34e législature, 2e session








































































The House met at 1004.





Mr Wiseman moved resolution 17:

That, in the opinion of this House, recognizing that municipalities with populations of under 10,000 people do not have the financial tax base to purchase modern effective and reliable fire protection equipment the government should subsidize these communities with unconditional per household grants for this purpose; and recognizing as well that it is inconvenient and expensive to send volunteer firefighters to train in Gravenhurst, that the Ministry of the Solicitor General provide training for these forces in their own regions of the province.

The Acting Speaker (Mr M. C. Ray): The member has up to 20 minutes for his presentation and may reserve any portion thereof for his windup.

Mr Wiseman: I am very pleased today to be given the opportunity to present this resolution to the House. I presented a similar resolution a few years ago, but I think it is even more important today than it was then because of the cost of firefighting equipment and the cost of the supplies that are needed to get rid of a lot of hazardous waste that is travelling on our highways and through trains and other modes of transportation.

I would like to acknowledge as well that our colleague the member for Algoma (Mr Wildman) brought forth the first part of my resolution in 1987. Speaking to him yesterday, he would have loved to be here to speak to this, but he is back, I believe, at a function in his own riding.

Hopefully, not all of us in the House will have to go through it, but my wife and I, over the last 35 years or so, have had the misfortune to have two small fires. It was really good to have had the local rural fire department there right away, knowing what to do to put it out. It saved many thousands of dollars, as well as a lot of grief to my wife and me.

We did a lot of homework. I will not have time to get it all in today, but we did speak to the fire chiefs in most of eastern Ontario. They all support this resolution fully. The town of Arnprior, which is in my riding, went a little further to say that the newest fire truck it has is 12 years old. Many others, as members can guess, are quite a bit older than that and they really need upgrading.

As we all know, large centres have the tax base and are able to buy the new equipment. Many times, the used equipment is sold to small municipalities. I am told a lot of it is outdated and some of it is not even safe.

When I checked into it, there are really no standards for used equipment or materials. Maybe we should be asking the acting Solicitor General (Mr Scott) to bring in guidelines to introduce some sort of certification program for used equipment.

The fire chief in Prescott says they are fine in the town of Prescott, but the outlying areas are really in need of upgrading of their equipment. The town of Perth, a town of just about 6,000 people, has just made an expenditure of almost $200,000 on a new fire truck.

Many of the councils that have got back to me -- and many of us have heard from our municipalities -- have said that Statistics Canada has reported that transfers to municipalities this year have dropped by some $832 million. So, there are a lot of places for the local municipalities to pick up from the taxpayers what the provincial government used to give them in transfer payments.


I am pleased the Ministry of the Solicitor General has seen fit to put $20,000 into a study that will be done by that office and the fire marshal’s office and a group of volunteer firefighters to study the standards and the training that should be supplied to volunteer firefighters. Jack McAllister, president of the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs, says that right now the training is inadequate for these groups in Ontario. He fully supports this resolution as well.

There is a concern with any municipality that is along a large highway like Highway 401. Many of the firefighting areas along it, and other main arteries, from time to time have spills of hazardous waste. There are very few large municipalities that have the training or the equipment to deal with this sort of thing, let alone a volunteer fire department that has not had the training or does not have the equipment to deal with such a problem

The training is pretty well all done at the Ontario Fire College and it is done on a weekly basis. Many of the firefighters, particularly the volunteer firefighters, are away from their families a lot if there are many fires in the area. Also, they have families to look after and many of their wives and children do not like to see them take a week of their holidays to go away to take a course at the fire college.

I think it would he fitting if they would go out into the regions more to train the people, and perhaps on long weekends have three-day courses. I understand that to get into the fire college now on a course there is a backlog and it takes something like a year and a half to get into the course and actually take it at the fire college, if you do want to give up a week of your time.

The hazardous waste training is done by the representatives in the region from the fire marshal’s office, and I understand there are 16 trained at a time in that class, but they have only two classes a year of 16 people each.

One of those classes is for people who have the equipment to look after hazardous waste if there is a truck accident or something along that line along Highway 401 or some other large artery, and the other one is for smaller municipalities that do not have the equipment to handle things like that.

I can tell the members that in the town of Smiths Falls, just about 11 months ago, we almost had a real disaster. We did not know someone was storing hazardous waste in an old shed or a barn at the back of a house. On a hot day in late August last year, they noticed smoke. I guess it was some chemicals that had been stored there that were owned by the federal government and they were just lucky they did not explode. The fumes were coming up through the roof and when volunteer firemen went in there not knowing what was in that shed, they could have been risking their lives or health problems from that day on.

It was something like two days before even the Ministry of the Environment got in there. The mayor and I had to really hound them to get them in to check it out, even though they are supposed to have a Zenith number and be there as soon aspossible. Almost 48 hours does not seem like a reasonable length of time.

Since then, they have asked that any hazardous waste in the area be recorded with the fire department to try to avoid something like that. But they did not have the equipment, even if they had known what was in there, to deal with that. They had to bring in heavy equipment from just outside of Hamilton and outside of Montreal or Quebec City, I believe it was.

I just feel that in our rural municipalities that have volunteer firefighters who do come out in all sorts of weather to protect us, the firefighters should be encouraged to take more training, take it in their region, and if they decide to take a week’s holiday off to take the course, they should not have to wait a year and a half for it. The fire marshal’s representatives in the region should give these short courses for two or three days on the weekend so that it would be more convenient for them, and the Ministry of the Solicitor General should look at finding some money for the equipment.

We asked the Ministry of Skills Development for some money for training of the fire departments for hazardous waste and we were turned down flat. I think that is one area that could help to assist the fire groups.

I am anxious to see what some of my colleagues from other areas representing fire departments and municipalities of under 10,000 have to say about it. I am sure they would he supportive because, if they are listening to their fire departments and the councils, they know it is very costly for them to try to provide this training and equipment.

I will save the rest of my time for my windup.

Mr Hampton: I want to participate in this debate because I think it is important from the prospect of the province as a whole and how the province looks at the provision of necessary local services.

It also is very important in terms of the part of the province that I come from because we probably have more small and recently established rural municipalities in northern Ontario than anywhere else in the province. Indeed, I have in my own constituency a number of small rural municipalities which one can say, without hesitation, are cash-strapped. At the same time, there is a demand for a fire protection service and it is a demand I think none of us would want to deny to people who live in those areas, and I think the provincial government would not want to deny that.


In terms of how this all fits in with the policies of the provincial government, it seems there is a bit of an anomaly in what the province is doing. On the one hand, the province says to communities far and wide that it would prefer the local provision of services, the provision of necessary services by local boards and organizations rather than centralized service provided by the province. The province has enunciated a number of reasons for this type of policy.

First, I gather the province feels it is less efficient to provide these services in a centralized way, and on the other side, more efficient for the local communities to provide them. Second, I think the province always takes the view that it is less expensive for local communities to provide the service. Third, I think the province has always taken the position that it is good, in some sense of local democracy and responsibility, that the local municipality provide the service.

Unfortunately, when it comes to the provision of fire protection service for small municipalities and rural municipalities, I do not think the province has followed through on those things it has enunciated. Let me give an example. If you are an unorganized region or an unorganized rural municipality, that is, you do not have an actual municipal form of government, the province has been quite generous, some would say too generous, in assisting unorganized territories or unorganized rural municipalities in terms of providing them with equipment, funding for training and grant funding to put together a volunteer fire department. The province in many cases has been very generous with respect to unorganized municipalities.

If the province is going to do that for an unorganized territory that has no real municipal structure, you would think that the province, having done that for small unorganized territories, would perhaps he more generous with small organized municipalities, because after all, here is a municipality that has decided it wants to run its own affairs. It will bear the cost of municipal government and some of the restrictions that go with municipal government. You would think the province would then say, “We want to help you as well.” In fact, that is not the case.

What has happened, especially across the northern part of the province, is that you actually have small municipal governments that are looking over their shoulders, saying: “‘Wait a minute. Why should we bother to become responsible municipal bodies? Why should we bother to have a municipal organization if the province is going to penalize us financially in terms of fire protection when we do this?”

There are organized municipalities that have written to the Ministry of the Solicitor General and have held discussions with the ministry and said: “Please, it is very expensive for us. We are quite small. We have only 500 or 1,000 residents in our municipality. We have very little commercial tax base. You have provided generous assistance to the neighbouring unsurveyed, unorganized territory next door. Why this anomaly in policy? Why can we not receive funding as well?

The government’s response is, “Yes, we do give you some grants,” but ask any municipal leader out there today and he will tell you, and they have told this government in many ways now -- you need only go to the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association conferences and you will hear it. At NOMA, I think it was put quite bluntly to the government that the existing grant structure is not sufficient as it is.

What is really needed in terms of working out an equal basis for small municipalities is to look at the funding that is provided to small organized rural municipalities and then look at the funding that is provided to small unorganized territories and compare them. Members will see that there is no equality of treatment whatsoever.

What is the end result? The end result, as I said a bit earlier, is that in some cases you actually have small rural municipalities that are saying to themselves: “Maybe we should unorganize. Maybe we should disband the municipal corporation since the province seems to be more generous if we don’t try to exercise some type of local responsibility and democracy.” I suggest to the government that is an absurd result and one the government ought to pay a lot of attention to.

The other result, one that is no less absurd, but probably of more drastic consequence immediately, is that small rural municipalities and small villages simply cannot provide the kind of fire protection that they need and that I think everyone who lives in this society would say they deserve and ought to have. So you have small communities getting by with much less than any rational standard would find acceptable.

I am glad the member has brought this private member’s resolution forward. I note that it is quite like a resolution that was sponsored by my colleague the member for Algoma in 1987. I can only say that maybe we will have to have more of these before this government sits down and takes a very careful look at where it is spending its fire protection dollars, at the equality of the situation and the overall grant structure for the provision of these kinds of firefighting services.

Finally, the resolution speaks in terms of the cost of sending volunteer firefighters to Gravenhurst. Particularly in my part of the province, that is an unrealistic and some would say totally asinine expense. In a province this large where you have a large number of volunteer fire departments established in northern Ontario because of the sparse population, it makes no sense at all to send all those volunteer firefighters to Gravenhurst for training. In fact, many communities in northern Ontario have petitioned the government to provide a volunteer firefighters’ training centre somewhere in northern Ontario. The cost advantages to the government would be incredible if the government did that. I recommend that strongly. It is long overdue.

I see my time is up. There are a few other things I would like to say, but they will have to wait for another time.

Mr Kanter: I rise in support of the motion put by my colleague the member for Lanark-Renfrew and supported by the member for Rainy River. I am in support of the general principle of the resolution. However, I do have some concerns about some of the details and would like to speak about some of the specific aspects of the resolution the member has put

While I am in support of the principle of more provincial funding for fire equipment, I believe the specific funding proposal requires further refinement. I would like to emphasize that there is now a considerable amount of training, particularly for volunteer firefighters, provided on a decentralized basis, while agreeing with the member that there is room for more effort along those lines.

I would like to point out that the resolution is silent on the matter of fire prevention. This is something that this government considers extremely important. We understand and are looking at the efforts of some other countries that spend more on fire prevention than they do on fire suppression and firefighting. They have a much lower rate of loss from fire damage than we do here in Canada.


I expect that most members of the House are familiar with the rough pattern of the delivery of fire services in Ontario. We have 34 full-time fire departments, 100 composite departments that consist of both professional salaried firefighters and volunteers, and 522 volunteer departments. Perhaps the important point to note here, as some other speakers have, is the fact that there are more in terms of numbers. There are 17,000 volunteer firefighters compared to 9,000 full-time firefighters.

I also think it is important members are aware of the difference in costs between a full-time fire department, a volunteer fire department, and in some cases smaller municipalities that purchase fire protection from neighbouring municipalities. A full-time fire department obviously costs more. You are looking at a per capita cost of $50, $60, $70 or $80 a year. Volunteer fire departments might cost $30 to $40 a year and smaller municipalities that purchase fire protection have a still lower cost of $10 to $15 per year.

I know my colleague the member for Lanark-Renfrew made the point that fire equipment is expensive. He is of course correct, but we understand that well-maintained equipment will last for a number of years. Perhaps well-maintained 12-year-old equipment is more than adequate in most parts of the province.

I would take some exception to one of the comments I heard that suggested there was some sort of massive decrease in the amount of grants provided to organized municipalities. Clearly, organized municipalities are in a different position, a better position and a stronger position than unorganized municipalities in terms of grants.

Last year, this provincial government provided unconditional grants of about $870 million consisting of several different factors: general support grants, per-household grants, resource equalization grants and special support grants. I would emphasize that the formula for these grants is really biased towards municipalities that have smaller tax bases so that some larger municipalities, such as the area I represent, get relatively little in municipal grants per capita, quite deservedly so, compared to other municipalities that have a smaller tax base.

Of course, money from any or all of these sources, these unconditional grants, can be and are used to purchase fire protection equipment. It is also true that municipalities receive a number of conditional grants, some of which are related to fire protection services. There is funding to cover the cost of fires that originate on crown land, funding to assist in the prevention and control of grass, brush or forest fires, and also funding for unorganized municipalities, which my colleague the member for Rainy River referred to.

This program, which began in 1976, has had a substantial impact on reducing the fire death rate in unorganized communities. The fire death rate was much higher than in the rest of the province. It is still higher but it has been reduced substantially.

I think my colleague the member for Rainy River may have pointed out a difficulty with the resolution, perhaps inadvertently, when he said that there is a problem with the cutoff. If you provide total assistance to unorganized communities, and no assistance at all to municipalities, there is a difficulty between those municipalities that may in other ways be quite similar.

Similarly, I have some difficulty with the precise nature of the funding mechanism proposed in the resolution. It speaks of subsidizing communities with less than 10,000 people by unconditional grants. I am a little uncertain what that means, whether that is really an unconditional grant, because if funding were provided to municipalities on an unconditional basis, they would not have to use it for firefighting equipment.

I also see some difficulty with the 10,000 population cutoff figure. Taken literally, that would mean that every municipality with less than 10,000 residents would get provincial funding, while no community with more than 10,000 residents would receive help, regardless of its tax base or its need.

I am sure the member for Lanark-Renfrew and all members of the House can appreciate that might lead to anomalous situations. I know there are some municipalities -- I can think of Smiths Falls, for example, in his riding -- that would receive provincial help because they have under 10,000 people. I know there are perhaps other similar municipalities, such as Rideau township in the riding represented by the member for Carleton (Mr Sterling), or Collingwood in the riding of Simcoe West or Nickel Centre represented by the member for Sudbury East (Miss Martel), that might be just over the 10,000 population figure.

I think there would be some anomalies if you had a 10,000 population figure without looking at tax base or need. I think we need a somewhat more sophisticated mechanism for providing financial assistance.

I would note, and it has been noted, that there was a previous resolution on this subject by the member for Algoma, but the size of municipalities was not so clearly defined in that other resolution. I understand the intent. I support the intent. I am just suggesting that we need to be a little more refined in terms of the nature.

I would like to spend a moment or two on time question of training of fire department officials, particularly volunteer officers. I understand that regional training has been carried out very extensively. Regional training schools were held in a number of counties and districts -- the counties of Brant, Kenora, Rainy River, Leeds and Grenville. There were fire prevention schools held in a number of areas including the county of Lambton. I believe my colleague the member for Lambton (Mr D. W. Smith) will be speaking on this further.

Seminars were held on subjects appropriate for various municipalities, for example, a wood heat seminar. There is a training course for residents in the South Algona, Lyndoch and Brudenell area. I understand my colleague the House leader is particularly interested in that area.

In fact, and I think it is an important figure, there were 6,700 firefighters trained by the Ontario fire marshal in 1988; 4,600 of them were trained at one of the regional programs noted above, in contrast to 2,100 students attending the Ontario Fire College in Gravenhurst. Nearly two out of three firefighters who received training by the government through the fire marshal’s office were trained at a regional location.

Further progress is under way. As my colleague mentioned, there is a group of the fire marshal’s office, the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs and municipal fire service leaders studying other ways of improving training, with new training programs to include not just one other centre, but really, truly decentralized training, direct training in the firefighter’s own community, training by correspondence, video or community colleges in local municipalities.

I have time just to mention the fact that most fire deaths result from inadequate fire prevention, not from inadequate firefighting. We are concentrating more efforts on fire prevention as well as suppression. There is a program know as the fire safety assist program with a number of components, particularly to help firefighters in smaller communities to be involved, to be knowledgeable and to be helpful with fire prevention.

In conclusion, I support the thrust of this resolution, as it highlights the essential nature of firefighting services in Ontario. I suggest that the provincial government, primarily through the Solicitor General, and also local governments, have a role to play in fighting fires.

While more thought must be given to some of the details, I think it is very important that we achieve the highest possible level of fire safety in Ontario, in our smaller communities as well as our larger urban centres. Therefore, I commend the member for introducing this motion. I will be supporting it.

Mr D. W. Smith: I am pleased to rise this morning to participate in the debate concerning the resolution of the member for Lanark-Renfrew regarding the possibility of funding from the provincial government for the purchase of the firefighting equipment for smaller communities with populations of less than 10,000, as well as the idea of providing training firefighters in a location other than Gravenhurst

Certainly, as the member for Lambton, I represent a good many municipalities with fewer than 10,000 people. In fact, all the municipalities I represent have fewer than 10,000 people with the exception of the town of Clearwater, but the portion I represent in Clearwater has only 8,500 people, so I guess all the municipalities I represent are under the 10,000 figure.

I am one who has to support him, certainly on the principle of the resolution. It is a resolution: As a member of the government party, I guess I can support that somewhat more easily, because, as everyone knows around here, we cannot promote motions or bills that are going to cost the government money. But in this case it is a resolution and the idea behind it I think is very good.


In my riding, we have a tremendous number of volunteer fire departments. I just want to name some of them. In fact, I may be able to name most of them. Courtright and Watford happen to be our two oldest fire departments, and they are extremely efficient at what they do and how they handle fires. The village of Courtright fire department happens to be quite close to our Chemical Valley. As everyone knows, the Chemical Valley is made up of possibly 20 major international plants that have very dangerous chemicals around them, and if fires do take place they can be serious. If these men -- usually; I believe there are some women now but mainly men in the fire departments -- have to fight a fire in those localities, they have to be trained in the dangers of the different chemicals around those areas.

We can go on and name the Oil Springs-Dawn fire department, the Petrolia-Enniskillen, Sombra-Port Lambton, Wyoming-Plympton and Forest-Plympton. Plympton township has one of its own. Warwick township has one. Bothwell, which happens to he in the county of Kent, I believe provides protection to the township of Euphemia. We have the Thedford fire department, the Bosanquet fire department, Corunna, Alvinston, Brooke, Arkona and Clearwater. All of these are volunteer fire departments except Clearwater, which has, I believe, a full-time chief and one or two other members. Of course, Clearwater is under discussion now because of amalgamation with the city of Sarnia, so we are not sure what will happen to that force in the future.

In mentioning the figure of 10,000 people, some may have reservations with that number. I might suggest that if government cannot live with that number, possibly we could have a graduated percentage of grants given to, say, from 8,000 to 15,000 in population, but I think it is very important that the province sees fit to provide some assistance to these small communities.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and I think the province would likely recognize that whatever few dollars it can provide at this level, in these small communities which do not have the assessment base to do all things for all people, will be very well spent. As everyone knows, especially those who have come through municipal councils, the most efficient tax dollars are spent at the local level. I am sure the province would get dollar value if it can provide these funds.

I want to mention too that I think our former Solicitor General, the member for London South (Mrs E. J. Smith), has initiated programs and projects that are going to benefit in the long term, so I commend her for that. I am sure they will likely develop as time goes on and will help all of these small communities and firefighters.

We may not recognize that one of the things these small volunteer firemen do is restore some of our history in the old fire engines I can think one in the Forest fire department. They have restored, I believe, a 1926 Oldsmobile fire engine. Within the last week or two, it was over in the United States in a demonstration, because there are not very many of these types of fire engines around.

When it comes to the training course, my colleague mentioned there was a four-day fire prevention school in Lambton last year. These are very important to the firefighters. They bring them together and they can discuss their common problems. As I said earlier, because we do have the Chemical Valley in Lambton, it is very important to bring these people together and teach them some of the things they might expect if such a fire were to break out.

I think these training, fire prevention schools are very important, but I must add that they have had them in Gravenhurst for a number of years. I am sure a lot of the people would like to go there just to see that beautiful countryside up there. I have been to Gravenhurst myself a few times, and I know if I had the opportunity to go up and learn a bit and socialize a bit, I could not think of a nicer place to go.

There will be mixed emotions if we take out the Gravenhurst fire training school altogether for the people to go and visit and learn at, but I think we have to figure on the efficiencies of having schools closer to the fire departments and cut down on the mileage. As the member for Lanark-Renfrew said, they can then be with their families in the evening.

There are mixed things within this resolution. I believe the vast majority of suggestions here are to the benefit of the small municipalities. Back home it is said that I support them almost too strongly, but I have to feel that is a compliment, because I believe the towns and villages of Ontario and across Canada provide somewhat of a spice of life to our communities. They provide something that gives us all a little character throughout the country and throughout the province.

I certainly want to support in principle the resolution of the member for Lanark-Renfrew.

Hopefully, some of these things he is suggesting can come to fruition and the government of the province will see fit to help in many ways in the future.

Mr Dietsch: Because time avails an opportunity to address this motion, I would like to pass a few comments on this very important motion. It is very important, because many small municipalities in Ontario have volunteer fire departments. Many volunteers dedicate a great deal of their own personal time to protect the lives, houses and buildings of ordinary people in communities in which they live.

There are, as my colleagues have pointed out, some areas of difficulty in the resolution, although I think the principle of the resolution is a very important one. It is very important from the viewpoint that municipalities under 10,000 do have difficulty in securing a very stable financial base, recognizing that the money that has to be spent on fire protection equipment is spread out. Many of these municipalities are generally rural in nature and have a very large land base to protect.

One of the points in the resolution that concerns me is the wording “unconditional grants.” I am sure the member will know that by being unconditional, they cannot be earmarked for particular areas of protection. That point concerns me, and I think one of the previous speakers brought that point to bear. If they are designated as conditional grants, earmarked specifically for firefighting equipment and training, I think it is an important aspect to take into consideration.

In my own riding of St Catharines-Brock, we are very fortunate in the smaller municipality I represent, the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. It has a volunteer fire department. However, it does not fit into the smaller scale the member would suggest of a municipality with a population of less than 10,000. That concerns me, because the population happens to be 12,500.

I take very seriously the comments of the member for Lambton that perhaps it should be a sliding scale so it is fairer in dealing with the smaller municipalities, so that it takes into consideration the direct costs a smaller municipality which happens to be just outside the 10,000 guideline, like Niagara-on-the-Lake, would bear.

I would like to point out that Niagara-on-the-Lake is a fruit-growing community. The fruit industry is protected by a number of chemicals and by a number of reactionary chemicals that would have effect by fire; it is very important to take that into consideration, especially with respect to training, albeit Niagara-on-the-Lake has an excellent reputation at supporting its fire department. I know that, because I was a member of the municipal council for a number of years in that municipality and was in charge of the finance and administration committee, under which the fire departments report.


I think a very important aspect of the member’s resolution is in addressing the training. I will support this motion in that I think it is the principle of the right way to go. However, I can honestly say that the government under the previous Solicitor General has done a number of very positive points towards fire protection, and I am sure the government will continue to address those points.

It is important to note that if we can develop within the context of this kind of resolution a sliding scale to protect the municipalities like the one I represent and others that fall just outside the guideline being suggested, I think it will be a more positive and direct benefit to those areas.

The principle of this resolution sets well for the member and his concern over the fire protection of the people of Ontario.

I have mixed reactions about suggesting regional training centres. In the area I represent they do have regional training, they have the opportunity to take advantage of the larger regional setting, and the professional firefighters from those areas share their experiences with the smaller municipalities that have the volunteer fire departments. I think that that kind of regional co-operation is a very important co-operation which we want to ensure continues. I know that the member, in his sincerity for this type of effort, really feels that this is the right way; that this is a step in the sequence of proper events.

I want to say that I sincerely support this resolution. I sincerely believe this resolution will create the ability to assist those smaller municipalities, which do not have that broad financial tax base.

With those few short comments, I want to compliment the member for bringing forward this resolution. I want to compliment my colleagues who have spoken in support of this resolution. My hope is that the government, in picking up this kind of resolution, will take the comments I and others have made in support of this resolution into serious consideration and will benefit not just those municipalities that are under 10,000 but those municipalities on a sliding scale that fall into that range.

Mr Wiseman: I would like to thank the members who spoke in favour of the resolution. I would just like to comment on the training the parliamentary assistant mentioned. Of the 4,600 who trained at Gravenhurst, it is my understanding that very few of those were volunteer fire people. My information on the training is not my own. It is from Mr McAllister, president of the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs. That is the information he gave me and I am sure he is well familiar with it.

I would like to say how I arrived at the 10,000. Many of us know that the cutoff point for many of the provincial programs, where it is at a different level, is $10,000. For instance, the Ministry of the Environment cut back its grants; you get more under $10,000 than you do if you go over $10,000. A lot of the other programs are geared that way. That is why I came up with the idea of municipalities, even though it seems I was just thinking of my own area, where they all fall into that category. But I was not; it was because of the cutoff point that government seems to have as a guideline.

As far as trying to get more training for hazardous waste is concerned, I understand the only one scheduled for Ontario is to be held at Kingston, and only one. It takes 16 people; it would take a year and a half to get through the backlog for that training. This is the sort of thing I am asking the government to try to provide more of. As for the idea of providing more training in the region by the fire advisory services, it is doing a good job out there but there are just not enough people; a person, as I understand it, does not have the time to give as much training as he or she would like.

With respect to the grant system and how I arrived at it, as I did in the first resolution I brought through a few years ago, I tied it in similar to a police grant. Police, in areas where they do their own policing, get a police grant. It used to be per capita, and now the government, I understand, gives it per household. This is why I had tied that in. To me, it was a clean and easy way of providing money on a basis which is already set up.

The parliamentary assistant did mention grants and that grants were not cut back. I was just using Statscan figures on transfers to municipalities being cut back this year by $823.1 million. That, as we all know, in whatever size of municipality we come to, means fewer dollars for them and more they have to pick up at the local level; it makes it more and more difficult for them to purchase fire equipment or some of the other badly needed equipment in the area.

I am pleased that all members this morning supported the resolution. I do hope the government sees fit to put some money into a program like this, for training as well as the purchase of fire equipment, so it encourages municipalities to go out and buy a pumper; showing that the government is supportive, the municipality is supportive and it would give great encouragement to our firefighters.

The $20,000 that the former Solicitor General put up to study firefighting and the education of firefighters is good and is a step in the right direction. The new Solicitor General, I hope, will carry on and find the necessary money to support what we have talked about here this morning.

The Acting Speaker: The time allotted for this ballot item has expired.



Ms Collins moved resolution 18:

That, in the opinion of this House, recognizing that the protection of individual liberty and wellbeing, within a framework of legal rights and protections, is, and shall continue to be, the goal of Ontario’s mental health policy; and, that the timely and appropriate treatment of acute mental illnesses, like schizophrenia and manic depression, is the only way to guarantee the liberty and wellbeing of those who suffer from such illnesses, and that the failure to provide timely and appropriate treatment of acute mental illness causes enormous, but preventable human suffering, therefore, the government of Ontario should guarantee the right of treatment to all persons suffering from acute mental illness.

The Acting Speaker (Mr M. C. Ray): The member is reminded that she has up to 20 minutes for her presentation and may reserve any portion thereof.

Ms Collins: My resolution for an amendment to the Mental Health Act is necessary for the act to fully meet its objective, which is to protect the liberty and wellbeing of an individual within a framework of legal rights and protections. The broader protection for hundreds of thousands of individuals experiencing acute mental illnesses, like schizophrenia and manic depression, is being denied because the Mental Health Act is protecting the right of these individuals to refuse necessary treatment.

It is not the place of a legislator to stand and deny any single right or freedom to any one individual. That is not the intent or the objective of this resolution. It is our responsibility, however, to protect those who cannot protect themselves. Many schizophrenics do not understand that symptoms they are experiencing are due to illness, so they refuse treatment that could help them.

According to an Ontario group, the Friends of Schizophrenics, “schizophrenia renders its victims incompetent to protect their own wellbeing long before it renders them sufficiently ill to obtain involuntary hospitalization and treatment under the Mental Health Act.” Friends of Schizophrenics states clearly that because of this, the Mental Health Act falls far short of adequately protecting the mental and physical safety of schizophrenics.

Too often, these individuals have been abandoned by the very law that is supposed to protect them. Instead of obtaining timely and appropriate treatment, they have been left to find their own solutions to their mental illness; and that often leads to starvation, suicide and aimless drifting to escape from something they clearly do not understand. Many wind up serving time in jail when they should be receiving treatment in a hospital.

Let me read this case in a recent newspaper column.

“Iris’s son is back in jail again, so at least now she knows where he is at night. But the problem that put him there is still no closer to being treated today than it was five years ago when it first manifested.

“He is not a drug addict, not violent or dangerous to anyone but himself, but he does have a habit of running afoul of the law, she admits. Mostly it’s because he can’t help himself, and Iris laments, no one else is interested in helping him.

“Marty has schizophrenia, a biochemical breakdown of the brain that short-circuits emotions and logic. At age 16 he was arrested for sexual assault and despite treatment at places like Hincks Treatment Centre, his condition worsened. He started stealing cars, almost as if they were a metaphor to help him escape his desperate reality.

“Still, no one knew what was wrong, why he was so out of control, his mum recalls. He stole his second car at 18 and went to jail in Sackville, New Brunswick. Last summer, he broke into her apartment and stole $400 in rent money and then stole another car and drove it to Vancouver where he was arrested and jailed another nine months.

“In the interim, Iris started looking for answers and found someone had made a diagnosis. Treatment, however, was a whole different story. ‘Paranoid schizophrenic,’ she says, but I can’t get him into a hospital because they can’t force him to accept treatment. If he stays on his medication, she says, things might workout. But there’s little hope he’ll keep up the regimen of pills.

“‘I went to his place in a rooming house the other day because I hadn’t heard from him,’ Iris sighs. ‘He was lying on his bed, in the dark, his face painted black.’

“A brief hospital stay and he was released. It was not long before he was back in trouble, stealing another car and landing in Mimico Jail where he awaits trial. ‘He does understand he broke the law,’ she says, ‘but putting him in jail doesn’t solve anything. Unless he gets some help, he’ll just do it again.’”

As the article goes on to state, “Schizophrenia is a biochemical illness. You wouldn’t lock up someone with a heart attack, so why do we punish the sick?”

The problem was recently described very well in the prestigious British science journal Nature:

“It must be confessed that the now standard treatment of schizophrenia is anything but satisfactory even in the most advanced communities. The assumptions are that when the most disabling symptoms of the disease have been controlled by drugs, patients can be ‘returned to the community’ (one euphemism) for ‘treatment in the community’ (another). All too often, this entails that patients who would previously have spent years or whole lifetimes in psychiatric hospitals are decanted on to the streets to fend for themselves. Some with support from families and friends, can do so. (One haunting feature of schizophrenia is that those who suffer from it are paranoiacally alienated from their families, while their capacity for even ordinary friendship is diminished). Others cannot, or cannot manage all the time. They are the patients who are now the familiar informal residents of all major cities, sleeping rough in the neighbourhood of railway stations and other such places where aimlessness may be unremarked. The population of the psychiatrically derelict may be smaller than the former population of the psychiatric hospitals, but is none the less an offence against civility on that account.”

Newspapers, magazines and the electronic media regularly chronicle the circumstance of many psychiatric patients who have either died or nearly died because the Mental Health Act allowed these patients to refuse necessary psychiatric treatment. It is estimated that every year 10 per cent of those who suffer from schizophrenia commit suicide. This means that in Ontario where approximately one per cent of the population is diagnosed schizophrenics, 9,430 people are potential suicide victims because we, as a society, have failed to recognize their need for treatment.

I want to tell this House about some of the victims of this deadly disease.

John, 22, walked down into the cold dank tunnel of St Clair Avenue subway station. In the darkness, he lay down on the subway tracks and waited until the train decapitated him.

Twenty-year-old Matthew plunged two ordinary dinner knives into his eyes and pounded his head on the floor until they pierced his brain.

At 25, Tim finally succeeded in killing himself after six attempts, when he hurled himself from the Bloor Street viaduct to the Don Valley Parkway below.

Abdel, 25, jumped from the roof of a Parkdale rooming house in full view of a schoolyard full of children.

Martin, 38, tied a shoelace around his neck and hanged himself from the rafters of a deserted warehouse.

Ralph, 22, repeatedly shot his mother because his voices convinced him she was a devil. When he saw that she was still moving, he slashed her throat.

Twenty-one-year-old Stephen shot himself to death.

These tragic events take place in every community across this province. This is reality. This is what we must seek to prevent. The flaw is obvious. The solution is the amendment I propose today.

The right of a patient to refuse appropriate treatment when treatment is clearly warranted is of growing concern to the medical community. That is because these individuals suffering schizophrenia are treated differently by the law because their illness is emotional rather than physical.

Let me give an example. If a person is lying unconscious with a broken leg, we do not wait for that person to regain consciousness before placing a cast on the leg. A cast is administered because a cast is necessary.

But legal wrangling over the right of a patient experiencing an acute mental illness too often becomes a tragic substitute for what should be appropriate medical treatment, when treatment is necessary.


Frequently, schizophrenics are hospitalized and found to be mentally incompetent but refuse treatment. Under the present law, patients are sometimes held involuntarily for months without treatment while the matter is considered by boards of review and ultimately by the courts. The difficulty does not lie at the review board level, where things generally progress in a timely fashion. Rather, the problem arises at the district court appeal level.

While appeals from treatment orders or findings of incompetence are pending, no treatment can be administered to the patient. This is the worst of all possible worlds. People are deprived of their liberty for extended periods of time and receive no treatment. Some patients have come close to death awaiting district court appeals.

It should be clear that I do not mean these suggestions to apply to all treatment, but only to those, like the administration of antipsychotic drugs to acutely ill schizophrenics, which promise significant short-term benefits, impose little risk of immediate harm and do not involve immediate, irreversible changes to the physical or mental being of the patient.

I believe we should permit the treatment to be imposed following authorization by the review board, even if a district court appeal is pending; or create a power in the district court, similar to that found in subsection 33f(1e) and subsection 33f(1i) of the act, to authorize involuntary treatment prior to the hearing of an appeal from a review board authorization of treatment.

It is time to place the value of a human life above legal point making. It is time to recognize that the nature of the illness, schizophrenia, means those who suffer from it cannot always control their own minds. And it is time to stop making these individuals pay with their lives for a piece of legislation that is working against them, not for them.

Ontario Friends of Schizophrenics is calling for a new law to provide both timely short-term involuntary hospitalization and timely short-term voluntary treatment for acutely ill schizophrenics.

The Mental Health Act does not address the high risk of suicide among schizophrenics. Among those affected by schizophrenia, one in 10 will commit suicide. There are a number of areas in which reform might well help prevent suicide deaths

First, create a class of high-risk schizophrenics who have at least once before attempted suicide. Amend section 29 of the Mental Health Act to permit all psychiatric facilities in the province to be automatically notified that a person is on the high-risk list, and provide for the rapid movement of clinical records for high-risk persons between psychiatric facilities. When such persons threaten suicide, they would be deemed to satisfy the tests under section 9 and section 14 of the act and could quickly be assessed, admitted and treated. Of course, it would be necessary to provide an appropriate process by which names could be expunged from the list, and information contained in files challenged and corrected or expunged if found to be inaccurate.

Second, provide for rapid access, through some kind of hotline facility, by different psychiatric facilities to one another’s clinical records for schizophrenics who have been involuntarily hospitalized and treated in the past. Again, it would be necessary to provide an appropriate process by which information contained in files could he challenged and corrected or expunged if found to be inaccurate.

The present act views the world in black and white: Either a patient is voluntary and can leave a psychiatric facility at will, or is involuntary and cannot do so. Since the competence of individual schizophrenics is both task-specific and variable over time, accordingly, the range of legal devices available to protect schizophrenics from their disease, and the community from schizophrenics, should be more flexible than they are now.

It should be possible to return a person who has been involuntarily hospitalized to the community without cancelling the involuntary hospitalization order so that patients can live independently in the community, under medical supervision, but be hospitalized quickly when illness strikes. Similarly, outpatient involuntary medical treatment orders should be made available, along with outpatient facilities for the administration of medicines.

The goal is to facilitate the earliest possible return of ill people to the community, while imposing the least restrictive limits on their liberty. We, as legislators, have the tools to help those who cannot help themselves. We have the will, and I ask members to join me in making that will a reality.

The Acting Speaker: Does the member wish to reserve all six minutes and 20 seconds?

Ms Collins: Yes, Mr Speaker, I would like to reserve all the time.

Mr Reville: The member for Wentworth East has produced a resolution that is well crafted, it is important, and it is opaque.

By opaque I mean that the resolution is written in code. Any member of this House, as a person of goodwill, could read this resolution and say, “Absolutely, without question, any humane society would approve of this resolution.” For a member who has analysed the discourse on mental health, the response must be that this resolution requires extended and vigorous debate.

Now that I have heard the member speak to her resolution, I know she has told a story that is both true and terribly naïve. Do we agree, for instance, on what we mean when we say “individual liberty”? What are our definitions of “wellbeing”? What do legal rights and protections mean? Protection of whom -- the person with the mental health problem, that person’s family or our society as a whole?

In a sense, I wish the member had introduced amendments to the Mental Health Act; then I should have known what I was up against. What do we mean by treatment? Do we mean drugs? Do we mean incarceration? Do we mean a crummy boarding and lodging house with three meals of porridge a day? Do we mean wrapping someone in a cold wet sheet?

What does schizophrenia mean? June Beeby, who is here in the gallery, knows what it means. She is the executive director of the Ontario Friends of Schizophrenics. But there was the famous Rosenhan study that suggests schizophrenia means presenting yourself at a mental hospital and saying that you hear a voice that says, “Empty, hollow and thud.” I recommend that no member try this experiment.

I know people who would never agree that the timely and appropriate treatment they received guaranteed their liberty and wellbeing. On the contrary, they would say they lost their liberty and did but achieve wellbeing. There are, after all, worse fates than sleeping rough. I do know people who are grateful for the treatment they received.

All of us receive calls and letters from people who are in despair about a loved one. The facts will vary, but the one message is clear. Our constituents are not being served by our system:

Billy is breaking all of their windows at 3 in the morning; the police come and take Billy away, and in two hours Billy is back, and he is looking for another window to break.

I have a friend whose son, with horrifying regularity, attempts to kill himself in her kitchen. She cleans up the blood. She has given up wondering why the system does not come through for her son. She has a modest hope: her hope is simply that she will be able to keep cleaning up the blood. Her dread is that she will not be able to.

What is to be done? A tougher Mental Health Act? Outpatient committal? I think that is what the member is suggesting. Independence with a string tied around your neck? Should we build more mental hospitals? Should we dispense more drugs?

I offered a solution on 1 December 1987. It was called An Act to provide for Community Mental Health Services, sometimes called Bill 50. The main principle of this bill is that each person is entitled to receive services in the least restrictive setting, consistent with that person’s needs and potential and abilities. That means, of course, lock people up as little as possible. Bill 50 calls for a system that would give each person the maximum opportunity to participate in the mainstream of community life. That is something that most people diagnosed as schizophrenic do not now have the opportunity to do.


This bill talks about a decent place to live, money to live on and things to keep the mind alive. It is a good idea. Regrettably, there is nowhere in the western world where this is a possibility, and that is too bad. Treatment has to be more than just a diagnosis, a passel of pills and 30 days on the ward. We cannot deal with mental illness as though it were something contained entirely within the person who we suspect has mental illness. We have to deal with the economic, social and, dare I say it, spiritual opportunities people need.

Too many people with mental illness are denied those opportunities because of the way our society works. Once we stick the label on somebody, the menu for opportunity shrinks. We have to expand that menu again. The Graham report, which is now about a year old, offers some hope in this regard. The report talks about comprehensive services, it talks about planning, it talks about co-ordination. It even, mirabile dictu, talks about Bill 50.

The government has now established some committees which I hope will implement the Graham report. The committees, as currently constituted, are flawed. There is still no consumer representation. By consumer, I mean a person who has had direct experience in the mental health system. That is too bad. Why would the government want to build failure into its solution?

I came to this place because I believe we can do better in the mental health field. I believe the answer lies not in a legalistic approach, not in making the Mental Health Act tougher, not in outpatient commitment. I believe the answer lies in finding ways that allow people to take back the power they have lost because of their mental health problem. I believe I am right because I got back most of the power I lost because of my mental health problem and it was not my treatment that helped me to do that.

Mr Runciman: I want to congratulate the member for Wentworth East on the intent, if not the rather obscure wording of her resolution. Given her position on the back benches of the government, I guess I can respect the effort she made in coming up with this opaque wording, as my colleague described it. I would use “obscure” as an accurate description of the wording. But listening to her comments this morning, I am reassured with respect to her intent.

A few years ago, when amendments to the Mental Health Act took place in this place. I was one of the few members opposed to those changes in terms of the restrictions on the ability to treat patients in psychiatric facilities. I recall speaking against it and I believe the member for Etobicoke-Humber (Mr Henderson) was the only government member at that time to speak against it. That was back in the days when he was a rather independent soul. He seems to have moderated his views somewhat in the current situation.

In any event, I also had to give the minister of the day his due. I believe he had some rather serious reservations about the amendment and felt, given the minority situation and the pressures applied by the New Democratic Party and by the leadership of my party, that those amendments had to go forward. I disagreed and my leader at that time had some very real and genuine concerns about electroshock therapy. Of course the amendment that came into place was much broader than electroshock.

The subject the member has brought forward today is one of considerable interest and importance to me and my constituents because we have a large psychiatric facility. Many psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses and other staff have expressed concerns about the subject matter of this motion and some of the ramifications of the many amendments to the Mental Health Act.

To a person, they have expressed alarm at the delays now made legal before treatment can be started. They tell me that by the time some legal roadblocks are surmounted, a patient given medication would in all likelihood be well long before the legal procedures are completed and the patient discharged from hospital. The appeal procedures themselves can last up to a year.

Now we allow refusal of treatment despite medical advice that it is needed, and the attending physician has recourse to appeal to a review board. But if the board gives authority to treat, the patient can appeal to the court. I wonder what other jurisdictions have to protect patients’ rights. What do they do with the patients who refuse treatment? Do they use review boards or do they put the patient back on the street? Is that starting here or should we be looking to the courts in the first place? The court could order certification and treatment given sufficient evidence of the need.

I am not suggesting that there should not be any appeal procedure, but I do suggest that the law is making it more and more difficult for psychiatrists to practise their profession without having a lawyer looking over their shoulders. I am suggesting that the law, as it exists, is having a harmful effect on the practice of psychiatry in our provincial institutions and we will be lucky indeed if we do not have a crisis of a shortage of psychiatrists in the not-too-distant future.

There has been much comment concerning mental illness and legislation that is deemed necessary to safeguard the rights of patients involuntarily committed to mental hospitals and psychiatric facilities. It now seems appropriate to look at current aspects of this matter in an attempt to clarify misconceptions that can arise as a result of frequent changes to the Mental Health Act, some of which seem to reflect on the care provided in Ontario institutions and the practice of medicine generally and psychiatry in particular.

Great progress has been made in the treatment of those with psychiatric disorders. Permanent control of schizophrenia can usually be achieved by drugs first introduced in 1955, and people with this illness can now live happily and function normally if they continue regular medication. This progress alone should generate more confidence in the care and attention patients receive. Certainly it proves the efficacy of drug therapy and doctors’ skills at treating.

Parallel with the development of treatment, legal safeguards have improved to protect patients from unnecessary confinement against their will or from therapy which probably would benefit them but which they do not want. The decisions in these matters may be very complicated. The wishes of patients often conflict seriously with the interests and safety of others.

In the cause of justice, boards of review were appointed in 1968. These consist of experienced lawyers, psychiatrists, laymen and laywomen with special abilities. Their function is to arbitrate in such conflicts and to reach a decision deemed to be in the best interests of the patient.

The decision of the board used to be final, although there was always the right of appeal to the board again in a month. Now there has been added the right to appeal a board’s decision to the county court. The value of this option may be questioned since the courts cannot readily deal with something that is essentially a clinical matter and often complicated by considerable urgency, and the member for Wentworth East discussed that in her comments.

Another additional safeguard has been the appointment of patient advocates. Their assignment increased the possibility of making treatment an adversarial matter rather than one reached by careful explanation of treatment by doctor and staff. Many hospitals’ ombudsmen are also present and attend board of review hearings.

In general, it seems that patients most of all want to feel that the psychiatrists treating them are kindly and know their job. They do not want to find themselves in the middle of legal hassles. Yet that is what is happening under the present law.


We must keep in mind too that there is a serious shortage of psychiatrists in Canada today. This is not likely to improve if aspiring specialists in training spend more time fighting legal battles with well intentioned human rights activists who base little understanding of what it feels like to be mentally ill.

It is paramount that people be treated with respect and justice as well as by capable staff. Competence, however, is difficult to legislate. Excessive preoccupation with legal considerations may obscure the very important issue, namely, the improvement of professional standards and availability of optimal care. It would be tragic if the main loser in the process is the mentally ill person.

I know it is not unusual for a patient to come before a review board, after refusing medication, on appeal by the psychiatrist treating him and to have the board order treatment. The board usually places a time limit on the administration of the medication and asks to see the patient at the end of that period, usually three to six months. Invariably, I am told, there is vast improvement in the patient’s condition.

I understand this has been the case in 100 per cent of the appeals brought before review boards in the past 20 years outside of Toronto. Medication and ongoing medical care are accepted in time, resulting in a period of peace free from violence.

Yes, people with psychiatric disorders can be violent. Just ask any staff nurse or attendant in a psychiatric facility. Yet because of these laws governing treatment and the right to refuse, many of these people are not treated in time to prevent harm to themselves and others. Indeed, I would not be surprised if they were discharged from hospitals because they refused treatment.

It is not unusual for a mentally ill person to refuse to admit that he is ill and needs help. Who knows better -- the lawyer, the psychiatrist or the advocate? I think it is time to consider the law and its effects on those who care for the mentally ill. They want to practise their professions, not law. They are interested in getting patients well as soon as possible.

Mr Speaker, if it is possible, I am going to leave these last few seconds to my colleague the member for Burlington South (Mr Jackson) in rotation.

Mr Callahan: I am pleased and honoured to rise to speak in support of my colleague’s motion. I have often thought that usually we all get elected to this Legislature for specific reasons, and if we can see something positive come out of our stint here, be it short or long, it makes it all worth while.

The difficulty we have in our society is that we have rights that are protected. That is fair enough, but in protecting those rights we may in fact be injuring not just the person we wish to protect, but some of the other people who are the extended loved ones of that person.

In this vein, I speak specifically of time schizophrenic. The schizophrenic is someone, in most cases, who can be assisted by the application of drugs or other types of therapy. Hand in hand with that is the difficulty that by the very nature of the disease itself, particularly if there is a degree of paranoia involved in it, the person believes either that the use of these techniques is in fact an effort to poison him or that the side-effects are part of the disease. Consequently, the individual is not able to take advantage of the benefits that science and experimentation are working hard to discover to slowly overcome this terrible disease.

We speak of rights, and there is no doubt that in the past mental illness has been treated with some rather medieval types of treatment which should have been abolished or certainly placed under significant check and control. But in the course of doing that, we left schizophrenics and we left, as important as schizophrenics themselves, their families, their loved ones, the people who cared, who in the middle of the night found them breaking up the chair with an axe or pounding down a door because they had been allowed to come home, because the parents loved them. What have we done for those people? We have done nothing.

I can remember during the Bill 7 hearings a middle-aged woman, who was sitting in the front of the audience and was a witness in those hearings, summoning me over and asking me, “What are you going to do to help me to help my loved one?” I knew full well what she was speaking of, because it is an unusual fact of life that one in every 100 people, according to the statistics, is schizophrenic.

I happen to know five families, personal friends of mine, whose children are schizophrenics. I have watched them. I have watched the heart-rending agony that they have gone through in terms of trying to look after, to follow, those loved ones.

We as legislators and we as civil libertarians, instead of assisting this reunification and allowing these people to exercise the love that they show to these sick children of theirs, have in fact interrupted it in the guise of civil liberties.

I suggest that it is going to be a difficult task to come up with legislation to try to deal with this specific situation, but we cannot lump schizophrenia in the same situation as other mental illnesses. There are in fact cures. There are greater investigations being done that are resulting in the finding of why someone has schizophrenia, predicting perhaps that it is genetic because of the findings of certain chromosomal aberrations,

There is another area that I think is required, and I think it is certainly not within the course of this resolution, nor could it be because it requires the expenditure of funds. When one looks at the -- I don’t want to use the words “classy” or “high-profile” -- diseases such as muscular dystrophy or cancer, one sees such sums of money as $100 and $300 per patient being invested in trying to find a cure. In the question of schizophrenia and the search for a cure, there is $4 per patient.

Is that because one is a high-profile disease that all of us might face and we do not believe it will ever happen to our loved ones that they will be struck down by schizophrenia, or is it a difficulty that health givers are able to accept that they lumped every mental illness together?

I suggest there is a very real need for increased funding to look into a cure for this very devastating disease. In fact, it is like the old commercial where the fellow in the auto shop says, “You can pay me now or pay me later.” If one wants to approach it simply from the sheer economic side of it, these people are in our courts every day.

I spent 25 years practising criminal law and I would say that I saw thousands of these people who were involved in criminal activities who were simply involved in them because they were sick, and we dealt with them as if they were criminals. Surely the effects and the benefits to society are mega and we should be pursuing it.

To return to the nature of the resolution, I am sure that if we came in with a bill that denied certain rights to schizophrenics -- namely, that they could be involuntarily hospitalized, that they could be required to take the medication that will in fact give them assistance, albeit on a short-term basis, and then perhaps be released to society on some form of a certificate where they would be followed up and it would be ensured that they took their medication -- society would certainly be benefited, the schizophrenic would certainly be benefited, and so would the families of those schizophrenics who cry out in agony.

I am sure anybody in this House who has seen the parents of a person who suffers from schizophrenia, a person whom they have tried to bring back into their home and suddenly is abandoned to the streets -- if the members could see the agony in their eyes and they could see the agony in their hearts and the desperation with which they try to overcome this problem, this Legislature would be sprung into action to use the finest legal minds to find a bill that could be presented to the House because, in fact, it has to be resolved. It is as simple as that.

If we do not do it, we are going to have people wandering the streets of Toronto and even of small towns and areas and people will look at them and laugh and say they are strange. Those people are not strange. Those people are human beings who were children of loving parents who tried their best -- and still try, many of them -- to keep them and follow them and help them.


We are not giving them any help in doing that, when you figure that in order to have a police officer take a person for help it has to be shown that he is a danger to himself or to the public. Schizophrenics perhaps do not display that, and even if they do, when they get to the facility, if they are given medication, they come back around, in most cases, to being perfectly rational people.

I suggest that schizophrenics have to be dealt with in a very different way. If we do not do that, I suggest, then our humanity in deinstitutionalizing people such as these does not put us on any higher standard and what we are doing is abandoning these people to wander aimlessly through our cities, to sleep on the street, to have no life whatsoever, until perhaps it gets so bad that they try to jump off the Gardiner Expressway. Maybe they do not kill themselves the first time. They try again and then they do kill themselves.

Think of the parents who lie awake at home at night worrying about these loved ones wandering the streets with no help, wondering what they can do or following them through the prison system and trying to help them, finding that these people whom they love cannot be saved.

If we, as legislators. simply say “Civil liberties prevent us from doing this; the Charter of Rights prevents us from doing this,” we are not going to make it easier and perhaps more efficacious to have a person treated in a hospital. Most people take their children to an emergency service at night when these things happen. The difficulty of getting into a hospital or getting treatment because of the existing mental health regulations in dealing with schizophrenics just puts them through an entire maze. They walk away frustrated, they walk away hurt, they walk away injured.

I think the purpose of government is to help our citizens and to make certain that families themselves can retrieve their loved ones, so I urge everyone, as a starter, to support my colleague’s resolution, and hopefully we will be able to bring forth amendments that will help these unfortunate people.

Mr Jackson: I am very pleased and honoured to be able to provide some brief comments on this private member’s bill

I think it is important that we put on the record that from time to time we, as politicians in public life, are privy to opportunities to sit and listen to our constituents, to calm ourselves and to try to identify with and understand some of the concerns they present to us in our constituency offices or over the phone.

I think there is no more significant problem that has been presented to probably each and every one of us than the problem that families and individuals are going through in order to achieve mental health, that which we all seek. We hope that throughout life we will be able to have that balance.

First of all, we know that mental health is something that is very badly misunderstood by the public. It lends itself to a great misunderstanding of the real human need and the tragedy that exists right in front of us in all our communities. So, when one of the members of this House has taken the necessary time to sensitize herself to this issue and to understand it that well, it is a moment that is worthy of note.

I, for one, wish to commend the member for Wentworth East, not only because of the bill but also because I am aware of the growth in her understanding of this issue. When she had just been elected, she and I and a member of the New Democratic Party attended a debate. It was apparent during the course of that debate that she was openly expressing an interest in learning more about this subject. I think it is fair to say that she is deserving of much of our appreciation in a nonpartisan spirit in terms of her advancing this issue. All three political parties at one time or another have expressed support for this motion, but she has brought it forward, and for that I commend her.

I want to talk briefly about the bill in the sense that it deals with the acute forms of mental dysfunction. It talks about schizophrenia, which we know is an episodic disease. It is not chronic in nature in that it is persistent over a long period of time. We know that a person with schizophrenia takes medication in an effort to control the worst symptoms, which range from nightmarish hallucinations to auditory signals. One definition of a person with schizophrenia talks about living in a form of twilight zone. Unless you meet a person who suffers from this disease, you do not get a clear impression as to how tragic this disease really can be, not only for the individual but for members of his family.

These psychotic episodes they go through can ultimately result in increased animosity, in violence, in the taking of one’s life. There have been many cases reported in the media where there has been loss of life and suicide associated with this disease. Invariably, it deals with the larger picture of the other issues: the lack of treatment that was made available; the lack of hospitalization; in fact, cases where a hospital has actually taken an individual and advanced him to the front door and said, ‘Look, we want you out of here,” and within 48 hours -- we had a case of this in my community--the individual has taken his life.

It strikes me that if we are the sensitive and caring society that we all strive to be when we make laws in this Legislature, in fact we have to understand the nature of this mental disorder in order to be able to create the laws that are sensitive and reflect not only the balance between their civil rights but also the state’s responsibility to assist them to receive the necessary treatment to help pull them out from this psychotic nightmare.

Unfortunately, the public seems to think that most of these individuals are characters from TV shows that deal with strange and violent behaviour. People do not tend to try to understand the very unique nature of and our ability to deal with persons with schizophrenia.

And it is not just the public. If we look at some of the reports that have been presented to all members of this House, we see evidence that doctors and the police and the judiciary are struggling to get a clearer understanding and a more sensitive approach to dealing with this issue.

In a recent report by the Ontario Friends of Schizophrenics organization, we were brought to a section of its report:

“Similar problems are encountered when trying to persuade a justice of the peace to issue an order pursuant to section 10 of the Mental Health Act for the assessment,” which is the prerequisite of any treatment for a person suffering from schizophrenia. It also goes on to say that police officers have the power under section 11 of the act “where it would be dangerous to proceed under section 10,” which is to proceed to advance an individual to a treatment centre for an assessment. Therefore, the police are unwilling to take these individuals into custody and they are unwilling to take them physically to a place for an assessment.

Whether or not they get a proper assessment when they get there is a matter for the Ministry of Health and I do not wish to deal with that in the remaining time, but I do believe that this whole issue of the sensitivity of our police force and its co-ordination with our courts is a matter that has to be enhanced in understanding and supported with education and the necessary funding. The amendments to the legislation are required, and quickly, in order for that to happen.

I say that because the consequence of that, as the member for Brampton South (Mr Callahan) clearly and eloquently expressed with respect to the nature of the breakdown and also the needs these families to have their needs met, is that they are left to cope with these situations, which, quite frankly, are also creating mental health dysfunction within that family.

If there is anything we have witnessed, it is that the families themselves start to fall into feelings of helplessness and desperation about society and our government in its inability to help their loved ones and the family. I, for one, as have several members of this House, have become quite involved in the mental health support programs in this province for that very reason, because there is not sufficient support.


I would commend the member for this outstanding resolution and would commend the government, once it is passed in another 12 minutes, to ensure that we in fact take this resolution and guidance which it so clearly demonstrated and make sure that the government acts and reacts. I have been pleading with this government, as members are aware, through the standing committee on social development, of which I am a member, to make this a high priority and to get the definitions of competence clearly determined and established so that we can set in the necessary amendments to the Mental Health Act and other acts, in order that we now can have a system and laws in this province which reflect the intent of this resolution.

I want to take a brief moment also to talk about the fact that here in Ontario, at least, we should not focus only on the acute needs of mental health. In fact, there is growing evidence that there is an increased incidence of mental health dysfunction among a greater number of our citizens, which may have to do with the fact that women in our society increasingly are being subjected to occasions of violence against them, so that they are suffering as a result of these kinds of abuses. Those abuses also can mean something in terms of their ability to lead their lives with dignity and respect. We must have a commitment from this government if we are to help women in society to cope better with the kinds of modern-day pressures they have been subjected to.

Until we make a complete and total commitment to understanding the mental health needs of this province, whether it is with sufficient counselling support for women who are victims of violence against them and that commitment is to ensure that they have sufficient funding for appropriate day care, so that the needs of their children are adequately met, we will be unable to give real meaning and teeth to this legislation.

Ms Collins: I want to start by sincerely thanking all the members for their participation in the debate on this resolution. I would like to express my appreciation to the member for Leeds-Grenville (Mr Runciman), the member for Burlington South and the member for Brampton South for their very strong words of support.

I know that the member for Riverdale (Mr Reville) feels very strongly about this subject. He has asked a number of questions and I think I already responded to most of them in my opening remarks. I hope to respond to some of them in the time I have remaining.

I would like to mention what this government has been doing in regard to community mental health over the last couple of years. In August 1987 the Premier (Mr Peterson) announced that the number of clients served by community mental health programs would be doubled and funding increased to $130 million by 1990-91. Estimated spending on community health programs for 1988-89, based on printed estimates, is $85.7 million, up from $68.9 million the previous year.

As of 30 September 1988, community mental health programs numbered 337. The Ministry of Health’s goal is to have a comprehensive community mental health system in place by 1991, ensuring wide access to programs such as supportive housing, counselling services and social rehabilitation programs. As mentioned already by the member for Riverdale, in order to develop an action plan for this expansion, the Minister of Health Mrs (Caplan) appointed the Graham committee, the Provincial Community Mental Health Committee, in September 1987, to develop a model for a comprehensive community mental health program.

The committee, composed of mental health care providers and mental health planners, reviewed 157 written submissions, heard 125 presentations from district health councils, community mental health programs, interest groups and concerned parties at hearings in Thunder Bay, Cornwall, Toronto, Chatham, Oshawa and Sudbury.

The report’s first two recommendations set out broad goals and principles for mental health policy in Ontario, including a comprehensive and accessible system with an emphasis on community-based support for individuals and families that must cope with serious or prolonged mental illness and an integration of services provided by health professionals, community agencies, general hospitals and psychiatric hospitals. The report also stresses the need for co-operation among local, regional and provincial programs and the importance of integrating existing informal support systems such as family and friends.

Further, the government established the Weisstub inquiry in 1988 to determine standards for defining competence under the Mental Health Act. The original mandate was to expand to cover medical patients, the elderly and the developmentally handicapped. The inquiry covers competence to consent to treatment, to gain access to or authorize disclosure of medical records, to appoint a personal representative and to manage personal affairs. I commend the government on all of these initiatives, but all these millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money, all the hours of hearings and inquiries, all the good intentions in the world will not help the schizophrenic patient who refuses treatment.

These people have a right to be treated for the illness which afflicts them. Both the patient and the family have a right to a quick and expedient appeal process. Finally, we need to increase our support of research into this and other disorders of the brain, as already mentioned by the member for Brampton South. We know far too little, and this disease costs far too much, to not look for answers.

In fact, according to Statistics Canada, in 1982-83 schizophrenic psychosis accounted for the second-largest total of hospital patient days in the country, even surpassing cancer. I want to remind members again of the human costs associated with this disease. We must not forget the anguish suffered by the families of schizophrenics. Just think of the frustration and heartbreak of watching a loved one gradually creep into an acute episode of this disease. It is now unanimously agreed that institutionalization is the option of last resort for the mentally ill.

For this reason, an explicit goal of mental health legislation, perhaps written into the legislation in the form of an interpretative principle, ought to be the fostering and protection of family and other community ties as well as the fostering and protection of therapeutic relationships. Recognition of the right to receive treatment for a debilitating mental illness should be written into the Mental Health Act as an interpretative principle. We, as legislators, cannot cure this illness. What we can do is provide the atmosphere for humane treatment for every individual in this province.

The Speaker: That completes the allotted time for debate and discussion on ballot item 15 and ballot item 16. As it is so close to 12 o’clock, I presume the members will be in agreement to place the motions.


The Speaker: Mr Wiseman has moved resolution 17.

Motion agreed to.


The Speaker: Ms Collins has moved resolution 18.

Motion agreed to.

The House recessed at 1200.


The House resumed at 1330.


The Speaker: Just before I call the first order of business, I would ask all members of the assembly to recognize in the Speaker’s gallery the ambassador of Peru to Canada, His Excellency Jorge Gordillo Barreto. Also, we have the consul general of Peru in Toronto, Jorge Chavez. Welcome.



Mr Charlton: Today, the member for York South (Mr B. Rae), our leader, and I released a study on electrical energy efficiency opportunities for Ontario. In a few moments I will be sending a copy to the minister and to the critic for the third party.

The study documents the opportunities for electrical energy efficiency in three small samples: one in the residential sector, one in the commercial sector and one in the industrial sector, including costs and the potential savings both to consumers and to Ontario Hydro from those electrical energy efficiency measures.

The findings of our study, which was commissioned for the New Democratic Party caucus, found that 5,300 megawatts of energy potential can be saved in very short order in Ontario at costs far below the costs of the next increment of supply, which would he the next nuclear plant in Ontario.

Not only did we find that we could save 5,300 megawatts, which represents about 1.5 nuclear plants, but we found that the savings documented in this study are only a very small portion of those that potentially Ontario could find.


Mr Wiseman: Today I wish to bring to the attention of the House the latest of many horror stories about this open and responsive government. For the last three weeks, my office has been trying to arrange an appointment with the Ministry of the Environment for members of the town council of Smiths Falls. We have been met with evasions and we have been ignored.

The town of Smiths Falls wants to build a badly needed sewage plant. The ministry wants it to build this plant, but the plant will cost $10 million, of which the ministry will pay 29 per cent. The ministry somehow feels this is generous, and it leaves only a little over $7 million for a town of less than 10,000 people to pay themselves. The people, understandably, think this it too high.

Statistics Canada tells us that provincial transfer payments to local governments have decreased this year by $823 million, leaving Smiths Falls with several other financial burdens as well. So it decided to sit down with the minister and have a reasonable and forthright discussion to see if a solution could be reached, but the minister is hiding, at first behind his staff and now with evasions and doubletalk.

I see nothing unnatural in my constituents’ request. Why is the minister afraid and why will he not talk to the people of Ontario?


Mr Tatham: “There went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.” Who are the present sales tax collectors? People such as mill supply houses, selling products such as cutting tools and saws. At the present time a supplier selling saws must charge eight per cent federal sales and then eight per cent provincial sales tax. One supplier makes a daily accounting of taxes collected and makes a monthly remittance to the federal and provincial governments. One supplier told me that at least 10 per cent of his accounting time was spent on sales tax accounting.

If the mill supplier is selling to an industrial customer, that customer may provide a tax exemption from the eight per cent federal sales tax and the eight per cent provincial sales tax. Some material may be eligible for both federal and provincial sales tax exemption; some for one tax and some for another. Some materials like work gloves are specifically federally exempt. It is up to the buyer to stamp a purchase order tax exempt. If so, the supplier sells the article, less taxes, and any disagreement on the exemption is sorted out between the purchaser and the government. Confusing?

By the way, some items like nails pay eight per cent and light bulbs pay 13.5 per cent federal sales tax. Think of the time allocating exemptions, line by line, on an invoice. I wonder how the economy will perform under the new federal tax regime.

“And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.”


Mr Mackenzie: On 3 March 1987, the 57 employees of Premium Plastics in Richmond Hill approached me over their difficulties with employment standards and getting severance pay as a result of the closure of their plant in 1985.

On 4 April 1987, an order to pay was issued. On 6 May 1987, the company paid to the employment standards branch in trust $214,362.23. On 14 May 1987, the company appealed the order. To this date, 13 July 1989, the workers have never received what belongs to them, in spite of 42 months of total frustration.

After many months of trying to get the minister to appoint an arbitrator to finally resolve this matter, the Minister of Labour (Mr Sorbara) in a letter dated 16 June 1989 now says he can neither meet with the company nor appoint an arbitrator as the matter is before the courts due to the company’s appeal.

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology (Mr Kwinter) boasts in this House that he is an advocate of business and meets with its representatives regularly. Who is the advocate for the workers?

Whether it is garbage, breaking a social contract like Bill 162 or the simple justice of severance pay owed, the power of the corporations and developers with this Liberal government is painfully obvious. Where is the voice and the advocate for the ordinary workers who are owed this kind of money and are not getting it 42 months later?


Mr Harris: I was interested to read Statistics Canada’s independent finding that, in the current fiscal year, transfers from the Ontario Liberal government to local governments in the province have been reduced by $823.1 million this year.

By comparison, I note that transfers from the federal government to this clumsy and scandal-ridden administration grew by $355 million or nearly seven per cent, an increase well above the projected inflation rate. Small wonder this government’s laments about what it likes to call federal offloading ring a bit hollow. While they get $355 million more from the federal government, they give $823 million less to the municipalities. The worst case of offloading, then, is at the provincial-municipal level, where the provincial government, in a transparent effort at newspeak likes to refer to it as the “local option.”

Since this government took office, we have had to live with three massive tax grabs in five years. As a consequence, Ontario taxpayers will contribute twice as much to the Treasury this year as they did in 1984-85, an increase of $15.2 billion.

Where does all the money go? Some of it, we know, goes to an unworkable rent review system, some of it is spent on a disastrous misadventure in insurance regulation or is frittered away by the Ministry of Skills Development, which has yet to prove it can successfully deliver a single program. A lot of it goes down the drain--

The Speaker: Thank you. The member’s time has expired.



Mr D. R. Cooke: Right from the beginning of the free trade negotiations all members of the standing committee on finance and economic affairs -- all three parties -- insisted that the 115 countervail laws had to be controlled in any free trade agreement with that country. By October 1986, the Prime Minister assured us that this would happen. By October 1987, we all realized that the Prime Minister had fooled us.

Nevertheless, some corporate leaders insisted that the free trade deal was advantageous to them. Now, to the chagrin of J. M. Schneider and Hoffman Meats, the US Federal Trade Commission has substantiated a countervail application against Canadian pork sales that, if the politically controlled Department of Commerce decides that in its view we have government subsidies, will result in reduced sales to that country, surplus hogs in our market and potential layoffs at Schneider’s and Hoffman’s.

The US Department of Commerce has until this coming Monday to rule on this subsidy issue and whether or not we, in its view, subsidize pork marketing. I can only fear the worst,

Tomorrow, another food processing plant in my area will be closing. Tend-R-Flesh, a chicken processing plant, will shut its doors. I was there yesterday talking to some of the workers. Many of them have been there more than 20 years; many of them are not able to speak English very well, and the transition is extremely difficult.


Mr Harris: I would be glad to talk a little bit more about the fiscal irresponsibility of this government and the Treasurer (Mr R. F. Nixon). My constituents find it absolutely astounding that Michael Wilson is able to find a seven per cent increase to transfer to Ontario, given the massive debt problems the federal government has and given the fact that its own program spending only goes up 3.5 per cent. It is far less than inflation. They do not understand where he can possibly find the money to give this province.

Second, they do not understand why, when the federal government gives the province seven per cent, the province has to cut transfers to the municipalities.


The Speaker: Order. It would be much better if one member spoke at a time.

Mr Morin: I would like to request unanimous consent to make a statement concerning Bastille Day.

The Speaker: Is there unanimous consent?

Agreed to.


Mr Morin: I rise today, on behalf of the government of Ontario, to acknowledge a day of importance for the people of France.

Comme tous les députés le savent, les Français célébreront demain le jour de la Bastille. Le 14 juillet 1789, la Bastille a été prise d’assaut par le peuple de Paris qui prenait ainsi la voie de la démocratie.

Cette année marque le bicentenaire de la Révolution française. Dans toute la France, des événements spéciaux auront lieu pour marquer cet anniversaire spécial. Cette journée revêt aussi un sens particulier pour nous tous qui regarderont ceux et celles qui ont lutté, pendant de nombreuses années, contre l’oppression et pour la justice.

Alors qu’un des plus importants pays démocratiques du monde célèbre les principes de liberté et d’indépendance, cet événement nous donne une occasion do penser à ceux et celles qui luttent encore pour ces principes.

En France, il y a deux cents ans, ce cri :

« Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité » était un cri de ralliement. Aujourd’hui, ce sont des objectifs que l’on cherche toujours à atteindre et ce, partout dans le monde.

I know that all members of the House join with me in sending felicitations to the people of France on this special day.

Mr B. Rae: I could hardly let the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution pass without saying a few words. The history of the world was changed dramatically with the events in France and set in motion the meetings that took place on 14 July, the storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789.

Whatever the historical controversies that may surround the events that led up to the Revolution and to the years following 1789, the fact that many people died and were killed, indeed executed, in the course of that Revolution, there can be no question that France gave the world not only many important political traditions and ideas but also a certain spirit of democracy, and that indeed the history of the world is different because of the events that took place: the extraordinary flowering of ideas, of popular movements of people demonstrating in the streets and of groups of all kinds suddenly becoming politically articulate, who for centuries had not been allowed to speak up or speak out.

It led to a transformation of economic and social relationships between people. Of course, in the heyday of the Revolution, they even tried to change the calendar. They changed the whole way in which the world was described. Many of those things did not last. But some things did last, and above all, the values which have been described by my colleague the member for Carleton East (Mr Morin). The values of liberty, equality and fraternity have remained central to the democratic idea wherever that idea is held to be important. I might add that there are some days when we even think they might come here, but we have to continue to struggle for those days.

De toutes les traditions qui nous sont connues en Chambre, peut-être que demain, quand nous célébrerons, avec tous les Français en France et ailleurs, les evenements énormément historiques du 14 juillet 1789, la Révolution française, certainement nous serons aussi conscients des événements qui se sont produits au cours de la Révolution qui, sur le plan historique, demeureront controversés.

Par exemple, nous savons très bien que beaucoup de gens ont été tués ou exécutés pendant la Révolution, mais nous savons aussi que c’est vers la fin de la journée du 14 juillet 1789 que les choses les plus importantes se sont produites, c’est-à-dire : la valeur de liberté ; l’égalité -- soit, la valeur du sens que tous les gens sont égaux, qu ‘ils ont des droits égaux en tant que citoyens et des droits politiques ; et la valeur la plus importante, peut-être, dont nous comprenons encore très bien l'importance : la fraternité.

C’est ce sens de fraternité que nous partageons -- la réalité des expériences partagées, en tant qu’êtres humains, et le fait de partager en solidarité notre condition humaine.

Même si nous ne pouvons pas changer les difficultés éprouvées par l’humanité, des difficultés qui sont les conséquences de la vie, nous pouvons tout do même célébrer ce que nous avons en commun. soit la solidarité humaine. C’est peut-être le plus important.

En célébrant cette journée avec la population de la France -- nous savons que certains de nos collègues de la Chambre sont maintenant à Paris, représentant, naturellement, tous nos partis à ces célébrations -- je voulais dire tout simplement : Vive la France ! Vive la fraternité ! Vive l’égalité ! Vive la liberté !

Mrs Marland: I take pleasure in rising today on behalf of the Progressive Conservative caucus to recognize 14 July, Bastille Day. The year 1989 represents an enormously significant anniversary for France, for it marks the 200th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille, a crucial event in the French Revolution.

The events of 1789 marked a watershed in the history of the western world. The struggle by the French to achieve democratic rule was an inspiration to all freedom-loving people. The storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789 represents a historic blow to the forces of totalitarianism.


It is appropriate that we celebrate the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution at the same time that significant breakthroughs are being made in securing the freedom of the world’s people. In eastern Europe and elsewhere, totalitarian governments are falling victim to their own illegitimacy. Openness and reform are the watchwords of this new era, and liberty, equality and fraternity are the underlying principles.

We join the people of France in marking this significant anniversary and we hope that today’s freedom fighters will find inspiration in the brave actions of those who stormed the Bastille and changed the world.



Mr B. Rae: I have a question for the Minister of Labour. He will, I hope, recognize that the decisions that have been taken by his government with respect to closure have in fact transformed the nature of our democracy in this House. He will know -- I hope he knows -- that for the first time in our history in this Legislature, the government is not only moving closure on a bill which has been discussed in the Legislature, it is moving closure on amendments presented by the government which have never been discussed by anybody.

How does the Minister of Labour feel about the fact that for the very first time in our history, his government is asking us to consider amendments to the Workers’ Compensation Act which have never been discussed by any Legislature, by any legislative body or by any committee of this House, ever?

Hon Mr Sorbara: Let’s make a few corrections, first. The Leader of the Opposition suggests that the government is moving closure. Obviously, that is not the case. What it is doing and what I see in Orders and Notices and what I have just had an opportunity to read is a time allocation motion which provides a certain number of legislative days to discuss the very amendments he has talked about.

Let me make one other point, if I may. The amendments the Leader of the Opposition is referring to have been on the record for at least two and a half months now. They were part of a document submitted to the standing committee on resources development when it began clause-by-clause consideration of Bill 162.

The final point to make is that were it not for procedural motion after procedural motion put to that committee by the member for Sudbury East (Miss Martel), that committee would have had ample time to discuss the very amendments he is talking about.

Mr B. Rae: The fact of the matter is that we have checked as best we can, and we have checked with the clerks at the table, for any precedents in this province for a government moving closure -- or moving time allocation; whatever the minister wants to call it -- on amendments which have never, ever been presented to the House or to any committee, and we could find no such precedent in the history of this province.

We are talking about amendments which the minister discussed in general in January and then moved in some detail at the end of May, a five-month gap during which there was no presentation by him of many of those substantive amendments. We are dealing here with amendments to the law, which will have an effect on hundreds of thousands of potential claimants to the Workers’ Compensation Board, which have never been considered by this Legislature or by the committee.

The Speaker: And the question?

Mr B. Rae: Can the minister tell us what precedent there is in this province for this kind of a step by his government?

Hon Mr Sorbara: It is passing strange for the Leader of the Opposition to suggest in this Legislature that he is at all interested in ever debating these amendments. When Bill 162 was introduced into this House in June of last year, it was shortly thereafter that the Leader of the Opposition and the critic for workers’ compensation in the New Democratic Party vowed that they would do everything possible to stop the bill.

So I repeat, it is passing strange that the Leader of the Opposition now suggests with his question that he and presumably the member for Sudbury East and other members of his party would like an opportunity to debate these amendments. If he would only read the notice of motion in Orders and Notices, he would see that time has been allotted to discuss those very amendments.

Mr B. Rae: I asked the minister whether he could point to any other time in our history, and he did not answer that question. I would like to ask him this question. Can the minister point to any other Minister of Labour since 1914 who has brought in amendments to the Workers’ Compensation Act which, as a package, have been opposed by the very people they are supposed to be helping?

Hon Mr Sorbara: Let me very briefly answer the first supplementary, first. I do not profess to be a student of parliamentary rules and procedures, but I understand that the notice of motion on the order paper is in entire accordance with history and precedent in parliamentary democracies that use the type of rules we do.

As to his question on whether I can point to a precedent among my predecessor ministers of Labour--

Mr Reville: There were some pretty terrible ones.

Hon Mr Sorbara: Let me just say to my friend the member for Riverdale (Mr Reville) that the debate on Bill 162 really represents a competition. There are those who believe as a matter of social contract, as the member described a few days ago, that when a worker suffers a permanent injury that worker should have a permanent lifetime pension. That is the policy espoused by his party. I understand that position. As a matter of public policy, it is a defensible position.

The philosophy and the principles underlying Bill 162 are that when a worker suffers a permanent injury -- Mr Speaker, I know I am taking a little time on this, but I think it is worth putting before the House -- the compensation provided to him should include an award --

The Speaker: Thank you. Order.


Mr B. Rae: In the absence of the Premier (Mr Peterson), I would like to go to the Deputy Premier. It concerns the basic policy question of the handling of the garbage crisis, the way the government has handled it and the various vehicles it has chosen to handle it with.

Just a short five and a half years ago, when the Deputy Premier was in opposition, he was commenting in this House during a debate on regional governments. He had this to say:

“They are overlarge, overexpensive, remote and insensitive. They have the same problems as the government of Ontario has because it is necessary for them to hire masses of public servants, nameless and faceless bureaucrats who administer policies usually initiated by themselves but in the name of elected officials.”

That is the comment the Deputy Premier had to make about regional government. We are handling this garbage crisis --

The Speaker: The question.

Mr B. Rae: -- not with one regional government but with several, controlled, if you will -- or co-ordinated, to use a more neutral term -- by a bureaucracy established by his government.

The Speaker: Do you have a question?

Mr B. Rae: Does the Deputy Premier not feel that the same problems he identified so acutely back those five and a half years ago apply in spades to the greater Toronto area model which the government is imposing on the people now?

Hon R. F. Nixon: No. I think the essential change that may have escaped the Leader of the Opposition is the sensitivity and capability of the central provincial government dealing with these regions.

The Speaker: Would there be a supplementary?

Mr B. Rae: Yes, I think there would be. The minister’s colleague who is now the Minister of the Environment (Mr Bradley)--he is not here today, but I thought I would just mention it -- in a similar debate just a couple of years earlier had this to say: “Regional government is not close enough to the people and it lacks financial accountability.”


I want to ask the Deputy Premier: Back in March when the Premier was at the great press conference with all the regional chairmen to discuss this new plan they were presenting, the third aspect of this plan -- to use that term in its loosest possible form -- is that “a new GTA area agency would be established to create and control the overarching waste management system.” That is a quote from the document. It has now been several months since March. There is a feeling in all the regions that this is not happening and that there is nothing in place now to allow that to happen. I want to ask the Deputy Premier: When are we going to see legislation to set up such an agency?

Hon R. F. Nixon: I think the initiatives of the Minister of the Environment, supported by the Premier, have been most commendable, bringing the regions together through their chairmen and others to make plans for solving the problem that all of them face -- or that all of us face, I suppose one could say. Although not all of us live in the greater Toronto area, everybody here spends a good deal of time here, and in his or her own way contributes substantially to the garbage.

It seems clear, however, that the solution is not going to be one that is imposed by a garbage czar, and that it is going to be worked at the regional level, where the responsibility lies in co-operation among the regions directly affected with the leadership of the Minister of the Environment. I am very proud of his accomplishments in this regard, and he requires some reasonable time to accomplish what I hope the member, perhaps a year or 18 months from now, will agree is a most useful policy improvement.

Mr B. Rae: If the Minister of the Environment were taking a lead role, members might ask why he was at none of the meetings with a number of companies which apparently are going to be involved in this bidding process. He was not even at the meeting with the regional chairmen where this whole process was kicked off. Every indication is that he is not playing in this particular league at all, and that it is being handled in a way that is not accountable to anybody.

Citizens out there want to know what they are supposed to do if and when they object or want to have some control over the plan. The minister himself said back in 1983 that citizens had no control over their own regional governments. Now be has a committee of chairmen of regional governments -- and another layer removed; most of them are not, themselves, individually elected to regional council -- making a decision that is made essentially in private, at meetings also attended by two deputy ministers from his government. We have no way of getting any accountability for these decisions. I want to ask the Deputy Premier: Where is the democracy, accountability and openness in this process? I do not see it.

Hon R. F. Nixon: I do not know whether the member wants to enter into an extensive debate as to the democratic positions of regional chairmen. They are slightly different in different regions, but they are there by virtue of legislation passed by this chamber. In each case, it was legislation which I personally opposed. The fact is that the regions are there, they are functioning and the regional chairmen are there under the constitution, presumably, of the legislation approved by this House some years gone by.

I do not feel that they are unconstitutional in any sense. I believe they do reflect the needs of their particular communities, and knowing the regional chairmen, I believe their motivations are at least as pure as the ones exhibited in this House from day to day. They want to do the best for their communities, and with the leadership of this government, particularly the Premier, they are working co-operatively and effectively.


Mr Harris: To the Housing minister: I wonder if the minister can explain why she wasted some $60,000 to promote herself in a calendar sent to 110,000 Ontario Housing Corp tenants, a calendar in red, a calendar featuring her picture, a calendar sent and received anywhere from four to six months, in some cases, after the year began. Can the minister explain this propaganda, obviously not for calendar purposes as the year was half over for some of the people who received it? Can she explain this waste of $60,000 when she does not have enough money in her ministry to house people on the waiting list?

Hon Ms Hošek: I have to confess to the member opposite that this idea of a handbook for tenants of the Metropolitan Toronto Housing Authority and OHC to give them information about health, safety, fire and various other issues is not our idea. It is an idea we copied from another Housing minister, someone called Claude Bennett, who was the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. I happen to have here the tenant handbook from 1981, which was produced at that time.

We decided that as we produce a handbook every year, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Ontario Housing Corp we would do a special version of the handbook in a calendar style: this one. What we did was combine the calendar and the handbook in a single year. It costs 53 cents a copy and is available in French. I am happy to make it available to members in the House if they wish to see it.

We did a check this morning, and in Belleville, Midland, Goderich, Welland and North Bay the calendars were received in January and were distributed in January. They contain information that is useful to our tenants in the form of a calendar.


The Speaker: Order. Before I recognize the member for the supplementary, I would say to members who are not in their own seats, please refrain.

Mr Harris: I thought the interjection of the Treasurer (Mr R. F Nixon) was a little more appropriate. It was, “Never again.”

The minister seems to think this calendar equates to a handbook explaining rights to tenants. I would suggest to the minister as well that after 25 years, particularly the last five years, her ministry has absolutely nothing to celebrate.


The Speaker: Order.

Mr Harris: In the 1987-88 fiscal year, the Housing ministry spent nearly $750,000 on hotels, over and above and not counting ministry staff travelling expenses. This includes nearly $58,000 at the five-star luxury Briars resort and conference centre at Jacksons Point, and nearly $94,000 at the Horseshoe Valley Resort. Can the minister explain why her ministry is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars at luxury resorts when she does not have enough money to house people on her subsidized-housing waiting list?

Hon Ms Hošek: The member opposite should know that this government is doing more for housing than any government he has ever been associated with. Let me point out that in 1984-85, when the member opposite’s government was in power, there were 16 subsidized units in the town of North Bay, which he represents. There are now 265.

The member is extremely interested in hotel bills, and so am I. I wanted to get some numbers for the member, because I know he is very interested in numbers. I was going through the public accounts for 1984-85 and came to the Ministry of Natural Resources, whose minister at the time, I understand, was the person who is asking me this question today, the member for Nipissing. These were the hotel expenses for the Ministry of Natural Resources in 1984-85: the Airlane Motor Hotel, $25,000; Birch Cliff Lodge, $34,000; Senator Motor Hotel, $36,000; the Toronto Hilton Harbour Castle, $76,000. This one really puzzles me: the Lava Mountain Lodge, $849,000.


The Speaker: Order.


Mr Harris: I was minister for one month of that period --


The Speaker: Order

Mr Harris: I do not know what that has to do with the Ministry of Housing, which is what I thought the minister was responsible for. Her ministry’s travelling expenses for 1987-88 -- air, mileage, hotel and food -- came to nearly $2.4 million. If she wants to compare apples to apples, that is double the 1984-85 blue book, the last time a Conservative minister was in the Ministry of Housing.

That is not counting the luxury resorts I have mentioned. It has more than doubled since she came to office. In addition to the Briars and the Horseshoe Valley Resort, we find accounts with the Café Coco, $42,000; Sutton Place, $37,000, and six other luxury hotels or chains ranging from $33,000 to $125,000, totalling $2.4 million.

These are over and above, not counting, staff travel expenses. How can the minister explain this kind of unprecedented spending rampage at luxury resorts when the government waiting lists for assisted housing continue to grow?

Hon Ms Hošek: What is unprecedented is the amount of spending this government has increased in housing over the past three years. We have more than doubled our budget, from $258 million in 1985-86 to $537 million.

The member has already asked the particular questions that he has asked and I will answer them, but I find it very interesting that we spent six hours together at estimates, six hours in which his energy perhaps was flagging, and never once did he ask any of these questions about these specific expenses; not once.

I am happy to give him the information as soon as I gather it, and he will have it. But let me point out that what we are doing, we are doing in the context of doubling the spending of this ministry to provide social housing for people all over the province and a commitment to build 30,000 units of nonprofit housing in three to five years. I am proud of our record. There is a lot of work left to do, but we have a great deal to be proud of in what we have already accomplished.

Mr Harris: It is typical of a Liberal who measures success in dollars and cents.

I have a question to the Chairman of Management Board. It also concerns the use of luxury hotels and tourist resorts but by other ministries, because the Ministry of Housing obviously has learned these tricks from others.

I note that the 1987-88 public accounts lists a $32,000 expenditure by the Ministry of Community and Social Services at Blue Mountain Inn and a $52,000 expenditure by the Ministry of Culture and Communications at the well-known Fern luxury resort. Can the Chairman of Management Board tell me why ministry business is being conducted at these luxury resorts?

Hon Mr Elston: I will inquire into that and get back to the honourable member.

Mr Harris: Nobody seems to know much about these luxury junkets that are occurring with all the ministries and all the civil servants. It appears the Ministry of Natural Resources could not work at the office, so it spent $42,000 at the Clevelands resort hotel in central Ontario. Not to be outdone -- the members may know about this one -- I am sure the chairman knows the Management Board of Cabinet managed to spend time at the five-star luxury Pillar and Post Inn at Niagara-on-the Lake. The tab for that affair was $140,000. Can the Chairman of Management Board tell us why it is necessary to spend $140,000 over and above nominal travel expenses to hold a cabinet meeting?

Hon Mr Elston: The honourable gentleman is really being a lot like the Leader of the Opposition (Mr B. Rae), making some of these pieces of information available on a surprise basis so that he can let people think things that are not so.

Without question, there are a number of bills that have been paid for legitimate meetings in places that he has named, but this person should not try to suggest to the people of the province that there are not businesses and other organizations that go out of the office to have meetings. It is standard procedure for people to go out --

Mr Harris: For a luxury resort’? It’s taxpayers’ dollars you are going to luxury resorts with.

Hon Mr Elston: The honourable gentleman is obviously not too interested in hearing the truth. The fact of the matter is it is beneficial for people to get away from the office, to go through a whole series of things to plan for the future of the province. We are looking to the future and have looked to the future of the province of Ontario since 1985 in a way which has never been seen in this province in this half of the century. We have done that and we have done it with results that are second to none; an economy that is moving forward without any question, without any stretch of the imagination --

The Speaker: Thank you.


The Speaker: Order.

Mr Harris: Methinks the minister doth protest a little too much. No doubt this government is spending and wasting more money than the government of any jurisdiction in the history of Canada.

I note as well that our government spends its money on the strangest things. I wonder if the Chairman of Management Board could tell me about a $40,000 expenditure made last year to RJR-Macdonald and a further $35,000 to Rothmans of Pall Mall. This combined $75,000 expenditure to these major tobacco companies was made by the Ministry of Health to purchase products. Can the Chairman of Management Board explain who approved $75,000 worth of tobacco products purchased by the Ministry of Health, under what me item that might have appeared in the estimates, and if it is not in a line item, when or what --

The Speaker: Thank you. You are on your third question now.

Hon Mr Elston: In the previous examples, the honourable gentleman might have asked my colleague the Minister of Culture and Communications (Ms Oddie Munro) or my colleague the Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr Sweeney), who would have given him the answer right out. In this case, the Minister of Health (Mrs Caplan) is not here, but I can tell the member --

Mr Harris: We want to know who is controlling expenditures, whether there are any rules or controls.

Hon Mr Elston: Would he be quiet and wait for a moment? If he wants to listen to what the truth is, he should probably he patient enough and have the good judgement enough to allow the answer.

The member, like anybody else in this province, knows that the Ministry of Health, through psychiatric hospital requirements, has people who are full-time in residence, in facilities, in the province. We are direct suppliers of service to some clients, some patients, and although I an uncertain as to the exact nature of these two pieces of billing, I suspect it would not be unreasonable to assume that through our general stores in those hospitals, there would be, for the benefit of the patients of the system, a requirement to provide them with cigarettes and other products if that was their choice. The member probably does not really care that much about them, but we do try to provide in the best way possible for the needs of those patients.

I will get back to the House --

The Speaker: Order. Thank you.

Mr Harris: Is the minister suggesting that his government’s blue hook is not the truth?

Hon R. F. Nixon: Of course it’s the truth. We buy cigarettes for patients in residence.

The Speaker: Order. Really, really, really.



Mr Charlton: I have a question for the Minister of Energy. The minister is no doubt aware that we released this morning a report, Electrical Efficiency Opportunities for Ontario, commissioned by our caucus. This report documents 5,300 megawatts of cost-effective energy efficiency which could be achieved in Ontario in reasonably short order.

I understand the minister has ongoing studies as well and that those studies will likely document amounts substantially in addition to those documented in our study. Will the minister assure this House this afternoon that, since he has said energy efficiency is his top priority, he will pursue by whatever means are necessary all cost-effective energy efficiency measures which can be identified in Ontario?

Hon Mr Wong: In answer to the honourable member’s question, let me first say that the government shares many of the concerns that have been raised by his party and through the report which he tabled today. We welcome the report because we are moving towards energy efficiency as a standard by which we both live and work in this province. As the honourable member has mentioned, and I have said it on many occasions in the House and publicly in speeches, the number one priority of this government on both the demand and supply sides is on the demand management side, energy conservation and energy efficiency.

I believe that we can be doing more to encourage the wise use of energy. A year ago the cabinet of this government instructed Ontario Hydro to give us some quantitative targets. That was a major step. Hydro came back and gave us a 4,500-megawatt target that would be achievable by the year 2000. The honourable member is saying that he believes that figure should be higher today. That is exactly what the government has been saying to Hydro. As a result of this --

The Speaker: Thank you. That is enough to get a supplementary.

Mr Charlton: That should elicit a supplementary, yes. I appreciate the comments that the minister has made so far, but the minister is well aware that Ontario Hydro, after a long period of resistance, is finally saying publicly that a kilowatt of energy saved is at least as valuable as a kilowatt of energy generated or produced.

Hydro’s holdup, in terms of the numbers it uses in its long-term plan, is its pessimism about how much of that energy efficiency we can bring into the system by the year 2000. If a kilowatt of energy saved is as valuable as a kilowatt of energy generated, is the minister prepared to treat those two kilowatts of energy equally in his approach to how we get them into the system?

Hon Mr Wong: We are moving aggressively to implement demand management in this province, first of all through the amendments of the Power Corporation Act to ensure that Ontario Hydro is more responsive to government policies and public priorities, with the passage of the energy efficiency legislation last year -- the first in all of Canada -- with the ministry’s and the government’s municipal street lighting pilot program and the municipal buildings energy efficiency program, through the city’s Energy Forum programs, plus the government’s request and instruction to Ontario Hydro to provide us with plans that show us what it plans to do in the incentive area to encourage energy efficiency in Ontario.

I might also remind the honourable member that major impacts from energy efficiency also result not just in the energy and economic area but also in the environmental area. What I am saying in conclusion is that this should not be a stopgap measure. This should become a part of our everyday efforts and lives, not only on the part of government but also on the part of Ontario Hydro and the people of this province.


Mrs Cunningham: My question today is for the Minister of Transportation. We are all aware of the numbers of tragedies that have taken place on Highway 401 between Woodstock and London. This morning we became aware that just yesterday another young person has died as a car crossed the median claiming the life of Mary Jennifer Forler, a University of Western Ontario student. I am sure the minister would agree that all of us would extend our sincere sympathies to her family and friends.

In the last six months there have been more than six deaths along this stretch of the highway and 43 deaths in the past 10 years. I very humbly ask the minister today how many more deaths must Ontario witness before he takes immediate action in installing the harriers along this stretch of Highway 401?

Hon Mr Fulton: Very clearly, I and this government and every member of this Legislature feels very saddened by the fatality that took place and by the 1,200 fatalities that take place almost annually in this province.

We are attempting at every possible opportunity, anywhere and everywhere across this province, through driver training, through road and highway improvements, through intersection improvements, through median improvements and so on -- every effort and energy, and in conjunction with enforcement agencies and others -- to reduce the traffic toll; the injury toll and fatality toll in this province.

Mrs Cunningham: The Minister of Transportation informed the city of London in April that his ministry “intends to commence with the six-laning from Wellington Street to Highway 126 in London in 1989 and maintaining a continuous program over a period of eight years to upgrade the remainder of the highway east to Woodstock. At the same time, highway conditions will be monitored and appropriate action taken to ensure the safety and adequacy of this facility.”

Surely another death is part of that whole system of monitoring. Now we have a coroner’s jury that tells us that we should begin action and complete that stretch of the highway within the next two years. I think it is up to the minister to inform this House today --

The Speaker: I think it is time for a question.

Mrs Cunningham: -- when that action will start and how long we should expect before those medians are built.

Hon Mr Fulton: I can inform the member that on 22 June I met with the mayor of London, Mayor Pember of Woodstock, our member for Oxford (Mr Tatham) and representatives from the member for Middlesex (Mr Reycraft) in my office to pursue the very question she has raised.

We have a situation of 53 kilometres of highway with an average median strip of 28 feet in width and a depth of three feet. We have explained earlier that simply putting barriers along the median strip is not that simple, but we have indeed started, with our staff and consultants, to redesign the necessary improvements to implement what we stated, long before the recent coroner’s inquest took place, that this is very much one of the highest priorities. Although I have not made the specific announcement, one will be forthcoming very soon with respect to that highway.


Mr Owen: I have a question for the Minister of Agriculture and Food. Increasingly, the public is becoming very concerned about the quality of its food and the use of pesticides in getting that food to us. Farmers, as the primary users of agricultural pesticides, and their families are the most vulnerable to health risks. Of course, that also means that their rural environment is more susceptible to damage.

Farmers are asking that certification by way of safety programs on using pesticides be mandatory, hopefully by 1991. I would like to ask the minister today: Is this program on target, how extensive will it be for all of the farmers of this province and where are we with regard to implementing this program?

Hon Mr Riddell: The member is correct when he states that growers have requested mandatory certification for pesticide purchase and application by 1991, and I will say that we are on target for that date. The Minister of the Environment (Mr Bradley) has said that he is working towards mandatory certification through the Pesticides Act, which actually comes under the jurisdiction of the Minister of the Environment.

My ministry has been gearing up for grower certification since 1987 through a program called the pesticides education program. Since 1987 about 12,000 growers have attended courses offered around the province. My ministry and the Ministry of the Environment are currently involved in a consultative process to develop guidelines and a draft for legislation leading to mandatory certification.


Mr Owen: Through the minister’s Food Systems 2002 program, farmers are hoping to reduce pesticide use by 50 per cent; I believe that is the figure that has been set forth. Yet, at the same time, we have to find a way of maintaining present economic yields. Some farmers tell me it can be done and other farmers tell me we cannot have it both ways and that it cannot be done.

I would like to ask the minister today: Does he feel that pesticide use can be substantially cut, and, if we do that, are we going to be able to maintain our competitive agricultural industry the way it is today?

Hon Mr Riddell: Through our $10-million Food Systems 2002 program we certainly do hope to reduce by 50 per cent the amount of chemicals used. But we also recognize that this reduction must mean that crop production is sustainable and that the Ontario producers must maintain economic crop yields.

We are convinced that the objective is obtainable, and both growers and the research community have been very supportive of this program. To date, approximately $2.2 million has been devoted to contract research sponsored by my ministry, to make the 50 per `cent reduction practical in terns of sustainable crop production. As well, an additional eight full-time pest management specialists have been hired to expand the principles and field application of integrated pest management to 11 commodities, including horticultural, field and greenhouse crops.

We are on target with our Food Systems 2002 program and we definitely will --

The Speaker: Thank you. New question.


Mrs Grier: My question is to the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations. In response to questions about the preselling of housing units before projects involved have received municipal approval, the minister has said that there is an internal ministry review of the issue.

In 1987 the present member for St Andrew-St Patrick (Mr Kanter), then a member of Toronto city council, described the practice of preselling as causing “serious problems for purchasers who have spent money in the expectation of obtaining housing. It also has consequences for members of city council, who may be pressured into) approving unsatisfactory developments.”

I agree with that statement and would be interested to) know from the minister if he ever intends to stop this practice and, if so, when.

Hon Mr Wrye: I really cannot indicate to the honourable member that we have a final timetable at which I will get a final report and at which this House necessarily will see legislation.

We are all very sensitive to the honourable member’s remarks, which have been made by a number of individuals including my good friend the member for St Andrew-St Patrick, and I appreciate the honourable member’s point of view on this.

As the member would know, some argument has been placed on the other side. That argument is that where these projects do go ahead appropriately, preselling can help speed up a process which, she would be the first to criticize and I might agree with her, at times is too slow. So it has been a balancing act. There is no doubt that a number of members, and indeed officials in my ministry who are looking at this very carefully, are concerned that albeit it may speed up the process, the down side is that it can be very frustrating to potential home owners -- has been in a number of cases -- and indeed sometimes places unwanted pressure on municipal councils.

Mrs Grier: It is the issue of pressure on councils and on approving bodies, such as the Ontario Municipal Board, that primarily concerns me. I want to give the minister an example of a project that is extremely controversial and which I have raised in this House before: the waterfront in my riding, where a major condominium development is proposed. It has been referred to the Ontario Municipal Board by the Minister of Municipal Affairs (Mr Eakins). Because there is no affordable housing in the development, the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Housing all have expressed concern, and there is going to be a very long and very controversial hearing some time on the new year.

Now a development within that area, known as Andmark-Newport Developments, has indicated to city council that it intends to start preselling condominiums this summer, a long time before any approval of even the official plan, let alone a zoning bylaw for the entire project is going to be in place.

The Speaker: Do you have a question?

Mrs Grier: Will the minister undertake to do something to prevent that problem before it occurs?

Hon Mr Wrye: In the member’s preliminaries to the question, she indicated that a number of ministries in this government have expressed concern over this very important matter in her riding, and quite properly so. I also note that her concern is to the pressure that may be brought to bear on the Ontario Municipal Board.

I am reluctant to make any commitments of any kind, given that the matter is in front of the Ontario Municipal Board, but I will indicate to the honourable member that I will take a very close look at the issue and receive a report from my officials about whether anything can be or ought to be done in this specific instance. I will commit to the honourable member that we will continue to look at this very important issue and, hopefully, have a resolution some time in the not-too-distant future


Mrs Marland: My question is to the Deputy Premier. Yesterday the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld an Ontario Supreme Court judge’s ruling that ordered the Ontario government to pay damages to people of McClure Crescent. This is the second time that the Premier (Mr Peterson) and the Liberal government have dragged these poor people through the courts and lost.

Will the Deputy Premier now give the residents of McClure Crescent the justice for which they have been fighting for so many years and a commitment not to appeal yesterday’s decision?

Hon R. F. Nixon: I cannot give the member that commitment, but I can tell her that my colleagues and I are aware of the judgement and will be considering it without delay.

Mrs Marland: Because of the previous decision to contest the Supreme Court’s ruling, the people of McClure Crescent incurred a substantial legal bill in fighting the Deputy Premier’s government on this issue. Will the Liberal government consider reimbursing these individuals for the large court costs they have incurred at this point, if in fact he does not appeal the decision again?

Hon R. F. Nixon: I will not, but my colleagues might have another view in that regard. I cannot help but simply recount to the honourable member something she knows; that is, that the level of radioactivity is uniformly below any level which is indicated would have any impact on people living there.

Mrs Grier: There are houses with basement apartments in them.

Hon R. F. Nixon: The honourable member has a different view; I know of her scientific background. The answer is no.


The Speaker: Order.


Mr D. R. Cooke: My question is to the Minister of Transportation. The railway has been an integral part of Canadian life since its inception 100 years ago. In the beginning the train was the primary and, in some cases, the sole means by which Canadians living in one part of the country could unite with Canadians living in another part of the country. The role of the passenger rail service has changed with time and in our environmentally sensitive, mobile world, passenger rail service is indeed a viable and should be a viable travel alternative.

The federal government seems to have withdrawn its commitment to Via Rail, saying that it intends to significantly reduce passenger rail set-vice entirely. This decision is of particular concern to the communities along the north mainline route, which incidentally is a route which some local Conservative MPs feel has already been cut.

What can the minister do to possibly aid Via Rail users in Ontario who are caught in this unfortunate situation?

Hon Mr Fulton: I thank the member for Kitchener for asking a very sensitive and timely question. It is an issue of great concern to Ontarians from one end to the other, but of particular interest to those on the specific routes that have been indicated.


It would appear from the information we have that the federal member from Kitchener is not well informed on the issue. I am advised that the federal Minister of Transport and the new president of Via Rail, Mr Lawless, have only recently, a matter of days ago, received the business plan that would project what the federal government may or may not do with respect to Via Rail.

There have been conflicting reports in the media about which, if any, lines might be cut or abandoned or any form of reduced service. But I am informed that the federal government will not be making any kind of announcement to that effect before the summer is over.

Mr D. R. Cooke: That is good to hear. My criticism is directed more to the federal member for Waterloo, perhaps for Perth-Wellington-Waterloo. In any event, should Via Rail eliminate service to vast areas of the province, is the province prepared to seek compensation from the federal government for this lost service?

Hon Mr Fulton: To use the term “compensation” is somewhat premature. Clearly, the provision of rail passenger service in this country and this province is a federal jurisdiction. It has been for 120-odd years and, I hope, will continue to be, as is the air service a federal responsibility. I would hope, before we even consider a question of compensation, that the federal government will clearly look upon the investment in transportation that it should maintain across this country. Rail passenger service is a needed and well-used service, in particular quarters especially, and I would expect them to see the business case that will be coming forward and maintain Via Rail.


Mr Mackenzie: I have a question for the Minister of Labour. On 4 July, I asked him about the serious concerns workers had about the demolition of the old number 3 open hearth at Stelco. The members of the United Steelworkers of America Local 1005 had reservations, and when they brought one of the ministry inspectors on site to look at a number of their concerns, he was ordered off the site, as they were.

I asked the minister if he would get back to it. He said he was unaware of that. I have since asked the Minister of the Environment (Mr Bradley) if he can produce an order with the regulations and instructions in terms of dealing with some of the problems on that particular site.

Can the minister tell us if he has any answer now as to why his construction safety representative was ordered off the site’?

Hon Mr Sorbara: As a matter of fact, I do. As it turns out, the inspector, along with members of the joint health and safety committee, actually entered the area of demolition through a hole in the fence Inasmuch as the people who were responsible for demolishing that site found that rather unusual, they were asked to leave, and then, it is important to add, the inspector returned to the site and spoke to the appropriate officials and was not impeded in any way whatever in his examination of the site.

I should add, though, that because this site is being demolished by a concern wholly separate and apart from the industrial operation at Stelco and Local 1005 -- that is, no employees of Stelco are involved in it -- the joint health and safety committee itself at Stelco obviously is not involved in the matter and is not involved in any respect whatever in overseeing the demolition.

Mr Mackenzie: I wonder, then, if the minister can produce whatever safeguards are being taken with regard to the hazards there, and if he can tell us whether the at least six serious safety and health matters that were pointed out to the inspector would have been taken care of, in the brief time before they were ordered off, were it not for the Local 1005 members with him and their request that he enter the site. I still wonder how the minister justifies an inspector’s being ordered off the site, when the people who work in the immediate vicinity do have serious concerns, which they have been able to document.

Hon Mr Sorbara: I do not think we axe talking about justifying an inspector’s being ordered off a site. The inspector initially exercised less than the very best of judgement in appearing on the site through a hole in the fence. But my friend the member for Hamilton East does raise some very important issues, and I do not want to downplay them.

First, there are some serious risks and health management issues involved in the demolition here, primarily because of the presence of asbestos. I want to tell my friend from Hamilton East that the inspector is, as his responsibility, taking every precaution to make sure that the demolition is done in accordance with the law and in the interests of the workers who are working on that site.

I hope that a year from now -- six or eight months from now, in fact -- were this question to arise we would have an Occupational Health and Safety Act that required joint health and safety committees for construction, and then we would not have the problem of having a facility like this where no joint health and safety committee were present, but that is for the fall.


Mr Jackson: I have a question for the Minister of Community and Social Services. I have a case of an individual, a senior citizen, who was admitted to hospital last year for some surgery with respect to his hernia, with respect to his bowel and, as well, with a section of his appendectomy, a complex piece of surgery. The individual has not responded that well to conventional treatments. In fact, his physician has recommended a process called intercell treatment. The cost of that treatment is about $450 a month for three months.

This is an approved procedure under the Ontario health insurance plan and a senior citizen in home care would receive that support from the government. A similar senior in an acute care hospital would receive that support. I am led to believe that a senior with a similar condition in a home for the aged would receive that support.

However, this individual is indigent, has neither the funds nor the family to support him to have this paid for. He is a resident of a nursing home. Can the minister advise this House why this is occurring in this province, and whether this man’s needs could be met so that he does not have to go into his own wallet?

Hon Mr Sweeney: If the gentleman in question is a resident of a nursing home, as the member probably knows, that is outside the jurisdiction of my ministry. Nursing homes come under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Health. However, if there is any service my ministry could legitimately provide, I would certainly be prepared to look into it, if the honourable member will provide me with some of the details he has just described.

In some cases, as the honourable member may be aware, if a person were, for example, living in his own home or in the home of his family, then it is possible that even though he could not qualify for some of our income assistance programs, he could qualify under special consideration of cabinet for what we call an order in council. I am not sure whether that would apply if the person were in a nursing home. That is what I would need to investigate.

Mr Jackson: I appreciate the minister’s willingness to investigate this case, because although he is not one of my constituents, it is a matter of concern affecting several people.

I am interested in the minister’s response that it is outside of his ministry or partially outside of his ministry, yet on 7 June the minister made a statement in this House about long-term care for the elderly and people with physical disabilities. The minister referenced at length the concept of rationalizing services to elderly in this province.

I would ask him, as the lead minister, since he indicates clearly that the thrust he is taking is -- to quote the statement -- “in keeping with our philosophy of making services fit people rather than forcing people to fit the services,” if that is the philosophical approach and the commitment of his government, will he please assure this House that this individual senior citizen will not be discriminated against with respect to his condition and that his medically necessary treatments will be paid for?

Hon Mr Sweeney: As the honourable member has indicated, the purpose of my statement of several weeks ago was to indicate that at present we do not have the level of co-ordination and integration that we ought to have among the services provided by the Minister of Health (Mrs Caplan), by my ministry and by our joint home support services. There is currently under way a process by which that will be rectified and made more appropriate.

I announced at that time, too -- rather, in response to one of his colleague’s questions -- that we have now appointed a single assistant deputy minister to work for both ministries to pull those very things together.

With respect to the specific incident the member mentioned, I am not aware at the present time, under the circumstances available right now, whether in fact there is discrimination. I am quite prepared to take a look at it and if my ministry can appropriately provide service, I will try to see that it is done.



Mr Tatham: To the Minister of Community and Social Services: I have received a letter from Nora Anderson, chairperson of the privatization committee of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union at the Oxford Regional Centre. She is asking questions about the downsizing of the Oxford Regional Centre. Could the minister please tell me what is taking place regarding downsizing at the centre?

Hon Mr Sweeney: The downsizing of Oxford is part of a seven-year plan of this ministry which began two years ago. Part of that process is that each of the various regional facilities will prepare a plan and submit it to the ministry. It is a requirement that the staff of those various facilities participate in putting that plan together.

I am pleased to advise the honourable member that Oxford, which I believe is in his own riding, is one of the leading facilities in the province in terms of having put that plan together. There has been a very close working relationship between management and staff there.

As a matter of fact, last last month there was a three-day meeting held between management and staff to determine the outline of that plan over the next four or five years. My understanding is that a determination has been made that the residents will be downsized from about 400 at the present time down to about 120.

I want to add for the honourable member, since we have run out of time, that he might be interested in knowing that at Oxford we now have set up a career centre to assist the staff of that facility to make plans for their own career futures in terms of whether they are going to --

The Speaker: Thank you. We have run out of time.



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

“I, the undersigned, petition the government of Ontario to reform the workers’ compensation system in Ontario so that people injured at work get decent pensions, rehabilitation and jobs when they are able.”

This is signed by Stan Walker and of course by myself.

The Speaker: It looks as it you have a number there of the same petition.

Mr Kormos: Different signatures, Mr Speaker.

The Speaker: They are all signed by one person then.

Mr Kormos: The second one is addressed to His Honour the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario and is signed by Frank Maynard, with the same text and of course signed by myself.

The third one is addressed to His Honour the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, same text, signed by Murray Jones and of course by myself.

The Speaker: Thank you. No, with respect, the member knows that he can say the number of petitioners, but he does not necessarily have to read the names


Mr Jackson: I am pleased to present a petition to His Honour the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, which reads:

“Whereas the government of Ontario in its discussions with the Ontario Teachers’ Federation on amendments to the Teachers’ Superannuation Act has continually refused to permit an equal partnership between teachers and government in management of the pension fund, establishment of an acceptable contribution increase, benefit adjustments, equitable treatment of future surpluses and a binding arbitration process,

“We, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly to insist that the Treasurer of Ontario enter into meaningful negotiations with the Ontario Teachers’ Federation which will lead to a settlement equitable to teachers.”

That is signed by 500 teachers and it has my signature.

Mr Epp: I have a petition here signed by 25 people, most of them from my riding, regarding the same subject as the previous petition. the teachers’ superannuation fund, and I would like to submit it at this time.

Mr D. R. Cooke:: I have two petitions, one identical to the petition presented by the member for Burlington South (Mr Jackson) and the member for Waterloo North (Mr Epp). It is signed by 62 people.


Mr D. R. Cooke: The other petition has about 1,200 names on it, including the signature of the Leader of the Opposition (Mr B. Rae) the member for Cambridge (Mr Farnan), the member for Hamilton West (Mr Allen) and other people who are busy these days signing petitions of that nature, suggesting that the Legislature scrap Bill 162.

Mr Charlton: I have a petition to His Honour the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

“Each year in Ontario hundreds of workers are killed on the job and about half a million injured. The Workers’ Compensation Board decides if these workers are entitled to any compensation and what these deaths and disabilities are worth.

“There is a crisis in workers’ compensation in Ontario that is not going to be resolved by the proposed new legislation. The Workers’ Compensation Board has always operated in an arbitrary and inhumane manner amid it will not change now.

“We, the injured workers and concerned citizens of Ontario, petition you for respect, dignity and justice. We, the undersigned, beg leave to petition the Parliament of Ontario to pass laws without hidden clauses that:

“1. Guarantee the rights of injured workers and are easily understood by workers, employers and decision-makers;

“2. Remove arbitrary decision-making and ensure that decisions, particularly regarding entitlement, are quickly made;

“3. Provide effective and humane vocational, social and medical rehabilitation programs to compensate injured workers for their pain and disabilities and assist them in returning to meaningful work;

“4. Provide jobs to injured workers or full compensation to those who cannot return to work;

“5. Ensure that the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Tribunal, rather than the Workers’ Compensation Board, is the final and binding decision-maker;

“6. Provide existing injured workers with the choice to opt into new legislation.”

This petition is signed by nine residents of Hamilton and I have attached my signature to it and support it fully.


Mrs Cunningham: I have a petition to His Honour the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario which reads:

“Whereas the government of Ontario in its discussions with the Ontario Teachers’ Federation on amendments to the Teachers’ Superannuation Act has continually’ refused to permit an equal partnership between teachers and government in management of the pension fund, establishment of an acceptable contribution increase, benefit adjustments, an equitable treatment of future surpluses and a binding arbitration process,

“We, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly to insist that the Treasurer of Ontario enter into negotiations with the Ontario Teachers’ Federation which will lead to a settlement equitable to teachers.”

There are 500 signatures from Metropolitan Toronto, and I have signed my name to the bottom of the petition.


Mr Leone: I have a petition here signed by 100 citizens addressed to His Honour the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, regarding the regulations of naturopathy. I have affixed also my signature.


Mr Farnan: I have a petition directed to His Honour the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

“Each year in Ontario hundreds of workers are killed on the job and about half a million injured. The Workers’ Compensation Board decides if these workers are entitled to any compensation and what these deaths and disabilities are worth.

“There is a crisis in workers’ compensation in Ontario that is not going to be resolved by the proposed new legislation. The Workers’ Compensation Board has always operated in an arbitrary and inhumane manner and it will not change now.

“We, the injured workers and concerned citizens of Ontario, petition you for respect, dignity and justice. We, the undersigned, beg leave to petition the Parliament of Ontario to pass laws without hidden clauses that:

“1. Guarantee the rights of injured workers and are easily understood by workers, employers and decision-makers;

“2. Remove arbitrary decision-making and ensure that decisions, particularly regarding entitlement, are quickly node;

“3. Provide effective and humane vocational, social and medical rehabilitation programs to compensate injured workers for their pain and disabilities and assist them in returning to meaningful work;

“4. Provide jobs to injured workers or full compensation to those who cannot return to work;

“5. Ensure that the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Tribunal, rather than the Workers’ Compensation Board, is the final and binding decision-maker;

“6. Provide existing injured workers with the choice to opt into new legislation.”

This petition is signed by some 14 individuals. I have affixed my signature in complete support of the intent and content of this petition.


The Speaker: The member for Welland-Thorold.

Mr Kormos: I have --

The Speaker: The member for Durham East, you are not in your seat.

Mr Cureatz: Oh, you are right. I forgot.

Mr Kormos: I have a petition addressed to His Honour the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. It reads:

“I, the undersigned, Terry White, petition the government of Ontario to reform the workers’ compensation system in Ontario so that people injured at work get decent pensions, rehabilitation and jobs when they are able.”

I have added my signature to Mr White’s, indicating my support for it.

Mr Cureatz: Mr Speaker, I did not realize how attentive you are. I must congratulate you. Indeed, even I forgot where I should be sitting. Of course, he is not paying any attention. He is talking to my seatmate. I have not had the opportunity of thanking him for a lovely dinner we had a week or two ago which we are most appreciative of.


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

“Whereas the government of Ontario in its discussions with the Ontario Teachers’ Federation on amendments to the Teachers’ Superannuation Act has continually refused to permit an equal partnership between teachers and government in management of the pension fund, establishment of an acceptable contribution increase, benefit adjustments, an equitable treatment of future surpluses and a binding arbitration process.

“We, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly to insist that the Treasurer of Ontario enter into negotiations with the Ontario Teachers’ Federation which will lead to a settlement equitable to teachers.”

The petition is signed by 500 teachers across Ontario, and I have affixed my signature thereto.

Mr Henderson: I have a petition which is both from and to His Honour the Lieutenant Governor, in that it was sent to him and then passed along to me to present.

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

“Whereas the government of Ontario in its discussions with the Ontario Teachers’ Federation on amendments to the Teachers’ Superannuation Act has continually refused to permit an equal partnership between teachers and government in management of the pension fund, establishment of an acceptable contribution increase, benefit adjustments, an equitable treatment of future surpluses and a binding arbitration process,

“We, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly to insist that the Treasurer of Ontario enter into negotiations with the Ontario Teachers’ Federation which will lead to a settlement equitable to teachers.”

That is signed by about two dozen people in and near my constituency and by me.


Mr Mackenzie: I have a petition:

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

“Each year in Ontario hundreds of workers are killed on the job and about half a million injured. The Workers’ Compensation Board decides if these workers are entitled to any compensation and what these deaths and disabilities are worth.

“There is a crisis in workers’ compensation in Ontario that is not going to be resolved by the proposed new legislation. The Workers’ Compensation Board has always operated in an arbitrary and inhumane manner and it will but change now.

“We, the injured workers and concerned citizens of Ontario, petition you for respect, dignity and justice. We, the undersigned, beg leave to petition the Parliament of Ontario to pass laws without hidden clauses that:

“1. Guarantee the rights of injured workers and are easily understood by workers, employers and decision-makers;

“2. Remove arbitrary decision-making and ensure that decisions, particularly regarding entitlement, are quickly made;

“3. Provide effective and humane vocational, social and medical rehabilitation programs to compensate injured workers for their pain and disabilities and assist them in returning to meaningful work;

“4. Provide jobs to injured workers or full compensation to those who cannot return to work;

“5. Ensure that the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Tribunal, rather than the Workers’ Compensation Board, is the final and binding decision-maker;

“6. Provide existing injured workers with the choice to opt into new legislation.”

There are three sheets here from the east end of Hamilton, signed by 48 residents. I have affixed my signature to the petition.


Mr Reycraft: I have a petition addressed to His Honour the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. It calls on the Treasurer (Mr R. F. Nixon) to negotiate with the Ontario Teachers’ Federation on amendments to the Teachers’ Superannuation Act. It is signed by 17 constituents of the riding of Kitchener-Wilmot, and I have attached my signature as required by the standing orders.

Mr Kormos: I have a petition I wish to present, to have brought to the table, so that it may be read by the Clerk pursuant to standing order 31(g).

The Speaker: I would inform the member it has been my understanding for quite some time, and has been confirmed that it has been there for many, many years, that if the member is unable to read, then the Clerk will read it.


Mr Kormos: I have a petition addressed to His Honour the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. The material allegations are that:

“I, Lloyd Allen, petition the government of Ontario to reform the workers’ compensation system in Ontario so that people injured at work get decent pensions, rehabilitation and jobs when they are able.”

I of course have added my signature to that, as I am required to do, and out of support for the statement contained in that petition.



Mr Beer moved, on behalf of Mr Ward, third reading of Bill 5, An Act to amend the Education Act.

The Speaker: Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry? The member for Scarborough West?

Mr R. F. Johnston: A definite improvement, definite cabinet material, you would have to say, in these days of cabinet shake-ups. We look forward to the announcement for the member for York North (Mr Beer) in due course, in the next little while.

I am, of course, rising not to speak about his parliamentary future, but rather about Bill 5 which, as the Speaker and most members of this House will know, is the matter of heritage-language instruction. I will not repeat my speech on second reading, members will be pleased to know, which went on at some length about language instruction and principles of instruction and my disappointment with the limitations this government has put on the process.

I want to say that when I asked for it to be sent out to committee for public hearings and we had two days of hearings, my purpose was to allow people from the minority-language communities in our province to come forward to talk about where they want to go from here, not just the presumption that the status quo in Bill 5 was what they wanted -- sometimes known as the Scarborough amendment, to bring Scarborough in line with the rest of the civilized world on this matter -- but to look to the future.

I am pleased to say that, in discussions with the parliamentary assistant who was most gracious during those hearings, I am informed by many of those representatives that there will be ongoing discussions with the government to discuss just where we go with language instruction and just what the future role and status of heritage language will be within the overall school curricula. To that end, I am delighted with the process. That is what I wished to achieve in that time.

But I am a little disappointed with the fact that it is today this matter comes up, 13 July 1989. Members will know, if they have read the regulations that go along with Bill 5 and from the discussions that went on early on about the speed with which this was required, that the government first wanted it by the end of May. Then it was already clear that by the end of June would have been acceptable. For some reason or other, this was never called as the item of first business during the last number of weeks. It was always well down the list and obviously not given the priority that one had expected.


Why was it important that it should have been called earlier? The regulations say that parents will have 90 days preceding the startup of the classes in which to register their children to take advantage of these classes that will now be obligatory by boards when 25 parents come forward. There is a huge difficulty here. Here we are at the end of the school year, families are now dispersing across the province and elsewhere on holiday, the boards of education are gearing down, this month at least, before they gear up again for the fall session, and we have the prospect that it will not be until some time after today that proclamation of this act will come into being.

Therefore, if these programs are to start this fall, even a month late with, instead of the 30 September date that we were all expecting, now a 30 October date -- let me use Scarborough here, because this is what this bill is about, Scarborough’s unwillingness to bring in the provincial plan on heritage language -- the parents of Chinese extraction who have been fighting for this change for many years, parents of Greek extraction who have been working with me since 1981 to get Scarborough to bring in heritage language, will now have, after the date of proclamation, whatever that is going to be, and royal assent, a period from now or whatever date that is to the end of this month in which they will have to register if that program is to start by the end of October.

Clearly, if it does not start by the end of October, any board in the province will have the right to say, “Look, we cannot mess up our schedules about how to organize what is going on extracurricularly and during the regular school day in our system because there is now a demand for it, and this will have to be put off for another year.

I have no idea why such a callous approach has taken place here when there was an agreement among all three parties that this would not be held up. The public hearings I requested were not interminable hearings for which time allocation might be brought in as some kind of excuse. We will come to that matter later. There were in fact two days of hearings some time ago, completed many weeks ago now, yet the government has decided perhaps to make this first year of mandatory heritage language programming a failure in exactly the jurisdictions like Scarborough that this whole bill is designed for.

I regret the fact that for one reason or another -- and there are many things we have passed since that bill was completed on second reading and completed in committee in June -- this government has not made it number one on its order list until this very day and therefore is restricting the amount of time parents will have to register themselves.

I know those who have been following it will do their best to get out to their communities and will try to get families on side. I hope we do not have any examples of 22 or 23 parents being contacted instead of 25, the number that is required, and a travesty of justice occurring.

I do say that I do not understand why, when there is an agreement that even today we will only be speaking for a few minutes on this matter, even though it is a matter of some import to many of us, this was not brought forward earlier on.

Let me just conclude by saying that we support this bill on third reading. We are disappointed that the principle does not extend further, but we are pleased that there is a process now for communication with the groups involved that will take place, and hopefully we will see some further amendment to the Education Act to give greater status to heritage language and greater coherence to language policy in the pedagogy of the province.

Mr Jackson: I too would be pleased to participate in the brief debate on Bill 5.

Having participated in the evolution of this bill in its initial stages, as a trustee with the Halton Board of Education developing heritage language programs for the Halton Board of Education and then four years ago when I came to this chamber and was involved with the standing committee on social development, I have seen this bill evolve to a point where today we are making these programs mandatory for all school boards in this province: mandatory third-language instruction which is being provided by a school system that is increasingly being paid for by local taxpayers.

Perhaps what disturbs me most is that the involvement of those very taxpayers is being minimized by this government. The process of their input and consultation has been diminishing, not increasing, in its value, and yet that flies in the face of considerable evidence that Canadians generally are expressing more concern about the need for us to define more clearly what multiculturalism really means in contemporary Ontario.

I, for one, am very proud of this province’s record of heritage languages. My ancestors having come from the Ukraine, I too have a very deep respect for the opportunities for grandchildren to learn the language so that they can communicate with a unilingual grandparent. That is an opportunity that we would encourage.

But it is a quantum leap to go from that set of sensitive needs for our society and jump ahead and suggest that if your child would like to take a third language in an elementary school, somehow the state should be forced to pay for that. I think we have not put the necessary thought into the implications of this kind of legislation and that is why I support the view of many of the groups who came before us in very brief, two-day public hearings.

I supported the position of the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association, which objected to the mandatory, imposed nature of this legislation. I agreed with them that like any other provincial decision we make that affects local taxpayers in their school boards, we should at least guarantee them the funding if we are going to mandate those programs to then. It is has been noted on several occasions that in fact this is the first time in Ontario’s history, to my knowledge, that we are mandating a continuing education program without providing the legislative framework to guarantee the finding, and that is inappropriate. However, school boards are aware that they may be caught, and I would like to suggest that even at this late date, school boards are not completely aware of the details of the regulations.

This Bill 5 is limited to one simple sentence, and all it does, in effect, is make this program mandatory. That is all this bill says, and yet we have a large volume of regulations which many school boards, to my knowledge, still have but had access to see and, as my colleague from Scarborough has indicated, they are expecting school boards to be able to implement this in a matter of weeks.

I would suggest that trustees have a legitimate concern about this legislation when it comes to the guarantees that the minister provides. He guarantees access to programs, but he does not guarantee the necessary funding appropriate to ensure that the program works effectively. We can anticipate that it will befall local taxpayers, as he has done with several other programs.

I have stood in this House in the last two weeks to indicate to all members of this House that the minister did not publicly announce in one of his memos that the special learning materials incentive funding program was being cancelled for the English language, our province’s first language; that learning materials funds for that program had been rolled into the general legislative grants, which has the net effect, essentially, of reducing the value of the transfer payment from the province to the local school board, and yet the province has said the one element of the program that we will retain is for third-language program development and learning materials development.

School boards have a legitimate beef, a legitimate fear with respect to this government’s commitment to starting programs and then dropping them at the hands of local taxpayers. As politicians, we should be listening more carefully, because the decisions we make are clearly having a greater financial impact on the local school boards and their taxpayers.

I would commend to all members the reading of a recent article by John Downing in the Toronto Sun, “Heating Up the Melting Pot,” where it talks specifically about Canada’s and Ontario’s changing attitudes towards those definitions of how we are interpreting multiculturalism. I, for one, believe that our doors should remain open, that we should embrace as many people as possible and that we should ask them to accommodate all those wonderful things Ontario has. But unless politicians start to wake up to what the public is really telling us, then we should not be surprised at what the long-term outcomes might be to our province if we do not listen to what the citizens are saying. For that reason, I lament that Bill 5 takes on its mandatory, imposed nature.


I will continue to support heritage-language programs as they are sensitively delivered to those children to better communicate with their own family members and preserve their cultural identity. But to give it primacy in some instances over first- and second-language instruction in this province I cannot abide, and would caution all members to recall what in effect they may be passing today as it relates to heritage-language instruction in Ontario.

The Speaker: The parliamentary assistant may wish to wind up the debate.

Mr Beer: I thank my colleagues for their remarks, and also for the discussion that we had in committee. I would like to make just a couple of comments, accepting that this is a reasonably brief debate.

The first point I would like to make is that I think there has been, and I hope there would continue to be, a shared commitment by all members of this House that we look at the way in which we treat those of our citizens, those people who are coming into our country and into our province, in an open and accepting way, and that we bring forward programs which, in effect, will assist them in their adaptation to Canadian life.

As we have looked at that particular issue. I think one of the things that has come forward over the last 10 or 12 years, and where I think there have been exponents by members of all parties, has been the role that language can have in helping young people feel more at ease within our Canadian community.

I think it is terribly important to underline to people that the purpose and intent of the heritage-language programs and the research that has been done to date demonstrate that these programs assist young people in becoming self-confident, having a sense of their own identity and, I think, down the road, clearly becoming full Canadian citizens.

I believe that in trying to address what I think is the very legitimate concern raised at times by people which is, why we enter into programs of third-language learning, what we are trying to do is assist those young people in having a sense of who they are and where they came from and through that, they can adapt more easily to Canada. The intent of the program, and indeed the intent of the parents and children who are in these programs, is that they become full citizens.

In addition, we have indicated -- and a number of school boards in fact have done this -- that these programs are open to all of the pupils. This has encouraged as well children to learn another language different from their own heritage language or from either of our two official languages which they speak.

It might be interesting to remind us all again that close to some 62 different languages are being studied by over 100,000 pupils at this present time. It was our belief that this program had reached a point where it is now a part of the educational program, and this was an important reason for moving forward at this time.

The second comment I would like to make is that, as the member for Scarborough West has noted, we have made a point of setting out that the 90-day period leading up to the establishment of a program has been set for 30 October. I would like to assure the member for Scarborough West and indeed make the commitment that we are going to be in direct contact with all of the groups that have been developing new programs.

I think we are able to identify those various groups because they are already active and at work to ensure that in fact they will be able to develop the program and put their proposals forward within the time allotted. Because of the discussion that we have had on this bill in committee and earlier. I think that generally speaking there has been an awareness among the different parent groups that are interested in this program, and a great deal of work has been done. But we, as a ministry, will be ensuring that they are aware and that they will be able to get their proposals in and to go through the various steps that are required.

I would also say to my colleague the member for Scarborough West that, as we discussed in the committee, there was a process set up at the time of the minister’s statement by which we are going to be reviewing the program. This is an ongoing process. There is an advisory committee that was set up to develop heritage-language materials that is very much at work. There will, I believe, be many positive things that will come out of their work. As we proceed with the research--and we have put some funding into that to get a better understanding of how these programs work, how they can be improved -- we will be looking at that.

In that connection, as well, I want to note that we have allocated funding for both the development of the student learning materials and for teacher in-service training for those who will be involved in this program. In both cases, I think those are very important.

I would like to note to my colleague the member for Burlington South (Mr Jackson) that we are very definitely funding learning materials. The funds that are earmarked in the heritage-language area--indeed, that is a separate fund, if you like. Those commitments do not take away from the very strong commitments we have made in terms of textbooks and other learning materials, with many millions of dollars being expended and committed for future years.

In conclusion, I think we see this as a very positive step forward in terms of the province, in terms of our ability to bring within the Ontario community all of those peoples whom we have welcomed to Canada. We believe this strengthens that fabric, if you like, that unites us as Canadians, that it will help us in opening up many other doors, perhaps a number of doors that we are not even aware of as yet in terms of the international community. The more we have people who are able to speak a variety of languages, that has a real economic impact for the future.

We look forward to working with all school boards on this program and to future discussions on this matter in the years ahead.

Motion agreed to.


Hon Mr Conway: I move the motion standing in my name and would like to address some remarks to the motion.

The Speaker: Mr Conway has moved government notice of motion 6, and I would recognize the minister unless there is --

Mr D. S. Cooke: I have a point of order, Mr Speaker.

The Speaker: A point of order.

Mr D. S. Cooke: If I might rise on a point of order, I believe I am going to be referring to standing orders 1(a) and 1(b), as well as standing order 39, of the assembly. I have a few points to raise -- l will not be overly long -- with regard to this motion and whether the motion is in fact in order.

It is the position of this caucus and our party that government notice of motion 6 is out of order, and I would like to explain why.

The first concern that we would like to express is on the whole matter of time allocation motions. It is our opinion that since there is no provision in our standing orders for time allocation notions, we have argued in the past, and we would argue again today, that this motion is out of order.

We would suggest that if in fact the government wanted to move closure, it should have used the appropriate section of the standing orders, and that is standing order 39.

I will not review all the arguments that have been used in the past on this matter of whether time allocation motions are provided for in our standing orders and whether they are in order or not. It is clear that over the years all parties in the Legislature at one time or another have argued to speakers that in fact time allocation motions are not provided for in our standing orders and are out of order.

The examples have been on 8 December 1982 on Bill 179; 15 February 1983 on Bill 127; 25 June 1984 on Bill 142; 19 June 1986 on Bill 94, and 23 January 1989 on Bills 113 and 114.


I submit to you, Mr Speaker, that if the government wanted to make time allocation motions appropriate in this Legislature, under notice of motion 5, its notice of motion dealing with changes in the rules, it would have provided for time allocation, and that would have been the more appropriate route if in fact that was the position of this government. The motion that the government has proposed for the standing order rules changes did not deal with this item at all.

The second point I would like to make is that notice of motion 6 is something that has not been dealt with in the Legislature before. There is an unprecedented section of this motion that I think offers very serious concerns to this party and should to all members of the Legislature, as this motion moves closure not only on Bill 162, not just on one bill, but moves closure on every amendment dealing with this bill as well.

In the standing committee on resources development, the government introduced 27 amendments to the bill. They did not deal with those 27 amendments, and this notion we are now going to be dealing with, if you rule it in order, Mr Speaker, would move closure on every one of those amendments as well.

I would like to refer specifically to the motion and read out the appropriate section. This motion moves:

“That, notwithstanding any order of the House, when the order of the day is called for the consideration of Bill 162, An Act to amend the Workers’ Compensation Act, by the committee of the whole House there shall be two sessional days allocated to the consideration of this bill. On the first of these sessional days, all amendments proposed to be moved to Bill 162 shall be laid on the table before the normal adjournment hour of 6 pm. On the second of these sessional days, at 5:45 pm, the Chairman of the committee of the whole House shall put all questions necessary to dispose of every section of the bill and any amendments thereto, not yet passed, including those proposed amendments not yet moved which shall be deemed to be moved, as well as the title.”

Mr Speaker, I suggest to you that the section of the motion that deals with the deeming of all of the amendments to this bill, either moved or not moved, “shall be deemed to be moved,” is inappropriate.

Under standing order 39 of our standing orders, it states:

“A motion for closure, which may be moved without notice, until it is decided shall preclude all amendment of the main question, and shall be in the following words: ‘That this question be now put.’ Unless it appears to the Chair that such motion is an abuse of the standing orders of the House or an infringement of the rights of the minority, the question shall be put forthwith and decided without amendment or debate. If a notion for closure is resolved in the affirmative, the original question shall be put forthwith and decided without amendment or debate.”

I suggest to you, Mr Speaker, that under standing order 39 you have an obligation to determine whether this matter is an abuse of the minority and individual members, and I would suggest that there is no way you could come to any conclusion other than that this is an abuse of the minority.

This is an unprecedented motion in this Legislature. Bill 162 is a major bill with substantial consequences for thousands of injured workers and future injured workers in this province. It is the role and the obligation of the opposition to hold a majority government, or any government, accountable for its actions. We cannot possibly do this when the government moves closure not only on its bill but every amendment, and every amendment that has not even been moved in this place or debated; they have never been debated in the Legislature or any standing committee of the Legislature.

The Speaker must consider what this precedent would mean to the future of the Ontario Legislature. Deeming that amendments have been moved when they have not been moved makes a complete farce of the legislative process. Deeming that amendments have been moved when they have not been moved or debated destroys completely the role of the opposition and any accountability the government has to the members of the Legislature.

The third point I would like to make is that this motion proposes two days in committee of the whole. I think two days to deal with 27 government amendments is unreasonable and, again, an abuse of the minority. I submit that two days is clearly inadequate and clearly an abuse. The Speaker must protect the process and must protect the minority. This process should be democratic, and it is not democratic and it is not free when the opposition and members of the Legislature are unable to hold the government accountable.

This motion puts limits on the committee of the whole that are totally unreasonable. I understand that the opposition parties have limits on them, but those limits, when they are put in a closure motion like this, must be reasonable. I submit that they are not reasonable at all when we are suggesting two days. We cannot contemplate and the government cannot contemplate how many additional amendments might be moved. It may be that we have 27 amendments; it may be that Liberal backbenchers have some amendments to put to this legislation. To try to deal in two days with a minimum of 27 amendments, and a maximum of I do not know how many, completely destroys the process.

The final point I would like to make is that this motion presented by the government House leader prejudges the members of the Legislature. The government is assuming that there are going to be only 27 amendments and it is saying that two days is adequate to deal with those 27 amendments. We have no idea whether there will be additional amendments. Even the Minister of Labour (Mr Sorbara) has not indicated whether some of those amendments will be changed or whether there will be additional amendments. To put two days and then deem that all the amendments will be dealt with or will have been moved, even if they have not been moved, is inappropriate.

How can we as a Legislature possibly deal fairly with an individual member’s amendments if, at the end of two days, any member in this Legislature could have moved an amendment and there will not even have been arguments pro or con for that amendment, yet we as a Legislature are supposed to judge those amendments and get up the second sessional day under this motion and vote? I suggest to you, Mr Speaker, that this is unfair. It does not offer any protection for the minority in this place and must be ruled out of order b the Speaker.

To sum up, then, we believe that this motion is clearly out of order on the basis that there is no provision in our standing orders for time allocation, as we have argued in the past.

Second, this is an unprecedented motion that prejudges the process and provides for closure not only on the bill itself but on every possible amendment and the amendments that have not even been dealt with or debated in a standing committee or in the Legislature itself.

We also suggest that two days in the committee of the whole to deal with amendments is inadequate and does not allow the opposition to appropriately play its role of holding the government accountable.

Finally, it prejudges individual members and members of other than the executive council and the role they are supposed to play in this place when we are dealing with legislation.

I think it is the Speaker’s role to protect the process and the minority. You must protect the integrity of the legislative process. You must rule this motion out of order if the integrity of this place is going to be protected by the Speaker. At a minimum, Mr Speaker, I feel you must take this matter under consideration. This is a precedent that will haunt the Legislature for years and years to come.

I would hope, Mr Speaker, that you would see. As we developed time allocation over the years, we started off with time allocation that was simple time allocation. We then went the next step with Bill 113 and Bill 114, where there was time allocation on two bills at once. Now we are at the stage where we have time allocation on a bill and on all amendments and deem that all amendments are already moved in this place. I think it is a short-circuiting of the process and begins to make a farce of the legislative process.


You, Mr Speaker, are the only person at this point who can protect that integrity. The minority does not have the votes in the Legislature to stop this motion. You, as the Speaker, must protect the integrity of the Legislature and protect the minority. I would ask that you rule this matter out of order.

Mr Harris: I rise to support the points made by the House leader for the opposition.

I would suggest that in a “normal” time allocation motion -- using the word I suppose a little loosely, in that while time allocation does not appear in the standing orders there have been some precedents where the Speaker has ruled time allocation motions to be in order. I really do not want to revisit the arguments made at those times by various opposition parties, including those represented by the mover of this motion, because there is precedent where those motions have been ruled in order.

But I do indeed want to spend a little time, Mr Speaker, and I believe you ought to as well, on the point that has been raised by the House leader for the opposition, and that is the brand-new aspect of this motion, which to the best of my recollection and what our research has been able to find is new, and in our view could set a very dangerous precedent, for example, for standing order 39 and the rights of minorities.

I suggest that the precedent could go even further than that -- I will get into this in a couple of moments -- in that I think this motion puts you, Mr Speaker, in a very difficult spot down the road as well. This motion is so encompassing as to have, if it is ruled in order at this time, prejudged potentially hundreds of very substantial amendments we have not seen yet. I suggest the reason it ought not to be ruled in order is that by being in order it prejudges that the opposition, even though it may have less than 24 hours for debate, has had enough time to put forward its arguments on those particular amendments.

As has been pointed out by the House leader for the opposition, the very difficult part of this motion and the part that I think is a very dangerous precedent and not one -- if the government House leader reflects upon it even he may want to have second thoughts -- which we would want to set in this chamber.

That is the section that has been read, but I want to repeat one part of it: An unlimited number of amendments could he brought in as late as 5:55 at the end of the first day, placed by the government, by either of the opposition parties, by any individual member, and by passing this time allocation motion today it will have been prejudged, without ever having had a look at those amendments, that indeed the opposition rights will not be violated; that there will not be an infringement of the right of opposition some time to take a look at the amendments, perhaps for some time to consult with the client groups interested in this legislation. I am sure you know, Mr Speaker, that there are a number of those.

I would go further, Mr Speaker, and suggest to you that I am not sure, if this passes -- trust me, I believe the arguments I am putting forward. I am defending the rights under standing order 39 as really enough to say: “No, this motion cannot be in order. I cannot prejudge the minority’s rights right now by ruling this in order. I cannot set in motion a process that prejudges whether adequate time has been involved on something that, potentially, nobody has ever seen yet.”

Second, I am not sure under this motion how we are even going to know if a particular amendment is in order. For example, if a government lays amendments on the table, nobody can rule whether those amendments are in order until they are actually moved. Does that amendment belong in this bill? Is that amendment an amendment that is in order in this bill? Yet by passing this notion, Mr Speaker, you will have deemed that unseen amendment, which is perhaps out of order, to be in order and you will have deemed it to have been moved and deemed it to be voted on without debate.

I suggest to you that that may put you in the very difficult position of being unable to determine whether this unknown amendment is in order. I would suggest to you that at the very least it infringes on the opposition’s right to challenge and make arguments about whether this amendment is in order, because this motion deems it to have been moved, deems it, I presume, to be in order and requires us to vote on it without debate and without any further amendment.

There are a number of ways I believe the government could deal with this. One, of course, is under standing order 39, by invoking closure, which is in our standing orders and is the way in which the government can bring issues to a head and can indeed get them voted on. I would suggest to you that there are others they could have brought forward to avoid putting you in this difficult position, of having to prejudge whether the minority’s rights are being violated and prejudge whether these amendments are in order without your having seen them and without knowing the circumstance or substance ahead of time. There are other ways it could have been done.

It is not, quite frankly, our fault that the government does not have its ducks in order on this bill. I would not like it, but I suggest it might be in order, should the government suggest it, that at a certain time the members will vote on what the government has put forward. If they are that certain of themselves, they could do it. Second, they could withdraw the bill and introduce a new bill with the amendments they want in it and bring in a time allocation motion, which we would argue is out of order. I think the precedent is that you would say, “No, it is in order at a certain point in time.”

There are many ways this can he dealt with given -- particularly as the government indicated when it issued its press release on serving this -- that the bill was introduced for the first time a year ago.

Mr Speaker, your way out of this is to rule it out of order -- and I would suggest to you that you do -- and invite the government House leader to bring in a new motion which allows for consideration of any and all amendments within the time allocation. I am not suggesting that you draft it for the government House leader, but I think you ought to suggest to the government: “There is a potential here for a major problem. You are asking me to prejudge something, potentially, that I have never seen. By allowing this motion to be in order, you are asking me to prejudge my job under standing order 39 to uphold the rights of every member of this chamber.”

I believe that could be a very dangerous precedent to set and I really do invite you to suggest to the government House leader that he go back to the drawing hoard on drafting this motion, so that you are not put into that jeopardy and that dangerous precedent position.


Hon Mr Conway: I would like to speak to the point of order raised by my friend the member for Windsor-Riverside (Mr D. S. Cooke) and just addressed as well by the House leader for the third party, the member for Nipissing (Mr Harris), which seems to me to turn on two considerations.

The first of the considerations of the member for Windsor-Riverside is that government notice of motion 6 is not in order, because time allocation is somehow not part of our standing orders. I reject that, because I think it is well known -- and my friend the member for Nipissing alluded to this in his remarks -- that we have had over the years, on a number of previous occasions, time allocation motions which were put and which were received as being in order.

So it seems to me that when one canvasses the precedents of this Legislative Assembly, one can find, without any difficulty, motions for the allocation of time that were advanced by government and that in some cases were objected to as being out of order and, as I recall, were on such occasions found to be in order.

I would cite simply the debate we had in this chamber not many months ago about the orderliness of another time allocation notion, which I placed in respect of two bills regarding the regulation of retail store hours. I must say to the member for Windsor-Riverside that on his first point I think it is very clear that time allocation certainly is part of our tradition. It has been so ruled by Speakers in this assembly, and I think that must be understood as we consider this this afternoon.

Mr Pouliot: It is magical and imaginary.

Mr Farnan: Democracy is the word. All dictators like words.

Hon Mr Conway: I will say to my friends the member for Lake Nipigon (Mr Pouliot) and the member for Cambridge (Mr Farnan) that that does not necessarily always make it agreeable. I can appreciate that -- and my friend the member for Scarborough West (Mr R. F. Johnston) is certainly going to remind me of this, I am sure, at some point later in this debate -- it has been argued that time allocation may not be appropriate diplomatic or the most political way in which to proceed. But the question that we have to decide is the orderliness of time allocation, and there is no question in my mind that it is quite in order.

Mr D. S. Cooke: What about deeming?

Hon Mr Conway: Now the member for Windsor-Riverside observes parenthetically, what about deeming? That, of course, raises the second concern.


The Speaker: Order. With respect, we are on a point of order. You are expecting the Speaker to listen. Please allow the Speaker to listen.

Hon Mr Conway: The member for Windsor-Riverside raised as his second concern the issue of the particular provisions of this government time allocation, which deals with the placing of amendments and their consideration. I just want to address that because think it too is quite in order, particularly when one considers the context.

I want to say as part of my contribution to this debate that I understand the situation in which we find ourselves with this particular bill. I have a great deal of regard for my friends in the opposition and understand perfectly the views of the New Democratic Party with respect to Bill 162. They are passionately opposed to it in principle and have so argued, I thought, with eloquence and some durability here the other night; but not just the other night, over the course of the 13 months that we have had to look at and consider this bill to this point. I respect them for that. I certainly want to say that I respect entirely their right to oppose this bill in every respect.

It is important as well for me to observe that they have said, I think, that they want this bill withdrawn, they want this bill sent back, they want this bill scrapped. Quite simply, they do not want to let this bill proceed to its passage. I understand that. They have said, and the member for Nipissing made this point in his remarks this afternoon, that the government could withdraw. The government is not going to withdraw. The government is proposing this particular matter and it intends to proceed.

I simply want to come back -- because I know my friend the member for Windsor-Riverside is wondering what this has to do with the particular point in so far as his question of the orderliness of this motion is concerned. It has this to do with that. What do I do when my colleague the Minister of Labour has spent 13 months with the public discussion about this bill, a bill about which there is a very real and sharp division of opinion in this Legislature, but a bill about which this government feels very strongly in so far as it must be moved along to an orderly conclusion? The minister and the government made a commitment that there would be public hearings. There were extensive public hearings.

The minister brought forward some months ago a package of amendments -- and there may be others, to be sure -- to reflect, as far as the government is concerned, the constructive criticism that was advanced through the course of those public hearings. The question arises that we have had several days in the standing committee on resources development dedicated to the consideration of this bill. What have we seen? We have seen -- quite understandably, I suppose, from the opposition’s point of view -- a very great resistance to moving this bill along.

I think after 10 days in committee --

Mr Pouliot: We moved as quickly as we could. You know that.

Hon Mr Conway: I say that after some 10 days in committee the bill has moved at a snail’s pace. There have been hours dedicated, days devoted to procedural matters. I would have to believe that in that regard the New Democratic Party is being as good as its word, which I respect. “We are opposed to this bill and we are going to move heaven and earth to delay it and to defeat it.” That is their right under our system.

But we are a government that proposes not only this bill but amendments that we believe will make it a better bill because the bill will incorporate the constructive criticism that was brought forward in the hearings stage. Now we are faced, after several months of discussion of this bill, with having the matter before a committee and wanting to proceed.

In looking at the legislative landscape, in listening carefully and in watching closely what was happening in the committee, I was faced with the situation of how I should proceed to move the bill along to provide an adequate opportunity for the placing of amendments and for their consideration, recognizing that under certain of our practices there can be a very considerable obstruction of such consideration.

Mr D. S. Cooke: That is prejudgement.

Hon Mr Conway: It may be prejudging in the committee of the whole, but I have had no little bit of time and no little bit of evidence out of the resources committee that I think I must take into account. Mr Speaker, I want you to reflect upon the wording I have chosen in so far as this time allocation motion is concerned. What I have done is simply indicate that there will be, upon the passage of this motion, two full days in the committee of the whole for the consideration of the bill at that stage.

By the end of the first day, when passed, this motion will require that all amendments that are going to be proposed must be with the clerk of the committee so that they can be assessed for their orderliness and for their consideration by the committee. That is a very important point as to what is intended here. Of course, for the second day there is a provision here that there will be an opportunity for the consideration of those and other amendments that might have been proposed by the end of the first day.


But I want to say to my friends in the opposition that I recognize their need for an opportunity to discuss and vote upon these amendments and I think that has been provided for in this particular time allocation: two full days for the consideration of amendments. In light of the passionate opposition that has been shown to be the case in the standing committee on resources development, I have had to find a way to allow members, including the minister, to have their amendments put and I have got to find a way to allow those matters to be then decided upon.

Mr Pouliot: Two sessional days for 27 amendments on this bill. It doesn’t make sense.

Hon Mr Conway: The two sessional days come after weeks of consideration in the resources committee I say to my friends, that, yes, the opposition must have a right to oppose and I think, over the last number of weeks and months, that right has been more than observed.


Hon Mr Conway: Yes, my friend the member for Windsor-Riverside is right. They must have an opportunity to propose any amendments that they might choose to propose. That is allowed for in this motion.

I want to say, though, to my friend, when I hear the opposition say to me and the government, “We are going to move heaven and earth to defeat this bill,” that too must be taken into account. So I want to simply indicate --

Mr R. F. Johnston: We have to take your rhetoric into account too.

Hon Mr Conway: Yes, of course, the members will.

I just want to address the two issues that are of concern to my friend opposite, so that you, Mr Speaker, as you consider this motion, appreciate why it is the government is doing what it is doing. I believe that, on both counts, this motion is entirely in order, because time allocation has been shown to be part of our tradition and because this motion does provide, at the committee of the whole stage, I believe, a reasonable opportunity in light of what has transpired at the resources committee, an additional number of hours for the putting of and the consideration of, and yes, the deciding of any amendments that have got to be considered at that stage of the bill.

I submit that, on those grounds. the motion is entirely in order and I would very much recommend it as being so for those reasons.

Mr R. F. Johnston: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: I rise only because it is a very important matter, and I will try to raise new matters, if I might, with you to consider.

I believe that if you believe, as the government House leader seems to, that a time allocation motion is always in order, then you will agree this is in order. lf you take a different point of view, and that is, that it must be something which is weighed heavily before one decides if it is in order, then I would ask you to listen on the basis of certain arguments I will make.

The second point would be that this is not a time allocation like any other that we have seen or that I have been able to find in any precedent elsewhere, in that it specifically denies another series of rights of members around the amending process and the ability to propose change to legislation. I think it is important, from that perspective, that you look at this one as different from any of the other supposed precedents that we may have within our own jurisdiction at this time.

I would like to base my argument that, first, you have a right to make a decision on this matter, not to just presume that this is in order, under standing order 1(h), as it says: “In all contingencies not provided for in the standing orders the question shall be decided by the Speaker or the chairman. In making his ruling the Speaker or chairman shall base his decision on the usages and precedents of the Legislature and parliamentary tradition.”

Clearly, we do not have in our standing orders any specific provision around this matter of time allocation and therefore we must move to the other matters of precedent and concepts of parliamentary tradition for you to base your decision upon.

I would suggest to you that in your role as Speaker, according to Beauchesne -- and I do not mean to say this in any way that you do not already know this particular role, but I would like to remind you of this particular aspect of your role -- you have a responsibility under section 120 “to maintain an orderly conduct of debate by repressing disorder when it arises, by refusing to propose the question upon motions and amendments which are irregular, and by calling the attention of the House to” certain bills.

I would suggest to you that there is an irregularity in this motion presented which is highly prejudicial to my rights as a member and to all members in this House. It is the specific new section which deals with this question of deemed amendments.

I would suggest to you that if you read Erskine May on this matter, page 454 in the 20th edition that I have, you will see at the bottom of the page that rather than presuming this is something which is always in order, Erskine May says the following about allocation of time orders:

“They may be regarded as the extreme limit to which procedure goes in affirming the rights of the majority at the expense of the minorities of the House, and it cannot be denied that they are capable of being used in such a way as to upset the balance, generally so carefully preserved, between the claims of business and the rights of debate.”

I would suggest to you, Mr Speaker, that therefore one always has to look at why a motion is being brought forward. I would suggest to you that it would be very important for you to review the precedents within this House of 8 December 1982, 15 February 1983, 25 June 1984, 19 June 1986 and 23 January 1989.

I would, for instance, just draw to your attention the fact that obstruction is being used as the argument as it was over 100 years ago when time allocation was first used in the British parliamentary system; yet we have here today a situation where in fact the amount of time that has been taken to this point on this bill, Bill 162, is 162 hours and 15 minutes. If you were to compare that with the time we took on Bill 30, 390 hours and 43 minutes, you might consider that we have not used excess time on this very important matter, as you know, to us and to working people in Ontario.

I would like to come to this question around your role in protecting the minority rights in this House. Again, if you remember your Beauchesne, as I am sure you do, the first thing that is talked about in a parliamentary democracy, in the first paragraph, the principles of parliamentary law are “To protect a minority and restrain the improvidence or tyranny of a majority,” and that the Speaker’s role is crucial in that in terms of making determinations.

I would then ask you, Mr Speaker, to look at some of the sections in our standing orders which do assert certain kinds of rights and which are now being denied in this motion as they have never been denied in any other motion previously.

In section 112 of our standing orders, as an example, and in many other sections to do with committees, it says, “The standing orders of the House shall be observed in committees of the whole House so far as may be applicable, except the standing orders limiting the number of times of speaking.”

This is a very important power that has been given to members within a committee structure; to be able to speak many times on the same clause in order to get at the precise language that is being raised in that clause. It is also the right of members to propose amendments, a very important matter.

Yesterday in this House, on a private bill on Sarnia, a government member moved motions against his own government’s bill. He felt it was his duty and his right as a representative of the people to so do.

This right is being taken away from us. Worse than being taken away from us, it is being deemed. Our intent and the intent of the House is being presumed by the governing party of the day; a very dangerous kind of thing to ever do, even if we were considering this group benign in what it is up to in this particular case, as I suppose we must.


If you think of the abuse of the minority’s rights that is involved in this one little section, the slippery slope precedent that is being added to an already pretty slippery slope -- I would ask members of this House who have not been here long to read Jim Renwick’s speech in 1979 about the slippery slope of this kind of time allocation motion as it was brought in the first time and reflect on just how wise he was that day when you see now what is being added by this government to take away from my rights as an opposition member or any of the individual member’s rights about amendment in this place.

This government is presuming that at the end of the first day, before all debate on individual clauses about the kind of language that is in those clauses is taken, we shall know the amendments, they shall be placed upon the table and they shall be moved -- deemed to he moved.

I do not know what that means within our process. If something is deemed to be moved, I presume it is deemed to be in order. If it is deemed to be in order at the time the vote is taken and there has been no debate on that matter, two rights have been taken away.

One is the right of the member for Lake Nipigon, as an example, to introduce an amendment and explain his amendment. If they have not got to the section which is appropriate by the end of that first day’s hearings on this very complicated and convoluted bill, then the member for Lake Nipigon would nave no choice but to submit his motion, which would be deemed to be in order, one would presume, and be deemed to be moved; and yet he would never have a chance to explain to the monolith, to the majority from which you must protect us, Mr Speaker, why it is that his motion is so important and perhaps not even antithetical to the interests of the government. He will not have an opportunity to speak. That right of freedom of speech on his part to propose has been taken away.

The other thing it does, of course, is to presume that something is in order, and I would suggest that is taking power out of the hands of the Speaker. As I read this motion, Mr Speaker, if we get through a quarter of the amendments, for instance, and on the day that the votes are taken it is brought before you, you do not have a right, as I see it here, to stand up in the middle of taking the votes and say we will not have a vote on this matter.

As I understand it, this matter will have been presumed to have been moved, so moved and now let us have the debate -- now let us have the vote, rather, because the debate has been curtailed. Therefore, as I understand it, you would not even be able to say whether a certain matter is in order or not, because if you do say it is in order, Mr Speaker, or if you rule it is out of order, our right to debate that matter has been taken away. Our right to dissent from his judgement is taken away; our right to challenge the Speaker’s decision.

Hon Mr Conway: The two House leaders have just told me they prefer closure.

Mr R. F. Johnston: I have no idea what that has to do with anything. I do not know if the House leader wishes me to instruct him again about what section 39 of our standing orders says and I will not go into any detail about it, because I am not trying to be political in my argument here, but rather just raise the dangers to the minority that are involved in the precedent which is about to be set.

It is important to understand that this section allows a government to move several motions of closure, if it chooses to, on several different sections and to do it on amendments, if it chooses to, after the amendment is brought forward, but there has never been this kind of presumption of how many amendments can be dealt with in two days.

We know the government has 27. Mr Speaker, I can refer to you many times when this government has brought in amendments on the very last day in the very last hour, which will now not be in order. If they bring them in the day before, they will be in order, but if they bring them in at the last moment and they realize there is a major error in the bill, they themselves now will not be able to amend the bill to make it better.

It is an unnecessary move. I am arguing, sir, that you have to make a determination as to whether this particular motion is in order and valid, if it is a valid suppression of the rights of the minority, and you also have to make a determination that this other thing, which has never been done in our House, of taking away the rights around amendment and the role of members in committee, is also a valid move at this stage, given the intent of the government and the importance of this bill.

I would suggest to you that if we pass this as well, and I suggest that we could move in this area as well, the next step is for a government to be able to come in and, dare I say it, order its entire governmental business by time allocation in the last week of a House. If this is an order automatically --

Hon Mr Sorbara: How in the last week?

Mr R. F. Johnston: I am just suggesting that this is the kind of thing that follows from this, I say to the Minister of Labour.

What can be done, Mr Speaker, if you allow this to be done and this kind of deeming process to take place, is that a government can come in on the last week and have several pieces of legislation and deem all its amendments, which members would never have seen except the day before and perhaps never get a chance to debate, as is the whole reason for having a minority to control a majority. If we accept holus-bolus this notion of any time the government wants to do time allocation it may do it, can do it for any number of bills and can deem whatever it wants to be moved, then it is taking away the fundamental rights of the minority.

The Speaker has an obligation, I would argue, to make a ruling on this matter on the merits of this particular case and the dangers to the minority, because he is our protector and he is a servant of this House, in terms of that against the desire of the government to get its will, to get its business through. I would hope that you would take some time to think about it, Mr Speaker, because in my view it is one of the more dangerous precedents that this Parliament could ever set for a perhaps less benign grand majority in the future.

Mr Charlton: I would like to quickly deal with just two aspects of this discussion on the point of order. The first one is the one that was raised by the government House leader about his ability to move the business forward.

I would suggest to you, Mr Speaker, as you are well aware, the standing orders of this House were set out for the members of this House, all members, the government and the opposition, to operate under. Those standing orders include rights for individual members, they include some rights that are reserved for the government and they include a number of rights or techniques that can allow delay.

They also, as you are well aware, Mr Speaker, include the right of closure, which is the government’s method, under the standing orders, of moving the business forward. The government has the right, with Bill 162 or any other piece of legislation, to move closure on a bill or on amendments to the bill individually. If undue debate is delaying that particular amendment, they can deal with that and move it forward.

That not only includes government amendments, but it also includes amendments from the opposition. If there is undue time being spent on any particular amendment, under the standing orders as they now exist the government has the ability to move a piece of legislation forward. They could have used that ability in the standing committee as well as here in the House. They have failed to use the standing orders that are set out to protect its side of this question, and that is not the fault of the opposition.

The second aspect of this point of order which I would like to address with you is one other consideration of the precedent that is set out in the item we are referring to, the question of deeming amendments to have been moved and voted on. To set that kind of precedent, we have to think about what it means for the future, not just what it means in relation to this bill.

Mr Speaker, if you think about this process of allowing amendments to be tabled without ever being moved or debated and then, at the end of a process set out by the government, deemed to have been moved and therefore voted on, we will be creating a mechanism by which this government or any future government of this province will have the ability on a particularly controversial piece of legislation to end-run the flak that is sometimes found in a debate, by allowing motions to be voted on without ever having been heard, moved or debated.

I think that is a mechanism that could be easily abused in the future. Regardless of whatever the merits may or may not be around the specifics of Bill 162, to allow us to set a precedent around a mechanism which would allow governments to avoid debate on amendments, especially debate on amendments from the opposition that it was not too happy to hear the debate on, I think would be a dangerous precedent for the democratic process in this Legislature.


The Speaker: Do any other members have any comments on the point of order?

Mr Harris: Mr Speaker, you have been very generous, generous with your time in allowing us to make the point. I want to say I appreciate that. I believe it reflects the seriousness when something new or something that I believe has never been done before, comes along.

I would suggest to you, sir, that this open-ended prejudging of your role is the most dangerous aspect of this motion in its precedent, and I really believe as well, given --

The Speaker: Order. The member did speak previously. I believe you are referring to the same point that you made earlier, and I appreciate that --

Mr Harris: I was going to suggest the other 15 alternatives, given the seriousness of this, that would be there. But it you are aware of them, that is fine.

The Speaker: However, I have given any other member the opportunity. I have listened carefully to all those who have wished to speak on this point of order, and because the members have referred to standing orders 1(a), 1(b), 39, Beauchesne page 171, Erskine May page 454, I feel probably it is in the best interests of the House that I take time to consider all the comments that have been made. I will certainly review it as quickly as I can.

In order, though, to assist the House to do its business, and I know it has been a precedent in other Houses, members can commence debating the motion, if they wish, and I could come back some time during that, or they could continue with other business, whatever the wish would be.

Mr D. S. Cooke: Mr Speaker, if I might just respond to that, I do not know what they have done in other places, but I would find that, myself, to be highly improper. That would be to presume that we are prejudging your position. I am not prepared to go on with it. I think you have done the appropriate thing by taking notice. We await your ruling.

Hon Mr Conway: Mr Speaker, I think it has been a good debate and the points have been put. I can appreciate your desire to take this under consideration. As I recall, that was what was done last time, when we dealt with the matter involving the regulation of retail store hours and the motion relating to that.

I have no difficulty in suggesting other business this afternoon. The Minister of Culture and Communications (Ms Oddie Munro) is here. I know the member for Lanark-Renfrew (Mr Wiseman) has a bill that we could move to. I would like to do some third readings. The member for Scarborough-Ellesmere (Mr Faubert) has been anxious for weeks to favour us with his budget speech. I would be more than happy, upon consultation, to select from some or all of that menu business that would occupy as until such time as you might care to give us your ruling.

The Speaker: It appears then that I will take enough time to consider all the comments that have been made by the members, and if there is further business, then I will call orders of the day.


Hon Mr Conway: If it is all right, we will just proceed with some second and third readings.

Mr Harris: Is it Bill 209?

Hon Mr Conway: Yes. I thank the member for Nipissing. I know the distance my friend the member for Lanark-Renfrew (Mr Wiseman) has to travel tonight. I would be happy to accommodate by calling the 33rd order.


Ms Oddie Munro moved second reading of Bill 209, An Act to revise the McMichael Canadian Collection Act.

Hon Ms Oddie Munro: This legislation has been a high priority of my ministry. Bill 209 contains amendments to the McMichael Canadian Collection Act.

The purposes of the legislation are:

First, to provide an appropriate and bilingual name for the organization. The corporation will be known as the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Collection McMichael d’art canadien.

Second, to enlarge the board of trustees. This will enable the provision of more effective direction to the collection and, in particular, to improve its fund-raising capabilities.

Third, to clarify the collection’s mandate. To provide for a continuing dynamic collection, the legislation will provide that the focus of the collection be works of art created by Indian, Inuit and Metis artists, the Group of Seven and their contemporaries and other artists who have made a contribution to the development of Canadian art.

Fourth, to simplify financial and administrative arrangements. These amendments clarify the responsibilities of the board and enable administrative efficiencies. They do not alter the relationship of the agency and the ministry nor its accountability to the government and the Legislature.

Thank you, Mr Speaker, for allowing me the opportunity to introduce Bill 209 to my colleagues in the Legislature for second reading. I look forward to hearing the comments of my colleagues.

Mr Wiseman: We agree with these four housekeeping amendments, but I do have a couple of questions for the minister.

I would like to know if the gift from the McMichaels will he kept in place and if Mr and Mrs McMichael will remain on the board of 17 as long as he or she is capable of handling that position.

Other than that, if we can be assured that those two or three things will take place, we have no complaints and would support the bill.

The Acting Speaker (Mr M. C. Ray): The minister can deal with that in her reply.

Mr Charlton: Our critic was here yesterday afternoon and prepared to speak on the bill. Unfortunately she is not here this afternoon, but it is my understanding from her that she was going to stand in her place yesterday afternoon and say that we are prepared to support this piece of legislation and see it go forward.

The Acting Speaker: Would the minister care to wrap up the debate with her reply?

Hon Ms Oddie Munro: I have spoken to the member for Sudbury East (Miss Mantel), the member for Lanark Renfrew (Mr Wiseman) and also to the member for London North (Mrs Cunningham) and I do appreciate very much their understanding of the amendments to the McMichael act and the current nature of Bill 209.

I think it is fair to say that, as a result of the amendments, the McMichael Canadian art collection will be in a better position to be able to serve the needs of Ontario and to be accountable to taxpayers. The original gift by the McMichaels, as alluded to by the member for Lanark-Renfrew, will be protected and in fact the new legislation protects the gift in a way that neither the agreement of 1965 nor the 1972 legislation did.

In fact, in the legislation -- I want to assure the member because I know he is interested in the specifics -- no gift of McMichael himself, and that includes his wife, can ever be disposed of. We believe that the amendments relating to gifts are in conformity with the gift law and that in fact the board has the right to dispose of property only if the consent of the donor does not step in the way of that discretion.


In regard to the question of whether Robert and Signe McMichael will remain members of the board, of course they will. We welcome them as remaining full and participating members of the board until such time as they are unable on unwilling to serve.

Just in wrapping up my comments, I would like to say in regard to the collection’s mandate that, in our view, the revised wording provides for a more dynamic mandate. I know the critics have also accepted that. It will, of course, continue to focus on the Group of Seven, which was the original gift embraced, and its contemporaries, as well as Indian, Inuit and Metis art. This is a very significant direction for the only gallery in Canada which will be exclusively devoted to Canadian art.

I would again just like to touch on the rights of the board to dispose of property, because that has been alluded to. It relates to the rights of the board to dispose of property and the impact on gifts of generous past donors. We realize that although the act gives the board the right to dispose of property, including art, the conditions of any gifts are to be respected.

Consequently, the board does not have the right to dispose of gifts given in perpetuity or under certain specific conditions. I should say for the Legislature’s information that the collection itself has grown from the original 200 works to well over 5,000 works of art.

In closing, I would be more than willing to take any additional comments from members of the Legislature and wish to assure the members that I value their comments highly in regard to the direction the McMichael collection goes from here on in. Those are my final comments, then, on Bill 209.

Motion agreed to.

Bill ordered for third reading.


Mr Reycraft moved, on behalf of Mr Kanter, second reading of Bill Pr1, An Act respecting the City of Toronto.

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.


Mr Harris moved, on behalf of Mr Brandt, second reading of Bill Pr3, An Act respecting Sarnia General Hospital.

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.


Mr Reycraft moved, on behalf of Mr Morin, second reading of Bill Pr6, An Act respecting the Centre culturel d’Orléans.

M. Reycraft, au nom de M. Morin, propose la deuxième lecture du projet de loi Pr6, Loi concernant le Centre culturel d’Orléans.

Motion agreed to.

La motion est adoptée.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.

La motion de troisième lecture est également adoptée.


Ms Collins moved second reading of Bill Pr7, An Act respecting Royal Botanical Gardens.

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.


Ms Collins moved second reading of Bill Pr13, An Act respecting the city of Hamilton.

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.


Mr Reycraft moved second reading of Bill Pr16, An Act respecting London Regional Art and Historical Museums.

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.


Mr Reycraft moved, on behalf of Mr Haggerty, second reading of Bill Pr18, An Act respecting the Fort Erie Community Young Men’s Christian Association.

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.



Mr Reycraft moved, on behalf of Mr Ballinger, second reading of Bill Pr20, An Act to revive Bolsward Investments Limited.

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.


Mr Harris moved, on behalf of Mr McCague, second reading of Bill Pr2 1, An Act respecting South Simcoe Railway Heritage Corporation.

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.


Mr Harris moved second reading of Bill Pr23, An Act to revive Bruce Office Supply Limited.

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.


Mr Reycraft moved, on behalf of Mr Keyes, second reading of Bill Pr24, An respecting the city of Kingston and the townships of Kingston, Pittsburgh and Ernestown

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.


Mr Ballinger moved second reading of Bill Pr25, An Act respecting the Association of Municipal Tax Collectors of Ontario.

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.


Mr Harris moved, on behalf of Mr Sterling, second reading of Bill Pr26, An Act to revive Angelato Service Centre Ltd.

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.


Mrs Lebourdais moved second reading of Bill Pr27, An Act to revive Innomed Inc.

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.


Mr Reycraft moved second reading of Bill Pr30, An Act respecting Regis College.

Motion agreed to.

Third reading also agreed to on motion.


The following bills were given third reading on motion:

Bill 1, An Act to amend the Ontario Municipal Board Act;

Bill 10, An Act to control Automobile Insurance Rates;

Bill 17, An Act to authorize the Raising of Money on the Credit of the Consolidated Revenue Fund;

Bill 19, An Act to amend the Power Corporation Act;

Bill 33, An Act to revise the Ontario Mineral Exploration Program Act;

Bill 37, An Act to amend the Assessment Act.


Mr Conway, on behalf of Mr Grandmaître, moved Bill 21, An Act to amend the Fuel Tax Act, 1981.

The Acting Speaker: All those in favour will please say “aye.”

All those opposed will please say “nay.”

In my opinion the ayes have it.

Motion agreed to.



Mr Conway, on behalf of Mr Grandmaître, moved third reading of Bill 22, An Act to amend the Retail Sales Tax Act.

The Acting Speaker: Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry?

All those in favour will please say “aye.”

All those opposed will please say “nay.”

In my opinion the ayes have it.

Motion agreed to.


Mr Conway, on behalf of Mr Grandmaître, moved third reading of Bill 23, An Act to amend the Land Transfer Tax Act.

The Acting Speaker: Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry?

All those in favour will please say “aye.”

All those opposed will please say “nay.”

In my opinion the ayes have it.

Motion agreed to.


Mr Eakins moved third reading of Bill 35, An Act respecting the amalgamation of the City of Sarnia and the Town of Clearwater and the addition of the amalgamated City to the County of Lambton.

Mr Harris: On this one my leader and perhaps those who were here at the end of the debate can speak better than I, because I was not here at the end of the debate on second reading. I should have said something a little sooner and I did not. I do not know whether either the member for Lambton (Mr D. W. Smith) or my leader had any comments on this or wanted perhaps --

Mr D. R. Cooke: Smith doesn’t like the bill, but Brandt does.

Mr Harris: I mean, we are trying to accommodate and zippity through a bunch of stuff we did not anticipate today.

Mr Reycraft: If I could respond to the House leader for the third party, I had a discussion on the telephone with the member for Lambton earlier this afternoon. I indicated to him that we would be moving to third reading, so he certainly has been advised that this would happen this afternoon.

Motion agreed to.


Hon Mr Eakins moved third reading of Bill 201. An Act to amend the Municipal Act.

Mr Harris: Very briefly, I know there were a number of concerns raised on this bill by the member for Wellington (Mr J. M. Johnson). I believe the member for Simcoe West (Mr McCague), as well, raised a number of concerns on this particular piece of legislation, as did those who are affected by the county government system. This is the legislation dealing with garbage, as I recall.

Not being in a jurisdiction blessed with county government -- or unblessed with county government, as we are in the district of Nipissing -- l wonder if the minister is satisfied that the very real concerns that were expressed by those members have been met and whether those concerns about the power of the larger centres within the county to overrule some of the smallest centres, particularly when it came to the siting of municipal dumps to take garbage from the whole county, whether those concerns about checks and balances have been answered satisfactorily.

Hon Mr Eakins: I think that some of the questions raised during second-reading debate have been resolved. I believe the main concern which was raised was a question of jurisdiction. I just want to emphasize that the jurisdiction here is one to the county. It is not to the individual local municipalities.

What we have here is an opportunity, with a majority vote, a two thirds vote of county council members voting, that certain changes can be made within that jurisdiction. I believe the concerns that have been raised have been answered. Indeed, many of the municipal people, many of the counties, have indicated to us that they are in full support and want to move ahead. I feel that the concerns that were raised have been answered.

The Acting Speaker: I will now put the question. Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry?

All those in favour will please say “aye.”

All those opposed will please say “nay.”

In my opinion the ayes have it.

Motion agreed to.

Hon Mr Conway: As the next order, I would like to ask unanimous consent so my colleague the Minister of Culture and Communications (Ms Oddie Munro) can move third reading of Bill 209, An Act to revise the McMichael Canadian Collection Act.

Agreed to.


Ms Oddie Munro moved third reading of Bill 209, An Act to revise the McMichael Canadian Collection Act.

Motion agreed to.

Hon Mr Conway: Before I call the next order, I really do want to thank my colleagues and the two opposition House leaders for facilitating all of this work on short notice this Thursday afternoon. It is really with some enthusiasm that I call the next order, because our friend the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere (Mr Faubert) has been on standby for days to favour us with his resumed contribution to the budget speech.



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

Mr Faubert: As I adjourned the debate on Wednesday 28 May 1989, I would like to say it is a privilege today to rise to participate in this debate on the budget which was read by the Treasurer (Mr R. F. Nixon) on Wednesday 17 May 1989, and on his motion that this House approves in general the budgetary policy of this government.

It is also a pleasure to play a part in this debate. for this time not only provides all parties the opportunity of general comment on the budget but a chance for a general review of the government’s policies and proposed programs for the future.

Also, by way of explanation, I would point out that since the good people of Scarborough-Ellesmere elected me to this Legislature in September 1987, I have never had the opportunity to make my traditional maiden speech. Although this is now the second session of this 34th Parliament and although I have had the privilege of speaking in this House by asking questions, making member’s statements, presenting petitions and participating in private members’ business, the time allocation has always run out or the debate concluded before my chance came up in the rotation. That is in spite of being always the fourth or fifth speaker on two throne speeches and two budget speeches.

I am sure this experience is shared by many members of our caucus and is one of the problems of our electoral success, which gave our government 95 members in the last election.

Because I have been prevented by those circumstances from making my traditional maiden speech and in so doing introducing many of the members to the riding I am privileged to represent, I would first like to acknowledge my sincere gratitude to the good people of Scarborough-Ellesmere for putting their faith in me to represent them in this Legislature. It is their voice I represent today, and indeed every time I rise in this House, and it is from their perspective that I would like to make any remarks and address the budget.

I have always considered it a privilege to take my seat in this historic chamber, every time this Legislature convenes.

Scarborough-Ellesmere has some 49,000 voters and 82,000 residents. It is one of the six provincial ridings in the city of Scarborough, but it is actually the true centre of that growing city of Scarborough which forms the eastern section of the regional municipality of Metropolitan Toronto. The riding is a typical urban structure of low- to middle-income single-family homes with a limited amount of high-rise along its arterial roads and some Metropolitan Toronto Housing Authority housing scattered along its southern and eastern boundaries.

Like many urban areas, its demographics reflect the changing face of Metropolitan Toronto, with many Greek, East Indian, Macedonian, Italian and Caribbean communities emerging in the western and southern neighbourhoods of the riding.

A major industrial area of light to medium manufacturing completes the north and west-central parts of Scarborough-Ellesmere. However, this is an urban riding that has some distinction from the general urban sprawl, for it is here that, centrally, sits the award-winning Scarborough Civic Centre, within the greater reaches of the city centre area, with its modern shopping centres, rising office towers and soon-to-be-constructed residential complexes.

I have had the honour to represent this central part of the riding on both city and metropolitan councils for almost two decades, and now I am privileged to continue to represent this community here at Queen’s Park.

But people are what governments are all about, not just steel and concrete, and I would like to address the House on how this government relates to the people of my riding, of Metro and indeed all of Ontario.

There are three major points to which I wish to speak.

First, I want to speak to the hope this budget brings to those in our society who are disadvantaged. Second, I would like to address the balance contained within this budget document, which can truly be described as a Liberal budget. Third, I want to commend the record of this Treasurer and this government in terms of fiscal responsibility.

As indicated by the recent throne speech and initiatives announced in this budget, this government has taken a caring, commonsense approach to meeting the needs of all Ontarians.

Ontario is experiencing a period of unparalleled growth, economic prosperity and opportunity. The Treasurer points out in the budget that our province has exceeded the four per cent mark in real growth for six consecutive years. He points out that real growth increased by 4.9 per cent in 1988, outpacing growth in the United States and Europe. Among industrial nations around the globe, we in Ontario are second in terms of growth. Only Japan has recorded stronger growth. Indeed, the economy in Ontario has been experiencing tremendous prosperity, but not all Ontarians have shared in these good times.

This budget fulfils the government’s commitment to assist those who do not share in this, and that is a commitment to moving persons from a life of economic assistance to a life of economic self-dependence. The initiatives that have been put forward in this budget include enriched benefits for children, increased shelter benefits, improved employment support programs and the removal of barriers which serve as a disincentive to work.

The costs of these progressive reforms have been projected as approximately $415 million. In addition, this budget allocates an average six per cent increase in social benefit rates, an additional $55 million to improve salaries and benefits for social services agency staff, as well as an increase in minimum wage from $4.75 to $5 for the province’s minimum-wage earners.

These measures constitute the first step in the most significant reforms to our social assistance system in recent memory, and I would join all members of this Legislature in commending the Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr Sweeney) as well as the Treasurer in supporting so vigorously these reforms. What is more important is that these reforms will supply a much needed direction of hope to many people in the communities across this province who had given up on their dream for a better life. Perhaps it can be stated that the throne speech of 25 April 1989 gave hope to those caught in the tangle of poverty and this budget will assist in the fulfilment of those dreams.

Here in Ontario the unemployment rate will average 5.2 per cent. In 1989, business investment spending is forecast to rise by 17 per cent and to reach $32.4 billion. This is expected to be particularly strong in the manufacturing, forestry and commercial services sector. The gross domestic product, GDP, will increase to $267.5 billion from $246 billion in 1988 and $224 billion in 1987. Personal income will grow to $220.8 billion in Ontario front $187.2 billion in 1987. This government’s commitment to ensure that we build on our economic strengths will ensure that our economy can sustain the level of prosperity necessary to allow all Ontarians to share in this wealth.

There must be a recognition of all it takes and will continue to take, a growing and buoyant economy where these programs, policies and social reforms put forward by the government are independent but related. This was pointed out most clearly and directly in a speech by my colleague the member for Peterborough (Mr Adams), who spoke earlier in the debate.

I believe clearly that history will show that this budget is truly a document of hope, and the people of Ontario need hope in these days of callous federal Conservative budgeting which brought forward in a combination of tax grabs and cost rollbacks an almost complete and total repudiation of its election commitments of last fall.


The people of Ontario need hope, as the federal Conservative government failed to set a fiscal example by bringing down a budget which actually is soft on debt reduction -- in spite of a $2.7 million media campaign to tell us otherwise, the deficit actually jumps this year to $30.5 billion, bringing the debt to a whopping $351 billion.

Another $28 billion will be added next year, despite the increases in taxation, and another $15 billion in 1992-93. As I say, that is just the beginning. Indeed, the Conservative federal government has somehow the nerve to admit that the temporary surtax, which was increased this year, will stay as a permanent tax even after the national goods and services tax comes in in 1991.

As the Treasurer indicated in response to questions that I put to him in this House, this federal government has moved further into the traditional provincial tax fields of alcohol, motor fuels and tobacco. Indeed, it has also invaded the large corporate capital tax field, which has in the past been a tax domain of the provinces. The result of this is to reduce further the taxation options of the provincial treasurers when they bring down their budgets. This is one explanation of why these areas of corporate taxation were not touched in this particular budget.

The people at Ontario need hope, as this federal budget hits hard at the financial heart of Canada, here in Ontario, and at both the lower and the middle-class Ontarian.

I would now like to speak to this provincial government’s strong determination to remove the barriers of poverty and despair for those in our society who have yet to share in the wealth and economic prosperity of this province.

I would call on all members of this assembly to go back to their ridings during the next session break, that is, if we get one, and talk to those who must rely on social assistance; talk to those who are working but are still members of that growing segment of our society defined as the working poor; talk to those in their ridings who are physically or mentally disabled; talk to those who also administer our social assistance system, and talk to those many people who volunteer their time to run community programs such as food banks, soup kitchens, shelters for the homeless and refugee assistance centres.

I can guarantee the members that if they talk to these people, they will recognize that the dollars earned by our prosperity at the corporate economic level do not always trickle down to many Ontarians who find themselves disfranchised from the mainstream of our society. Whether they look to downtown Toronto or smalltown Ontario, these disparities still exist.

Last month, I and my colleague the member for Scarborough Centre (Miss Nicholas) held a hearing at the Scarborough Civic Centre on the Transitions report. For the record, we were privileged to be joined by the member for Kitchener (Mr D. R. Cooke), as chairman of the standing committee on finance and economic affairs, who at that time had just reported back to this House on the Social Assistance Review Committee report.

We wanted to hear at first hand the concerns and problems experienced by those in our communities who are part of our social assistance system, either as a recipient or as a provider. Participating in this hearing were representatives and individuals from church groups, community service groups, advocacy organizations, senior citizens advocates, multicultural representatives, assisted housing experts, persons with disabilities, welfare recipients and welfare providers, as well as former welfare recipients.

As I stated to the House in my earlier remarks on this meeting, the presentations ranged from angry to extremely poignant. But all expressed hope for the early implementation of the Transitions report. The common message we heard from almost every presenter was -- indeed, this expression was used earlier by the member for Mississauga West (Mr Mahoney) but in a different context -- everyone, almost to a person, said, “We don’t want a handout; we only need a hand up.”

Appearing before our hearings was a representative of West Hill Community Services Ltd. This is a community group which provides such services as a food hank, counselling, legal assistance and clothing to those in need. She expressed her concern about a social strategy of trying to salve problems by simply throwing money to people in need. She stated that people need education, basic skills and training to get back on their feet. She said that more than anything, these persons need confidence in themselves, they need hope, and hope is what much of this budget is about. She said, in effect, that these persons do not want a handout; they only need that hand up.

That is precisely the message of social service reforms announced in this budget. She will have been pleased to hear the announcement of the Minister of Community and Social Services on Thursday 18 May, especially in the area of supports to access employment. Here $54 million is being allocated over three years to expand, consolidate and streamline existing employment support programs.

She will have been pleased to know that this government recognizes that social assistance recipients need improved access to mainstream programs to pursue skills training and employment experience. She will be pleased that the Minister of Skills Development (Mr Curling) will be providing a further $8 million in literacy training over the next three years, targeting social assistance recipients as a key element in need. These initiatives worth $84 million will make significant inroads in providing people with the skills and self-confidence necessary to become economically and socially independent.

I would also like to share with the members of this House the concerns that a representative of St Boniface Multicultural Centre in Scarborough expressed to us at that same meeting. She expressed concern about the burden of a refugee’s already limited resources caused by the cost of housing. Most of them who are in this situation are subject to many outside pressures. “They simply want to get started,” she said. “They want to work, they want to contribute. But in the meantime they require affordable housing accommodations.” They do not want a handout either; they only require that hand up.

This budget will provide assistance to people in this situation as well. Housing remains a high priority for this government, as indicated by the 28 per cent increase allotted to the Ministry of Housing in this budget. This budget takes measures to support the development of affordable housing, to increase the availability of land and to enhance the housing market.

In three years, new construction in Ontario has provided homes for over 400,000 persons. In addition, $1 billion will be made available to the Homes Now program, raising the total commitment to $3 billion. Of these housing units, 70 per cent will be on a rent-geared-to-income basis.

This government recognizes that high shelter costs often take a major chunk out of the personal budgets of those on social assistance. In order to meet the costs of rent, some recipients have had to forgo adequate clothing or food. The shelter component will now cover 100 per cent of the cost of shelter, up to a specified limit. It will be calculated separately from the food and clothing components. This initiative, costing $119 million, will assist approximately 225,000 adult social assistance recipients and 175,000 children.


In addition, representatives from the Advocacy 21 sector of the Metropolitan Toronto Association for Community Living also made a presentation to our hearing. This is a group of parents who are concerned about living and how their children who are in a position of disadvantage will survive after they are not around to look after them.

This group pointed out that the fear of losing social benefits completely by joining the workforce holds people back from trying. Many of them are afraid to climb the ladder out of what was described by one presenter as “the pit of poverty and dependence.” They fear somehow that if that ladder falls, they will lose their social assistance completely. They do not want us to hand down benefits to them as much as they need us simply to hold that ladder steady so that they can climb out of that pit of poverty on their own.

Persons in these circumstances should also take hope from this budget as the social assistance reforms also include the removal of disincentives to work. The Minister of Community and Social Services announced STEP on 18 May, the supports to employment program, costing $22 million.

One of the major reforms included in this program will be the elimination of the 120-hour-per-month rule for single-parent recipients. No longer will parents be arbitrarily limited to working only on a part-time basis to remain eligible for social assistance. No longer will an increase in outside income reduce a recipient’s entitlement to zero.

Up until now the loss of a recipient’s last dollar in social assistance meant a loss of health benefits such as his drug card. There will now be included a buffer zone to enable recipients to retain their health benefits.

These reforms, among others, will provide these persons with the incentive requirements to climb out of that pit of poverty and dependence and to work to achieve a better quality of life for themselves and for their dependants.

We have also heard from social service agency providers and their recommendations for reform of all our social service system. The one message that they gave to us was very straightforward. It was: Simplify, simplify, simplify. Lo and behold, $18 million have been set aside to redress the problems of inequities and unnecessary complexity within this system.

Not long ago, I was contacted at my constituency office by a single mother with two children. She had been receiving social assistance for six months as her husband had deserted her and the children. She had some data-processing skills and a number of job opportunities available, but the problem was that she needed to upgrade her skills and her speed.

However, due to the unavailability of affordable day care to her, to go back to work would have meant a cut in income which she simply could not afford. She was someone else who was caught in that pit of poverty. She was another individual, indeed, who did not need that handout but needed a hand up.

I am pleased to advise the members of the House that she did receive this hand up recently through the subsidized increases in funding for provincially subsidized day care spaces. In fact, in this fiscal year alone, my riding of Scarborough-Ellesmere received in total $1,075,000, which contributed to creating 200 new day care spaces in the riding and which I had the distinct pleasure of announcing on behalf of our Minister of Community and Social Services.

However, there are still many people in our province in this situation who will take hope from the government’s commitment to move people from economic dependence to financial self-reliance. Indeed, the changes related to child care expenses will be of assistance to single parents in this situation.

As we know, the greatest impediment to single parents joining the workforce is the cost of child care. Single parents will now be able to deduct child care expenses up to specified limits from their earned income, making child care expenses in effect an additional tax reduction. This will save single parents in need of affordable child care significant amounts.

In addition to this, I have talked to teachers in my riding who have told me of the looks on children’s faces when they are suffering from hunger brought on by the lack of nutrition or simply the lack of a breakfast in the morning. They have told me of the difficulties in keeping these children interested and attentive. They have told me, and statistics back them up, that a child suffering from the injustice of poverty does not have the same opportunity to succeed in our education system as a child who is well fed.

In a speech in Hamilton, the Premier (Mr Peterson), while discussing the effects of poverty on children, stated:

“We want to start in a measured and thoughtful way to make sure that we, as Liberals, respect one of the basic values that we hold, and that is that each person, young and old, will be given equality of opportunity to participate to the full limits of their ability. Hungry kids simply don’t have that opportunity.”

I say to all members of this House that there was hope given for these children in the Premier’s words that day and that hope was realized last month in the Treasurer’s budget and the announcements by the Minister of Community and Social Services.

Indeed, this government recognizes that over 40 per cent of the people in receipt of social assistance are children. Many of the initiatives that I previously discussed will benefit children. Initiatives such as the shelter subsidy reforms and benefit increases will assist 175,000 children in this province. Specifically, the Minister of Community and Social Services announced an infusion of $54 million in funding to increase the children’s portion of the allowances in our social assistance programs.

In addition, the benefits will be administered under a more equitable and simpler rate structure. Certainly the steps are being taken in the field of education that will assist in ensuring that education is a springboard to opportunity for every child in this province, regardless of household income. Clearly this government recognizes that we must do a better job of providing all children with the possibilities of a better way of life and with the means of obtaining it; and clearly this budget signifies that this government is ready to take up this challenge.

If I could sum up the efforts of this government in the social assistance area as indicated by this budget, I think I could do so in the words of John F. Kennedy when he said, “If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.”

This government recognizes the significance of this statement. We recognize that every effort must be made to bring in those who have been left outside of our economic prosperity. We must break down those barriers of poverty. I commend the Minister of Community and Social Services for his vigorous efforts in this cause and I commend the Premier on the leadership he has displayed in the fight to help remove poverty and hunger from our midst.


One of the areas I wish to address is the fact that many have called this budget anti-Metro, meaning against Metropolitan Toronto. I challenge those who believe this to look at the measures being taken to meet the needs of the greater Toronto area within this budget. It is true that revenue-raising moves such as the commercial concentration levy, the higher gasoline and diesel fuel taxes and the increased motor vehicle registration fees will affect the greater Metropolitan Toronto area, but it must also be pointed out that many of the initiatives announced in this budget will benefit the GTA in a significant way, directly or indirectly.

I see we have been joined by the Minister of Transportation (Mr Fulton). He made announcements just a couple of weeks ago, both of which, combined in his announcements on public transportation and on highways, were the largest and most significant announcements in transportation. These significant announcements affect each and every user of public transportation or driver on every road within the GTA.

Members will be aware of the rapid growth being experienced in Metro. We are reminded of that constantly, of course, by the opposition which, on one hand, is telling us not to spend money but, on the other hand, is always asking us to spend more money on improvements.

We know this rapid growth is being experienced in Metro and the surrounding regions. It is a constant battle to maintain an adequate infrastructure to continue to accommodate this continuing growth. There is an increasing pressure on our roads, on our highways and on our transit systems to keep up with this growth.

Since 1984-85, spending on Ontario roads, highways and transit systems has increased more than 30 per cent and will total $2 billion in 1988-89. However, as we will acknowledge, it still is not enough to meet the needs of this greater Toronto area as it continues to grow.

Therefore, this budget allocates an additional $2 billion over five years to the new transportation capital program. Support will be provided through this program to highway capital projects, major municipal roads and transit projects and additional GO Transit service. Specifically, expansion and accelerated construction will be funded on Highways 401, 403, 407 and 410. These initiatives will have a measurable impact on the traffic problems experienced by many of the residents within the GTA.

In addition, the transportation capital program includes $200 million over four years, beginning in 1990-91, for major municipal arterial roads. Again this will significantly benefit the Metro area. The budget indicates that provincial capital spending on municipal transit systems will increase by $44 million. That is a full 29 per cent increase, which brings to approximately $200 million the capital funding of municipal transit services.

Specific to the Metro area will be improvements to the Yonge Street subway line. As a frequent public transit rider myself, I can assure members of this House that those who rely on public transit will be looking eagerly forward to these improvements. Also specific to Metro is funding for station upgrading at Yonge and Sheppard as well as the Harbourfront light rail transit line, the LRT.

There are many other measures taken in this budget that will benefit many residents in the GTA. The elimination of Ontario health insurance plan premiums not only will assist many residents who are currently paying their own OHIP but also will assist all income earners who previously had to list employer-paid OHIP benefits as a taxable benefit.

Increased funding in the areas of the environment, health and housing will significantly benefit residents of the GTA. While some of the revenue measures taken will affect the GTA, many of the initiatives taken in this budget will benefit this region directly and indirectly.

The third point I wish to address today is the commendable and somewhat unheralded effort of this government to operate in a fiscally responsible manner. If anyone doubted the commitment of this government to fiscal responsibility. I am sure that with the reading of this budget those doubts have been eliminated. Here in Ontario this government’s efforts to reduce the deficit and exercise fiscal responsibility are a model to governments across this continent.

I spoke earlier about many initiatives this government is taking to ensure that this province remains one of the top jurisdictions in North America in terms of quality and standard of living. That is, despite this challenging social agenda which must be paid for, this government will manage to reduce our deficit by $911 million, to $577 million. That is a reduction from 1983-84 of almost 82 per cent. In the year 1983-84, the deficit was, in real-dollar terms, almost six times higher than it is now.

As mentioned in the budget, the provincial deficit in Ontario will be at its lowest level in over 15 years. I am sure all the members of this House will agree --


Hon Mr Sorbara: Call on the opposition to speak up if it disagrees.

Mr Faubert: I just wish the opposition were here so that they could comment on these figures.

That is a significant achievement. I commend the Treasurer, the Chairman of the Management Board of Cabinet (Mr Elston) and our Premier for the fiscal responsibility they have demonstrated on behalf of all the people of Ontario.

This government does not need a $2-million advertising campaign to cut our deficit. We have done it quietly and significantly and we have done it without cutbacks in our social agenda. Indeed, we have expanded our social agenda but with renewed reform and a commitment in all these areas. The federal government talks of the need to reduce its deficit and that is a commendable idea, but despite the fanfare and, as I pointed out, its $2.7-million advertising campaign, the increased taxes and reduced services of the federal budget, the deficit actually jumps this year, as I pointed out earlier, to $30.5 billion.

Without wishing to sound partisan, I would encourage members of the third party, if they were in the House today, to advise their federal cousins to look to the province of Ontario as an example of a government that can properly and effectively balance its fiscal and social responsibilities.

There are other areas that merit acknowledgement. A total of $500 million has been saved through the expenditure savings and constraints program announced by our Treasurer in last year’s budget. Every ministry contributed to this reduction in spending. As the parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Revenue, I am pleased to advise this house, in spite of an increased workload, that the Ministry of Revenue alone saved $15 million. The Treasurer has announced an overall goal of $200 million in further expenditure savings and constraints for 1989-90.

As a percentage of Ontario’s gross domestic product, the public debt has declined from 18 per cent in 1983-84 to 15.8 per cent in 1988-89 and we expect this to drop even further to 14.9 per cent in 1989-90. This would be the lowest ratio since 1974-75. This budget also produces the highest operating surplus in Ontario’s history, at $2.6 billion. At $158 per person, we have the third-lowest deficit, per person, among the provinces. I suggest that these numbers speak for themselves and it is obvious that this government is committed to maintaining its agenda of fiscal responsibility.

As I wind up my response to the 1989 budget, I wish to speak on one additional point. There are those who have claimed that this government lacks vision, lacks direction and lacks a defined or concrete agenda. I suggest that if those people are still saying that today, then I do not believe they have read this budget, nor did they listen to the throne speech when it was delivered in May. This budget is beyond a doubt one of the most focused and forward-thinking documents in recent memory.


It outlines our strategies to ensure that the unparalleled economic development under this government continues. It maintains Ontario’s strong fiscal position by further reducing the deficit and substantially increasing its operating surplus. This pay-as-you-go approach has allowed the government to fund vital programs and improve the quality of life in this province. It funds a revolutionary yet basic approach to education in this province.

It accepts the philosophy of the Transitions report as the government takes actions to move people from dependence to economic self-reliance and we embark upon the most significant reforms to our social assistance system in recent memory.

It funds an increased commitment to the environment. It funds this government’s commitment to preserving the quality of our health care system as well as promoting healthy lifestyles and disease prevention. This government has taken on a challenging agenda. It is with vision, direction and determination that this government approaches these challenges.

I can assure all members of this House that we regard the problems we face not as obstacles but as challenges. We approach these challenges of the day with a progressive determination not seen in this province prior to 1985. I spoke earlier of this budget as a document of hope for the less fortunate in our society. I spoke of the balance that this budget maintains in terms of costs and benefits to the people of the greater Toronto area and I spoke of this government’s exceptional record of fiscal responsibility. Indeed, this budget demonstrates all of these points and much, much more.

The opportunity to respond to this budget has been one of the highlights of my participation in this House since my election in September 1987. I am honoured to have been given the opportunity to respond to the budget because I believe it to be one of the most progressive budgets in the history of this province. It is, as many have said, not only in caucus but publicly, a truly liberal budget. It is principles such as those displayed by the Treasurer that attracted me to the Liberal Party many years ago and it is this direction and philosophy that can be seen in this budget that inspired me to run for this office in September 1987.

This budget, as I stated, is both a small-l liberal and large-L Liberal budget. The people of Ontario voted decisively for a Liberal government in 1987 I am pleased to say that this government is living up to those high expectations that the people of this province placed in us.

If the members of the opposition --

An hon member: One.

Mr Faubert: -- the one who is here -- detect a small touch of pride in the speeches of government members when we participate in this debate, that is because we are proud of this budget, we are proud of our Treasurer and we fully support the motion that is before its to approve in general the budgetary policy of the government.


The Acting Speaker (Mr M. C. Ray): Order.

Mr D. R. Cooke: I do not think there is anybody in this House who would disagree that the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere is the finest member that riding has ever had in this House.

Mrs Marland: It may well be completely true.

An hon member: And Margaret agrees.

Mr D. R. Cooke: Yes, I am certain. If there is anyone here in this House who disagrees, I would like to hear from him.

I had the opportunity, as the member indicated, to attend the town hall meeting forum he held along with the member for Scarborough Centre, who is also the finest member that riding has ever had in this House. I had the opportunity to attend that forum and I know that these two members are representing their constituents well. They are listening to their constituents and they are presenting all their concerns.

The result of that meeting, of course, was that the Minister of Community and Social Services presented the supports to employment program on 18 May. I think Ontario is now the most forward-thinking jurisdiction we have, perhaps in the whole world. I just wanted to make that point.

Mrs Marland: I hope the members in the House will be kind to me, since I am standing in the House at this moment as the only member of either of the opposition parties.

I would like to say, however, with respect, that I think it is almost refreshing to hear all the members of the government party stand and applaud the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere (Mr Faubert). Obviously, the applause is somewhat partisan, as are some of the comments. Certainly, I think when the member for Kitchener stands in his place and says that the previous speaker is, in fact, the best representative ever of that riding, it may well be completely true, for one reason: I think it is a new riding.

Some hon members: No.

Mrs Marland: It is not. Then I think the record should show that while we are having this wonderful fraternity of self-commendation among the Liberal government members, one recognizing the attributes of the other, perhaps there have been other members in the past who have served those ridings at least equally well, if not better.

I think too that there would still be people today in the riding of Scarborough-Ellesmere who would really wonder how their member could stand in the House and speak in support of the budget of this Liberal government of this year. I think it is significant to recognize that not everybody in Ontario agrees that this year’s Liberal budget was a good one.

Hon Mr Sorbara: Point of order, Mr Speaker.

The Acting Speaker: The Minister of Labour on a point of order.

Hon Mr Sorbara: Given that it is about 5:45 pm and I know so many of my colleagues in the House would like an opportunity to congratulate the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere on this budget speech, I am wondering if there might be unanimous consent to extend by perhaps eight or 10 minutes the time for responses to this speech. I am wondering if the House would agree to do that.

Mr Harris: I realize the government House leader does not want to go against one of his fellow cabinet colleagues, so perhaps I can do it for him. I understand His Honour awaits.

Hon Mr Sorbara: I was going to say “until His Honour arrives.”

Mr Harris: His Honour arrives when we say it is time for him to come and somebody goes down to get him. He does not wait for debate to finish in the House. I would suggest that unanimous consent from the viewpoint of the government in getting royal assent to a number of bills after third reading would not be appropriate.

Hon Mr Conway: I agree.

The Acting Speaker: We still have some additional time for comments and questions. The member for St Catharines-Brock.

Mr Dietsch: It is with a great deal of pride that I stand in my place to pay tribute to the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere, not only on his speech on behalf of the government but also on his maiden speech in this House.


I can say without any hesitation whatsoever that the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere has been not only a member who has paid particular care to his own riding but has been one of the few members to make a very sincere effort to attend all events throughout this province to gain a better recognition and understanding of the ridings that each of us represent. I can say the member has indeed paid compliments to my particular riding by his attendance.

He has not only been a member of good standing in this Legislature but in his municipal career previously, through his involvement in the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. It has stood him well in recognizing, as a very contributing member in this House.

He rightfully points out with regard to this budget its social assistance thrust and the additional moneys that have gone forward to fulfil the obligation of the Social Assistance Review Committee report, and at the same time towards the debt reduction; a very fiscally responsible government that has made a very sincere effort.

I know that all members of this House join with me in recognizing his contribution and the contribution of this government of Ontario.

Mr Harris: As I suspect the time is going to be used anyway, it might as well be used to hear a dissenting viewpoint.

I would like to congratulate the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere on being here. I congratulate him belatedly. I do not think I have had an opportunity to congratulate him on his election. He was the choice of the people --

An hon member: You really should have listened to his speech if you’re going to comment on it.

Mr Harris: I listened to the election results in 1987, which is what I am talking about. He was the choice of the people of Scarborough-Ellesmere in 1987. I respect that and respect his right to be here and indeed his right to speak. Not many of the backbenchers in the government party get the opportunity to speak. They are stifled substantially.

Having said that on the comments I was able to listen to in my office, I want to echo some of the sentiments expressed by the member from Mississauga. The people of Scarborough-Ellesmere, having given him their vote of confidence in 1987, surely for the last time, would have to be astounded to hear that member stand up and talk about this budget, talk about the GTA tax, talk about the extra taxation that is going to be placed on people, their penalty for living in Toronto.

I suggest to government members that if some of them do not want to be one-timers, they had better start to speak up for their constituents, not for some budget because they feel it is their obligation as members of that party.

The Acting Speaker: The time remaining permits only a reply by the member for Scarborough-Ellesmere.

Mr Faubert: I would first like to thank my colleagues for their comments. I have tried to put forward in this speech the fact that indeed I was speaking for my constituents in Scarborough-Ellesmere. I wanted to put very clearly the perspective related to this budget that, while the member for Nipissing (Mr Harris) might put forward that there is additional taxation included within this budget, the benefits that accrue to the greater Metro area, for one area within here, are substantial and are those I am proud to stand up to acknowledge and support.

I should clarify one other point for the member for Mississauga South (Mrs Marland), that Scarborough-Ellesmere is not a new riding. It is a riding that has been around, I believe, since 1975. It was formerly represented by the New Democratic Party. I am very happy to have been the choice of the electors of Scarborough-Ellesmere and I look forward to being their choice again when the next provincial election comes around.

On motion by Mr Reycraft, the debate was adjourned.

The Acting Speaker: I should at this time indicate to the House that we are awaiting the arrival of His Honour the Lieutenant Governor for the purpose of giving royal assent.

His Honour the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario entered the chamber of the Legislative Assembly and took his seat upon the throne.


Hon Mr Alexander: Pray be seated.

The Acting Speaker (Mr M. C. Ray): May it please Your Honour, the Legislative Assembly of the province has, at its present sittings thereof, passed certain hills to which, in the name of and on behalf of the said Legislative Assembly, I respectfully request Your Honour’s assent.

Clerk Assistant and Clerk of Journals: The following are the titles of the bills to which Your Honour’s assent is prayed:

Bill 1, An Act to amend the Ontario Municipal Board Act;

Bill 5, An Act to amend the Education Act;

Bill 10, An Act to control Automobile Insurance Rates;

Bill 17, An Act to authorize the Raising of Money on the Credit of the Consolidated Revenue Fund;

Bill 19, An Act to amend the Power Corporation Act;

Bill 21, An Act to amend the Fuel Tax Act, 1981;

Bill 22, An Act to amend the Retail Sales Tax Act;

Bill 23, An Act to amend the Land Transfer Tax Act;

Bill 33, An Act to revise the Ontario Mineral Exploration Program Act;

Bill 35, An Act respecting the amalgamation of the City of Sarnia and the Town of Clearwater and the addition of the amalgamated City to the County of Lambton;

Bill 37, An Act to amend the Assessment Act;

Bill 201, An Act to amend the Municipal Act;

Bill 209, An Act to revise the McMichael Canadian Collection Act;

Bill Pr1, An Act respecting the City of Toronto;

Bill Pr3, An Act respecting Sarnia General Hospital;

Bill Pr6, An Act respecting the Centre culturel d’Orléans;

Projet de loi Pr6, Loi concernant le Centre culturel d’Orléans ;

Bill Pr7, An Act respecting Royal Botanical Gardens;

Bill Pr13, An Act respecting the City of Hamilton;

Bill Pr 16, An Act respecting London Regional Art and Historical Museums;

Bill Pr18, An Act respecting Fort Erie Community Young Men’s Christian Association;

Bill Pr20, An Act to revive Bolsward Investments Limited;

Bill Pr21, An Act respecting South Simcoe Railway Heritage Corporation;

Bill Pr23, An Act to revive Bruce Office Supply Limited;

Bill Pr24, An Act respecting the City of Kingston and the townships of Kingston, Pittsburgh and Ernestown;

Bill Pr25, An Act respecting the Association of Municipal Tax Collectors of Ontario;

Bill Pr26, An act to revive Angelato Service Centre Ltd;

Bill Pr27, An Act to revive Innomed Inc;

Bill Pr30, An Act respecting Regis College.

Clerk of the House: In Her Majesty’s name, His Honour the Lieutenant Governor doth assent to these bills.

Au nom de Sa Majesté, le lieutenant-gouverneur sanctionne ces projets de loi.


Hon Mr Conway: Pursuant to standing order 13, I would like to indicate the business for the House in the week upcoming.

On Monday, the government would like to consider government notice of motion 6 regarding Bill 162, standing in my name, but of course we are respectfully awaiting the decision of the Speaker regarding this motion. Should we be able to proceed, the government would proceed with debate on government notice of motion 6, followed by consideration of Bill 162.

At the conclusion of that debate, time permitting, during the rest of the week we will then proceed with Bill 24, Bill 93 and Bill 194. Any further business will be announced after the normal discussions among House leaders.

On Thursday, in the morning we will consider private members’ public business standing in the names of the member for Welland-Thorold (Mr Kormos) and the member for Durham East (Mr Cureatz).

The House adjourned at 1802.