34e législature, 2e session











































The House met at 1330.




Ms Bryden: Numerous forums have been held recently on Metro Toronto’s horrendous transportation problems. All agree that we are in a state of gridlock. The situation will be getting worse as thousands of new downtown office spaces under construction are completed, bringing an estimated 60,000 more workers into the centre core.

The Minister of Transportation (Mr Fulton) has recently spent $800,000 of our money to conduct interviews with residents of 65,000 Metro households, according to a story in the Toronto Star of 16 May 1989. While the minister has not yet released the report, he is quoted in the Star story as saying, this “massive study of Metro transportation problems has proven that immediate steps are needed to take pressure off the overloaded system.” But what has he done? Fiddled while Rome burned.

Essential public transit improvements like the Sheppard subway are still on hold. The one-stop extension of the underused Spadina subway will do little to help riders but may enhance the land values of developers who are planning luxury housing on land becoming available at York University and the Downsview airport.

The minister continues to support new arterial roads which bring more people into the centre core instead of into the regional subcentres. I nominate the Minister of Transportation for the title of least-effective transportation man of the year.


Mr McLean: My statement is directed to the Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr Sweeney). He recently announced his intention to work with the Minister of Health (Mrs Caplan) and to ensure that there are more chronic care beds created in Ontario. He is no doubt aware that the Ministry of Health currently provides funds for approximately 29,000 nursing home beds and more than 14,000 chronic care and rehabilitative beds in Ontario. More of these beds will be urgently required as the population of this province continues to age in the coming years.

I realize that the funding necessary to increase the number of these beds is limited. The Ministry of Community and Social Services is currently moving residents out of facilities like the Huronia Regional Centre in Orillia and into communities when it is determined that they are capable of living on their own. Therefore, I urge the minister to meet with the Minister of Health to develop a program whereby available space at institutions such as the Huronia Regional Centre could be used for chronic care beds. This could free beds in hospitals that require them for acute care patients.

I believe this type of program would relieve the strain on our hospitals and make use of facilities such as the Huronia Regional Centre which are gradually releasing their residents into the general population. I think this is an area that the minister and the Minister of Health should give serious consideration to.

I have had the opportunity to tour the hospitals in the area, and up to 40 per cent of the patients in those hospitals are in chronic care. I urge the minister to get them out of the hospitals and into other facilities.


Mrs O’Neill: Yesterday, 12 June, the Minister of Transportation (Mr Fulton) was in Kemptville, Ontario, to make a transportation announcement of historic importance to all citizens of eastern Ontario. The government of Ontario has made a firm commitment to complete Highway 416, the long-awaited four-lane highway between Highway 401 and the nation’s capital, by the year 1999.

As many members are aware, for over 35 years various provincial governments have recognized the need for this important highway yet have failed to take action. It was not until the present government took concrete steps in 1987 to begin the construction of the first phase of this project in 1991, from the Queensway to Century Road, that a firm commitment was ever made to this project.

The Minister of Transportation announced yesterday, two new major developments in regard to this matter, further expanding our government’s commitment. First, phase I of the project will be completed by 1995, a year ahead of schedule. Second, construction of the final 60-kilometre portion will begin in 1992, the earliest possible date, six years ahead of the most optimistic schedule that had been predicted, and it will be completed in 1999.

Highway 416 will be a tremendous benefit to all citizens of Ottawa-Carleton and indeed to citizens of eastern Ontario, providing a safer, more rapid link to Highway 401. The economy of Ontario will be greatly enhanced.


Mr Farnan: The profession of naturopathic medicine is under attack and both practitioners and patients must be extremely perturbed by the reaction of the Liberal government to the report Striking A New Balance. This report, presented in the form of draft legislation, would have acted to deregulate naturopaths in Ontario.

Naturopathy has been regulated and licensed in Ontario since 1925. Practitioners must graduate from a four-year course at a naturopathic college after first completing three years of university training in chemistry, organic chemistry, biology and related sciences. Graduates of naturopathy must write examinations set by the provincial government. Practitioners are then registered and regulated by a five-person board, the board of drugless therapy, and all members of this board are appointed by provincial orders in council on recommendations from the Ministry of Health.

With this long record of service and these rigorous standards, training and professional regulation of naturopaths, tens of thousands of Ontarians have chosen to seek their health care from naturopaths at no cost to the Ontario health insurance plan. However, with the enactment of the proposed recommendations, these same patients will lose their freedom to choose the health care most appropriate to their needs. The Minister of Health (Mrs Caplan) must break her silence on this issue. I urge the minister to reject the proposal that would deregulate the profession of naturopathic medicine.


Mr Villeneuve: I rise with great pride to report that the Ontario team from Tagwi Secondary School this last weekend in Winnipeg won the national Reach for the Top/School Reach championship. The Tagwi team, consisting of Allan Coleman, Stuart Pollock, Peter Simard, Claude Theoret and Neil Wheeler, defeated British Columbia in the final round by over 100 points. The Tagwi team, coached by Dan Maloney, won the Ontario championships in London last month and proceeded to the national competition in Winnipeg last weekend.


Tagwi is a small, rural secondary school with a student enrolment of fewer than 500. It is situated in Roxborough township, Stormont county, my home municipality, and is living proof that the larger the better, when speaking of schooling, is not true. Not only did the team work hard to earn its win; it was able to raise most of the funds it needed for travel costs locally and on its own.

I am sure all members of this House would like to congratulate the members of Ontario’s winning team, the national School Reach champions. Once again, congratulations to our own Tagwi Secondary School team. It is truly number one.


Mr Campbell: Recently I had the pleasure of representing the Minister without Portfolio responsible for disabled persons (Mr Mancini) in Sudbury at the first public screening of Talking It Out in the Family: Parents with Disabilities Discuss Communications in the Family.

I was very moved by this video. Through interviews, parents with disabilities and their children demonstrated family strengths and their problem-solving abilities as they cope with the impact of disability in their lives.

I must commend Laurie McGauley for her sensitive direction of this project, and the Joly, Hall, Carr and Davidson families of Sudbury. Their message of love and understanding was given from the heart. I taught with Don Davidson at Sudbury Secondary School. Recently, the progression of his multiple sclerosis forced him to take long-term disability leave. I must also commend Randy and Yvette Beland, who worked from proposal to overseeing the administration of the video.

The video was produced by PUSH Northeastern, People United for Self-Help in Ontario. It is designed to raise the awareness of the problems faced by disabled persons in the region and to encourage discussion among families and self-help groups.

I would urge all members and residents of Ontario to see and learn from Talking It Out in the Family.


Mr Farnan: The crisis in nursing continues to impact on Ontario’s health care system. Beds continue to be closed and surgery continues to be delayed.

One of the recommendations of the Meltz report of greatest concern to nurses deals with self-scheduling and flexible scheduling. In most Ontario hospitals, the head nurse is responsible for scheduling. While an enlightened and more flexible schedule would go a long way in the retention of staff, head nurses are restricted from improving schedules by global budget restraints imposed by the Ministry of Health. There is no room in the present budget structure to allow nurses the time and resources to explore and develop creative scheduling for nurses.

Once again, a concept that could dramatically improve working conditions for nurses is off limits to nursing, because funds are not targeted through the Ministry of Health to enhance the present status of nursing. The crisis in nursing will continue as long as the specific concerns of nurses remain unaddressed and unsupported financially by this government. The time is long overdue for action.

Hon Mr Conway: I would like to seek unanimous consent for two observances today: consent for remarks on the passing of the late Captain Rutherford, who served in this chamber as Sergeant at Arms, and a second consent for comments on the anniversary of TVOntario.

Agreed to.


Mrs Fawcett: It is with a deep feeling of sadness that I rise today to inform the House of the death, on Sunday 11 June, of one of Canada’s great heroes, 97-year-old Captain Charles Smith Rutherford, recipient of the Victoria Cross, Military Cross and Military Medal.

Captain Rutherford, a farmer’s son, born and raised in the Northumberland hills north of Colborne, won a place in world history and brought honour to himself, his family, his country and his home town.

The story of Charles Rutherford is one of thrilling bravery, inspiring courage and amazing nerve. On 26 August 1918, the then Lieutenant Rutherford came upon a group of men, only to realize the startling, horrifying revelation that they were the enemy. He brazenly said: “You are my prisoners. My men have you surrounded.” To punctuate this statement, he waved his revolver in a circle to indicate the surrounding terrain.

To his relief, the entire party of 45 men, which included two officers and three machine-gun crews, threw down their weapons and surrendered. Later that day, Rutherford and his men captured another 35 men. By means of this masterly bluff, no less than 80 enemy were captured without the loss of a single Canadian soldier’s life, and several enemy machine-guns were silenced singlehandedly. He was awarded the Victoria Cross by King George V in late November 1918 for these heroic deeds.

When he returned home after the First World War, he served as clerk-treasurer of Haldimand township. It is also worthy of note that Captain Rutherford was appointed Sergeant at Arms for the spring session of the provincial Legislature when Mitchell Hepburn was Premier. He served this House diligently for six years from 1934 to 1940. He then took the position of postmaster in Colborne before again donning his army uniform for duty in the Second World War.

I first heard of Charlie Rutherford’s heroic deeds while teaching his great-nephew, David Rutherford, who brought in his uncle’s medals to class to show. It was a wonderful thrill for us all, but I was somewhat relieved when the medals were back safely in their owner’s hands. That was Captain Rutherford, though, unassuming and unpretentious, helping a class of young people have a better appreciation and understanding of the history of war.

Charlie was 94 when I personally met him while I was on the campaign trail. He always referred to me as “that girl.” “How’s that girl doing?” he would ask his daughter, Dora Grant. Charlie, that girl appreciates and remembers gratefully what you did for your country.

I know my colleagues join me today in extending sincere sympathy to the family of one of Canada’s true heroes, Captain Charles Smith Rutherford, Victoria Cross, Military Cross, Military Medal and former Sergeant at Arms of this Legislature.

Mr Breaugh: It is a great honour to offer the tributes of members of this caucus to Captain Charles Rutherford. He was a great hero in a nation that frankly does not pay much attention to its heroes very often. This is a man who served his country with great honour and great distinction. That honour and that distinction were noted by the awards that were given to him by various governments and by the fact that he was made the Sergeant at Arms of this chamber itself.

When one has an opportunity to read some of the exploits, it is absolutely amazing how he best represents people of this country and how, in a quiet and unassuming way, people whom perhaps we think would not be capable of such remarkable deeds in fact can do them and have done them.

It is a great honour to have had him as a servant of this chamber. I think we should pause today and reflect, as Canadians should do more often, on the great things that have been done by this simple man from a rural part of eastern Ontario who achieved great prominence in his own time and who achieved great stature within this country.

We offer to his family our condolences and we want to pay tribute to a great Canadian.

Mr Runciman: We in the Progressive Conservative Party would like to pay tribute to the late Charles Smith Rutherford, a former Sergeant at Arms in this Legislature.

Mr Rutherford lived a full and active life and made an outstanding contribution to this country, both as a Sergeant at Arms in the Ontario Legislature and as a hero in both the First World War and the Second World War.

Charles Rutherford was born in Haldimand township in January 1982. He first saw active service with the Queen’s Own Rifles and later with the 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles. Mr Rutherford soon gained the rank of lieutenant and received more than a dozen medals, including the Victoria Cross, for his service in both world wars.

In December 1935, Mr Rutherford was named Sergeant at Arms. That particular session of the Ontario Legislature under the Hepburn government was a stormy one and Mr Rutherford was the first sergeant to have the pleasure, I guess, of ejecting a member of the Legislature.

In 1941. after serving the citizens of Ontario as Sergeant at Arms for six years, Mr Rutherford made the decision to enlist in the Veteran Guard of Canada as a lieutenant. He resigned his position in the Ontario Legislature and again served his country admirably during the Second World War.

Following the war, Mr Rutherford was a postmaster for the village of Colborne and later moved to Keswick, where he ran a general drygoods store. He moved to Cobourg in 1973, but returned to his home in Colborne to enjoy his retirement.

Captain Rutherford exhibited incredible bravery during the First World War. As mentioned earlier, on one memorable day he captured 80 German prisoners without the loss of a single Canadian soldier’s life. He was also involved in some of the most brutal battles in the war, including Passchendaele and the battle of Vimy Ridge. For his efforts, he was awarded the Victoria Cross and eventually was promoted to the rank of captain.

Charles Smith Rutherford was the last surviving Victoria Cross holder from the First World War. He was a man who made the highest of sacrifices for his country, not once but twice, and he was a man who served the people of Ontario proudly as Sergeant at Arms for six years.

On behalf of the Progressive Conservative Party and all members of the Legislature. I would like to express my condolences to the family of Captain Rutherford, a man who gave his all to the people of his country and his home province.

The Speaker: On behalf of all members, when Hansard is officially printed, I will of course send a copy to the Rutherford family so that your words of sympathy are received.



Ms Poole: As the member for Eglinton, I am particularly proud to count TVOntario as one of my constituents. TVOntario is at the forefront of educational television in Ontario. It plays an invaluable role in creating educational opportunities in our communities.

Today, in conjunction with my colleagues the member for Sudbury East (Miss Martel) of the New Democratic Party and the member for Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry (Mr Villeneuve) of the Conservative Party, it is my pleasure to announce the creation of the Friends of TVOntario.

The group will be composed exclusively of members of this Legislature who support educational broadcasting in both English and French to address Ontario’s educational needs and priorities. I just announced the creation of Friends of TVO in our caucus today and I already have many, many gestures of support.

As Friends of TVO, we will be afforded regular opportunities to see TVO meeting the educational needs of our community. TVOntario leads the way in dealing with such topics as literacy, substance abuse, skills training, the environment, multiculturalism and the need for commercial-free children’s programming that reflects our standards and values. At the same time, as Friends of TVOntario, we will help keep TVO informed about the educational needs of our communities.

TVOntario has also come to occupy a very important position in the cultural life of French-speaking Ontarians by virtue of the extensive French-language programming provided by la Chaîne française. In fact, in recognition of the vital role TVOntario is playing in our province, TVO has been chosen to host the 51st biannual meeting of the Communauté des télévisions francophones here in Toronto from 11 June to 17 June.

On the evening of 15 June, there will be a reception in honour of the visiting CTF delegates. Co-hosting the reception will be the Minister of Culture and Communications (Ms Oddie Munro) and Bernard Ostry, chairman and chief executive officer of TVOntario. I invite all my fellow colleagues to join us at the reception so they may be recognized and honoured as Friends of TVOntario.

Miss Martel: Following the comments of the member for Eglinton, I too would urge all members of this assembly to become involved as Friends of TVOntario, especially in recognition and support of the outstanding role of the network in educational broadcasting in both English and French.

Members may know that la Chaîne française became affiliated with the Communauté des télévisions francophones, CTF, in 1987. The CTF is an organization of 14 francophone television networks in Europe and Canada. The aim of the CTF is to enrich and promote the exchange and co-production of programs and series of francophone origin. The CTF broadcasting group reaches a viewership population of over 91.5 million people.

This week, over 100 delegates of the CTF are here in Toronto for the biannual plenary conference hosted by TVOntario. For the first time, at this conference there is a special committee on education, which is also a TVOntario initiative.

TVOntario’s outstanding commitment to educational programming was again demonstrated on Friday, 2 June. I had the pleasure of participating with the member for Etobicoke West (Mrs LeBourdais) in the official launch of the province’s second French-language transmitter, located near Silver Lake in the riding of Sudbury East. Educators, parents and children to be served by la Chaîne française welcome the availability of high-quality educational programming. the trademark of TVOntario.

I too urge all members of this assembly to attend the reception on 15 June in honour of TVOntario’s role as a proud and dynamic member of la Communauté des télévisions francophones.

Mr Villeneuve: I am very proud this afternoon and pleased to join my colleagues the member for Sudbury East and the member for Eglinton in inviting all members to become friends of TVO. Since 1970, TVOntario has provided informative and educational programming to the people of Ontario in both French and English.

As someone who represents a large, rural constituency in eastern Ontario, I know that TVO programming is appreciated by those constituents who receive it and is demanded by those who cannot at present. While TVO is of particular interest to many members here, we recognize that this interest should remain nonpartisan. By becoming friends of TVOntario, it is my hope and that of my two colleagues that we will be able to open a new avenue of communications with TVO to further benefit our constituents across Ontario.

Avec l’arrivée de la Chaîne française, TVOntario diffuse présentement une programmation quotidienne complète en anglais ainsi qu’en français. La Chaîne française a permis à TVOntario d’entretenir des liens avec les organismes de télévisions francophones internationales tels que la Communauté des télévisions francophones.

Cette semaine marque une première, puisque TVOntario accueille la Communauté des télévisions francophones lors de leur 51e session ici à Toronto. Afin de célébrer cette occasion, j’invite tous les députés à assister à un cocktail, jeudi prochain, pour venir rencontrer les délégués de la Communauté des télévisions francophones afin de reconnaître la progressivité de TVOntario dans le domaine de la diffusion française.



Hon Mr Curling: I would like to inform the House of an increase in the Ontario government’s financial commitment to training in general and the apprenticeship system in particular.

I am announcing today that the Ministry of Skills Development will once again make up the federal shortfall in funding for apprenticeship. Last year, it was $5 million. This year, we have doubled the commitment: to $10 million.

We in Ontario know the value of apprenticeship training, and so do employers. For every dollar government puts in to apprenticeship, employers put in nine. What better measure of a private sector commitment than a system that is 90 per cent funded by the private sector?

For that reason, apprenticeship is sensitive to the demands of the marketplace and it is obviously an effective use of taxpayers’ dollars.

Because it is such a responsive, effective way to train, we are working with our training partners to streamline and build on the apprenticeship system.

This government has made it clear that it values this system by more than doubling the total commitment to the apprenticeship system in the province. Three years ago, funding levels were at $11 million. This year, with the funding I am announcing today, that has increased to $30 million.

We have introduced the tool fund to help first-year apprentices recover some of the costs of expensive equipment. We have established projects across the province to encourage more women to enter the system. We have increased the number of trades updating courses available for skilled workers so that they can keep up with the demands of new technologies.

We are seeing results. We have increased the number of apprentices to more than 46,500 from 40,000 over the last two years. That is an all-time high, and it puts us right on target to reach our goal of 60,000 by 1992.

We have introduced new, flexible models of apprenticeship, including a new approach which will see apprentices take their in-class training for shorter periods several times a year.

This differs from past methods, which saw apprentices taking off two months once a year to pursue classroom training.

We in Ontario are using the apprenticeship system to meet the training needs of today and tomorrow.

But despite the announcement earlier this year of a national training strategy, the federal government has given us no firm sign of its plans for apprenticeship funding. The only indication from Ottawa is that it plans to further study apprenticeship. That simply is not good enough.


The government of Ontario is more than willing to work with Ottawa to ensure its labour force development strategy is as successful as it can possibly be. We have already put forward a positive agenda for new training partnership arrangements across Canada.

We welcome the opportunity to sit down with the federal government and the private sector to work out our respective roles in the implementation of the new strategy. But again this year the federal government has placed a strict limit on its traditional funding for apprenticeship. This limit falls far short of the market demand.

I sincerely hope that as Ottawa works towards implementing its new strategy, it will see that expanding apprenticeship must be a part of any comprehensive approach to training workers in Ontario for the economic realities of the 1990s and the 21st century.



Mr R. F. Johnston: I guess it is good to see that the province is again going to pick up part of the shortfall that will be coming because of the cap on funding.

Mr Ballinger: Don’t be so generous.

Mr R. F. Johnston: I will not be so generous in a second, if the member for Durham-York will just wait.

The cap that the federal government has put on is indeed regrettable, but it is important to look at apprenticeship in a larger view than is being provided with us here today and to understand that the federal government still puts in hundreds of millions of dollars in comparison with the amount of money that is put in by Ontario and that business still is expected to put in the majority of money.

But even with that, I would remind the minister (Mr Curling) and those in the House, Mr de Grandpré himself recently indicated that of all the countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, Canada was far behind on the whole question of training and apprenticeship; that we have an undertrained workforce -- a lack of recognition of the importance of training or training culture that this minister sometimes speaks about -- in our society; that whole sections of our economy do not have apprenticeship programs at all -- something which is unthinkable in the European common market, as an example; that we have companies which do not have any apprentices whatsoever and a government which has no plan for expanding in a large fashion the kinds of apprenticeships that are available in Ontario, or means of providing a levy system to ensure that all industry participates in producing the kinds of apprenticeships and skilled workers we are going to need moving into the next century.

I think it is important to look at this in the context of what this government has overseen in terms of the drop of technical education at the secondary level. How can we expect a major increase in the apprenticeship programs in Ontario when we are losing tech studies all over the province at the moment? This government has yet to come up with a plan to reassert those programs and to give them increased status in the province.

Surprisingly, the minister has the nerve to talk here today about increasing the number of women in apprenticeships. He knows that in his own estimates we discovered recently that the percentage of women who are receiving apprenticeship training in Ontario has actually dropped this year. The minister will talk about the fact that we now have 46,000 apprentices more than ever before. I would say a few hundred more than ever before. What is represented here, according to the people in the industry, is merely a fluctuation according to age, especially in the construction industry, which is now a much older workforce than it was a few years ago.

I would also like to draw attention to the fact that the minister talks about his $750 assistance to apprentices again and makes no comment today about his wonderful program for marketing internships, where this government pays $15,000 a year over two years to companies like Xerox and IBM, to help those poor, impoverished companies to train their people in marketing their products abroad. A great need is being filled here by Ontario. I am surprised he did not take credit for it today.

We continually get attacks on the federal government, justly deserved in terms of its views of apprenticeship, but we have not had a government here which fills the gap with ideas about where we should be going with apprenticeship and how vital it is to our economy as we move into the 21st century. I would say that perhaps in the next statement the minister makes he will give us a fuller idea of this government’s role in promoting apprenticeship more broadly in our industries than he has done in the past.

Mr Farnan: Perhaps I might more specifically address an issue that has already been referred to by my colleague, and that is schools in the Waterloo region that are presently considering closing workshops in their schools in order to facilitate accommodating children in regular classes. There has been no statement from the Minister of Skills Development that he will not tolerate this kind of cutting off of workshop availability within the school system.

Any minister worth his salt who was responsible for skills development, who heard rumours that a school board was going to cut workshops would be putting out a directive that this was totally unacceptable. The minister is remiss; it is about time he addressed the problems at home. It is one thing because you are in trouble here in Ontario to declare war abroad with the feds; let us address the problems in Ontario and not let these things get out of hand.

Mrs Cunningham: In responding to the statement from the Minister of Skills Development I suppose we should really talk now about meeting the training needs in Ontario. It is nice to see that this government takes every opportunity it can to come to this House and blame another level of government. I thought the real desire of this government was to work with training partners -- meaning all levels of government and all businesses and communities and schools -- to make certain that young people can get the training they want and that older people get retraining.

I would like to speak specifically to the training ratios of journeymen to apprentices. This is something that must take place -- a change in the ratios of journeymen to apprentices -- in many, many areas of skills development. It just cannot happen. What we should be talking about today is program changes. I would love to have come into this House and heard the minister speak about program changes: changes with the business and industry community. We know that the community out there that is working in training areas tells us there are two reasons why people are not being trained.

First of all, it has to do with the cyclical nature of their work. The building trades right now are in a boom and therefore they are training their own people. They are the ones that are taking the responsibility. We know at the same time that the apprenticeship registrations in motive power trades are on a decline. That has been happening, quite frankly, since 1982-83 because of the cyclical nature of training in the business community.

I would like to talk about women in apprenticeship programs. We found out during the estimates that we have a very poor reputation for attracting women into nontraditional workplaces. We are not doing very much better at it, and we should be looking at the reasons why. A lot of it has to do with attitudes in school systems and attitudes of families and parents. That is what we should be talking about now. How are we making a difference? What are we doing about it?

I have not seen any indication in the year I have been here, in spite of all the questions, that we are trying to really make a difference in getting women into nontraditional trades, except through posters. We have to go out there and talk to families and parents of children in the fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade levels.

Where is the partnership with education in Skills Development? It is nonexistent. We are just beginning to talk with the Minister of Colleges and Universities (Mrs McLeod) as we chatted with her a few weeks ago. With her reputation as a school board trustee, she is very aware of this problem. We should be working through a formal working relationship with all levels of government.

Quite frankly, I question the fiscal responsibility of this particular ministry in meeting its own goals, of reaching a goal of 60,000 by 1992, given its moaning and groaning and lack of support for the program. We are all supposed to stand up here today and give everybody the gold star because they are supporting, to the tune of some $10 million, a program that the whole public is crying for. This should be number one priority, absolutely number one priority.

As for the federal government having given us no firm sign of its plans for apprenticeship funding, stop moaning about it. This government should get in there and work with the federal government and change things. That is what it is supposed to be doing, and that is what the minister said he would be doing and I am waiting to see the results of it. No more moaning.


As far as the real world goes, it all has to do with communication. We are doing absolutely nothing in the community colleges to change the delivery system. The whole world knows about it. Apprenticeship training has virtually died in Ontario, and unless we make every effort to revitalize it, our students will be left behind.

We should be looking at Germany, Switzerland and Austria, which have political structures like our own. It looks as if one of the committees that I sit on is going to have to travel. We will take the Minister of Skills Development (Mr Curling) with us, so he can see what is happening.

The minister keeps showing me these $10 million. I am waiting to see what he does with them, because he could not even spend the money when it came to retraining older workers. It is not just money that matters in this government; it is training young people to work in the world of work and making Ontario competitive, not only with our own country and North America but the whole world, and that is what we are looking for.


The Speaker: I know all members would want me to inform them that we have a special visitor in the lower west gallery, a former member, Ross McClellan. Please join me in welcoming him.



Mr B. Rae: I want to go back to the Premier. There are some questions that I put to him yesterday. In one of the several exchanges that he and I had about the conduct of the Minister of Culture and Communications (Ms Oddie Munro), he gave an account of a conversation he had with her about a week after the information was made public about a contract that her mother did on her recommendation to Patricia Starr.

Quoting from the Instant Hansard at page L-23, the Premier told me, “She” -- that is to say, the minister -- “said she mentioned to Mrs Starr some names known to her, that some time later her mother did a contract” and so on.

Outside this House, as quoted in today’s Globe and Mail and also in today’s Toronto Star, it would appear that in fact the Minister of Culture and Communications only gave one name to Mrs Starr, that is to say, her mother’s, and also gave her her mother’s phone number.

I want to ask the Premier again exactly what the minister said to him in that conversation last Wednesday.

Hon Mr Peterson: I think when we discussed this yesterday I said to my honourable friend that we will await the investigation on this matter -- and that is exactly where the situation sits -- when we will have all of the facts. The member can try to interpret it his own way, but that is exactly the way I view the situation.

Mr B. Rae: This is now a matter that is before the House. The Premier himself put it on the record. It is a question of information that is provided by the Premier to members of this Legislature, and 24 hours after the fact he cannot try to run away and hide behind somebody else. He made a statement to this House about information that was provided to him by the Minister of Culture and Communications. I am entitled to ask and I think we are all entitled to an answer: Was the information he gave to the House yesterday true or not?

Hon Mr Peterson: I always give to this House information that is true, to the best of my knowledge.

Mr B. Rae: Has the Premier then spoken to the Minister of Culture and Communications about the information that she provided to him last Wednesday and, if he has not, why has he not?

Hon Mr Peterson: No, I have not. The honourable member knows what we know in the circumstances. I say to him again that there is a complete investigation of this matter, and when I have all of the facts, I will deal with them, not with his interpretation of the facts or anyone else’s

Mr B. Rae: Mr Speaker, we are not --

The Speaker: Order. New question.

Mr B. Rae: To the Premier again: We are not dealing here with interpretations of anything; we are dealing with hard information which the Premier of this province put before this House on the basis of a conversation he says he had with the Minister of Culture and Communications.

She told this House yesterday that she responded to Mrs Starr -- I am quoting from page L-13 of Hansard, if the Premier wants to have a look at Hansard and get a hold of what is going on in his own government -- “I responded that I knew of several people, one of whom was my mother and I simply left it at that.”

The question I have for the Premier is this: The Minister of Culture and Communications left me, as a member of this House, and every other member with a distinct impression that there were a number of names, that there was a group of names that she left with Mrs Starr, that her mother’s name happened to be among them. Outside this House, she admitted that there were no other names on the list, the only name she gave Mrs Starr was her own mother’s and she left her mother’s phone number as well.

The Speaker: The question?

Mr B. Rae: I want to ask the Premier -- this is a very important point: Exactly what did the minister tell him in the meeting he had with her last week?

Hon Mr Peterson: As I said to my honourable friend yesterday, my impression was that she mentioned a number of people and her mother was mentioned, as my friend is aware.

Mr B. Rae: The Premier knows full well the significance of what he is saying. What he is saying is that he was given the impression of certain information and certain facts. I was given the impression, every member of the House was given the impression about certain information, and it would now appear that the minister, who is conveniently not here today on a day when she knew she would be under severe questioning, in fact gave different information to this House than she gave outside the House.

I am not going to put myself in a position where I have to leave, but I do want to ask the Premier: Is he aware that the account he is giving today is a substantially different account than the one the minister gave when she spoke to reporters outside the House?

Hon Mr Peterson: Just for the honourable member’s information, I understand that the honourable minister is at a federal-provincial conference today relating to her responsibilities.

The answer is that the reason we have an independent investigation is to determine all of the facts, and judgements will be made on the basis thereof. I told the member that yesterday and I repeat that to him again.

Mr B. Rae: As members of this House, we make judgements about statements that are made in this House by another member. We do not have to go to Mr Justice Evans or to a police commissioner to find out whether information provided in this House by a member is accurate or not, and neither should the Premier have to go to a policeman to find out whether a minister is telling him the truth or not in a private conversation. If he is not aware of that, then he really does not have a clue about standards of good behaviour which should apply to members and ministers around this place.

The Speaker: Question?


The Speaker: Order.

Mr B. Rae: I just do not understand how the Premier can say that.

The Speaker: Do you have a question?

Mr B. Rae: I have a question for the Premier, very specifically, and that question is this: Did the minister tell him, yes or no, that there were a series of names and a group of people she referred to Mrs Starr, or did she admit to him that in fact her mother was the only person she referred to Mrs Starr?

Hon Mr Peterson: As I told the member yesterday, she said that she knew a number of people. Whether she referred --

Mr D. S. Cooke: Are you going to follow this up?

Hon Mr Peterson: I have said that to my honourable friend before. Let me say to my honourable friend that he may want to make something of this and he is entitled to that. He is entitled to draw whatever judgements he wants to draw, fair or unfair. With his sense of moral superiority, he is entitled to do that. But let me say to my friend, I will do that on the basis of facts, as determined by an independent look at the whole situation.

The Speaker: New question, the member for Sarnia.

Mr Brandt: On the same question to the Premier, it appears quite obvious that there was a statement made in the House by both the Premier and the minister with respect to the number of people who were referred to in the conversation that took place between Mrs Starr and the Minister of Culture and Communications.

Upon leaving this House and being scrummed by the media, and my office has checked with respect to the accuracy of the comment that was made, it is our understanding that the minister corrected her statement outside the House and indicated very clearly that there was one name mentioned in that telephone conversation, one phone number given, and that was the mother of the minister.

Is the Premier prepared to stand up in this House and correct the record?

Hon Mr Peterson: If that is what she said, I am not in a position to correct another member’s record. If she said it, then obviously she did. I was not aware of that, but let me say to my honourable friend that if that is what stands as her corrected record, then it stands on its own. I cannot correct her remarks any more than I correct his.

Mr Brandt: If in fact the minister indicated to the Premier that there were several names mentioned in the telephone call -- because this is a very key and I think an important point -- if it was a catch-all of names and if it included as well the name of the mother, then that is one circumstance. If in fact there was only one recommendation made, that being the mother of his minister, and if he was advised, contrary to what the minister said outside this House, that in fact there were a number of names mentioned between Mrs Starr and the minister, what is the Premier prepared to do with respect to a minister who has misled him?

Hon Mr Peterson: I do not think there is any misleading going on around here.

Mr Brandt: Well, there is.


Hon Mr Peterson: The member may want to cast it that way, but that is not the way I see it. We will determine the facts and then we will make a judgement on the basis of the facts as they come forward. I have said that to the member and I will say it again.

Mr Brandt: The fact is that the minister has not denied that there was a $5,000 contract for certain survey work that took place between the mother of his minister and Ms Starr in the organization that she represents. That we know.

We do not need an Ontario Provincial Police investigation to determine that. That has already been ascertained as a result of responses that we have had in this House.

Does the Premier think, in his judgement -- let’s set aside whether there were a number of names mentioned or only the one name mentioned -- that it is correct and appropriate and aboveboard for his minister to recommend her mother for a $5,000 contract with an agency that is getting grants from that very same ministry? Is that the Premier’s idea of proper conduct by a minister’?

Hon Mr Peterson: I have told my honourable friend that I will make a determination about proper conduct when I am in possession of all the facts. He has his interpretation of it and he says that there was an offer of a $5,000 contract. I was told that there was a question of who could do an appropriate kind of survey and she responded that there were several people, and her mother was named, obviously. I was not aware of it. I am told that that contract was awarded and heard about it some substantial time later.

But as I said to my honourable friend, he has his interpretation of the facts and he is going to draw his own conclusions, obviously. I am not going to draw conclusions. I am going to look at the facts and then I will deal with them. As I said to the member before, we will deal with it in an upright and forthright way. People who make mistakes in this business obviously pay the price for it.


Mr Brandt: When the one member of the Premier’s caucus stops applauding, I want to say to him that if the fact about the $5,000 contract is incorrect, then he should state that. If the fact about a telephone conversation with the recommendation of the mother’s name is incorrect, then he should state that.

What we want to know in the House is, if those facts are correct -- the Premier can stand up and correct them if they are not -- but if those allegations are correct, does the Premier approve of the conduct of his minister giving a $5,000 contract to her mother through Ms Starr? Does he approve of that?

Hon Mr Peterson: The member poses a hypothetical question. Obviously, I do not approve of anything that in any way takes advantage of one’s position, but as I said to my friend and I repeat, we will make a determination of the facts and then I will deal with them. The member’s interpretation of the facts is different from his and other people’s at this point. We will look at all of that objectively, delivered into our hands.

Mr Brandt: I have to say, with due respect to the Premier, that this is not a question of a hypothetical statement; this is an admission of fact on the part of his minister in connection with a phone call that we know took place.

It is an admission that a recommendation was made, now clarified that one name was mentioned as well as one telephone number, that being the mother of his minister, and that a contract did ensue from that telephone conversation, namely, that survey work was carried out for $5,000, the benefit of which accrued to the mother of a minister that the Premier has sitting in his cabinet.

The simple question I have for the Premier is this: Does he condone that kind of conversation taking place, and are the other ministers of his cabinet now in a position where they can have conversations with groups that they have a relationship with in terms of grants that they might provide from their ministry? Can this kind of benefit flow then to a family member without any judgement being brought down, without any question of the --

The Speaker: Order.

Hon Mr Peterson: As I said, the member has mentioned a phone call. I am not aware if it was a phone call or a private conversation. I was told that several people were capable of doing it. There was no question that she mentioned her mother. I am told that she was not aware of a $5,000 contract or any amount of contract but that it in fact came some time later. That is the information I have at this moment.

But let me say to my honourable friend that he has drawn his conclusions on it. I am going to get the facts and it has been referred to the Conflict of Interest Commissioner for an independent judgement on this matter. He will look at all of those facts and will assist us in his judgement. That is why we have the legislation and that is why it was supported in this House, to assist in that.

The member would like to draw a conclusion based on his interpretation of the facts. He has every right to do that, but l am not prepared to do that. I am going to look at it in its entire context.

The Speaker: New question, the Leader of the Opposition.

Mr B. Rae: I cannot believe the answers we ‘ are getting from the Premier. The Premier gave certain answers in the House yesterday. He gave a very specific answer which I have quoted to him: “She said she mentioned to Mrs Starr some names” -- names, plural -- “known to her, that some time later her mother did a contract, that she did not even know about it until she read about it in the paper,” just to give the full quotation.

The point I want to make is that she mentioned to Mrs Starr some names. That is the conversation that the Premier had with his minister. I do not know whether it was a friendly conversation or a serious one or whether there were other people there or not. All I know is that it was between two members of this House, and certain information was given to the Premier and he gave that information to me.

I want to ask the Premier this question: What is he going to do if he discovers that in fact the information he provided to me and to this House yesterday is incorrect in every detail and every aspect?

Hon Mr Peterson: I have told the member my recollection of that conversation. I was told that she said that there were many people who could do the particular work and her mother’s name was mentioned. I am not aware of any other names mentioned in that sense. If I misspoke myself, then I apologize for that. I am not aware of a long list of names given in the circumstances.

That being said, I will deal with it on the basis of facts as they are determined. The member has one interpretation of them. I hear things about $5,000 contracts, I hear things about phone calls and a lot of different things have entered into this discussion. I will get all of that and then I will make a judgement, and I will be assisted by the Conflict of Interest Commissioner, as is his responsibility.

Mr B. Rae: The Premier appears to be totally unsure of exactly what was said to him in the conversation that he had with the minister. He cannot tell me whether what he said yesterday was accurate in all respects. He says he may have misspoken himself yesterday. For all I know, he misspoke himself as well today.

The Premier says he had a conversation with the minister in which she told him certain information with respect to the awarding of a contract to her mother and the fact that she gave her mother’s name to Mrs Starr. That information the Premier has from the minister, because he asked her about it and she told him. He has that information. On the basis of that information, does the Premier feel that his minister lived up to an acceptable standard of behaviour in one of his own cabinet ministers?

Hon Mr Peterson: The member is asking the same question he asked me yesterday, and my answer is the same as it was yesterday. I told my honourable friend that it has been referred to the Conflict of Interest Commissioner. I will get the benefit of his advice and I will share my determination on the matter with the member at the appropriate time.

The Speaker: New question, the member for Sarnia.

Mr Brandt: My question is for the Premier as well. The Premier has admitted, as has the minister, that there was a conversation that took place between him and the minister in regard to this particular issue. I am sure that certain facts did transpire in terms of the details of what occurred in connection with the referral of the mother to Mrs Starr as being available for this particular survey work. On the basis of that information and that conversation which the Premier had with a minister whom he appointed, is he satisfied there was no conflict of interest, based on the minister’s word?

Hon Mr Peterson: No, l am not. That is why I am soliciting the advice of the Conflict of Interest Commissioner on this matter. I know the member has drawn a conclusion on it, but I am making sure that we have a determination of all the facts, and with the advice of the Conflict of Interest Commissioner we will make a judgement. That is presumably what he is there for.

Mr Brandt: Perhaps the Premier could be helpful in providing the House with some information in regard to how this whole matter unfolded. He was aware, as were we on this side of the House, that there was a problem in connection with certain allegations regarding campaign contributions which took place in the media, in a very public sense, back in February of this year.

A full five months have gone by in connection with this particular issue. It is being debated now in the House but in fact, it has been a very public matter in the media over that period of time. Would the Premier share with this House what steps he has taken to get to the bottom of these allegations or what inquiries he has made over the ensuing five-month period until today, to determine the correctness of those allegations?


Hon Mr Peterson: Absolutely. As soon as there was a suggestion of something untoward, that was sent immediately with all its facts to the Commission on Election Finances which called in the Ontario Provincial Police. The public trustee has been working on this matter for I am not sure how many months, but he is looking into all these allegations. Therefore it is in the hands of independent people who are looking at all the facts. That is the answer to my honourable friend’s question.


Ms Poole: My question is for the Treasurer. A number of my constituents recently have contacted our local Toronto and Metropolitan Toronto councillors to complain about large municipal tax increases. The response they have received from the municipal councillors is that property taxes have increased because the provincial government has cut back on funding to municipalities.

Mr Reville: Tell me it isn’t so.

Mr Pelissero: Wait for the answer.

The Speaker: Order. Will the member continue.

Ms Poole: I was somewhat confused by this, because I saw an Ottawa Citizen article which said that municipalities’ grants increased by eight per cent. I would like to know from the Treasurer what information he has to provide on this issue.

Hon R. F. Nixon: Actually, the honourable member is entirely correct. The average increase across the province was eight per cent, and it continues to be this year.


Hon R. F. Nixon: I appreciate the fact that my colleagues acknowledge that is a very generous grant indeed. In some areas, in fact, the increases were well over 10 per cent. Those dealing with environmental matters, community and social programs and transit -- all of these were well above the average transfers over the last few years.

Mr Pope: In some areas there were no increases.

Hon R. F. Nixon: In spite of the barking going on in the uninformed seats in the House, the actual increase over last year was, I am glad to tell the honourable member, eight per cent.

Ms Poole: From what I could hear of the Treasurer’s answer, I think he confirmed that it was eight percent across the province. However, the second question is a little tougher. What I really want to know is, what about Metropolitan Toronto? What are the transfer payments to the municipality right here in Metro’?

Hon R. F. Nixon: I am very pleased to be able to inform the member that, when it comes to Metro, this particular jurisdiction will probably share more generously than any other in the $415 million additional funding under the Ministry of Community and Social Services budget administered by my colleague.

More specifically, the road grants to the upper-tier municipality, Metro, will increase from $36 million a year ago to $43 million this year, a 19 per cent increase in one year. The capital spending on municipal transit systems will increase by 29 per cent to approximately $200 million over the year. Unfortunately Mr Speaker, who gets restless at some of these long answers, will not permit me to give you the full list of these increases, but I can tell members that they are similarly sensitive, thoughtful and generous.


Mr Farnan: My question is to the Premier. Would the Premier recommend his mother or a close family relative for a $5,000 contract to Patti Starr --

Hon Mr Scott: You don’t even speak to your mother.

The Speaker: Order.

Mr Farnan: -- and if he would not, is there a lower standard of behaviour that is acceptable for members of his cabinet?

Hon Mr Peterson: I do not think it is helpful to my friend to indulge in hypothetical questions of this nature in the House.


The Speaker: Order.

Mr Farnan: The people of Ontario would have really liked an assurance from the Premier to such a question, that indeed he would not consider such a recommendation. The question has to be asked again, and I think the people of Ontario would expect this question to be answered. Would the Premier recommend a close member of his family for a $5,000 contract from Patti Starr, and if he would not, is there a lower standard of behaviour that is acceptable for members of his cabinet?

Hon Mr Peterson: As my honourable friend will know, we have conflict-of-interest rules in this House. The independent commissioner will give advice on that and then I will make my judgement on the basis of his advice.


The Speaker: Order.

Mr Harris: I too have a question for the Premier on this matter. Today he has stated that he does not wish to make a judgement until he has all the facts.


The Speaker: Order.

Mr Harris: I would like to ask the Premier this: He has acknowledged that he had a meeting with the minister involved. I assume at that meeting the minister would have given him all of the facts. I would like the Premier to explain to us today what facts he thinks the minister withheld from him.

Hon Mr Peterson: I am not making that suggestion at all. How would I know if she withheld facts, because I would not know what the facts are? That is kind of a funny question, if I may say so.

Mr Harris: I really think this is a pretty straightforward matter. The impression the Premier is leaving is he does not have all the facts, yet he confirms he met with the minister on this matter. I would assume, under the type of premier-ministerial relationship one would expect, that the Premier would have expected that she gave him all the facts. I think it is a pretty fair question. Either he believes she gave them all to him or he does not, or he does not know and cannot tell what is right from wrong.

The Speaker: Is that your question?

Mr Harris: I would like to ask the Premier again, if he believes she gave him all the facts, why is there anything else that he needs to wait to hear, and if he does not, what does that say --

The Speaker: Thank you.

Mr Harris: -- about the relationship that he is prepared to accept from his ministers?

Hon Mr Peterson: I thought my honourable friend was aware that this matter has been referred to the Conflict of Interest Commissioner and I am attending his judgement on that.



Mr Ferraro: I have a question for the Attorney General. On 24 January of this year, two of my constituents in Guelph. a lovely young lady by the name of Julie Kaulback, age 16, and her mother, Jackie Kaulback, age 39, were seriously burned in a fire. Subsequent to that tragic event, a person was charged with arson and was detained in custody without bail.

On 21 February, Julie Kaulback died. On 24 March her mother, Jackie Kaulback, died. Both suffered in pain in hospital for weeks before their deaths. The alleged arsonist was then charged with two counts of first degree murder.

My question to the Attorney General is this: On the arson charges, bail hearings were held in Guelph and bail was denied. On the murder charges, bail hearings were held in Toronto and the accused person was granted bail. In light of the outrage being expressed to me in my community over this serious crime, and now over this bail decision, can the Attorney General explain to me the logic behind a Guelph court denying bail for arson and a Toronto court granting bail on murder charges?

Hon Mr Scott: The circumstances that gave rise to the charges of arson and to the charges of murder were truly tragic and really quite shocking and I know the honourable member’s constituents and all members of the House would want to take them very seriously.

The fact is that charges have been laid. The Criminal Code of Canada has a provision that sets standards for bail. Bail was granted, as the honourable member has said, by the appropriate judge in respect to the murder charges. The member will want to know that I have instructed the crown attorneys involved to appeal that decision to determine if it was appropriate in the circumstances.

Mr Ferraro: I thank the Attorney General for his comments. We are aware that the crown has applied for appeal of that decision. My question to the Attorney General is: Can he assure the people of Guelph, and indeed the Kaulback family, that every and all avenues of expediting this appeal process will be undertaken by the crown?

Hon Mr Scott: There are no backlog problems in Court of Appeal, which I believe will be hearing the appeal, but it will be necessary, as the honourable member knows, for the lawyers for the accused and for the crown to prepare their case. I want to assure the honourable member that we will do everything we can that is not inappropriate to see that the case is heard at an early date and I have instructed the crown attorney accordingly.


Mr B. Rae: It is clear that for a great many people in this province, Liberal integrity is a lot like military intelligence. It appears to be a contradiction in terms.

The Speaker: The question is to which minister?

Mr B. Rae: My question is to the Premier. It is very straightforward. It is a very straightforward question, because the Premier does not seem to understand, just as he did not understand with the Solicitor General, what the problem is and why he has a problem.

I want to ask the Premier this simple question: Is he telling us that if Mr Justice Evans tells him there is no conflict of interest with regard to what his cabinet minister did, as far as he is personally concerned there is no problem? Is that in fact what he is saying?

Hon Mr Peterson: No, I am not, but what I am saying is that his advice is a lot more objective than the member’s.

Mr B. Rae: Talking about objectivity, the Premier is on record in April 1987, speaking at a dinner for Mrs Starr at which he was the guest speaker, saying, “I suspect there isn’t a person in this room she hasn’t touched,” and then saying, “I can’t tell you on how many occasions I have fallen victim to her enthusiasm.”

Hon Mr Scott: Susan Fish and Barbara McDougall were prominent at that dinner.

Mr B. Rae: There were many other speakers at that dinner, including the Attorney General (Mr Scott), the Minister of Culture and Communications (Ms Oddie Munro) and countless others, including his Minister of Housing. So when we are talking about objectivity with regard to Mrs Starr and members of his cabinet, the Premier is in no position to talk.

The question that I have for the Premier is this: The work of Mr Justice Evans is to determine whether or not the law has been breached. This is a matter of ethics and morals and conduct, which Mr Justice Evans is not exclusively required to report on; indeed, that is not his job. It is the Premier’s job to determine what are the ethical standards of members of his cabinet.

Hon Mr Scott: It is the very thing you asked he should do a year ago. It is the very thing you insisted should be in the bill.

The Speaker: Order. Question?

Mr B. Rae: If the Attorney General cannot take it and does not understand that distinction, then he does not understand the very law which the Attorney General has brought forward. He does not even understand his own law.

I want to ask the Premier: Does he understand the distinction between a conflict-of-interest law and a standard of ethical conduct which he should be requiring of his own ministers? Does he understand that difference?

Hon Mr Peterson: Indeed, I do understand that. The member should understand that by shouting, he does not help the position he is trying to put forward. This Legislature has defined, in a statute, a conflict-of-interest standard with an objective judge of that to give advice to the member or to any other member of this House.

The member agreed, as I recall, and participated in this debate and he indicated his confidence in Mr Justice Evans’s judgements. Surely that is why he is there. Now the member wants to set his judgement ahead of Mr Justice Evans’s judgement. That is normal, because the member always wants to set his judgement ahead of everybody’s. But we on this side have a little more humility.

Hon Ms Hošek: On a point of privilege, Mr Speaker.

The Speaker: I am just wondering -- usually we have a point of privilege with notice to the Speaker and I have not received that.

Mr B. Rae: I know what the minister wants to stand on. I was referring to her predecessor, the Minister of Skills Development (Mr Curling), who was in fact at the dinner, as Minister of Housing not the current minister. If I misled the House I correct the record.

The Speaker: That is a point of order.


The Speaker: Order.

Mr Sterling: I have a question of the Premier. I am not certain who actually wrote to the Conflict of Interest Commissioner, Mr Justice Evans, to request that the activities of the Minister of Culture and Communications be looked into. Was it the Premier or was it the minister?

Hon Mr Peterson: It was the minister.

Mr Sterling: I presume the Premier is referring to the Minister for Culture and Communications. Section 14 of the act provides the opportunity for any member of this Legislature to write to the conflicts commissioner to ask the conflicts commissioner his opinion and recommendations. But subsection 14(3) of the act says:

“The opinion and recommendations of the commissioner are confidential, but may be released by the member” -- in this case, the Minister of Culture and Communications -- “or with the consent of the member in writing.”

The Attorney General said yesterday that this Legislative Assembly would have the opportunity to have a full accounting of facts and findings to this Legislature within the scope of this piece of legislation.

How are we ever going to see what, in fact, the conflicts commissioner finds, when we are going to need the consent of the person who is under scrutiny?

Hon Mr Peterson: My understanding of the act is that any member of this House has the opportunity to write to the commissioner with a particular point of view on any subject.

The member has taken advantage of the act when he alleged certain conflicts of interest and I am sure he can write to the commissioner and give him his opinion on this particular case. The member can share his views with the commissioner. I am sure he values them very highly. He agreed to this act and it is all there for everyone to see.


Mr Faubert: My question is to the Minister of Correctional Services. Over the past week we have read with interest a number of newspaper articles which discussed plans by the federal government to introduce changes to the manner in which it funds the administration of the Young Offenders Act.

Once again, it looks as though the federal government may be implementing cutbacks at the expense of the provincial governments. Can the minister advise the Legislature on what impact these changes will have for Ontario?

Hon Mr Ramsay: As the member is aware, the federal government has the legislative authority to enact criminal law legislation and it did in 1985, with the Young Offenders Act. But, of course, it is the responsibility of the provinces to administer that act. The focal point of that act back in 1984-85, when the discussions were coming to a conclusion, was the 50-50 cost-sharing. It was left that way, in an open-ended manner, because of sentencing patterns that were yet to be determined under the act. We were not sure exactly what the total costs were, so it was a difficult task in trying to finalize the funding.

As the member has alluded, about a month ago the federal government arbitrarily decided to freeze funding for our administering of the Young Offenders Act at the 1989 level. We are very concerned about that and the impact it may have on the provincial system.


Mr Faubert: Residents from my riding of Scarborough-Ellesmere and, as all members are aware, residents across the province are becoming increasingly concerned about issues relating to young offenders and community safety. As the minister indicated, he is concerned about the federal government’s ill-advised decision to cap its contributions for the administration of the Young Offenders Act. I therefore ask the minister if he can advise the House on the efforts his ministry and this government are taking to address these concerns’?

Hon Mr Ramsay: Last week, the Attorney General (Mr Scott) and myself made representations to the federal Minister of Justice in Prince Edward Island at a justice ministers’ conference there, and Mr Lewis said the decision was final as far as the capping of the present programming was concerned.

I think the member would be interested to know that any new announcements, such as the one the Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr Sweeney) and I made about a month ago, coming after 31 March, obviously are now going to be borne 100 per cent. So the increased security and staffing arrangements we wish to make with our agencies that implement various levels of custody for young offenders are now going to come at 100 per cent. We are very concerned about that and will continue to make our representations to the federal Justice minister.


Mr B. Rae: I want to ask the Premier about this letter that went from the Minister of Culture and Communications (Ms Oddie Munro), apparently over her signature, to Mr Justice Evans. The Premier has told the House that in his view, Mr Justice Evans’s reply to the minister would be made public.

I wonder if the Premier can tell us, is he prepared to make her letter to him public? In particular, personal barbs aside, the fact is that Mr Justice Evans is being asked, I presume, a question about the interpretation of the law, of the terms of that act. He is not responding to a request for advice on an ethical question from the Premier. Perhaps if I am wrong, the Premier could answer. Is the judge being asked to interpret the law or is the Premier personally asking the judge to give him some ethical advice on the ethical, moral conduct of one of his members?

Hon Mr Peterson: I think the Attorney General could explain the law to the honourable member.

Mr B. Rae: That wasn’t the question. He can’t answer my question.

The Speaker: Order. It has been referred to the Attorney General.

Hon Mr Scott: In the minority government, the government of the day supported by what is now the opposition, we were very anxious to have a conflict law. As honourable members will recall, in the debate the opposition particularly -- a view I shared -- wanted a broad definition of conflict and wanted a process established whereby alleged conflicts of interest could be assessed at the request of any member about any other or any member about himself. The opposition knows this because the honourable member for Carleton (Mr Sterling) has submitted a request about my conduct in the past to the Conflict of Interest Commissioner and has got a reply that he can use in any way he wants.

The honourable member for Hamilton Centre (Ms Oddie Munro), the minister, has made a request to the Conflict of Interest Commissioner about her conduct. I have done the same in connection with other matters. If anybody here has any question about the propriety of her conduct, he can write a letter to the conflict commissioner and get precisely the same reply.

The reason this was done was so this caterwauling would stop and we would have a system that would be able to analyse effectively and fairly to all sides what the justice of the situation required. It was legislation the New Democratic Party supported. Then when it stops to work for them, they start barking.

The Deputy Speaker: Supplementary.

Mr B. Rae: I have no supplementary because the referral to the minister was improper. I will have another question later on for the Premier.

The Speaker: Thank you. New question, the member for Cochrane South.

Mr Pope: To the Premier: The Premier had a conversation with the Minister of Culture and Communications. Did the Premier believe she told him all the facts of this issue?

Hon Mr Peterson: I have no reason to believe she misled me in any way.

Mr Pope: Then if the Premier believes the Minister of Culture and Communications told him all the facts, why does he have to have an investigation and why is the minister still in cabinet?

Hon Mr Peterson: There are a number of facts with respect to the invoicing and what expenses were involved that the minister was not aware of and we are in the process of determining all of those.

Mr B. Rae: I wonder if I could ask the Premier for an answer to my question. I asked the Premier this question. Is he prepared to make the letter to Mr Justice Evans public, and can he confirm that the letter asks the judge for his judgement with respect to the law and that the Premier in fact is not asking Mr Justice Evans for ethical advice? Can he confirm those two things’?

Hon Mr Peterson: Frankly, I have not seen the letter.

Mr B. Rae: The Premier, in a reply to me in which he made several comments about how he much preferred the advice of Mr Justice Evans to my own and how much he was relying on the judge’s advice, gave me the clear impression, and perhaps, again, I have not heard him correctly, but I had the impression he was waiting for an answer to a specific letter that he is now telling us he has not even seen.

I want to ask the Premier this question: Will he insist the letter be made public and will he finally recognize that what the commissioner is entitled to do under the act is to make certain determinations under the act? What we are asking the Premier is, does he not see that there is a difference between conflicts that may be of a technical kind that are covered by the act, and general ethical questions that are not entirely covered by the legislation?

The Speaker: Thank you. There were quite a number of questions there.

Hon Mr Peterson: I think the honourable Attorney General pointed out that my honourable friend would like it both ways and that is fair enough. There is no question that my judgements pertaining thereto, with the advice of the Conflict of Interest Commissioner, will be public for all to see and all to make judgements about.

The Speaker: New question, the member for Cochrane South.

Mr Pope: To the Premier: Is the Premier saying he does not believe the mother of the Minister of Culture and Communications received $5,000 on a contract with Ms Starr?

Hon Mr Peterson: No.

Mr Pope: The Premier is saying he does not believe an admitted public fact. He does not believe it is true? Is that what he is saying’? Is this what he is saying, that he does not believe it is true? What facts are left to investigate’? He has a statement from his own minister given to him in confidence. He has the admitted public knowledge of a contract in which $5,000 was paid to the mother of the Minister of Culture and Communications, and we have an admitted fact --

The Speaker: Question.

Mr Pope: -- that there was a contractual relationship between an agency funded by the minister and the mother of the minister. What other facts does he need to make a decision whether or not the ethical standards of the cabinet minister have been broken’?

Hon Mr Peterson: My honourable friend is getting into this discussion late and is being very repetitive. I think I have answered that question on many, many occasions but I will try to help him out again. There are a number of facts with respect to invoicing, services rendered and other things that the minister did not have information on. I am going to gather up all that information. I am going to get the advice of the conflict commissioner and then I will have to make a judgement for which I will have to take the responsibility.

Mr B. Rae: A point of order, Mr Speaker: It deals with a series of facts that were put before the Legislature by the Attorney General (Mr Scott). I wonder if he would be prepared to correct the record and make it very clear that the legislation he is referring to was passed by the majority and that in fact it was opposed by both parties in opposition. That is a major setback.

Hon Mr Scott: I recollect it differently, but if the honourable member says that is the case, I am perfectly prepared to submit to his view.

Mr B. Rae: Hansard, 9 February 1988; the official record. Have a look. See 9 February 1988.

The Speaker: Thank you.


The Speaker: Order. The member for Frontenac-Addington (Mr South) is waiting patiently to ask a question.



Mr South: My question is to the Minister of Health with respect to the government’s recent budget initiative, which replaces Ontario health insurance plan premiums with a new employer health levy. I would like to ask the minister what impact that initiative will have on OHIP employees in Kingston where premium collection activity is centred.

Hon Mrs Caplan: I want to acknowledge the member’s interest in this very important question. As members will know, it has been the policy of the government for some time to remove OHIP premiums as a way of funding the health system. We acknowledge there will be an impact on the people working for OHIP in Kingston.

A transition team of senior ministry staff has been established to work with the Human Resources Secretariat as well as union representatives to minimize the effects of this significant policy change.

As well, the human resources staff will be working with managers in the claims divisions to help affected employees find other jobs in the public service, to incorporate staff retirements and departures and also to look for other opportunities: job-sharing, opportunities in government and in other ministries. As well, we will be providing counselling and training opportunities.

We care about our employees in Kingston and intend to be a good employer, not only in spirit but in action.


Mr Reville: My question is to the Premier. It refers to the matter in relation to the Minister of Culture and Communications (Ms Oddie Munro) and the referral to the Conflict of Interest Commissioner.

On page L-11 of yesterday’s Instant Hansard, the Premier is quoted as saying, “I have turned it over to the conflict commissioner, as I said.” On page L-19, the Minister of Culture and Communications says, “I indicated today that I had referred the matter to the Conflict of Interest Commissioner.”

Now, would the Premier state which it is? He referred it? She referred it? They both referred it? Can we see the letters?

Hon Mr Peterson: She referred it and obviously I concur with that.

Mr Reville: It must be that the sound system is not working. I missed the answer. There was a buzzing in my ear.

Hon Mr Peterson: We are all used to that and have been for many years around here. The answer is that she sent the letter and I concurred with that. I have not seen the letter, but obviously it turns the whole matter over to him.

Mr Reville: When the Premier said, “l have turned it over to the conflict commissioner, as I said,” the Premier misspoke himself? On page L-11 the Premier said, “I have turned it over to the conflict commissioner.” Did the Premier misspeak himself?

Hon Mr Peterson: I do not think I said that I personally wrote the conflict commissioner. She wrote. The member is interested in pretending there is some great conspiracy here and there is not. He wants to play lawyer in this House and he is not very good at it, but that is okay. It has been turned over to the conflict commissioner the way it has been discussed.


Mr Harris: I have a question for the Minister of Housing. Many are deeply concerned about the way contracts are awarded by the Minister of Housing and by agencies the minister is responsible for. I have asked the minister on previous occasions about contracts that were awarded to Tridel and other companies owned by Elvio Del Zotto, president of the Ontario Liberal Party and a major contributor to the campaign of the Minister of Housing. There are a number of reports about the contravention of tendering policies and the special treatment that had been given to Tridel. I wonder if the minister could tell us today what steps she has taken to investigate these reports.

Ms Poole: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: I would just like to correct the record or ask the member to correct his own record. Mr Del Zotto is not president of the Ontario Liberal Party. That is Kathryn Robinson.

The Speaker: That is, I suppose, a request. However, I am sure the member --

Hon Mr Grandmaître: They are two separate parties. You’ve learned something, Mike.


The Speaker: Order. You have placed your question. Are you happy?

Mr Harris: Which everybody knows means he has absolutely no contact, I guess, with the provincial Liberal Party.

Hon Ms Hošek: I am sorry, but the member’s question is extremely general. Will he please be specific about what he is referring to.

The Speaker: Supplementary.

Mr Harris: Is this a supplementary or am I to clarify my first question? I am really not sure.


The Speaker: Order. I called for a supplementary. Will you please place the supplementary.

Mr Harris: I will repeat the first question, which the minister refused to answer. I think it is pretty simple. Can the minister tell us what steps she has taken to investigate these reports. That is word for word what I asked her in the first question.

Hon Ms Hošek: In the question I heard, there was a vague statement about reports of some relationship between my ministry and a named company. I do not know to what the member opposite is referring. If he has something specific to ask, let him ask it.


Mr Neumann: My question is for the Minister of Health. I recently received a letter from one of my constituents who had some concerns about the decision taken with respect to the reduction in screening for cholesterol. Would the minister indicate what the status is of this policy decision and deal with the concerns raised --

Mr B. Rae: Solve the cholesterol problem.


The Speaker: Order.

Mr Neumann: -- by my constituent that reduction in screenings for cholesterol is not a good health decision because it will reduce the number of indications of people with this problem and not be good for preventive health care.

Hon Mrs Caplan: I would like to thank the member for the question because in fact, for the very first time, the Ontario Medical Association and the Ontario Ministry of Health have endorsed a report with suggested guidelines for physicians and consumers on cholesterol testing in the province. Dr Henry Gassman, the president of the Ontario Medical Association, and myself released the report and accepted the report.

I would say to the member that as part of the release of these new guidelines, and it is an important step, information is available to both physicians and consumers about the appropriateness of testing. The ultimate decision of course is between the patient and his or her physician.

Mr Neumann: This is a very important issue dealing with health care, and I noted my colleagues in the Liberal Party asked questions today on substantive matters.

As we proceed along with this policy of reduced testing for cholesterol, does the minister have a way in which this new policy will be monitored on an ongoing basis to ensure it is the right decision for good, preventive health care in Ontario?

Mr Laughren: Just keep sucking up, Dave. You’ll get somewhere. Lick somebody else’s boots.


Hon Mrs Caplan: To the members of the House, this is a very significant and important question. I am surprised members of the opposition have not asked it before now.

The number of people who are interested in the new guidelines for cholesterol testing is significant. Many physicians as well as consumers have expressed interest in the report that was conducted by Dr David Naylor and Dr John Frank. For technical questions, I would refer them to these doctors, who could answer specific questions. But it is important that the discussions on the consensus among the medical profession is under way and that the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, as well as the Ontario Medical Association, is very interested in the implementation of this new guideline.



Mr B. Rae: I have a question for the Premier, and it is not about cholesterol. He now says he had a conversation with the Minister of Culture and Communications (Ms Oddie Munro). Did the Premier, in that conversation with the minister, express any personal view to her as to his judgement about her conduct? Did he state at any time that he had certain views with respect to what she did?

Hon Mr Peterson: My honourable friend may think it is a fair question, just as I may think it is a fair question to ask the member about his conversation with his colleagues or report my views. Let me say to him I handled this situation in the way that I have described to my honourable friend and I have referred it to the commissioner for his advice.

Mr B. Rae: The Premier has not answered that question. Perhaps I could ask him another. Certain allegations were made about people who were paid large consulting fees by Mrs Starr and who, in turn, made contributions to the campaign of the member for Oakwood (Ms Hošek). There have been allegations with respect to contributions made to the member for St Andrew-St Patrick (Mr Kanter). Has the Premier spoken to either the member for Oakwood or the member for St Andrew-St Patrick about those contributions?

Hon Mr Peterson: My honourable friend would like to pry into these private conversations, and I guess he has every right to ask, but let me say that what we are doing is determining the facts in an independent way on all of the allegations made. My staff has looked at a number of these things and I have said to my honourable friend in this House that there were allegations printed in the newspaper that I am told are factually incorrect.

Mr B. Rae: Told by whom?

Hon Mr Peterson: I am told that by a number of people. That being said, we are going to get an independent view of this situation. Just as my honourable friend cannot stand up in the House and substantiate any of these, cannot confirm the truth or lack thereof of these allegations, what we want is an independent group to look at these, and that is what we are doing.



Mr R. F. Johnston: I have two petitions, on two different matters. The first is addressed to the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

“We, the undersigned, beg leave to petition the Parliament of Ontario as follows:

“To amend the Teachers’ Superannuation Act, 1983, in order that all teachers who retired prior to 31 May 1982, have their pensions recalculated on the best five years rather than at the present seven or 10 years.

“This proposed amendment would make the five-year criteria applicable to all retired teachers and would eliminate the present inequitable treatment.”

It has many signatures and I have affixed my own name thereto as well.


Mr R. F. Johnston: The second is from the parishioners of St Paul’s Church and others:

“To the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

“We, the undersigned, beg leave to petition the Parliament of Ontario as follows:

“We are concerned about the response of the Ontario government to the Social Assistance Review Committee report, Transitions. Our worry is that the government will not make any meaningful progress in reforming the welfare system because they are not taking this report seriously. We strongly urge the government of Ontario to make this excellent plan for reform a priority.”

It also has many signatures on it and I have affixed my own.


Mr Black: I have a petition addressed to the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.

“We, the undersigned, beg leave to petition the Parliament of Ontario as follows:

“We support the expansion of home care and visiting nurses services as the most cost-efficient mode of health care delivery. We therefore want our government to adequately fund the Victorian Order of Nurses.”

There are several signatures on this and I have added my name.

Mr McLean: I have two petitions. On behalf of the member for Simcoe West (Mr McCague), I have petitions signed by 51 people which read as follows:

“To the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

“We, the undersigned, beg leave to petition the Parliament of Ontario as follows:

“We support the expansion of home care and visiting nurses services as the most cost-efficient mode of health care delivery. We therefore want our government to adequately fund the Victorian Order of Nurses.”

That is from the Simcoe county branch of the Victorian Order of Nurses.


Mr McLean: I have a petition that I have been asked to present on behalf of 654 people who signed it. It reads as follows:

“To the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

“We, the undersigned, beg leave to petition the Parliament of Ontario as follows:

“Whereas it is the duty of a free people to constantly guard and, if necessary, defend those freedoms; and

“Whereas the French Language Services Act elevates one linguistic group into lawful, but unjust, privilege over 95 per cent of all Ontarians; and

“Whereas the French Language Services Act has since 18 November 1986 been implemented in secret without the public being made aware of its implementation and to which access has been denied to the public and even to the elected members of this assembly; and

“Whereas such implementation is plunging forward at enormous cost while health care, police and fire protection, municipal grants, education and the environment are experiencing cutbacks in funding; and

“Whereas no minority can expect for long to enjoy the advantages of a law that shows such reckless disregard for majority sensitivities; and

“Whereas the views of the majority of the citizens of Ontario were not represented on 18 November 1986 as only 55 of the 125 elected members of the Legislature were present to vote,

“Therefore, to preserve patience and goodwill in the name of justice and for the love of harmony, we implore this House to refrain from further implementation of the French Language Services Act.”


Mr Kormos: I have a petition addressed to the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, which reads:

“We, the undersigned, beg leave to petition the Parliament of Ontario:

“Whereas Bill 162 (a) does nothing to improve lifetime pensions (especially for disease and soft-tissue injuries); (b) denies injured workers the right to rehabilitation; (c) offers reemployment rights that are less than afforded by the human rights act; (d) gives too much discretionary power to the WCB to deny injured workers benefits; (e) restricts the injured workers’ right to appeal,

“We request this assembly to advise the Labour minister, the Honourable Gregory Sorbara, to withdraw said Bill 162, An Act to amend the Workers’ Compensation Act.”

This is signed by Ray Rousseau of Welland and nine others and, of course, by myself.


Mr Harris: I have two petitions. The first reads:

“To the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor” etc:

“We, the undersigned, beg leave to petition the Parliament of Ontario as follows:

“Whereas in 1973 the Ontario Housing Corp. constructed a senior citizen complex consisting of a senior citizen apartment building situated at 135 Worthington Street West, in the city of North Bay; and

“Whereas it has come to our attention that senior citizen apartments have been rented to nonseniors;

“Be it resolved that we the undersigned support the establishment of a regulation whereby senior citizen apartments be made available to seniors only.”

This petition is signed by about 20 residents. It is about the fifth one I have presented on the same subject. As the rules require, I too have signed this.


Mr Harris: I have a second petition, a little longer one, that was presented to me with 536 names, which reads as follows:

“We, the undersigned, beg leave to petition the Parliament of Ontario as follows:

“Whereas it is the duty of a free people to constantly guard and, if necessary, defend those freedoms; and

“Whereas the French Language Services Act elevates one linguistic group into lawful, but unjust, privilege over 95 per cent of all Ontarians; and

“Whereas the French Language Services Act has since 18 November 1986 been implemented in secret without the public being made aware of its implementation and to which access has been denied to the public and even to the elected members of this assembly; and

“Whereas such implementation is plunging forward at enormous cost while health care, police and fire protection, municipal grants, education and the environment are experiencing cutbacks in funding; and

“Whereas no minority can expect for long to enjoy the advantages of a law that shows such reckless disregard for majority sensitivities; and

“Whereas the views of the majority of the citizens of Ontario were not represented on 18 November 1986 as only 55 of the 125 elected members of the Legislature were present to vote,

“Therefore, to preserve patience and goodwill, in the name of justice and for the love of harmony, we implore this House to refrain from further implementation of the French Language Services Act.

“We further respectfully request the above-mentioned member of Parliament to stand and read this petition imploring every member of this House to study this law and to demand a copy of its implementation procedures manual and to bravely reveal the contents of both law and implementation to his or her constituents, who may then respond with a ballot in the next Ontario election.”

The Speaker: Once again, this might be an appropriate time to remind all members that it is perfectly in order to present petitions stating the material allegations. In other words, I simply state that it is fine to give us the therefores but it is not necessary for the whereases.



Mr Morin-Strom: Mr Speaker, I will abide by your wishes and not read the whereases to this petition which is presented by residents of my community, Sault Ste Marie. It reads:

“To the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

“We, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly to insist that the Treasurer of Ontario negotiate with the Ontario Teachers’ Federation towards an equitable settlement.”

I support it, I have signed it and I present it for their consideration.


Miss Martel: Mr Speaker, taking your advice, I will leave out the whereases only because I do not have any on this petition. It is addressed:

“To the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

“We urge the Liberal government to scrap Bill 162, An Act to amend the Workers’ Compensation Act,

“Because Bill 162 contains the most significant changes to the Ontario system of workers’ compensation contemplated for many years, and yet, as was confirmed through the public hearings on the bill, was developed without an adequate process of public consultation with the stakeholders; and

“Because Bill 162 represents an attack on injured workers and their families and all those people who have fought over the years to achieve fairness and justice for injured workers and their families; and

“Because Bill 162 will eliminate the current lifetime pension for lifetime disability and replace it with a dual award system combining a lump sum and wage loss award benefit that has been rejected by injured workers, their advocacy groups, community legal workers and lawyers working on their behalf and by the trade union movement since it was first proposed for implementation in Ontario by the 1980 Weiler report and the Conservative government’s 1981 white paper; and

“Because Bill 162 virtually ignores the devastating critique and recommendations of the Majesky-Minna task force report on vocational rehabilitation that was submitted to the Minister of Labour and suppressed by the Liberal government until April 1988; and

“Because Bill 162 gives legislative form to the unacceptable and reactionary policy of restricting access to supplement awards announced by the Workers’ Compensation Board in 1987; and

“Because through Bill 162, injured workers are made subject to increased discretionary power at the hands of the Workers’ Compensation Board and made subject to ever more intrusive and demeaning assaults on their dignity, their privacy and their right to fair and just treatment.”

This is signed by seven members of the Mississauga Community Legal Services. I agree with them entirely and I have put my signature to It.



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

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

Bill 187, An Act to amend certain Acts as they relate to Police and Sheriffs.

The Speaker: Shall the report be received and adopted? No? Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry?

Mr Sterling: After the committee dealing with this piece of legislation sat yesterday, there was a consideration that we wanted to give to another submission that we received after yesterday’s hearing. Therefore, I believe that after you ask for this motion, we will have the opportunity, as a Legislative Assembly, if you then ask whether or not this bill should be ordered for third reading, if one member stands and says no, then it will be ordered for the committee of the whole House.

I want to bring that to the attention of the members: that if we do pass this motion, then we will have an opportunity, as I understand it, to say no when you pose the question as to whether or not this bill should be ordered for third reading. Could you confirm that?

Hon Mr Conway: Speaking to the point made by the member for Carleton (Mr Sterling), I understand what he is saying, and certainly the government is quite prepared, since this item of business has to be dealt with so that the report will or will not be received or adopted. Once that question is dealt with, l am quite prepared to have the matter ordered for committee of the whole House for some further discussion.

Mr Kormos: If I may, the comments so far are quite right, in that the committee considered the matter yesterday and was without the benefit of a letter which had been written by His Honour Judge Nevins, who is chairman of the law reform committee of the Ontario Family Court Judges Association. It is a rather detailed letter, and as I understand it, it was through no one’s fault -- at the very worst, inadvertence -- that it was not available to the committee yesterday. It raises some very strong and valid issues. Had the committee --

The Speaker: All right. I just want the member to know that we are not discussing the bill, we are discussing the process. I hope you understand that.

Mr Kormos: I understand there has been a motion made, and if I may, in speaking to that motion what I am suggesting, very respectfully, is that, among others, the chairman of the law reform committee would surely be disappointed if his submission had not been considered along with the many others by the committee.

With the unanimous consent of this House, this matter could be referred back to the justice committee so that the committee -- rather than the committee of the whole, could reconsider the issues that were before it yesterday, along with the very learned and careful and well-prepared submission of the chairman of the law reform committee of the Ontario Family Court Judges Association.

Mr Speaker, you talk about us discussing process now. It would be an omission of a very important part of the process not to have the committee consider this bill in light of the very wise comments that are made by His Honour Judge Nevins. I would ask that the House give its unanimous consent to have this matter referred back to the justice committee so that the bill can be considered in light of this new submission which was not previously available, although it was intended to have been available to the committee when it considered and discussed this matter yesterday; that is to say, Monday of this week.

Mr Callahan: The only comment I would have is that we presently have a very important issue scheduled for next week which deals with the question of salaries for judges. Perhaps my friend is suggesting we delay that until this is done.


The Speaker: Order. There is a question before the House.

Mr Hampton: What disturbs us is that this submission from the Honourable Judge Nevins is directed to the standing committee on administration of justice for the committee’s consideration. If it had been placed before the members yesterday in committee, as it should have been -- and it was only a mistake or no one’s particular error that it did not get there -- it would have been considered. We are saying that the appropriate place for this to be considered is by the standing committee on administration of justice, as it should have been considered yesterday.

If that screws up the government’s schedule, then that is too bad. The government has done a good enough job screwing up its own schedule in the past. We cannot be responsible for that, but this is where it should be considered, in that committee.

Mr D. R. Cooke: Can you say that with a straight face?

Mr Hampton: Yes. We sat here through all of --

The Speaker: Order. I called for committee reports. The committee report was presented. I placed the motion, “Shall the report be received and adopted?”

Are you ready for the question? Are you in favour of the report being received and adopted?


The House divided on Mr Callahan’s motion, which was agreed to on the following vote:


Ballinger, Beer, Black, Bossy, Breaugh, Brown, Callahan, Campbell, Caplan, Carrothers, Charlton, Cleary, Collins, Conway, Cooke, D. R., Cooke, D. S., Cousens, Curling, Daigeler, Elliot, Epp, Eves, Fawcett, Fleet, Fulton, Haggerty, Hampton, Harris, Hart, Henderson, Hošek, Jackson, Johnson, J. M., Johnston, R. F., Kanter, Kormos, Kozyra;

Laughren, Lipsett, Lupusella, MacDonald, Mahoney, Martel, McGuinty, Morin-Strom, Neumann, Nicholas, Nixon, J. B., Offer, O’Neill, Y., Philip, E., Phillips, G., Poirier, Polsinelli, Poole, Pouliot, Reycraft, Roberts, Ruprecht, Smith, D. W., South, Sterling, Sullivan, Tatham, Villeneuve, Wildman, Wong.

Ayes 67; nays 0.

Bill ordered for committee of the whole House.



Hon Mr Wong moved second reading of Bill 204, An Act to amend the Power Corporation Act.

Hon Mr Wong: In January 1989 the government introduced a comprehensive set of amendments to the Power Corporation Act. Today, I am pleased to take this opportunity to remind members of the intent of this legislation.

In the throne speech of November 1987, this government made a commitment to review the Power Corporation Act in order to ensure that Ontario Hydro is in a position to be more responsive to government policies and public priorities.

We have met this commitment. Our amendments were designed to ensure that Hydro can meet our goal of reliable, low-cost electricity supplies achieved in a socially and environmentally sound way. This legislation clearly establishes the government policy framework within which the utility must operate.

It gives the government the authority to issue policy statements that Hydro shall respect in performing its corporate duties. In plain English, this means that Hydro should leave no stone unturned in order to conform with government policy.

A key amendment is a new memorandum of understanding between the government and Hydro, which will take effect when this legislation is passed. In effect, this will help to lay out the government’s current priorities in the shorter term in the next three years.


The memorandum addresses several important issues and provides the following:

Ontario Hydro will give government all necessary information on a timely basis to ensure that the province can make the best possible decisions about Ontario’s energy future.

A Hydro committee will be established, comprised of a number of senior ministers and the Premier. It will meet at least four times a year with Hydro’s chairman and president to ensure Hydro is aware of and responds to a wide set of government concerns.

Legislative roadblocks in the areas of conservation and parallel generation will be removed so that Hydro will be able to provide incentives for these initiatives.

The government will play an active, ongoing role in assessing targets for conservation and parallel generation and evaluating the effectiveness of the methods for attaining these targets.

Hydro must ensure its programs are compatible with the government’s environmental goals, including the improvement of air and water quality through lowered emissions.

Hydro must provide the ministers of Energy and the Environment with reports on its initiative and targets for environmental protection.

As well, Hydro will identify lands surplus to its needs and grant the government first refusal to purchase such lands for Housing First initiatives.

Sections of the amendments to the Power Corporation Act also preserve the government’s ability to carry out energy policies for the good of Ontario and Canada under the free trade agreement.

The electricity needs of Ontario and Canadian consumers will be given priority. Electricity will be exported only when it is surplus to our needs and only when the price is higher than the domestic price for equivalent service.

This legislative package acknowledges the areas in which Hydro excels but recognizes that it is a public utility that must serve the public interest.

This government made a commitment to position Ontario Hydro to respond effectively to new and evolving government objectives and public concerns. It has been 15 years since the Power Corporation Act had a major overhaul. Updating the PCA in order to meet today’s energy and electricity environment and that of the next century is what we will be accomplishing with the passage of these amendments. We will be setting the framework to take Ontario into the next century with respect to electricity policy. These initiatives meet that commitment.

I am looking forward to the comments of the opposition critics. I understand there is some sense that this bill should be exposed to committee hearings. I would be more than willing to ensure that this is done.

Mr Cureatz: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: I am wondering if the minister would oblige us with a copy of his introductory remarks to the bill.

Hon Mr Wong: I would be more than pleased to do that.

Mrs Grier: As the minister has said, it has certainly been a long time since the Power Corporation Act was reviewed or overhauled. In terms of this government, it has taken four years to finally get to this point, because it was not just in the throne speech of 1987 that an overhaul of the Power Corporation Act was first promised. I think long before it took office the Liberal Party was claiming that once it did take office it was going to bring Hydro under control.

It has taken the reports of two select committees nudging the government in that direction to finally get today to the point where we are discussing amendments to the Power Corporation Act, and regrettably, we are still some distance from bringing Hydro under control, because the amendments to the Power Corporation Act are only one part of the package.

I regret that we do not have before us at the same time amendments to the Ontario Energy Board Act, amendments which would not only take us closer to bringing Hydro under control but also take us closer to having full public accountability and the opportunity for those of us in the public to know the facts, the figures, the assessments, the targets and the estimates of Hydro and to subject them to some public scrutiny.

The first select committee, which was appointed in 1985 and met and discussed primarily the continuation of the Darlington project and then went on to review a series of recommendations that had been made by previous select committees, came up with a number of recommendations dealing with how Hydro could be made more accountable to this Legislature, to the government and to the people of Ontario.

When the second select committee was appointed, the one that reported in January of this year, it was obvious that very few or in fact none of the recommendations of the first select committee had been adopted by the government. It is interesting to review the status of the recommendations of the first select committee as reported upon by the second select committee and see how little this legislation moves towards implementing those recommendations.

One of those recommendations was that, “The Ontario government should specify the social, environmental and political framework within which Ontario Hydro’s planning is to take place.” The response we got in 1988 was, “This matter may be addressed as a result of the Ministry of Energy’s review of the Power Corporation Act and Ontario Energy Board Act.”

Recommendation 8 said, “Prior to final approval of the forecast by the Ontario Hydro board of directors, the Ministry of Energy should be required to publish, in addition to its own forecast range, a formal response to Ontario Hydro’s draft forecast range.” To which the government replied. “This matter may be addressed in the Ministry of Energy’s review of the Power Corporation Act and Ontario Energy Board Act.”

Recommendation 12 was that. “The Power Corporation Act should be amended to allow Ontario Hydro to engage in the full range of options for promoting conservation.” This we have now moved to implement with the recommendations of changes to the Power Corporation Act, so that is a positive move. But recommendation 14 spelled out how that should perhaps happen. That recommendation said:

“The Ministry of Energy should develop and publish detailed plans for parallel generation options including: specific targets, financial and contractual arrangements; the role of Ontario Hydro in promoting parallel generation; additional research development and demonstration programs needed; and information and marketing efforts.

“The government must direct Ontario Hydro to incorporate these plans into its own annual resource plans.”

How, in 1988, did the ministry respond to the next select committee about recommendation 14? The response was, “These matters may be considered in the current select committee’s review of DSPS or the ministry’s review of the Power Corporation Act.” I would submit that the specifics of that recommendation are missing from the amendments to the Power Corporation Act that we are today reviewing.

Recommendation 16 of the first select committee said, “The Ontario Energy Board should be empowered to hold biannual public reviews of Ontario Hydro’s resource development plan, and publish a public report with recommendations to cabinet.” The response was, “This matter may be considered in the Ministry of Energy’s review of the Power Corporation Act and Ontario Energy Board Act.”

Recommendation 19 said, “Ontario Hydro should publish, for review by the Ministry of Energy, a detailed evaluation of all strategic marketing programs including goals, objectives, costs, and benefits.” The response? “This matter may be addressed in the Ministry of Energy’s review of the Power Corporation Act.”

Recommendation 21 deals with the memorandum of understanding and points out that “it should become a formal legislative requirement.” This, again, is one recommendation that has been addressed by the amendments to the Power Corporation Act.

The final recommendation dealing with the structure of Ontario Hydro said that, “The Ontario Energy Board Act should be amended to give the board the powers to regulate electricity rates.” The response was, “This matter could be addressed in the Ministry of Energy’s review of the Power Corporation Act and Ontario Energy Board Act.”


My point in enunciating these recommendations is to draw attention to the fact that while today we are indeed looking at some amendments to the Power Corporation Act, amendments which I welcome and which my party will be supporting in this debate, it is only a very small part of the package of reforms and changes that two select committees have said ought to be undertaken by this government. I really regret that we do not have the complete package before us today so we could see where, in fact, this government intends to go in taking control of Ontario Hydro.

Recommendation 4, that the “government should specify the social, environmental and political framework within which Ontario Hydro’s planning is to take place,” is the big missing piece of the puzzle. We have not had from this government, contrary to what the minister has just said, a clearly established policy framework of where this government wants to go in providing power to this province into the next century.

The minister says these amendments do that. I suggest that what these amendments do is provide a mechanism by which the government can do that, but the government has still failed to clearly enunciate an integrated and comprehensive policy so the people of the province know clearly what direction this government wishes Ontario Hydro to take.

The minister has been at some pains to point out the details that are going to be included in the memorandum of understanding and to claim we are hereby, by these amendments to the act that establish the memorandum of understanding as a legislative tool, making some moves towards gaining greater control over Ontario Hydro.

I want to point out to the minister that the memorandum of understanding is not a new tool. It may be newly incorporated into the act, but it has been there for sometime. It has been a way in which this government could direct Ontario Hydro, I think, practically ever since Ontario Hydro was created, if that was what the government wanted to do.

In the way in which the memorandum of understanding has now been changed, as described by the minister, we are seeing a very internal process. It is a committee of ministers that is going to be dealing with Ontario Hydro. The government is going to play a role in assessing the targets of Ontario Hydro. The Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of the Environment are to receive information from Ontario Hydro as to how it will be setting its targets and doing its estimates. Nowhere in the memorandum of understanding, as described by the minister, is there a role for the public.

The fact is that we have not amended the Ontario Energy Board Act to give them some control. We have not substituted for giving them some control, any legislative control. This policy and the statement by the minister is very silent on the crucial recommendation of both select committees which was that an ongoing committee of this Legislature be established to review the energy policies of the government and the policies of Ontario Hydro.

I think that is a significant omission from the legislation that is before us today and that this government seems to be contemplating, because I have not heard from the minister any timetable by which the amendments to the Ontario Energy Board Act might be brought before this House.

While in principle we support this legislation, we welcome it at long last and we look forward to amendments and discussion when it is referred to a committee, we only wish it could be coupled with a more meaningful step that would truly and at long last bring Ontario Hydro under control, not just by the government, but by the Legislature and the people of Ontario.

Mr Runciman: I appreciate the opportunity to participate in this debate. As one of the members of our party who served on the now-defunct select committee on energy, I am certainly going to pursue the question of the possibility of a future for that select committee during my comments, as I am sure my colleague the critic for the Ministry of Energy, the member for Durham East (Mr Cureatz) will, as well.

The minister has indicated, through a variety of press releases, that Bill 204 is an attempt to meet the promise made by the Liberal campaign in the previous provincial election. Perhaps in some respects it does go a way towards meeting that promise.

The idea of accountability of Ontario Hydro to government or, more importantly, to the people of Ontario is certainly a significant one, one that has been talked about for many years. We certainly heard the current Premier (Mr Peterson), in his former role as opposition leader, make some very critical comments of Ontario Hydro and the former government in respect to its lack of accountability to that government.

I guess, with the minister present, I am not sure, and l am certainly not speaking on behalf of my party in respect to this, but I think that perhaps there should be more innovative ways reviewed, studied, looked at in respect to making Ontario Hydro a more manageable entity, if you will. Perhaps one of those might be the possibility of taking a look at the generating arm of Ontario Hydro and if indeed that generating arm, for the most part, has to be under the direct control of Ontario Hydro.

We had witnesses appear before us at the select committee hearings representing municipal utilities, a few of which operate their own generating facilities in this province. We had a number of others appear who indicated a willingness to assume responsibility for the operation of generating facilities, that now do indeed exist in their municipalities or in a regional municipality perhaps.

That may be one avenue that is worthy of consideration by this government, in respect to perhaps lessening that overwhelming bureaucracy, a very significant force indeed in this province, and giving the minister and the government, and the managers of Hydro themselves, perhaps an opportunity to bring that monolith under a little more control than we have witnessed in the past.

I do not think, and I am sure most members who served on the select committee would agree with this comment, that the transmission arm is something that should be divested of, in any way, shape or form. That is much too important and certainly, in our view, should not be looked at. But I think, in terms of the generation abilities of Ontario Hydro, there are certain aspects of it that could indeed be responsibilities assumed by municipal utilities.

We are looking at increased opportunities in parallel generation. Again, those obviously can involve the private sector. In my own riding, I have one of the few private utility companies in the province, the Gananoque Light and Power Co, which is an excellent small business in my riding, very responsible corporate citizens indeed, and I am very proud to have that company established in my riding.

I think that in the past, the private sector has too frequently been overlooked as a source of power generation in this province. Again, Gananoque Light and Power sets an outstanding example for the role, the contribution that the private sector can make in terms of meeting the energy needs of this province in the years to come.

I want to talk a bit about Ontario Hydro and the lack of accountability. The concerns that I had, serving as Energy critic previously and certainly during my time on the select committee -- a number of things have been occurring in Ontario Hydro, which I have in the past urged the minister to try to grapple with. Up to this point, I really have not had satisfactory responses from him in that respect.

I am sure that it is a difficult job for him as a rookie minister, someone new to the executive council and new to provincial Parliament, having to take on, in any way, shape or form, the head honchos at Ontario Hydro. I know that this is indeed a daunting challenge. I placed it before the minister, and I hope that at some point in the future he will begin to try to tackle some of these problems head-on.

I have mentioned the Cresap study that was done last year, which just looked at one operation of Ontario Hydro -- I think it was the marketing function, I am not sure -- but it clearly indicated 2,500 redundant employees in that one division of Ontario Hydro. What has been the corporation’s response to that report? We are into a program called resource smoothing, so that in effect we are not going to get rid of any redundant employees; we are going to find different spots for them in the corporation.


The real response to a study indicating 2,500 redundant employees was an announcement by Ontario Hydro that it was going to build a new structure in the municipality of North York, a multimillion-dollar new edifice to house -- how many employees? Approximately 2,500 employees. There is a lot of irony in that announcement. I am sure the minister will agree. We have the announcement one month that they have 2,500 redundant employees, followed very shortly thereafter by an announcement that they are going to build a new building to house approximately 2.500 Ontario Hydro employees.

That is one element. We could always talk about the significant deficit around the neck of Ontario Hydro and around the neck of taxpayers in this province. We have looked at the significant overruns at Darlington, which again contribute to that ever-increasing deficit. We see no real willingness on the part of Ontario Hydro to deal in any meaningful way with that debt problem.

Last year, I asked the minister in terms of a windfall that Ontario Hydro was about to face because of the difference in the Canadian and US dollars. I am drawing on memory, but it was going to be in excess of $100 million in windfall for Ontario Hydro. I suggested that windfall be applied to a one-time payment on the debt. Its significance over a period of 10 to 15 years was enormous, but the minister again was wishy-washy in terms of his response and certainly did not indicate any willingness to pursue the matter with Ontario Hydro to ensure that those kinds of unforeseen windfall dollars would be applied where they should be and where there is an ever-increasing concern in this country and in this province with respect to the debt burden confronting us as residents of this province and residents of this country.

Again, I think it draws clear attention to the fact that this minister and this government, and perhaps predecessor governments, have really not had the ability to deal in a meaningful way with the powers that be at Ontario Hydro and really send them some strong messages in terms of dealing in an effective way with their very significant debt burden.

Again, another problem area and one of concern has been the question of conservation. We went through this in the select committee with respect to Ontario Hydro’s efforts to promote energy conservation in this province. I think we are seeing some changing attitudes there, but they have been slow to come around to the realization that the people of this province want to see an emphasis on conservation, not an emphasis on increasing market share.

I am sure the minister will have to agree that essentially has been the focus of Ontario Hydro over the past five or 10 years. If he has looked at their advertising, again it has been an effort to increase market share, and not a real, sustained or meaningful or committed effort to try to encourage conservation in this province.

I look at their advertising now, and I think essentially it is directed along those kinds of lines, and not in an effort to promote increased use of electricity generated by Ontario Hydro. I think it is a message that has to filter down to a lot of municipal utilities as well that are continuing to make an effort to increase market share in their own municipalities. I think that is something that should be assessed and the direction, I believe, should be coming from the minister in that respect.

There should be very clear indications to these utilities on the local level that this is the sort of approach we have to reassess. Is it indeed in the long-term best interests of this province? I would suggest to the minister that there are some very serious questions about whether indeed it is the best course of action for all of us with respect to the ever-increasing demands on our limited generating capacity right now.

When we talk about the future for Ontario, and of course we dealt with this at length during the select committee hearings, my colleague and I in my party have suggested a couple of things. One of them, of course, is the banking of environmental approvals. We think that is an appropriate way to go. Other members of the committee did not share that view, although I think on the government side there was not as rigid a response, if you will, as there was from the official opposition members, who did have some degree of difficulty with that proposal.

We think it is an appropriate way to go, because the government has been delaying and waffling on this very important decision for much too long. We could find ourselves in crisis in this province in terms of ability to meet energy demand in the very near future.

We saw the utility meeting its peak last summer during a very hot summer, which is indeed unusual. Hydro traditionally reaches peak levels in the winter months. I think it was the first time, in memory in any event, that we reached peak in the summer. If we face that kind of very hot summer in 1989 we could find power dips, brownouts and those kinds of things occurring across this province.

We have had projections in terms of the impact that free trade is going to have on consumption in this province, and the projections are significant indeed. The minister and his cabinet colleagues are waffling on this decision. We think one way that perhaps is appropriate is to look at the concept of banking environmental approvals.

We in our party also think it may be appropriate to review the idea of building for export. I think members of the governing party who sat on that committee were not totally unreceptive to that proposal as well. We think this is something that could indeed be appropriate: building for export. We have the facility in place, and as domestic consumption needs increase we will have the facility there. It is simply a matter of adjusting contracts or what has to be done in terms of modifying export levels to meet increasing domestic demand.

Those are just a few points I wanted to put on record. I feel quite strongly about this. I do have a lot of respect for the minister. I think he is indeed committed to doing the right things, but he is in a tough position in terms of seniority and know-how around this place. We know he has a tough challenge ahead of him, but I want to indicate that the minister knows that when he does the right things he is going to have us standing there with him, giving him our support. I think those right decisions, those right moves on his part and the part of the government, are still waiting out there to be made. We are not enthusiastic about what he has done up to this point.

We really feel that we could be facing a crisis situation in the very near future. I hope quite sincerely that the minister and his government are not going to play politics with this issue and will not try to delay this very important decision until we get past the next provincial election. Let us get on with the job that is important to all of us as Ontarians.

Mr Charlton: It is with some pleasure, but a pleasure that is modified by the concerns that were expressed by my colleague, that I rise to speak on Bill 204. I say that much in the same vein as I suggested last week in our debate on Bill 10 that I had a very heavy feeling of déjà vu. In this case we see the government taking what appears to be a very progressive step at the same time as it denies itself the tools to make that progressive step a reality in practice.

Mr Black: Not necessarily.

Mr Charlton: It is not a question of “not necessarily.” It is a question that my colleagues and the member’s colleagues on the select committee on energy told the minister clearly what he had to do, and he has not done it. I will go through some of that for the member, and perhaps he can learn something this afternoon instead of making empty comments here in the House out of turn.

But just to follow up on the comments that were made by the member for Leeds-Grenville (Mr Runciman), I want to say to the minister (Mr Wong) that I believe that the minister sincerely wants to move forward, in terms of controlling Ontario Hydro, ultimately, making it publicly accountable and leading Ontario into a sane, practical and useful energy future.


Unfortunately, the minister has demonstrated in his opening statement here today and the statement which he read when he introduced this piece of legislation in January -- again, as the member for Leeds-Grenville has suggested -- either that he does not have enough seniority to get everything he needs through the cabinet, or that he has a lack of understanding of what is really required to get the job done.

I want to tell the minister right at the outset that although we are going to support this bill, the bill does not do what the minister has told this House it will do. The bill gives the minister the authority to do the things that he says he wants to do, but the bill does not give him the ability to do them, and they are two distinctly different things. It is very easy to have the authority to do something, but if you do not have the knowledge, the wherewithal and the tools to do it, then the authority means nothing by itself.

I would like to take the minister -- because he was not the minister at the time that the select committee on energy did considerable work on this matter -- through a little bit of a discussion which my colleague the member for Etobicoke-Lakeshore (Mrs Grier) started in the select committee report of July 1986. The recommendations in that report were made up of three parts, actually four parts, if you count the recommendations on Darlington itself as separate recommendations. The three parts of the package for the future were the amendments to the Power Corporation Act which the minister has brought forward here now, the amendments to the Ontario Energy Corporation Act which we do not have before us and recommendations on other government action which have not yet occurred.

That three-part package which was recommended by the select committee was not separable. Each part of the package is dependent on the other in order for any one of the parts to work, and that is what the minister seems not to understand, having brought forward one third of that package.

I would like to address that in somewhat more specific terms. Last December we debated a bill of mine here in the House, a private member’s bill that dealt with part 2 of the package that I have just described. It dealt with amendments to the Ontario Energy Corporation Act. Although that private member’s bill was not as specific as some of us would like it to have been -- there are those of us around here who understand the private members’ process and the fact that private members cannot move bills which clearly establish the expenditure of public funds, that this a no-no and the Speaker well knows that -- but the bill that I introduced here in the House set the context in which we could have built part 2 of the package.

I am going to read some of the minister’s comments back to him so that perhaps we, and he, can start to understand why these amendments here in Bill 204, although supportable, mean absolutely nothing on their own. They give an authority; they do not give an ability to deliver.

The minister says on the first page of his statement today, regarding “this opportunity to remind members of the intent of this legislation:

“In the throne speech of November 1987 this government made a commitment to review the Power Corporation Act in order to ensure that Ontario Hydro is in a position to be more responsive to government policies and public priorities.”

First of all, as my colleague the member for Etobicoke-Lakeshore has already said, this government has not clearly initiated policies for Ontario Hydro. Further, they do not have the capability in the Ministry of Energy of generating those substantive policies which are required to build a sane energy future for Ontario.

What makes matters even worse is that this year, as a result of the budget which we just heard read two weeks ago, those sections of the Ministry of Energy that are responsible for looking at those alternative areas which are the part of the debate yet unanswered have been reduced. The Ministry of Energy’s budget has been cut. In areas in which the ministry’s performance was already seriously inadequate we had further budget cuts, so that the minister has reduced his ability to deliver and to assess.

I want to come to this question of “assess.” The minister said in his opening remarks today that the ministry would be “assessing targets for conservation and parallel generation” and Hydro’s performance in achieving those targets. Presently, the ministry has neither the ability to know whether the targets are good targets in the first place nor any ability to assess Ontario Hydro’s performance in achieving those targets. On what basis is the Minister of Energy going to assess either the targets that are established in the first place or the performance in achieving those targets?

I can tell members right now on what basis. They are going to make those assessments based on the reports that come out of Hydro itself, which is precisely the problem that our select committee had in 1986, precisely the problem the select committee had in 1981, in 1980, in 1979, in 1978 and in 1977, for the entire five years that the original select committee sat, for the full year that the second select committee sat and for the three quarters of a year that the third select committee sat.

For as long as the base of information is internal in the corporation known as Ontario Hydro without any independent ability to cross-examine, to question and to do alternative analysis, the minister will have no ability to deliver on his comment today that the ministry will assess the performance on achieving targets.

The minister said in his opening statement today that Hydro should “leave no stone unturned to comply with government policy.” How is the Minister of Energy going to assess whether or not Ontario Hydro has left no stone unturned in its efforts to comply with government policy?

Even if, and it has not yet, the Ministry of Energy at some point is able to develop some sane, coherent, electrical energy policy and sends that policy off to Hydro, and I question its ability to do that in the first place, but even if it accomplishes that initial task of developing the policy, how is it going to assess whether or not Hydro has left no stone unturned in its efforts to comply with the policy? Because the only documentation it will have, the only information the ministry will have, will be whatever Hydro sends back to it.

One of the things that all of us who sat on the select committee last fall and into this January, when we finally tabled our report, all of us who sat on the select committee in 1986 and all of us who sat on the select committee in 1985 and all of those before us who sat on the select committee from 1977 until 1981 will all, every one to a man and a woman, tell the Minister of Energy that the biggest single difficulty those select committees had and still have, right up until the most recent report in January of this year, was the inability to find any other legitimate, well documented source of information with which to evaluate and assess that which was being provided by Ontario Hydro. The minister has set up no mechanism along with Bill 204 to accomplish that.


The second part of the package to which I refer, the amendments to the Ontario Energy Board Act, which were referred to by my colleague the member for Etobicoke-Lakeshore, are essential if the minister wants to be able to take the authority he has given unto himself and his ministry in these amendments and do anything useful with it.

Somebody has to be able to take Ontario Hydro’s current performance and Ontario Hydro’s proposed direction for the future and assess its validity, both in terms of performance; that is past, and potential; that is future. The select committee recommended that the Ontario Energy Board be granted the authority to do that. The Ontario Energy Board has already developed a significant body of expertise internally in terms of dealing with Ontario Hydro.

In an area of expanded jurisdiction like this, they would have to develop some additional expertise that they do not now have. But that process has to begin so that, in fact, there is a regulatory process in place to assess for the minister questions of performance, because his ministry does not have that capability, on the one hand, nor should it have, on the other hand.

The Ontario Energy Board process, as the select committee recommended, is a public process with an opportunity for intervention, with an opportunity for participation by Ontario Hydro, by any number of public interest groups and by the general public itself. The government should stand aside from that kind of a process and be in a position to objectively assess what comes out the end of that process in the way of recommendations after all the parties in question have been heard. That should be true as it relates to the setting of Ontario Hydro rates. That should be true in terms of Ontario Hydro’s planning process for the future, as well.

Without that ability, all of the things that the minister has said to us today in his opening remarks are theoretically possible, but in practical terms, he will have no basis on which to deliver such things as what the minister commented on earlier today: “Ontario Hydro will give government all necessary information on a timely basis to ensure the province can make the best possible decisions about Ontario’s energy future.”

That is exactly what this whole debate today is about. How is it that the Minister of Energy is going to determine that what Ontario Hydro provides to the Minister of Energy is all of the information necessary for the ministry to make a timely decision to ensure that the province can make the best possible decisions about Ontario’s energy future? The ministry does not have the ability to assess that capability. They have already told us that. It is on the record in the select committee.

The minister should in fact sit down and read some of the Hansards from the select committee and see the testimony of his own officials before that committee, where they openly admit that they do not have the capability of making those kinds of judgements.

Not only that, but if we do not have a vehicle for those other parties who are involved in the energy sector in this province -- those interest groups, some of which are interested in doing private independent parallel generation, to which the minister has referred, some of which are interested in doing industrial cogeneration, where they are running an industrial plant already and they want to cogenerate and use waste heat which is presently just being consumed and blown out into our atmosphere and others who want to see serious progress made in the area of conservation -- if we do not allow a forum where those issues can be debated and a neutral body come to some conclusion about their validity and the extent of their validity, what ability will the ministry have to judge whether Ontario Hydro has maximized initiatives, as the ministry has said it wants Ontario Hydro to do, in each of those areas?

The third part of the package again has to do with what the minister has told us here in his opening statement today. “The government will play an active, ongoing role in assessing targets for conservation and parallel generation and in evaluating the effectiveness of the methods for obtaining these targets.” That is a useful role for the ministry to play and that is exactly what the select committee said three years ago that the ministry should do.

But it is interesting -- and I go back to what I said just a short while ago -- how the minister did not seem to understand that these recommendations in the report of July 1986 were a package of recommendations that were interdependent. The amendments to the Power Corporation Act, the amendments to the Ontario Energy Board Act and the direction of specific other government actions were all interdependent on each other.

I would like to read into the record for members the specific other actions which the select committee recommended.

“Recommendation 10. The government should direct Ontario Hydro to initiate, as part of its resource plan, three large-scale technical and market demonstration programs for conservation, up to $25 million each in each sector (residential, commercial and industrial).”

Three years ago the select committee recommended that a database be developed by pilot programs. The Ministry of Energy has done nothing. Two and a half years after that report was tabled, we again had Ontario Hydro before the select committee on the question of its demand-supply planning strategy. The Speaker will recall, because he was a part of that committee for at least part of its hearings last fall, what Hydro came in and told us: “We have no market data. We don’t know. Those studies have not been done.”

The Ministry of Energy has not followed up part 3 of the package and the Ministry of Energy has not directed Ontario Hydro to follow up part 3 of the package either. If we do not know what is possible out there; if we have no demonstration project to clearly tell us that if we do this, if we provide this incentive or if we make this change in the building code or if we impose these standards on the appliance industry, or whatever the case happens to be; if we do not go out there and find out what the result of a particular action is, how do we go about measuring Ontario Hydro’s performance or anybody’s performance at implementing conservation measures, or as the minister also says, parallel generation measures? How do we measure that if we do not do what everybody tells us we have to do in order to be able to measure that?


We are standing here this afternoon in this House with one third of a three-part package that gives the minister authority, which is wonderful, but which does not give the minister the ability to use that authority in any kind of useful way.

Last December in this House, when we were debating my bill which dealt with part 2 -- my bill did not even deal with the third part either; it just dealt with part 2, the Ontario Energy Board part, which happens to be the most important part of the three-part package, but even it by itself will not solve the problem -- the minister’s parliamentary assistant, the member for Frontenac-Addington (Mr South), stood in his place in this Legislature and heaped all kinds of praise on the member for Stony Mountain, whoever that may be. If I read the record very carefully, though, I think he was referring to me, although my riding is Hamilton Mountain, not Stony Mountain.

The member for Frontenac-Addington stood in this House, along with his colleague the member for Oakville South (Mr Carrothers), and both of them said they would not support my bill because the Minister of Energy (Mr Wong) was dealing with the matters dealt with in my bill in a far more comprehensive way in a complete package involved in the ministry review.

Unfortunately, they were wrong. Somebody misinformed them because just six weeks after they defeated my bill in this House, the minister introduced Bill 204 and it is not a comprehensive package and it is not more comprehensive. It deals with an entirely different part of a package than my bill dealt with. If we had passed my bill, then we would in fact have in place two parts of the package now, instead of one part of the package before us, and then we could just get on with dealing with part 3 of the package and be almost all the way home.

But they stood in their places in this House and said they could not support my bill because it was part of an overall comprehensive review that was being done by the Minister of Energy and that he would be coming forward very shortly with this comprehensive package that covered the entire waterfront.

What do we get? We get a package of amendments to the Power Corporation Act that, yes, are supportable, and yes, they head in the right direction, but they do not do what the minister tells this House they will do. They give the minister the authority to do what he says he wants to do. Unfortunately, they deny him the tools and the ability to deliver the goods.

There are a number of other items from the select committee report that I think we need to deal with here today, because they have a direct impact on this piece of legislation and they have a direct impact on what the minister tells us this piece of legislation is all about.

A few moments ago I read recommendation 10 and I am going to read it again because I want to combine it with recommendation 12 of the report so that perhaps, again, the minister can start to understand how these recommendations are interrelated.

Recommendation 10 -- this is the one the government has not done anything about yet -- says, “The government should direct Ontario Hydro to initiate, as part of its resource plan, three large-scale technical and market demonstration programs for conservation, up to $25 million each, in each sector (residential, commercial and industrial).”

Recommendation 12, which is directly associated with recommendation 10, says, “The Power Corporation Act should be amended to allow Ontario Hydro to engage in the full range of options for promoting conservation.”

Recommendation 12 is part of what we have covered in Bill 204. It is beyond me and beyond anybody I know of with any technical expertise in the energy area to know what recommendation 12 means in the absence of recommendation 10, because it is part of this bill.

Recommendation 12 states, and I repeat, “The Power Corporation Act should be amended to allow Ontario Hydro to engage in the full range of options for promoting conservation.” The minister has done that in the bill. He has said to Ontario Hydro: “We are amending the Power Corporation Act so that Ontario Hydro can pursue a full range of conservation options. No more limits on your ability to pursue conservation, Ontario Hydro.”

What has Ontario Hydro been telling the select committee on energy’? Ontario Hydro has been telling the committee and the minister that it has already determined what the maximum range of conservation potential in Ontario is and that it is already in its resource plan. The minister has said that he does not agree, that he does not believe that is all there is.

What mechanism has he put in place to change Ontario Hydro’s position? None. That is recommendation 10.

I use those two as a very specific example of what I have been trying to say here this afternoon, that the three parts of the package, which are the amendments to the Power Corporation Act, the amendments to the Ontario Energy Board Act and the direct government action set out in recommendation 10, are all required before any of this means anything. Not one of the parts works by itself and not one of the parts can work by itself.

The bill I introduced in this House last December and debated here in the House, a bill that was defeated, a bill that would have amended the Ontario Energy Board Act to allow the Ontario Energy Board to set Hydro rates in Ontario and to look into matters related to planning and conservation, would have allowed for the public hearing process, for the input of all parties and would have allowed the Ontario Energy Board to assess what Hydro was saying over and against some other expertise, and then to make a recommendation to the government about Ontario Hydro’s performance in the areas the minister has set out in his statement this afternoon as being areas of concern.

Unfortunately, that part by itself would not have accomplished anything without the changes that are here today in Bill 204, because the minister then would not have had the authority to do anything with the OEB recommendations. Even with Bill 204 in place, and even if I reintroduce my bill this year and we pass it this time, or the minister at some point comes in with his own amendments to the Ontario Energy Board Act, amendments that follow reasonably closely the recommendations of the select committee from 1986, neither will mean very much of anything if we do not do the work that has to be done to identify what the real possibilities are out there in Ontario.

I want to describe a couple of things to members that were brought to the select committee as evidence. Unfortunately, I cannot go into a lot of detail, although if there are any members who would be interested in pursuing these matters further, I can provide them with some serious and good documentation that was provided to us from California and the northwestern United States, in terms of both cogeneration initiatives in California and conservation initiatives in the northwest.

My colleague the member for Durham East will recall some of that testimony in 1986. We had his colleague the member for Leeds-Grenville making reference earlier this afternoon to banking of approvals. Because of the possibility of a dire energy future if demand increases were just somewhat slightly higher than Hydro was currently projecting and we ended up with brownouts in the late 1990s, etc., if we had environmental assessment approvals in the bank, and those kinds of things, then we could build plants really quick.


I would like to refresh the memories of some members in terms of some other kinds of banking -- perhaps this will be somewhat instructive for the minister as well -- in terms of demand management, conservation and industrial cogeneration.

Some years ago, in the state of California they decided to make serious moves, both in terms of industrial cogeneration of electricity and private or parallel generation of electricity. They set a buy-back rate or a rate at which the utility pays private generators, at a level that was comparable with their own real avoided cost; in other words, the cost of building the next generation facility if they were to build it themselves.

When they did that, what they found, in a state where there had been little or no industrial cogeneration prior to that and little or no private generation prior to that, was that they had such a flood that after two years of the program, they had to close the door. They had more power than they could possibly use and they had to cut off the program and stop the guarantees that were in fact in place.

Mr Speaker, I think you understand what the concept of that is. Once you identify what it is you have to do to make those things happen, what it is you have to offer to get industrial cogeneration put in place, or what it is you have to offer to have private entrepreneurs start up small parallel generating stations, whether they be small hydraulic stations on some of the small rivers and streams in this province or whether they be combined cycle gas or any number of other potential alternatives, once you identify where in the curve of price you can turn the switch and have that come on stream in fairly significant quantities, you have in fact got a huge bank of power, even if you have to turn off the switch temporarily because you got offers for more than you needed right now. You know where that switch is. In fact, you have banked power, which is far better to have in the bank, actual power that you can turn on fairly quickly, because it does not take 15 years to build like Darlington 2 will take.

We can look at the conservation experiments that were done by the Northwest Power Planning Council, which covers the four northwestern states in the United States under the auspices of Bonneville Power, which is a federally organized power corporation that serves those four northwestern states, a power corporation that is regulated by the Northwest Power Planning Council. They decided to find out in the case of conservation just what was real, what was out there and what they would have to do to bring it on stream when they required it. They did not require it right at the moment, but they saw the potential for the future and they decided they were going to be smart enough to do some long-range planning.

They went in and did pilot projects. The most predominant of those was the Hood River experiment where they went in as a utility and retrofitted everything in the county: farm houses, regular residential homes, small commercial buildings, gas stations. Whatever was in that county, they did it, and the utility paid the cost of all those conservation measures that were put in place.

Then they went into a five-year monitoring program to find out what was real in terms of permanent conservation and what was just temporary. In other words, how much would you get the first year and did it decline after an initial period of glee and new-found savings by the people in a community?

As I said, this pilot project on conservation in Hood River was done not because the Northwest Power Planning Council needed that power right then and there. They did not and they still do not today, but they know what it is they have to do to get how much conservation in place. They know what they have to spend and they know what it costs in terms of capital and operating dollars to keep it in place. They have gone out and identified the market and the ability to deliver that market. They have another bank sitting there, not a bank of advance approvals on the environment but a bank of conservation power that the Northwest Power Planning Council can call on any time it makes the decision or finds the need to go after that power.

The interesting thing in all of this, in the two examples I have used, the co-generation-parallel generation example from California and the conservation example from Hood River, is that in both cases both the capital costs involved and the operating costs, or the delivered cost of power to customers, was far less than the utility could otherwise provide on its own initiative by building new generation facilities. There have been none built in either jurisdiction, nor will there be any new generation facilities built in either of those jurisdictions in the foreseeable future.

As a matter of fact, as a result of the work that has been done in those jurisdictions, many of us had the pleasure of being able to read just very recently in the papers about the vote in California to close down a nuclear plant because they do not need it, not because it is unsafe -- it may be because it is sitting on a fault line, but it is not being closed down because it is unsafe. It is being closed down because they do not need it and it has been somewhat plagued with operational problems.

The people of California have just said: “This thing is a boondoggle. We have better things we can do, like industrial co-generation. Let’s shut down the damned plant and get on with the job of energy conservation, better and more efficient utilization of the energy that is already being used here in the state of California.”

This is a very important juncture we are at here in this Legislature. Bill 204, as I have said a number of times this afternoon, and l am going to keep repeating it until it gets through somebody’s head, is supportable. It is a small step in the right direction, but it means nothing by itself.

If we do not move on the other two areas I have talked about here this afternoon, if we do not deal with the question of regulating Hydro and breaking the information domination that has been imposed by Ontario Hydro ever since Ontario Hydro’s inception, and if we do not get on with breaking this cycle of, “Yes, there is enough conservation in Ontario; no, there is not,” without any factual way to measure that, if we do not do all three things, the amendments here in Bill 204 will mean nothing.


There are a couple of things that -- I want to move away from the 1986 select committee report, because that is three years old. I and my colleague the member for Etobicoke-Lakeshore used those recommendations today to point out that it has been three years and the minister is only now proceeding with one third of that package. The other two thirds remain untouched and unresolved.

I want to move on into the select committee’s report from January of this year, to try to give the members of the House here and perhaps even the minister some kind of indication of just how far behind the game he is and how critical it is that we get caught up to speed by the end of this year; not next year for the Ontario Energy Board and not the year after for conservation studies, but this year. It is not happening.

I want to quickly read for members a recommendation that was tabled here in the House in January: “Recommendation 6: No new major Ontario Hydro supply options should be approved until the Ministry of Energy is satisfied that the uncertainty regarding the amount of demand management which can be achieved is reduced by means of effective market research and studies of implementation feasibility.”

That is a recommendation which relates directly back to those other two recommendations from the 1986 report I read earlier, recommendations 10 and 12. Recommendation 6 is here in the select committee report of January 1989 precisely because nothing, or nothing significant, has been done. I should never say nothing has been done, because somebody has probably written some number down on some piece of paper somewhere and could claim that something has been done.

Nothing of significance has been done in terms of recommendations 10 and 12 in the 1986 select committee report. So the select committee this year felt it necessary to say, and say clearly, that, “No new major Ontario Hydro supply options should be approved until the Ministry of Energy is satisfied that the uncertainty regarding the amount of demand management which can be achieved is reduced by means of effective market research and studies of implementation feasibility.”

What does that recommendation mean? I want to put it in as blunt terms as I can so that perhaps some of the members of this House, and specifically the minister, can start to understand what that recommendation means. That recommendation means, in terms of everything the minister has said to us here this afternoon about his ability to control Ontario Hydro, about our ability as a province to ensure that Hydro is living up to our expectations and our priorities -- how did the minister put it in his opening remarks? It was right back on page 1: “In the throne speech of November 1987 this government made a commitment to review the Power Corporation Act in order to ensure that Ontario Hydro is in a position to be more responsive to government policies and public priorities.”

How is this government going to set those policies and how is the public of this province going to set its priorities as long as it is living in a fog? That recommendation in the select committee report says that the minister cannot reasonably make a decision about the next power plant in this province until these studies are done. That is a select committee that spent six weeks cross-examining witnesses, none of which the minister has done and none of which his staff have done. This was a conclusion reached by the members of all three parties on that select committee, that the minister, the ministry and the government would be irresponsible to make a decision about the next major generation facility in this province until those studies have been completed.

They have not been done, and decisions are implied by the minister’s statements in the press over the past number of weeks, statements which seem somewhat confused but are perhaps more open than some statements that have been made by this government in the past, statements about how “We are still in support of our nuclear power generation program.” I would have thought, from the Hansards I have read and the statements I have seen in this Legislature prior to 1985, that for the Minister of Energy to be now calling it his government’s program is quite a change of pace.

This recommendation in an all-party select committee report is a recommendation unanimously supported by all the members of that committee after careful consideration, and it says that this government cannot reasonably make that decision if it keeps avoiding doing the work that has to be done. That is what has been happening up until this point. The government and Ontario Hydro have been avoiding doing the work that everybody, including Hydro, says has to be done.

It is not just a question of quoting recommendations from 1986 that have not been lived up to. The recommendations from just four months ago say this government has failed to do what needs to be done to accomplish what the minister is telling us here this afternoon he wants to accomplish with this bill and he cannot accomplish with this bill alone.

In wrapping up my comments this afternoon, perhaps the minister has begun to understand now why we feel it is necessary that this bill go out for hearings, so that once again we can have a shot at getting clearly on the record all of what has to be done to make a system work for the future in terms of moving towards a sane electrical energy future in Ontario.

What are those things specifically in a regulatory way at the Ontario Energy Board or, heaven forbid, if we are not happy with the OEB, some other new agency to regulate Ontario Hydro in terms of its planning process and its performance in terms of reaching targets, reasonable targets for conservation, parallel generation, cogeneration, and as well getting on with the study of identifying a measure by which we can assess that performance in some kind of a factual way?

If somebody does not do the studies that indicate to this Legislature, to its committees and to the minister and the Ministry of Energy what is really possible in terms of bringing conservation on stream, bringing industrial cogeneration on stream, bringing parallel generation or independent private generation on stream and bringing any number of other alternatives on stream; if we do not identify what actions will cause what to happen, what the expenditure in the residential sector of $100 million will cause to happen versus what the expenditure of $100 million on another generation facility will cause to happen; if we do not identify those realities, then we will never, no matter what amendments to legislation we make, have the ability to measure, as the minister says, to assess Hydro’s performance in those areas.

I have said that perhaps the Ministry of Energy does not have the ability to do a lot of that work itself. On the other hand, the minister and his ministry started a process some two years ago in terms of hiring consultants to do some specific studies for him, studies which were completed about a year and a half ago, studies which have never been utilized and studies which have never been followed up.


We had one study, for example, the Marbeck study, which identified the technical potential in Ontario -- and I repeat that, the technical potential in Ontario -- for about 9,000 megawatts of conservation. That is equivalent to two and two thirds full-size Darlington plants. What does that mean? Nobody knows for sure, except that theoretically that technical potential of 9,000 megawatts is available at five cents a kilowatt-hour or less, which is the average price of power in Ontario.

But has the minister, has Hydro or has anybody done the implementation studies to see what capital expenditures would be required on the part of government or what capital expenditures on the part of Ontario Hydro would be required to bring those 9,000 megawatts of power into the system?

I should point out that those 9,000 megawatts are not 9,000 megawatts; they are probably only 6,500 megawatts because Ontario Hydro already has 2,500 megawatts of incentive-driven conservation in its plan. But it is true that 9,000 megawatts of incentive-driven conservation is far different from 2,500 megawatts of incentive-driven conservation, which is presently set out in Hydro’s planning process.

It is high time that the minister and all of us in Ontario, those who are interested in electrical energy matters and the future direction of Ontario Hydro, had some kind of a realistic understanding of how much of that 6,500 additional megawatts that Hydro says it cannot get we really could get with incentive programs that are designed to target specific areas, as set out in the Marbeck study.

The minister has the information base. If he made the commitment tomorrow to do the follow-up studies, they would be done before the end of 1989 and be in his hands in black and white. If he made the commitment tomorrow to proceed with the amendments to the Ontario Energy Board Act that I have suggested, which make up part 2 of the package, we could have them in place before the end of 1989, and all of the three parts of the package that are required to make this whole thing work will be in place and ready to operate.

I think back to a lunch that I had with the minister about a month ago or perhaps six weeks ago, when the minister told me he absolutely had to have this legislation, Bill 204, in place before the end of the year. I guess what l am trying to say to the minister is that he will have Bill 204 in place before the end of 1989, but in terms of accomplishing the goals that he set out in his opening statement today, it will not matter one whit by itself. Without the other two parts of the package that were carefully defined by the select committee in 1986, the minister will be no further ahead in achieving the goals as they have been set out.

Mr Wildman: I just wanted to commend my friend the member for Hamilton Mountain (Mr Charlton) on a most reasonable, very thoughtful, very positive presentation. I hope that the minister will take a serious approach to the comments made by my friend the member for Hamilton Mountain and that he will indeed include and agree to the amendments that were proposed.

If so, as I am sure my friend would agree, not only would he have our reluctant support for this legislation but our enthusiastic support. I am sure the minister would want that and he would also want to ensure that not only is Ontario Hydro a public corporation that is owned by the people of Ontario, but one that is really under the control of the government and the people of Ontario.

Mr Charlton: I want to thank my colleague the member for Algoma (Mr Wildman) and to assure the minister that he is correct. If the minister were to proceed in all the ways I suggested this afternoon, he would have the very enthusiastic support of this entire caucus.

Mr Cureatz: I can only say to my friend and colleague the member for Hamilton Mountain that he should be so lucky as to have one of his colleagues congratulate him on such a wonderful speech. I will be waiting with great anticipation to see if any of my own caucus will be standing up to congratulate me. I somehow doubt that that will be forthcoming.

Even the learned government House leader, who should know better than to attempt to change the rules of this assembly without the democratic approach, I know will probably not stand up to give me great accolades about the remarks that I am about to make on Bill 204.

Before we get into that particular aspect, I only have to mention to Vince Borg, who is always concerned about the length of my tie, that I hope, if he is tuning in today, it is in the appropriate position, because he says continually that first, I have too heavy a beard and should wear makeup, which I will not do, and second, “The least you can do is fix your tie,” so Vince, wherever you are, I hope I have met with your appropriate suggestions.

Of course, the problem also arises about Ralph Benmurgie. All of the members are saying, “Who is Ralph Benmurgie?” If any of them listen to Prime Time on CBC radio at eight o’clock, they will know that he unfortunately had to leave. Of course, we all know the reason he had to leave was because of this nasty budget that was brought forward by the Treasurer (Mr R. F. Nixon). It increased the taxes so dramatically that Ralph had to leave Prime Time and go to Midday to make more money to pay the taxes. We are awfully sorry we will not have the opportunity of tuning in and listening to Ralph any more, but we will be sending over my comments about why it was so sad that he had to leave Prime Time.

It is just wonderful that we have so many pages in attendance here. I have it on good authority that actually the real workers in this place are the pages right here in the chamber, along with the support staff, Ms Trudy Niezen, the Sergeant at Arms and all the other people who we do not see but who really make this place run. It has only taken me about 13 years to come to that conclusion, but I am a Conservative. We learn slowly, as has been pointed out to us.

Mr Black: It costs us $130,000 a day to run this place. You guys should be in here more often.

Mr Cureatz: The member for Muskoka-Georgian Bay, who is going to be gone in the next election, stood up and read a petition in this chamber and he should be lucky to do so, because his House leader has introduced legislation that will limit the opportunity for reading petitions. It wants to put a gag on democracy, this nasty, big, arrogant Liberal government, and the member for Muskoka-Georgian Bay has the nerve to be speaking up like this.

I am embarrassed for him. He is not even embarrassed for himself. It is absolutely astounding, these people with no parliamentary tradition. For goodness sake, I can hardly wait until he stands up and talks about Bill 204, as I am about to do in a few minutes.

I should probably remind everybody about why we are here on this bill. We have to do a little historical synopsis about Bill 204.


Mr Black: Why is your voice cracking?

Mr Cureatz: It is cracking because I just cannot believe that the member for Muskoka-Georgian Bay -- who represents a fine area of Ontario which has a great tradition in terms of the kinds of representatives they send to us; and they send someone of his calibre -- who should know better, with his educational experience, came out with the report on drug abuse, etc. and then blindly allowed the government House leader to come in with this crazy nonsense about amending the House rules without any kind of negotiations with all parties.

When he gets himself two or three more terms under his belt, when he is finally serving in opposition, then he will learn a lesson about House rules and the true nature of the parliamentary process, as established from 1064, from William the Conqueror and all that.

Mr Wildman: It’s 1066, not 1064.

Mr Cureatz: Oh, thank you; 1066.

Mr Wildman: The battle of Hastings.

Mr Cureatz: Right. Thank you. What was 1064?

Anyway, I want to get to the minister. He does not know how lucky he is to be newly elected -- I know he was a high roller down on Bay Street in the stock market, making in the three-figure numbers. I remember reading the little synopsis and interview. I never could understand what all that meant, but I guess it means around $200,000 or $300,000 a year.

For all the people at home, to refresh your memory, we are talking about Bill 204, which at the best of times is pretty dry stuff, and as I look about the gallery I see one or two guards way up there listening with their arms folded with great anticipation, trying to figure out how this piece of legislation is going to affect them.

I say to the people, to you at home, how is it going to affect you? It is a little difficult to say in dollars and cents the direct effect this is going to have on the people of Ontario, but do you know what? It is going to have an overall effect.

My friend and colleague the member for Hamilton Mountain in his own way certainly indicated his thoughts and concerns about the legislation. He has brought forward, as has his colleague the member for Etobicoke-Lakeshore, some indications about the various select committees and that those particular select committees are interdependent. I want to tell the minister, they sure are interdependent. They are not independent; they are interdependent.

The minister is awfully fortunate coming in from the private sector and, lo and behold, boom, he is right in with the executive council. I know he is not one of the four who really run this show. Goodness knows, they are scratching their heads today; there is no doubt about it. We have had a pretty rough week of what some would call mudslinging, which from time to time I myself cringe at. However, the powers that be have carried on and sloughed on in terms of some of their concerns about other issues.

My concern on Bill 204 is that the minister is very fortunate to now be sitting in the executive council to have some input in terms of energy policies in Ontario, and more particularly this piece of legislation. However, it grieves me to no end that he has not had the opportunity of slugging it out in the back benches, which I have had to do over the past number of years, all thanks to Bill Davis. I will say this, though, Bill and John Tory certainly would not have got themselves in the heck of a mess that this present administration has got itself into. Notwithstanding the complaints I have about Bill and John personally, I will tell members that they ran the show in terms of ethics a heck of a lot better than what we are seeing around here presently.

Mr Callahan: Stay on the high side, Sam.

Mr Cureatz: The member from Brampton is not even in his seat, so a lot he can say. He should go over to his seat and then he can start heckling all he wants.


The Deputy Speaker: Order, please.

Mr Cureatz: No one will pay any attention, because he has nothing valid to say anyway, as we have noticed in his questions at question period.

I want to go back to the new public policy for direction of Ontario Hydro. I will do my best to cover some aspects of the previous reports to give the minister an attempt at understanding, and for anyone who is listening and is tuning in, as I say, it is pretty dry stuff but it has to be done, because I want to make sure that the minister appreciates all the previous hard work that has really gone into the final culmination of his proposed legislation.

It has been tough slugging for over 10 years on the various committees of energy, and I want to say, of course, that is one of the concerns that we have -- I will tell him that at the first, I want to conclude with that, but in case I am rushed I will keeping watching the clock -- that we definitely want this legislation to go to committee and particularly to the committee on energy.

Notwithstanding that the chairman of the past select committee on energy in this session, the member for Oakville South, is a member of the government party, I think he handled the committee in a very fair manner. If I have any complaint, he sure wanted to get all the information in one day at a time; often it was 10 o’clock in the morning to six or seven o’clock in the evening, and after 4:30 pm to five o’clock, there is only so much that one’s bottom can handle in terms of information coming forth.

An hon member: That’s why you are sitting.

Mr Cureatz: That is why I am standing; I do not have to sit down and speak. Now that you have given me encouragement, I think I will go on for the rest of the afternoon.

However, I can assure the minister, if the powers that be have anything to do with such things, I would recommend highly that the member for Oakville South should continue on with the select committee on energy and the legislation, Bill 204, should make its way there in the summertime. I understand that the various committees are all clogged up with the various pieces of legislation, and that would be the appropriate place.

But I want to stress to the minister -- because I too have had the opportunity of meeting with him -- and to the people of Ontario, he is a most congenial minister and always receptive to ideas, information and openness; he has always been responsive to any areas of concern I have had. I have not been overly happy about the manner in which he has answered my questions, but of course that is a matter of difference in terms of what I am looking for and what he is giving to me and if I have some time, I will cover those areas of inquiries also in relation to Bill 204.

Moving right along with great rapidity, I want to refer all members’ attention to the fact that way back in June 1976 was the first minority government in an awfully long time, under then-Premier Bill Davis. Donald MacDonald, then leader of the New Democratic Party, had expressed concerns, along with his party, for a long time -- I suppose, so did the Liberal Party -- about the various aspects of Ontario Hydro.

As a result, we had the select committee inquiry into Hydro’s proposed bulk power rates, Legislative Assembly of Ontario, first session, 30th Parliament. This is where the groundwork is laid, and boy, if the members can believe it, 13 years afterwards we are getting into Bill 204 and the Power Corporation Act. The member for Niagara South (Mr Haggerty), the member for Victoria-Haliburton (Mr Eakins), and the former member for Halton-Burlington, Julian Reed, were the Liberal members of that committee.

I want to just refer for a moment to the opening paragraph of that report, summary and recommendations: “The select committee investigating Ontario Hydro was established by the Legislative Assembly of the province of Ontario to consider a proposed increase of some 25 per cent in the price of bulk or wholesale electric power by Ontario Hydro.”

Continuing on: “Ontario Hydro’s system expansion plan required close scrutiny by the Legislature because, over time, the most significant impact on hydro rates results from its plans to spend over $30 billion in the next decade on the expansion of generation and transmission facilities.”

Of course, if we cast our minds from 1976 all the way to now, we can take a look at some of those funds that were expended. One area was the Darlington generating station, of which I have been supportive in my community of Durham East in the town of Newcastle, just south of what we call the farmer town of Bowmanville; not to mention what was then called the Solandt commission which, when I was first elected, investigated the areas with the transmission lines; of course, in the old days I used to call them hydro lines. I was reprimanded by Hydro officials; they are not called hydro lines, they are called transmission lines.

In any event, the Solandt commission came forward, after an in-depth investigation and public hearings, with the location of a major east-west transmission corridor, which resulted, interestingly enough, in a swath three hundred yards wide through my riding, from where Darlington is now, making its way eastward eventually to Wesleyville, which was closed down, and over to Bath and Lennox, and then westward up to, I think it is called, the Cherry Hill distribution centre.

The report continued and the committee recommended that “the Ontario government develop and clearly articulate government policy towards Ontario Hydro.” That was way back in 1976 and there was a minority government in those days.

I want to point out to the minister that the Power Corporation Act and Bill 204 are really nothing that enlightening in terms of what all members of the assembly had the opportunity of discussing, and certainly those particular members when the first select committee on energy under Donald MacDonald was first established.


I, of course, was not elected in 1975. I came in 1977, so I was not right there at the first and I also wanted to refresh my own memory on where the select committee on energy continues to say, “Ontario Hydro develop an econometric forecasting model that will account for all quantifiable variables that can be anticipated to have a significant impact on the future demand for electric power.”

You would almost think that was the member for Hamilton Mountain speaking. I would not call him one of the most flamboyant speakers around here, although it has been said to me that the more flamboyant you are, the less you say. We will let that remain for other people to judge.

If there is one thing I have learned from the member for Hamilton Mountain, sitting and listening to him on the energy committee, it is that he sure does his homework. One area of concern he continually hammers away at is the aspect of a forecasting model - I think it is safe to say that he and I do have some discrepancies over the amount of electricity Ontario requires and the amount that can be saved through demand-supply management. In any event, that debate will be for another time.

This particular committee carried on and said, “Ontario Hydro’s current load forecast be accepted as the basis for anticipating future demand, given no significant changes in government policy.”

The thing I have learned from the demand requirements of Ontario is that it is pretty tough to look into the crystal ball. I suppose that is why Bill 204 actually has a lot to say and yet it has nothing to say. It has a lot to say in the aspect that government, in terms of the executive council -- I do not know if that means the caucus or the back bench is going to have any input in terms of Ontario Hydro -- has a lot to say because in theory I suppose it is going to be able to have a hands-on approach.

I do not know exactly how Ontario Hydro feels about the legislation. I think that is why it would be worth while to get this bill off into the select committee and let’s have some Hydro officials came forth.

I know it is going to be pretty tough for them to be straightforward with us. This government is running the show now. As for Ontario Hydro, Mr Franklin, Lorne McConnell and all the other underlings, are they going to come forward and say: “You know what? We do not like this bill, because we have enjoyed having the say in various aspects of supplying electricity to Ontario and now this means the government, through legislation, is going to have direct intervention.” That is where the bill has a lot to say.

On the other hand, as some of my learned lawyer colleagues would say, it has nothing to say, because what will the government actually say? I guess this is a concern of my friend and colleague the member for Hamilton Mountain, who kept referring to the three-part program, and this is his third part, I guess, which is the part that I have to agree I think is missing. That is the direct government action.

What is the government going to do? The difficulty is that no matter what decision the government makes, it is not like deciding today and having the result tomorrow. As I have said time and time again in this assembly, we are running out of electricity and I do not think Bill 204 particularly addresses that.

It addresses this overall approach, this aspect of government intervention and more hands-on control for Ontario Hydro. My friend and colleague the member for Leeds-Grenville, who is of course a little more right-wing than I am on this issue, has expressed concerns about Ontario Hydro. But generally speaking, after years of serving on the committee, I have became a little comfortable with its approach.

I think they are and have been a little dogmatic and maybe a little narrow-minded in expanding their concerns in other areas, like in cogeneration and private development of small generation facilities; and, of course, because they do not want to pay those private developers maybe the fair market value per kilowatt-hour, as opposed to what Ontario Hydro has actually been able to produce it for. If we look at Ontario Hydro and the multibillion-dollar investments it has, its mandate is to produce electricity at the lowest cost possible. I guess they feel a little uncomfortable. How can they go and start buying electricity at a greater cost than they are actually attempting to sell it at?

On the other hand, if it allows the production of electricity in certain areas of the province -- maybe eastern Ontario, maybe northern Ontario -- to help feed into the overall grid to such an extent that it would alleviate some of the major construction projects, it may be worthwhile. I have felt over the years that Hydro has been a little self-centred in terms of its approach to producing electricity.

That goes to the point of Bill 204 and is actually not saying much, because what is the government saying to Ontario Hydro in terms of policy? As I have indicated through my questions in question period, I am feeling very uncomfortable that the present administration is taking no stand whatsoever in terms of locating a new generating facility, the kind it is going to be and when the construction is going to start.

Of course, I will have to slip into my old speech in terms of the amount of electricity that is being produced in Ontario. More or less, it is a third, a third and a third, although nuclear power production of electricity is a little higher. But let us say that it is a third, a third and a third: one third thermal -- that is, coal, gas and oil -- a third hydro and a third nuclear.

As I indicated before, the Minister of Energy is quite adamant about any further big thermal plants. We have got one down in Wesleyville, sitting there in the riding of my colleague the member for Northumberland (Mrs Fawcett) which was started by -- let me see, it might even have been Jim Taylor, one of my colleagues, a seatmate, a former Minister of Energy. But that was shut down by the chairman of Hydro at that time, whose name was Bob -- I cannot think of his last name; I can picture him -- because they decided at that time that the demand was not adequate enough for continued construction.

In any event, in those days, I have to admit, the concern of acid rain was not as great as it is now. So the government has got itself a problem, although I indicated in my question yesterday about anticipating and using low-sulphur western coal in conjunction with what the United States has announced through President George Bush -- bringing in western coal, utilization of our ports in Thunder Bay and the burning of that low-sulphur coal in Ontario for the generation of electricity. The Minister of Energy will not go for that.

I know my friends in the official opposition have always expressed concern about the development of other hydro projects. I want to refresh the Speaker’s memory that the idea of Bill 204 is that the legislation allows the implementation of government policy. I actually do not see that government policy here, and I think that is what my friend and colleague the member for Hamilton Mountain was saying, that the third part of the three-part package is missing.

In terms of my friends and colleagues in the official opposition, although they have often expressed concerns about the availability of hydro sites in Ontario, I have some difficulty. The member for Algoma asked a question, I believe two or three weeks ago, as I was listening with great intensity, about the concerns and the possibility of a hydro site being located in northern Ontario, that the native communities were told nothing about it, that Ontario Hydro was up to its old tricks, although I was sympathetic with him on that one.

Jeepers creepers, you would think that after all these years Hydro would at least get its act together and call a meeting up there or speak to the local member or do something to get its public relations going. Not that I am out here to be whacking Ontario Hydro, but why not, we are the third party, what have we got to lose?

Talk about PR, have members seen this book? It is sent to all the members. Of course, I am the critic; I pay particular attention. Ontario Hydro Annual Report 1988. “In our 1988 annual report, we celebrate what we value most -- the people in the province we serve.” If you go through this, there are same fantastic pictures. Holy smokes, you would almost think they were not in the business of producing electricity; you would almost think they were in the business of photography. It is just great. You have got people standing in the wilderness thinking about electricity, people in the wintertime thinking about electricity, people buying vegetables thinking about electricity and people in industry working hard and thinking about electricity; it goes on and on. Jeepers, you would think they would have made their way up to northern Ontario and developed a public relations program not to get the local communities upset. They seemed to do that.


In any event, I just want to give my colleagues over there in the official opposition -- because I remember we are the third party now -- a little whack. They talk about Hydro generating facilities, and yet as soon as there is any kind of movement there, then we have the hue and cry about the environmental impacts of Hydro facilities. I am sympathetic with them too, as far as that goes. What do we do? Do we flood thousands of acres of forest, put a dam in, start turning the turbines and then have a full environmental assessment hearing?

I know my colleagues would never want something like that to be exempted. We will be pressuring the Minister of the Environment (Mr Bradley) over a full environmental assessment hearing now that a decision has been made to put the new Durham-Toronto garbage site -- they like to call it a landfill site, but it is a garbage site -- in North Pickering. Conveniently and happily enough, it is not coming to my riding, Durham East, but we will be carrying on with the good fight.

The original report continued on with great enthusiasm -- I know the minister would not want me particularly to read all the recommendations, and I want to get into one or two of the more recent reports -- but let’s take a look at this. In chapter III-2, it states: “Ontario Hydro develop a measure of the reliability of the generation system that includes all significant variables, and indicates with the highest possible degree of clarity and accuracy the frequency, duration and scale of probable outages.”

I bring that to the minister’s attention because, as I indicated on Bill 204, it says lots to the extent that the minister will be having a direct, hands-on control of Ontario Hydro, but it says nothing, because we do not know what that hands-on control is.

Way back in June 1976, here is a recommendation about these kinds of concerns about the duration and scale of probable outages. I want to tell the minister, I will be pursuing with him in various aspects of question period and statements the very idea about the lack of electricity that I think we are encountering here in Ontario. My friends and colleagues the member for Hamilton Mountain and the member for Etobicoke-Lakeshore think differently.

There are some people in my own constituency, Durham East. There is Nuclear Awareness, I believe it is called, centred in Oshawa: it came out and let off some balloons over concerns about radiation. Rightly so. I have always been pro-nuclear, but I have to say I got a little bit upset -- I guess it was in the last session -- when the first thing that happened when they started up the tritium plant was that they had a tritium leak. We heard time and time again: “Don’t worry. It’s all going to be safe. Everything is going to be wonderful.” Then lo and behold, bang, a tritium leak.

What l am saying is, I have moved my position to be a little more sceptical than I have been in the past. People like Suzanne Elston and John Veldhuis have approached me expressing their concerns about nuclear power and emphatically repeating what I hear from the official apposition; that is, through conservation, we should be able to preserve the number of megawatts required so that a large new plant of some sort or description need not be built. I still have same differences with them, and this is why I am bringing the report to the minister’s attention.

In my evaluation, sitting on the committee, as I have for going on to 13 years, as the committee has sat intermittently, it is my experience that, generally speaking, the trend for the need of electricity is increasing to such a degree that we are going to need a new major power source.

As I said previously, since the Hydro facilities are not as readily available as one would think, to the degree that we have at Niagara Falls, say, and if this present administration is quite adamant about acid rain, then in my estimation the amount of conservation is not as great as one would think. Conservation also includes load-shifting, which I do not think is going to be the be-all and end-all. I do not think we have reached the full aspect of load-shifting. I can see everyone is listening with great anticipation to hear the meaning of load-shifting. We will get the Hydro officials to tell everyone particularly, but for any people at home who are doing an essay for grade 9 physics on electricity next year, load-shifting is an attempt to get the major consumers to start consuming electricity not at the peak hours but at off hours.

The only problem, I say to the minister, and I know my friend and colleague the member for Hamilton Mountain knows this, is that there also comes a breaking point where one has done all one’s load-shifting so there is no more to shift anyplace else. As a result, what does that mean? It means we need more electricity. That is where I am concerned about Bill 204. My friend from the official opposition indicated the lack of part three of the package; that is, what is the minister’s direction? That goes to what I feel, that we are going to be needing a new plant and that we are going to need environmental assessment, if that can be determined to some degree. If it is at the Darlington B site, I think I would be willing to investigate an in-house evaluation, since the site has already been cleared. Do we and can we do environmental banking? I would suggest yes. When are we going to start construction of a new plant? I want to tell the minister that I am going to be working on him from now until the election, getting, if possible, the decision.

I say to the member for Hamilton Mountain that I know what they are going to do. He is no neophyte in politics either. They are going to try to postpone the decision on a major plant until after the election. Mind you, if I know my friends in the New Democratic Party, that election could very well be sooner rather than later, because the proposal by the government House leader on the rule changes in this assembly, if anything, is so sacrosanct to the New Democratic Party that they are going to go to the wall on that.

As former Deputy Speaker, I am a little more pliable. I know what it is like sitting in the chair. It is tough to keep awake, I say to the present Speaker, but l am doing the best I can to entertain him. I know what it is like, and this place is a give and take. We all yell and scream, but it was well put by, I think it was, Mr Walkom of the Toronto Star. Behind the door one tries to came up with a solution to one’s problems, but the kind of solution that has been brought forward by the House leader of this large Liberal government in terms of changing the rules is something that is very sacrosanct to the New Democratic Party. They are going to go to the wall on it. I have yet to feel that comfortable about going to the wall on it, but what if we suddenly had an election a little sooner than we all thought? Then the government will be off the hook and maybe it will not have to make that decision before the election if the election is upon us.

On the other hand, who knows what election will turn up? As I have said in the past, I say to the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr Riddell), who I know is eating peanuts that were grown in Ontario, who knows what will happen? We have had minority governments here before, have we not? It just might be that there might be a Conservative minority government. Then we would be put in the position of making the decision.

If I have anything to do with it, I will be a little more instrumental in getting off my butt and making the decision, because when I sat in that chair, the Premier then, as official Leader of the Opposition, continuously asked questions and concerns about the expansion of nuclear power. In my evaluation, although we can get Hansard back and it may indicate otherwise, he was against it. Now the government is in the position of maybe having to come out and suggest the building of another plant, either down in Darlington in my constituency of Durham East, in someplace up in the North Channel or, others have indicated, in eastern Ontario.

I do not want to bore members at great length on A New Public Policy Direction for Ontario Hydro: Final Report of the Select Committee of the Legislature Investigating Ontario Hydro, June 1976, because we want to go and move with great rapidity. I will not spend too much time because I have to confess to the Speaker it is not directly on point to Bill 204, but I am just mentioning in passing so the minister can have a kaleidoscope of the past investigations of the last 13 years, if members can believe it. I am getting so enthusiastic about it that I think we had better continue speaking about this bill maybe tomorrow, or whenever the House leaders can agree, so that I can cover the various aspects of the committee.


On the Management of Nuclear Fuel Waste, of course, and goodness knows -- let’s take a look here at recommendation 10:

“The hearing process chosen must adhere to the following principles of: separate hearings to set guiding criteria and to assess specific proposals; -- this is for the manner in which we are going to dispose of nuclear wastes -- “fully public hearings in all affected regions; the availability of funding to ensure full public involvement; a hearing process and basis for decision that takes into account all the factors a community wishes to raise; final decision on the site by responsible governments on the recommendation of the regulatory body....

“The first task of the assigned regulatory authority should be to stimulate public discussion of overall criteria including the holding of a public hearing.”

As my colleague the member for Hamilton Mountain indicated, all these reports are interdependent. This report, although one would think right away, the Management of Nuclear Fuel Waste, what does that have to do with Bill 204? It has to do with Bill 204 because the minister is giving himself the authority to have a hands-on control of Ontario Hydro, but we do not know what he is doing in terms of giving it direction. Do we look in terms of the minister’s statement, which I still want to get to, where he indicated that he would be entering into an agreement. If he does enter that agreement, does that have to do with nuclear power? If that is nuclear power, that should mean that we should go back -- and listen, I am concerned about disposal of nuclear waste.

I had the opportunity -- jeepers, let me think back; it must have been about 1979 or 1980. We had some great times in those days. That was another minority government, 1977-81, and we toured a good aspect of Canada. We went to Whiteshell, Manitoba, and we went to Atikokan in the middle of February. Talk about an un-junket. Holy smokes, and did I get a cold that day. It took me the rest of the week to recover. What a wipeout.

We had a big public hearing in Atikokan about how they are doing test drills into a pluton. Then from there we went to Deep River, over to the House leader’s home riding when he was just a humble little member like I was and now he is running the government. Boy, times have changed. We had another big public meeting there, only then it was the middle of summer, and boy, was it hot. I must have had heat stroke. In winter in the same committee I go and get a heck of a cold and then I suffer from heat stroke in Deep River.

It gets to the point about disposing of nuclear waste, and I am fully supportive that yes there should be an ongoing monitoring investigation. Maybe that is where, although my friend and colleague, the member for Hamilton Mountain, brought forward his private member’s resolution in terms of the Ontario Energy Board, I do not think that we could sort of do a capture of the nuclear waste disposal under that board, but you never know. If not, it should be at least an ongoing aspect of investigation by a committee of this Legislature.

Time marches on. We have so much more to say. Mining, Milling and Refining of Uranium in Ontario, Final Report, December 1980. We had a great time. We went to Elliot Lake and we heard from union representatives, from miners, the staff working the mine, and from politicians. There was concern about -- if I remember, Eddie Sargent -- his riding I think has changed now, in any event -- had concerns about the Hydro contract, but more importantly the tie-in with the development of industry in northern Ontario and Elliot Lake and the supply of uranium for the Candu reactor.

Again, I know the minister is scratching his head, but the point of it is that in terms of the decision-making process that he is giving himself under the authority of Bill 204, he is putting off the inevitable and the inevitable is that he is going to have to build another nuclear plant. That is it. I tell the minister he should not dare to try -- of course, he is going to do it anyway. I should not say that he should not dare. I know he is going to come back and tell me: “Oh no, we are going to do all these wonderful things. There is going to be conservation and cogeneration.” But I will say what my experience has been sitting on the very select committee on energy.

We had an all-day caucus, a three-day caucus up in Sudbury. I wrote to the minister about this, I believe, and I think I wrote to the chairman of Ontario Hydro, Mr Franklin, among others, and the major nickel producers up there. Falconbridge had indicated to me that they were getting so fed up with being on what was called uninterruptible power when their power was being interrupted that they decided it was cheaper to go on interruptible power. What would happen is they were supposed to have uninterruptible power, and the electricity is flowing into their plant -- and do not forget, there are a lot of people working in those plants. We are not just talking about some big outfit. I get criticized about this all the time. I have said it in the past and I will say it until I finally leave or get defeated or something. As a Tory, I keep getting criticized: “Oh, you are defending big business.”

The president of General Motors has never knocked on doors on my behalf for canvassing and I do not remember the president of International Nickel or Falconbridge knocking on my door. I am not going to bat for the big corporations because what I am saying is that there are a heck of a lot of people working in those industries.

So they are supposed to be on uninterruptible power. I have a letter. I think I sent a copy of the letter to the minister. They are saying they are being interrupted so often that what is happening is that it is disrupting their whole process. It is costing them more money while they are being shut down waiting for the electricity to came back on, and of course, they are paying a higher premium for that uninterruptible power. They might as well be on interruptible power so that when those guys at Ontario Hydro shut down the power for some reason, at least they are not paying that high premium rate. They have entered into a contract over two or three years -- I just forget the terms -- and they are going to give notice, if they have not done it already, to get out of that uninterruptible power contract.

Do the members know what that tells me? It tells me that the major power users in Ontario are getting concerned.

Of course, we get in a mindset. We say, “Oh, those major power consumers, that has to be General Motors down in Oshawa,” which my friend and colleague the member for Oshawa (Mr Breaugh), the member for Durham Centre (Mr Furlong) and myself have the opportunity of representing. But as I indicated, there are thousands of men and women working in the various aspects of those industries, so when we are talking about the major power consumers of Ontario, we are not talking about those nasty big corporations, although sometimes I feel like it, but we are talking about the men and women who are employed there.

If that corporation is not getting enough electricity, it cannot be having the men and women working there to get their salaries. That is that aspect of concern that I have about Bill 204: Where is the government going?

How could I miss one of my favourite reports? As life carried on back in those heady days of 1985 -- let me see. I think this was before the minority government. The select committee on energy report on the Darlington nuclear station. No, I think this was minority government. We had lost the government. I see George Ashe there, my colleague from Durham West. We did a thorough investigation of Darlington, which of course is in my riding, and we came up with a few recommendations.

“The committee should undertake an independent review of the Ontario Hydro demand-supply options study backed by such expertise as may be required to illuminate specific and critical issues embodied in it.”

Happily enough, that was a continuation of the more recent reports from that select committee on Darlington.

We went further and said, “No further significant contracts for units 3 and 4 should be let for materials not required for construction during the next six months while the committee studies demand and supply options.”

As fate would have it, way back then, now four years later, the first two units of the plant will be coming an stream and 3 and 4 shortly thereafter.

But again, the tie-in with the various history aspects of these various committees is still trying to develop a strategy and overall direction for Ontario Hydro to ensure in some manner that we in Ontario are going to be having enough electricity.

As I indicated, I do not particularly see in Bill 204 -- because I know the Speaker is very concerned that I address my comments to it -- I do not know; I do not see it here. I think that is indeed the part missing, part 3, as my friend and colleague the member for Hamilton Mountain indicated.

With great rapidity, we move right along to 3 July 1986. Select Committee on Energy -- another select committee on energy -- Final Report on Toward a Balanced Electricity System. Now we are getting into those areas where I know the official opposition has always expressed concerns, and goodness, we have a great many recommendations from that report, which led us into Report on Ontario Hydro Draft Demand/Supply Planning Strategy, Volume I, and Report on Ontario Hydro Draft Demand/Supply Planning Strategy, Volume II, all of which I spent all afternoon marking all the recommendations in.

See all the paper clips? See, all at home, all those paper clips? For you people who are operating the cameras up in the booth, do a little closeup. You know how much work that was? I have 11 minutes now; I have to do all those paper clips. We are not going to get to it, unfortunately.

But the committee did a lot of good work in terms of the concerns of demand-supply options and I do not think that work has necessarily been covered in Bill 204.

So let me, without any further ado, jump into some of the concerns. After doing all that work, it just breaks my heart, but maybe there will be another time. Let me jump into the minister’s statement which he very kindly gave me a copy of, even though I went scurrying over to his staff and they conveniently forgot to get a copy. It makes you wonder what they get paid for.


Of course, we all know the game; they did not have a copy because they did not want me to have one. So I stood up to embarrass the minister and asked if I could have a copy. What else was he going to say? Of course, then he would say, “Sure, you can have a copy,” because he would not want to go on record to say that he would not give me a copy.

Interestingly enough, “It gives the government the authority to issue policy statements that Hydro shall respect in performing its corporate duties.” As I indicated, as we have tried to give a synopsis with the various select committee of energy reports, it takes years. Holy smokes, I went back to 1975-76. The first report said, “Developing Strategies of the Need and Use of Electricity in Ontario.” Now here we are in 1989, 13 years later, and the government is finally trying to get direct control of Hydro.

Yet I am saying to the minister that when he makes the decision, it is not going to happen tomorrow. These things take a long time. I have to say, I suppose, that there is a little bit of guesswork in all this. You have to look into the crystal ball. As of yet, I have not seen the guts from this government, in terms of electricity, to look into the crystal ball and make the decision on where the next major power plant is going to be built and when the electricity is going to be produced. It does not say that in Bill 204. I am going to be interested.

Hopefully, we can continue this debate so that we might hear same information from the Minister of Energy in terms of his strategy. But I am suspicious; I do not think we are going to hear it. If it were the Minister of Health (Mrs Caplan), holy smokes, she would be out every other day giving statements, sending money down to the university in London, coming to Oshawa, visiting with us all and having nice little talks with the district health council. She has guts. But I do not think this Minister of Energy has the wherewithal and the pull to go into cabinet and say. “Look, we need another major plant in Ontario.”

Even if this legislation in Bill 204 gives him that authority, first, I do not think he is committed, and second, I do not think that when he looks into his crystal ball he really believes we need electricity. Yet I have been telling him about brownout possibilities. Last summer in Ontario, during the heat wave and last winter in February, to my understanding, the subway system almost shut down because of lack of electricity. The minister is wandering around, listening to his staff saying: “Oh no, the world’s lovely. We’re going to conserve all the thousands of megawatts. We still have a lot of electricity.” He does not have it.

Mr Cleary: Try to be nice, Sam!

Mr Cureatz: I have nothing but the highest respect for my friend and colleague the member for Cornwall (Mr Cleary) and I will say nothing against him whatsoever.

Hon Mrs Caplan: Bravo, bravo. At least he finally said something of some significance.

Mr Cureatz: I say to the Minister of Health that someone says that about her from time to time when she makes her statements in the House, but I will not say that at all because you never know, I might want that Bowmanville hospital completed a little sooner than it is going at the moment.

“Legislative roadblocks in the areas of conservation....” You see, this is hyperbole. It is full of -- like my speech, some would say. On page 5 it says, “Legislative roadblocks in the areas of conservation and parallel generation will be removed so that Hydro will be able to provide incentives for these initiatives.”

That is not so easy. The minister just sort of throws that statement out, which under Bill 204 sort of gives him the authority to do that. I say to the House leader that he missed a great speech about the time we went down to Deep River and the Rolphton plant. It was as hot as Hades down there. What a time. Does he remember that? His people were as mad as the devil at him. Did he want to shut it down or keep it open? They were mad at him for some reason, anyway.

Hon Mr Conway: Sammy, because to govern is to decide.

Mr Cureatz: We have seen the kinds of nasty decisions that came out of this nasty, big, arrogant Liberal government, like the institution of these House rules. And of all people, he, in the true parliamentary tradition and as the great Ontario historian that he purports to be, then stands up -- I gave him a seven on his performance, I must admit.

Hon Mr Conway: Eight.

Mr Cureatz: Eight. Was it eight? I think it was eight. He stands up and introduces these rule changes that I just could not believe. I said, “Is that the Sean I used to know, the fellow I used to buy books for by Gore Vidal and about Lincoln in 1876?” Members would think he would know better, but not the government House leader. I will tell members there must have been a lot of heat from his back bench to change the rules.

They cannot believe that we too in the opposition have been elected and we too are expressing views and concerns of the people of Ontario. We do not like these House rules and we are going to be objecting to them. I will tell members that it might be in October when we finally get out of this place and a lot of members will have the opportunity of listening to one or two of my speeches.

I say to the government whip -- he is counting -- that he blew it today. He should go and answer to the Premier how come in the rotation one of his backbenchers missed the opportunity of standing up and chewing up the time and asking the questions. He should report on that to the Premier. He should be docked the two limousine rides or something because he blew it. He had better get his act together again in the middle of the week. I think he is getting a little frazzled with all the mudslinging that has taken place. He has his own job to do.

Environmental goals: I say to the minister, under his statement, that it is not so easy just to throw out environment goals, because if he is finally going to take the initiative and make a decision and give direction to Ontario Hydro on where the next major power plant is going to be, what is it going to be? Is it going to be hydro? If it is hydro, we have the concern of my friend the member for Algoma about the flooding of large acreages of lands in native community areas.

Is it going to be nuclear? If it is nuclear, I will tell members there is another area that we are missing in nuclear, now that he is making little notes. I guess I am going to some meeting. Let me just look in my date book. It will just take a little moment here. I know the government House leader will probably be attending.

I think it is this Thursday at 11 am over at the Sutton Place and we are going to be talking about the farmer Solicitor General. I say to the House leader that I really churkel, when I think of the speeches he and his colleagues gave --

Hon Mrs Caplan: What is a churkel?

Mr Cureatz: A churkel is a cross between churkel and snorkel -- about Roy McMurtry being both Attorney General and Solicitor General at the same time. Margaret Campbell -- members should have heard Margaret. Holy smokes, one would have thought the walls were caving in; that there is no way Roy should be serving in both capacities.

What happens? Here is the Attorney General (Mr Scott). Suddenly there is not, I say to the government House leader, one backbencher, not one of them good enough for the Premier to advance into the cabinet. There are 64 of them or 63 or whatever the number is. Members should see all the lawyers here who are on the back bench. I can read them off. There is one right there, the member for Guelph (Mr Ferraro); I think he is one.

No, he is not. Well, there is the member for Kitchener (Mr D. R. Cooke). He is from out that way and he is a pretty good guy. We have the member for Mississauga North (Mr Offer). Let me see, we have somebody over there, another lawyer. We have the member for York East (Ms Hart). How could I forget her? Why should she not be the Solicitor General? Not good enough, I guess. Incredible. Unbelievable.

It is like the opening of the domed stadium when it was pouring rain. I do not mind the Liberal government. It does not know enough to get out of the rain and that is to our advantage, because of course in the next campaign it is going to reflect on the number of seats it gets. But the guys at the SkyDome, it is teeming rain and they open the roof.

I just want to explain. The idea, when they built that stadium, was that if it is raining, you keep the roof closed so the rain does not fall on the people. If it is sunny out, you open the roof. I know it is difficult, when you look at this Liberal administration, to not get the idea about getting out of the rain when it is raining, but for the kind of money spent over there, it should please think about what it is doing.

The minister goes on and he says here, “Sections of the amendments to the Power Corporation Act also preserve the government’s ability to carry out energy policies for the good of Ontario and Canada under the free trade agreement.”

I will tell him that I do not think he has done his homework. This was sort of a cutesy from some Liberal policymaker who said, “We are going to attack that federal government on free trade.” He should go up to Richview, where I have had the opportunity of visiting a few times, which is a big switching station for Ontario.

We are all interconnected with the northeastern United States and, holy smokes, we can be producing an electron over on the Bruce Peninsula and it can wind up down in Texas or way over in New York City, wherever New York City is. I have got my directions all mixed up. There is south, so New York City is, yes, about that way. Over in New York City. So what does that tell the minister? It tells him this is a little bit of propaganda, a little bit of smoke and mirrors about this independence of electricity for Ontario.

Holy smokes, the electricity is running back and forth those transmission lines I do not know how many zillion times a second between us and the United States, and for that matter, Quebec or Manitoba, which also brings into mind -- I am interested in the minister’s policy statements. Gee, there is so much more to say. I have not even got to my party’s position on it.

About his authorization to make further direct suggestions to Ontario Hydro, and that is purchasing power, the committee looked into that too because we covered the three aspects. The last one is a purchasing of power.

I just want to finish this off; two minutes. It is too expensive to build a transmission line from Manitoba. I think it is too expensive from Quebec and they do not seem to be terribly interested. Mind you, it has been the policy of Ontario Hydro to be self-supporting and rely on its own generation capacities. In the official opposition, I do not think my friend the member for Hamilton Mountain is so committed to that. Me, I am committed to that.

The Acting Speaker (Mr M. C. Ray): Time, please.

Mr Cureatz: There is so much more to be said. All I can say in conclusion is that notwithstanding my comments and concerns, yes, we will be supporting the bill.

On motion by Mr Cureatz, the debate was adjourned.

The House adjourned at 1801.