The House met at 1330.
Mr Farnan: I want to take this opportunity to commend the Ministry of Tourism and Recreation on its 1990 tourism publications. The flagship publication listing communities and attractions across the province and the ministry’s facility guides on camping and accommodation are excellent, and I commend the production of these publications in six languages.
There is obviously a serious effort on the part of the ministry s staff, but their efforts will be to no avail unless this government gets serious about tourism. We have experienced a significant decline, especially in the number of American tourists to Canada, at a time when more and more Canadians are taking vacations south of the border.
Surely the Premier should realize that the present Minister of Tourism and Recreation has not been able to give this portfolio the attention it deserves. The minister’s main concentration has been on selling lottery tickets and his exhaustive speaking engagements in the area of drugs. Tourism, which could be the number one industry in Ontario by the year 2000, deserves a full-time minister.
We realize that the Premier and the Liberal government have given a very low priority to tourism. There was not one member of the hospitality industry on the Premier’s Council on the economy that was supposed to devise a strategy to take this into the next century. In the present term, in two budgets and three throne speeches, we have had scant reference to tourism. Combined with a part-time Minister of Tourism and Recreation, is it any wonder that our tourism industry is suffering?
I say to the Premier that it is time this Liberal government recognized the significance of the tourism industry to Ontario and got serious about it. Maybe appointing a full-time minister would be a good starting point.
Mr McLean: My statement concerns a decision that will be made in Paris on Thursday that could mark the beginning of Metropolitan Toronto’s coming-out party. That is the day the group that organizes world fairs announces whether or not Metro Toronto has been chosen to host Expo 2000.
I know that all the people of Ontario are hoping that Metro Toronto’s dreams come true because Expo 2000 will have benefits that will spin off throughout this province. Studies done for the Expo consortium predict that Expo 2000 could pump $7 billion to $10 billion into the Canadian economy and employ between 145,000 and 190,000 people.
Provincial studies claim Expo 2000 will generate $3.3 billion in tourism spending and pour $1.2 billion into Ontario’s tax coffers. As well, Expo 2000 would expose Canadian business to international trade. If Toronto wins Expo 2000, it would be the third world fair in Canada. In 1986, Vancouver’s fair drew 22 million visitors, while Montreal’s Expo ’67 attracted 50 million visitors.
It has been suggested that if Expo 2000 is held in Metropolitan Toronto, we can expect between 55 million and 60 million visitors to pass through the turnstiles. We want people to come here, to reminisce and celebrate the beginning of a new millennium in the province of Ontario.
PHILIPPINE INDEPENDENCE DAY
Mr Ruprecht: On behalf of our government, I rise for the purpose of recognizing a special event that occurred 92 years ago, on 12 June 1898, the establishment of a free, independent, democratic republic of the Philippines. Philippine Independence Day is not only an important date in history, but it has great significance to our Canadian citizens of Filipino heritage.
In recognition of the important contributions that Canadians of Filipino heritage have made to the economic development and cultural enrichment of our province and country, the blue, red and white flag of the independent Philippines was raised this morning at Toronto’s city hall. These Philippine colours have become an international symbol of the indomitable spirit of democracy and serve as an inspiration to us all to strengthen the bonds of friendship, respect and affection we have for the Filipino community.
With us in the gallery today to help us celebrate this historic event is Mr Ona, who is the consul general of the Philippines. To him and all Filipinos we say [remarks in Tagalog]. Congratulations.
WELLAND ROSE FESTIVAL
Mr Kormos: Mr Speaker, you know that once again it is rose festival time in Welland. It is too late for you to go down to the fashion show and dinner, because that was last Friday. Rosie Smith organized one heck of an evening. It is too late for you to go to Country Day, sponsored by the Rose City Snow Seekers out on their property, organized by Dan Fortier and Rejeanne Doucet, and it is too late for you to participate in the bantam baseball tournament, organized by Larry Jaroslowski.
But it is not too late for you to get down there this coming weekend, 15, 16 and 17 June, for the Rose Festival Carnival on Merrit Island that Claude Breault has done such a good job organizing. It is not too late for you to get down there the weekend after that for the coronation ball, and Eleanor Curley has organized one heck of an event.
There is a teen dance on the same night for your kids. Dan Beaudain has done one outstanding job in organizing that teen dance at the Club Social. Flubbo Silvestri’s hot rod show on Saturday 23 June is something not to be missed. The climax of it all, the event that everybody in Welland and Niagara, and quite frankly southern Ontario and New York state, comes to see is the Rose Festival Parade.
That is on Sunday 24 June. It starts at one o’clock on east Main Street, travels from the Towers lot down in the east end to the Welland arena. Jeff Ward has worked for a whole year organizing a parade that is beaten by none. After that, go down to Ethnic Day at the arena with Yvette Ward and in the evening go to Jim Montgomery’s drum corps competition. I will see members there.
The Speaker: Thank you. Is there any telephone number?
Mr Eves: I am going to do an encore to that. I would like to ask the government to recognize the need for support and co-operation with health care providers.
This government has certainly stepped on the toes of many medical professionals. The Ontario Medical Association has taken a step towards establishing a new relationship with the government this past week. One week ago, Ontario doctors voted to drop their legal challenge to the 1986 ban on extra billing. They have asked in return that the government agree to submit to binding arbitration on any matter of fee disputes.
We are concerned that this government does not seem to share the OMA’s commitment to establish a positive and cooperative relationship. Several of the Minister of Health’s actions towards the medical profession would seem to reflect a complete lack of understanding and inability to consult with health care providers in this province.
For example, the OMA was not consulted at all when the Minister of Health announced that the number of caesarean sections performed in the province was too high and must be reduced by 15% of all births within the next two years.
The minister finally approved a CAT scanner for St Mary’s Hospital in Kitchener-Waterloo but radiologists were told at the press conference that they would have to accept a lump sum payment for service. The Health ministry also asserted that approval for the CAT scanner could be withdrawn if radiologists did not agree to the ministry’s terms.
Doctors should not be held ransom for a desperately needed piece of equipment. This is wrong. It is crucial that this government recognize that a positive, co-operative relationship with health care providers is in the best interests of all Ontarians.
SPEECH BY WINSTON CHURCHILL
Mr Tatham: It was 50 years ago that as a lad at school I remember hearing these words:
“Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous states have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing competence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British fleet, would carry on the struggle, until in God’s good time, the new world, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.”
That was delivered by Winston Churchill on 4 June 1940 in the House of Commons.
SOFT DRINK CONTAINERS
Miss Martel: I recently received letters from grade 13 students at école secondaire Hanmer regarding aluminum cans and recycling. They are discouraged by the number of pop cans they see littering our streets and sidewalks. They were disappointed to learn that, unlike other jurisdictions, the Ontario government has refused to place stiff deposits on aluminium cans to encourage their return.
The Minister of the Environment believes that more waste will be diverted from landfill sites through the blue box program than through placing deposits on non-refillable containers. It is interesting to note that municipalities, the keys to the success of the blue box program, do not agree with the minister.
In August 1989, at its annual conference, AMO passed three resolutions regarding the imposition of deposits on non-refillable pop containers. It is fairly obvious that the return of pop cans through the blue box program has not been nearly as successful as the minister would have us believe. Nor can he be excused for agreeing that only 30% of soft drink sales had to be in reusable containers versus 50% before 1985 in exchange for soft drink industry participation in the blue box system.
Since that time, even with the reduction in the obligations on the soft drink industry, the industry has had great difficulty in meeting its quotas. The proof is in the number of convictions which have resulted under the regulations.
New Democrats believe that the only workable regulation is one which either puts stiff deposits on all non-refillable containers to discourage their use or prohibits their use altogether. That will be far more likely to respond to the concerns expressed by these grade 13 students.
Mr Jackson: I would like to comment on the Ontario Home Builders’ Association’s decision to launch a constitutional challenge to Bill 20, the Development Charges Act. During public hearings the Liberals were repeatedly told that this legislation would add $10,000 to the cost of a new home. However, the government was determined not to listen.
This of course is consistent with the Treasurer’s plan to download as many costs on to municipalities and school boards as possible. We repeatedly told the government not to proceed with this flawed legislation. For ignoring our advice, the government can look forward to lawsuits and a lack of affordable housing in Ontario.
Even school boards are not winners with Bill 20. With the imposition of lot levies, builders have stated that they will not continue the practice of giving school boards preferential prices on land. Boards in York region are now facing land prices that are 10 times larger than the level of 1988. As a result, educational lot levies will be of little assistance to school boards desperate for new construction. I presume the government will now consider the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association’s recommendation that the Planning Act be amended so that developers are required to donate land for school sites, as they currently do for parks.
Of course, none of this would be necessary if the Liberals had lived up to their provincial responsibilities for funding education instead of passing the costs on to the backs of new home buyers in Ontario
ARCHIE AND ANNIE CAIRNS
Mr Elliot: On Sunday 3 June 1990, Archie and Annie Cairns celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in Milton at Hugh Foster Hall. The recently renovated heritage building, the Old Halton County Registry Office, was a terrific setting for this event. It seemed the whole town of Milton and the surrounding area dropped by to wish Archie and Annie continued good health. Many commented on their exuberant good humour and their significant contribution for nearly half a century to the town of Milton.
Among the guests was the entire class of 1913 from the Dakota Public School, which used to be located near Kilbride in the former Nelson township. Sam Newell, Gladys Wilson, Ann Laura Dixon, Eva Wilson, Eva Edington and Bendy Guby were the personification of what is great in rural Ontario. Each had enjoyed more than 80 productive years. The Dakota Public School class of 1913 anticipates many more productive years in its community.
The mini-reunion they held while helping Archie and Annie Cairns celebrate their 60th anniversary was something to observe. Despite Sam’s triple bypass and Laura’s fading vision and the consensus that all were growing older, the six members, the entire class of 1913, added a verve to the party which made it a fitting tribute to begin Senior Citizens’ Month, June 1990. Ann Laura Dixon, Annie’s sister, and her classmates added greatly to Annie and Archie Cairns’ 60th anniversary celebration.
STATEMENTS BY THE MINISTRY
ACCESSIBILITY FOR THE DISABLED
Hon Mr Wrye: As honourable members know, this is National Access Awareness Week, which focuses on achieving the full integration of disabled persons into the social and economic life of our country.
In recognition of this occasion, I would like to announce a provincial policy commitment and a series of related initiatives which will enhance the government’s programs for providing accessible transportation to disabled persons.
I am pleased to announce today that the province is formally committing itself to the principle of a fully accessible public transportation. The government plans to achieve this long-term goal in an efficient, effective and fiscally responsible manner.
This has been done in co-operation with other provincial ministries and agencies, including the offices of the Minister without Portfolio responsible for disabled persons and the Minister without Portfolio responsible for senior citizens’ affairs. Extensive consultation was also conducted with consumer groups, municipal and industry associations and service providers.
This commitment will mean a greater opportunity for disabled persons and seniors with mobility problems to participate in the full spectrum of community activities. It will also promote the dignity and independence of all individuals.
Specifically, I am pleased to inform the House that for the next four years the government will increase to a maximum of 90% from the current 75% its funding of special features that make conventional transit services more accessible to frail and ambulatory disabled persons.
This will mean an added incentive of about $8.7 million to municipalities to equip their fleets with such features as kneeling buses that lower the front step, angled courtesy seating and improved public address systems. These improvements will make public transit services more convenient and user-friendly for nine of 10 disabled persons.
Earlier this spring, the government unveiled a program of rapid transit expansion in the greater Toronto area involving a $5-billion investment through provincial, municipal and private sector financing.
The implementation of this program will present many opportunities for enhanced service to all current TTC subway and GO rail transit riders, including people with children in strollers, seniors and disabled persons.
In that regard, the government endorses the TTC report, “Choices for the Future.” The report’s recommendations include improvements to Wheel-Trans services, implementation of easier access features on conventional transit, accessibility to all new rapid transit stations and retrofitting 20 key existing stations. My ministry will work with the TTC to implement these recommendations.
In addition to these improvements to TTC services, all of GO’s new commuter rail stations will be accessible to persons with disabilities. I have asked my officials to develop a program and timetable for retrofitting key GO stations and report back to me this fall.
As members will know, the three-year-old accessible taxi demonstration project has been enormously successful, most especially in some of Ontario’s small to medium-sized communities. Throughout the province, the number of individuals using accessible taxis is steadily rising. Just yesterday morning, I launched yet another such service in the city of London.
Today I am pleased to announce that we will be turning our accessible taxi initiative from a pilot project into an ongoing Ontario government program representing a new provincial commitment of more than $1 million a year. This is a popular transportation option, as disabled persons use taxis eight times as often as the general population. Over the next couple of months, I will be announcing the introduction of accessible taxis to many more municipalities, adding to the more than 20 which already have these services.
The government is making a formal commitment to the efficient, effective and fiscally responsible achievement of fully accessible public transportation. These undertakings will have important implications for all parts of our province, and combined with the programs already in place, will move us significantly closer to our goal of a full range of transportation options for all Ontarians.
Hon Mr Scott: A little less than a year ago, on 29 June 1989, I announced in the Legislature this government’s intention to undertake class action reform.
Members will recall that a class action or a class proceeding is a special procedure that permits numerous individuals who have suffered a common wrong to seek redress in one lawsuit as a group, rather than in numerous lawsuits as individuals. It can be a valuable tool for litigants since it will provide an effective means to achieve compensation for widespread harm or injury while at the same time saving limited court time and resources.
Our society will unfortunately continue to see incidents of mass loss similar to the Mississauga train derailment, the Dalkon Shield case, mass environmental damage, defective products and other consumer losses. These are all examples of the kinds of claims that may be treated, I believe, more efficiently in a class proceeding.
On 29 June 1989, I set out in this House several principles of reform to which the government was committed. Around those principles, I formed a broadly representative advisory committee to make recommendations. That committee has produced a unanimous report which is being tabled today and on the basis of which I am pleased to introduce a bill entitled the Class Proceedings Act, 1990.
The act builds upon the important work of the Ontario Law Reform Commission, which completed an exhaustive review of this field in 1982 and published a report that has been hailed as an important contribution to scholarship in the class action area.
Although the report presented a powerful case for reform, none was forthcoming at that time.
This government did not feel it would be appropriate to prepare legislation affecting so many people without the advice of business, environmentalists, lawyers and consumers. It was for that reason that I established the Advisory Committee on Class Action Reform, whose membership included representatives of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, the Canadian Manufacturers’ Association, the Retail Council of Canada, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, the Consumers’ Association of Canada, the Environmental Law Association, Energy Probe, the Advocates’ Society, the Canadian Bar Association of Ontario and the Insurance Bureau of Canada, representatives of which are in the gallery.
A word of thanks must go to the members of that advisory committee. They worked long and hard as volunteers on a complex subject and produced sound and, equally remarkable, unanimous advice for this government.
The highlights of the proposed procedure are as follows: The class proceeding will include a step in which a judge will screen potential class proceedings according to a specific test; members of the class who do not wish to participate in the class proceeding will have the opportunity to exclude themselves, or opt out, of the proceeding; the representative plaintiff will be required to ensure that the class members obtain notice of the proceeding; and once certified by the court, the proceeding would continue in a manner similar to other civil litigation, but with some significant differences, namely, that one judge will hear all the motions up to the trial and the court will have the ability to make aggregate judgements in cases where the only issue is the assessment of damages for many individuals.
Normal costs rules for litigation will apply, but lawyers and their clients will be permitted to engage in special fee arrangements for such proceedings, subject to the court having final control over all fees and disbursement agreements.
The bill’s provisions ensure that plaintiffs and defendants are treated fairly and that the class proceeding makes a positive contribution to the resolution of civil disputes.
I am also pleased to announce the establishment of a class proceedings fund in the amount of $500,000, to be administered by its sole contributor, the Law Foundation of Ontario. This fund, which was part of the advisory committee’s unanimous recommendations, will provide financial assistance and some cost security to those litigants who are prepared to undertake the class proceedings on behalf of themselves and others.
This bill, on balance, provides the detailed procedure that is needed to equip our courts to handle the potentially complex litigation that members of our society will undoubtedly face in the future. I hope that we can enact it quickly in order that the people of Ontario can finally benefit from this important access to justice, and I want to particularly thank the advisory committee for its assistance in this important and difficult work.
ACCESSIBILITY FOR THE DISABLED
Mr Allen: At last, at last; but how long have we had to wait? For years, questions in estimates, questions in the House: disabled transit, fully accessible, please. Finally, finally, we have a response, and we are delighted that the minister is going to be following the Choices document of the TTC and moving in on the subway stations and their accessibility in this city. We are delighted to see that at last there is going to be some action on fully accessible GO Transit.
We are delighted that the subsidies that have been proposed for municipal fully accessible disabled transit and public transit for the disabled are going to go up to 90%. That had been a really big sticking point, because municipality after municipality, small and large, has told us time and again, “The reason we can’t get into this is it’s absolutely impossible in terms of the financing involved in relationship to our tax base; we couldn’t ever carry it.”
So now they have done it and we are pleased to see it has happened, even though three years ago they might have done it when Freedom to Move is Life Itself was issued by the Ontario Advisory Council for Disabled Persons, or a year or two before that when the Trans-Action coalition had put forward a memorandum of agreement it wanted the minister to sign so that he would step in the disabled accessibility over a period of 20 or 30 years. No, nobody would sign it.
I do not know what has brought about the conversion. I presume it is the persuasiveness of the disabled community itself that has finally brought this government to its knees on this particular question. I give them full benefit and full praise for having lobbed their arguments so successfully and hit the minister so hard and so often that finally he has come across. I thank the minister very much on behalf of the disabled. We will just keep a watch on how quickly he moves on the whole process.
Mr B. Rae: I want to respond to the statement by the Attorney General. This might have been a dramatically progressive idea in some parts of the world 20 years ago, but the Attorney General has by his own admission said that the United States has had this legislation for 20 years, that it has been the law in the province of Quebec for 10 years and that it took his government four years after 1985 before it even established a committee.
The reason that I raise it in this context is that if it takes this government eight years, or two governments eight years -- and increasingly it is becoming difficult to notice the difference between the blue and the red as these colours gradually elide and collide and merge into the purple hue of --
An hon member: The Attorney General.
Mr B. Rae: -- the Attorney General. No, I did not say that.
The reason that I raise this delay in this way is that the Ontario Law Reform Commission very recently produced an important report with respect to class remedies and group remedies with respect to the environment. It dealt not only with the creation of a cause of action, but also directly with the question of steps that needed to be taken. I can say to the Attorney General that we all hope and expect that it will not take eight years for the government to respond to that.
The private member’s bill which stands in the name of my colleague the member for Etobicoke-Lakeshore talks about the need for an environmental bill of rights which will ensure that citizens -- who have, by and large, in their consciousness and their activity, been far ahead of governments -- have some effective rights, in order to enforce the law in a speedy, effective and efficient way with respect to environmental damage.
The Attorney General knows full well that until we create some new causes of action, this class action proposal does not go far enough. It only deals with existing torts and not with new ones that have to be created, so I say to the Attorney General that what he has done needed to be done 20 years ago, what needs to be done with respect to the environment needed to be done yesterday, and we expect him to get on with it before the end of this session.
ACCESSIBILITY FOR THE DISABLED
Mrs Marland: We too welcome the transportation initiatives. However, I would like to say that the government’s record in keeping its transportation promises to persons with disabilities is extremely poor, and I feel obliged at this time to comment on the success of some of its 1987 election promises, since these may well fall into the same category.
The Liberal government has an extremely poor record with regard to fulfilling the needs of persons with disabilities. Access to public transportation is nothing short of inadequate in this province. The government made a number of promises during the 1987 provincial election campaign to improve access to public transportation, but unfortunately has not implemented them. I would like to comment on the progress of some of these two-and-a-half-year-old promises.
The government promised $2.5 million annually over five years to provide lower transit fees for seniors and the disabled. To date, the government has not spent one cent on the implementation of this program.
To encourage smaller communities to provide special-needs transit services, $14.3 million was committed over five years. Almost three years after the promise was made, no money has been spent towards the implementation of this initiative. The program is apparently still in the developmental stages.
The annual supplement of $2.5 million promised and designed to improve access to public transit has also not been spent.
Last month, the Minister of Transportation announced a $5-billion initiative to public transit in Toronto. It was disappointing that there was no mention made as to whether these new transit systems would be fully accessible to persons with disabilities.
It is also disappointing that the election promises made by the David Peterson government in 1987 to improve conventional transit are still in the developmental stages.
I call on the government to take immediate measures to ensure that public transit is fully accessible to persons with disabilities. It is time that this Liberal government realizes that accessible transportation is the only way for persons with disabilities to have equal access to employment, education and recreational activities.
When we look at this amount of $8.7 million in today’s announcement as an added incentive to municipalities, all I can say is that $8.7 million over four years is not enough, especially coming from a government which has spent almost $20 million in two years on a useless auto insurance bureaucracy.
Finally, I would like to say that it is fine for them to announce the improvements that will make all new GO Transit commuter stations accessible. The question is, what about the existing GO Transit stations which are not accessible?
Mr Cureatz: In response to the Attorney General’s announcement, as I indicated to him when he was out visiting my riding of Durham East, I do not always have this wonderful opportunity of speaking to some of the proposals that are coming forth from his ministry. I am interested, of course, so I am always listening to the Attorney General.
In 1982 the report of the Ontario Law Reform Commission made similar recommendations. That was from 1982 to 1985. Let’s see, what party was in power then? Oh yes, the Conservatives. So that means the Conservatives did nothing in terms of this kind of legislation. Lo and behold, the Liberal administration takes over from 1985 to 1990. Now that is about five years, so over five years those people have not done anything about this. That just goes to show that they are twice as good at doing nothing as we were, if members follow that kind of rationale.
It makes me think in terms of why the Attorney General has brought this forward at this particular point in time with about two weeks left of the Legislature. Everybody is talking about an election. Could this just be a little dangling item so that the honourable Attorney General could hold forth a proposed piece of legislation which I doubt very much is going to pass through the assembly by the time we adjourn, with Orders and Notices as full as it is?
In any event, I do want to congratulate the Attorney General in terms of at least finally bringing forth the proposal. I think the recommendations will go a long way in satisfying a lot of those interest groups, those that all of us are familiar with in our particular riding offices, be it the environmental groups, the consumers’ association, Energy Probe or the Advocates’ Society.
I might conclude by saying my colleague the member for Carleton is concerned about the contingency fees, but that is about the only issue the member for Carleton and I have ever differed on.
Mr B. Rae: I have a question for the Premier. The news this morning is that some 71 charges under the Election Finances Act have been laid, 34 against Mrs Starr and 11 against campaign officials of a variety of campaigns, including those of the now Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology and the Minister without Portfolio responsible for women’s issues.
Mrs Starr, in an interview which was published in the Globe and Mail on 7 June 1990, said that while she would not identify the person, a major senior figure in the Liberal cabinet back in 1985 was the person who told her the way to make contributions to a variety of campaigns. This is a very serious allegation that has been made by Mrs Starr, now made publicly. I wonder if the Premier could tell us what his own investigations and discussions with his cabinet colleagues have revealed with respect to this very serious allegation.
Hon Mr Peterson: As members know, there have been rumours coming out of the Commission on Election Finances for some time now about its action. I do not think it is appropriate for me to comment on charges that are now in the courts.
Mr B. Rae: This deals with the political responsibility of the Premier for the conduct of the members of his cabinet. He will know that just a short time ago he heard some allegations with respect to the conduct of the Minister of Culture and Communications, which conduct does not appear to have been illegal but was sufficient for the Premier to agree with her that it was a good idea for her to resign.
This is not a rumour. This is an interview which Mrs Starr has given to the Globe and Mail in which she has stated very clearly and categorically and emphatically that a senior member of the Premier’s cabinet was involved in giving her advice with respect to what happened.
Hon Mr Scott: Name names.
Mr B. Rae: The Attorney General says, “Name names.”
Hon Mr Scott: No, I am telling her to name names.
Mr B. Rae: I am asking the Premier very simply this: He has stated that he has the highest possible standards of conduct for the members of his cabinet. I want to ask him, since this interview became public knowledge, what has he done to ascertain the identity of the person who was giving Mrs Starr this kind of advice?
Hon Mr Peterson: Allegations are made and no names are supplied, and the member obviously is taking advantage of that to broad-brush the whole situation. He has the right to do that, but this is before the courts and she will have the opportunity to present the facts as she sees them. Surely, that is the way our system works.
Mr B. Rae: The Premier is responsible for the political conduct of the members of his cabinet. If he wants to narrow the brush, as he has put it, he is the one who is in a position to do that.
I want to ask the Premier very specifically, what discussions has he had with any members of his cabinet with respect to the very serious charges made by Mrs Starr with respect to the conduct of a member of his cabinet, and if he has had no discussions, why not?
Hon Mr Peterson: There are rumours around about you, about lots of other situations. Anybody can stand up and say that. I have absolutely no evidence of that, and if she has evidence of it, obviously she will present it in the courts.
Mr B. Rae: On a point of order, Mr Chairman: I know that it is not normal to interrupt this proceeding at this point, but it is because of a point that was made to me by another member, the member for Dufferin-Peel, who stated to me that she felt I was referring to her and to her riding association in one of the questions that I asked today.
She assures me that her riding association is not subject to any charges under the Election Finances Act. If that is the case, I would like to correct the record and make it very clear that I was not in fact referring either to her or to her riding association, and I wanted to take the earliest opportunity to do that. I will correct Hansard accordingly.
Mr B. Rae: I would like to ask a question of the Premier about the state of Ontario’s economy. In the last period of time, we have seen an incredible number of layoffs in the manufacturing heart of our province, in eastern Ontario, in southwestern Ontario, in northern Ontario. Indeed, there is not a part of the province that has not been touched by record layoffs in the last few months.
I would like to ask the Premier why it is that this government has failed to introduce any single measure which would deal with the effect of these layoffs, this unemployment, on the working men and women of this province.
Hon Mr Peterson: I think the Treasurer can help out my honourable friend with the state of the Ontario economy.
The Speaker: Referred to the Treasurer.
Hon R. F. Nixon: I think the honourable member is aware that however inadequate he may feel our legislation is, it is considered by impartial observers to be the most effective that is available in North America. There has been considerable review and discussion in this House about how it might be focused further, and I am sure that is going to be a subject of debate, both here and elsewhere in the democratic process. Perhaps I would wait for the honourable member’s additional questions before I defend the economy.
Mr B. Rae: In eastern Ontario, more than 2,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost over the past year in nine eastern Ontario counties, excluding Ottawa-Carleton. In Cornwall, eight plants closed and 1,000 jobs have been lost over the past 12 months. In Renfrew, six companies closed and 391 jobs disappeared, with another 200 on the line.
Let me name him one specific reform which he himself promised the people of Ontario back in 1985. Why have we not see the legislation with respect to pension reform, ensuring that pensions would be indexed, protected against inflation, so that at least those workers who are laid off and forced to take early retirement will have some protection as they face the future?
Hon R. F. Nixon: The honourable member has recounted the thousands of jobs we are losing without giving the other side of the story. We pursued this matter earlier this week and he is aware that none of these jobs, even his own and even my own, are preserved in amber, but he would also be aware that the economy is going to produce at least 50,000 new jobs during this year. It is interesting that during the first five months of this calendar year there have been 25,000 to 30,000 new jobs produced.
Mr Reville: Flipping hamburgers at a hamburger stand.
Hon R. F. Nixon: The honourable member is quick to say that these jobs are hamburger flippers or something like that, not that we as politicians have anything against people who flip hamburgers, but we also know that commitments have been made by Ford Motor Co for substantial additional capital with new jobs, that Toyota has announced additional hiring; so has Honda, so has Suzuki.
I feel that the honourable member is mesmerized by negative aspects of the news, when in fact our economy continues to grow. I wish it would continue to grow as fast as it did four years ago, or even three years ago, but the honourable members are aware that the economic growth in all jurisdictions in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development is diminishing, but we are projecting solid and measurable growth this year, with net new jobs of at least 50,000.
Mr B. Rae: The Treasurer is really talking through his hat, because in May, seasonally adjusted employment dropped by 44,000 over one month -- that is a net figure -- and unemployment increased by 32,000. That is another net, real figure. Those are real figures and real numbers in May 1990.
Given that this is happening, and it is undeniable that it is happening right across the manufacturing economy of this province, again with respect to a very specific promise that the Liberal Party made to the people of this province, the Liberal Party said to workers who were going to be taking retirement, “If you’ve got a pension plan, we will ensure that at least it’s indexed.” That is what the Liberal Party promised them in 1985. Where is that promise today? Why has it reneged on that promise?
Hon R. F. Nixon: The honourable member, in talking about the employment statistics, has surely overlooked the fact that the unemployment rate in this province is by far the lowest of any provincial jurisdiction.
Mr D. S. Cooke: What about some of the regions of the province?
Hon R. F. Nixon: Comparisons are invidious. Having said that, let’s look at Quebec, where the unemployment level is over 9%. I am very much impressed with their efforts to improve that, as, frankly, the honourable member should be applauding the efforts that this government has made to improve employment opportunities in this province.
We think they are effective and our employment levels, although they went up 0.8% year over year, are an indication that the economy is not growing as fast as it was but it is still positive.
Mr Harris: I have a question for the Treasurer about taxes. I am sure the Treasurer will know that tax freedom day in Ontario this year will be 5 July. That is the first day when Ontarians, who now pay 51% of their incomes in taxes, can keep a dollar for themselves.
Ontarians now have by far the largest tax bill in Canada. Thanks to this Treasurer, the 10% tax advantage that Ontario had over Quebec in 1985 has been completely wiped out and we are now one of the most heavily taxed jurisdictions in North America. Given this tremendous tax load, can the Treasurer tell me how he can justify the escalating growth in government, especially in the public service, over the last five years?
Hon R. F. Nixon: Having a so-called tax relief day of 5 July does not fill me with a great deal of pleasure, but the honourable member will have to know that our fiscal policies are somewhat different from those of the government of Canada or even those of the government which he supported during the years when he was a cabinet minister. He may recall that he supported a deficit of over $3 billion, and the federal government is supporting a deficit of over $30 billion.
The honourable member will know that we do not have a deficit in this province and we are paying our bills. It may be one of the reasons why our tax day is as late as it is, because our policy is to pay for programs as they are established and as they mature.
Mr Harris: I do not know what that has to do with the escalating growth in the civil service.
Hon R. F. Nixon: I will get to that.
Mr Harris: The Treasurer talks about the debt. If we get to that, the total debt since the Treasurer has taken office has gone from $30 billion to $40 billion, a 33½% increase. I do not know if he is proud of that figure.
Dealing with the size of the bureaucracy, I have managed to come by an internal document which says that the Ministry of Natural Resources has a ratio of only three employees for every one supervisor. The average number of positions reporting to every supervisory position in the Ministry of Natural Resources, if the members can believe it, is 2.6. Does the Treasurer really believe it makes sense to have one management position for every 2.6 staff positions? In other words, 36% of the entire Ministry of Natural Resources is made up of management.
Hon R. F. Nixon: The honourable member must surely be aware, since he has become so interested in statistics, that there are fewer civil servants per capita in Ontario now -- that is, working for this government, not the federal government or any of the municipal governments -- than there were in 1975.
Hon R. F. Nixon: Mr Speaker, as a disinterested taxpayer, you at least would be interested to know that we have fewer civil servants per capita than any provincial jurisdiction in Canada or the federal government itself. I think we are working effectively and, just like the Treasurer, we are lean.
Mr Harris: The Treasurer is not as lean as I recall him a few years ago. I want to tell members that.
A special Cresap consultant’s report was commissioned by this government to review organizational problems in the Ministry of Natural Resources. That report that the government commissioned clearly said that this government’s staff-to-management ratio does not make sense. As a matter of fact, the Treasurer pointed out that we have fewer civil servants per capita than in 1975. This report goes on to explain why that is so, because it praises my party’s initiatives to reduce staff levels by 400 positions in that ministry in the early 1980s and to reorient resources to priority areas. The same report -- this is the government’s report, which it commissioned -- goes on that this staffing ratio of management to staff “contributes to both the excessive staffing as well as the underservicing that exists.” The consultant’s report states, “Some functions remain overstaffed and the ministry is burdened by excessive overheads and administrative activity.”
Rather than defend its tax-and-spend approach, why has the government not reorganized its own bloated bureaucracy, as recommended by its own consultant’s report, to improve service, save money and make better use of the taxpayers’ dollars?
Hon R. F. Nixon: I am prepared to agree with the honourable member that while we approach perfection, we are not perfect. However, I would say again that we have the lowest ratio of civil servants to population of any provincial jurisdiction in Canada and substantially lower than the government of Canada.
The honourable member is critical of the Ministry of Natural Resources. I believe he was the minister there for a period of time. Actually, we are very proud of what our accomplishments are in that regard. Frankly I, for one -- and I believe there are probably 94 others who would agree with me -- feel that the minister and that ministry are doing an excellent job in preserving our natural resources and working effectively for the good of the taxpayers of the province.
Mr Eves: My question is of the Minister of Health. The minister is no doubt aware of the problems with the delivery of patient care at the dialysis unit of Ottawa Civic Hospital. Because there are not enough nurses there to provide patient care, nurses in that unit have been forced to work back-to-back 12-hour shifts. Does the minister feel that this is an appropriate level of care to provide patients in the dialysis unit?
Hon Mrs Caplan: My critic opposite would know, and I think it is important that we realize, that the provision of dialysis services is a priority for the ministry. We announced a comprehensive plan. However, the actual delivery of services is the responsibility of the hospital boards of trustees.
If the member has a particular situation which he is concerned about, the ministry is always prepared to investigate, but I can tell him that the Ottawa Civic Hospital is an excellent hospital with a fine reputation for delivering patient care. I have confidence in the chairman of that board, Hy Soloway, and in the administrator, Peter Carruthers, and I am sure they are providing appropriate patient care. However, if the member has concerns, I would be prepared to look into this matter.
Mr Eves: I am sure the minister will be aware that in March 1987, a professional responsibility complaint was filed by the Ontario Nurses’ Association against Ottawa Civic Hospital for this very specific complaint. They reported on 15 April 1988 that a proper standard of care was not being achieved at the facility and that there were many problems with patient care in the dialysis unit. Their investigation also found that the problems had been recurring at Ottawa Civic in the dialysis unit for many years.
They have written to the minister on several occasions, 3 May 1989 and 28 November 1989, I believe it is. They are releasing their report in a press conference in Ottawa this afternoon because of the minister’s lack of response to their concern and because a lot of the recommendations that their report included back in 1988 have still not been implemented by the hospital. How could the minister have known about this since March 1987 and not taken any direct steps to intervene, as the Minister of Health, to make sure these recommendations were being implemented?
Hon Mrs Caplan: I would remind the member opposite that the board of trustees of the hospitals of this province take their responsibilities very seriously. Under the Public Hospitals Act, they are both responsible and accountable for the delivery of patient care.
I can tell him that the ministry acknowledged the need for enhancement of dialysis services and approved the redevelopment in the Ottawa Civic Hospital of the area providing dialysis services. We are always there to respond appropriately to the needs. I believe that in this case it is important for the member to realize that the hospital is run and governed, appropriately, by a community board, which accepts its responsibilities very seriously and is accountable for the decisions that it and its staff undertake.
Mr Eves: I am more than aware of all those facts. I am sure the minister is also aware that as a last resort, when the hospital does not respond and implement the recommendations of a professional responsibility complaint launched by the ONA, its last resort is to appeal to the Minister of Health. It appealed to the minister asking for help on 3 May 1989. We are now at 12 June 1990.
Since 1987, there has been over 75% turnover in this unit at Ottawa Civic; eight nurses in this unit have recently left and gone to the dialysis unit at Ottawa General Hospital. Nurses at Ottawa Civic are spending their time picking up garbage. The minister has known about this since 1987. What is she going to do about the working conditions there?
Hon Mrs Caplan: The member opposite clearly does not understand how the health system in this province works. The hospitals are the employers. The ministry does not run the hospitals. The hospital boards take their responsibilities very seriously. If someone wants to request that the ministry intervene under the Public Hospitals Act, the ministry is always prepared to investigate, but for the member to suggest that the ministry runs the system is simply wrong.
Mr Eves: The government should accept its responsibilities.
The Speaker: Is the member for Parry Sound finished?
Mr Reville: The subject needs further airing in the House because the minister has tried to deliver a gratuitous lecture to my counterpart in the third party about how the health care system works. Let me remind the minister how the health care system works.
When a nurse has a professional responsibility complaint, there is a process through which that nurse goes. That process has occurred, and 11 recommendations in this report by an independent nursing assessment committee have been made. Those recommendations, the minister well knows because she has been told over and over again, have been ignored.
So, the minister should not tell us that the hospital board of trustees is governing the hospital appropriately in this connection. Patient care is at risk in those dialysis units. What is the minister going to do about it?
Hon Mrs Caplan: If patient care is at risk, or if anyone suggests that patient care is at risk, the ministry is always prepared immediately to act to send in investigators to determine the situation.
I will say to the member opposite that the Ottawa Civic Hospital has a very fine reputation. The board takes its responsibilities very seriously. I know that the administration within the hospital as well is working very hard to ensure that the level of patient care is appropriate. I would say to the member opposite that the ministry only intervenes where there is evidence that patient care is at risk. I can assure him of our interest in this matter.
Mr Reville: I am relieved to hear of the minister’s interest in the matter, but certainly the matter has been investigated. On 15 April 1988, the nursing assessment committee issued its 11 recommendations, which go directly to the question of patient care. Those recommendations have not been implemented. One nurse said, in exasperation: “What happens if a patient asks me for a glass of water? I won’t have time to get a patient a glass of water.”
What is the minister prepared to do to ensure that those 11 recommendations are implemented without any further delay?
Hon Mrs Caplan: I will say to the member opposite once again that the provisions of the Public Hospitals Act are clear, that the hospitals and the services they deliver are the responsibility of the boards of trustees, who take their responsibility very seriously. I want him to know that I have confidence in the boards of this province. However, if there is ever a question of concern for patients’ safety, I am always prepared to investigate the matter.
HOME RENEWAL PROGRAM FOR DISABLED PERSONS
Mrs Marland: My question is for the Minister of Housing. The 1990-91 estimates of the Ministry of Housing show that the Ontario home renewal program for disabled persons will not receive any funding for 1990-91. This program used to provide loans to home owners for housing modifications that increase accessibility for a disabled occupant. It was so successful that its funding was increased last year. It is hard to understand then why the government would scrap the program. Could the minister confirm that the Ontario home renewal program for disabled persons has been discontinued, and if so, why?
Hon Mr Sweeney: No, I cannot confirm that. It has not been discontinued. The fact that the budget has not been increased should not be interpreted that way. The honourable member will be aware of the fact that we do have a number of rehabilitation programs available to municipalities and that we are constantly choosing where we are going to put additional funds, but it has not been discontinued.
Mrs Marland: Disabled persons cannot take seriously a government that pats itself on the back at the beginning of National Access Awareness Week and yet has eliminated a program making housing more accessible to persons with disabilities. The fact is that the Ontario Human Rights Commission introduced new accommodation guidelines just last February to increase accessibility in a wide range of situations and services, including housing, but it seems the government of Ontario has no intention of following its own guidelines.
I wonder whether the minister could tell us why this government has not made a lasting commitment to fully integrate persons with disabilities into Ontario society.
Hon Mr Sweeney: I would beg to differ with the honourable member. She is well aware of the fact that my colleague the Minister of Transportation just made a significant announcement with respect to integration for the disabled. She is well aware of the fact that my colleague the Minister of Community and Social Services has a range of programs to integrate disabled people into workplaces and into housing in this province. She is well aware of the fact that we have a continuing program of rehabilitation for the disabled. It is incorrect to say that the program has been discontinued. It has not been.
EMERGENCY TELEPHONE SERVICE
Mr Owen: I have a question for the Solicitor General. Many people across the province are familiar with the 911 emergency phone number, a system that is common in many areas across North America. Unfortunately, as people travel they often do not know what to do in the event of an emergency and they do not know where the 911 is in place and where it is not in place. I would point out to the Solicitor General that the province of Nova Scotia, at this moment, in partnership with the Maritime phone company is proceeding with the plan to provide province-wide 911 service in place by next year, 1991. My question to the Solicitor General is, would he consider introducing a similar plan province-wide for the province of Ontario?
Hon Mr Offer: In response to the member for Simcoe Centre, let me acknowledge the work he has been doing with me on this particular matter. I would like to indicate that the implementation of the 911 service in Ontario has been progressing very well indeed. To date, communities representing about 75% of the population of the province do have a 911 system in place and there is currently ongoing discussion for a further 10% of the province.
I would like also to indicate to the member that to improve the access to service in the province, we are currently implementing a new telecommunications system for the Ontario Provincial Police. With this new system, individuals who require emergency service will be able to contact the OPP through the use of a 1-800 number. Together with the 911 system, which is progressing quite well and the implementation of a new telecommunications system, I believe the needs of the people of this province are being adequately looked after.
Mr Owen: The county of Simcoe recently passed a resolution concerning the provision of a 911 service, suggesting or requesting provincial help in financing such a service, particularly in municipalities that have limited populations or limited resources, that greater assistance be made available from the province. I wonder if the minister could indicate whether he is amenable to that proposal from the county of Simcoe and where he would give some extra financial help or incentive where it might be necessary for those particular municipalities.
Hon Mr Offer: The position of the ministry is that the funding of a 911 service is a local responsibility. My ministry does provide assistance to communities in the form of technical consultation in the implementation of such a service. In fact in the Simcoe area we are on a committee that provides that particular service of a technical nature.
I think we will all know of the excellent progress made on the 911 system throughout the province, now covering 75% of the people. Currently another 10% are in some form of discussion. As well the implementation of the new telecommunications system will go towards providing adequate coverage for many people in this province.
USE OF HERBICIDES
Mr Laughren: I have a question for the Minister of Natural Resources. The minister, I would hope, would know that there is evidence mounting which reveals that extensive herbicide use in forests results in trees more vulnerable to disease and insect damage. She should know as well that the Scandinavian countries no longer use pesticides or herbicides in their forests and that in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota they have stopped using herbicides on their national forests. I ask the minister, what percentage of Ontario’s forests are treated with herbicides rather than tended manually?
Hon Mrs McLeod: I would not be able to give the honourable member the actual area in hectares that is treated with a herbicide. It is used on a restricted basis in order to keep unwanted vegetation from interfering with regeneration, so it is used of course primarily in areas where there has been a new regeneration effort made. I recognize the concerns the honourable member is raising and would refer those concerns -- I know they are being currently dealt with by our department, which is looking very carefully, along with the federal department, at forestry health and how best to deal with the long-term health of our forests.
Mr Laughren: I do not know why the minister would be waiting for the federal government to do something that is clearly within her jurisdiction. The minister, I hope, would know of some of the potential damages that these herbicides cause. They are in fact suspected carcinogens. The ministry uses both Vision and 2,4-D, herbicides that are widely used in the forests. Both have been linked to several kinds of cancer. In particular, 2,4-D is known to leach from thin soils into streams and rivers. What, if any, effort has the minister made to decrease the dependency of our forests on herbicides?
Hon Mrs McLeod: In my response to the first question I indicated there was an involvement of the federal government because it also has a very active program of research in the area of forest health and we think we can learn from the work it does. Our forest resources group in Sault Ste Marie is in fact located in the same area as the federal department’s, as the honourable member will know. There is a combining of the research effort so that we can ensure we are minimizing our use of herbicides and maximizing our efforts to ensure our forests are healthy in the long term.
As I have indicated in the House before, we use only herbicides that are registered for forestry use in Canada by Agriculture Canada and also approved by the Ministry of the Environment. I know that both Agriculture Canada and our own ministry look very carefully at any research that suggests concerns about any health impact of the herbicides that are used by the Ministry of Natural Resources.
CAPITAL FUNDING FOR SCHOOLS
Mrs Cunningham: I have a question for the minister of all education. In London these days there is a lot of unrest and concern on behalf of students, parents and school board trustees because we are facing a crisis in school accommodation.
As the minister already knows, there was a request for some 11 new capital works projects, some four new schools for 1991 and 1992. The ministry has seen fit to approve some four sites, recognizing the need, but it has only approved one new school and that is not until 1993. The board has decided to go ahead and do some bridge financing so it can get the school open. The alternatives for these young people are shift times, both in elementary schools and in secondary schools. There are single families having to send three of their children to three different schools. They are renting churches and renting malls. These are the kinds of alternatives that are being faced in London, Ontario.
Is the minister approving of these kinds of alternatives in London or is he willing to reconsider this project?
Hon Mr Conway: I want to thank my friend the deputy leader of the Conservative Party for bringing to my attention something that my colleague and seatmate, the member for London Centre, has certainly brought to my attention, as have my colleagues the member for London South and the member for Middlesex.
I am sure that my friend the deputy leader of the Conservative Party would have told the people of London and Middlesex that over the last four years the Peterson government has allocated over $50 million to a whole series of school projects in London and Middlesex.
Mr B. Rae: -- for London alone.
Hon Mr Conway: I am sure, as my friend the Leader of the Opposition would want me to repeat, that $50 million is light-years beyond anything the old administration offered in the five or 10 years prior to our coming to office in 1985.
I would say to my friend the deputy leader of the Conservative Party and to the people in London and Middlesex that we recognize that more will have to be done, to the extent that there are growth-related pressures in London and area, and there are. The government of Ontario has given to school boards instruments like lot levies to assist the fast-growth areas with some of the pressures our friend has observed.
Mrs Cunningham: I am sure the minister will be able to tell the citizens of London himself as to his own success levels in building schools across the province, but in London they will not listen to him because in fact they have not needed schools in London in the last decade to the extent that they do now.
I know the Premier is most interested in the minister’s response, as is the member for London South, because these schools are in all three of our ridings. I should tell him that the lot levy legislation will not apply to these four schools that are needed immediately. It just does not apply to students who are already in the schools. These families are well located already in schools in London. In the next two years, their siblings and new people will come in and the lot levy legislation will not apply.
I will say this, though: There is a debt load for bridge financing which is not good planning. It is not good fiscal responsibility. We are already doing that. We build capital out of current dollars. We cannot go any higher than a 14.7% increase in the mill rate any more.
The question was before, and oddly enough the same question is, will the minister reconsider the allocation he has already given for one school, considering the alternatives that I have presented to him today?
Hon Mr Conway: What can I say, except two things --
Mrs Cunningham: You can say yes.
Hon Mr Conway: The deputy leader of the Conservative Party is going to send the leader of the Conservative Party into some kind of catatonic fit, because she would spend moneys in ways that the fiscal conservatives over there, including the one who won the leadership race, clearly do not approve of.
I want to say to the deputy leader of the Conservative Party that there was a time in the 1960s when very liberal Conservatives in charge of the Education capital account spent hundreds of millions of dollars meeting very short-term pressures that left the taxpayers, locally and centrally, with thousands of school spaces for which there were no students. The Peterson government is not looking to that as any kind of model for good, long-term planning.
I say to my friend the deputy leader of the Conservative Party that we are intent on meeting the needs, but we see a variety of possibilities. I expect that local trustees will follow their good conscience and make decisions on the basis of effective and efficient use of local resources and local facilities. I will tell her that we have granted over $50 million worth of allocations to her area boards, that we intend to do more in the future and that we will look for her support as we raise taxes to meet those needs.
Mr Neumann: My question is for the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology. As the minister knows, this morning there was an announcement of a major plant closing in our community. Fruehauf, with 326 jobs at stake, has announced that it is permanently closing the operation in our community. Has the minister investigated this? What factors have led to this closure?
Hon Mr Kwinter: I thank the member for that question and I want to commend him. It is something he has been monitoring for some time and he has been keeping me apprised of the situation. I think members will want to know that in January 1988 Trailmobile of Brantford acquired its larger competitor, Fruehauf, in Ingersoll. Unfortunately, as a result of the Competition Act, the rationalization and the economies of scale that they hoped to implement were delayed because under the Competition Act they were forced to divest themselves of the van operation in Brantford.
Combined with that, the high interest rates, the high rate of exchange of the Canadian dollar, deregulation and the downturn in the economy, they found that they could no longer be viable. They have ownership by the Wanandi group of Indonesia, which has recently restructured its finances and has now achieved 89% ownership. They have personally guaranteed the loans and have decided that in order for this company to remain viable, they are going to concentrate on van production in the Ingersoll facility and are going to subcontract all of the other trucks they make to other manufacturers in Ontario.
Mr Neumann: With the factors that the minister has mentioned, he did not mention free trade. I know the workers in the area are saying that this is related to the free trade agreement in addition to the factors he has mentioned. Did the company approach the minister for assistance? Given the fact that many of the factors he mentioned are federal, is there any possible assistance that the minister could provide or indeed the federal government could provide to turn this around? Is there any hope at all for the workers in the Brantford area? Perhaps the minister could work with the Minister of Labour and come up with some kind of plan.
Hon Mr Kwinter: Executives of Fruehauf have been in constant touch with me. I met with them a week ago and they told me of their situation. I indicated to them that we were very concerned, not only about them but also the other people in that industry, and that we would very much like to put together a package that would rationalize the industry, allow it to remain competitive and allow it to protect those jobs.
On the other hand, it is not my role to go in and get into the trucking business; it is their role. I asked them to come back to me with a program that they felt would keep them viable in Brantford. Unfortunately, and I regret it because I have not heard back from them, today they have announced that they are going to concentrate all of their production in Ingersoll and are going to be closing down the Brantford operation.
Mrs Grier: My question is for the Minister of Transportation. This morning a coalition of environmental and transportation lobby groups got together to announce a major public campaign to reduce the use of the private automobile for the sake of the environment and to reduce global warming. They announced a specific target of reduction of vehicle kilometres travelled by the year 2000.
We have heard from this minister from time to time announcements of highway widenings and additions to transit systems, but we have never heard whether or not he has a plan to reduce the use of the automobile, whether he would support such a plan, whether he has goals or targets that his ministry is attempting to reach. Can the minister tell the House, does he have a plan to reduce the use of the private automobile, and if so, can he tell us what it is?
Hon Mr Wrye: I can say to the honourable member that I would have thought that by now, as the province has laid out, even today in a latest statement, a series of initiatives all of which are designed to enhance the use of public transportation, be it a rail service such as GO, a rapid transit system such as the subway system here in Toronto, or even the use of conventional buses in many of our medium and smaller communities, that the honourable member would know that particularly those areas where omissions are worse and where the overuse of the private automobile probably has negative effects on personal behaviour of individuals and certainly negative effects on the environment are where we are focusing our attention.
I think more than any other jurisdiction we have indicated very clearly our plan to reduce the use of the private automobile. I could pick a statistic or a figure out of the air and suggest that is our reduction target, but I think what we want to do rather is have in place, particularly in this area, by the end of this century the most comprehensive public transit system that one will find anywhere in North America.
Mrs Grier: I think I acknowledge that the minister has made improvements to public transit. What I was trying to ascertain was, in the context of the Brundtland report, which calls for integration of environmental and economic decision-making, in view of his government’s support for a roundtable on the environment and the economy, is there in fact any kind of an overall plan? And if we are to measure whether or not that plan is being achieved, would the minister not acknowledge that perhaps he ought to lay out in fact what that plan is, how he intends to reach it, what his targets are and what his goals are in both the short term and the long term? Does the minister not acknowledge that the call for such a plan from environmentalists and transportation lobbyists is a genuine one and ought to be heeded?
Hon Mr Wrye: I acknowledge quite readily the legitimate concerns of environmentalists and of transportation planners to ensure this province is moving forward in a comprehensive way. I appreciate the honourable member’s acknowledgement that we are indeed moving forward in our public transit system. I do say to the honourable member, and I would say to those environmentalists and transportation planners, that we are not going to be able to rid our cities, our province -- nor would we want to -- of the private automobile.
What we want to do is reduce their inappropriate use, and where they must be used -- and that will continue for the foreseeable future -- we want to have the proper connections of roadways, the proper volumes of roadways available, so that those cars are not in the kind of congestion that we now call gridlock, which in and of itself can lead to very serious environmental concerns. Obviously the honourable member knows the figures better than I, but certainly those cars which are not stuck in traffic, which are not sitting in traffic with engines idling, are cars which are polluting the environment much less than those caught in the gridlock on some days.
Mr Wiseman: A question to the Minister of Agriculture and Food: Residents of my riding are concerned that they may lose their local vets to more populated areas of southern Ontario if the government decides to withdraw its mileage assistance to large animal doctors in designated areas. Would the minister please tell us the status of this program and also the status of the review he has undertaken?
Hon Mr Ramsay: We are reviewing this program right now. We have extended the contracts of many of the veterinarians who have contracts with us that would have expired in the next couple of months. We have extended those so that we can give a thorough review of that program right across the province.
Mr Wiseman: Farmers in the riding consider this to be an essential service. In one area alone 185 dairy farmers and owners of 22,000 beef cows, and even the minister’s own bull test station, rely on these vets in order to keep in business. This arrangement has been a godsend since 1971 and the cost in the three designated areas in my riding is a measly $90,000. I understand that in New Liskeard in the minister’s own riding they are taking advantage of this very program. Will the minister give us his assurance here today that he will consult with the people concerned before making changes to this program?
Mr Villeneuve: Blame the feds.
Hon Mr Ramsay: I would like to acknowledge the tremendous help that I have from the members I sit with in answering these questions.
I would just like to say that I agree with the member that veterinarian service is an essential service to the agrifood industry of this province. I will assure him that we make sure we have sufficient veterinarian service for our producers. I think it is very important. I want to make sure that service is there so that we can have a viable, sustainable industry.
Mr Adams: My question is for the Minister of Transportation. The people of Peterborough were delighted that the Treasurer’s budget contained the announcement of a study of GO Transit service between Metropolitan Toronto and Peterborough. My question to the minister simply is this: What is the status of the study of GO Transit to Peterborough and what are Peterborough’s chances of receiving GO Transit service?
Hon Mr Wrye: I want to acknowledge, first of all, the ongoing and tremendous interest of my good friend the member for Peterborough in obtaining such an outstanding service for his community. I can advise him that the terms of reference have been drawn up, are virtually complete, and a number of Ontario transportation consultants will be asked for proposals to undertake the work on the Peterborough study.
I can tell the honourable member, because I know that he wants to make sure that there is local input, that in addition to members of the Ministry of Transportation, local officials from Peterborough and indeed from the other affected communities will be asked to be part of the review that will be undertaken of that study. After the study is completed and the review of that study has been undertaken, at that point a decision on whether to bring GO service into Peterborough will be made.
Mr Adams: I am grateful for that reply. The budget also contained the announcement of the extension of GO service to Bowmanville on Highway 401, which is only a few kilometres from the Highway 115-Highway 401 turn. My question to the minister is, what is the status of the work of extending GO service to Bowmanville and will it be completed before Highway 115 is completed?
Hon Mr Wrye: I know that the honourable member has indicated in the past that he views the extension of the GO service to Bowmanville that was announced in the budget as being an excellent interim step towards what he hopes will ultimately be the extension of GO into Peterborough. I can tell him that CN has agreed and confirmed its agreement to allow the operation of a single am and pm train during the week to Bowmanville, as announced by the Treasurer in the budget. I can advise him that we are looking for a suitable site for a station and that once we have found that site we will get on with the work, which will take several months, of getting ourselves up and running on that GO line. I can say to the honourable member that I expect our Bowmanville station will be chosen and up and running, and the system will be up and running, well before the completion of Highway 115, which, as the honourable member knows, is slated for 1992.
Mr Morin-Strom: I have a question for the Minister of Natural Resources with respect to private land reforestation in the province of Ontario. The minister has been in the process of developing a new private land forestry strategy which will include programs for not only small landholders, but also large industrial ones, such as the Algoma Central Railway.
The ACR is the largest private landholder in the province, holding approximately 1% of the total land of the province. They have indicated in recent years their concerns that their regeneration program is falling well short of the 100% regeneration on their cutover lands. Can the minister tell us when will it be that her review of the proposed enhanced private land forestry program will be completed, and in the interim what is the minister doing to ensure that the ACR adequately regenerates the forest lands that it controls?
Hon Mrs McLeod: The honourable member is quite right. In reviewing a number of our forest management initiatives, we are including in that a review of our private forest land strategies to determine how we could in fact provide additional encouragement for forest management on private lands. I do not expect that review to be complete before late summer or early fall at best, so I cannot indicate to the member that the results of that review would be available in time to respond on an immediate basis to the concerns that he is raising in relation to Algoma Central Railway properties.
Mr Morin-Strom: I appreciate that some progress is being made with respect to the overall strategy. However, in the interim the ACR has been negotiating with her ministry for several years now in an attempt to ensure that adequate funding for silviculture is provided. They are suggesting that it should be derived on a user-pay or beneficiary-pay basis. The ACR will be able to avoid reducing or curtailing harvesting operations on its lands only if an appropriate funding mechanism for forestry renewal can be secured in the very near future. Can the minister tell us what the status of her specific negotiations are with the ACR, and will she be able to give us assurances that those large private landholdings in the Algoma district will have a completely adequate forest regeneration on them?
Hon Mrs McLeod: I know that the honourable member is aware that on private property it is the private property owner that has been responsible for carrying out regeneration. The private property owner is of course able to receive financial assistance through the managed forest tax reduction program, and of course Algoma Central properties have been a part of that program. I believe in this year they would expect to be receiving some $125,000 through the managed forest tax reduction program.
Private property owners have also been able to receive some financial assistance through the Canada-Ontario forest resource development agreement program. Although that program itself is not in place for this coming year, we will be able to provide, I think, some funding for Algoma Central properties as a follow-up to the COFRDA program moneys that were available.
The honourable member is quite correct in indicating that our ministry is concerned about the situation Algoma Central finds itself in. Quite obviously there is a concern about reduced harvesting and the effect that would have on the area mill that is particularly dependent upon that source of timber and the effect in turn that the user-pay principle could have upon the dues that are charged for that wood. We are looking at any alternatives that we could provide to be helpful, but I cannot give the honourable member any assurance of what those would be.
Mr Cureatz: I have a question to the Minister of Municipal Affairs. The township of Manvers, which is in my riding of Durham East, has passed a bylaw forbidding the issuance of any building permits to new proposed subdivisions or anyone who has made application for a land severance, the reason being that the Victoria county waste management master plan was started in 1987 and is expected to take another three or four years in developing an overall plan for the county for the disposal of garbage and waste for those municipalities which are running out of sites to dispose of their own waste.
Waste management planning is taking a back seat to the Minister of the Environment’s obsession with recycling. This is now affecting the housing in the province, and Manvers township, as the minister well knows, is not the first township to encounter these kinds of difficulties. Does the minister or his ministry have any plan to give encouragement or assistance to those municipalities, such as the township of Manvers, to assist them with waste disposal so that they can get on with issuing building permits?
Hon Mr Sweeney: I appreciate the honourable member for Durham East drawing this to my attention. I had not been aware of the specific situation that he raised, but he is certainly correct that it is not the only municipality in the province that is facing difficulty in issuing permits for a number of environmental reasons. In some cases it is water, in some cases it is sewage and in some cases, as in the one he mentioned, it is waste disposal.
The difficulty, as the honourable member is well aware, is that the public is much more sensitive to the opening of new waste disposal facilities, in terms of, “We don’t want it near us,” and the potential contamination of water supplies and things like that. So it is true, it is taking us much longer and it is much more difficult.
The major initiative of the ministry at this time is to support counties that are assuming responsibility for waste management, because we have discovered that counties are in a much better position, because of their broader base and their greater capacity, than are some of the smaller townships or towns. We have been working with counties in a number of places -- the member mentioned Victoria as one of them -- and we will continue to do so. But there is no easy answer to this question, because I am sure my honourable friend would not want us to provide housing at the expense of the environment in which that housing would be built.
Mr Cureatz: As always, I appreciate the minister’s answer, which is in most cases eloquent, no matter to whom he is addressing his response. I am interested, of course, more particularly in my municipality the township of Manvers. The minister indicated through his answer to my first question that his ministry is giving support and assistance to those municipalities that are seeking to alleviate the problems of waste disposal.
We would like to know more specifically what kind of assistance is he giving to those municipalities, like the county of Victoria, to give assistance for the managing of waste. Is the minister approaching the Ministry of the Environment so that he is putting pressure on that minister, so that they are then in turn helping the various municipalities get on with their waste management programs?
In summation, what is the minister doing specifically to help those municipalities? Is he putting pressure --
The Speaker: Thank you.
Mr Cureatz: -- on the Ministry of the Environment and does this now mean the township of Manvers --
The Speaker: Order. That is about six supplementaries.
Hon Mr Sweeney: I would point out to my honourable colleague, and I am sure he is aware of this, that the Ministry of the Environment is in fact working with municipalities to try to move ahead as quickly as possible. He will be aware of the fact that we have recently been working with Victoria county with respect to amendments to its official plan, and my colleague from Lindsay has been supportive of that.
The member will be aware of the fact that we have been meeting with county municipalities to assist them. As a matter of fact, very recently one of his colleagues has drawn to my attention some of the needs of the county of Simcoe. We have met with them recently to try to help them put this together.
The only point I could say very clearly is that there are no easy shortcuts to doing this. It is just much, much more difficult to get waste disposal sites today than it used to be. It is just because we are more knowledgeable of the potential impact on the environment and we just keep working with them.
An hon member: Keep going.
Hon Mr Sweeney: The other thing I would want to say --
The Speaker: That completes the time for oral questions and responses.
Mr Wildman: I have another petition signed by approximately 90 residents of Haydon and Goulais River in relation to the proposal for a municipal organization in that area from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs. The petitioners are requesting that:
“(1) The provincial government not proceed with municipal organization in the Sault North area unless local residents petition the Ontario Municipal Board to hold a local hearing on municipal organization proposals and (2) that if the Minister of Municipal Affairs remains determined to establish municipalities in the Sault North area, that Haydon and Goulais River remain as separate entities.”
This brings the total number of petitioners to over 1,000 and I have attached my name to the petition.
Mr D. S. Cooke: I have a petition that reads as follows. It is short, so I will read it rather than try to summarize it.
“To the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:
“Whereas quality affordable housing should be a fundamental right,
“Whereas the cost of housing is spiralling out of control for many,
“Whereas rent increases awarded under Ontario’s rent review law have not been fair to tenants, and are killing affordability,
“We, the undersigned residents of Ontario, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as follows:
“1. Stop landlords from forcing tenants to pay costs that bring them no benefit; for example, financing costs on ‘flipped’ buildings;
“2. Lower the guideline minimum increased to three quarters of inflation.
“3. Prevent landlords from making tenants pay for renovations they don’t need or want.”
This is signed by about 3,000 tenants from Windsor and from Ottawa, and I have signed it.
Mrs Marland: I have the privilege to present a petition which reads as follows:
“We, the undersigned, respectfully request that Mr David Peterson, Premier of Ontario, and his current Minister of Education take heed and expedite the following demands, which are critical to a very large segment of the population of Ontario:
“Immediate steps must be taken to include a course in British studies in the curriculum for all Ontario schools. Such a course would enable young Canadians to appreciate the immeasurable contributions that Canada has received from Britain, the mother country, in countless human and material ways.
“Further, we ask that a program entitled British Heritage be immediately introduced into the curriculum for elementary schools to compensate Canadian children of British origin or background for the fact that no provision has been made for them under the heritage languages (cultural) programs to which all Canadians contribute regardless of ethnicity.”
I am happy to add my signature to this petition on which there are almost 1,500 names.
The Speaker: I listened carefully. To whom was that addressed?
Mrs Marland: It was addressed to His Honour the Lieutenant Governor and the government of Ontario.
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS
CLASS PROCEEDINGS ACT, 1990 / LOI DE 1990 SUR LES RECOURS COLLECTIFS
Mr Scott moved first reading of Bill 213, An Act respecting Class Proceedings.
M. Scott propose la première lecture du projet de loi 213, Loi concernant les recours collectifs.
Motion agreed to.
La motion est adoptée.
LAW SOCIETY AMENDMENT (CLASS PROCEEDINGS FUNDING) ACT, 1990
Mr Scott moved first reading of Bill 214, An Act to amend the Law Society Act to provide for Funding to Parties to Class Proceedings.
Motion agreed to.
CONSTRUCTION LIEN AMENDMENT ACT, 1990
Mr Scott moved first reading of Bill 215, An Act to amend the Construction Lien Act, 1983.
Motion agreed to.
Hon Mr Scott: The purpose of this bill is to address the decision of the Court of Appeal in a mechanics’ lien case called Jerry’s Asphalt. The decision of the Court of Appeal in the Jerry’s Asphalt case gave an interpretation to the holdback requirements of the Mechanics’ Lien Act that had never been anticipated by practitioners in the field, by lien claimants or by owners.
As a result, what is proposed is that Jerry should be allowed to win the Jerry’s Asphalt case, but that no subsequent Jerry should be entitled to recover in the way the Court of Appeal permitted in that instance. The honourable members who are familiar with mechanics’ lien claims will therefore find that the purpose of the bill is to restore the law the way it was thought to be before Jerry came off the truck and went to court.
CORPORATIONS TAX AMENDMENT ACT, 1990
Mr Mancini moved first reading of Bill 216, An Act to amend the Corporations Tax Act.
Motion agreed to.
Hon Mr Mancini: This bill does not have anything to do with Jerry and Jerry’s Asphalt company. It has only to do with tax matters.
MUNICIPAL AMENDMENT ACT, 1990
Mr Wildman moved first reading of Bill 217, An Act to amend the Municipal Act.
Motion agreed to.
Mr Wildman: Subsections 10(3), (4) and (6) of the Municipal Act currently provide that inhabitants of a locality may apply to the Ontario Municipal Board to incorporate the inhabitants of the locality as a township, village or town. The purpose of the bill is to re-enact these provisions to provide that an application for incorporation may be made to the Ontario Municipal Board by either the Minister of Municipal Affairs or the inhabitants of the locality.
ORDERS OF THE DAY
House in committee of the whole.
BUSINESS NAMES ACT, 1989
Consideration of Bill 108, An Act respecting Business Names.
Hon Mr Sorbara: Just to reiterate the purpose of the bill, Bill 108, An Act respecting Business Names, sets out a comprehensive piece of legislation dealing with business names for corporations and partnerships. I beg the indulgence of the House to have officials join us here in the House.
The Chair: Yes, please go ahead. Did you distribute to all your critics, to Hansard and to the interpreters copies of your proposed amendments?
Hon Mr Sorbara: My understanding is that there are a number of amendments.
The Chair: I have some four government amendments. Is that correct?
Hon Mr Sorbara: That is right. There are some four amendments. My understanding is that they have been distributed. I think we can find extra copies. Does my friend have the amendments?
Mr R. F. Johnston: I might. The critic is taken away just for the next few minutes, so he does have them but was unable to give them to me. The table has been able to provide me with the extras, so we are happy to proceed.
The Chair: Hansard has some and the interpreters have some. Does the third-party critic have copies of the amendments?
Mrs Marland: Mr Chairman, you are dealing with Bill 108 and Bill 106?
The Chair: Bill 108 right now.
Mrs Marland: I am not the person responsible for that bill at this point, but I will get someone right away.
The Chair: Thank you. There is sufficient evidence that copies have been distributed. At this point right now, on Bill 108, I have 17 sections. I would like to list the proposed amendments and I will list right now the government’s proposed amendments, to subsections 2(5), 2(6), 4(3) and 6(1). Is that correct?
Hon Mr Sorbara: Yes, Mr Chairman.
The Chair: Does the official opposition have any? Not yet?
Mr R. F. Johnston: We have no amendments.
The Chair: You have none? That is formal?
Mr R. F. Johnston: That is formal. There are no formal amendments. As I understand it, there are only government amendments.
The Chair: Fair enough. In that case, maybe we can start with these four and if some other proposals come forward from somebody else, with your acceptance we may backtrack a bit as the case may be. Our first amendment is to subsection 2(5).
Section 1 agreed to.
Hon Mr Sorbara: Mr Chairman, as you indicated earlier, I have just two amendments, and with your indulgence I will move them now.
The Chair: Mr Sorbara moves that subsection 2(5) of the bill be struck out and the following substituted:
“(5) This section does not apply to prohibit the use of a name that contains characters from an alphabet other than the Roman alphabet if the name is used in conjunction with the registered name.”
Hon Mr Sorbara: I have just a very brief explanation. As I explained, these amendments were indeed proposed to us by the member for Welland-Thorold. We are grateful for his pointing out an area where the bill could be improved somewhat. I appreciate his assistance.
The subsection as recast permits the use of alphabets other than the Roman alphabet, which is not permitted in the bill as it is currently structured. So it allows for characters to be used. If an enterprise wants to use a character, this section makes it clear that that is not prohibited as long as it is something that people can understand.
Mr R. F. Johnston: I think that this is an eminently sensible housekeeping amendment to reflect the reality of our multicultural community and the reality that many languages other than those which use the Roman alphabet are in use and would not be used necessarily to obfuscate what a corporation was about, but rather would be a clear representation of what that particular community thought was an appropriate name. I think it is only appropriate that we should do that.
The Chair: Does the third party have any comments on this? Member for Mississauga South, do you know if your party has any comments on this proposed government amendment?
Mrs Marland: No, we do not have any comments.
The Chair: Any other comments before we proceed with the vote?
Motion agreed to.
The Chair: Mr Sorbara moves that subsection 2(6) of the bill be struck out and the following substituted:
“(6) A corporation and such other persons as are prescribed carrying on business under a registered name or, in the case of a corporation, identifying itself to the public under a registered name, shall set out both the registered name as well as the person’s name in all contracts, invoices, negotiable instruments and orders involving goods or services issued or made by the person.
Hon Mr Sorbara: I will just point out that we are recasting this section to permit the effect of the provision to be expanded to such persons as are prescribed. As originally cast, subsection 2(6) required that every single entity that used a business name would have to set out the names of the individuals or, in the case of corporations, the corporations behind the partnership.
We just felt it appropriate, particularly for small businesses, that where appropriate we could restrict the requirement of the act. We anticipate that in regulations we will define which partnerships or which business undertakings will have to set out their names on things like contracts, invoices, negotiable instruments and that sort of thing.
Mr R. F. Johnston: I will pose a question on this. Does a corporation with a name include a corporation with a number?
Hon Mr Sorbara: It is a very good question. It is an important question because so often we hear references to numbered companies, and a distinction is often made in the mind of the public between a company, for example, 123456 Ontario Ltd and a corporate name like Acme Business Consultants Ltd.
Under the law, there is no difference whatsoever between the numbered corporation and the corporation that carries the name of Acme Business Consultants Ltd. They are, for all purposes under the law, the same entity. In fact, it may be that an individual, a Richard Johnston, for example, may have two companies, one with a number and one with a name.
There is no distinction under the law, and really the provision of this section says that if either of those entities, a numbered company or a named company, uses a business name other than its corporate name, then, as well as placing its business name on, for example, a negotiable instrument or a cheque, it would also have to include the name of the corporation, whether it was a numbered corporation or a named corporation.
Mr R. F. Johnston: I would gather from this that there is no requirement to identify a person’s name when we are dealing with the corporate name or number. It is only when it is a person whose name is the company name that that must be registered. Is that a right gathering?
Hon Mr Sorbara: That is right. Let me just explain to my friend the member for Scarborough West that the underlying principle of this act is that if an entity uses a name other than its real name -- now when I say “entity,” I mean a corporate entity or an individual -- it must register that name so that others can go to that register and find out what the corporate entity is behind the name that is being used.
For example, if the name Johnston Associates is registered, the individual trying to search out who are the people behind Johnston Associates, which is not a corporate name, could go to the register and find that Richard Johnston is the individual who has registered that name. So the person doing that search can go to Richard Johnston and find out, or issue him a writ or serve him with a letter or register a complaint.
The same rules will apply both to corporations and to individuals. In the case of subsection 2(6), we are setting out a provision that requires that all corporations that use a registered business name -- first of all, the act says they have to register -- have to set out as well their corporate name on their documents. We say in the amendment that that will apply as well to other business entities, including individuals, in the cases that we prescribe in regulations.
Motion agreed to.
Section 2, as amended, agreed to.
Section 3 agreed to.
The Chair: Mr Sorbara moves that subsection 4(3) of the bill be struck out and the following substituted:
“(3) Only letters from the Roman alphabet, Arabic numerals or a combination of letters from the Roman alphabet and Arabic numerals together with punctuation marks and such other marks as are prescribed may form part of a registered name.”
Hon Mr Sorbara: Again, the subsection, unamended, permits names to be registered only if they are in English or French. The provision as it is recast by the amendment removes this restriction, provided the Roman alphabet is used.
Mr R. F. Johnston: I wonder if the minister can explain why it is that the Roman alphabet must be used instead of other kinds of letters which I can think of from a number of different languages in regular use in the province at the moment.
Hon Mr Sorbara: I think you have to read this in conjunction with the amendment that we moved to subsection 2(5) of the bill, which qualifies that provision, as I understand it. The thrust is to make sure that we are using characters that are comprehensible and registrable.
We are not permitting any marks now. As we originally cast the provision, the bill would have required the use of an English name or a French name but not a variety of other names that are common in business names throughout the province and indeed throughout the country.
What we are doing in this section is ensuring that we can limit the use of a character to recognizable characters, and I think there is a reference in here to characters that can be prescribed. What we do not want is the creation of a totally new character that is impossible to input into the kind of data banks that we will be using to register these names. In other words, we do not want to leave it simply to the imagination of character-makers to create business names.
Mr R. F. Johnston: Perhaps I could get some explanation. For instance, would the use of an umlaut, commonly used in German terms, be prescribed -- I can think of Mövenpick and other kinds of corporations that might use that particular identification. Otherwise it is Roman alphabet except for that particular accent over the letter. I can think of a number of words in Lithuanian which have one or two different characters, from Sanskrit, I presume, as well as the Roman alphabet. Are those all capable of being prescribed, as necessary, because they are from a recognizable language? Is that possible, or would they have to get special dispensation to be there, or are they not permitted at all?
Hon Mr Sorbara: I cannot respond to the specific exactly that my friend has raised, the umlaut. What I can tell him is that we plan on prescribing just as wide a variety as the hardware and software that will manage the registration system can manage.
Our attempt here is to be expansive, but we will be limited by the technologies. For example, if it is machine-readable and it can work in the system, we will prescribe if there is a request. There may be a request. Looking down the road, there may be languages and characters introduced to us in society that we are not familiar with right now. We all know about the umlaut now.
I guess what we want to do in this bill, and that has been suggested, is that the real restriction on use of all those characters, letters and symbols be one that is imposed by the technologies, not by any arbitrary decision respecting a preference for the Roman alphabet.
Mr R. F. Johnston: I respect that notion and wonder what it is within the language of this amendment which would require the decision to be made by technology rather than by some bureaucratic vagary.
Hon Mr Sorbara: What we have is the ability in the amended section to prescribe characters so that as requests are made they can be considered and then put into the regulations rather than have to change the act.
Mr R. F. Johnston: Basically, the point the minister was making was this should be technologically controlled rather than at the vagary of some bureaucrat, and what this says to me is that such marks as are prescribed may form part of a registered name. Normally that kind of language means that those are things that are prescribed in a regulation as a decision for whatever reason, but not necessarily anything to do with the technological capacity to print that particular letter or form or accent. That is what I do not understand exactly by this language, that this is necessarily as generously permissive as the minister seems to indicate it is.
Hon Mr Sorbara: Once again, there is the limitation of technology, and the only way to cast that in a bill -- I guess we could make in the section a reference to technology, but that is changing all the time.
Might I just point out as well that there is another part to the question of prescribing marks that may form part, as the amendment says, of a registered name. We also have to have sufficient familiarity generally in the province, one would think, so that an individual can recognize the character and be able to do a name search without actually tracing the characters and bringing a traced version down, if members see what I mean. If, for example, characters that are wholly unknown to the people of the province are registered, even if they are technologically capable of being input through auto-imaging or whatever into a computer, they might not be sufficiently familiar to the general audience of the people of the province so that we would want to prescribe them. There is that other limitation.
I think my friend will understand that the whole purpose of the Business Names Act is to allow people who are trying to search out the entity that is behind a business name to be able to perform that search. If we allowed characters that were just haphazardly introduced into the record, then it would be very difficult actually to understand it and bring it to a search office.
Mr R. F. Johnston: I understand the rationale; I just want to be clear that the language is doing what we want it to do. I guess I would be fine on this if my understanding of following subsections, subsections 10 and 12, for instance, about notice for appeal, actually allow somebody who has concerns with the registrar’s decision on this to take that matter ultimately, I gather, before the Divisional Court. If that is the case, then I guess I do not have any difficulty with this, but otherwise I am not sure the language does exactly what the minister wants it to.
Hon Mr Sorbara: I am sorry. I have the section now in front of me. Could my friend just repeat his concerns about subsection 10?
Mr R. F. Johnston: Basically, what I am hoping to hear is that the question of appealing a cancellation by the registrar of somebody’s request for registration of a name for which the characters would not seem to be appropriate -- that person has a right of appeal on it, ultimately even to the Divisional Court. Does that affect this particular amendment that we now have before us? If it does, then I guess I feel fine about that. If it does not, if it is to do with some other capacity of the registrar to cancel or end somebody’s registration, then I am not sure that we have the kinds of controls over the registrar’s office that we might want to have in this matter.
Hon Mr Sorbara: The section my friend is referring to, that is, subsection 4(10), deals only with the cancellation of a name that has already been registered, so it does not help him out there.
Mr R. F. Johnston: Can I ask the minister then why it is that he has not placed in the act some sort of provision for a process of appeal, even on a limited basis, by somebody who wishes to make an argument that, for instance, an umlaut is acceptable whereas a particular registrar at a particular time, in interpreting the regulations that have been prescribed for him, might decide that that is not appropriate?
Hon Mr Sorbara: I understand the problem that my friend is having. The history of registration in this area has not given rise to that sort of appeal. In fact, this act is far more expansive in its permission to go beyond the alphabet that we in this province, using two official languages and a variety of other languages in our marketplaces and our communities, have seen fit to register. In other words, the bill as proposed looks towards incorporating other characters and other forms of registration.
Now my friend says that there should be a section for permitting an appeal. I think administratively that is going to happen. That is the very impact that subsection 4(3) has in the act; that is to say, an administrative appeal to the registrar would be made in the event that someone wanted to register and use forms that are currently not permitted. He would in fact have to ask that a form be prescribed or a character be prescribed.
I think that, for the time being, we ought to stick to that, and I will tell my friend why. We are doing two things here: First, we are being expansive; and second, we are trying to cope with a very significant new technology.
Part of what is going to happen administratively after this act is passed is that a reregistration of all business names in the province is going to be undertaken with new technologies. To burden that system now with an appeal process on forms that are not currently familiar to us I think would burden us technologically because we would have to expand the computer system to contemplate what might come from those appeals.
So I would ask my friend’s indulgence and have him view these amendments as already being expansive and the opportunity for an individual who has a desire to have a particular form registered is to use the political process to try to get that form acknowledged through regulation.
Mr R. F. Johnston: I will not belabour the matter. I will just say that it strikes me that, just for instance, with the expansion of market economies into eastern Europe at this point, where there are a number of different alphabets used and where companies may form themselves and want to bring their name, their recognizable name, to appeal to a local Czech community, to a local Lithuanian community, to a local Russian community here in Ontario specifically, that might be something that they would want to do and maybe this is a time to be expansive about this.
I would just hope that the minister might assure us that in his regulatory process that he will be establishing out of this, which 4(3) basically alludes to, that sort of right to appeal, not in a legal process kind of fashion but a means of making your arguments to the registrar and a second shot, will be part of what he is looking at. That would be fine with me. I just would like us to be sensitive to that reality.
Hon Mr Sorbara: My friend from Scarborough obviously is making a good point. Let me just point out to him, and perhaps this might conclude the debate on the subject -- it is an important issue and I do not want to cut it off prematurely, but just to say that those names and those characters and those expressions from other jurisdictions are and will continue to be part of the fabric of the marketplace. As you travel in just about any part of just about any city in Ontario, you see those names being used now.
In conjunction with subsection 2(5), the section that we just amended, those names can be displayed prominently on business premises, for example. The qualification is that under them and in conjunction with them, a business name that is registrable under the act must appear. That does, as I say, do two things: It allows the expression to be used and it also creates a registered name that the average Ontario citizen can look at, identify and search so that he can find the business proprietor or the corporate entity that is registering. I think the balance is a fair one, notwithstanding the good points that my friend has made.
Motion agreed to.
Section 4, as amended, agreed to.
Section 5 agreed to.
The Chair: Mr Sorbara moves that subsection 6(1) of the bill be amended by striking out “the” in the third line and substituting “another.”
Hon Mr Sorbara: The amendment is designed simply to clarify the intent of the subsection and the entire section.
Motion agreed to.
Section 6, as amended, agreed to.
Sections 7 to 17, inclusive, agreed to.
Bill, as amended, ordered to be reported.
EASEMENT STATUTE LAW AMENDMENT ACT, 1989
Consideration of Bill 106, An Act to amend certain Acts with respect to Easements and other matters.
The Chair: There are seven government amendments: to subsection 1(2), two changes there; section 2; section 3: another one for section 3; a third one to section 3; and a fourth one to section 3. Is that correct, minister?
Hon Mr Sorbara: There is one additional amendment that is being proposed, and I believe that the Chair has been provided with a copy of it. Did you say seven amendments, Mr Chairman?
The Chair: I count seven, yes.
Hon Mr Sorbara: You may have better information than I, Mr Chairman. I am informed that there are seven, so we should just proceed.
The Chair: Mr Sorbara moves that the definition of “Ministry of Government Services” in subsection l06a(l) of the Registry Act, as set out in subsection 1(2) of the bill, be amended by striking out “Her Majesty in right of the Ministry of Government Services” in the first and second lines and substituting “Her Majesty the Queen in right of Ontario.”
Hon Mr Sorbara: I think the amendment speaks for itself.
Mr R. F. Johnston: For a brief second, the Monarchist League got worried and I got excited, but there is nothing to be excited about.
Motion agreed to.
The Chair: Mr Sorbara moves that the definition of “public utility easement” in subsection l06a(l) of the Registry Act, as set out in subsection 1(2) of the bill, be amended by inserting after “sewage works” in the second line “steam or hot water distribution system.”
Hon Mr Sorbara: I hope that I can open and close it by saying that we wanted to be more precise, and this is a bill where precision is everything, so we are eliminating the reference to sewage works and replacing it with a reference to steam or hot water distribution system.
Motion agreed to.
Section 1, as amended, agreed to.
The Chair: Mr Sorbara moves that the definition of “public utility” in subsection l95a(l) of the Municipal Act, as set out in section 2 of the bill, be amended by inserting after “sewage works” in the second line “steam or hot water distribution system.”
Motion agreed to.
Section 2, as amended, agreed to.
The Chair: Mr Sorbara moves that the definition of “public utility” in subsection 9a(1) of the Ministry of Government Services Act, as set out in section 3 of the bill, be amended by inserting after “sewage works” in the second line “steam or hot water distribution system.”
Motion agreed to.
The Chair: Which one of the other three are you going to move?
Hon Mr Sorbara: How about if I move the second one? I am going to move an amendment dealing with a reference to government public utility and the Ministry of Government Services. Are you close on that one?
The Chair: There are two talking about government public utility.
Hon Mr Sorbara: They are very similar.
The Chair: The definition of “government public utility,” or “government public utility easement”? Which one?
Hon Mr Sorbara: They are almost the same. Why do I not just try one out and take it very slowly?
Mr R. F. Johnston: Do the one without “easement” first.
Hon Mr Sorbara: That is the order we have. The member can follow along.
The Chair: Mr Sorbara moves that the definition of “government public utility” in subsection 9a(l) of the Ministry of Government Services Act, as set out in section 3 of the bill, be amended by striking out “Her Majesty in right of the ministry” in the second line and substituting “Her Majesty the Queen in right of Ontario.”
Motion agreed to.
The Chair: Mr Sorbara moves that the definition of “government public utility easement” in subsection 9a(1) of the Ministry of Government Services Act, as set out in section 3 of the bill, be amended by striking out “Her Majesty in right of the Ministry” in the second line and substituting “Her Majesty the Queen in right of Ontario.”
Motion agreed to.
The Chair: Mr Sorbara moves that subsection 9a(9) of the Ministry of Government Services Act, as set out in section 3 of the bill, be amended by striking out “Her Majesty in right of the Ministry” in the fourth and fifth lines and substituting “Her Majesty the Queen in right of Ontario.”
Motion agreed to.
Section 3, as amended, agreed to.
Sections 4 and 5 agreed to.
Bill, as amended, ordered to be reported.
On motion by Mr Sorbara, the committee of the whole reported two bills with certain amendments.
LIQUOR LICENCE ACT, 1990
Mr Sorbara moved second reading of Bill 175, An Act to revise the Liquor Licence Act and to amend the law relating to Liquor.
Hon Mr Sorbara: I am very pleased to be able now to move second reading of Bill 175 and to begin debate in principle on this bill.
I must tell my friends in the House that, as I do so, I am really being asked in my capacity as Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations to bring to a legislative end and completion a process of revisiting and renewing our laws on the licensing of liquor establishments in the province and bringing them up to date after a process that has really taken about three and a half years to complete.
In doing so, I really want to begin by giving credit to a number of people who really got this process under way a long time ago. My friends will remember that back in 1986 the government appointed the member for Mississauga South, the current Solicitor General, to chair a task force to review our liquor legislation.
Mrs Marland: Mississauga North.
Hon Mr Sorbara: I am sorry; I apologize to my friend the member for Mississauga South. I am referring, of course, to the member for Mississauga North. At that point, he was asked to undertake a comprehensive study of our liquor laws in the province.
He was joined in his efforts by the then chairman of the Liquor Licence Board of Ontario, Mr Drinkwalter, and the vice-chair of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, Urich Ferdinand. Gordon Cressy was on that committee as well. He is now with the University of Toronto. At that point, he was the vice-chair of the Liquor Licence Board of Ontario. Representatives from the Addiction Research Foundation were on the task force, as well as a number of others, including the current chair of the Liquor Licence Board of Ontario, Andromache Karakatsanis.
That task force did very extensive work, not looking at particular items so much as looking holistically at the whole business of liquor regulation in the province. They visited some 20 communities. They received over 700 briefs. They held hearings extensively around the province. They consulted with organizations far and wide, including public health organizations, certainly police organizations, and just about anyone who had an interest, no matter how peripheral, in the business of regulating the consumption of beverage alcohol in the province.
The member for Mississauga North, in his capacity as chair of that task force, reported to the province and to the government in early 1987, if my memory serves me well. The report was debated around the province. I think it was generally acknowledged to be a very comprehensive, a very thorough and a very timely report. It really did set for us in the province an agenda for changing our laws relating to beverage alcohol.
The bill we are considering and debating now in second reading is the transformation of the Offer task force work into legislative language. That is not to say that everything contained in the report is reflected in this bill. Some of the things the Offer task force recommended have been rejected by the government; we have not been prepared to accept them. That is understandable. That happens in a number of cases when those sorts of studies are undertaken. Others have already been implemented. They have been implemented by changes to the regulations. I think, for example, of the change to hours for consumption in licensed establishments. Others will be brought in under new regulations that I propose to present to the province in the coming months.
What Bill 175 does, and I think it is very important to understand what this bill does, is that it gives us the capacity as a province to exercise, not a stricter control or a less strict control in the area of liquor regulation, but a better control. It creates some more modern and flexible regulations that give us the capacity to ensure that our objectives in controlling the consumption of what, after all, is a very powerful drug remains of the highest order and, at the same time, we can give the province a flexibility that we simply do not have under the act as it exists right now.
I would like to go through some of the major points of the bill. You will recall, Mr Speaker, because I know you followed along the work of the member for Mississauga North and his task force, that there was some discussion about the question of the age of consumption. That has been a debate that has gone on not only in Ontario but in a number of other jurisdictions for a number of years.
The government ultimately determined that it was appropriate in this province to make no change to the age of majority for the purposes of the consumption of beverage alcohol, although some had suggested that we bring the age of majority for these purposes down to 18. Others had suggested that we change it and return it to a past era when the age was set at 21.
It is a difficult question; these are always judgement calls. But we wanted to do two things in these provisions of the bill. We wanted, first of all, to ensure that we could enforce the provisions of the law dealing with the underage drinking and the age of majority for drinking purposes, so we have done two things. First of all, we have created offences within the act which make it very clear that owners of licensed premises -- that is, the licensee -- must not allow the consumption of beverage alcohol in his or her premises by people who are under the age of 19. So, for example, we close the loophole that exists under the current act.
In addition to that, we have included an amendment to the Human Rights Code because there was some uncertainty as to whether or not an individual who was 18 years of age could have made a successful claim to the Ontario Human Rights Code that he or she was being discriminated against because of the provision under the Liquor Licence Act that says you cannot drink until you are 19 years of age.
Hon Mr Sorbara: My friend the member for Scarborough West refers to the charter. In the charter there is the saving provision which allows discrimination that is appropriate in a democratic society. Section 1 of the charter, one could argue, would allow a province like Ontario to set the drinking age at 19, but under our own Human Rights Code, there is no such saving provision. Indeed, there was a case before the Ontario Human Rights Commission which was to the effect that an individual had claimed that he had been discriminated against because at 18 years of age he was not allowed to drink in the province. My honourable colleagues in the House know that in our own Human Rights Code it is permissible to discriminate on the basis of age so long as that person is 18 years of age or under, or over the age of 65.
To be very clear, we wanted to make sure that the drinking age established in the province is and will be 19 years of age, so we are proposing an amendment to the Human Rights Code. This is an example of what Bill 175 will do when it is finally enacted. It makes the law clearer and it gives us the ability to exercise better control over beverage alcohol.
Let me give members some more examples. Special occasion permits have been a subject of interest to just about every member in the House. I cannot imagine that there is a member in this House who has not had one of his or her constituents come and say that he or she applied for a special occasion permit and was denied the opportunity to get that permit by the Liquor Licence Board of Ontario.
There have been some problems with special occasion permits. Indeed, if you ask the Liquor Licence Board of Ontario, it will tell you that it is one of the areas where, if they are going to arise, problems will arise; that is, problems with overindulgence, abuse, accidents arising out of overconsumption under the umbrella of a special occasion permit. Indeed, I think the Offer report suggested that special occasion permits be eliminated altogether.
We have not taken that suggestion. We have instead given ourselves in the bill an opportunity to control better the issuance of special occasion permits and indeed the ability to revoke permits. My friends will find that in the bill and, interestingly and importantly, the ability to disqualify premises if there is a history of abuse at the premises under the authority or jurisdiction of a special occasion permit.
The board does not currently have that kind of capacity. I frankly believe that it needs that kind of capacity. It needs to be able to identify a problem, a problem establishment, a problem hall, and to say to anyone who applies for a licence to have a special occasion event at those premises that the board is not prepared to issue it.
Not only is that an important tool that the board needs to control abuses under special occasion permits, but it also sends a very strong message to hall owners and premises owners that they will not be able to rent their facilities for these kinds of occasions if they are not going to exercise the kinds of controls we expect in this province in the service of beverage alcohol under the authority of a licence.
We are doing the same thing in the area of delivery licences. This has been a subject of some debate, I think. There was reference in the report of the Solicitor General to it. I should tell members that currently the authority to deliver beverage alcohol, spirits, liquor of any sort, purchased at a wine store, to a private home or to a business establishment is under the authority of a licence issued by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, not the Liquor Licence Board of Ontario. We are changing that in Bill 175.
We think it is inappropriate that the liquor control board, which is actually the retailer of spirits in the province, issue these licences. What we want, for anyone who has a licence of this sort, is to understand issues relating to what may and may not be done under the authority of a licence. It is not a matter of retailing. It is not an extension of the retail operation. We are in a sense licensing as we license establishments. In doing so, we will ensure that people who apply for those licences understand what the restrictions on their ability to deliver are.
There have been suggestions that we not have delivery licences in the province. I have heard that suggestion but I reject it. I reject it because although I acknowledge there is the potential for abuse, particularly among young people, this capacity to have a delivery service is something that can be of great benefit to individuals who, for one reason or another, are restricted in their access and are often housebound. We will change the provisions and bring the authority to issue so-called delivery licences to the LLBO and I think have a better control on that whole system.
In the bill we are also bringing foreign manufacturers under the authority of the Liquor Licence Board of Ontario in a way that currently they are not. To give members an example of the way in which this new provision will affect manufacturers, I should tell them that domestic manufacturers, whether they be manufacturers of beer, wine or spirits, must by virtue of the laws that now exist comply with the advertising regulations instituted by the board under its authority under the current act.
As a matter of law, foreign manufacturers do not have to comply with those provisions. Generally they are good corporate citizens and they do comply. They voluntarily submit their advertising material for consideration by the board and follow any rules or interpretations that the board makes, but we feel it is appropriate that the new bill be clear, as I said, about how we exercise control, and that is precisely what this provision will do in respect of foreign manufacturers.
This is also important, I should tell members, because in a world that more and more will become dominated by a free, more open trading environment, whether it be under the free trade agreement with our friends to the south or under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, we will see greater international competition both for our own manufacturers selling their products internationally and for foreign manufacturers selling their products in Canada. It is most appropriate that a domestic manufacturer not be constrained by laws that foreign manufacturers do not have to abide by, and this provision will change that.
I might also point out that the new bill gives what I think is a better definition of where an individual can consume beverage alcohol in the province. I know, Mr Speaker, of your interest in wines, and you probably are familiar with the provisions of the current law, which state that you can consume one of your favourite wines either in a licensed premise or in your own residence.
But there are a lot of private places where, to be frank, wine or other beverage alcohol is consumed and that represents a technical violation of the law. That may be in a private office. If you invite friends into your office and you offer them a taste of a particular wine which you have just secured from one of our great Ontario wineries, there is some question under the law as to whether or not you could do that in the privacy of your office. There are a number of other private places where we feel it is not offensive to the general population that the act be specific and clear, and we have redefined “private place” in keeping with that sort of principle. This arises from recommendations not only in the Offer report, but in so many other studies that have been done.
This is one of the areas where we are really modernizing the bill, giving ourselves a greater amount of flexibility. Members will recall that years ago licensed establishments were rather darkened places. One could not look inside the window because one thought that one would be scandalized to see people sipping their favourite wine, spirit or beer. We have come a long way since then and I think it is for the better. We now have patio licences so that one can enjoy a meal on the sidewalk in Toronto or Sudbury or Windsor, and while doing so enjoy a glass of wine or perhaps some spirits or some beer.
This provision respecting private places also reflects that kind of realization of a more modern and more appropriate way to deal with the regulation of where one can and cannot drink, but members should notice that we are talking about private places. This act does not permit, and will not permit when it is given royal assent, the consumption of beverage alcohol in public places, because that is what the people of the province want. We have always had very strict laws in this province about public drunkenness and the consumption of beverage alcohol in public places. The theme in this bill is consistent with that trend in the province.
Another area that I think is of importance in our ability to more effectively control is specific provisions in the bill dealing with boating and the consumption of alcohol on boats. When the original act was passed years and years ago, the predecessor of Bill 175, we did not have a boating tradition like we do now in the province. This bill is very clear about where we are going. We take boating and drinking as seriously as we take drinking and driving. The act is very clear. The consumption of beverage alcohol in a moving boat is as serious as the consumption of alcohol in respect of driving. It is a no-no. It is forbidden by this act, and this is a very important provision, particularly among law enforcement agencies which have asked us to be very clear on this provision. This bill does that.
Does that mean that one can never drink on one’s boat? No. Where a boat is anchored, where it is a residence as well -- that is, it has all the indicia of residence -- and it is not a moving vehicle under any circumstances, then yes, one can use the boat for that purpose. But any consumption related to a boat as a vehicle is prohibited by the act and I think that is a very important step in making sure that we have the enforcement capability to eliminate drinking and boating in the way in which we work towards eliminating drinking and driving in the province.
The bill also eliminates what is referred to in the current law as interdiction orders. This, as well, I think is a very important provision in Bill 175, not so much that it is needed to affect a reform of the way in which we control, but to eliminate an anachronism in the law.
Under the act as it stands now -- Mr Speaker, you may not have been aware of this -- the Liquor Licence Board of Ontario has the jurisdiction and the capacity to name individuals; as the expression goes, to use an interdiction order to identify a person and prohibit any licensed establishment or any liquor control board in the province or any Brewers’ Retail or beer store in the province from selling the person named in that order any form of beverage alcohol. Of course, historically the way this was done was that individual’s named was circulated to all licensed establishments. Imagine that, how archaic that sounds to us now in the era of human rights and the protection of privacy and the Charter of Rights.
The list at one point in our history was rather extensive. Indeed there were, I am embarrassed to say, entire bands of our native people that were named in these interdiction orders. We are removing that from the law so that any name or any group that is currently on an interdiction order will be eliminated by this amendment. I am very proud to say that it is part of the bill and will be part of the law when the bill is passed.
Just a couple of more things, Mr Speaker, to indicate to you and to my friends in the House that the bill provides for an increase in the size of the Liquor Licence Board of Ontario from seven members to nine members. This reflects an expanded workload of the board in hearing applications and in hearing proposals that licences be taken away. I should point out that all of the members, except the chair and the vice-chair of the board, serve as temporary members so that they are taking time out from their own workdays to participate in hearings and have been asked to serve sometimes five, six or seven days a month.
This has become an unacceptable workload, and having additional members there will ease the workload on the current members. It does not, by the way, increase the cost of managing that board, because to the extent that the workload stays the same, the workload will just be distributed among more people and the same per diem rate is proposed to be paid.
We have changed as well in the bill the provisions relating to public hearings in the event of an application. We are doing that for two purposes. First, we are making it easier for individuals in a community to make an objection to the issuance of a licence and to do so by writing in to the board, having seen a notice in conjunction with an application, rather than actually physically attending a public hearing. At the same time we are setting out in the bill a provision that if there is no objection to an application, then there is no need to hold a public hearing. We find more and more that after a notice has been published in a newspaper, a public hearing is announced and nobody comes.
It is foolish to waste public resources in that way, so the only time we will actually hold a public hearing under the bill is when someone objects, but as I said we will make it easier to object because we will allow people to register their objection in writing, rather than attending personally.
How will that work in a typical community in Broadview-Greenwood or in Scarborough West? A notice will appear in a local paper, a notice will appear on a building, and community members will see that. There will be in that notice an address where an objection can be launched. If that objection is filed with the board, then that objector and everyone else in the area, through advertisements again, will be notified of a hearing in which the objectors can lodge their complaints and of course where the applicant will have to defend his application. We think this is a fairer process and at the same time a more expeditious process for all concerned.
Finally, we are changing the appeal process to streamline it by eliminating an appeal to the Commercial Registration Appeal Tribunal. The truth is that we have seen over the past several years that applicants who appeal a judgement of the liquor licence board are taking their appeals to the Commercial Registration Appeal Tribunal and going through the whole exercise again. Indeed in some instances -- not every instance -- the initial hearing before the board has been almost used as a discovery process preparatory to the appeal to the Commercial Registration Appeal Tribunal.
We think that in terms of administrative law we should make the provisions dealing with appeals similar to appeals from any other quasi-judicial body -- the LLBO is a quasi-judicial body -- and we are setting out in the bill an appeal to the Divisional Court like every other quasi-judicial body of that type.
At the same time we are putting provisions in the bill that allow the board to do a reconsideration if its decision was based on a misapprehension or some minor administrative matter and a rehearing or reconsideration is more appropriate than an appeal. After all, in a number of instances the applicant before the board is a small business, its resources are limited and we do not want to saddle it with an expensive administrative process. We are putting the provision in the act to allow for a rehearing.
Those are all the elements of the bill. I think those are the substantive elements in the bill. I reiterate once again that this bill creates administrative flexibility. It gives the province through the liquor licence board the ability to exercise better control of its responsibilities. We are increasing, for example, fines in respect of licensees who breach the law.
I did not mention and I do want to mention this if I could in this debate. We are putting in provisions for server training. Licensees and people who work in licensed establishments will have to understand the law. Server training does not mean training as to how to carry a tray of champagne from the kitchen to the table without spilling it. Server training means --
Mr R. F. Johnston: In some cases, this would be useful.
Hon Mr Sorbara: In some instances, my friend the member for Scarborough West says, it would be useful and I agree. I have a great deal of respect -- I think he does as well -- for the people who work in our licensed establishments. Server training really means an understanding of the law and how to identify, first of all, whether a person is intoxicated -- it is against the law to serve a person who is intoxicated -- and how to say as a waiter in a licensed establishment, “I am sorry, sir, I am sorry, madam, the law requires that I not serve you another drink.” Training as well for managers and owners of establishments will be part of the new system in the province once this bill is passed and the regulations are put into place.
As I was saying, there is another example of better control, more modern control, greater flexibility, more appropriate penalties and all in all, I think, a very good piece of legislation.
The bill has been consulted on very, very extensively. We really do go back to the days of the Offer task force and even before that. After his work was done, there was a lot of consultation around the province and once the matter was considered by cabinet, there was additional consultation by the board. Indeed even in the drafting of the bill there was consultation with organizations like the Addiction Research Foundation and the hotel, motel and restaurant association to make sure that we were doing, as I said, a better job of control, not so much a stricter or more cumbersome job of control, but better control. After all, under the provisions that deal with establishments of this sort and our general responsibility to effectively licence what, as I said, is a very powerful drug and subject to a great deal of misuse, not only in our society but in so many societies, we think that we have got it right. I encourage my friends to read the bill, to consider it, to have a vigorous debate on it and to pass it as expeditiously as possible.
The Deputy Speaker: Any questions and comments on the member’s statement? If not, do other members wish to participate?
Mr R. F. Johnston: Rather than putting questions to the minister, who has a wrapup capability, I would like to make some comments and allow him to respond to those.
If my ego were slightly larger today, I would probably even say that there are not enough people here to listen to me and that we might want to call a quorum, but I would not want to do that because of the headache I have, which could not stand the bells. But perhaps some members who may be watching this on television may want to come in on the threat of quorum. That might be enough to get them in for this particular speech.
It is a shame that the Solicitor General is not here today to hear the praise coming from his colleague about all the work he has done in preparation for this particular bill, much of which I commend, much of which I find appropriate. But I have some major concerns with it which I would like to get tabled today.
The first is mine personally and I do not think necessarily reflects the concerns of my caucus in its entirety. But I do want to get it on the record. I know there is a lot of public pressure out there to increase the drinking age. The government is withstanding that and in the mixed message that it is trying to send out with this bill, of seeming to be more mature as a society and opening up some aspects of drinking and at the same time being respectful of the very large concerns people have about the misuse of alcohol in our society, it is trying to strike a balance. And the balance they come up with on the age factor is to say, “Let’s hold it at 19.”
I have real problems when we start to differentiate in law between the rights of adults. I just say to anybody in this room who actually believes that it makes a major difference whether 18 or 19 is the age at which somebody should be allowed to drink, “Balderdash.” If they think they are going to control misuse of alcohol by that artificial distinction, I say, “Balderdash.”
But when a government moves to change our Human Rights Code in this one area and says that in this one area there is a distinction between an 18-year-old as an adult and a person who is younger than that, who is therefore considered a child in terms of the Human Rights Code, that we are going to change that for alcohol consumption, I say that is a dangerous step to take.
A child at 18, one would presume, rather than an adult in terms of his right to be able to drink, has the right to be able to go to war for this country, has the right to be elected to this House, has the right to be able to make the decisions to pass the law which says that a person could not drink at the same age. There are reasons why we have chosen that age of majority.
One can make the false arguments around the distinctions for high school students, for instance. One of the arguments always raised is that, “If you make this age 19, then you’re not going to have drinking at high school dances any more.” Well, we are dreaming in Technicolor if we think that is the case, and have more problems with coke probably than with drinking in many of the high schools that we have got in our province today anyway.
But the point is this: All our laws around juvenile delinquency, crimes that a person is responsible for in our society, all are based on the age of 18. It is now our accepted notion of certain rights of adulthood. When we start to devise a double standard for something which is so socially acceptable as drinking alcohol, given the amount that is drunk in our society -- and I am one of those drinkers myself -- I would say that is a dangerous kind of way to slip under public pressure to deal with what is a very major problem in our society, which is the abuse of alcohol.
So I am concerned when I see not just the continuation of the age 19 distinction, but the actual amendment of the Human Rights Code in a tiny, little subsection of this bill to set a precedent that we can now, where we think it is necessary, change the rights of adults in the province of Ontario.
The minister, when he was speaking in response to an interjection of mine, said, “Well, you know, the federal charter does not guarantee somebody who is an adult that he can’t be discriminated against.” That is true, but there has to be an unusual cause for the rights to equal service to be denied someone. I would suggest that the misuse of alcohol, whether it is by an 18-year-old, a 25-year-old or a 60-year-old, is no reason to change the law in terms of what we are expecting of a person to be a full adult in our society.
Again, not expressing the feelings necessarily of my caucus or the members of this House, but on my own personal opinions about this, I would just say that I worry when we start to derogate the rights of adulthood in our society because of some public pressure, which is rightfully concerned but misplaced in terms of this attention.
The other thing I wanted to say is there are two major areas I want to focus on, although there will be a number of areas I will touch on.
The first is the notion that much of the power of this bill is regulatory. If we turn to the regulation section of this bill, we will see a long list of regulatory powers, enormous and sweeping powers for a non-elected board in this province to make decisions around alcohol consumption and the interpretation of this act. Not only this, but I would also suggest that, within the regulatory power and the vagueness of some of the language in the act, I am not clear that the public accountability of the hearing process is as adequate as we would want it to be. I would like to make a special plea to the minister today to consider some changes to section 7, to not leave it as understood under the regulations in terms of the notices that are given out around the requests for liquor licences, but put it right in the act, what we are talking about when we are saying we are going to let people know what is happening in their communities.
More and more, you cannot rely on people, in a large metropolitan area especially, to know that a prospective licensee is requesting a licence in his community. If you are in the city of Toronto, not everybody wants to read the government ad which may appear in the Globe and Mail or the Toronto Star notifying us of some request by a prospective bar or whatever that it wants a licence. Your eyes gloss over when you look at the incredible amount of advertising there is already in those papers.
Hon Mr Sorbara: Not in the new Globe.
Mr R. F. Johnston: I have some difficulty with the new old Globe myself.
Ms Bryden: He doesn’t advertise in the Globe.
Mr R. F. Johnston: But I would say to the minister that even if the government did advertise in the Globe, as my colleague is saying it does not so much any more, the problem is the government relies on that and then the posting in a window to let people know what is taking place.
I would suggest that the principle that is often used around municipal changes and notification for the Ontario Municipal Board might be the kind of thing we should look at there. Some kind of definition of a circumference, of the notification within a circumference around a particular proposed outlet or service area, restaurant or whatever, needs to be within the act, not within the regulations. In other words, I am saying something like everybody within a 500-metre circumference of a particular proposed restaurant or bar should have the right to be notified of that request directly. In that way, the next part of the minister’s provisions would then make all the sense in the world.
This idea that people would no longer have to appear in person before the Liquor Control Board of Ontario to be able to register their complaint would make sense. The idea that, if nobody complains at all, you do not have to have a process after that makes all the sense in the world, but only if you have that kind of notion of a direct information arriving at my door in east end Toronto that yet another licensee is making a request along the strip in the Beaches. There are 21 or 22 just along that little strip of Queen Street East at the moment.
So I make this appeal to the minister because of what we notice now taking place, that nobody is really checking as to whether that posting is taking place any more in the building. Often it is not in the window. I know that the member for Beaches-Woodbine, who has been working on this issue for a long time, will want to talk about that with some particular examples.
There is no enforcement mechanism for saying that somebody is actually going to go out and check to see if that prospective licensee has now put the sign up in the window to notify people. Again, if you miss that day that the newspaper ad appears on the 76th page of the advertising supplement in the Toronto Star, or wherever it shows up, then you have missed your chance to actually complain.
This becomes a serious concern in another area. I do not know if the minister has been approached on this or not, but I have been approached recently by a group of women in North Bay. Their concern was about the mixing of alcohol and sexual stereotyping and sexual degradation in terms of strip clubs and other kinds of adult entertainment that are available now in Ontario. Their concern raised with me was that they got no notification to their door that a prospective licensee was not just somebody asking for a liquor licence, but was in fact somebody who wanted to open a strip club with alcohol down the street from their home. They felt that they had a right to know about that and then to enter the process of appeal. I would suggest to the minister that that is a very good example of why this kind of notification of people on a regular basis that something is coming along for the community needs to be done.
You can say that the local municipality may through its bylaws identify that kind of an adult entertainment facility and then notify people. It is under no obligation, however, to do so; it may or may not develop those bylaws. I would suggest to the minister that it would be very helpful and very democratically appropriate if the Liquor Control Board of Ontario made sure that people in that area knew what it was that was coming into their home district.
That is the first thing I wanted to raise with the minister, that I think it would be appropriate to have an amendment under section 7 that would try to be a little more specific about this whole question of notice.
The second thing I want to raise is the minister’s hope that his appeal process will now be more efficacious than it has been in the past. I would say to him that I understand the intent and I accept the good intent to try to make that process more meaningful. But I worry very, very much that if we do not have proper notice and clear capacity to identify people who wish to complain as having standing in that process, then we are going to be in difficulty here.
Members will notice that under the regulatory powers the right to determine who has standing or not is left with the LCBO. A number of people surrounding a proposed outlet may be against that taking place. They may then, by happenstance, one way or another, learn about it and make their appeal. But just because they have made their appeal, that does not give them automatic standing, as I understand it, before the LCBO. That seems to me to be something that should be laid down in law. Why? Because the only appeal now that is available, now that the government has taken away the ministry’s board as a second sort of quasi-judicial body, is the Divisional Court.
We know what the Divisional Court is allowed to look at. It is not allowed to look at the merits of the case. It is not allowed to hear new argument or new petitions signed by local residents against a particular outlet or other kinds of concerns they may have. It can only look at, and this is spelled out in the act under subsection 25(2), “An appeal under this section may be made on a question of law only.”
So what we now have is a flawed approach to even getting an appeal. You may not even get yourself, as a local resident, before the LCBO to complain about a particular proposed outlet. Then you lose that appeal and you now cannot take it to another quasi-judicial body and argue your merits again, which, rightfully, the minister has said has been done in the past by people who could not get their arguments together quickly enough before the board for whatever reason and felt that the other board had more power to actually hear them than did the LCBO, which is one of the psychological factors that was involved.
But now that is going to be ruled out and those people are only going to be able to go to Divisional Court, where they will need lawyers to argue points of law only and will not be able to talk about what they see as one of the crucial parts of this bill, which is the ability to rule out a licensee when it is seen to be adversely affecting the public interest and the needs and wishes of the residents of the municipality.
If we want that to be meaningful, then we do not want this to be something which is not spelled out well in legislation, that is only left to regulation, that uses words like “residents of the municipality” instead of identifying specific people who live in an area adjacent to a particular prospective problem that they see coming into their own community.
I would just suggest that by the time we get to committee of the whole -- I presume this will not be going out for further public hearings -- perhaps the government would look to a little more precise language that clarifies that right to appeal.
One of my major concerns, however, is with regard to what is a very small matter within this bill. It is section 38 and it is regarding advertising. It is a tiny section. I encourage members to look at it. It is a very vague section which, again, deals with the regulatory rights of the LCBO to control the kind of advertising that surrounds liquor. “No person shall advertise liquor except in accordance with the regulations.” That is basically the meat of it.
We all know about lifestyle advertising. We all know how widely that is used in beer advertising especially, and wine advertising of late, on our TVs as well as in posters and other means of advertising in the province of Ontario. If this were totally new legislation and new regulations were forthcoming that I could look at in my hands right now and see what those regulations would say, perhaps I would feel less worried about this section than I do. But I do not have the regulations for all these subsections that are listed in this act. I have no idea what they are going to be except for advertising.
In April this year, the LCBO produced its advertising guidelines. I do not know how many members have read these guidelines; the member, for instance, who used to be the Minister without Portfolio responsible for women’s issues. The absence of any discussion of sexual stereotyping and sexist advertising is just blatant to anyone who looks at this. When you think about the ads we are now seeing on TV, with the absolute misuse, inappropriate use of women’s bodies to sell booze and the unwillingness of our government to say anything specific about that, either in terms of the act that it is providing to us today or in terms of the guidelines that were passed in April, I would just say that it is missing the boat on some very invidious and insidious kinds of things taking place now around the selling of booze in this province and the use of women in an inappropriate way to increase those sales.
These guidelines from April of this year range through a whole number of things. There is an awful lot of time spent about dealing with the juvenile and how these guidelines must not in any way at all show that a juvenile or an under-l9 -- sorry, an adult of 18 years of age and a juvenile -- might be involved in advertising. That is not permissible.
It even deals with the use of children’s fairy tales, nursery rhymes, songs, fictional characters; all those kinds of things are not allowed in the advertising either, and there is some good reason for that. But there is not one mention in here about sexual stereotyping, about the kinds of ways that women are now being used to sell liquor in Ontario. I cannot believe that. I find that amazing in today’s world.
There are some good examples of what is available, and there have been in the last number of months and the last year some incredible contrasts available for us in terms of how different jurisdictions have looked at inappropriate advertising.
I can think of some recent beer ads by Miller that were seen to be inappropriate by the TTC and were taken out of the bus shelters within days of a complaint being registered. Yet the LCBO told women who phoned and complained about that kind of advertising that there was nothing it could do and there was nothing in its guidelines to preclude that kind of advertising.
The guidelines that have been accepted by the TTC as of March 1990, after considerable consultation with women’s groups in the city of Toronto, now have standards, including guidelines regarding sex role stereotyping. Then they go through a whole list of things that you must not do in terms of ancestry, race, ethnic origin, etc. We will not find those things in the guidelines of the LCBO today.
The city of Toronto has now also passed a report as of late 1989, in which it has established its advertising guidelines for advertising commissioned by the city of Toronto. It indicates as follows: “That advertising commissioned by the city or appearing on city property should not exploit the bodies of women or men, boys or girls solely for the purpose of attracting attention. Their presence must be relevant to the advertised product.”
I ask the minister to think about some of the TV ads that are being used today in the selling of beer and wine. Some of them are so small and subtle that you almost do not notice. There is that wine advertisement that many members have seen because it has been on so much of late, in which there are two couples sampling a bottle of wine. At one point one of the men says, “Ah, it’s got good legs,” and immediately the camera shoots to one of the women’s legs. It is just a small, tiny, little subtle kind of thing, one would say, but basically it has nothing to do with the product and everything to do with sexual stereotyping, and the LCBO has nothing to say about it.
I would just suggest to the minister, especially with his background in that other ministry, that it might be appropriate to indicate to me before this is over that either we are going to have some regulatory change and these guidelines are going to be beefed up substantially or, as a major statement of where we stand in this province, in that section 38 we might get some sort of statement about the kinds of things that we do not want to see and then guidelines are developed by the LCBO to deal with those kinds of things.
At the moment it is free and easy. Anything can be done. If we look at the kind of standards that have been established by the Canadian Advertising Foundation, we will see that it is basically very, very weak and not very useful in terms of what we should be looking at, but they are the kinds of things which unfortunately the LCBO has been dealing with up to this point.
I want to ask about a couple of smaller matters, if I might. One is about the definition of hospital. Members will note under section 36 that a police officer who finds a person apparently in contravention of subsection 31(4), that is, intoxicated in a public place, may take the person, instead of into custody and to a station, to a hospital for treatment. The next subsection deals with the fact that nobody who deals with those people in a medical fashion can be charged for not having a criminal charge against that individual who has been found but rather has dealt with him or her only in terms of his medical needs.
Maybe this is my paranoia that is showing itself here, but I wonder if the minister can tell me what the definition of hospital is there. I do not see a definition of hospital in this act. I worry about how this may be used in terms of other kinds of things, around psychiatric institutions, around quasi-hospitals that exist.
I am wondering if we do not, as a minimum here, need to talk about some sort of definition of the general hospital so that we understand that we are talking about people coming into emergency wards because the officer making a decision says, “This person needs medical help immediately and I am not going to take him down to the station. I am going to get him that help right away,” rather than -- and I am not saying this would be done -- leaving it ill defined, as I would see it at this point. If the minister can make me feel better about that, I would be happy about it.
A small matter, which is totally personal and necessary, is that I do not find any coverage here at all in terms of maternity wards for prospective fathers who want to take a small bottle of champagne with them for a child that may be coming into the world in the next little while. The definition of a private place may or may not include the delivery room or the recovery room or perhaps even a semiprivate room. Perhaps the very fact that one might be in a semiprivate room might stop one from having a celebration of the miracle of birth.
Speaking quite personally as somebody with a vested interest in this, I would hope that the minister might get the regulations for that cleared up some time before the first week or so of July. It would be quite helpful for me. I promise that we will not serve the newborn directly and I would hope that even indirectly my wife would not run into difficulty on this.
I note something under the area of confidentiality -- and this is the last small matter I want to raise, because I am not sure what this matter means. Matters of confidentiality and secrecy always raise little red flags for me. I read this section to say that, “Every person engaged in the administration of this act shall preserve confidentiality,” which one would presume normally would be a good thing.
Hon Mr Sorbara: What section are you reading?
Mr R. F. Johnston: I am sorry. This is section 49. Then you come to subsection 49(2) and you find that, “No person engaged in the administration of this act shall be required to give testimony in any civil proceeding with regard to information obtained by the person in the course of the person’s duties except in a proceeding under this act.”
I do not know if this is normal practice and the normal way that our privacy and confidentiality commission operates. Perhaps it is in regard to the sort of confidentiality of somebody who is involved in collecting information around presumably a licence or something like that and cannot use some of the other information he may have gathered in that or in some other kind of civil proceeding.
But I am wondering, and maybe the minister can get this clarified for me, whether or not it goes the other way as well, that is to say that if during the proceedings someone felt that inappropriate information was taken, was inappropriately used, and then tried to launch a civil suit against the individual who he thought might have been doing that, he would not be able to take that information into a civil court dispute because that person would be able to claim confidentiality at that point. This is more a point of information, but perhaps the minister can find out for me just exactly what would be entailed in that section.
Let me just conclude my remarks by saying that there are many parts of this bill which I welcome. There are some parts which I know other members are going to want to address in terms of some protections around this whole home delivery kind of extension that is going on. I think that is appropriate and I will leave it to them to raise those kinds of matters. But I am desperately concerned about the two areas that I raised with you today, besides my own feelings about the inappropriateness of derogating from the rights of adults.
First, we should guarantee in the body of the act, not in the regulations, that people will get really good notice about what is taking place, and the people I am talking about are residents in an area surrounding the proposed restaurant, bar or whatever.
Second, we might want to tighten up the language around advertising so that in this bill we will specifically indicate that this kind of sexual stereotyping and sexist kind of use of advertising that we are now seeing in lifestyle advertising will not continue and will not be tolerated.
If the minister cannot put that into the body of the bill, then I would like some guarantee that we will be throwing aside these advertising guidelines that have been produced this spring by the LCBO, that we will have a public process where women’s groups, the Ontario Advisory Council on Women’s Issues, the Ontario women’s directorate and other groups in the community, can get their say in terms of developing appropriate guidelines that can then become the appropriate law and control on what I see as a flagrant disregard for the dignity of women in this province in our liquor advertising today.
Ms Bryden: I would particularly like to commend the last recommendation of the member for Scarborough West that we do have public hearings and an inquiry on what should be in the advertising guidelines, particularly as they affect women and the picture that is portrayed of women in many of the ads.
I think that is an area where the original regulations that were issued earlier this spring have erred or have been very much lacking. It is an area where we must get the minister to commit the government to having this kind of a public hearing on the advertising regulations as they affect women.
I will be dealing with other matters in a later speech, but I particularly want to emphasize the importance of that part of the member’s speech.
Mr Runciman: I want to indicate at the outset that our party is going to be supportive of the legislation. We have some concerns that are relatively modest ones. We do not think the bill should be referenced to committee and we will support referral to the committee of the whole.
When we are in committee of the whole, we will be moving one amendment which has to do with the home delivery and the training required of servers. As you know, Mr Speaker, the legislation requires a training program for individuals employed in serving alcohol beverages, and we are going to move that this also apply to those individuals who would be involved in home delivery of alcohol products.
We think that is important and there is a bit of a contradiction in the sense that someone working in a bar or restaurant should have this training but someone delivering it to an individual’s home residence should not require the same kind of training. As I indicated, we are going to be moving that particular amendment during committee of the whole deliberations.
We have contacted a variety of interest groups that are directly impacted upon by this legislation. I think there is general support for the initiatives that the government has brought into the House through this bill. We want to talk briefly about a couple of things, though.
I know the member for Scarborough West was talking about advertising in his particular concerns, but I find it somewhat ironic when you take a look at the fine that was applied to Labatt’s brewing company a couple of months ago, I think it was, for some promotions that the ministry found offensive, or at least the LCBO or LLBO found offensive and fined Labatt’s $500,000.
I find it ironic in the sense that I think it was two weeks later that a contractor, I believe, was fined for failure to maintain an elevator properly. The elevator malfunctioned and an individual was killed as a result of that malfunction. I think that elevator contractor was fined something like $19,000 or $20,000. It was a modest amount in any event, especially when you compare it with the fact that a life was lost versus the fact that Labatt’s was promoting the drinking of its Blue Light, I think it was, and it was nicked $500,000.
It just does not strike me as the appropriate thing. Something is wrong when a life is lost and that costs the contracting firm a few thousand dollars and Labatt’s goes out and promotes its beer perhaps a little more actively than it should have and it is fined $500,000. Something clearly is in error, and I am not sure where that should be corrected; I would suspect on the elevator side of it. I think the Labatt’s fine was way out of line, and I think, again, both of these areas fall under the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations and hopefully he will be taking a look at them.
The minister mentioned special occasion permits and the fact that numbers of us in this House are getting calls from a variety of groups and individuals who are concerned about what the government is doing in respect to the issuance of special occasion permits. I share some of those concerns. I know that those in the tourism industry and the hospitality industry were very strongly opposed to what they saw as an increasing use of special occasion permits and, as a result, that having a damaging impact on the private sector. Hotels, etc, were losing that particular business, wedding receptions, etc, to people who were renting a hall, taking out a special occasion permit and running their own bar.
The government has moved in that area and I think it has done it in a heavy-handed way. They have overplayed their hand. I think what we are talking about in many instances are volunteer groups who have had no history of difficulty in respect of violations of the Liquor Licence Act. They have done well, they have complied with the requirements of the act, they have had no difficulties, no disturbances, no complaints to the police, complaints from neighbours, etc. Still they are being faced with increased harassment from the ministry and its officials in respect to the operation of a bar under a special occasion permit.
I want to encourage the minister. We agree with the tightening up in respect to the issuance of SOPs, but we think that he has to approach this in a less heavy-handed manner. Once an SOP is issued, we cannot be jumping all over these people, who in most instances are good, valuable members of the community. In many instances they are volunteer groups that we are talking about, and these people are getting very upset, very upset indeed, and with, in many instances, a great deal of justification.
I think the fees have been increased in respect of SOPs -- again, an offensive increase, but we have seen that happen across this Liberal government in terms of fees for licences and a host of other areas where it has really looked at every revenue-grabbing opportunity and really stuck it to the consumers of this province, increasing fees and licence fees, etc; 600%, 700%, 800% is not uncommon.
This is another area where we are talking, in many instances, in rural communities especially, of groups which do not have an awful lot of money to pay for these things, which are not making a great deal of money but are providing a service in their community. Again, they are being hit hard and I hope the minister and his staff and other officials in the Liberal government will take a fresh look at what is happening in respect to the issuance of SOPs, the cost of SOPs and the way they are being policed once they are issued.
I talked about the amendment. I want to talk a bit about agency stores. Our party issued a report -- I guess it was back in the fall of 1985-86, it may have been the spring of 1986 -- in respect of some things we would like to see happen in regard to the sale of alcohol products in this province. One of them was that we encouraged the increased use of agency stores in areas that were not being well served by LCBO or Brewers’ Retail. These were communities that were remote and residents of those communities had to drive great distances to secure products.
Agency stores have been in use for some years in northern Ontario. They operate out of grocery stores, hardware stores, airport terminals and what have you. We felt, looking at the rest of Ontario, eastern Ontario perhaps especially, and some of the more remote rural areas, that agency stores could fill that need without the opening up of a full-blown LCBO outlet or encouraging the Brewers’ Retail to install a beer sale outlet in that particular area, and indeed the government has adopted our recommendation. I think there are at least four new agency stores being established or have already been established in eastern Ontario.
We welcome that move, but there are some disturbing rumours floating around, in rural eastern Ontario in any event, about the fact that the government is going to take this one step further and start to close down some of the rural LCBO outlets and replace them with agency stores.
I want to go on the record as expressing a great deal of concern about that kind of an initiative and the impact it is going to have on communities. It may indeed be a cost-saving measure, I do not know, but I think that it is going to have a damaging effect on small communities in Ontario, rural communities in this province, and I hope that before the government and the minister make that kind of a move they carefully weigh the implications, not just on their ledger sheet and the bottom line for the LCBO, but also on the impact that that is going to have on those small rural communities.
I guess the problem is that we see Metropolitan Toronto and the urban areas having the bulk of the seats in this Legislature and having much more influence and rural communities, by and large, seeing a declining voice, a declining role in terms of importance in government decisions in the province of Ontario.
That is indeed regrettable, and I hope that members on the Liberal side of the House who represent rural ridings will at some point, perhaps in this debate, or if not in this debate, perhaps they can express their concerns to the minister personally about what is being rumoured, in any event, the fact that in rural Ontario we are going to see a considerable number of LCBO outlets closed and replaced with agency stores. We certainly, as members of the Progressive Conservative Party, would not support that kind of initiative and we would oppose it very vigorously indeed, and I want that on the record.
This may be somewhat controversial in respect to a position, but there is an element in this bill which is going to be toughening up restrictions, as I read it, on passengers in private boats, indicating that they are not going to allow the consumption of liquor on private boats while being used as a means of transportation. It is a difficult one, because what it does in essence is ignore what is really happening out there, and I am not sure that there is a strong element of common sense in this.
If we want to focus on the driver of a boat, as we do on the driver of a car, I think that is appropriate. We can all agree with that. But if others, and I think we can take a look around this assembly, happen to be out in a boat, we will say, for the sake of an example, a 23-foot boat, they are out having a pleasant afternoon on a Saturday and the passengers on that boat want to have a beer, for example, what the government is saying is, “We’re not going to allow that.”
That is baloney. The reality is that that is going to happen in any event. Why do we not recognize the reality and really crack down on the people who could indeed create a problem and create a dangerous situation, and those are the drivers. I think that this applies to recreational vehicles as well, but perhaps even more so to boats.
I simply wanted to put that on the record. I do not suspect that the minister is going to change that at this point in time, but from the perspective of the Progressive Conservative Party, we think this is again going overboard -- no pun intended -- and it is not going to recognize the reality of the waterways and the fact that most of the folks in this House -- I only have to hark back to a former Solicitor General, the member for Kingston and The Islands, who got himself in a great deal of difficulty a couple of years ago because he thought it was quite natural to take a case of beer out in a boat in the St Lawrence River. One mistake he made, the really big mistake he made, was that he did it in an OPP launch, and of course he had to give up his position as Solicitor General.
But if you recall that situation, a couple of weeks after he was out in that OPP launch having a few drinks with, I think it was the superintendent of Scotland Yard and a few other dignitaries, he got up in this House and made a statement decrying the consumption of alcohol on boats in the province of Ontario. Really, talk about hypocrisy, and I think that this suggestion here is hypocrisy.
Mr Kerrio: No, no, come on now; he was talking about drivers.
Mr Runciman: I agree with the member for Niagara Falls. Let’s concentrate on drivers. I want to ask him, has he ever had a beer in a boat? Sure he has.
Let’s be realistic, let’s be honest, let’s use a little common sense here. Crack down on the people who are creating problems in society, but not this heavy-handed approach where anybody who is in a boat can face charges because he is simply relaxing there and having a beer while he has his fishing pole out, trying to catch a bass. I wanted to put that on the record. Certainly the members of my caucus are concerned about that kind of an initiative and the fact that, as I said before, it is ignoring reality and does not really use a lot of common sense.
I want to talk very briefly again about something that is not incorporated in this bill, but that is of course the beer in corner stores. I guess it would be interesting to hear the minister make some reference to that at some point during this debate, if indeed he will, but when we hark back to 1985, there were two major issues in the campaign then, at least it seemed so to me. One was separate school funding and the other was the provision of beer in corner grocery stores. As we know, the Liberal leader at the time, and still the Liberal leader, promised that he was going to do that and it did not happen.
Mr Callahan: Yes, but you guys defeated it.
Mrs Fawcett: You voted it down.
Mr Runciman: Of course, the Liberal members like to say it was defeated, but the reality was that was in a minority government situation. They have been in a majority situation for, what, three years now and we have not seen that legislation reintroduced.
In my maiden speech in this House, I supported beer and wine in corner grocery stores. Later on, as critic, I became much concerned, not necessarily about the social aspect but about the economic impact. But at the same time, I have never really had good answers from the brewing industry and others as to why, for example, Quebec can do it and Ontario cannot. If Ontario does it, it is going to have such significant ramifications for the brewing industry and the closure of breweries and the loss of thousands of jobs and an inundation of foreign imports, but that has not happened in Quebec. I would still like to get some good answers on that, and I would like to hear something from the minister with respect to why, with a majority government, this minister has not brought in that kind of legislation. He ran in 1985. He was a candidate in 1985. He was here voting for the legislation as a member of the government during that period of time. Have his feelings changed? We would certainly like to hear.
Back in 1986, as I said, we suggested an alternative which was not going to see a significant growth in outlets for alcohol products but would provide perhaps increased efficiency in terms of meeting consumer needs, and that was through the idea of off-premise sales. That is an idea that has been utilized in a number of provinces.
Mr Kerrio: Back to the bill.
Mr Runciman: I do not know if the member for Niagara Falls understands off-premise sales, where you can go into a hotel, for example, and you are able to buy a limited number of beers, for example, a 12-pack, from the hotel, rather than having to go to a Brewers’ Retail Store. We still favour that kind of an approach. We think it would more than adequately meet the needs of consumers of this province.
I think, as I indicated at the outset, we only have the one amendment, and that has to do with the training for those individuals who will be involved in home delivery. Generally, we are supportive of this legislation. We have no great deal of difficulty with it. We would like to see a number of other initiatives undertaken in the not-too-distant future, but, as I indicated, we will be supporting the bill.
Ms Bryden: I am very interested in this legislation, because I have been in the Legislature for 15 years and during those 15 years I have seen considerable changes in the liquor licence regulations. I think this kind of legislation requires a very careful examination, because liquor has become a very important subject in our society. I think most people will recognize that it has become much more prevalent than it was, say, 20 years ago. It has produced many problems as a result. The Offer report, on which the minister says this revision of the Liquor Licence Act is based, had this to say on page 18 in looking at the overall problem:
“Beverage alcohol regulation involves dualistic and, at times, contradictory goals: the provision of access to beverage alcohol for the enjoyment of responsible drinkers and the prevention of problems associated with irresponsible use. The attainment of these goals necessarily involves a balancing of interests. Public order and public health issues must be weighed against the public desire for reasonable access to alcohol and the economic interests of the hospitality industry and the beverage alcohol producers.”
I question whether this new legislation does recognize the interests of the public in the problems related to alcohol. To me it looks like legislation that is written for the hospitality industry or the beverage alcohol industry to give them as free a hand as possible to open up as many outlets as possible. We all know that the proliferation of outlets does have an effect on our society.
The preface of the Offer report states, “Detailed estimates are lacking concerning the extent of other alcohol-related social problems” -- it has just referred to the drinking and driving problems -- “such as family disruptions, alcohol-related aggression, absenteeism and low productivity.” I think we have to realize that we are dealing with a bill which we should look at in its effects on both the public and the industry, and I must say that my impression of this bill is that it gives far too much power to the government and to the liquor licence board to decide what our liquor regulations shall be. There is far too much left to be done through regulations and there is far too much glossing over of the problems that alcohol creates and the desire of members of the public to be consulted on licensing of premises in their neighbourhoods.
In my area 15 years ago, there was very little notice given to the residents about an application for a liquor licence. In fact, there were instances that I quickly learned about where the residents had had absolutely no notice of an application for a liquor licence until the licensed premises opened. It was only after many delegations to the minister -- I think the then Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations was Frank Drea -- that the residents had established that there should be a notice on the premises to let the neighbours know that there was a liquor licence proposed in their neighbourhood.
After that notice was established, we found for a few years that it was observed, but lately there has been no enforcement that I can see of that requirement of notice. In fact, sometimes the applicant hid it behind bushes in front of his premises. At other times it did not appear at all. I am told that the liquor licence board is supposed to see that they are posted and do the posting itself, but I have noticed premises with no posting.
This law enables a member of the liquor licence board to grant an application if there are no objections. It does not say how many objections it has to have before it will grant a hearing, but if there are no objections, it can go ahead and grant a liquor licence to an applicant. This is abolishing the system of public hearings on all applications which we have had in the past and saying that only if there are one or more objections will they consider a hearing.
How will the residents of the area know that there is an application? The notice on the building may be enforced and noticeable enough, but we have had no experience in the past that this has happened. The notice in the paper is simply ludicrous as a notice to the public. In the first place, it only appears in the Toronto Star in the metropolitan area. People read other papers in the metropolitan area.
Second, it appears under the anonymous heading of “Notice of a Public Meeting.” Not everybody twigs that this is a liquor licence application notice.
Third, it often appears only a few days before the application is to be heard. We know that residents in the area may be seriously affected by that application. It may change their lifestyle. It may change the whole neighbourhood atmosphere. It may bring all sorts of traffic to their neighbourhood that they do not have now have. It may limit the parking in their neighbourhood because there will be visitors to the establishment. It can affect their life in many, many ways. It will also expose the children in the area to the presence of many licensed premises. This has happened in my own district. Within about two blocks there are something like 15 to 20 licensed premises.
If the residents do not have sufficient notice and if the notice is not sent to a large enough area of the neighbourhood, they will not know about the applications and we will be back to the bad old system where there were practically no public hearings on liquor licences and the residents were left discovering that the licence had been granted after the event.
I support very strongly my colleague the member for Scarborough West in his demand that this part of the act must be amended to provide for much better notification of applications. It must require that the notices come well in advance of the application hearing, at least two weeks, perhaps three weeks, to give them time to get the word around to their neighbours and to organize written submissions, as are required under this act, in order to get a hearing. Otherwise, there will be no hearing.
I would think that really the advertisement should be much more specific and should appear in at least two newspapers in the community.
The advertisement should also tell them about the types of licences that are being applied for, whether it will be beer and wine or adult entertainment or full dining-room and lounge licences and that sort of information. Right now, until they actually see the details of the application in the call for the public hearing, they do not know these details.
Finally, the new act retains the old act’s statement that the residents must be able to establish that the licence is not in the public interest. I am quoting from Bill 175. They must be able to establish that “the licence is not in the public interest having regard to the needs and wishes of the residents of the municipality in which the premises are located.” That clause was in the previous act as well, but the words “in the public interest” have never been defined. In recent years the board appears to have interpreted “in the public interest” very much in its own way, and if the residents cannot show that there will be real upset in their lifestyle or noise or other disadvantages of the licence, the licences appear to have been granted regardless of the residents’ complaints.
The board refuses to consider parking problems. It says that is simply a municipal problem, which it is not. A new liquor licence in an area always brings additional parking and additional requirements for garbage collection and removal of litter and things of that sort. It also often requires additional policing because the people who come out of the establishments are not always law-abiding, especially after they have had drinks.
I think this bill must include a definition of “not in the public interest having regard to the needs and wishes of the residents of the municipality in which the premises are located.” I think that to give one member of the board, as this act does, the power to grant an application for a liquor licence unless he or she has received written objections from some residents, is giving far too much power and not involving the community in the question of how many liquor licences we should have in an area and whether the kinds of liquor licences that are granted for each area are compatible with the neighbourhood.
A residential neighbourhood is not a suitable place for a strip joint and is not a suitable place for noisy adult entertainment. A beer and wine licence is perhaps more suitable for an area of restaurants and family homes. There is more to the public interest than just whether or not there will be disruption of the community. They must look at the other things such as the effect on the lifestyle of the people in the area.
I think also that the question of patio licences must be considered separately. Patios on private property are outlawed in the Queen Street East strip in my area due to the neighbours having got together. They managed to pass a bylaw through the council of the city of Toronto to the effect that patio licences on private property would not be allowed. The reason is that patios always create noise, especially at closing time, and disrupt people’s quiet enjoyment of their property when it is in a residential district or when it is a commercial strip that abuts on a residential district. There should be special rules for patio licences, and they should not be granted as part of a regular liquor licence. They should have special hours for opening and closing, as well of course as hearings on them in order to see that the residents’ rights are considered as much as the rights of the restaurant or bar owner.
The question of sidewalk licences in sidewalk cafes, or boulevard restaurants as they call them, on city property is another thing that the liquor board should, I think, deal with only after the city approval has been given rather than deal with it in advance and then say, “If the city approves, they can have a boardwalk cafe.” This takes up a lot of time of people going down to the liquor board to protest against a boardwalk cafe, because the city may also agree with their complaints and not grant the licence. I think it should be that the city approval should first be obtained and then they should go to the liquor board to see if the liquor board also approves a sidewalk cafe.
Members may say that we are opposed to people enjoying themselves in the summer outdoors. I think there is a place for sidewalk cafes if the sidewalks are big enough -- in most of the residential areas they are not -- and if there are early closing hours so that people’s sleep is not disturbed by the operation of the sidewalk cafe and by the breaking-up time when people come out and get into their cars. They should not be getting into their cars if they have been drinking heavily in any way or do not have a designated driver in the group. I think the whole question of considering the needs and wishes of the residents of the municipality is very inadequately dealt with in this legislation.
The main objection I have is that the clause relating to the licensing of premises says that the rules for the holding of hearings and for the requirements of notice are all in the regulations section. Well, the regulations section is a real demonstration that this legislation is not the kind of legislation that we need to control the sale and use of beverage alcohol.
The regulations section under the old act, I think, had about 27 clauses in it and practically anything could be done under that regulations section that the act mentioned. It covered 29 pages. I have here a copy of the 1988 consolidation of the Liquor Licence Act. There were 29 pages of regulations attached to it and almost anything affecting the sale of liquor could be done through regulations by the government.
We all know that a regulation is simply something the government has the power to pass, to publish in the Gazette and to cover with an order in council authorizing it. But in most cases the public never hears about these regulations until they are gazetted and until they see what has been put in the regulation. They are ultimately tabled and filed as regulations, but the public has practically no input on those regulations.
I would like to ask the minister, as the first thing that he must tell us when he replies to the speakers in this debate, when are we going to see the regulations that will go with this bill? It is a bill that is almost completely to be administered through regulations and I think that is a very dangerous precedent to be setting. I am afraid that this Liberal government does more and more of its legislation in this way and by its extensive regulation powers really cuts the Legislature out of having a say on a subject such as the regulation of liquor licensing.
Let me just read some of the powers that are allowed under the regulations section, which is section 62 of the act. “The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations...prescribing anything that is referred to in this act as being prescribed” -- but as I say, practically every section of the act says this will be done by regulation -- “governing the issuance, renewal, transfer and expiry of licences; governing the issuance and expiry of permits’ exempting any person, product or premises from any provision of this act or the regulations” -- that is a very sweeping power; it can exempt anybody whom it chooses to exempt -- “...controlling the advertising of liquor or its availability for sale and requiring that advertisements be subject to the approval of the board.”
My colleague the member for Scarborough West has already mentioned that the advertising of liquor is entirely left to the regulations and that there must be more opportunity for the Legislature to write into this legislation the kind of advertising it would like to authorize. I think to leave it to the licensing board to decide this is to leave it entirely to a group that is more interested in catering to the establishments that it licenses and in seeing that they have the maximum opportunity to advertise their product than in considering the effect of the advertising on groups, such as women, who are exploited in such ads, or in considering the advertising and its effects on our lifestyle and whether it really encourages the increased consumption of alcohol.
That is just one of the many powers under the regulations that are provided for. There are actually 34 paragraphs dealing with regulations and they all give huge powers to the government. I think quite a number of these points should be written into the act. The first one is the prescribing of the means for giving notice. Section 7 simply says that if an application is received, notice must be given “in the prescribed manner.” It does not say anything about the actual posting of notices or whether there should be a notice going out to all the residents within, say, a 500-metre radius of the application.
It is neighbourhoods that are affected by the regulations, particularly on commercial streets in residential districts. I think that regulations must be written into the act and we will be proposing an amendment to that effect.
The other paragraphs of the regulations also allow the government to prescribe the rules for proceedings before the board, which may or may not mean bringing board meetings closer to home. Right now, practically all hearings are held down at the Liquor Licence Board of Ontario main offices on Lakeshore Road, which is quite difficult for people to have access to, certainly by public transit, or other means at present. The rules for proceedings before the board usually mean that the hearings are held at 9 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon in the daytime. There are practically never any evening hearings and the hearings really should be in the neighbourhood of the applicant. You could have a school that would cover two or three neighbourhoods, but the whole process should be brought back to the people so that they can have a say in the process.
The other things that are in the regulations authorize the board to regulate and control the possession and delivery of liquor under a licence or permit. This will control the taxi deliveries. Again, I think we have to be very careful if we are extending the sale of liquor beyond the liquor board premises to other agents. I agree that we do need more agencies in the remote or rural areas. In the distant areas where there are not close liquor stores, we do need agents. I think we should make liquor available to people in those areas, but I am very dubious about the idea of taxi delivery, especially in big cities where people can find their way to a liquor board without too much trouble. The taxi will encourage deliveries after hours and then encourage people to prolong parties or to come out at very late hours under the influence of liquor. I think we have to really examine those regulatory powers and require the spelling out of very many of them.
It says here that one single member of the board shall consider an application and, “If, after giving notice of an application,” and that means just as provided by the regulations, “the board receives no written objections,” he may go ahead and approve the licence or, second, “direct that a proposal to review the application be issued.”
I cannot see anything in the act that says a proposal to review the application will be advertised or how it will be advertised. Presumably he will have to notify the residents in the same way as he would notify them about the initial application if there are any objections. So it would appear that while this looks like an alternative form of hearing, the methods by which it will be advertised to the public are really not spelled out. It looks to me as if the act is defective in not saying what happens if the board member directs that a proposal for review be issued.
The same individual member of the board “may specify any conditions” to attach to the licence which are “consented to by the applicant.” What if the member wishes to specify conditions that are not consented to by the applicant? Does he still have the power to specify such conditions, or is it strictly a negotiation process and either you get your licence and consent or you do not get your licence?
It seems to me he should be looking at the conditions based on whatever he has learned from the other people who are affected, such as the residents of the neighbourhood, and at that stage he should specify conditions. That is another area which needs clarifying.
Then when you get to the question of transfers of licences, it would appear that we are back to the old rules which are now in effect, that a transfer of a licence does not require a public hearing and does not require a notice to the public in the area, in the neighbourhood, that there has been a transfer requested unless there has been a substantial increase in the number of seats requested.
The transfer could perhaps be to a different kind of operator who has been operating different kinds of bars in other parts of the city; more of a pub rather than a restaurant, for example. I think the residents have a right to know what kind of applicant is seeking a transfer and what kind of operation he or she intends to operate. They should perhaps even be required to submit sample menus and sample information about entertainment provided, if they are asking for a transfer of a licence that includes entertainment.
Of course, if they want any additional licences, I presume they do have to make a separate application for that. But a transfer of a licence has been a bone of contention for many, many residents in my area for many years. They feel that all of sudden they wake up and discover that the licence of A has been transferred to B without their receiving any notification at all and sometimes with some increase in the number of seats allowed.
Incidentally, I think every application and notice should indicate to the residents what number of seats are being requested, as well as the kinds of licences and whether a patio is being requested. But I would urge that there should be separate rules and separate hearings for patios because of their special requirements.
The requirements for hearings are, in my opinion, very defective and should be the first item that the minister should consider in amendments. If he is not prepared to bring them in, I am sure that we will be bringing them in, but I would hope that there will be a consensus in the House that we do need to get back to the provision of adequate notice to the people affected and adequate opportunity for public hearings.
We still have to recognize that even public hearings are not costless, and yet the residents usually do not have lawyers to appear, and sometimes they are greatly inconvenienced by the applicants coming with lawyers and taking up a great deal of time. So I think we have to not only give the applicants some opportunity to have the hearings in their own neighbourhood, but possibly give them the opportunity to have some public funding to appear, if it looks like the other sides are going to be bringing lawyers and prolonging the time of the hearings.
We do that in many other hearing situations, such as environmental hearings -- whether a licence should be granted to a company that wishes to proceed under the Environmental Protection Act to bring in a new plant or a new operation, or a new highway. I think that under a liquor licence, too, the public should have an opportunity to be funded.
On the question of special permits, I do think also that there is a trend by the present government to limit the number of special permits to the licensed establishments and to not issue them to groups, including social groups, bowling clubs and charitable groups which wish to have fund-raising events, and political parties which also have fund-raising events. I think that class of persons should not find it as difficult as it appears to be now to obtain a special occasion permit, as long as they abide by the rules to operate the special occasion under proper control of the sales and proper control of the proceedings so that there are no disturbances and no need for calling in the police in any way.
I do appreciate that in the legislation the government has brought in some amendments which eliminate or control past excesses under the act, either by people with special occasion permits or by the liquor industry itself. I think that sort of tightening up of the regulations is a good thing. So the bill is not entirely without its merits, in my opinion, but I think it is so badly flawed in the fact that it really leaves the whole role of the public in such a state of uncertainty and new rules that it should be withdrawn and go back for reworking. But at the moment, I am here simply to point out where I think it needs changing, particularly in the areas of notice and assistance to public hearings.
One of the other things I think we have to be looking at is the whole question of the proliferation of outlets. Are we really prepared to see outlets increasing at the rate they have been increasing, and therefore greatly increasing the problems of alcoholism and alcohol addiction in this province and greatly increasing the problems of drunk driving? It seems to me there must be a limit if this government follows the principles that were set forth in the preface to the Offer report, that it has a dual responsibility, to both the sellers and to the public, to see that we exercise our powers in a responsible way and balance the different needs of our society and of the industry.
But as far as I can see, this bill is simply rather like the insurance act. It gives the liquor industry carte blanche to open as many outlets as it can possibly get approval for, but there does not seem to be any guidelines for the liquor board to say: “How much is too much? Where do we start to limit, in the public interest, the number of outlets?” I would have liked to have seen a preamble to the bill which might have indicated that that was one of the concerns of the licensing board.
I think the minor change of putting the LCBO out of the licensing business, which it was in in one or two cases, was good. It was good to have it all under the liquor licence board, but of course the LCBO also plays a very large role in the operation of the licensed outlets, and therefore it must also be subject to very stringent laws as to how it meets the terms of its licences. That is where the liquor licence board, I think, has to adopt a much more responsible position in supervising the operations of both the licensed premises and of the LCBO and their advertising.
I think it is very flawed legislation. I have quite a number of other areas that I want to deal with in the act, particularly the appeal process.
On motion by Ms Bryden, the debate was adjourned.
The House adjourned at 1800.