35e législature, 2e session

The House met at 1332.



The Speaker (Hon David Warner): Members may be seated. I beg to inform the House that I have today laid upon the table the annual report of the Information and Privacy Commissioner, Ontario, for the period covering January 1, 1991, to December 31, 1991.



Mr Robert Chiarelli (Ottawa West): Ontarians should no longer be subjected to the second-rate principles of the Attorney General. First, he permitted a nominated NDP candidate, Emily Carasco, to remain chair of the independent and important Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee for many months. Now he also engages in conduct in contravention of the Premier's guidelines, which require ministers to perform in a manner to maintain public confidence and trust in the integrity of the government.

The Attorney General appointed Mr Nick Wihnan, his constituency assistant, his personal staff, to chair the board of the Rainy River District Community Legal Clinic. This is a board established to operate at arm's length from the Ministry of the Attorney General and the clinic funding committee. How can this be done when the minister's staff sits as chair of the board? Where do Mr Wihnan's loyalties lie: to the community board, which frequently has disagreements with the Ministry of the Attorney General, or with the Attorney General?

This is unspeakably blatant. These clinics are called independent clinics. How can the community board feel comfortable discussing points of contention with the ministry when the Attorney General's personal staff person is chair of the board? This is inexcusable conduct. It is arrogance. It is disdain for simple propriety.


Mr Allan K. McLean (Simcoe East): Ontario is Canada's most important apple-producing province. Last year we accounted for over 48% of all apple sales in the country. Today, as we look at the apples that have been delivered to our desks and offices, it is fitting that we recognize the commitment to improving quality that apple growers of Ontario have made.

For a second year now, consumers can look for the Orchard Crisp brand identification when they buy their apples. Last year, after three years of research and planning, Ontario apple growers voluntarily committed themselves to new standards for Ontario apples. Apples marketed with an Ontario Orchard Crisp label must meet strict quality standards. These include colour and appearance standards for the Canada Fancy grade, plus a minimum pressure test. This test guarantees consumers a crisp apple year-round.

To ensure that the orchards are maintained, Orchard Crisp apples are spot-checked at the packer and retail levels by both the Ontario Apple Marketing Commission and government inspectors. The commission and growers have done a great job in quality improvement.

A number of growers and commission members are here with us today, after making their deliveries to our offices. Today, I want to recognize Don Bonter, vice-chair of the Ontario Apple Marketing Commission, who's here with his son Brian and daughter Kristina. Howard Staff, a director of the commission, is here with his son Drew. Also present, are directors Tom O'Neil, Kirk Kemp and Bob Giffen. Thank you for taking the time to come here today and for reminding us again about the quality of Ontario's Orchard Crisp labelled apples.

Mr Paul R. Johnson (Prince Edward-Lennox-South Hastings): Speaking along the same lines as the member for Simcoe East, members of the Legislature will have noticed the apples you received this afternoon. They were brought to you courtesy of Ontario's apple growers. And they're no ordinary apples: They are the crispest, firmest, juiciest apples Ontario growers can market, and they go by the name of Orchard Crisp.

Orchard Crisp is a brand identification and quality control program designed by Ontario growers. It is aimed at drawing attention to the quality and reasonable cost of 12 varieties of apples, including Red Delicious, Ida Red, Northern Spy and McIntosh, my favourite.

The program was launched last year by the growers themselves after three years of research. Growers and packers, who volunteer to be licensed to use the Orchard Crisp brand name, must ensure that their products meet strict quality standards, including size, colour, freshness and crispness.

I note that the Ministry of Agriculture and Food and this government fully support the apple industry and this initiative. Their Foodland Ontario staff have been particularly supportive through such things as shared-cost programs, public relations, point-of-purchase advertising and more.

I'm sure the members will enjoy these quality apples. Let them be a reminder of the fine food products this province has to offer Ontarians now and throughout the year.

It's that holiday season, and these apples aren't just good to eat like this. They make great apple pie, and with a slab of cheese or maybe a little whipped cream on top, they're a great dessert. I want to tell you, Mr Speaker, we're not supposed to eat in the Legislature, and I know the Sergeant at Arms, Thomas Stelling, will be really upset, but I'm going to bite this one right here and now.

The Speaker (Hon David Warner): The member is living dangerously.


Mr Gerry Phillips (Scarborough-Agincourt): I want to comment again on Premier Rae and his standards. I've watched Premier Rae do things over the past few months that I totally disagree with, that were wrong and that I find indefensible. I'll mention just two things.

On September 16, Premier Rae's executive assistant wrote a letter on Mr Rae's letterhead to the chairman of the Ontario Municipal Board in support of a private development. This was clearly inappropriate, clearly wrong, and the Premier should have acknowledged that. Instead of that, he defended it, and none of us in this Legislature would support that. We all know it's wrong for the Premier to write to the chairman of the Ontario Municipal Board.

The second thing I wanted to mention is that twice in the past year or so, members will know that the official opposition has been leaked some very insignificant government documents. What happened? The government called in, twice, the anti-racket squad of the OPP to investigate the official opposition's offices. This is very dangerous, the government using the state police to silence the opposition.

Again, I fully expected Premier Rae to say that this was wrong and to stop it. But he didn't. He promised that we would have an all-party legislative committee to look into it. When we set that up, the government members and the government ministers refused to appear before it.

What is going on with Premier Rae? I really, truly don't know what Premier Rae's standards are any more.



Mrs Elizabeth Witmer (Waterloo North): I would like to bring the Minister of Community and Social Services up to date on the devastating impact of her lack of adequate funding for the special services at home program on the parents and the developmentally handicapped children in my community.

Recently, three families have been forced to give up in their attempts to care for their children at home, and they have abandoned these children to the Waterloo region family and children's services. At least four more families are seriously considering taking the same steps.

These three families have indicated that their children went out of control during adolescence. Eventually, they reached the breaking point, and they can no longer cope with these children now that the funding for weekend relief and in-home support has been cut. However, the greatest frustration for these families is the shortage of group homes for retarded children.

Minister, what are you going to do for these families? Instead of spending millions to wipe out private day care operators, you could have responded to a real and desperate need and helped these families struggling to care for their children in their own homes. What the people of this province need is less ideology and a greater commitment to providing the services which keep families together in their own homes.

I urge the Minister of Community and Social Services to make this issue a priority and give the families of developmentally handicapped children what they need most this year for Christmas: the support to help them keep their children at home.


Mr David Winninger (London South): I would like to take this opportunity to say a few words to commemorate l'École polytechnique anniversary on behalf of the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario.

Yesterday, on the actual anniversary of the tragedy, many groups and individuals remembered the deaths of 13 young female engineering students and one female staffer who died at l'École polytechnique three years ago. Our recognition of this loss has served to bring forward the resolve of many organizations to take specific action to make women more welcome in the engineering profession and to curb violence against women in society as a whole.

This year has brought such major accomplishments within the engineering profession nationally as the publication of a major study called More Than Just Numbers. To quote the study, "That single event in Canadian history jolted engineers and non-engineers alike into deep contemplation and open discussion about the very issues we were to deal with, namely, the status of women in the profession."

In this province, the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario has already acted on some of those recommendations. The association has drafted national guidelines on gender equality which have recently been approved by the Canadian engineering profession, represented by the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers. There are other initiatives, but these are the highlights of 1992.

While each year we focus on the loss of 14 women who died, their memories are kept alive with the work now being done by concerned professional engineers in this province and in Canada. We encourage the continuation of this good work in their memory.


Mr James J. Bradley (St Catharines): St Catharines needs help. The Niagara region needs help. With the devastating news that GM intends to move forward the date of the closing of the foundry and to sell its axle operation, there were few smiling faces in the streets of our city this past weekend.

The Ontario government must employ all of its resources to rescue its modern, top-notch foundry from extinction, to gain new work for the efficient engine plant and to keep the excellent axle plant operating.

When the GM plant at Ste Thérèse was threatened with closing, the government of Quebec and the government of Canada made a strategic investment in its future and saved the thousands of jobs that were at stake. The Ontario government should consider the same kind of investment in the future of St Catharines and the surrounding Niagara region. The economic benefits of the continued operation of our GM plant are obvious for St Catharines, for Ontario, for Canada. I ask the Premier to meet with the very top officials of GM in Detroit to place our case before the new corporate regime.

The move of the MTO to St Catharines and the MTR to Niagara Falls must be accelerated. Priority must be given to Niagara for the construction and repair of sewage treatment plans, water treatment plants, roads, bridges and essential public works.

The Niagara region, which has an unemployment rate hovering around 15% and is consistently among the highest in Ontario and Canada, must be declared an area eligible for special assistance and designated programs to spur economic growth and produce job opportunities similar to the area so specified under the Department of Regional Economic Expansion.


Mr David Tilson (Dufferin-Peel): Today I will be tabling a petition with over 13,000 names on it. These petitions are in opposition to the placement of a superdump to house all of Peel's garbage on two sites within the town of Caledon.

The petition was circulated and collected by many individuals from Caledon, but four stand out for their extraordinary efforts. Elma Westlake, recently killed in a car crash this fall, Luigi Romano and Albert and Junta Hinrichs spent many hours collecting names for these petitions. These tireless community volunteers stood outside of stores explaining where the dumps would be going and why it was important to oppose this decision forced on the people of Caledon by the NDP government. Albert and Junta Hinrichs from the town of Caledon today drove down from Caledon to hand-deliver additional petitions for me to present with the 13,000 other names. They are present in the members' gallery. I'd like to thank them for making a special trip to ensure that we have all the petitions.

I hope that Mrs Grier does not simply ignore these petitions, just as she has done for the thousands of others that have been presented by myself and other members of the opposition.

This government will no doubt have to make some difficult decisions before its mandate to govern the province of Ontario is taken away from it by the electorate. Until that happens, the NDP should always remember that people will remember how this decision is being steamrolled through. When their home or place of work hangs in the balance, it will take a very long time for the people of Caledon to forget the day the NDP came to ruin their town.


Mr Gary Malkowski (York East): I'm very pleased to inform members in the House that December 6 marked the 75th anniversary of the independence of Finland. The latter part of the 19th century was an important period of liberalization, during which time the Finnish people gained a sense of national pride and identity. It was at that time that the Finns established their national anthem, which is called Maamme.

We wish to recognize the many important contributions of the Finnish community in Canada, and especially to the province of Ontario. Suomi-Koti, the Toronto Finnish-Canadian Seniors Centre, now has a new addition to its 88-unit seniors' apartment building at 795 Eglinton Avenue East which I visited last week. The centre offers a rich cultural heritage and provides seniors with a sense of identity and a sense of pride.

It is my pleasure at this time to introduce Mrs Lea Pyykkonen, vice-chairperson of the Toronto Finnish- Canadian Seniors Centre, Suomi-Koti, who is sitting in the gallery today. Mrs Pyykkonen has made many important contributions to the Finnish community and has received recognition for her outstanding volunteer work.

It is a tribute to the Finnish community that they demonstrate integrity, honesty and courage. These qualities are so important to their culture that they have a word for it: "Sisu."

I urge all members in the House to join in the celebration of Finland's independence day.


The Speaker (Hon David Warner): Before proceeding, I invite all members to welcome to our midst this afternoon, seated in the members' gallery east, Mr Russell MacKinnon, MLA for the riding of Cape Breton West, Nova Scotia. Welcome to our chamber.



Mrs Lyn McLeod (Leader of the Opposition): I have to say that I very much regret the fact that neither the Premier nor the Attorney General is present in the House today to be able to respond to what we believe are serious questions about the administration of justice in this province. In their absence, I will direct my first question to the minister responsible for women's issues.

Last Friday, we learned that the Owen Sound courthouse, which is administered by the Attorney General's office, made a decision to make public Judi Harris's criminal record as well as confidential counselling information. What this means is that for $1 a page, anyone can obtain a copy of these documents. I'm sure the minister will agree that this is an absolutely incredible violation of Judi Harris's right to some degree of privacy.


I would ask you, as the minister responsible for advocating for the rights of women, what action have you taken, Minister, to raise this most recent and most unbelievable action with both the Premier and the Attorney General? If you have raised it with them, what response have they made to you? What do they say this means to Judi Harris and to the other victims of Grandview?

Hon Marion Boyd (Minister Responsible for Women's Issues): I share the member's concern. I have not had an opportunity yet to raise this with either the Attorney General or the Premier. I certainly intend to do so, because it is of great concern, not only to the young woman involved but in fact to all those who are involved as witnesses in a case or as accused in a case.

Mrs McLeod: I've become increasingly concerned. I know the minister understands the courage it takes for women to speak up and to make public the abuse they have suffered and I know the minister realizes how absolutely critical it is that women who do come forward be given confidence that the system is going to work for them and not against them. Yet we see the actions from this government are to suppress the 1976 report, which might have given some confirmation to the kinds of allegations these women have brought forward.

I was surprised -- I am surprised today in fact -- that the minister has not been actively discussing what happened last week with either the Premier or the Attorney General. I was surprised, when the Premier returned from his trip and I asked him about the Grandview report, to learn that he had not been made aware of the freedom of information commissioner's report, which very clearly said the report, that 1976 report, could be released. At that time the Premier said he would read the privacy commissioner's report and report back to this House on further steps he would take.

Again I ask the minister, as the advocate for the rights of the women involved in this situation, whether or not she knows what steps the Premier has taken; whether he has read the report; whether he has asked her for her recommendation; and whether he is now ready to follow the commissioner's recommendation that the 1976 report be released. Is the Premier ready to tell the Attorney General to stop suppressing that report?

Hon Mrs Boyd: I cannot speak for the Premier or for the Attorney General obviously. I will remind the member that the position taken in terms of appealing the decision of the privacy commissioner was on the ground that indeed the information might be of great value in terms of the prosecution of the cases, and that our real concern as a government, the concern of the Waterloo Regional Police, was that in fact this might interfere with the successful prosecution of cases in this matter. That, as far as I know, remains the concern that is there in the way of things.

I will tell the member that certainly I am concerned and I have consistently advocated on behalf of the Grandview people, including a number of meetings over the last week with the Attorney General and other people involved. It is not a question of not being concerned and not working very hard on their behalf; it is a question that the Attorney General has areas of responsibility that he alone can exercise.

Mrs McLeod: I can't help but feel the minister's response represents almost a tacit concurrence with what we see to be consistent and repeated efforts of different sorts that either silence or intimidate the women who have come forward with these allegations.

Let me just outline what these women, these victims, have experienced in these last few weeks. We've had the order from the privacy commissioner suppressed by the government. We have had the Premier's communications director and his closest adviser deliberately use his power to try and smear the reputation of one of the Grandview victims. We now have the confidential records of Judi Harris given out for $1 a page to anyone who asks for them by the same justice system that is supposed to be in place to help these victims.

We know that as a direct result of this government's actions more and more of these victims are reluctant to participate in any investigation for fear that they too will be publicly smeared by this government. We wonder how it is ever going to be possible to get to the bottom of the abuse of Grandview. Judi Harris herself has asked for a legislative inquiry.

Minister, again as the advocate for the rights of women, will you call upon your Premier? Will you demand an all-party legislative inquiry into the actions taken by John Piper during the course of his employment as the communications director in the Premier's office to understand how his actions in regard to Judi Harris reflect on the actions of this government and this Premier's office?

Hon Mrs Boyd: No, I will not, because I believe the actions that have already been taken in terms of Mr Piper's removal from the Premier's office, the findings of the police situation, are what is required.


The Speaker (Hon David Warner): Order.

Hon Mrs Boyd: I have met with the women from Grandview and have talked with them about the concerns we have around this issue. We are doing what we can with them to expedite matters and to give them more confidence in the process. I'm sure the Attorney General will be commenting on those additional plans in the very near future.

The Speaker: New question.

Mrs McLeod: Mr Speaker, I am somewhat stymied in my ability to pursue the line of questioning in the absence of the Premier again, and it seems in the absence of the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology. I wonder if you could tell us whether or not he is expected, since we didn't have any indication he'd be away today.

The Speaker: I can't help the member in that I'm never informed as to who will be in the chamber and who won't be.

Mrs McLeod: If the minister is coming, then I'm going to stand down the second lead question.

The Speaker: Third party?

Mr Michael D. Harris (Nipissing): I'll stand down both my questions too, Mr Speaker.

The Speaker: All right. Then we move to the official opposition with a question.


Mr Dalton McGuinty (Ottawa South): My question's for the Minister of Energy. The minister has attempted to assure us that some order's about to be restored to the chaos at Ontario Hydro, and this in particular by his appointment of his new chair and CEO, Maurice Strong, who has agreed to serve the good people of this province for the miserly wage of some $425,000 a year.

We've heard some disturbing news, and I want the minister's assurance that what I'm hearing is completely without foundation and there's no basis for it in fact. In particular, we've heard that after turning down the job three times, Mr Strong is now agreeing to take it on condition that he work only three weeks out of four as chair and CEO. Apparently, he requires one week out of four to attend to his personal affairs and business interests.

Mr Minister, can you assure the people of this province that this is not true? Can you assure us that your choice for chair and CEO of Ontario Hydro will work full-time and not three-quarter time or anything less than full-time to earn his salary of $425,000?

Hon Brian A. Charlton (Minister of Energy): The member raises one of a series of interesting questions that have been floating around in the rumour mill for the last number of weeks, so I'm pleased for the opportunity to deal with it. Mr Strong has been appointed as the full-time chair of Ontario Hydro, and it's the government's expectation that he will be the full-time chair of Ontario Hydro.

Mr McGuinty: I am sure, Mr Speaker, you will understand why I raise that question, because neither this minister nor his Premier has the best track record when it comes to appointing chairs in this province. We understood that we had the last full-time chair for some five years, and he left after 16 months.

Let me tell you what else we're hearing, Mr Speaker. We are hearing that this minister has agreed to give Mr Strong a pension for life valued at 70% of his salary after five years of employment with Hydro. That's a minimum $295,000 a year for life. That's $295,000 to be added to Hydro's costs and paid for by the people of this province. I want the minister to confirm that this is not the case, that Mr Strong is not going to be given this kind of pension benefit or anything near it.

Hon Mr Charlton: I guess the member's second question just points to how ridiculous some of the things that have been floating around are, because the proposal is absolutely preposterous. Mr Strong has been given pension benefits the same as anyone else. They will accumulate at a rate, as called for by the pension plan, of 2% per year of service.

The Speaker (Hon David Warner): New question, the third party.

Mrs Lyn McLeod (Leader of the Opposition): The minister is now here, Mr Speaker.

The Speaker: Okay, the Leader of the Opposition.



Mrs Lyn McLeod (Leader of the Opposition): My question, in the absence of the Premier, is to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology. As we're all aware, the Ontario government's agent general in New York has resigned. The government's one-line press release stated simply that Mr Masters resigned from his post in order to return to the private sector, yet it is no secret that Mr Masters was accused last summer of sexually harassing women under his supervision and was placed on indefinite leave at that time.

Minister, I would ask you, as the minister responsible for that office, as Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology, what investigations have been carried out by your government to probe these allegations, over what time period were these investigations carried out and what did the investigations reveal?

Hon Ed Philip (Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology): Mr Speaker, I'll refer that question to the Deputy Premier.


The Speaker (Hon David Warner): Order.

Mrs McLeod: Mr Speaker, on a point of order: I understand that a Premier has the ability to refer to any minister, and that a minister has an opportunity to refer to another minister if the area in question is not within the jurisdiction and responsibility of that minister, but I do not understand how the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology can refer this question to the Deputy Premier.

The Speaker: While I'm not about to guess why the minister would refer any question, what I can tell the member is that in the absence of the Premier the Deputy Premier assumes that particular responsibility. The minister has the opportunity to refer a question to the Premier, and in the absence of the Premier he has referred it to the Deputy Premier.

Hon Floyd Laughren (Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister of Economics): I suspect that the leader of the official opposition knows full well that the question she asked touches on the employment relationship between government, as the employer, and an employee and that under the provisions of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act I really am prohibited from engaging in any discussion of a personal nature. I'd be very surprised if the leader of the official opposition isn't very much aware of those provisions of the act, which I believe are both sections 21 and 42.

Mrs McLeod: In this case, the allegations were not kept private. The allegations and the indefinite leave of the agent general were very much in the public eye and that's why this continues to be a matter of public concern.

I would suggest that it is common knowledge as well that last summer the government hired the Toronto law firm of Tory, Tory, DesLauriers and Binnington to investigate these particular allegations of sexual harassment, at considerable cost to the taxpayers. Yet only a few months before, in March 1992, this same government came out with a Management Board directive setting out very clear guidelines for the investigation of sexual harassment allegations.

I take the Deputy Premier back to his response, that this was a matter between the government and an employee, and I would ask, are the procedures that the government has so recently established absolutely useless for dealing with workplace harassment, and if not, why did the government order in this particular case a special investigation instead of using the government's mechanism?

Hon Mr Laughren: First of all, I should clear up one of the things that the leader of the official opposition said in her preamble. The government never disclosed any aspect of the situation whatsoever. It was not the government that revealed any allegations, nor were they discussed by government. We have followed the rules of the act as passed by this Legislature, so I don't think it's appropriate for the leader of the official opposition to ask us to violate one of the very laws that was passed by this Legislature.

Mrs McLeod: It is nevertheless a matter of public record that Mr Masters was placed on indefinite leave because of allegations that had been brought forward. I would also suggest that the Premier himself has often said that justice must not only be done, but it must be seen to be done.

To me, that means that clear investigative and reporting procedures and mechanisms should be followed in every case and applied to everyone across the board with no exceptions. Yet in this case the government has not only failed to apply its own clear Management Board directives as to how it will deal with such situations, but it has also refused now to disclose the results of the special investigation that was ordered. As a result, all that we have are rumours and speculation. If Mr Masters was found to be innocent of these allegations, he should be exonerated. If not, both the public and the individuals who made the allegations should be informed so that a clear message will be sent that this kind of behaviour will not be tolerated.

I would ask the Deputy Premier if he does not agree that his Premier's continued silence on the issue casts serious doubts on the fairness of this entire process and everybody involved in it, and if he will not now break that silence.

Hon Mr Laughren: If he or I did break the silence, which the leader of the official opposition would like us to do, we would not only be breaking the silence, we would be breaking the law, and I don't think that the leader of the official opposition would approve of that after the fact. She would perhaps prod us into it before, but condemn us afterwards, so I think the leader of the official opposition is not playing very straight with us here. The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act says quite clearly that an institution shall not use personal information in its custody, that an institution shall not disclose personal information in its custody. Then it goes on to make some exceptions, but I don't think the exceptions would apply, and if the --


Hon Mr Laughren: Well, I would challenge the leader of the official opposition. If she wants to bring forth to this House a private member's bill that would gut the protections under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, then I would challenge her to do that so we can see exactly where she does stand on the protection of privacy aspects of this bill.

Mr Michael D. Harris (Nipissing): In the absence of the Premier and the fact that the minister responsible for Mr Masters refuses and doesn't wish to answer, I'll go to the Treasurer and Deputy Premier. Mr Deputy Premier, the freedom of information act was not intended to be used as a secrecy act, as a coverup act for the government or for the employer.

What I would like to know, Mr Deputy Premier, since you have been put on the hook to answer for this -- and I don't believe that's fair but I guess that's life in politics if everybody else wants to duck it -- I want to ask you, Mr Deputy Premier, why did Carl Masters resign? Was he asked to resign? Was there any aspect of any offer, settlement, that was made on behalf of the government to Mr Masters? If so, I would want to know why that would be the case. Or if he has resigned all on his own, can you explain to me why the taxpayers who paid his salary, why the taxpayers who paid for the investigation are not now entitled to know the results of that investigation?

Hon Mr Laughren: The leader of the third party is flanked by two lawyers, and I would ask him to consult them --


Mr Ernie L. Eves (Parry Sound): I'm only the best in Parry Sound. That doesn't say anything.

Hon Mr Laughren: -- two of the best lawyers in his front row. I would ask the leader of the third party to think seriously about what he's asking because he really is, in my opinion -- I am not trained in the law, but I did read section 21 in particular and section 42 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. It seems to me that as to what he is asking, if we were to respond in the way he would like us to respond, I believe we would be breaking that very law that was passed in this assembly.

I would be interested in the leader of the third party indicating whether or not he has a different reading of that act.

Mr Harris: The Treasurer and the government members can laugh all they want but I'll tell you this: Mr Masters is not laughing and no Ontarians are laughing. More important than that, women in this province are not laughing; they are not laughing. Judi Harris is not laughing. Other women who have had dealings with your government are not laughing. Bonnie Seguin up in Cochrane North is not laughing about how she has been treated by the agencies and by this government.


Mr Deputy Premier, given the fact that you feel you cannot tell us whether you asked Mr Masters to leave -- I don't think that breaks any confidential act, according to the two top expert lawyers in my front row that you asked me to consult with -- I have to assume that you did. The Black Business and Professional Association has called your government's silence on the issue irresponsible. Until the government answers or puts itself in a position where it can answer questions about the departure of Carl Masters, people are obviously left to speculate.

In the newspapers and in the public's mind, Mr Masters is perceived now as guilty, without any statement, without any trial, without anything being said by the government. You have put him into that position. Treasurer, this is the Premier's appointment; this is the NDP appointment to this job. It was the NDP that decided it should call in and have taxpayers pay for a special investigation. It is you, your Premier, your government, his office that decided Mr Masters should be paid while that investigation was ongoing. The taxpayers and the people of this province --

The Speaker: Would the leader place a question, please.

Mr Harris: -- including the friends of Mr Masters, have a right to know. When are they going to know?

Hon Mr Laughren: First of all, I don't think I should have to say this, but the member knows that nobody in this assembly takes sexual harassment lightly, which he implied in the preamble to his question. I think I shouldn't have to say that, but because of the way he put his question I feel I must. I simply reiterate to the leader of the third party that unless there's a different understanding of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act -- I remind him of the second part of that title, the protection of privacy aspect of the act -- unless there's a different interpretation of that act than I'm led to believe is the correct one and the one that we should follow, then there will certainly be no further information coming from me.

Mr Harris: Mr Deputy Premier, when you say "from me," you allege that there may be, coming from somebody else. I thought that because you were empowered on behalf of the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology, who your government didn't feel was competent enough to answer these types of questions, and empowered then by the Premier, who chooses to be somewhere else on this particular day, that you were empowered to answer. Are you now telling us we should wait till somebody with a higher authority comes back? If you are truly empowered, I believe that not only has Mr Masters been done an injustice by this silence, but most importantly of all, you are doing the women who made the allegations a very serious injustice.

You say I shouldn't conclude from your joking and laughing that you don't treat sexual harassment seriously or that you think it's a joking matter. You obviously by example with Mr Piper, you obviously by example with Bonnie Seguin, you obviously by example after example after example are not treating it with the seriousness it deserves. You're not treating it with the seriousness that women are asking you to treat it with. You are now once again sending a signal out to women who have been victims that your government does not take the issue seriously. I ask you, as Deputy Premier, since others have not recognized this, other than the Premier's office, do you not now recognize that the signal, the message you're sending out to women today is that maybe they're better off keeping quiet?

Hon Mr Laughren: I think the leader of the third party has crossed the line and is being patently unfair in his allegations that we're not taking this matter seriously or that we don't take sexual harassment seriously. That is really an outrageous accusation. I think it does more to erode his credibility than it does to anybody on this side of the House.

The only thing I cannot take seriously in this whole matter is the advice of the leader of the official opposition and the leader of the third party that we should violate the protection of privacy act that was passed by this very assembly.


Mr Michael D. Harris (Nipissing): We will come back to how you are selectively interpreting the freedom of information act so that you don't have to disclose some of the things your government is doing, Mr Treasurer and Deputy Premier. However, I want to ask a question to you, sir, as Treasurer, as one responsible for taxation and what not, about the case involving Mrs Ellen Stones.

Treasurer, Mrs Ellen Stones passed away. Her estate received a cheque to do with the sales tax and property tax credit. They made inquiries as to what they should do with the cheque, believing that the estate was entitled to that rebate for the portion of the year that she lived, that that would be fair since the cheque was for the living and not for those who had passed on. However, they and the family were informed that it was not the case; that the entire cheque should be returned, for the whole year, which they have done.

I would ask you, Treasurer, whether you believe that is the correct interpretation or whether in fact the estate of Mrs Ellen Stones ought not to have been entitled to that property tax and sales tax rebate for the portion of the year that she was living.

Hon Floyd Laughren (Treasurer and Minister of Economics): At first blush it would seem that the leader of the third party is implying that at least part of the cheque should have been allowed to have been cashed. I don't know, to tell you the truth, where that stands, and I don't know any of the details of the situation. If the leader of the third party would send me the information, I'll certainly see what happened there and see to what extent any rules have been broken or whether it's policy or not, but quite frankly I don't know at this point.

Mr Harris: Thank you, Mr Treasurer; I would appreciate your thoughts on that as a policy. However, Mrs Stones's case then carries on, because she died four and a half years ago, in 1988, and the ruling at that time was that she was not entitled to anything for that portion of the year she was living. You would then expect that the family would have been rather surprised, her son in particular, when four and a half years later they received an application for a property tax grant and sales tax grant, much to their chagrin, after having lost the ruling four and a half years ago, and that now receiving this information would have been a little bit of a shock to this family.

I wonder if you can explain to me how this could happen: nothing for four and a half years and all of a sudden an application goes out to the estate, the family of Mrs Ellen Stones, and her son, very upset, writes quite a strong letter back explaining that his mother passed away four and a half years ago. How could this possibly happen that these applications would be sent out; what would trigger this one? Obviously I think you'd be concerned, because if one is triggered, perhaps thousands or hundreds of thousands are triggered.

Hon Mr Laughren: The member is absolutely correct. I would be concerned and I am concerned and I do look forward to having that information sent over and I'll pursue it as quickly as I can.

Mr Harris: You can imagine, Treasurer, the chagrin of this family, after having expressed in pretty strong terms their distaste at having received these forms and having written back, that the response back from the government, which I will send over to you -- they've asked me to return it to you -- is a cheque for $50.


The actual sales tax cheque gets issued. You complain because four and a half years ago your mother died, and then you get these forms to fill out. You send the forms back saying, "What is going on?" and now the response from your government is, "Oh, here's the cheque for the $50 for the sales tax credit." If a page will come, I will give the cheque back to the Treasurer, because certainly the estate of this family has no need of a cheque for their mother, who passed away four and a half years ago.

But, Treasurer, it brings up the question of your government's ability to manage the affairs of this province. It brings up the question of your vast overspending. We now know that persons deceased for several years can get a health card just sent to them through the mail. "Go ahead; now that card is available for anybody to use." But now, in addition to that, you can get actual cheques sent to you even after you've passed away four and a half years before.

Treasurer, you are talking now about hiking taxes. I want to tell you that the people in this province are fed up with the way you're managing the money you do have, the way you're throwing it away, the way you are mismanaging program after program after program. How could your government possibly have sent out, in response to this request, a cheque for $50 to somebody who was deceased for four and half years?

Hon Mr Laughren: I don't know how the cheque could have been sent out and I'm not justifying it in any way whatsoever. I would just ask the leader of the third party not to read too much into one incident.


Mr Robert W. Runciman (Leeds-Grenville): I have a question for the Minister of Health. It's related to a press story that appeared in the Toronto Star over a month ago with respect to doctors repaying almost $7 million in overbilling.

That article indicated that 119 doctors had repaid these moneys. As I said, this was overbilling over a three-year period. A significant number of those doctors had overbilled in excess of $50,000. This matter was obviously drawn to the attention of the Medical Review Committee of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario by your ministry. We're not sure whether any fines were assessed in respect of these matters.

I'd like to ask you, Minister, if you have any concerns about this process, these numbers and the fact that there appears to be no ability to do a forensic review to see if there was an intent to defraud the public in respect of any of these matters. I'm wondering if you're satisfied with the process, and if not, if you intend to pursue any changes.

Hon Frances Lankin (Minister of Health): The issue of forensic auditing and of verification of billings is one that I think has been troubling a lot of us in the Legislature as we've looked at the problems that stem from the original move from OHIP numbers to individual health cards and the issuance of those cards, our ability to verify and verify billings.

There are a number of things we have been doing to move to a system where we would be better able to do verification and forensic follow-up. We have instituted a verification unit, we have added more staff to that area, and we have informed the medical community that we are moving to complete the development of a system of machine-readable input relationship of billings between doctors' offices and the ministry, so that we would be in a technological position to do better verification than the manual system we have had in the past.

Mr Runciman: I'm not sure if better verification -- the minister's sort of couching this. I guess I'm concerned that we're talking about significant moneys going into the OHIP system.

I know the auditor, in his last report, expressed concern about welfare ripoffs. We know this is a very difficult time for many people in Ontario society, close to a million people receiving social assistance. We're talking about a group that is perhaps the wealthiest group of individuals in society. When you take a look at the number of doctors in this province, the urban doctors -- and these are OHIP figures -- averaging 311 patients and billing $250,000 for themselves, $250,000 for lab tests and other matters, I think there are legitimate concerns out there about what's happening within the system.

I would ask the minister if she would not consider, at least with the 119 who were reported in the Toronto Star, asking the police to go in and do a forensic audit to determine if there was, in respect to those individuals anyway, any intent to defraud the public purse.

Hon Ms Lankin: I'd be glad to give consideration to that and get back to the member.


Mr Mike Farnan (Cambridge): My question is to the Minister of Housing. Minister, last week I was meeting with co-op leaders in Cambridge. They included representatives of the Highland Homes, Thorne View, Max Saltzman and Grandview co-ops. They're concerned about the level of member participation in long-term decision-making affecting their housing.

Minister, it is a fact of property management that some important renovations and repairs -- fixing a roof, for example, or replacing plumbing -- call for large one-time expenditures. However, current operating agreements with the Ministry of Housing do not allow co-ops to budget for more than a year for major-item expenditures.

Surely, Minister, if empowerment and control of decision-making is to be entrusted to co-ops, adjustments must be made to allow co-ops to independently plan over several years for major-item expenditures. Has the minister considered any method or means by which co-ops can plan and retain responsibility for the implementation of major-item expenditures?

Hon Evelyn Gigantes (Minister of Housing): In fact, the current agreements with co-ops not only allow but encourage co-ops to undertake longer-term planning for maintenance and renovation purposes. That's by way of replacement funds, which the ministry provides in its funding stream to non-profit housing groups. We certainly encourage members of co-ops to participate in the decision-making that goes on around such items as long-term repairs and renovations.

Mr Farnan: Minister, I hear from my constituents that in fact you have placed a moratorium on replacement reserve funds and to some extent have removed the ability to make their own decisions regarding when and what work needs to be done.

Minister, the leaders of the cooperative movement and the members of co-ops in my community are appealing for greater involvement, greater power in the decision-making process, and there is a sense within the cooperative movement that to some extent the ministry is playing Big Brother and not allowing those leaders to have that empowerment and that decision-making role within the co-op.

Hon Ms Gigantes: If I could take members of the Legislature back to the housing policy framework consultation which went on and to our response, which was the document called Consultation Counts, they will find there our plans to make sure that in the future there is more independence of decision-making by leaders in the non-profit housing groups, including co-ops, around their financial planning.

It is the case, as the member points out, that during this fiscal year we have frozen the amount of money that we flow -- in fact, we put zero into replacement reserves of co-ops around the province, but we are working with the co-ops on a long-term operating agreement.

I expect that agreement to be signed, sealed and delivered by the end of this year, God willing, and we will have a framework that is both flexible from their point of view and also provides us with the kind of control and accountability mechanisms we need to ensure that moneys are being well spent.


Mr Gilles E. Morin (Carleton East): My question is to the Minister of Community and Social Services. The Provincial Auditor's report confirmed that Community and Social Services has lost millions of dollars due to fraud.

This is nothing new. Bill 154 raises issues, including fraud, that cannot be resolved without dealing with the problems found in the auditor's report. There must be an agreement between financial institutions and the government.

Last Tuesday I met with a representative of the Canadian Bankers Association. Financial institutions are waiting for a government decision regarding a guarantee for their reimbursement of fraudulent government cheques. This is not an unreasonable request on the part of the banks. The federal government has been reimbursing fraudulent cheques for years. This is a cheaper option than paying the price of fraud.

We now have proof that this government's policy of procrastination and postponement simply leads to more fraud and more dollars lost. Why is the provincial treasury refusing to guarantee its cheques, and what is your ministry's response to the treasury's lack of cooperation?


Hon Marion Boyd (Minister of Community and Social Services): Indemnification of the banks in terms of welfare cheques is certainly one of the measures I have talked about in this House a number of times in terms of dealing with the issue that this member has raised again and again around cheque cashing institutions. It is certainly one of the many methods in which we are working to prevent and detect fraud.

I would remind the member that a number of measures have already been taken that have gone a long way to redressing the issues the auditor mentioned, and the auditor himself indicated that the ministry had been taking a lot of action.

I will continue to consider indemnification as one of those measures, but we have not achieved a negotiation of that as yet on the provincial level; the member's quite right.

Mr Morin: Minister, when I look at the report, what it tells me, what it tells you, is that there's a gaping hole on the side of your ship which is getting bigger and bigger every day. If you don't fix it, your ship is going to sink.

I realize that policies cannot be implemented overnight, but before policies come decisions. Without decisions, there cannot be coherent, effective policies. The problem in this case is that too few decisions are made. Sure, we all wish problems would simply go away, but you, Minister, are not in the position to engage in wishful thinking. You must deal with reality.

The fact is that your ministry is responsible for the most vulnerable people in our society, and it can no longer meet its financial obligations. No one is asking for the moon, but we do expect consistent policies. We expect you to use whatever means are at your disposal to effectively comply with your mandate. The goals and policies aimed at helping low-income persons are being sidetracked by considerations we can only guess at, but the results are very clear: Millions of dollars are lost, vanished in thin air. Administrative change and increased staff do not suffice. How do you explain such discrepancies, and who is in charge?

Hon Mrs Boyd: We have already acted, as I told the member in answer to his first question, to plug many of the holes that were identified by the auditor in the report, which was, after all, on the 1991-92 year. A great deal of action has been taken in the meantime, not the least of which is increasing the number of eligibility review officers and increasing the number of direct-deposit cheques, which has greatly reduced the kind of fraud that was identified by false replacement cheques and that sort of thing by the auditor. We continue to work at the reform of the entire system, which is directed at resolving many of the issues the auditor raised.

I would also say to the member that if we had the kind of capability in this country, in this province, of correcting fraud at the income tax level or at the employer tax level that was identified by the federal and provincial auditors, it would come way ahead of the very minor levels of fraud that are in the social assistance system. It is really unfair for the opposition to continually define this as the major problem, when a much higher dollar amount was identified as fraud by employers in the employer tax system.


Mr W. Donald Cousens (Markham): I have a question for the Minister of the Environment. Last week the Provincial Auditor reported that the province has a $3-billion problem related to our sewage treatment plants. The report states that in 1990, 25% of sewage treatment plants did not comply with provincial guidelines for one or more substances such as phosphorus, suspended solids and biological oxygen demand. A 1987 study indicated that nearly one half of all Ontario sewage treatment plants did not meet the standards of the United States Environmental Protection Agency. But what is really alarming is the statement by the auditor that, "No major improvements have been undertaken since that time." Could the Minister of the Environment respond to the concerns of the auditor of Ontario and tell us what her plans are for upgrading the province's sewage treatment plants?

Hon Ruth A. Grier (Minister of the Environment): Those plans fall under three categories. Of course, there are some sewage treatment plants that need to be rebuilt and need to be upgraded; primary responsibility for that lies with municipalities, which operate, I think, about 75% of the sewage treatment plants within the province. We are looking at reviewing our grant programs in order to make sure that provincial grants go to those where in fact the environmental problems are the worst, and we can begin to look at those priorities.

Second, we look at all optimization of the functioning of the existing plants. Water conservation plays a very major part in that, because if we can conserve water, we are putting less stress on the sewage treatment plants and avoiding the need to rebuild and expand those sewage treatment plants.

Last but by no means least, we hope by the end of this year that about 70% of the population of the province will be in municipalities covered by the sewer use bylaw, a bylaw that municipalities are implementing which regulates the flow of industrial waste into sewage treatment plants.

Mr Cousens: If the minister had a comprehensive policy that would begin to deal with the issue, certainly the auditor wouldn't have highlighted it as the problem it is today, and certainly the storm water problems we have now in the greater Toronto area wouldn't also be a problem. We've got a $3-billion problem that just isn't going away.

I have a solution I'd like to ask you to comment on. Municipalities have a major problem trying to face up to the costs for them just to maintain their own systems. The auditor claims that of the $3 billion needed for sewage treatment facilities and for the upgrading that's required, one third of it should be paid for by your ministry under current funding arrangements with municipalities. Also, I have in my hand a letter from a Mr Steve Placek, outlining ways to save money and improve the quality of service with respect to sewage treatment plants. He talks about new equipment, new procedures, new guidelines, new value engineering and looking for innovative ways of solving the problem.

What I'm suggesting, Madam Minister, is that when an independent consultant can come up with a number of suggestions and when in fact municipalities are waiting for direction from you, would you as Minister of the Environment agree to set up a provincial symposium to bring together engineers, financial planners, municipal representatives to discuss ways of solving Ontario's $3-billion sewage treatment problem?

Hon Mrs Grier: Let me say to the honourable member that I'm not familiar with the letter he has, but from his brief outline, it sounds like exactly what I'm putting under the catch-all phrase "optimization," making sure we get the best possible use out of the existing facilities by upgrading them, by the certification and training of the operators, by making sure that we try to deflect storm water, by detention tanks such as has happened in Metropolitan Toronto or by storm drainage plans that deflect storm water away from the sewage treatment plants, because storm water has certainly been one of the major causes of the overflow of the sewage treatment plants.

With respect to the kind of symposium that he is suggesting, let me say to the honourable member that those kinds of discussions occur all the time under a variety of auspices: public works associations, conservation authorities, my ministry, municipalities. We are in constant dialogue with the industry, with the municipalities, with the environmental groups, about how to upgrade sewage treatment in this province.


The Speaker (Hon David Warner): The Minister of Health with the response to a question asked earlier.


Hon Frances Lankin (Minister of Health): Further response to the member for Leeds-Grenville: With respect to the cases he was referring to, which were over a three-year period, I'm informed by the ministry that the medical review committee had in fact reviewed those and requested repayment. Through their experience, their guidelines and their precedents, they determine whether or not they believe these are cases that have any fraudulent nature to them.

In the cases that he specifically referred to, none of the repayments ordered by the medical review committee were for fraudulent claims. Where that is the case, or where it's believed to be the case, it is in fact referred to the anti-rackets branch of the Ontario Provincial Police. That happens on a regular basis from the medical review committee, when it feels by its guidelines that there may be cases of fraud involved.

Mr Robert W. Runciman (Leeds-Grenville): This is unusual, to say the least, getting another answer to a question posed earlier today. I'm not sure about the specifics of what the minister is saying to us today -- I'll have to take a look at it more closely -- but I would like to pose a question in response to what she has said. She's indicating that the anti-rackets squad has gone in on cases where there's suspicion of fraudulent activity. Can she indicate to us today, over the past three-year period or perhaps over the past five-year period, how many charges have been laid as a result of those kinds of investigations, and how many investigations have occurred?

Hon Ms Lankin: To the best of my knowledge, there have been six that have involved doctors in multiple cases of requests for repayment where fraud was suspected and where investigations ensued and charges were laid.


Mr Steven Offer (Mississauga North): I have a question to the Treasurer. Treasurer, last week I and the member for Mississauga West asked the Minister of Revenue a question on the new sales tax imposed by you last October 1. You now pay sales tax on the Red Book value of a used vehicle or the actual selling price, whichever is higher.

Treasurer, this is a tax that affects many people, such as students and the unemployed, who purchase used cars and do so by private sale. Your Minister of Revenue was unaware of the impact of this discriminatory tax. Will you commit today to amend this unfair tax to allow people to pay tax only on the amount they paid for the used car and not on the higher, unknown Red Book value?

Hon Floyd Laughren (Treasurer): I've been approached by a number of members of my caucus, who shall go unnamed, about this very problem. I can tell the --

Mrs Elinor Caplan (Oriole): I wouldn't buy a used car from any of you.

Hon Mr Laughren: If the member for Oriole will let me finish my answer, I can tell the member opposite that we are looking at that matter now to see if there are any changes that could be made that would be appropriate. But I'm not announcing here today --

Mrs Caplan: That's as good as an announcement.

Hon Mr Laughren: I'm sorry; the member for Oriole wanted to complete the sentence for me.

I didn't want to leave the impression that I was making an announcement today that we are making a change, but we are looking at it because there has been some concern expressed by a fairly significant number of people.

Mr Offer: Last week it was brought to the attention of the Minister of Revenue that an auction was held last October 29 by the Ministry of Transportation. At the auction there were examples of retail sales tax paid on the sales price of the car and not on the higher Red Book value.

I've now been provided further information on that same auction. Item number 36 was a 1987 Chevrolet K5 Blazer. The bid price was $4,900; the Red Book value was $10,125. The retail sales tax paid: zero. Item number 39: a 1988 GMC Sierra Classic, 1500 Suburban. The bid price, or the sale price: $3,600. The Red Book value: $10,625. The retail sales tax paid: zero.

Treasurer, remember, this is a secret tax. You shake your head, but the public is generally unaware of a Red Book valuation of a car they have purchased. This tax hurts many people: students, the unemployed. I ask you again today: They need your commitment so that the people who legitimately and honestly negotiate the sale of a used car will only pay the retail sales tax on the price negotiated and not on the higher, unknown Red Book valuation, which they have no idea about. We need your commitment and they need your commitment to that change today.

Mrs Caplan: That's only fair, Floyd. It's only fair.

Hon Mr Laughren: The member for Oriole is once again answering the question for me, and I wouldn't want that to happen because she knows not of what she speaks.


The Speaker (Hon David Warner): Order. Treasurer.

Hon Mr Laughren: I'll try again, Mr Speaker. When the government introduced this particular tax, it was not the first time in the history of the civilized world that such a tax had been introduced. It's in other jurisdictions; it's working in other jurisdictions. This is the first time in Ontario, you're absolutely correct.

It's time that some responsibility was brought to the retail sales of used cars and in particular the whole curbsider operation, which the Liberals, when they were in office, chose to ignore, for what reason I can only guess. I can tell the member opposite that it is our intention to make sure that this tax works properly so that some people who pay their tax legitimately aren't doing so while others get off scot-free and pay no tax at all. That's simply not fair.


Mr David Tilson (Dufferin-Peel): I have a question for the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations. Madam Minister, your ministry has been mailing out letters to all Ontario corporations, profit and non-profit, telling them they must file a corporation statement and in doing so they must pay a $50 fee for a profit corporation and $25 for a non-profit corporation.

Madam Minister, I've had many constituents of mine and, I'm sure, many constituents of yours call and write letters, telling me this new hidden tax is ill timed, and they have resented the confrontational style of your letter. Can you tell this House today if you intend to make this an annual fee?

Hon Marilyn Churley (Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations): As I've said in the House before, prior to 1976, Ontario did require all corporations to file at that time. The province decided, in 1976, to remove this requirement. What happened as a result of that -- and may I add that every other province, including the federal government, requires this filing to be done -- is that many, many corporations did not file the information.

As a result, the file system that we have in place is badly out of order, badly out of date. Those of the public who depend on this file to be accurate and up to date have been in fact sadly led astray in some instances. So it's very, very important that we do as other provinces do and make sure that this filing is kept up to date for the benefit of the people who use the system.

Mr Tilson: My first question was, are you going to be making this an annual fee? You've given this answer several weeks ago, which you just did. My question was, are you going to make this an annual fee? You have yet to answer that.

Madam Minister, when the help line to your offices is phoned, your office is telling businesses that the Legislature will vote on whether or not this is an annual tax and that that vote will take place some time next spring -- that's what your office is telling people who phone in -- and that they should write their MPPs if they want them to vote against this annual fee. That's what your staff are telling the people of this province.

Will the minister stop passing the buck and make a commitment today that she will bring forward legislation to allow proper debate of this new source of revenue and not simply pass another regulation, as she did this past year, to make this hidden tax annual?

Hon Ms Churley: First of all, let me say again that this is not a hidden tax. It's a very clear indication that we in fact need to have our files updated. It costs $50 for corporations and $25 for non-profit organizations.

Mr David Turnbull (York Mills): It's a tax grab. Why do you need money?

The Speaker (Hon David Warner): The member for York Mills, come to order.

Hon Ms Churley: For the benefit of the many, many people out there who are using this system so that they can do the research they need, and that includes not only lawyers and not only corporations and banks but also small cooperatives, labour organizations --


The Speaker: Order.

Hon Ms Churley: All kinds of people use this system and it is very important that the system be kept up to date as every other province is making sure its system is kept up to date.




Hon Ruth A. Grier (Minister of the Environment and Minister Responsible for the Greater Toronto Area): On behalf of Mr Cooke, I move that, notwithstanding any standing order, a private bill to revive Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East may be introduced and given first reading and that the bill be considered by the standing committee on regulations and private bills on December 9, 1992.

The Speaker (Hon David Warner): Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry? Carried.



Mr Hugh P. O'Neil (Quinte): I have a petition addressed to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario and it reads:

"We, the undersigned, beg leave to petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as follows:

"Whereas the role of police is to uphold and enforce the laws duly established by elected representatives;

"Whereas the police are empowered to protect society and maintain the peace;

"Whereas the government has an obligation to provide adequate means for the police to fulfil their duty;

"Whereas society has the responsibility to support police in this duty,

"Be it resolved that we reject the new use-of-force regulations and humbly pray and call upon this House to stay implementation of this legislation."

I have affixed my signature to this petition.


Mr Ernie L. Eves (Parry Sound): I have a petition signed by some 1,300 people, residents of the province of Ontario, to which I've also affixed my signature as a member.

"To the honourable Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

"Whereas the management of Ontario Hydro has not taken concrete actions to restructure its organization for increased efficiency or in light of present-day economics to reduce overheads and capital requirements to realistic and necessary levels; and

"Whereas the management of Ontario Hydro continues to expand its transmission facilities without due regard to sustainable development, economics and health and environmental concerns of the citizens of Ontario,

"We, the undersigned, petition the honourable Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as follows:

"Order Ontario Hydro to freeze expenditures for the 1993 fiscal year at 1992 levels and to immediately begin working on a business plan that will concentrate on cutting overheads instead of raising prices to put the organization back on a firm financial footing;

"Authorize an independent study of all generation and transmission expansion programs, and in particular report on the future electrical consumption needs of the province: it should assess taking into consideration the high level of environmental damage, the economics of building transmission lines and buying and transmitting electrical power from northern Manitoba; it should fully explore the use of local independent power projects and other energy generation sources as an alternative to long-distance, high-voltage transmission lines; recommendations for real conservation programs that will reduce the need for increased high-voltage power transmission should be an important part of this study;

"Order Ontario Hydro to develop a new plan that will make the present transmission corridors between Sudbury and Toronto capable of providing dependable electrical energy for this geographical area of Ontario for the next 50 years. This will result in lower costs and less environmental damage to Ontario."

A very recognizable and well worthy petition, Mr Speaker. As I said, over 1,300 residents of the province of Ontario have affixed their signatures, and I have as well.


Mr Robert Frankford (Scarborough East): I have a petition on the letterhead of the Sickle Cell Association of Ontario and I'd like to acknowledge the hard work it has put into this. It's a petition to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario and it reads:

"Whereas sickle cell anaemia is a serious medical condition with 10% of the population of African origin carrying the gene,

"And controlled studies show a significant reduction in the number of childhood deaths by long-term treatment with penicillin, to such a degree that it must be considered an essential drug,

"We, the undersigned" -- and there are about 170 of them -- "call upon the ministries of Health and of Community and Social Services to ensure free provision of the drug to all affected children."

I have affixed my signature.


Mr David Tilson (Dufferin-Peel): I have a petition addressed to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario with 13,000 signatures from the town of Caledon. It's a petition I referred to in my statement earlier today.

"Whereas the Interim Waste Authority has released a list of 21 sites in the region of Peel as possible candidates for landfill, 15 of which are located in the town of Caledon; and

"Whereas the decision to prohibit the regions of the greater Toronto area from searching for landfill sites beyond their boundaries is contrary to the intent of the Environmental Assessment Act, subsection 5(3); and

"Whereas the government has promised each person in Ontario the right to a full environmental assessment, including the right to a review of all options as it pertains to waste disposal in Ontario,

"We, the undersigned, protest and petition the Legislature of Ontario as follows:

"That the Legislature of Ontario repeal Bill 143 in its entirety and allow a more democratic process for the consideration of future options for the disposal of greater Toronto area waste where a 'willing host' community exists who is interested in developing new disposal systems for the greater Toronto area waste;

"And further that the government of Ontario remove sites C-34B and C-48 from consideration for the following reasons: (1) It is prime agricultural land and would be lost for ever to a dump; (2) the above sites are close to the town of Bolton; (3) these sites are all in the Humber Valley watershed; (4) artesian wells and all water resources are exposed to danger if a dump comes on any one of these sites, wells that supply Bolton and the surrounding area.

"We oppose any dump in Caledon."

I have affixed my signature to this petition containing 13,000 names. I will need the assistance of at least two pages.


Mr Ron Hansen (Lincoln): I have a petition to the members of the provincial Parliament of Ontario:

"I, the undersigned, hereby register my opposition in the strongest of terms to the proposal to establish and license a permanent gambling enterprise in the Niagara Peninsula. I believe in the need of keeping this area as a place where family and holiday time will be enriched with quality of life. Such gaming establishments will be detrimental to the fabric of the society in Ontario and in the Niagara region in particular. I believe that licensed gambling will cause increased hardship on many families and will be an invitation for more criminal activity.

"By my signature here attached, I ask you not to license gambling anywhere in the Niagara Peninsula."

They're from St Catharines, Vineland, Jordan, Fenwick, and I affix my signature to this petition.


Mr Joseph Cordiano (Lawrence): I have a petition signed by several hundred people. It's with respect to the Ministry of Transportation and it reads as follows:

"Motor vehicle accidents continue to be the leading cause of preventable death in Canada. Statistics indicate that all novice drivers are overrepresented in these accidents. It is a proven fact that graduated licensing saves lives by allowing new drivers to gain essential driving experience under controlled conditions.

"This is not merely a traffic safety problem but a public health concern. In the interests of saving lives, preventing injury and reducing costs, we support graduated licensing for new drivers."

Mr David Turnbull (York Mills): I have a petition here and it reads as follows:

"Motor vehicle accidents continue to be the leading cause of preventable death in Canada. Statistics indicate that all novice drivers are overrepresented in these accidents. It is a proven fact that graduated licensing saves lives by allowing new drivers to gain essential driving experience under controlled conditions.

"This is not merely a traffic safety problem but a public health concern. In the interests of saving lives, preventing injury and reducing costs, we support graduated licensing for new drivers."

This is signed by hundreds of people, and I too affix my signature to it.


Mrs Irene Mathyssen (Middlesex): I have a petition signed by residents of Middlesex county who ask the Legislative Assembly to set aside the report of arbitrator John Brant because it does not reflect the expressed wishes of the majority who participated in the arbitration hearings, there are other and better alternatives available, it awards far too extensive an area of annexation to the city of London and it will jeopardize agricultural land, the county of Middlesex, the viability of Middlesex and our rural way of life.

I have signed my name to this petition.



Mr Hugh P. O'Neil (Quinte): I have an additional petition which I would like to present, and it reads:

"Motor vehicle accidents continue to be the leading cause of preventable death in Canada. Statistics indicate that all novice drivers are overrepresented in these accidents. It is a proven fact that graduated licensing saves lives by allowing new drivers to gain essential driving experience under controlled conditions.

"This is not merely a traffic safety problem but a public health concern. In the interests of saving lives, preventing injury and reducing costs, we support graduated licensing for new drivers."


Mr Leo Jordan (Lanark-Renfrew): I have petition to the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

"Whereas the management of Ontario Hydro has not taken concrete actions to restructure its organization for increased efficiency or, in the light of present-day economics, to reduce overheads and capital requirements to realistic and necessary levels; and

"Whereas the management of Ontario Hydro continues to expand its transmission facilities without due regard to sustainable development, economics, and health and environmental concerns of the citizens of Ontario;

"We, the undersigned, petition the Honourable Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as follows:

"Order Ontario Hydro to freeze expenditures for the 1993 fiscal year at 1992 levels and to immediately begin working on a business plan that will concentrate on cutting overheads instead of raising prices to put the organization back on a firm financial footing.

"Authorize an independent study of all generation and transmission expansion programs and, in particular, report on the future electrical consumption needs of the province. It should assess, taking into consideration the high level of environmental damage, the economics of building transmission lines and buying and transmitting electrical power from northern Manitoba. It should fully explore the use of local, independent power projects and other energy generation sources as an alternative to long-distance high-voltage transmission lines. Recommendations for real conservation programs that will reduce the need for increased high-voltage power transmission should be an important part of this study.

"Order Ontario Hydro to develop a new plan that will make the present transmission corridors between Sudbury and Toronto capable of providing dependable electrical energy for this geographical area of Ontario for the next 50 years. This will result in lower costs and less environmental damage to Ontario."

It has been signed by a number of concerned consumers of the Network of Concerned Energy Consumers of the province of Ontario, and I've affixed my signature.


Mr Larry O'Connor (Durham-York): I've got a petition here:

"Whereas the town of Georgina has traditionally been a mixture of agricultural, residential and recreational vacation land, these areas would be drastically affected by a megadump; and

"Whereas the Interim Waste Authority has identified sites in the town that would consume large tracts of number 1 and 2 farm land, the areas identified by the Interim Waste Authority would disrupt the vibrant agricultural communities. The farm families in these areas have continued to invest large sums of money in their farms. These communities would be destroyed by the Interim Waste Authority putting in a megadump;

"Whereas most of the people of Georgina depend on groundwater for their drinking water and a dump would threaten their clean supply of water;

"Whereas Lake Simcoe is the ice-fishing capital of the world; and

"Whereas Lake Simcoe's health provides a strong draw of tourists to fish year-round;

"Whereas the affects of a megadump would destroy the local economies of the community;

"Therefore we, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly as follows:

"We oppose the Interim Waste Authority's proposal to take prime farm land and to turn it into Metro's and York's megadump;

"We further petition the Legislative Assembly to renew its efforts to seek and entertain alternatives, like waste reprocessing, to landfill and implement progressive reduction, reuse and recycling programs."

I affix my name to this.


Mr Murray J. Elston (Bruce): I have a petition to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

"Whereas there is a concern in Bruce county and neighbouring communities that the Rae government will refuse to do rehabilitation and general maintenance work required to keep Bruce A functioning efficiently; and

"Whereas the detailed technical report prepared by informed and objective people has already shown that the maintenance and rehabilitation work is not only cost-effective but profit-generating; and

"Whereas there is concern in Bruce county and neighbouring areas that Bob Rae will circumvent that study by using non-objective people to restudy the cost-effectiveness of rehabilitation and maintenance expenditures;

"Therefore, the undersigned request that the Legislature accept the list of signatures on the attached document addressed to Bob Rae and require the Premier to respond directly to them, indicating that he will guarantee a fair assessment of Bruce A maintenance and rehabilitation plans."

I have affixed my signature to the petition.


Mr Jim Wilson (Simcoe West): I have a petition addressed to the Honourable Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

"Whereas the management of Ontario Hydro has not taken concrete actions to restructure its organization for increased efficiency or, in light of present day economics, to reduce overheads and capital requirements to realistic and necessary levels; and

"Whereas the management of Ontario Hydro continues to expand its transmission facilities without due regard to sustainable development, economics and health and environmental concerns of the citizens of Ontario,

"We, the undersigned, petition the Honourable Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as follows:

"Order Ontario Hydro to freeze expenditures for the 1993 fiscal year at 1992 levels and to immediately begin working on a business plan that will concentrate on cutting overheads instead of raising prices, to put the organization back on a firm financial footing;

"Authorize an independent study of all generation and transmission expansion programs and in particular report on the future electrical consumption needs of the province. It should assess, taking into consideration the high-level environmental damage, the economics of building transmission lines and buying and transmitting electrical power from northern Manitoba. It should fully explore the use of local, independent power projects and other energy generation sources as an alternative to long-distance high-voltage transmission lines. Recommendations for real conservation programs that will reduce the need for increased high-voltage power transmission should be an important part of this study;

"Order Ontario Hydro to develop a new plan that will make the present transmission corridors between Sudbury and Toronto capable of providing dependable electrical energy for this geographical area of Ontario for the next 50 years. This will result in lower costs and less environmental damage to Ontario."

This joins the hundreds of petitions presented earlier by the member for Parry Sound, and I too have affixed my name to this petition.



On motion by Ms Churley, the following bill was given first reading:

Bill 113, An Act to amend the Liquor Control Act / Loi modifiant la Loi sur les alcools.

The Deputy Speaker (Mr Gilles E. Morin): Minister, do you wish to make any comments?

Hon Marilyn Churley (Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations): Yes. I am pleased to introduce for first reading a bill to amend the Liquor Control Act. The changes I am proposing will allow the government to complete its adjustments to Ontario's beer marketing practices in response to a recent GATT panel decision. These amendments will permit the sale of imported beer in Ontario beer stores, which currently sell only domestic beer. The changes outlined in the amendments will allow us to fully meet our international trade obligations relating to the sale and distribution of beer.


On motion by Mrs Marland, the following bill was given first reading:

Bill Pr83, An Act to revive Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East.



Hon Karen Haslam (Minister of Culture and Communications): Mr Speaker, I understand that we have unanimous consent to consider orders 2, 5, 6 and 7, all of them third reading, and that, further, there is agreement between the three parties to split third reading debate time equally.

The Deputy Speaker (Mr Gilles E. Morin): Is there unanimous consent? Agreed.


Hon Elaine Ziemba (Minister of Citizenship): I move third reading of Bill 74, An Act respecting the Provision of Advocacy Services to Vulnerable Persons / Loi concernant la prestation de services d'intervention en faveur des personnes vulnérables.

I move, on behalf of Mr Hampton, third reading of Bill 108, An Act to provide for the making of Decisions on behalf of Adults concerning the Management of their Property and concerning their Personal Care / Loi prévoyant la prise de décisions au nom d'adultes en ce qui concerne la gestion de leurs biens et le soin de leur personne.

I move, on behalf of Ms Lankin, third reading of Bill 109, An Act respecting Consent to Treatment / Loi concernant le consentement au traitement.

I move, on behalf of Mr Hampton, third reading of Bill 110, An Act to amend certain Statutes of Ontario consequent upon the enactment of the Consent to Treatment Act, 1992 and the Substitute Decisions Act, 1992 / Loi modifiant certaines lois de l'Ontario par suite de l'adoption de la Loi de 1992 sur l'intervention, de la Loi de 1992 sur le consentement au traitement et de la Loi de 1992 sur la prise de décisions au nom d'autrui.

On behalf of my cabinet colleagues the Minister of Health and the Attorney General, I'm extremely pleased today to present the legislative package of the four interrelated acts, the Advocacy Act, the Substitute Decisions Act, the Consent to Treatment Act and the Consent and Capacity Statute Law Amendment Act for third reading.

The Advocacy Act is the cornerstone of this enabling legislative package. This is a very historic moment for all of us who have worked persistently in the last 20 years to see this legislative package become a reality. I'd like to take a moment to acknowledge and to thank all of those who are present from the community and representatives from the community who are here today for their great determination and vision. I will thank you more fully later on when we do our final summation.

The basic principle of this legislative package is to respect the rights and wishes of all people who are vulnerable as a result of a disability, aging, illness or accident. They must be given the opportunity to enable them to make their own personal, financial or health care decisions.

This is a coordinated approach to a systemic problem. The Advocacy Act is about empowerment and autonomy. The legislative framework is there to see that vulnerable adults get the information they need to make choices, to be able to speak for themselves, where possible, or to have an advocate to support or speak for them as they choose. By assuming ownership of their own lives, people will regain the self-respect that many of them have lost.

The Advocacy Act enshrines several fundamental principles: the rights of vulnerable persons to access advocates; independence from service providers; respect for privacy and availability of advocates in different settings, whether they are cultural or regional.

The Substitute Decisions Act promotes the rights of all Ontarians to make a living will. The framework allows people to authorize others to make personal, financial and health care decisions for them should they become incapable.

The Consent to Treatment Act incorporates in legislation for the first time the right of every capable person to make informed decisions about his or her own health care treatment.

For nearly 20 years, coroners' juries, consumers' groups and reports, such as those done by Steve Fram, Allan Manson, the late Father Sean O'Sullivan and more recently by Professor Ernie Lightman, have urged governments to bring forward legislation to support and protect the rights of vulnerable adults. Numerous committees and reports were commissioned to work on these very issues. Much of the necessary background work for this package stems from these earlier findings, and we are grateful for the contributions made by both opposition parties over the past several years.

Only two weeks ago the former member for St George-St David riding, Ian Scott, dispensed with partisan rhetoric to support this legislation and encourage its speedy adoption. He stated:

"It is much to the credit of the present government that it introduced this bill and has worked hard to bring it to a vote. Twenty years ago the concept that people with disabilities would voice their needs would have had little accordance with reality in the economic and social life of our community. It is critical that as the Advocacy Act moves through its final stages, its final amendments, it bear at the end the essentials to any advocacy system: independent delivery of advocacy services and the right of consumer groups to participate in the administration of this program."

Today we return to the Legislature after having benefited from the comments of more than 200 groups and individuals during two rounds of public consultations. A critical component in the review of the bills was the input of groups and organizations such as the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly and the Ontario Advocacy Coalition, with representation from 30 consumer and advocacy groups, including the Advocacy Resource Centre for the Handicapped, the Concerned Friends of Ontario Citizens in Care Facilities, Ontario Psychiatric Survivors, Pensioners Concerned for Ontario, Persons United for Self-Help and AIDS Action Now. Professional groups, such as the Ontario Medical Association and the Ontario Hospital Association, and family organizations, such as the Ontario Friends of Schizophrenics and the Alzheimer Association, have brought forth concrete suggestions and helped us to clarify some of the issues.

We have listened carefully and worked diligently to present not only a principled act but a workable piece of legislation. I believe that as elected representatives we hold a common objective: empowerment and equity for disabled and frail vulnerable persons. A good balance has been struck. A strong act has evolved.

This is ground-breaking legislation. We have not had the benefit of learning from the experience of other jurisdictions. We have struggled together and our struggles have produced an act that will benefit all Ontarians.

It was almost two years ago to the day that I stood in this House to announce this government's intention to introduce this legislative package. At that time I quoted Father Sean O'Sullivan from his 1987 report You've Got a Friend. I would like to do so again.

"Regardless of physical or mental illness and/or impairment, vulnerable persons must have the power to make decisions and exercise their right of choice. People are people, whether or not they have identifiable handicaps. The advocacy system is designed to foster a vulnerable individual's sense of dignity as a valuable contributing citizen of Ontario."

I believe that the legislative package before you today brings these moving words to reality. It brings dignity and respect to vulnerable adults and therefore dignity and respect to everyone in Ontario.

The Deputy Speaker (Mr Gilles E. Morin): Are there any other members who wish to participate in this debate?

Mrs Barbara Sullivan (Halton Centre): I'm quite taken aback, actually, that the only minister to participate in this debate on third reading of four bills associated with the consent to treatment, substitute decision-making and advocacy bills is the Minister of Citizenship, with whom we probably had the most amount of difficulty in approaching these bills. If it's the intention of the other ministers to participate, then we'll look forward to that, but there certainly is one large gap in the debate so far in terms of ministerial participation.


For many months we've been considering the four bills associated with consent to treatment, substitute decision-making and the Advocacy Act, which would establish a new Advocacy Commission. Those bills are interconnected and interrelated and they will have enormous implications for every individual and every family in Ontario. But even more than that, they will have a significant impact on every health care practitioner and every health care institution.

Many educational settings, social service agencies and community organizations will have to work with these new rules, which will be new laws, and with the new parameters those laws will bring.

What has been deeply disturbing to all of us who have been through what can only be described as a monumentally frustrating process is the lack of care and attention the government has paid to these bills. I'd like to walk through with you, for a minute, Mr Speaker, some of the process we had to go through in coming to terms with what basically is developing law in Ontario.

The bills were presented to the House and the principles were accepted at second reading by all parties. You will remember that, Mr Speaker. But there was such inadequacy in the development of the legislation, such bad drafting and bad crafting that the government had to bring forward 199 amendments after the first round of public hearings. In those hearings, more groups and individuals appeared to present their concerns than had appeared in public hearings on Sunday shopping. I'd like to illustrate some of the kinds of concerns that were coming forward.

One of them relates to the Consent to Treatment Act and some of the original provisions of that act. Physicians were concerned that they would have to obtain informed consent to treatment for a procedure that would be provided in one setting but would not have to obtain consent for the same procedure if it were provided in a different setting. In other words, if a physician proposed a pelvic examination in his or her office, that physician may not have had to obtain the informed consent to proceed from the patient. But if the same examination were to have taken place in a hospital, the doctor would have had to have the consent of the patient to proceed.

I can only call that approach "stupidity." That kind of stupidity was included in the first draft as it was presented -- in the bill as it was presented -- to the House on first reading. One wonders, then, what kind of analysis went into considering the impact of such a law. What difference would it make, we have to ask ourselves -- and we did ask ourselves -- where the examination took place? The point is that the examination was intrusive, it is a controlled act under the Regulated Health Professions Act, and became no less intrusive because of the location of the place where it was to occur.

Yes, the government did bring in amendments to correct that approach, but one has to ask how it got into the bill in the first place. Why wasn't it considered to be an area that had no place in legislation presented as potential law of this province? It seems to me that it was there because of the sloppy approach in the presentation of the bill, by sloppy drafting and sloppy thinking. That's just one example.

While many of the amendments the government presented were valuable in correcting such sloppiness and, I think, in meeting the deeply held concerns not only of health care practitioners but of people representing other organizations, it was only at the instigation and insistence of the opposition that a second round of public hearings was allowed by the government.

After 199 amendments proposed by the government on complex, interrelated pieces of legislation were presented, we still had to fight in opposition to ensure a second round of public hearings. We had to fight to ensure that those who would be responsible on a day-to-day basis for living with and implementing these laws would have an opportunity to comment on the changes which were proposed by the government and by the opposition and whether those changes improved things or might lead to the necessity for other changes.

I think the public should know the way this government operates and why we in opposition are so angry at the way the government approached these bills, because in order to obtain agreement on a second round of public hearings the government insisted on time allocation: that the government would limit time for public review and consideration of these bills and for appropriate debate. The government can characterize that -- and it has tried to -- as all-party agreement, but it was nothing short of blackmail.

We went into the standing committee on the second go-round to consider clause by clause. The process could be characterized as nothing short of a mess, with no ministers showing enough interest in these bills -- and there are three ministers involved in these bills -- and no ministers showing enough knowledge of the policy concepts included in their bills to be at committee to defend them. The government put forward amendments, then withdrew them. The government stood down its own amendments as well as those of the opposition. The government's own members on the committee were as appalled at the display as the public and opposition members were, and yet the display continued.

At one point the government proposed that advocates under Bill 74, for whom the advocacy bill sets no training standards or code of ethics, should be able to obtain, without permission, the medical and clinical records of any person in Ontario who is disabled and any person in Ontario who is a senior citizen. At my insistence, that amendment was ruled out of order. But what kind of thinking, what discipline, what amateurism was driving the Advocacy Act?

As a result of the mess in committee, I put a motion before the committee. I think it explains in some detail the kind of frustration that we, health care practitioners and people from advocacy groups felt with respect to the process that was allowed to go on. I just want to read that to you. The motion read:

"I move that the Chair of the standing committee on administration of justice, on behalf of its members, report to the Legislative Assembly with respect to Bill 74 as follows:

"(a) That the members, having proceeded to examine Bill 74 clause by clause, are unable to complete the work assigned to them by the assembly in the time allotted by the motion of the House;

"(b) That government motions altering the policy of the bill have been presented to the committee for consideration in the final moments available for consideration of the bill;

"(c) That opposition and government motions for amendments have been stood down by the parliamentary assistant for clarification or redrafting and have not been brought back to the committee for reconsideration;

"(d) That committee recesses prompted by the government's uncertainty over the policy intent of the bill have caused undue delays in the committee's work;

"(e) That the committee is unable to exercise its legislative duties with diligence due to numerous conflicting amendments and public concerns; and further, that

"(f) It is the recommendation of the committee that, due to its deficiencies in policy and drafting, the minister withdraw Bill 74 in its current form, clarify the policy intent and introduce a revised bill for appropriate consideration by members of the Legislative Assembly."

That motion was voted down in committee. Even government members acknowledged to me that they wished they had been able to vote for that motion and that the report to the House was one that should not have been made, particularly with Bill 74 in the form in which it came back to this House. Even government members were embarrassed by the lack of policy consistency, by the sloppiness in the presentation of amendments and by the flip-flopping on details of the bill.


There never has been, in committee, such a shambles with respect to government legislation. It was clear that the minister responsible had not done her work and that the parliamentary assistant had no authority to make change and additions or to authorize further consideration of certain areas.

I will tell you that, subsequent to clause-by-clause consideration of these bills in committee, it was with enormous relief that the Premier's office finally understood the anxiety that was being expressed, not only by me in opposition, not only by the third party, but by representatives of every health care provider organization in the province. It was with enormous relief that the Minister of Citizenship was yanked off the job and that the Deputy Attorney General and the Premier's adviser, David Reville, were brought in to talk with the health care providers and determine the extent of the change that was needed.

But at what late date, and at what cost in human resources, in legal and other professional fees? Even then, there is something distasteful about a government that says to provider groups: "We'll give you some changes. We'll give you some of the changes you want, but you must sign off on these changes or you won't get any of them." That too is blackmail. That many of the organizations did sign a letter tells me that they believed they would get no change without a signature on a page.

The Minister of Citizenship was waving that sheet around in the House last week as if it were a big victory. Well, she should know there is no victory in blackmail, and she should know that that paper should be kept under wraps. There is only shame in it, and it's her shame.

There's also shame in the fact that by the time we reached committee of the whole House the government had put forward more than 300 amendments to these bills. That doesn't show that the government is open, as it will make claim to be. It simply shows how badly the legislation was considered and crafted in the first place; how incompetent the work was in shaping what are to be, I point out, new laws in this province.

There's also shame in the lack of public debate surrounding these bills. After seven days of clause-by-clause consideration of these bills in committee, which were a shambles, as I've pointed out, the bills came back to the House for committee of the whole consideration. We were only able to address 29 sections of one of those bills in the House. Three bills have not been considered in this chamber in any way. In every one of those bills the government had proposed substantive and substantial change. Were proposed amendments not read into the record at the insistence of the opposition, there would be no way that anyone would have known what the government's final proposals were and what the final shape of the legislation would be.

Even with the reading in of the amendments, the bills are so complex that the final impact is still a mystery to those who will be breaking the law if they don't follow them. The bills are fundamentally different from that which was placed before the House at first reading, but many of the issues included in amendments, which were placed in committee of the whole, were never discussed in the standing committee. There was no testimony relating to them and the amendments appeared out of the blue.

I want to speak to one of these directly, because I think it is of adequate concern that the government should not proceed with it. I wish the Minister of Health were here; I hope she's listening, if she's not.

To do that I will have to return to the age issue in the Consent to Treatment Act. The intent of the Consent to Treatment Act and the principle, which we concur with, was to codify the common law with respect to consent to treatment. But Bill 109 did more than that, because it introduced an extraneous layer of rights adviser into the process. The common law, as you know, requires that if the person has the capacity or intellectual ability to reach a reasoned choice, given full information about whether to proceed with treatment, that person has the right to make that choice and to provide that consent.

For hundreds of years the common law has supported the right of children to provide consent to treatment where they fully understand the nature of the treatment, the illness or disease or condition which is to be treated, and the consequences of providing consent or refusing consent to that treatment. In practice, as parents, in most instances we assist our children in making those decisions. When the child does not have the capacity to consent, as parents we are usually the substitute decision-makers; ie, in place of the child we make the decision as to whether to proceed with the treatment or whether to refuse the treatment.

I am satisfied that the amendments proposed with respect to the age of consent truly reflect a codification of the common law. Where there is a problem, however -- and I hope people understand this -- is the intervention of rights advisers into the consent process. In the situation of a child, the legislation originally proposed that if a professional health care provider/practitioner had adjudged a child not to have the capacity to provide consent to a treatment, the child could have access to a rights adviser who would assist the child in challenging that professional judgement.

So we have a new actor here, a rights adviser, an extraneous third person, a stranger, inserted between child and parent and between child and physician. This intervention presents a fundamentally different view of the responsibilities and legal requirements which we accept as parents to act in the best interests of our children, to make decisions on their behalf which will ensure that they receive the most appropriate and the best care in the most timely way.

It also brings to the relationship between physician and child a new adversarial process, because what is being challenged is the physician's personal judgement about the child's capacity to make a consent decision alone, without assistance from the parent or another substitute decision-maker. It is a challenge to the professional judgement and capability of the physician, and it introduces an adversarial element into that relationship.

I want to describe a situation that was put to us in committee by practitioners from the Hospital for Sick Children who spoke about the fear which may ensue and influence a child's decision, indeed the capacity of a child to make a decision, with respect to heavily intrusive treatment. We think of a child, by example, with scoliosis, where there is more than one treatment proposed in a series of a course of treatments that will lead ultimately to a benefit in the health of the child. Each one of those treatments is a painful, excruciating process for the child. If the decision of the child is made in fear of pain, that fear alone may interfere with the capacity of the child to make an informed judgement.

At that point the parent, the physician and other people who are on the health care team, including counsellors, have been intimately involved with the child in working their way through a long, stressful and painful course of treatment. In this case, because of fear, because of the fear of pain on the part of the child, the physician may say, "At this point, I do not believe the child is making an informed, capable judgement about whether to proceed with treatment or not proceed with treatment."

The legislation proposed that at 12 years of age the child could engage a rights adviser new to the process, over and above the other multidisciplinary approach that had been taken, including involving the family, the parents and other people who have responsibility for the care of that child. The child is now able to intervene by questioning the professional judgement of the practitioner with respect to the child's own capacity. In doing so, that intervention can create a situation where there's a new adversarial relationship between the physician and child, where the level of trust which had been established between physician, child, patient and others on the health care team is put at risk. There can be delay in decision-making, which itself can be of serious and long-term concern in terms of the health care treatment of the child.


That's one of the instances that was put before us in committee. It's a telling one. There were others put before us that were similarly telling. After much consideration and debate, I put forward a motion that would have moved the automatic intervention of the rights adviser to age 16 from age 12. The third party placed the same amendment, and groups and organizations, including children's aid societies, strongly supported that change. It was a reasonable age to pick. I want to give credit to legal counsel for the Ministry of Health, who provided our committee with a substantial report with respect to the history of the age of consent and who, in that report indicated the kinds of decisions that had been made with respect to determining when a minor can be mature for various areas of decision-making.

But 16, in terms of the rights adviser kick-in, appeared to be a time that was reasonable. It is a time when young people are reaching the conclusion of their high school years, when they're recognized as being able to make their own decisions about whether or not to stay in school, when many of them are making decisions about the kind of training, education and other choices about their future. That age of 16 was not selected in isolation from other common law treatment of the mature minor.

Yet we saw the government's final reaction in committee of the whole House on Thursday of last week. We saw that they've taken the four years between age 12 and age 16, divided them in half and changed the age for the entitlement to rights advice to 14.

What kind of policy-making is this? What kind of decision-making is it that says we'll take one point of view on the one hand, another point of view on the other hand and we'll reach a compromise by averaging? I can't tell you how outraged people are who have understood the approach the government has finally taken here. There was no testimony before the committee that suggested that 14 years was an appropriate age. There was no discussion of 14 years as a proposed change to this section of the bill. There was no public hint by government that it was considering moving to 14 years from 12, and not to 16 years. In fact, all the indications from government were that it was going to stick with 12 years for information about rights advice.

How can anyone have any confidence that other changes haven't been made because of a mere averaging of competing views? How could anyone have any confidence that the laws we are making are being made with careful thought and deliberation? No one is happy with this decision. It solves none of the problems that were raised with respect to the age issue in the first place. It's no solution and it will continue to create conflict. I'll tell you that the phones in all our offices are ringing off the hook today as a result of this decision.

But there is another area where the government has made a move on the age issue that is equally, if not more, troubling. Once again, I will have to go into some background detail to discuss this issue. The Substitute Decisions Act and the Consent to Treatment Act make provision for a person to decide in advance how he or she would want to be treated in the event that he or she is incapable of making a clear instruction at a later time. There is a process spelled out for doing so. That process would require that the person must be capable at the time an advance directive is made and would reflect the person's values and choices about future health care.

There may be many influences on that person's decision. They could be cultural, they could be religious, they could be based on a person's own family experience or heritage. But the intent is that the choice of the individual about how he or she should be treated is paramount in providing or refusing consent. Those are the instructions the health care practitioner must take into account.

In a hasty amendment which was placed in committee of the whole last Thursday and which we had no time to debate, the government has introduced an age requirement for an advance directive that it requires in no other circumstances for the provision of consent to treatment. There was no testimony before the committee on this point. There was no discussion as to whether a person who was capable of providing consent for imminent treatment might not be capable of providing consent for future treatment. There was no discussion of the common law treatment of instructions with respect to treatment which could occur at the present time, in comparison to instructions about treatment which could occur at a later time.

The fundamental discussion and the fundamental principles which were accepted were that, if one were capable and informed, one could provide consent for treatment or refuse to provide consent for treatment that was proposed to take place at the current time, or that one could provide, through a process, instructions about future consent to treatment or the refusal to provide consent to treatment.

A capable consent could be based on religious grounds. A capable consent could take into account cultural and other heritages. But the fundamental point is that a capable consent reflected the individual point of view and the individual choice of the person making the decision about consent.

It appears that in certain instances those parameters have changed, because the government is now saying that one cannot provide an advance directive with respect to consent unless one is over 16, but one can provide consent to treatment at any age. So the person who is under 16, who may profess a faith or reflect a heritage that prefers a certain approach to treatment, may not have that faith or that heritage honoured.

I'm not a Jehovah's Witness, and I disagree with many of the fundamental tenets of that religion. I'm not a Christian Scientist, and I disagree with many of the fundamental tenets of that religion. But like many others here, I joined my own church when I was 12 or 13 years old and, in doing so, I accepted certain obligations that were an integral part of my own faith and the way I would live my life. Thousands of others do the same. Many people here, and in fact I suggest most people in this chamber, have done the same at the same age. While the experience of age may mean that the full theological underpinnings of that choice of religion may be undeveloped, the fundamental values of the religion are clearly known and understood by thousands of young people.

The government has accepted an amendment proposed by a distinguished practitioner at the Hospital for Sick Children, but, Mr Speaker, there was no discussion of the ethical issues surrounding that proposal. It never came to committee at any time. Now I know and you know and other members here know how difficult it is for practitioners to deal with ethical questions surrounding treatment of a person whose religious views of treatment conflict with their own mandate as health care providers.

When you're training and your ethical code and the standards of practice require that you heal using every possible approach available to you, it is deeply disturbing when a patient places limits that may be life-threatening on what you as a practitioner are allowed to do when a person may die who with your skill, given the freedom to act, might otherwise be saved, when a person who refuses a blood transfusion on religious grounds, by example, may not recover. Yet surely it's a gross invasion of human rights to say that a person, solely because of age, can have an otherwise capable direction with respect to health care set aside.


There was no discussion, again I underline, of the ethical implications of this issue in committee. It would have been useful, I believe, to have had this proposal discussed by medical ethicists so that legislators could have had a clearer understanding of the practical and the theoretical issues surrounding this proposal. It would have been useful to have had doctors, nurses, children's aid societies and lawyers before the committee to explore how such issues have been dealt with in the past and the most appropriate way to deal with them in law in the future. But we had none of that.

Mr Speaker, we had a surprise amendment at the end of what you understand was a convoluted and very complex process, where not only on this issue but on many others there was inadequate time and insufficient review to ensure that the laws which are being formulated are good laws.

I am personally very uneasy about the implications of this amendment. Because of the way the time allocation has been made, I have not even had the opportunity to discuss with my own caucus colleagues the specific implications of this particular amendment. No other caucus has had the opportunity to have that discussion as well, including, I put it to you, the government caucus. But we are proceeding apace, and while there may be unease, it's very clear that the government is going to proceed with this, despite not knowing the clear implications of this amendment.

Is the government in fact perpetuating and legalizing a discrimination against a group of people that professes a certain kind of faith? That may well be the long-term implication of this particular amendment. I do not believe that it has been explored in adequate depth. I do not believe that the government has paid attention to more than one point of view with respect to this particular issue. I will tell you that the reservations which I've expressed and those which are being put forward here by the third party and by the dozens of organizations and individuals have not been frivolous, and I don't believe that in this area they've been frivolous either.

It's fair to say, I think, that we've all worked very hard on these bills. I look in the gallery, and there are many people who walk through these bills in their own organizations from morning till night. There are many people who'll be following this debate on television in their own offices and in their own places and they have worked extremely hard on these bills.

Scores of people appeared before us at an enormous cost of time and money. At various times some of them came to us and apologized that they had not been able to afford legal counsel in order to assist them in framing their arguments and in preparing their analysis of these bills. In many cases other groups and organizations had indeed placed considerable cost in dollar terms into obtaining the services of legal counsel to deal with the issues that were before us in these bills.

In virtually all cases, people appearing before the committee, no matter how enthusiastic they were about the principles of these bills, no matter how enthusiastic they were about approaches which were being taken to an Advocacy Commission, about approaches that were being taken to codifying the common law provisions of consent to treatment, and no matter how enthusiastic they were about introducing new concepts and new ways, by example, of providing advance decision-making, saw and spoke to us about enormous gaps that existed in these bills, about implications that hadn't been analysed, about cross-referencing from one profession, from one agency or organization, from one individual vis-à-vis treatment and care versus another.

What they were saying was that the government hadn't done its homework. I think that's what we've seen throughout this process, and it's very clear, with the number of amendments that have been brought forward, with the assiduously prepared and well-documented briefs that we received, that the government has not done its homework.

I think if I can pay tribute to people, many of whom are here and many of whom are not, it would be scant tribute in comparison to the time they put into working on these bills. Whether in certain instances I was able, as a member of the Legislature, to support their point of view and to move that point of view forward or whether I had a fundamental disagreement with a point of view on a particular area, there was certainly no question about the effort that was placed into the work on these bills and the commitment that lay behind it. For that, I think with other members of the House, I am deeply appreciative.

I think in other cases, in fact as we move, by example, into issues associated with the delivery of long-term care and some of the implications that this policy will have for the disabled, we will have established a respectful working relationship, and I look forward to that.

I have to pay credit as well to Norm Sterling of the third party, the member for Carleton, who presented a private member's bill to this House --

Mr Jim Wilson (Simcoe West): What about me?

Mrs Sullivan: Well, I'm not paying tribute to the member for Simcoe West. It's Mr Sterling particularly whom I now want to acknowledge because Mr Sterling's work in putting forward to the chamber a private member's bill associated with advance directives certainly influenced the shaping of Bill 108, the Substitute Decisions Act, and certainly it was with his encouragement on a continuing basis, if not his nagging, that much of that bill went forward.

I think if that underlines one thing for us here, it is that we, as private members, can indeed make a difference, and I think that even if he's from the third party and even if we disagree on many other points of view, he deserves considerable credit in this particular situation.

I'd also like to acknowledge the work of several people who have been working on these bills, not only in the term of this government but in the terms of other governments. I particularly want to acknowledge Steve Fram and Gilbert Sharpe.

I think it's fair to say that over a period of time with the last three governments -- this government, the government before and the government before that -- those individuals have been exploring the issues with respect to substitute decision-making with other people in their ministries and have collected an enormous amount of wisdom, knowledge and documentation with respect to those bills. That has to be acknowledged and it has to be understood that we relied on those officials for much of our learning process.


One of the things I feel very badly about -- and I hope the government will acknowledge that it has probably destroyed much of the trust that could have been built up -- was that particularly with the Consent to Treatment Act, there was a process that had been started by the past government in terms of public consultation. The principles of the Consent to Treatment Act had been distributed, and with the change in government, the process of hearing responses to those principles and in establishing the underlying approach to the development of the bill was truncated. Had that process continued, had it gone on, my view is that there would be far less of the kind of misunderstanding and last-minute decision-making, such as that associated with the advance directive for under 16s, than we are seeing now.

I further venture to say that codifying the common law, which was the intent of Bill 109, would have proceeded in that manner without the intervention of new concepts which could justifiably have been placed elsewhere.

Mr Speaker, with this legislation, you know that we have had substantial points of disagreement and extraordinary concern. We believe that many of the concerns which were addressed on second reading of the bill, in standing committee and in clause-by-clause have subsequently been answered, frankly, because the Minister of Citizenship was taken out of the process. We are pleased that some of those concerns have been addressed, but there are still a lot of questions to be answered in association with these bills.

We don't understand why, by example, when the government is establishing a new profession, it can't define within the law itself the scope of activity, the training, the code of ethics and the standards that will apply to people in that profession and who will have highly interventionist roles in other people's lives. We don't know how the work of rights advisers will be funded. We've seen immense cutbacks in health care delivery already. How will these rights advisers be paid for? We still don't know the qualifications of an assessor, who will decide if a person is mentally capable of making various decisions. We don't know if the government intends that they should be medical practitioners only or if they should be social workers or lawyers or teachers or dentists or nurses.

Most of all, we don't understand why the government is in such a rush. How can the government be in this kind of a rush when we don't know, and it probably doesn't know, how it intends to pay for or gear up to the new responsibilities, which include, I believe, 130 new statutory duties demanded by Bill 108 for the office of public trustee? The auditor's report again this year shows that the public trustee is unable to handle its existing responsibilities, that it is not meeting its fiduciary obligations with respect to trusts already within its care.

We've heard nothing from the government about what its intentions are with respect to funding to make Bill 108 work. Without funding, this entire legislative process has been merely an exercise.

As I said, most of all, we don't understand why the government is in such a rush. The common law, with respect to consent to treatment, has been around for hundreds of years. Why must there be third reading today to a law, the development of which has been most unsatisfactory?

Most people who will be affected by these laws have not seen the final shape they will take. They have yet to gauge how these laws will finally affect their families and hospitals and nursing homes and doctors and nurses and midwives and group homes and vulnerable people. That's because, as members ourselves, we've just seen the final shape of these bills this very day.

Too much of the bills, too much of the actual law is left unseen, and too much of these bills is left to the regulations, which can be, and most frequently are, developed behind closed doors.

I'd just like to underline and reiterate the calls which have been made by, I think, the majority of groups and organizations, no matter who they represent, about exercising caution in the drafting of the regulations associated with these bills. I want to underline the call that all stakeholders should be involved in that process of regulation drafting, that ministers should commit today to a process which is comparable to that which the Minister of Health has used in the development of the Regulated Health Professions Act, that people are involved in that regulation drafting, that their concerns are put on the table and that there is a sharing of the wisdom and experience of various groups and organizations.

I can't underline how much I agree with the demand that's being put that there be stakeholder participation in the development of the regulations. People have said that time, thought and scrutiny are clearly needed: the time, the thought and the scrutiny that were absent from the presentation of these bills in the first place. The hurried, sloppy process we've been through so far serves no one and may harm many. It cannot be repeated.

As I close, I want to again underline, as we have done and the third party has done in committee, that we believe there is a place and a need for legislation that will provide additional assistance to people who cannot speak for themselves, who require additional protection when society automatically doesn't provide that protection.

We worked all the way through these bills, and as I underlined, nothing we presented in committee was frivolous; none of our argumentation was frivolous. We wanted to make these bills workable. We wanted to make them implementable. We wanted to ensure that they enhanced the dignity and provided the protection, and did not deter from the dignity, the protection or the adequacy of health care provision to anybody.

We still have enormous reservations about the bills. We do not believe, frankly, that we can support them all when it comes time for the vote, because they have not been discussed in this place with the full involvement of all members of the chamber.

As you know, Mr Speaker, and our vote on second reading showed, the principles of the bills were ones we supported. We are deeply, deeply concerned, however, on yet many occasions and in many instances about the actual outcome of what has occurred in the drafting and in the presentation of these bills.

I am told the Attorney General and the Minister of Health will both be speaking to these pieces of legislation. I hope they will answer, without invective, some of the positions we have taken through committee and through committee of the whole. We deeply regret the lack of discussion and the hurried framework and timing with which these bills have been proceeding.


Mr Norman W. Sterling (Carleton): At the outset, I'd like to thank the member for Halton Centre for her kind remarks regarding my involvement with this topic and these bills.

My interest in the subject started back on April 3, 1990. You may recall that was prior to the last election when I introduced two private member's bills to this Legislature: One, An Act to amend the Powers of Attorney Act, and the other, An Act respecting Natural Death.

These two bills dealt with what we now know are powers of attorney for personal care and living wills, which is the more common name with regard to the other private member's bill I introduced.

I introduced those because of an interest in this subject which was brought to my attention by my mother, Doris Sterling.

My mother is 83 years of age at this time and was 81 at that time, I believe. My mother is a fiercely independent woman who raised four children on her own because of the early death of my father. Because of that independence and because of the fact that during her lifetime she remained in absolute control over her destiny and the destiny of her children without the aid of any state or anyone else, she decided that she wanted control over her life until its end and that some of that control, even if she was not competent, would be put in her hands by making a living will.

Perhaps, if this legislation passes and becomes law, she'll be able to make a power of attorney for personal care so that her children can help make some of the decisions, on her instructions, if she is not able to. It's with that admiration for my mother and my undying love for her that I got interested in this matter and brought these bills forward.

After the election in September 1990, I introduced Bills 7 and 8, which had the same content as the earlier bills, the other, earlier bills having died because of that election. In April 1991, for the first time, a private member had the unanimous consent of this House to hear both bills at the same time. Both of those bills passed second reading on April 11, 1991, and were referred to the justice committee. Just as we were about to start public hearings, the government introduced its own legislation, I think in part in response to the fact that I had brought this agenda to the fore, to public attention.

Realizing that my bills were in a lot of ways secondary to the government legislation -- in reality, any private member should know that while his private member's bills may be of great interest to himself or herself, the truth of the matter is that it's very difficult to have those passed into law -- and after having looked at the government bills, Bills 108 and 109 in particular, I found them to be superior with regard to dealing with durable powers of attorney or personal powers of attorney and living wills. I wrote a letter to the committee and indicated that I wanted my bills put on the back burner and that we should wait to have public hearings after the summer recess because people didn't have an opportunity to review the government legislation. It was complicated and it was important and they should have that time to respond.

We did get into considering that legislation in a committee of this Legislature in February 1992. After those hearings the government, recognizing that there were some serious concerns and problems with the four bills, brought forward 199 amendments to the committee, some time, I believe, in either April or May of this year, 1992. My party, and I stood in this Legislature, indicated a grave concern that the groups that had come to us in February and, I believe, in March of this year, and had expressed concerns about Bills 74, 108, 109 and 110, should be given the opportunity to look at 199 amendments and have the opportunity to come back to the committee and express their concerns over that number of amendments or what those amendments did with regard to the submissions they had already made.

In order to gain those public hearings, both opposition parties, acting in a constructive manner, agreed to some time allocation or limiting our time in dealing with debate of those bills as we went through the process. Little did we know on May 28, when that resolution was passed, that the government would subsequently introduce as many as 200 more amendments to those bills. In terms of the goodwill of the opposition in agreeing to limit the time for debate in committee and in committee of the whole House and now on third reading, we did not contemplate that the government would need to not only deal with the 199 amendments which it first introduced but introduce something like 205 or 206 amendments subsequent to that time, both in the justice committee and in committee of the whole House.

I think members of the Legislature and the public should know, on record, that before the justice committee reported these bills to this Legislature some time late in September, I suggested to the government members of the committee that it probably would be most prudent for us not to report the bill at that time. I said, and I believe it's recorded in Hansard, that it would be most logical for the government to keep the bill lodged in the justice committee just in case the government should see the need for further amendment after it had had an opportunity to consult again with the many people who are affected by this legislation.

What happened was that the government members, as, I believe, directed by their various ministers, decided to report the bill anyway to the Legislature and lodged it in the committee of the whole House. I believe they were acting on the basis that, "Well, we've got to get on with this thing," etc. I agree; let's get on with it, but we have to be competent in what we do in this Legislature. We are affecting the lives of many people here, we are putting down new rights for certain people in our society, and therefore we must be certain that there are certain protections afforded those people who are going to be dealt with by the people who have those rights.

Subsequent to the justice committee of this Legislature dealing with these bills we had 120 additional amendments put forward by the government, I believe on Tuesday of last week. The problem with that is that, with regard to Bill 74, the advocacy bill, which is perhaps the most dangerous bill with regard to creating new rights and interference in the average citizens' lives in this province, there were 60 amendments put forward to that bill, which contains only 41 sections. So there were more amendments put in this Legislature last week than the total bill. We were only given an opportunity to debate about half of those amendments before closure came upon us, and I pleaded with the government House leader. Once again I said, "Give us a little bit more time so that we can talk about these amendments, deal with them in a reasonable fashion."

I think anyone who wants to examine the record will find that neither the Liberal Party, led by the member for Hamilton Centre, nor our party -- the debate was seized by myself and the member for Simcoe West, Mr Wilson -- no one could charge that either opposition party was trying to delay or stall debate on any individual sections. We were, in fact, dealing with them in a very, very timely manner. But as a consequence of the government closure on this debate, there were some 80 to 100 sections of amendments on Bill 74, Bill 108, Bill 109 and Bill 110 which have never been debated in this Legislature.

I pleaded with the government not only because I was concerned about them but because it became evident as we went through these hearings that the government was in trouble with regard to what it wanted to do in this legislation and it was having trouble with the wording of the legislation. My greatest fear is that, because of these last-minute amendments and the very, very large number -- I've never been in this Legislature during the debate in committee of the whole House where there have been 120 amendments at the very last moment on a set of bills -- the intent of the government, although I differ with it in certain parts, will not be carried forward in the legislation, just because of the process and the government's inability to be flexible.


One of the things one learns as one sits in this Legislature for a longer and longer period is that a certain pacing is necessary with regard to legislation. I believe very strongly that the government has stepped out of line with regard to the pacing of this legislation. They would have had much better legislation had they allowed a little bit more debate. Even perhaps a few more hours of debate would have assisted them in reaching a better bill in the end.

All of the government amendments, all 120 amendments, carried. That means that the debate either was not listened to or did not take place. There was only one amendment, in the last stages of the bill, which passed. That was an amendment put forward by myself on Bill 109, which I will refer to in a few moments.

I want to also indicate that we were as constructive as we possibly could all the way through the process. When I initiated this process back in April 1990, I was concerned and I wanted something done with regard to living wills and durable powers of attorney for personal care. We continue to strive for good law with regard to dealing with vulnerable people, with all people, so that they will have an empowerment to control their lives to their very last moment.

Of course, the legislation that was introduced by the government included many concepts which I didn't include in my bill.

With regard to the various bills, I'd like to talk about those briefly so that some of my colleagues in my party will have an opportunity to also debate it in the very constricted time frame we have been allowed here today.

Bill 108 was the bill which dealt with powers of attorney. Our party will be voting in favour of Bill 108. This bill provides a person with additional rights to control his or her life to the end of his or her life.

I'd like at this time to recognize Marilynne Seguin of Dying with Dignity, a Canadian association which has been trying to encourage citizens across this country to plan so that they can have this empowerment to the end of their lives. Marilynne and that voluntary group have been working very hard and, incidentally, have produced a very, very good living will. Anyone who would like to contact them may either look up their number up in the telephone book or telephone my office.

But the durable power of attorney or the power of attorney for personal care will allow individuals in this province to have a document signed by two witnesses that will allow them to designate one or two or more persons the right to make decisions if they should not be in the position to make those decisions about their personal care.

We are also supporting this bill because it gives greater authority and greater hope for the families of schizophrenic patients to get agreement from schizophrenic patients to have themselves dealt with or medicated or treated once they have lost capacity.

I want to say that perhaps of all of the bills, this bill was most palatable to us to begin with. Also, I must say that the Ministry of the Attorney General was most receptive to amendments as well. The bill made it much easier to sign a durable or a personal power of attorney because they lessened the requirements with regard to the witnesses. They also made some other changes which will in fact encourage people to do this. The bill as originally designed was very technical. My belief was that it would have discouraged people from utilizing this instrument to control their lives. Now they have acceded to the opposition demands and amendments and have in fact made the document much more workable.

They have also, however, kept some of the formal requirements so that a power of attorney for personal care will only be valid when used in certain institutions, like psychiatric institutions, if validated, which will require a much more complicated process than an unvalidated personal power of attorney, which I believe most citizens in the province will in fact use.

I want to thank in particular the Canadian Bar Association, which brought forward some very pertinent points during the hearings and led to many of the amendments that my caucus colleague Mr Wilson and I put forward during the committee hearings to make the document a living document, a document that I believe will be utilized by many of the citizens of Ontario because it has been made fairly simple to do and it should not be a costly document to put forward.

I believe the Attorney General will also be putting forward a standard document so that many citizens perhaps will not feel the necessity to consult their lawyer or whatever but can in fact have it signed in front of a few friends or neighbours.

The next bill, Bill 109, deals with consent to treatment and includes within it the whole concept of a living will. The difference of a living will as opposed to a personal power of attorney is that in this case you are defining circumstances under which you would not want treatment or you would like a certain kind of treatment should circumstances arise.

This bill, Bill 109, dealing with consent to treatment, of course goes much further and wider than anything I envisaged with regard to my living will legislation. It includes, of course, treatment to vulnerable adults and vulnerable children, and dealing with them in a direct sense.

Perhaps the most concern we have with regard to Bill 109 is that while the Minister of Health was gracious enough in accepting my amendment to raise the age with regard to the imposition of this bill from 12 to 14 -- and I thank her for that -- we were hoping she would accede to the requests of many of the people in front of the committee, particularly of those people who were psychiatrists and psychologists, and the children's aid society etc, who would have liked to have seen 16 as being the age when this bill should be triggered in.

The objection is that advocates will be involved in making decisions and could become a thorn between a family and a child. Therefore we view the age of 14 as still being an immature age. We believe the whole area of empowerment should apply to people who are 16 years of age and over, as, given in evidence in front of the committee, people under that age, while having the reasoning power in many instances to make decisions, do not have the experience component in order to make those decisions.

We preferred the common law, as outlined in legislation we already have, which required participation by the health provider or perhaps by the children's aid society, or required the family to be involved in making decisions with regard to people under that age. We think it's inappropriate for the state to be funding and putting an advocate into a family situation with regard to immature people or people under the age of 16.

Therefore, we have a great deal of difficulty in supporting the legislation as it now exists.

The last bill I want to refer to, and perhaps the most important, is Bill 74. Our intention at this time is to vote against this bill, because we view this bill to be based on the wrong assumption. Bill 74, the advocates' act, is based on a lack of trust in our institutions, it's based on a lack of trust in our health providers and it's based on a lack of trust in our families.


I asked for evidence from the Ministry of Citizenship as to the justification for this lack of trust and the need for this legislation to be brought forward. I was given an answer, and I have that answer in my hand. The documentation given to me as the justification for Bill 74, an unbelievable intrusion into the lives of the people of Ontario, both vulnerable and not vulnerable people, was based primarily on an Alberta study, and the rest of the documentation I was given -- you can see the thickness of this file -- were news clippings about one particular incident which was mentioned on the front page of the Globe, dealing with a home in Orillia.

It is not my belief that there is a prevalence of lack of care for vulnerable people in this province. There are some instances of it, and I abhor those people who would not treat vulnerable people in a fair and meaningful way. It was my government that introduced the whole concept of advocates back in 1983, in psychiatric institutions. I am not against expanding that role with regard to advocates in certain other kinds of circumstances, but I am against this act, which is an unbelievable intrusion into the lives of vulnerable people in particular, but other people as well, the families of vulnerable people more particularly.

We don't know what an advocate is yet. We have gone through this process and we have not been told yet what an advocate will or will not be. We have not got a code of ethics for an advocate. We do not know what the limitations of those advocates will or will not be. There is confusion, and I think there will be confusion, in the minds of the public because of the name of this particular act. Advocates are in many ways associated with lawyers. These people, I am told, will not be lawyers.

We have four main concerns with regard to this act. One is that there is a lack of a discipline process with regard to what an advocate might or might not do and how he or she might be called into line if in fact that advocate steps out of line.

I read to you a letter, which I received a copy of. It was to the Minister of Health from a person who was in Penetanguishene, I believe, probably in the psychiatric hospital there. This person had complained about the role of an advocate in the psychiatric institution.

"It is my opinion that the investigation conducted by X and X is completely biased, it contains improper and misconstrued facts and it is nothing less than a coverup for their advocate. Therefore, I request that my complaint be reinvestigated independently of the psychiatric patient advocate office."

I tried to get this government to understand that that same problem is going to exist with these advocates and to set up an independent discipline process. They did not listen to my concerns.

We are giving in this bill rights to advocates to obtain health care records which cannot in fact be obtained by the patient himself; in other words, we're giving to advocates greater rights to obtain records than the patient himself.

I have written to the minister and indicated to her that I find that incongruous and I find it completely confusing, that with people in the same institution, one vulnerable person through his or her advocate may have one kind of access to medical records whereas the patient sitting in the next bed or in the next room will have a different set of rules dealing with information. I suggested to the minister that she include health care institutions under our freedom of information act and that everybody be given the same rights to information, and that the advocate only assume the role of the patient. I haven't, incidentally, received a response to that correspondence yet.

Our other concern is with regard to third-party privacy. Under this legislation, we have given the advocates the right to go into health care records and to see the name of your and my medical health care records. We are not requiring that health care institution, before it hands over those records, to erase your or my name, should they be there. I consider this an infringement on the privacy of individuals. In fact, these concerns, which I have raised heretofore, were raised by the Information and Privacy Commissioner, to whom the government has not listened, on September 27, 1991, in his submission to the committee.

I have raised two concerns: the discipline process and privacy dealing with records. The third concern deals with privacy with regard to residences and with regard to the respect and dignity of vulnerable people who may be living in places like nursing homes.

I asked the minister to consider an amendment which would have forbidden an advocate to enter the private room of an older person in a nursing home. She refused to give that to me. Under Bill 74, an advocate can walk unannounced into a nursing home room where a vulnerable adult or a vulnerable person is residing. That is their home, and I don't see any reason why that advocate should have the right to walk in there without reason; he's not even required to have a reason under this act. I believe that is a gross invasion of privacy of our elderly and vulnerable people, and for that very reason alone could never support Bill 74. I can assure you that that section of this act would be changed if the government changed next time and we were fortunate enough to be there.

Lastly, our party is very much concerned, given that there are not really adequate reasons put forward for the need for this legislation at the huge cost this is putting forward.

I want to quote Dr John Cleghorn, who is the head of the schizophrenia research program at the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry, in his brief to the committee on page 11.

Twenty-three million dollars is going to the Advocacy Commission alone. That's not counting the money that the Attorney General and the Ministry of Health and the health care system are going to have to absorb because of the delays, the paperwork etc, involved with regard to this legislation. I have not even mentioned the public trustee's office, which said it would perhaps be expending as much as $43 million to implement this legislation.

I don't think people in this province realize that schizophrenic patients, although they are 1% of the population, utilize 8% of the health care budget of this province. It's a huge expenditure. Half our beds in our psychiatric institutions are occupied by schizophrenic patients. Dr Cleghorn says, "That proportion of the many millions of dollars it will cost to implement these new acts would be better spent on research on the causes and a cure for schizophrenia."

Currently, this province spends less than $1 million on research into schizophrenia, and we are probably spending in the neighbourhood of $700 million to $1 billion for people who are suffering from this debilitating disease. My argument is with the priorities. Why should we spend $1 million on schizophrenia research and then turn around and spend $23 million to set up an Advocacy Commission to help vulnerable people, which is not going to help one schizophrenic patient one little bit in terms of treatment, it's not going to help any person in terms of a meal, a roof over his head etc, etc. It's not going to provide any real service with regard to their real needs.


As the adult protection services workers said to the committee in their exhibit of October 28, 1991, "The perceived need for substitute decision-making legislation is a clear indication of the lack of support services available to the people who may need support in decision-making."

The problem here, as seen by the adult protection services workers, 175 of them across this province who spend 40% of their time advocating for vulnerable people now, is a problem that they recognize. Everybody recognizes the need, but nobody's filling the need. So why waste $23 million more to recognize more needs when you're not even fulfilling what the needs are now?

In summary, we see the need for this legislation, Bill 74 in particular, not having been established. We believe this legislation is too intrusive into the lives of both vulnerable people and in particular the families of vulnerable people. We believe in the empowerment of people who are 16 years of age and more; we do not believe in the empowerment of immature young people. We do not believe that the costs, which we understand are going to be enormous, should be the first priority of this government.

Lastly, legislation which has undergone 405 amendments from start to finish leads us to the conclusion that this government has never known which direction it was going in and that unfortunately the public will suffer in the end.

The Acting Speaker (Mr Dennis Drainville): Further debate?

Hon Frances Lankin (Minister of Health): I'm certainly pleased to contribute to the debate this afternoon in third reading with particular respect to a piece of legislation that I think will be a milestone in the history of health care in this province. Along with its companion pieces, the Consent to Treatment Act really will help support and protect the rights of Ontarians to have their health care decisions heard and respected, even if they become unable to decide for themselves at a particular point in time.

I think the legislation we have before us here today, for really the first time in Ontario, will give us a comprehensive set of rules on consent to health treatment. It starts to clear up a lot of what has been a mystery out there for most people: inconsistency in existing laws and inconsistency in understanding of the common law with respect to the treatment of mentally incapable people.

The right of mentally capable people to make their own health treatment decisions is also reinforced in the act. What might have been a right in common law is not always one that individuals exercise if they do not have the knowledge to exercise it. We think that the kind of education that will come about as a result of the passage of this legislation and working with various health care providers in reaching out to health care consumers will in fact bring true meaning to existing rights under the common law.

The legislation certainly ensures that the principles of informed consent will apply to every person in Ontario. Until now, there has been no legislation that has dealt clearly and comprehensively with the issue of consent to health services. Both the Mental Health Act and the Public Hospitals Act contain some consent provisions, but in other health settings there has been no legislation to guide us.

Of course, as we see a shift from the institution to the community in delivery of health services, different ways of interacting with the health consumer, it is important that we have a comprehensive piece of legislation and one that brings some consistency to different health care settings.

The rules which apply now in common law are ones that have come down from past court decisions, and they're certainly not well known by the general public. That makes it very difficult for an individual to enforce his or her rights with respect to informed consent.

Certainly in recent years there has been much debate about this. Health care consumers, providers and experts in the health care field have reviewed this issue and have on an ongoing basis expressed the need in a very convincing manner for clear statutory rules on this. I think the legislation we have put forward will accomplish that.

The issue, as members of this Legislature will know, has been raised in many studies and official reports, particularly the Fram report of 1988, during the amendment process to the Mental Health Act, during consultations about the Public Hospitals Act, even very recently, and at public meetings on community mental health legislation during the period of the Graham review.

There have been Court of Appeal decisions which have stated very clearly the fact that the doctrine of informed consent ensures the freedom of the individual to make choices about his medical care. I think we all in this House believe that, accept that and are about to enshrine that in legislation.

In my remarks to the standing committee on administration of justice before the start of the public hearings, I recognized that there were some major concerns with some of the provisions of the bill as drafted. If you go back and review my comments at that point in time, I certainly expressed that I thought a thorough airing of the issue was in order, to attempt to find workable solutions to areas where there were very diverse opinions.

I listened carefully to remarks made by the critic from the Liberal Party and certainly she gives much critical comment to the fact that during the process of committee hearings and through committee of the whole there were significant numbers of amendments to all three pieces of legislation.

Let me speak specifically with respect to the consent to treatment legislation. I think the process that we have established in the Legislative Assembly of this province is one which if allowed to work will develop good legislation. It's where people come together and bring different points of view to bear on the issues in front of the Legislative Assembly for consideration. Through that process, and through working with members of the opposition, we make amendments to legislation and we bring forward a better product at the end for having listened.

I'm perplexed by the comments that the member makes that are critical of that process, because in fact I think that if we were to take an approach in those hearings that said there would be no amendments, we would hear equally as loudly from the critic opposite concerns about that and I'm sure statements that government was just ramming through its own agenda and not listening to the people and not listening to the opposition. There are times when you can't make everyone happy, I would say.

In any event, I think that the process of amendments and the process of debate that took place and consensus development around a number of the issues of concern was a good one. I think some of the resolutions that we have found collectively, the members of the opposition and government working with concerned members of the public, are good resolutions. I think the input was invaluable in helping to us refine and improve this bill.

I want to take this moment then to thank people who certainly contributed to the process and certainly all the committee members from all the parties for their cooperation and support in shaping the legislation that's before us.

I do especially want to thank my parliamentary assistant, Paul Wessenger, who spent a lot of time and hard work in shepherding the bill through the committee process on my behalf.

There was much work that was put into this by Ministry of Health staff. I know that there's an individual, the head of the legal department, who's sitting behind the Speaker right now, who has spent many years working on this piece of legislation. I think that it's a tribute to Ministry of Health staff who have cared so much about this important rights issue in the province as well.

In spite of my being perplexed at some of the comments that Ms Sullivan made earlier, I want to thank both Ms Sullivan and Mr Wilson, as Health critics from the opposition parties, for the way in which they truly represented their caucuses well throughout the discussion and for the ideas and thoughts that have been brought forward. Their hard work certainly contributed to improving the legislation.

It's also very important to acknowledge the efforts of another legislator, and that's Mr Norm Sterling, who just finished speaking. He should be commended not only for stressing the importance of living will legislation through his private member bills, Bill 7 and Bill 8, which he has been a long-standing supporter and proponent of, but also for his valuable contribution in improving all four of the government bills.

I'm running out of the time that has been allotted to me and there are a number of issues of content that I think deserve response, from some of the comments that the opposition members have made. I think that as we enter into a public education campaign about the impact of this legislation, we will be able to allay a number of concerns and fears that are out there.

I say to the critic from the Liberal Party that I think her characterization of the effect of the age issue is incorrect and in a sense we really do need to work to allay the concerns of parents out there.

We have in this legislation effectively kept the status quo. What is at common law now is that an individual who is judged to be competent to make a decision for himself with respect to consent to treatment should be given that right. That's the common law and that is preserved through this legislation.


With respect to the issues of when rights advice becomes available, and that it's somehow outrageous that we should end it up at age 14, I've travelled this province, and as I met with people who raised concerns about this and talked about their children and their families, 14 was certainly an age that was brought up on many occasions, so I'm surprised to hear the member speak in such a surprised tone about that. But let me say that this is a very different issue from when the right to consent is available to an individual, and at common law that is at any age at which you are competent.

There are a number of issues of content that, I assure members of the Legislature, we will attempt to address through a public education campaign as we reach out to members of the public, because this is truly legislation that will only have life if people know about it. I think it will be far-reaching in that sense. We will be asking health practitioners to assist us with educating the public. Certainly, we will not be able to do this without them.

This legislation will improve the delivery of health care by clearly establishing the rights and responsibilities of patients, health service providers and substitute decision-makers. I believe the Consent to Treatment Act will help us accomplish a most desirable goal, respect for the dignity and autonomy of every individual when it comes to health treatment in Ontario, and will have the power of the law behind it.

I appreciate the opportunity to have contributed to the discussion today.

Mr Robert V. Callahan (Brampton South): On a point of order, Mr Speaker: I understand that the time for the official opposition is up. However, in light of the comments made by the minister that we can all contribute in a meaningful fashion to this, I would ask unanimous consent for a brief period to speak to an issue which I've spoken on numerous times in this House, the question of schizophrenics. I would ask for unanimous consent of the House to have three minutes to deal with that.

The Acting Speaker: The honourable member for Brampton South has asked for unanimous consent. Is there unanimous consent for the honourable member to speak?

No, there is not unanimous consent. I recognize the honourable member for Simcoe West.

Mr Jim Wilson: I'm pleased to rise and spend just a few short minutes in discussion of these advocacy and consent bills. As Health critic for the Ontario PC caucus, I want to spend what time I have addressing concerns that have been brought to my attention with respect to Bill 109, the Consent to Treatment Act, in particular the age of medical consent.

As many people in Ontario are aware, the age of medical consent for incapable persons is being lowered from age 16 to 14. Now, I have to say that the age of 14 years is probably better than what the government had intended in its first draft of this legislation, which was that the age of medical consent be lowered to 12 years old. A number of people have written. Certainly, I think we're well over 150 phone calls to my office from citizens of the province who are very concerned about this aspect of Bill 109.

I want to again repeat at the outset that age 14 -- that amendment was introduced by Mr Sterling, my colleague the member for Carleton -- reflects a compromise of the opposition parties with the government. The government originally set the age provision to age 12. We would prefer the common law position, which is 16 years of age.

It became very clear throughout the two rounds of public hearings over the past several months that the government wasn't going to budge, that the ministers involved and speaking on behalf of the government -- or their parliamentary assistants, I should say, because we didn't have ministers at the committee hearings -- had orders from cabinet or otherwise that the age of medical consent was to be lowered. Age 14 is that compromise and it is not acceptable to the Ontario PC caucus. Age 16 is our preference, which I think really reflects the common law in Ontario as it stands today.

I want to say in general terms about Bill 109 that it really sets out to correct a perceived problem in society. It's a notion that the NDP seems to have that health care providers can't be trusted to do their jobs, that the state must hire an army of advocates and rights advisers to oversee and interfere with decisions that are made by family members and health practitioners.

I think the bill sets out to correct a perceived problem, because under the common law, as the Minister of Health correctly just pointed out in her remarks, no person in Ontario may be treated against his will. What Bill 109 sets out to do is to codify the common law, and in so doing, it's dramatically changing the approach that families and children have taken to the health care system and it dramatically changes the way in which physicians interact with families and in particular children in the health care system.

What will happen now is that if a child age 14 or over is deemed incapable by the physician, that child must have a series of rights read to him by a rights adviser. The physician must inform the child in writing that he or she deems the child to be incapable. Essentially, what's happening is that a huge state bureaucracy is replacing the traditional role of the family in the doctor's office.

I'll leave aside psychiatric facilities, but in the everyday experience of most people when they go to their doctor's office, under the common law, as I said, currently no one can be treated against his will. What is happening is that Big Brother knows best. The NDP is coming in with an army of advocates and rights advisers, throwing the family out of the decision-making process, putting a rights adviser or advocate between the incapable child and the physician and setting up, very clearly, an adversarial situation in the doctor's office.

Again, I'm not aware of problems when children were presented in doctor's offices. I am aware that some children age 14 and up may refuse an injection, but under the common law now that's worked out with family members, with the physician and with the child, You don't need the whole new set of complicated rules Bill 109 sets up to ensure the child gets treatment. Under this bill, the child who doesn't want the needle can refuse it, can apply for a hearing before the Consent and Capacity Review Board, which is another huge bureaucracy that this bill sets up, and the family has no say in the treatment of its loved one, in the treatment of its child.

I want to read from a letter dated November 6, 1992, from the Hospital for Sick Children, dealing with this notification of rights advisers and the age of consent to medical treatment. It says:

"If the health practitioner finds the child incapable he/she must read and then give written notice to the child indicating that he/she is entitled to meet with a rights adviser and to make an application to the board for review of the finding. A rights adviser must then be notified if the child so requests. However, the rights adviser's role is simply to repeat the explanation provided by the health practitioner. Since the health practitioner is already required by law to read the notification, the involvement of the rights adviser would appear to be redundant, and the child may be disadvantaged by the introduction of a third party into the therapeutic relationship. Furthermore, such involvement would appear to assume ill intention on the part of the health practitioner and to presume an adversarial relationship between the health practitioner and the child. The recommended change" -- this is recommended by the Hospital for Sick Children -- "is that rights advice provided by the health practitioner to the child should be sufficient for individuals under the age of 16 years." This is a suggestion that was not heeded by the government.

Further in this area of age of medical consent, I want to read a letter. I think it best summarizes the type of phone calls I've been getting to my office and the letters received from concerned citizens. It's from Mrs Barbara Hiller of Cambridge. She writes to me in a letter dated December 3:

"I am still opposed to Bill 109 that will lower the age of medical consent from age 16 to 14 years. As a parent of four children, three of them over 12 years, I know children are not capable of making medical decisions under 16 years, regardless of presentations by the NDP government indicating otherwise. We parents are the first guardians of our children, and no public health official can claim to love our children more than we do. My message again to all health professionals, including doctors, is: Keep your hands off our children."

I want to say to Mrs Hiller that it's not the doctors who are trying to set up Bill 109 and the superbureaucracy that will be involved; it is the NDP government. So the message should be: Keep your hands off our children, NDP government.


Finally, because I only have a couple of minutes more, I want to read from a letter dated December 7 that was addressed to the Health minister, Ms Lankin, from the Ontario Association of Catholic Families. It reads:

"Please be advised that the Ontario Association of Catholic Families opposes with all possible strength the idea that the age of consent for medical procedures should be lowered. It is already at least two years too low.

"To establish in law an age of consent which permits and will encourage a child to go outside the family and to act independently of his or her parents, especially in matters which pertain directly to the family as an institution, such as human life already conceived and the biological capacity to become a parent while still legally a minor and therefore not recognized by society as having adult responsibility, is to undermine the responsibilities and to attack the rights of the family."

The point being made here by a number of parents themselves is that they're saying to legislators in this chamber that our children aged 14, in many cases -- in most cases -- are not mature enough to make their own health care decisions, and what gives the state the right to appoint a rights adviser or an advocate in place of the family in that decision-making process?

We know, in this legislation, that there is no clear definition of what an advocate is or who these people are to be, what their training and qualifications will be. It leads to the moral question that's contained in the Ontario Association of Catholic Families letter, and that is, what is to prevent a rights adviser or advocate in this legislation from imposing his or her own moral values on the child? There's nothing in this legislation to prevent a pro-choice advocate from encouraging a child 14 years old to have an abortion, and I find that disgusting.

There are no safeguards. The government, although it introduced some 400 amendments in the process leading up to today, refused to deal with the very crucial age question of children and the age of medical consent. Age 14 is still too low. Without clearly defining the role and responsibility of advocates and their training and qualifications, there are no safeguards to ensure that somebody else's moral values won't be imposed on your children.

The family is being thrown out of the health care treatment decision-making process, and that reason, and that reason alone, should be enough to encourage all members and all parties in this Legislature to vote against Bill 109 and its companion legislation, Bills 74 and 110.

I conclude my remarks by saying that the government failed to listen to families. The government failed to act on the advice that was given to it from a number of associations, including medical professions, and we have before us very badly flawed legislation which will not receive my support.

The Acting Speaker: I thank the honourable member.

Let me just explain to the members of the House, there is a fire alarm presently in the building. The fire trucks are here, so we're just waiting to hear news. But we can continue at this point, I believe. Is the honourable member for Simcoe West going to continue, or is he finished?

I recognize the honourable member for London South.

Mr David Winninger (London South): Thank you, Mr Speaker. I hope the fire alarm you just mentioned was not attributable to the incendiary remarks of the member for Simcoe West.

I'm pleased indeed to be able to speak today on the way in which the legislation that is before us attains a very important objective, an accomplishment which is legislatively unprecedented and which is undoubtedly the most progressive legislation of its kind.

This legislation is based on two profound and fundamental insights into the human condition. It recognizes, firstly, that nothing is more crucial to the meaning and value of the life of each individual than the right to make his or her own choices, to satisfy his or her own desires, to manage his or her own property, to determine his or her own future.

When others choose for us, when others force us to conform to their desires and manage us in accordance with their goals and their future, we become a mere instrument at best and at worst an inconvenience, a nuisance. When others decide for us, we suffer not only the loss of our autonomy but also the shame and humiliation of marginalization, of not counting, of being an encumbrance.

Secondly, this legislation recognizes that our very powerful need to determine our own affairs is matched by the degree of vulnerability to which each person is subject. Illness and dying, disability and incapacity are part of life. Each one of us must live through times when our resources for ensuring that our choices, our wishes and our rights are respected are greatly diminished, yet our desire for self-determination is by no means diminished in the same way. On the contrary, it is often strengthened by the threat posed to it.

Mr Speaker, I'm sure you will agree that the legislation which can speak to these two needs, which is able to accommodate the fact of human vulnerability at the same time that it ensures the maximum of self-determination, must be held up as a pinnacle of human political achievement. These four bills before us, in my view, constitute such an achievement.

Let me briefly remind you of who will benefit from this legislation. Perhaps the most important benefit will be to those who are physically neglected or abused and are mentally incapable of getting themselves out of the situation. Governments, health and social service agencies and medical officers of health are now legally helpless to act. The deaths that arise are often the subject matter of inquests. This legislation responds to a public need identified by many coroners' juries.

It also addresses the need to stop the financial exploitation of people, often elderly, who are no longer capable of managing their own property.

The legislation will allow many people with mental disorders, especially those who are not considered dangerous to themselves or others, to get the help they need in a timely way. The provisions for expeditive validation of powers of attorney for personal care under Bill 108, the Ulysses contract and the guardianship provisions offer a better means of serving the needs of people with mental disorders. They do this by ensuring the people with disorders have the same patient-centred motto of substitute decision-making that applies to everyone else.

By providing for advocacy services for people who may lose their rights to make their own decisions, the legislation ensures access to justice to people whose voice has often not been heard. Advocacy services will result in alternatives to guardianship being found where a person's need for decisions will be met by means less restrictive. The Ministry of the Attorney General will continue, after Bill 108 is enacted, to work with community organizations to explore alternatives to guardianship.

The legislation will allow Ontarians, including people with cognitive disabilities, to make powers of attorney for personal care, to choose family and friends they trust to make those treatment and care decisions they cannot make themselves. The legislation, together with the Consent to Treatment Act, will permit those people who have thought about the treatment to which they would consent or to which they would refuse consent in the event of their incapacity to express their wishes and have their wishes respected. This legislation is not about treatment during terminal illness alone; it is about the right each of us has at all times to choose to accept or refuse treatment and care. It is to ensure that our living wills will govern our care and our treatment.


There is much to be done before this legislation can be proclaimed. The Advocacy Commission must be ready to provide advocates, the public guardian and trustee's office must develop policies to govern its actions under the legislation, and staff must be hired and trained to be ready to perform duties imposed by the legislation.

The members for Halton Centre and Carleton have expressed their own doubts and misgivings about the ability of the office of the public guardian and trustee to rise to this significant challenge. I would just note, for the benefit of the members opposite, that on November 19 the Attorney General announced the appointment of Judith Wahl as chair of an interim advisory committee to plan and prepare for the impact of the new substitute decisions legislation on the office of the public trustee, and the mandate of the existing office will be expanded substantially by new legislation. In order to resolve the problems in the management of the office in the past, such as client services and administrative procedures, the ministry has been reviewing and will continue to review a number of issues, and the current mandate of the office is being examined to ensure its compatibility with the needs of the expanded role of the office.

In addition, in closing I would note briefly that simple forms of powers of attorney must be created and a distribution network must be established to make them available to the public under Bill 108. Decisions must be made about who assessors of capacity will be and how they will be trained and the training done. Programs must be created to educate professional care givers and family care givers. But all of these tasks must be done in consultation with or in partnership with community associations, professional organizations and care giver organizations. To get these tasks under way, I would ask for the further cooperation of the House in now approving this third and final reading of Bill 108 and its companion legislation.

The Acting Speaker: Further debate?

Mr Gary Malkowski (York East): It's a great honour to participate in the discussion of third reading. I think this is important legislation because it is empowering legislation for vulnerable individuals. It gets them involved in the process. It's long overdue and long-awaited legislation, and finally we see that it has come to fruition and we are in fact going to see this empowering legislation in place.

Government members have taken a great deal of leadership in this, and the policies and principles of the government have always been to empower, to respect the dignity and autonomy of disabled and vulnerable individuals. The way to do that is by giving them the power to act for themselves.

During debate, during public hearings, most of the people who came out -- for example, the Ontario Advocacy Coalition -- talked about the hard work that went into getting this legislation in place. We had people who were psychiatric survivors who spoke to us, people who had in fact experienced neglect and were very vulnerable to abuse and feel that this will put an end to that type of situation.

There have been times when there have been very large divisions between consumers, professionals and family members. I think now is the time to work in cooperation. It's time that all members, members of the government and opposition, work together, and I think that is what we're seeing happen. The professional groups are becoming more aware and more understanding of how important it is to have the needs of vulnerable individuals met, to speak with them and to hear their point of view.

The basic principle here is that we have various groups -- family members, professionals -- who have to work together to support what the vulnerable individual actually wants. We're looking at a foundation being laid, by the professionals, by the family members, and this legislation will in fact be that foundation that gives the vulnerable individual a sense of autonomy, of freedom from the possibility of neglect, abuse and exploitation, which is critical.

I'd like to cite Father O'Sullivan's You've Got a Friend, and we've all read that report. I believe that now vulnerable people realize that they do in fact have a friend, that his goals have been accomplished.

What's important in terms of advocacy and in terms of this legislation is that the basic principles are those of autonomy and respect, an increased respect, for individuals who want to voice their own needs and opinions, and to make sure that people do have the autonomy and the dignity and the respect that every individual deserves.

We've seen a lot of vulnerable people in society who have been anticipating the results of this ongoing debate, and sometimes the debate is one that has pitted family members, professionals and vulnerable individuals against each other. But we've seen, as this was drawing to a close, that people are working in cooperation. Finally, I think we've seen opposition members and our own members beginning to see that what we have to look at are the needs of the vulnerable people, and it can only be done by working in cooperation.

I'm very proud of the Advocacy Act and this legislation. I think it's leading legislation in North America, and that other disabled and vulnerable people across our country and across North America are going to be looking with envy at the province of Ontario, because no longer is it going to be acceptable practice to exploit vulnerable individuals.

In closing, I'd like to say that I'm very proud to see that vulnerable people have in fact played such an important role and are now going to be able to feel that they are free from abuse, neglect and exploitation, that that's a situation that will not be tolerated any longer.

I would like to thank, on behalf of all of us, the vulnerable people who came out to speak and contribute to this legislation, people who work in the office for disability issues to provide the resources and bring together the information we all needed in order to learn about the issues. I think it's been beneficial for all of us. Finally, I would like to thank all of the members here in the House, especially the government and opposition members who sat on the committee, in working towards making this legislation a success. I'm sure vulnerable people everywhere will appreciate the efforts that will bring autonomy and dignity to their community. I think it's a remarkable symbol of cooperation that has made this happen.

The Acting Speaker: Further debate?

Mr Paul Wessenger (Simcoe Centre): It is a pleasure to be able to speak on this third reading of the Consent to Treatment Act. This legislation has been a long time in coming when you consider that this whole process started back in 1978. It has taken a long time because it is an area of law that is very complex and difficult; it's really an area of law reform. It is something that, as a lawyer, I'm particularly pleased to have been involved with -- reforming our law -- because the existing common law unfortunately did not provide adequate protections and adequate safeguards and was not really workable with respect to the whole question of consent to treatment for incapable persons.

I note the comments of the critic for the Liberal Party, the member for Halton Centre, asking, why the rush? I think at some stage in legislation you have an area of diminishing returns, and I certainly believe we have reached that stage in this legislation after almost 14 years. I think we have very workable legislation with respect to consent to treatment. It takes a very balanced position in ensuring that needed health services are provided and also respecting the rights of individuals. It's a balance we always have to do in society: protecting people and respecting their rights.

With respect to some of the comments made by some of the other members, first I'd like to correct an impression given by the member for Simcoe West that this legislation created an age of consent at 14 or a presumption of capacity at age 14. That is not the case. This legislation reinforces the common law position that there is no presumption with respect to capacity at any age. It's left up to the individual practitioner to determine in first instance whether an individual has the capacity. The law is very clear; there's no specific age in which capacity is presumed at common law.


With respect to another item raised by the member for Halton Centre with respect to the advance directives, I think it's very important that we don't risk the life of a child under 16 because of the aspect of alleged prior wishes. I think it's very difficult, at the time of giving treatment for a child who does not have capacity at that time, to determine whether the child expressed those prior wishes, whether the child had the capacity at that time.

Also, this amendment is consistent with the Substitute Decisions Act, which provides that only a person 16 or more can make a power of attorney for personal care. It's very much consistent with that legislation and I think providing that consistency is an improvement, because it does not make sense to me to allow a person under 16 not to make a power of attorney for care and yet to allow the person to have his wishes taken into account for prior wishes, particularly when you weigh the question of the concern over the safety, health and life of a child.

With respect to the question of rights advice, it's very important that we have rights advice in this legislation, as without rights advice the right to refuse treatment is not really very meaningful. I think it's very clear that if a person does not have the knowledge of his rights, he's not likely to have the right to exercise those rights in reality.

With respect to the whole question of the age 14, there's no presumption as to capacity at age 14. It merely raises the right to have a rights adviser. I would suggest that the age of 14 was chosen on the basis that most children would probably have capacity at age 14 in most matters. If we look at certain recommendations, for instance, in the Weisstub report of 1990, it recommended age 14 as a presumed age of consent, of presumed capacity. The province of Quebec also has age 14 as the age of consent for medical treatment. So using age 14 for rights advice is very much consistent with setting the age of 14 for rights advice. I think it's clear that children should have no lesser rights than adults with respect to having their rights protected.

In summing up, I'd like to thank the legal and policy staff of the Ministry of Health. I certainly enjoyed working with them on this legislation and I think it was a very fruitful dialogue throughout the whole process. I'd also like to thank the opposition members for their contribution. Again, I found it was a very open and good dialogue, and all the issues were well raised.

I'd like to thank everyone who made presentations to the committee during the course of the legislation, because all of them contributed to providing what I believe is a very workable piece of legislation, a piece of legislation that will be a significant legal reform for Ontario and will lead the way for other provinces in this regard. I am certainly looking forward to its being implemented in the future.

The Acting Speaker: Further debate?

Ms Jenny Carter (Peterborough): I'm delighted to rise in support of the Advocacy Act and its companion legislation. I support this legislation for a great many reasons. It responds to a need long identified by disabled groups, independent commissions and community organizations, as well as by several coroners' juries.

Its sole purpose is to offer assistance as wanted to vulnerable adults who do not have family or friends to support them. In particular, I welcome this legislation on behalf of those seniors who want help to exercise their rights to make choices and decisions, for that is the purpose of the Advocacy Act. It is legislation which upholds the basic civil rights of all citizens regardless of illness, disability or age.

Many seniors have told this government that implementation of the Advocacy Act is long overdue. I say to you that they are quite correct. While the vast majority of seniors are energetic self-advocates who need no help or assistance in coping, there are also those who have become vulnerable through frailty or illness. Their right as citizens to make personal and health care decisions needs to be recognized and protected in law.

That view has been expressed by many groups which independently advocate on behalf of elderly disabled persons. Included among them are Concerned Friends, which monitors the care of institutionalized seniors, the Ontario Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly, to mention a few. These organizations are devoted to preventing mistreatment of older persons. They, along with the court system, have provided ample documentation to show that frail and disabled adults need better rights protections such as those we offer in this advocacy package. They fundamentally support the extension of neutral, independent advocacy services to vulnerable adults.

Concerned Friends described the Advocacy Act in its winter newsletter as "a primarily defensive measure designed to protect vulnerable adults and enhance their independence." It states further, "The passage of this act will help right the terrible imbalance of power that currently exists."

That view was reiterated in the recently tabled report of the Commission of Inquiry into Unregulated Residential Accommodation, prepared by Professor Ernie Lightman. In his comprehensive report Professor Lightman emphasizes the need for independent advocacy services. He says that advocates are essential to the empowerment of elderly Ontario residents and he endorses the Advocacy Commission as proposed in this legislation.

The Advocacy Act is needed for many reasons. One is a simple matter of demographics. Ontario seniors now account for about 11% of the population. In 20 years' time they're expected to make up about 25% of the population. Community services to foster independence and empowerment for elderly people will therefore be increasingly important. In that respect, the Advocacy Act is an example of good future planning. It will provide important support to those who would otherwise face barriers in exercising their right to make choices and decisions.

I know a great many seniors welcome this legislative package, as I do. They look forward to the promise of support and protection which the Advocacy Act offers if they should ever need and want it. They eagerly welcome the opportunity offered by this legislation to plan rationally for their future health and personal care decisions. Until now Ontarians have not had the security of knowing that their living wills, for instance, would be honoured and upheld. This package provides for that. The legislation before us is flexibly designed to respond to the needs of vulnerable citizens who need assistance in the present as well as those who may require it in the future.

I repeat, I'm delighted to support this comprehensive package which has long been needed by the people of Ontario. I too believe it will provide a model for other jurisdictions to emulate.


The Acting Speaker: Further debate?

Mrs Margaret Marland (Mississauga South): It is with regret and sadness that I rise to speak to the third readings of Bills 74, 108, 109 and 110, which will establish new laws with respect to advocacy on behalf of vulnerable persons, substitute decision-making and consent to treatment. I say "regret and sadness" because I am unable to support Bills 74 and 109 in their final form, despite the urgent need to update our consent to treatment laws and establish an independent advocacy system.

There is well-documented evidence of physical, mental and financial abuse of vulnerable persons, particularly the frail elderly and the disabled. Earlier this year, the Lightman commission found many instances of abuse of vulnerable people who live in unregulated rest homes. In a study last year by the Disabled Women's Network, it was found that 73% of disabled women have been victims of violence, and of those victims, 96% have experienced sexual assault.

Advocates who can help communicate the wishes of vulnerable persons are an important part of our society's efforts to prevent such abuse. However, this package of legislation has been rushed through to passage by the NDP government without sufficient opportunity to correct many serious errors, and even to analyse and debate the more than 400 amendments put forward by the government. The last 120 or so of these amendments were presented to the opposition just in the past two weeks.

It is a tragedy that the NDP government has so mismanaged this package of legislation because there is no doubt that it is needed. But after the charade of token public hearings and only two days per bill for clause-by-clause analysis in standing committee, the government has managed to alienate an incredible number of families of vulnerable persons, health and social service professionals and interest groups.

For example, the Ontario Hospital Association, the Ontario Medical Association and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario were driven in early October to appeal for the Premier's intervention so that the legislation could be withdrawn and redrafted. The standing committee on administration of justice received hundreds of submissions raising valid concerns about the legislation, many of which have not been addressed, yet this badly flawed legislation is about to become law.

The Minister of Citizenship will recall that I spoke in support of the principle of Bill 74 during the second reading debate in June 1991. My position has not changed, but it is clear after analysis of this bill that it should not be passed in its present form.

I would like to tell the House what people who oppose this bill have been telling me. These concerns fall into three major categories: (1) unmanageable cost, bureaucracy and red tape; (2) lack of accountability; (3) unreasonable powers of entry.

First, I will deal with the issues of cost, bureaucracy and red tape. The Ministry of Citizenship has not undertaken any formal costing projections for the new advocacy system. First, the ministry said it would cost $23 million a year, then $36 million. A leaked internal memo said the public trustee's costs alone would be $48 million, while some parties have estimated the system's cost to be $100 million a year or more.

The Advocacy Commission, even without the other components of the system, is a big expense at a time when the government is coping with the recession by cutting back on funding to community living associations, for instance, which provide vital services to developmentally disabled persons.

Another expensive decision is to hire at least 150 professional advocates. The number of these paid advocates will no doubt rise as the number of our vulnerable citizens also rises with the aging of Canada's population.

This use of paid advocates is contrary to the advice in the report to the provincial government by the late Father Sean O'Sullivan, who recommended volunteer advocates for many reasons. With limited government resources, it is important to have as many properly trained volunteer advocates as possible.

We must also recognize the commitment, objectivity and skills of the many volunteers who already work with vulnerable persons. As Father O'Sullivan said in his report, quoting the words of a vulnerable person, "The paid advocate would be regarded as a professional who has a job to do, but the volunteer advocate, exactly because he or she is there voluntarily, is also my friend."

I feel very frustrated. Because of the time allocation of this government, I am not able to complete my speech, and I wish to give the remaining one and a half minutes to my colleague the member for Kitchener.

The Acting Speaker: Further debate? The honourable member for Waterloo North.

Mrs Elizabeth Witmer (Waterloo North): I'm extremely concerned about the hasty passage of these bills, Bills 74, 108, 109 and 110, since they will have a far-reaching and sometimes a potentially devastating impact on the lives of some individuals and families in the province. This legislation is badly flawed and has been badly mismanaged.

Although we need to protect the rights of the mentally and physically disabled people who cannot always speak for themselves, this is not the case with these bills. I am extremely concerned because this legislation does not respect and recognize the legitimate and necessary role of parents with respect to supporting the health needs of their children. Once children of any age are allowed to refuse health treatment as long as they are judged to have the capacity to make such decisions, families are going to find it very difficult to ensure that their children get the help they need. I am concerned because this government, through the use of advocates, has the potential to have the advocate impose his or her moral values on children. I am concerned because this government has made absolutely no attempt to listen to the many sincere concerns of families and care givers in this province. As a result, I will be voting against these bills.

The Acting Speaker: Further debate?

Mr Gilles Bisson (Cochrane South): It's with great pleasure that I take the opportunity to have a few short comments with regard to these three bills: the Substitute Decisions Act, the Advocacy Act and the Consent to Treatment Act.

I would first like to deal with the Substitute Decisions Act and after that get into a little bit more detail around the Advocacy Act because that is something that hits home to me, as my sister is -- I see the minister has arrived. I will just speak shortly on the Substitute Decisions Act. First of all, the Substitute Decisions Act gives for the first time the power to Ontarians to make a living will so that in the end, if something should happen to them and if they should become incapacitated, their will could be carried out based on what they've put inside that living will. This is the first time such legislation is put in place within the province of Ontario that would give people the right to do so.

At this point I take it the minister wants to make her comments, and I will give the floor to the minister.

The Acting Speaker: I recognize the honourable member for High Park-Swansea, the honourable Minister of Citizenship.

Hon Ms Ziemba: I'm very pleased today as we draw to a close on this deliberation on these four very important pieces of legislation. As we've heard for many years -- for the last 20 years -- this legislation is extremely important to every one of our citizens in Ontario. I'm pleased that we've had this opportunity today to hear from everyone, and especially to thank the opposition members for their remarks. I know their remarks have been helpful to us in the last few years.

I would just like to re-emphasize one main point that my colleagues have made, and this point that I'd like to make is that this legislation is about empowerment, about choice and about dignity. Through these four interrelated acts, we will safeguard all Ontarians to exercise their fundamental rights. These are not new powers. These are fundamental rights that we all want to share and enjoy. Such rights include the right to make choices, the right to participate in shaping one's own future and the future of the community, and above all, the right to speak out for change.

This is a moment we all cherish. This is also the moment to remember individuals such as Joseph Kendall and the many like him who are still shut out and whose voices are silenced. This legislation will change that.

To the many who have worked tirelessly in bringing the concept of advocacy to life, I'd like to thank you on behalf of the government and all the individuals who shared in this act. To Judith Wahl, Orville Endicott, Trish Spindel, Mae Harman, Scott Seiller, co-chair of the Ontario Advocacy Coalition, Patrick Worth -- I don't believe he's here today but I'm sure that people would extend this to Patrick -- David Baker, Joan Fussell, Freda Hannah from Concerned Friends and all those individuals who, because of their tireless efforts are making sure the government heard that there was a need for this particular piece of legislation, I thank you and I thank you for making us hear you.

Also to the ad hoc coalition: Brian Harling and Barbara LeBlanc from the Ontario Medical Association; Carolyn Shushelski from the Ontario Hospital Association; June Beeby from the Ontario Friends of Schizophrenics; Debbie Wall-Armstrong; Carla Peppler; Susan Kitchener -- all those I would like to thank for their open and frank discussions with us and for helping us to make our deliberations easier.

I also want to recognize the 10 years of excellent work and dedication of the Psychiatric Patient Advocate Office.

But now, last but not least, on behalf of the three ministers I'd like to thank our parliamentary assistants, who carried the legislation through the hearing stage and who helped us immensely, coming back to us every evening to share with the ministers the comments that were made, the deliberations they heard, and on behalf of my own ministry I'd like to thank my parliamentary assistants, Gary Malkowski and Jenny Carter, for their hard work and striving to make sure this happened.

I thank, of course, also the team of people who worked in our ministries, often late into the night, often on the weekends -- more often than not, into the weekends and late into the night -- who one night, I know, had only two hours of sleep. I thank you very much for helping me through this process and helping us make sure that this legislation happened.

The government is proud of this legislative package. Today is the beginning of a new era of empowerment, and again Ontario is at the forefront of the legislative agenda, where we will show not only the rest of the provinces in Canada but the rest of the world about dignity and making sure of people's self-worth and empowerment.

I look forward in the coming months to working very closely with all the community organizations and with all the members in this House to make sure that this legislation works, that it does the job it's meant to do and that all our citizens of Ontario are respected.

Mrs Marland: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: I understand that it is in order to rise in the House and correct one's own record. I referred to my colleague as being the member for Kitchener and I would like to correct that statement, as she is the member for Waterloo North.

The Acting Speaker: I thank the honourable member.

Ms Ziemba has moved third reading of Bill 74, An Act respecting the Provision of Advocacy Services to Vulnerable Persons. Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry?

All those in favour, please say "aye."

Those opposed, say "nay."

In my opinion, the ayes have it.

We will defer the vote for a moment.

Ms Ziemba, on behalf of Mr Hampton, has moved third reading of Bill 108, An Act to provide for the making of Decisions on behalf of Adults concerning the Management of their Property and concerning their Personal Care.

Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry?

All those in favour, please say "aye."

Those opposed, say "nay."

In my opinion, the ayes have it.

Ms Ziemba has moved, on behalf of Ms Lankin, third reading of Bill 109, An Act respecting Consent to Treatment.

Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry?

Those in favour, please say "aye."

Those opposed, say "nay."

In my opinion, the ayes have it.

We shall move to the fourth bill.

Ms Ziemba has moved, on behalf of Mr Hampton, third reading of Bill 110, An Act to amend certain Statutes of Ontario consequent upon the enactment of the Advocacy Act, 1992, the Consent to Treatment Act, 1992, and the Substitute Decisions Act, 1992.

Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry?

All those in favour, say "aye."

Those opposed, say "nay."

In my opinion, the ayes have it.

Call in the members; a 15-minute bell.

The division bells rang from 1744 to 1759.

The Acting Speaker: Will the members please take their seats.

Ms Ziemba has moved third reading of Bill 74. All those in favour of the motion will please rise one at a time and be recognized by the Clerk.


Abel, Akande, Allen, Bisson, Boyd, Buchanan, Carter, Charlton, Christopherson, Churley, Cooke, Cooper, Dadamo, Duignan, Farnan, Fletcher, Frankford, Gigantes, Grier, Hansen, Harrington, Haslam, Hayes, Hope, Huget, Jamison, Johnson, Klopp, Kormos, Lankin, Laughren, Mackenzie, MacKinnon, Malkowski, Mammoliti, Marchese, Martin, Mathyssen, Morrow, O'Connor, Owens, Perruzza, Philip (Etobicoke-Rexdale), Pilkey, Pouliot, Rae, Rizzo, Silipo, Sutherland, Swarbrick, Ward (Brantford), Waters, Wessenger, White, Wildman, Wilson (Frontenac-Addington), Wilson (Kingston and The Islands), Winninger, Wiseman, Wood, Ziemba.

The Acting Speaker: All those opposed to the motion will please rise one at a time and be recognized by the Clerk.


Beer, Callahan, Caplan, Carr, Chiarelli, Conway, Cordiano, Cousens, Cunningham, Eddy, Elston, Eves, Fawcett, Grandmaître, Harnick, Henderson, Jordan, Kwinter, Marland, McClelland, McGuinty, McLean, McLeod, Miclash, Morin, Offer, O'Neil (Quinte), O'Neill (Ottawa-Rideau), Poole, Ramsay, Sola, Sterling, Stockwell, Sullivan, Tilson, Wilson (Simcoe West), Witmer.

The Acting Speaker: The ayes being 61 and the nays 37, I declare the motion carried. Resolved that the bill do now pass and be entitled as in the motion.

Mr Hampton has moved third reading of Bill 108.

Mr Murray J. Elston (Bruce): On a point of order, Mr Speaker: During the taking of the earlier voice vote, we had understood that there were some negatives in the House. I wonder if we might ask for unanimous consent, because I understand there is not necessarily a need to take a roll call for this vote, that it is going to be unanimous. If we could refer back to that and then not have to go through the calling of everyone's names, I think it would help.

The Acting Speaker: Will the member of the official opposition indicate that 98-0 would be acceptable? Agreed. Would that have the unanimous consent of the House? That being the case, Mr Hampton has moved third reading of Bill 108, and it has been accepted in a unanimous decision by this House that there should be 98 ayes and 0 nays. I declare the motion carried.

Resolved that the bill do now pass and be entitled as in the motion.

Ms Lankin has moved third reading of Bill 109. All those in favour of the motion will please rise one at a time and be recognized by the Clerk.

Mr Sterling: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: I believe the vote will be the same for 109 and 110 as it was on 74, and by unanimous consent I ask that we record the vote as it was for 74.

The Acting Speaker: With unanimous consent? With unanimous consent, the ayes are 61 and the nays are 37. Ms Lankin has moved third reading of Bill 109, and the motion is carried.

Resolved that the bill do now pass and be entitled as in the motion.

Is it agreed that in the fourth and final bill, Bill 110, the same be done? Agreed. As there is unanimous consent, then the vote for Bill 110 is 61 ayes and 37 nays. I declare the motion carried.

Resolved that the bill do now pass and be entitled as in the motion.


Deferred vote on the motion for second reading of Bill 96, An Act to establish the Ontario Training and Adjustment Board / Loi créant le Conseil ontarien de formation et d'adaptation de la main-d'oeuvre

The Acting Speaker (Mr Dennis Drainville): We now move to the deferred vote on the motion for second reading of Bill 96.

Mr Murray J. Elston (Bruce): Mr Speaker, I wish to raise a point of order about this vote. The fact of the matter is that the power of the House to defer a vote can be carried from any time after routine proceedings on the day following the vote first being called for up to 6 o'clock of the following day. It now being past 6 o'clock, I ask that you rule that the vote has been lost and that the ballot cannot be taken as it is violation of the standing orders and asking us to do something the standing orders does not allow us to do.


The Acting Speaker: Order. As the honourable member for Bruce knows, that vote was to follow immediately upon the votes that have just been taken in this House, and nothing --

Mr Elston: No, sir, Mr Speaker, that is not true.

The Acting Speaker: I'm not finished. The honourable member will be please be seated until I'm finished.

The votes have been taken. We are moving immediately to that vote, and therefore nothing is out of order and we will proceed with the deferred vote.

Mr Elston: Mr Speaker, I'm sorry to stand on this, but I don't quite understand how you can say it was to be taken immediately following, since it is quite clear in the standing orders that we cannot defer a vote past 6 o'clock in any case, and the clock is well after 6. I don't understand how you can confront that very clear and honest fact.

The Acting Speaker: Very simply, I'll say to the member for Bruce, according to the order we had for this House today, at 5:45 we moved immediately to vote on the four bills we voted on. Immediately following that bill, we could not do anything other than to have the vote when it followed.

The Chair has ruled that we will move now to the deferred vote on the motion for second reading of Bill 96, An Act to establish the Ontario Training and Adjustment Board. Call in the members.

Mr Ernie L. Eves (Parry Sound): On a point of order, Mr Speaker.

Mr Jim Wilson (Simcoe West): The vote has been called.

Hon David S. Cooke (Government House Leader): The House isn't in session.

Mr Eves: The mace is on the table, David. The House is in session.

The Acting Speaker: Might I say to the honourable member for Parry Sound that the bells are ringing and we are bringing in the members now for the vote.

The divisions bells rang from 1809 to 1814.

The Acting Speaker: I would ask the honourable members to take their seats, please.

Mr Allen has moved second reading of Bill 96. All those in favour of the motion will please rise one at a time and be recognized by the Clerk.


Abel, Akande, Allen, Bisson, Boyd, Buchanan, Carter, Charlton, Christopherson, Churley, Cooke, Cooper, Dadamo, Duignan, Farnan, Fletcher, Frankford, Gigantes, Grier, Hansen, Harrington, Haslam, Hayes, Hope, Huget, Jamison, Johnson, Klopp, Kormos, Lankin, Laughren, Mackenzie, MacKinnon, Malkowski, Mammoliti, Marchese, Martin, Mathyssen, Morrow, O'Connor, Owens, Perruzza, Philip (Etobicoke-Rexdale), Pilkey, Pouliot, Rae, Rizzo, Silipo, Sutherland, Swarbrick, Ward (Brantford), Waters, Wessenger, White, Wildman, Wilson (Frontenac-Addington), Wilson (Kingston and The Islands), Winninger, Wiseman, Wood, Ziemba.


Beer, Callahan, Caplan, Carr, Chiarelli, Conway, Cordiano, Cousens, Cunningham, Eddy, Elston, Eves, Fawcett, Grandmaître, Harnick, Henderson, Jordan, Kwinter, Marland, McClelland, McGuinty, McLean, McLeod, Miclash, Morin, Offer, O'Neil (Quinte), O'Neill (Ottawa-Rideau), Poole, Ramsay, Sola, Sterling, Stockwell, Sullivan, Tilson, Wilson (Simcoe West), Witmer.

The Acting Speaker: The ayes being 61 and the nays 37, I declare the motion carried.

Shall the bill be ordered for third reading?

Hon Richard Allen (Minister of Skills Development): Mr Speaker, I would like to have this bill referred to the standing committee on resources development.

The Acting Speaker: The bill will be referred to the standing committee on resources development.

[Report continues in volume B]