back to our town of Lindsay." I know some of his friends, but I have to tell him that at home he is one of the greatest Tories I know. I think that is tremendous. It is part of what makes us all function.

It is true of the gentleman on his right, the member for Quinte (Mr. O'Neil). I go into his riding. He does not invite me with great regularity but when I am there he treats me extremely well. There were some days when I thought he was a member of our party. I was not sure just who belonged to which.

3:30 p.m.

Mr. O'Neil: Just keeping an eye on you.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I know the member keeps an eye on me, and I appreciate it. That is really how politics in the broader sense should work. We have a party system that has to be here. We are part of it; we have grown up with it. The parties opposite, of course, are finding this out in abundance, particularly at this moment and I know for the next -- what is it, six or eight weeks?

I am looking forward to those discussions. I have a series of comments made by some of the aspirants to that important office held by the member for Hamilton West (Mr. Smith) that I have decided not to read, because I think they are irrelevant. As I listened to the tenor of the observations from the member for Hamilton West, I decided not to read them. I may use them some time in March or April, as they relate to the successful candidate, but I should warn the member for London Centre (Mr. Peterson) that we do keep track of the things the member says in various parts of the province. We have them all catalogued. We know exactly the policies he is enunciating, and we know they differ from one part of the province to another as he seeks delegates from here and delegates from there.

I cannot help but observe to the member for Kitchener (Mr. Breithaupt) -- and I say this in a very kindly fashion, because very few people know it, and he will never confess it at the Liberal convention -- that we are very distantly related by marriage. I say that to the member for Kitchener, as he will never mention --

Mr. Breithaupt: I am trying to make the distance even wider.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I know the honourable member is trying to create as much distance as he can. But I read observations that he is trying to create for himself the image of the present Premier of Ontario, a man of some substance. I have to tell him that he has not been noticing me very carefully. I have reduced some of my substance. I think he should do the same. He is a man of stability, a small-c conservative.

I happen to know his family very well. His uncle used to share part of the summer with my father, and they used to debate politics. We always came away from those discussions saying the former Lieutenant Governor and member of the House of Commons, Louis Breithaupt, whom I call Uncle Louis because of marriage, was far more Conservative than my late father.

I know the member's family; I know it is Conservative at heart. I know he will go to that Liberal convention and say: "Vote for me. I will give the Liberal Party new direction, but inwardly I am a Conservative and that will give me the best of both worlds." I know that is exactly how he is going to do it. I wish him well.

I wish the member for Kitchener-Wilmot (Mr. Sweeney) well. I wish the member for London Centre well, and the member for Hamilton Centre (Ms. Copps). She has a dimension aesthetically that none of the rest of the members can add. I have to tell the members, if the convention makes its judgement on that, the fellows might as well all stay at home. I tell them right now.

I also hear rumours that others may enter the lists. I wish them well too. I hear rumours of federal intervention. I know the members of the Liberal caucus of Ontario would never tolerate the intervention of a federal Liberal bringing with him, as he would, the MacEachen budget and all those things.

I am the last one to give the members opposite any advice, but I would never let a federal Grit into the Liberal Party of Ontario. It would be their demise. It would be the end. Much as I like opposition, I would hate to have the New Democrats once again as the official opposition for the next 10 or 15 years in Ontario.

Mr. Breithaupt: You would have one less friend.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I have to tell the member, I have always considered him a friend. I mean, I hope the press will report that I consider the member for Kitchener as a friend. That will do him well at the convention.

I cannot leave out the father-in-law of the member for London Centre. I know him to be a nice guy. My only problem is the member for Kitchener-Wilmot. I say to that member, since I do not know any of his relatives, I cannot help him at all.

Mr. Brandt: Because of that, he will win.

Hon. Mr. Davis: One of my own loyal back-benchers says, "Because of that he will win." Who was that? It is obvious the career of the member for Sarnia (Mr. Brandt) in this House may be limited.

However, I do wish the members all well. I have been through the process. I know what it is like. It is inspiring, it is fun, it is hard work. I only hope they do not have as many snowstorms in the next six or eight weeks as I experienced in 1971.

I will not comment on the leadership race in the other party opposite. I personally do not see a ray of light occurring for that party in any event. It just ain't going to happen. It does not matter who they select; because of their philosophy, they are destined for that 18 to 20 per cent of the popular vote in 1985, 1989, 1993, on and on. The member for York South (Mr. MacDonald) knows this. He has been here a long time. He has not seen the percentage of the popular vote change very much.

That is why I hear rumours that if the member for Scarborough West (Mr. R. F. Johnston) is not successful -- and I will speak for my colleagues here, we wish him well. We do not know this other guy, except I did know him once. He was up in the gallery when the member for Sudbury was talking about student representation. The member for Riverdale (Mr. Renwick) remembers this. He was one of those students who were being provocative in those days, as I recall, talking about student representation on boards of governors. He was up there. That is my only exposure to him, except when he wanted more student aid. So I do not know him well, but I know the member opposite well. We would be delighted to have him as the leader of the party. Can I say that for all of us? That is the way it should be.

Mr. R. F. Johnston: I can stop campaigning now.

Hon. Mr. Davis: That just finishes the member's fate. However, I quite sincerely wish him well. A lot of people who have not gone through it do not know that it is a bit of a traumatic experience. So our very best to him.

I have not been invited to either convention. I feel left out. I really thought I would be the keynoter at the Liberal convention, certainly after the number of occasions on which the leader of the Liberal Party of Ontario told me just how closely associated we were with the Liberal Party. Why am I not the keynote speaker? I cannot understand it.

Mr. Peterson: Because you are no good.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I have to tell the member for London Centre that is a better answer than he usually gives. I have to make this observation to him: It takes one to know one.

Mr. Peterson: My mother-in-law is on my side, and my father-in-law is coming over. Just so you know.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I have news for the member for London Centre. He will be lucky if he gets his brother.

I have to say to the member for Ottawa East (Mr. Roy) that we are disappointed on this side. Maybe he is the one who is going to get in at the eleventh hour. Maybe at some moment about two weeks before the convention he will call a press conference and say it is obvious the membership of his party needs somebody who brings a different point of view --

Hon. Mr. Grossman: It has to be Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, though.

Hon. Mr. Davis: They need a leader who is going to lead their party on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays of every week, who I sense really has his mind and heart set on the Supreme Court of Canada. That is his ultimate objective, nothing so mundane as the leadership of a political party.

I expect when I retire, if and when I do, which is highly unlikely, but if I ever do, I will appear as a lowly barrister before the chief justice, Albert Roy, for the great province of Ontario, as he makes his constitutional judgements of which, if they are no better than the legal advice I get from him here, I would be in fear and trepidation.

Mr. Peterson: They'll be better than that of the present Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry), I will tell you that.

Hon. Mr. Davis: What does my friend mean? I have an Attorney General. Where is he? I had an Attorney General. Where is the Attorney General? Somebody get him for me. I need some help here. I have an Attorney General somewhere in Ontario.

Mr. T. P. Reid: He got picked up by the RIDE program.

Hon. Mr. Davis: Oh, no. That is one thing about our Attorney General. None of the members opposite will ever take him for a ride. That much I will say.


Hon. Mr. Davis: Who is chuckling down there? You people are to pay attention as your leader speaks. I say to the member for Humber (Mr. Kells), I do not want to be interrupted.

I ask the leaders opposite, and I do not say this to be provocative, as leader of any political party would either of them not be proud to have such a distinguished, dedicated, loyal, competent group of people representing the government's interest in the parliamentary affairs of this province? Applaud yourselves.

3:40 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Davis: I want to make it clear to my colleagues, because I can tell they are wondering about the tenor of my remarks, that I did have lunch today, but I had my usual double soda, in case any of them are assuming anything else. I, too, am concerned about the Attorney General's RIDE program.

To deal with one or two issues of substance: I cannot go through all the legislation, but I want to refer to one bill which I think is symbolic of the process and which is at the same time an indication that in this area, this province takes a back seat to no other jurisdiction anywhere in Canada or anywhere in North America. I refer to Bill 7.

It was a bill that caused difficulty. It was a bill that provoked substantial debate, but it was a bill that indicated to the people of this province -- and I give members opposite some credit for some of the modest modifications that took place -- that on the very important and fundamental issue of what we as Ontario legislators feel about our society, our concern for our fellow human beings, we have put ourselves on record in terms of those amendments to the human rights code in a way that puts Ontario once again in the forefront of recognizing the sensitivity, the humanity and the civility that have to be part of our way of life here in Ontario.

I cannot think of any other more symbolic or important piece of legislation in this past session that really relates to what we feel as individuals about other people -- people who are not as fortunate as ourselves in many respects, people who have had to struggle in terms of their place in Ontario society.

I can recall as Minister of Education, and this is perhaps why I am somewhat caught up in this subject, when the late Alex MacLeod -- a former member, who sat with one other member as a very major political party, the two of them, and who was somewhat involved with the human rights commission -- came to me, as Minister of Education, and sought not my support but the use of my office and that of the Ministry of Education to communicate to the school system of this province the activities, the function and the philosophy of the human rights code. It was something we started together that I felt was important in terms of getting across to the young people of this province what this kind of policy and what this kind of legislation mean.

We have seen it evolve. We have seen progress being made. We have seen society change very fundamentally over the past 15 or 20 years. We see it in the makeup of this Legislative Assembly. We see that this House has changed in terms of its membership. I am not referring to the numbers on either side of the House. We see it in our urban areas; we see it in our rural communities.

Without getting into any of the specifics, I think this bill as a symbolic measure is an indication of where this province stands, in spite of the controversy, even a little bit within our own party. Some people in our party had reservations about some sections of the bill. But that is the price of leadership. That is what we understand. None the less, it has been passed. And it has been passed not just by the government -- it was not a case of using the majority in the democratic and parliamentary system -- but by members of this House, because I think we all share that commitment.

I could single out other areas of activity but I shall not. I will move to some aspects of the economy, because I do want to relate to and comment on two or three of the observations made by the member for Hamilton West. I made a very brief observation in the opening of my estimates -- where I was faced with so many hard-hitting questions, none of them related to the modest budgetary items in the Premier's Office and the Cabinet Office. I do want to make some general observations about the economy.

I know what the Leader of the New Democratic Party was saying. I know what all of us are saying. We are concerned in this province. No one is going to minimize the impact or the influence of the existing economic situation. No one is attempting to minimize it. Nor are we as a government saying that we have the panacea or the solution to every single problem that exists. But I think it is incumbent upon us as well to keep these issues in perspective. It is easy to emphasize the problems. It is easy to emphasize the negatives, but I think it is also essential to recognize that in so many areas this province, even in spite of the problems, has been making significant economic progress.

I am not going to get into the numbers game. I am not going to remind all of us that we have created, even with the situation, some 114,000 new jobs, year after year. I am not going to mention some of the growth in some sectors, because no one is going to quarrel with the impact of what is happening in the economies, incidentally, even in Japan, in terms of the international situation.

I go to our own budget, and while it is now several months ago that it was introduced, it recognized the economic realities. It was sensitive. It determined the priorities, as we as a government saw them, and I think history will record that we were able to identify them in a meaningful fashion.

We have discussed one of the areas of priority at length, the health field, and I will not get into a debate of it today, except to make a general observation. The Treasurer (Mr. F. S. Miller) may correct me, as he does on occasion if my figures are not correct, but the recent commitment given by the Minister of Health (Mr. Timbrell), with the support of the Treasurer, will mean that the health system generally in fiscal 1981-82 will be receiving an increase of some 17 to 18 per cent. One can hardly construe that as giving it less of a priority than it deserves. It represents, without question, the commitment of this government to provide to the people of Ontario what they already have: the finest quality health delivery system anywhere in North America, and I say that advisedly and objectively.

No one is going to minimize the problems facing our universities. The Minister of Colleges and Universities (Miss Stephenson) and I, have been asked the odd question, and the Leader of the Opposition has raised this issue in the House on occasion. I make it clear that this government does not underestimate the problems facing the post-secondary institutions in this province in a financial sense, nor is it fair to state that we will realize all of their expectations.

I take some modest interest in our post- secondary system. I say to the member for Kitchener-Wilmot (Mr. Sweeney), when he was one of my academic advisers and then so supportive, I remember the odd speech he used to make about the former Minister of Education, the directions the educational community was taking, and I thought at that stage he must have been either intelligent or a Tory, in fact, maybe both. I say to him, having had some modest involvement with the college system and having been part of the growth of the university system, that we may not meet their expectations. I think it is impossible for us to do so in many fields. I can only say that while they have problems, the universities are making progress. They are still quality institutions, and they are going to stay quality institutions.

Can I give one or two examples, on a comparative basis? I should not confess this, but on occasion I do involve myself in some cultural activities. I was at a great American university not too many weeks ago, one well known to the member for Windsor-Walkerville (Mr. Newman); he is only about 46.5 miles away from that great institution. I met the president, who is a former Canadian and perhaps still is a Canadian -- his brother is up at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education -- and it was interesting to find out from him and the president of Ohio State University that both institutions, at mid-year, had absolute reductions of five per cent in their budgets from the state governments because they were faced with the same sort of economic climate.

We in this province have never asked our universities to take a mid-term or mid-year straight cut in government support. We have given the universities increased funding, and we will continue to do so; so those part-time lecturers at York University will still be able to receive their modest honorariums for those very excellent lectures delivered on political science, about which they do not always know of what they are speaking. I say that with kindness, I say that objectively, having talked to one or two students.

I say, and I am not being partisan, that part of the problem we face at this moment, in December 1981, relates not to the budget of the Treasurer of this province but to the budget of the Minister of Finance of Canada. In 11 minutes, when he releases a paper, I hope we will get information that the Minister of Finance may recognize some of the concerns expressed by the Treasurer of this province. It is to be hoped that there will be some move by the government of Canada.

3:50 p.m.

They should not be worried about face or credibility. They should recognize it is not a budget that taxes the rich. It is a budget that interferes with the economic growth and security of middle-income people. It is a budget, I say to the member for Hamilton West (Mr. Smith), that attacks the thing he referred to as confidence on the part of the Canadian people.

It is a budget that leaves a sense of uncertainty and insecurity. It is the budget of the Minister of Finance, and I emphasize to the member for Niagara Falls (Mr. Kerrio) that I do not say this in any partisan sense. I mean it. It is a budget that has to be reassessed. The observations made by our Treasurer were thoughtful, logical, intelligent and perceptive. Is there anything else I should say? He will be listened to in the deliberations made by the Minister of Finance of Canada.

I want to say goodbye to the wife of the member for Hamilton West (Mr. Smith). I was not going to say goodbye to him. I would rather say goodbye to his wife any day. I am sure he would too. Goodbye, Paddy.

I could wait until the member for Hamilton West comes back, but I shall not. I know the member for London Centre, who does not agree with all the things said by his leader on some aspects of the economy, will relay what I am going to say.

I listened with genuine interest to some of the observations made by the member for Hamilton West. I want to make this statement and make it very clearly. In some respects, I do not think there is any major difference of opinion in terms of what may be the solutions or the seriousness of the problem.

We may have certain differences. I could have a little fun here. While I admit that Suncor is not geographically located in Ontario, I can think of no better articulation of the need for Canadians and the Ontario government to re-Canadianize some aspects of the resource sector than was made by the member for Hamilton West, no better articulation in support of the acquisition of 25 per cent of Suncor than I heard at 3:35 p.m. this afternoon. It is a clear indication that when he leaves the partisan feeling behind and speaks from his heart, he understands what this government is doing with respect to its support of Canadianization.

I expect when the member for Hamilton Centre (Ms. Copps) faces the Liberal convention, she too will be in support of the Suncor purchase. She is already concerned about the sulphur emissions in Alberta which is a clear indication that she is in support of that acquisition.

I do not share some of the historical feeling. I do not think it is wise to compare this country or this province with Japan. It is not wise even to compare us with the United States. The United States has an economic history of some 200 years.

Mr. Peterson: You just compared Michigan's with our university system.

Hon. Mr. Davis: No, I am not comparing the quality of it. Ours is better. I am just comparing the financing. I say to the member for London Centre (Mr. Peterson) -- no, the member for Hamilton West is back. One has to keep these things in perspective. One has to remember that the US economy historically is economically many years older than our own.

If one goes back before the First World War and after it, prior to the Second World War, when one allocates or assesses historically the investments made by the United Kingdom, Germany and France in the economic growth of the United States, and if one remembers why some of that investment was terminated to pay debts et cetera, they too had a fair amount of offshore involvement in their economic growth.

As the leader of a government and as a Canadian, I share the desire to have greater Canadian control over our economic future. But I say to the leader of the Liberal Party of Ontario, it has to be balanced. It is not something one is going to do in six weeks, six months or even six years.

Perhaps I have a different perspective on the activities of the manufacturing sector. When I look at the present economic situation, when I look at the decisions being taken by the multinationals, I have to argue with respect to layoffs in the automotive sector, for example, that in fairness or logic we really cannot argue that we have been treated differently from those branch or home office plants in various parts of the northeastern United States.

It is important to understand that while there is Canadian capital available and no one minimizes that, none the less, for economic growth in this country we must still have investment from off shore. The reality is there and it has to happen.

Perhaps I am a little more optimistic about the future of this province and this country. From my perspective, perhaps I have a greater measure of confidence than has the leader of the Liberal Party. I am not sure. He talks about major projects. I can give him one or two examples. I am not doing it to be provocative, but he talks about major projects in which Canadians should take some pride. I can give him four.

Come with me to Pickering, to Bruce and to Darlington. In terms of world technology and impact on the economy, in terms of what they mean to the future of the people of this province, they have to be as significant as the tar sands or many other projects by other corporations. I should remind the leader of the Liberal Party that Ontario Hydro is home-grown; it is Ontarian and Canadian.

It was Ontario Hydro engineers at Atomic Energy of Canada Limited who developed the Candu system. I am prepared to say it is superior to any comparable technology anywhere in the world. I think history will show -- in fact, the history is still being written -- that this is a Canadian accomplishment that will have a major impact in economic development in other nations of the world as we go down the road. That is something of which we as Canadians should take pride. I do not say this to be provocative, but I hear very little credit from the benches opposite with respect to the leadership being given by Ontario Hydro in this important field.

I will go to one other example, the Urban Transportation Development Corporation. I know that does not have great appeal, but I have to tell the member for Hamilton West that while I know it was appropriate to be political and partisan, the fact is that we are on the verge in Detroit, we won it in Los Angeles and we are building it in Vancouver.

I wish the member for one of the Wentworths was here. The member for Wentworth North (Mr. Cunningham) was not very helpful during the Vancouver negotiations of the contract. I heard a lot about Japan. The reality is, once again, that Canadian technology beat out the Japanese, the West Germans, the French, the British and the Americans. We should take some pride in these things.

As the Leader of the Opposition moves on, perhaps he will be convinced to become supportive of that Canadian technology, that degree of Canadian expertise and excellence and the quality about which he was speaking.

One can go back in history and look at some other accomplishments, one of them belonging to my predecessor. I refer to the St. Lawrence Seaway, which in economic terms has had a major impact and which needs to be further exploited in terms of the economic growth of this province.

I could say to the member for Hamilton West: "Trace the history. Look at what we have achieved." I think one should have a greater measure of confidence. I have made speeches ad nauseam on the need for Canadians to take greater pride in ourselves and what we have done, but I think I have a greater measure of hope or expectation that we will be able to achieve these things in the future.

I want to say in concluding that while I know the members opposite will not support this budget, when I look at what we have done, when I look at the relative position of Ontario not only within Canada but also within North America, I say to the Treasurer of this province that it is his economic leadership and his budget that have given us, in spite of the difficulties, one of the better standards of living anywhere in the world, a social sense that is important and an optimism and confidence for the future that I think is incumbent upon each and every one of us.

In concluding these brief observations, I want to take this occasion to wish each and every member of this Legislature the very best for the holiday season and a very pleasant Christmas with their families.

I have a special word for the Leader of the Opposition. We not only wish him well but also when, not if, he gets to the Science Council of Canada, when he becomes chairman and as he sorts out these issues, he will be able to give some leadership in the discharge of that important responsibility that takes into account what we have done with Candu, Hydro, UTDC and those many other Canadian scientific achievements where, as I hear the rumours, he may have some remote involvement by roughly the middle of February. If it turns out to be true, we wish him well.

4 p.m.

Mr. Speaker: It might be appropriate if all members do not have to leave the House. If they remain where they are, we could vote almost immediately.

4:13 p.m.

The House divided on Mr. Wildman's amendment to the amendment to the motion, which was negatived on the following vote:


Bradley, Breithaupt, Cassidy, Charlton, Conway, Cooke, Copps, Cunningham, Di Santo, Eakins, Edighoffer, Elston, Epp, Foulds, Grande, Johnston, R. F., Kerrio, Laughren, MacDonald, Mackenzie, Martel, McGuigan, McKessock;

Newman, Nixon, O'Neil, Peterson, Philip, Reed, J. A., Reid, T. P., Renwick, Riddell, Roy, Ruprecht, Ruston, Samis, Smith, Spensieri, Sweeney, Van Horne, Wildman, Worton, Wrye.


Andrewes, Ashe, Baetz, Barlow, Bennett, Bernier, Birch, Brandt, Cousens, Cureatz, Davis, Dean, Drea, Eaton, Elgie, Eves, Fish, Gillies, Gordon, Gregory, Grossman, Harris, Henderson, Hennessy, Hodgson, Johnson, J. M., Jones, Kells, Kennedy, Kolyn, Lane, Leluk;

McCaffrey, McCague, McLean, McNeil, Miller, F. S., Mitchell, Norton, Piché, Pollock, Ramsay, Robinson, Runciman, Scrivener, Sheppard, Shymko, Snow, Stephenson, B. M., Sterling, Stevenson, K. R., Taylor, G. W., Timbrell, Treleaven, Villeneuve, Watson, Welch, Wells, Williams, Wiseman, Yakabuski.

Ayes, 43; nays, 61.

The House divided on Mr. Peterson's amendment to the motion, which was negatived on the same vote.

The House divided on Hon. F. S. Miller's main motion, which was agreed to on the same vote reversed.

Mr. Speaker: I declare the motion carried. It is resolved that this House approves in general the budgetary policy of the government.


Hon. F. S. Miller moved, seconded by Hon. Mr. Davis, first reading of Bill 209, An Act for granting to Her Majesty certain sums of money for the Public Service for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1982.

Motion agreed to.

Second and third readings also agreed to on motion.

4:20 p.m.

The Honourable the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario entered the chamber of the Legislative Assembly and took his seat upon the throne.


Hon. Mr. Aird: Pray be seated.

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

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

Bill 2, An Act to amend the Toronto Area Transit Operating Authority Act;

Bill 53, An Act to amend the Public Transportation and Highway Improvement Act;

Bill 93, Dangerous Goods Transportation Act, 1981;

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

Bill 160, An Act to amend the Public Commercial Vehicles Act;

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

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

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

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

Mr. Speaker: May it please your Honour, we, Her Majesty's most dutiful and faithful subjects of the Legislative Assembly of the province of Ontario in session assembled, approach Your Honour with sentiments of unfeigned devotion and loyalty to Her Majesty's person and government, and humbly beg to present for Your Honour's acceptance, a bill entitled An Act granting to Her Majesty certain sums of money for the Public Service for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1982.

Clerk of the House: The Honourable the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario doth thank Her Majesty's dutiful and loyal subjects, accept their benevolence and assent to this bill in Her Majesty's name.

The Honourable the Lieutenant Governor was pleased to deliver the following gracious speech:


Hon. Mr. Aird: Mr. Speaker and members of the Legislative Assembly: I am pleased to address you on this occasion, and to review some of the activities of this First Session of the Thirty-Second Parliament of Ontario.

In the past year and more, the major issues for Ontario, as for other provinces, have been matters of wide national significance, and the strength of our nation has been tested on several fronts.

The tensions of the constitutional debate, which had dominated the affairs of the nation, seemed to increase rather than diminish in the eyes of Canadians following the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada on September 28. In light of the accord of November 5, signed by nine of the provinces and the federal government, the long-standing support of all sides of this Legislature for Ontario's basic position may be proudly placed on the record.

Ontarians rejoice with the rest of the nation on the passage of the constitutional resolution by the federal parliament. We look forward to the historic day of patriation.

La joie éprouvée par la population de l'Ontario au moment où le Canada est à la veille de se doter d'une nouvelle constitution est teintée de regrets car le gouvernement du Québec est en désaccord avec le reste du pays. Nous espérons sincèrement et ardemment que l'on trouvera bientôt un terrain d'entente qui assurera, à cet égard, l'unité de l'ensemble du Canada et de l'ensemble des Canadiens.

Financial matters and the economy in general have been a primary concern throughout the year. Ontario shares, with the other nine provinces, concern about large-scale reductions in federal transfer payments, as proposed in current negotiations and in the recent federal budget. Ontario has, moreover, expressed strong views on the negative aspects of the budget itself, in relation to providing needed stimulus for investment and economic development, and has urged that specific measures be reviewed.

Within its capacity to do so, the province has adopted a number of measures to maintain economic stability and encourage economic growth. These activities have been largely consolidated in the new BILD program, which was established at the beginning of the year. The Board of Industrial Leadership and Development is responsible for designating specific projects within a total amount of $1.5 billion over five years, to be spent by government and the private sector, to give increasing vitality and necessary redirection to the Ontario economy.

After the first nine months, the record of the BILD program stood at $614 million in committed funds for projects over the five year period, of which $145 million will go to approved projects in the current fiscal year. BILD funding has stimulated private sector and other government investments to the extent of a further $275 million.

Within the BILD program, the government has embarked on a wide range of projects in such areas as communications technology, including Telidon; forestry; agricultural education; industrial and agricultural storage and packing; community development corporations; youth employment counselling; mineral research and development; tourism marketing; alternative transportation fuels; and development of a world-scale biotechnology company.

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The government has every confidence in the contribution of these initiatives, and of the BILD program as a whole, towards increasing the long-term productive potential of the province's economy.

The economic pressures during the course of the year have been hard on all sides. Sustained high interest rates, which have only recently eased downwards, dealt a particularly harsh blow to farmers and home owners, prompting the need for supportive measures.

Low prices exacerbated the credit problems faced by livestock producers, whose income accounts for more than one third of farm gate receipts. Under an emergency plan announced in June, the province allocated $37 million for cash payments to see beef producers through this hardship. As of December 1, an additional $20 million is being made available to cow-calf producers, to help maintain the stability of the beef industry, in the absence of an adequate national program.

Among measures taken during the year to meet needs in the housing field were: the Ontario neighbourhood improvement program, the Ontario rental construction loan program, and the residential energy advisory program. Reductions in the differential between rural and urban hydro rates have been authorized under amendments to the Power Corporation Act.

Legislation was passed to enlarge the mandate of the former Ministry of Housing to incorporate municipal affairs. A new approach to amalgamation or boundary disputes between municipalities is now law. The new Planning Act has had second reading and will receive committee consideration over the winter.

In order to ensure greater participation by Ontario in the Canadian petroleum industry, and as an investment in the province's future, the government has entered into arrangements for the purchase of 25 per cent of the shares of the Sun Company Incorporated, Pennsylvania. Under the proposal, as announced, other Canadian investment will be sought to bring the level of Canadian ownership of shares in Suncor to 51 per cent in the near future.

The shift from more traditional industries to new technologies is making itself felt. In certain sectors of the economy, the impact of these changes has resulted in harmful employee layoffs. At the same time, the demand in newer areas and particularly in advanced technology skills, is rapidly increasing.

Our educational institutions have a crucial role to play in helping society to meet these changes. Two studies, commissioned by the government last year, were published this fall, namely the report of the secondary education review project and the final report of the committee on the future role of universities in Ontario.

Various programs are in place to forge stronger links between the educational and industrial sectors. Over $3 million in BILD funds have been allocated to the colleges of applied arts and technology to support 320 training programs. More than 12,250 training positions have been created.

As well, $8 million in BILD funds have been used to provide technology equipment in the colleges, including items for electronics engineering technology programs, a robotics and fluid power laboratory, computer-controlled metal turning and milling machines and equipment for a videotex training centre.

Tourism in Ontario had the best year ever in 1981, with especially high gains in visits from the United States. Apart from the favourable exchange rate on US funds, we can point to the appeal of the "Ontario -- Yours to Discover" emblem and campaign as having a lot to do with this success.

The report of the royal commission on pensions, published early this year, has received wide attention. A first response has since been prepared by a select committee of the Legislature, with recommendations for implementation proposals.

Pensioners, lower-income earners and persons on fixed incomes have been granted a new home heating tax credit to protect against cost increases through amendments to the Ontario Pensioners Property Tax Assistance Act and the Income Tax Act. About 1.4 million households will benefit from these measures.

Standing committees of the House have given thorough consideration to the Ontario Human Rights Code 1981 and to new legislation for civilian review of complaints against the police, the latter being a pilot project specifically for Metropolitan Toronto.

The revisions to the human rights code are among the most extensive in its 19-year history and now include handicapped, marital and family status as prohibited grounds of discrimination, among other provisions. In passing this legislation, this House can feel justifiably proud of a statute which reflects the high public conscience of Ontario's citizens.

Services for francophone citizens have been markedly improved. An advertising campaign and the new Renseignements Ontario program have served an extremely useful purpose in promoting services available in French throughout the government. The right to use French in civil trials, to come into effect next April 1, will cover 80 per cent of Ontario's francophone population. Access to bilingual criminal trials is already available to 100 per cent of the French-speaking population.

Administration of the government-wide customer service program is now concentrated in a new service development division of the Ministry of Government Services, reinforcing the continuing high priority of this aspect of government operations.

The International Year of Disabled Persons received widespread recognition throughout the community. A government-sponsored advertising campaign to heighten public awareness and participation met with tremendous success. New initiatives affecting several existing government programs for disabled persons included the extension of basic eligibility for family benefits, additional attendant care services, improved access to provincial parks and revised rules for sales tax rebates on vehicles for use by the disabled.

Long-lasting benefits to the disabled will also derive from amendments to regulations under the Building Code for better access to newly constructed buildings, and from a Wintario capital grant for improvements to public cultural and recreational facilities.

Honourable members, these and other matters have provided a full agenda for this Legislature throughout the session. They are indicative of the wide concerns that prevail in our large and complex society. The demands on government and the responsibilities you bear in responding to them have been considerable and, at times, onerous. I commend your sense of duty and the progress you have achieved.

In closing, may I take this opportunity to wish you a safe and pleasant holiday season.

In our Sovereign's name, I thank you.

I now declare this session prorogued.

The House prorogued at 4:40 p.m.