37e législature, 3e session



Wednesday 5 June 2002 Mercredi 5 juin 2002












































Wednesday 5 June 2002 Mercredi 5 juin 2002

The House met at 1330.




Mr Rick Bartolucci (Sudbury): After 33 years of policing, our Sudbury police chief, Alex McCauley, is retiring. Alex started his career in Copper Cliff in 1969 and joined our regional force in 1973.

Alex is a cop's cop. He learned his profession by living his profession. He worked in the uniform division, the criminal intelligence division, the traffic division and the criminal investigations division. He learned his trade well. He became chief of the Sudbury Regional Police Service in 1994.

Chief McCauley does not shy away from tough stances. He seriously questions public safety issues that aren't in the best interests of the community he loves so dearly. For example, he's not afraid to say he's opposed to the quota system instituted by the Correctional Service of Canada. He's a strong supporter of the JOEMAC committee, which is trying to get Constable Joe MacDonald's killers back in maximum-security facilities.

Alex has immersed himself in our community over the years. He's the past chair of the Northern Cancer Research Foundation, a member of the board of directors of Cambrian College and of the Sudbury Food Bank, and is honorary chair of the Countdown for Kids campaign in Sudbury.

At a retirement party we're going to have for him on Saturday, my community of Sudbury will be expressing its thanks to Chief McCauley for all his dedicated service. The people I represent want to wish Alex and his wife, Piirko, well, and good health in their retirement. May his new challenges be marked with success as he continues in his quest to serve the people of his community.


Mr Toby Barrett (Haldimand-Norfolk-Brant): I rise today to acknowledge the hard work and achievement of two young fellows on garnering provincial honours at the Royal Canadian Legion poster, literary and public speaking contests. These two boys, 10-year-old Adrian D'Alimonte and grade 8 student Reid Karges, may be small in stature and young in age, but they're on their way to becoming literary giants.

Adrian D'Alimonte's poem, reflecting on the importance of Remembrance Day and acknowledging the sacrifices made by Canadian soldiers, captured the imagination of judges at local, regional and provincial levels. D'Alimonte placed first in three successive divisional contests before taking home top honours at the province-wide competition. The Seneca Central student says he thought of his great-grandfather, a former soldier, as he spent a week composing and editing his first-place poem.

As I mentioned, our area was lucky to have not one but two provincial winners. Reid Karges of Walsh public school spoke on the complications and peculiarities of the English language, something we can all attest to here in the Legislature.

The road to victory is often a long and arduous one. The trail to the province-wide speaking championships was no different for Karges. He began his march to victory in December. By practising his material he was successful, and by early January he achieved his goal.


Mr Michael Gravelle (Thunder Bay-Superior North): The low priority with which the Ontario government treats the provision of mental health services to children across this province is truly appalling. Last month, the Lakehead Regional Family Centre in Thunder Bay called an emergency media conference to announce that for the first time ever they were forced to post a deficit in their annual budget.

After years of provincial underfunding, coupled with an increased caseload of 150% since 1995, as well as a continual struggle to recruit staff at salaries far below those which are available in other health care institutions, the LRFC had no more rabbits to pull out of their hat.

The ministry's response to this call for help was stunningly bureaucratic and of absolutely no comfort to the desperate children and families in dire need of immediate help. Rather than provide the clearly justified funds to at least eliminate the deficit, the ministry said they would instead put the agency through a time-consuming program review, a program review which would only confirm the clear need for additional funds, a review that will only confirm that there are now 260 families on the waiting list for help -- help that may not be available for six months.

Minister Elliott, this cold-hearted, bureaucratic approach is nothing less than the sanctioned abandonment of children and families in desperate need of help. Why do you believe that mental health services for children are any less important than their other health care needs? I am incensed at the casual manner with which children's mental health is regarded by this government. Minister, you must do the right thing. You must provide the funding now to help the Lakehead Regional Family Centre do the important work they so very much want to do.


Mr Gerry Martiniuk (Cambridge): More good news from Cambridge. I rise to acknowledge and applaud five noteworthy Cambridge women: Anne Dunn, skip; Lindy Marchuk, vice; Gloria Campbell, second; Carol Thompson, lead; and Fran Todd, alternate; who with excellence, pride and skill successfully represented Cambridge and Canada at the world senior women's curling championship held in Bismarck, North Dakota, on April 15, 2002. Mr Joe Todd of Cambridge coached this world-class team. This team is champion of the world.

Anne, Lindy, Gloria, Carol and Fran are also two-time Canada champions, winning this prestigious title this year and last. The team calls the 96-year-old Galt Country Club its home, and on May 26, I, along with club members and many other Cambridge residents, had the opportunity of recognizing their excellence and accomplishments. Many Cambridge athletes represent Canada around the world and we are honoured that so many leave and return as the best.

On behalf of the province of Ontario, I offer sincere congratulations to the team, as well as the Galt Country Club that has produced so many fine curlers. May I extend my best wishes to the team in their future endeavours.


Mrs Lyn McLeod (Thunder Bay-Atikokan): Timothy Shaver is 25 years old. Eight years ago, when he was 15, he sustained a traumatic brain injury as a result of a skiing accident. Timothy was sent to Texas for rehabilitation before being repatriated to a group home in the Niagara region. Unfortunately, because Timothy's injury has left him explosive and potentially violent, he needs more care than can be provided in a group home setting. He was moved home to Thunder Bay, but without the support that the Brain Injured Services of Northern Ontario required to meet his needs.

Last year, Timothy started a fire in his apartment in an attempt to commit suicide. He was put in jail because a psychiatric hospital was not equipped to deal with a brain-injured individual. Last fall, as he was about to be released on to the street, the Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital agreed to take Timothy on what was to be a temporary basis until a suitable placement could be found. That was seven months ago.

There is, in fact, a suitable placement available, through Dale Brain Injury Services in London, for Timothy and for two other individuals with severe brain injuries. But the Ministry of Health says the cost of care for these severely disabled individuals is too high. And it is high: it is $300,000 per year, exactly the same amount that the Minister of Health was prepared to pay as an annual salary to his spin doctor. Surely it's more important to provide safe care for Timothy and for other severely disabled individuals than to pay for a public relations person.

While the ministry balks at costs, Timothy Shaver is about to be discharged again, once again likely to be put on to the streets. What will it cost to jail Timothy again, I wonder. What price will someone pay should Timothy become violent? What value do we put on Timothy Shaver's life?


Ms Shelley Martel (Nickel Belt): It takes a team to keep Ontario healthy. That's the theme of the campaign now underway by 10,000 OPSEU hospital professionals, to convince the Conservative government of the need to financially support a decent contract for these workers. They include X-ray and medical laboratory technologists, respiratory therapists, radiation and ultrasound technologists and physio- and occupational therapists, to name but a few. They are the people who run the heart pump during heart surgeries, process the biopsy to determine if it's malignant or test a kidney to be transplanted to ensure the recipient doesn't get hepatitis.


Ontario hospitals can't work without therapeutic, diagnostic and rehabilitative services. Professionals delivering these critical services must have their valuable contribution recognized. That means paying them decent wages to keep them in the hospital system instead of driving them out.

Without a commitment to pay allied health care professionals properly, it will be even more difficult for Ontario hospitals to recruit and retain the staff needed to provide doctors and nurses with the information they need to correctly diagnose and treat patients. A shortage of these professionals does negatively impact on health care, and we must recognize that.

Central bargaining between OPSEU and the Ontario Hospital Association has broken off, with no more bargaining dates scheduled. The Minister of Health could positively influence the situation by publicly indicating that proper funding for hospital professionals will be given to the OHA to bargain a decent contract.

We need these health care professionals to keep Ontario healthy. Let's pay them what they deserve.


Mr John O'Toole (Durham): I rise in the House today to pay tribute to the 34th annual Canoe the Nonquon, a fundraiser on behalf of the Scugog Shores Museum. The event was held last Saturday in Port Perry.

It was in 1969 that the first Canoe the Nonquon race was held. At that time the organizers included Charles Labanovich, Charles Pavlik, Joan and John Scott, Allan Wakeford, Robert Merchant, and Bill and Claudette Brock. The funds raised that year were used to move the first building, the log cabin, to the site of the current museum on Scugog Island.

Since 1969, canoeists from across Ontario have been marking their calendars for the first Saturday in June. Indeed Canoe the Nonquon has become the largest and oldest race of its type in Ontario. In addition to the recreational and competitive canoeists, this event is sponsored by close to 100 local businesses and by the entire community.

I'd like to congratulate Lake Scugog Historical Society president Paul Arculus and race coordinator Bruce Aikins, along with the many dedicated volunteers who make Canoe the Nonquon such a great success. Just a few of the volunteers include Ralph Giannini, who made the medallions for the winning canoeists, secretary Susan Dutton, treasurer Vilma Giannini and Albert Putsey, who drove the shuttle vehicle for the participants.

This year's event attracted 250 canoeists, along with hundreds of visitors, to the exhibits at the Latcham Centre. It is estimated they raised $6,000.

I invite all members to visit Scugog Shores Museum as well as the community of Port Perry for an enjoyable weekend.


Mr Tony Ruprecht (Davenport): Today I hold in my hand another most depressing statistic, due to the Conservative government's one-size-fits-all education funding formula. Therefore, today we are ringing the school bells loud and clear as a signal that we are in serious decline, especially in the elementary school system.

According to a survey conducted by People for Education, we have already lost dozens of physical education teachers, librarians, guidance teachers and music teachers, and our students are forced to share textbooks. What a shame.

The most shocking statistic is the loss of 60% of all ESL teachers in the GTA. We are home to 71% of Ontario's non-English-speaking students. English classes are the most essential tools for newcomer children, for learning the curriculum. Without English, you can't understand the teacher; you can't participate in class; you can't interact; you can't even get a part-time job.

The conclusion of all the experts is simply this: you are marginalizing these children. You are creating an underclass.

This is a wake-up call. We know you're good with a knife to cut the heart out of education, but what we need now is a healer. We want you to heal this grievous wound. Who will it be on your side to stand up and give us back our ESL teachers? Who will it be on your side to stand up and say, "Yes, we'll give you back the money we need to have these classes back in order"?


Mr Al McDonald (Nipissing): It is my pleasure today to speak about my riding of Nipissing and individuals who make it a great place to live, work and raise a family.

On May 31 of this year, Dominic Repaci and Giovanni Caruso, two downtown barbers for the past 40 years, hung up their scissors for the last time. First-, second- and third-generation customers were regulars at the D&J barbershop, although both Dominic and Giovanni will tell you they were more than just customers, but friends.

They will be missed, not only by the downtown, but by the whole community. I want to wish both Dominic and Giovanni all the best in their retirement. They deserve it after serving their community so well.

The Air Base Property Corp was formed a few short years ago, headed by a community leader by the name of Vic Fedeli. This corporation was set up when the local Canadian Forces base was downsized by the federal government, and its mandate was job creation. With Mr Fedeli's hard work, dedication and vision was born a new aerospace industry in North Bay, with companies such as Voyageur Airways, Bombardier, Wood Group, Lemex Aviation and others employing more than 300 people. I'd like to personally thank Vic Fedeli and the board of ABPC, who are all volunteers, for their success in building this new industry in the north.



Mr Toby Barrett (Haldimand-Norfolk-Brant): I beg leave to present a report from the standing committee on justice and social policy and move its adoption.

Clerk at the Table (Mr Todd Decker): Your committee begs to report the following bill as amended:

Bill 86, An Act to rescue children trapped in the misery of prostitution and other forms of sexual exploitation and to amend the Highway Traffic Act / Projet de loi 86, Loi visant à délivrer les enfants prisonniers de la prostitution et d'autres formes d'exploitation sexuelle et modifiant le Code de la route.

The Speaker (Hon Gary Carr): Shall the report be received and adopted? Agreed?

All those in favour will please say "aye."

All those opposed will please say "nay."

In my opinion, the ayes have it.

The bill is therefore ordered for third reading.


Mr Doug Galt (Northumberland): I beg leave to present the final report of the select committee on alternative fuel sources and move the adoption of its recommendations.

The Speaker (Hon Gary Carr): Does the member wish to make brief statement?

Mr Galt: This report is an example of what we can accomplish when partisan affiliations are set aside. It is a consensus report that reflects the wishes of all three political parties in Ontario. It contains 141 recommendations, and I'm so pleased that we were able to arrive at 141 recommendations without a single vote. In fact, it's important to note that no dissenting report has been brought forward by either of the opposition parties. That's very encouraging and gratifying to me as chair of the committee.

But perhaps more importantly, the select committee report reflects the tremendous input we've had from energy stakeholders from around the country and internationally. Without their participation, we could not have explored all the renewable energy options in such a thorough manner. The result is a report that is comprehensive in its nature and far-reaching in its recommendations. I thank the Premier and the cabinet for giving us such incredible latitude in our mandate. If there's an alternative energy source out there that we haven't explored, I don't think it's been discovered yet.

As Chair of the committee I'm pleased to offer my thanks to all those who worked so diligently on this report, including Vice-Chair Dr Marie Bountrogianni, Jim Bradley, Marilyn Churley, Steve Gilchrist, John Hastings, John O'Toole, Jerry Ouellette and Ernie Parsons.

As well, a very, very special thank you to the clerk of the committee, Tonia Grannum, and to the researchers, Jerry Richmond and Jennifer McKay.

Without their support, the task of preparing this report would have been daunting indeed.

The committee believes that the recommendations contained in the report can form the basis for an innovative and progressive new fuel and energy policy for Ontario [inaudable].

The Speaker (Hon Gary Carr): Mr Galt has moved adjournment of the debate. Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry? Carried.



Hon Chris Stockwell (Minister of Environment and Energy, Government House Leader): I move that the following amendments be made to the membership of certain committees: Mr Stewart replaces Mr Chudleigh on the standing committee on general government.

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




Hon Tina R. Molinari (Associate Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing): I wish to begin by extending a warm greeting to two very special visitors in the gallery today, His Eminence Cardinal James Francis Stafford, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity of the Vatican; and Father Thomas Rosica, national director for World Youth Day 2002.

Cardinal Stafford has come to Ontario in his role as a major supporter of World Youth Day, which will be the biggest international event ever staged in Canada. He has also come in support of the opening of the Vatican art exhibit, Images of Salvation, at the ROM.

As you may know, international World Youth Day programs are held every two years. They were launched by Pope John Paul II in 1984 to encourage Catholic youth from around the world to celebrate their faith. While it is an event staged by the Catholic church, people of all faiths and backgrounds are welcome to take part in the celebrations.

Two years ago Pope John Paul II announced that Toronto would host the next World Youth Day in July 2002. The Ontario government became involved in the project in 1998 when we, along with the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, the city of Toronto and the federal government bid for the event. Our partnership has continued over the past two years working closely to ensure a successful event.

As the largest conference that we have ever hosted, this is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate that Ontario can host large-scale international events. Hundreds of thousands of visitors from 150 countries, including some 3,500 media representatives, will come to Ontario to experience the celebrations. A Tourism Toronto study indicates that the economic spinoffs in this province could reach $300 million, as well as support thousands of jobs.

World Youth Day is not just a Toronto event. International delegates will come from all over the world to take part in Days in the Dioceses, visiting local parishes across Canada and throughout Ontario from July 18 to July 21, 2002. The main program will unfold in Toronto from July 22 to July 28, concluding with a papal mass at Downsview Park on Sunday, July 28.

In addition to the events with the Pope, while in Toronto the delegates will also volunteer with social service organizations throughout the city. Many of these projects will have a lasting legacy, like the building of a home with Habitat for Humanity at Downsview Park. These projects will benefit our social service organizations by providing well-needed volunteers as well as promoting the importance of volunteerism to the youth of our province.

World Youth Day is less than two months away and there are still many things to be done. I wish to urge all the members to spread the word in their communities that 35,000 volunteers are needed to help organize World Youth Day and to host our international guests. I have agreed to host two pilgrims in my home and I encourage other members of the Legislature to do the same.

Ontarians have always been extremely generous in serving as volunteers to build better communities and I hope that we can demonstrate our generosity to all the pilgrims so that at the end of the event they will go back and talk about the wonderful hospitality they have received here in Ontario.

Ontario is already seeing the benefits of hosting World Youth Day this July. In three days the Vatican art exhibit Images of Salvation will open at the ROM. This major exhibit of religious art will include more than 140 artifacts from the Vatican Museums, the Italian Ecclesiastical Museums and other private Italian collections. The paintings, sculptures and liturgical objects include works by some of the western world's greatest artists, many of which have never been seen outside of the Vatican or outside of Italy. The exhibition will be open to the public from June 8 to August 11. Tonight the province will be hosting a special reception with Cardinal Stafford at the ROM, which will include a preview of the exhibit. All MPPs are invited to attend and I encourage you to go.

We have before us an excellent opportunity to showcase all that Ontario has to offer. I know that we will come to the assistance of the young people who will be arriving from around the world. The spirit of community and volunteerism that World Youth Day promotes is now, more than ever, needed since the events of September 11.

I am confident that together Ontarians and global visitors will benefit from this opportunity to share in this international celebration of faith right here in this province.

Mr Rick Bartolucci (Sudbury): On behalf of Dalton McGuinty and the Liberal caucus, I too want to welcome His Eminence Cardinal James Francis Stafford and Father Thomas Rosica. Certainly their mission here today is a very important one. It is to promote an idea that should be a lesson to us all. They, and we as a community, are going to encourage Catholic youth from around the world to celebrate their faith. But the reality is that this is so much more than a faith celebration. It's a celebration of embracing people. It is, in fact, an ecumenical celebration where we welcome people from all faiths and beliefs to come and join us, to share experiences with us and, at the end, to grow with each other. One of the lessons that we will learn during this time is that it is important to be thy brother's keeper. It is a lesson for governments of all stripes to learn and to live.

We will be having youth from around the world come and visit us. The different dioceses of Ontario, from Kenora straight through to Windsor, are preparing. I think in my own diocese of Sault Ste Marie and in my parish of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church -- and I have to give my parish priest a plug, otherwise on Sunday I'll be in trouble during the homily -- Father Caswell is working very hard with our youth representative, Paula Butcher, who is planning activities already for the youth who will be visiting our community. I think of Mike and Josie MacLaughlin, who are parent volunteers, who are going to be hosts as well to youth and the exciting things they are planning for the youth who will be visiting the diocese of Sault Ste Marie and Sudbury.


Mrs Molinari didn't talk too much about the World Youth Day cross, but I think His Eminence Cardinal Stafford and Father Rosica would like us to mention that because it is a significant part of World Youth Day. The World Youth Day cross is a simple wooden cross that stands four metres and weighs approximately 31 kilograms. Often compared to the Olympic torch, it has been criss-crossing Canada to prepare the country for World Youth Day here in Toronto. Since the World Youth Day cross arrived in Ottawa on April 11, 2001, it has travelled by commercial airline, by flight of light aircraft, by dogsled, by pickup truck, by tractor, by sailboat and by fishing boat. That is significant, because what we have done is cover the corners of the universe in reality when we think of World Youth Day reflecting the values and the needs of the people who will be gathering here in Toronto.

Indeed this is a significant community, provincial, national and international event. It is a time to embrace each other. It is a time to pray. It is a time to reflect. It is a time to learn. It is a time for us to gather and say, "We must make this world a more caring place. We must help those who are less fortunate. We must involve ourselves in social justice issues that are important not only to the Catholic Church but to all faiths, to all beliefs, to all governments." World Youth Day is a time for us to gather, to care, to share and to say, at the end, "I am richer because of our shared experiences."

I know it is the prayer of every member of this caucus and I know it is the prayer of all members of the dioceses across Ontario that our Pope will be strong enough to make the visit to Toronto. The people of our province will welcome him warmly. Even in his absence, though, World Youth Day will accomplish the things that Pope John Paul wanted it to accomplish.

Ms Shelley Martel (Nickel Belt): I'm pleased, as one of the representatives of the New Democratic Party who will speak today, to welcome our special guests here today, Father Thomas Rosica and His Eminence Cardinal Stafford, particularly Cardinal Stafford, who has come such a long way to join us in Toronto over these next few days.

We want to acknowledge our support for World Youth Day, both for the celebrations and obviously for the most important event, which will occur with the arrival of the Pope and the mass that will be celebrated. This of course will all occur in this city in July.

This is an extraordinary event, and we in this province and we in this city are very privileged and very honoured to be in a position to host it. The purpose of World Youth Day is, as has already been described, to encourage Catholic youth from around the world to celebrate their faith, and in that respect this city will see one million Catholic youth come from 150 countries to learn about how Canadians celebrate their faith. What is also important is that those same youth will also be teaching Ontarians, Ontario youth in particular, about how they live their faith in the countries from which they come. That will be a very important experience, to have that dialogue, to have that exchange and indeed to have that bond among so many youth who are Catholic but who would practise that faith so differently in their own homelands.

What's also important is that not only is it a celebration of faith, Catholic faith, youth in that faith specifically; it is also a celebration of youth. Frankly, for me, that's as important as is a celebration of my own faith. These youth who will come here will be our world's future leaders. They have much to teach us and teach each other. They will have much to share, they will have much to experience, and they have much in common. Many who will come will have in common that they have experienced war and famine and devastation and perhaps the death of many in their family, but I also think that they will have in common a hope for peace, and I think that will be reflected and reinforced during the celebrations, especially during the visit from the Pope.

On a very personal level, I was in my own parish on Sunday, Our Lady of Peace parish in Capreol, where there were many banners acknowledging that this is occurring and encouraging youth from our own parish to participate, and I hope they do.

As I said, I'm very pleased to welcome our guests here, and we look forward to the celebrations that will occur in this city this summer.

Mr Michael Prue (Beaches-East York): Very briefly, I would also like to rise and commend this wonderful group. It was my privilege, while I was a member of the city of Toronto council, to serve on the committee for World Youth Day, which was chaired by Councillor Mihevc, and to work alongside Father Rosica to develop the city of Toronto's policies and to develop all of the logistics, and the logistics here are enormous. Just so people understand, this is having to have food for hundreds of thousands of people, this is having to find water for them, this is having to find washrooms, accommodation and transportation. This is an enormous undertaking that the city of Toronto has embraced and I think has done, along with Father Rosica, an amazing job in getting prepared. We are going to be very proud in this city and in this province of how well it is going to be carried off.

We are also very proud that there are going to be a number of good works done in our city, everything from helping the homeless to Habitat for Humanity, by the youth who gather here.

The youth are coming from all over the world. Earlier this year I had the privilege of being on vacation in South America, and I can attest to the fact that there were posters in the many cathedrals and churches that I visited inviting people to come to Toronto. I hope that when the people come here, they will see this very rich multicultural, multi-faith, multilingual city, where we get along so well, and take that back to their own homes as well, because not only will we learn from them, but they will learn from us.

I turn it over to my colleague Mr Bisson for the last few seconds.

M. Gilles Bisson (Timmins-Baie James): Comme on sait, il y a beaucoup de monde à travers notre province qui s'organise pour venir ici cet été pour la Journée mondiale de la jeunesse -- à travers le monde, mais particulièrement le monde de la région d'Ottawa, de Timmins, de Kapuskasing, de Hearst, et cette journée, comme on sait, est importante non seulement sur la question de foi mais aussi sur la question humanitaire. On veut avoir un bon sommet cet été, et on dit à tous ceux qui se préparent, venez à la ville de Toronto. Ça va être quelque chose d'excellent pour nous et pour notre communauté.


Hon John R. Baird (Associate Minister of Francophone Affairs): On a point of order, Speaker: I think there is unanimous consent for each party to speak for approximately five minutes on the occasion of Her Majesty's Golden Jubilee.

The Speaker (Hon Gary Carr): Is there unanimous consent? Agreed.

Hon Mr Baird: I am pleased to rise in the House today to speak on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The occasion affords all of us, in Ontario and throughout the Commonwealth, to both acknowledge and thank Her Majesty and Prince Philip for their tireless energy and half-century of service to all of us.

At a young age, the then Princess Elizabeth, 21, vowed, "I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service." And for more than 50 years, Queen Elizabeth II has honoured that personal commitment.

Her strongest attribute is undoubtedly her sense of duty. Since her accession to the throne, the Queen has given royal assent to more than 3,135 acts of Parliament. Her Majesty is currently patron of 620 charities and organizations, 433 of which she has held since her accession to the throne in 1952. And, in 50 years, the Queen has undertaken more than 251 official overseas visits to 128 different countries.

This fall, the Queen will make her 20th visit to Canada. Toward the conclusion of a visit to the United States in the early 1980s, the Queen remarked to then-President Ronald Reagan in her departing speech, "We're going home to Canada tomorrow." When Her Majesty comes to Ontario this October, it is not really a royal visit but rather a homecoming.

Her Majesty has lived longer than most Canadians who are alive today. She has visited more communities in Canada than most Canadians have ever done or ever will. She regards us in the same special, familial way as did her late mother.

In a turbulent time and in a changing world, the Queen has been a beacon of stability and of tradition in Ontario, in Canada and throughout the Commonwealth. Yesterday, British Prime Minister Tony Blair summed it up well when he described her reign as a remarkable achievement, in which she had adapted the monarchy successfully to the modern world, had been stoic in the face of adversity and had been a unifying force in the midst of immense constitutional and cultural change.

Her Majesty, speaking in 1990 in Ottawa, my home town, stated, "The constitutional monarchy ... is a system in which those who represent the community come together and remain together, rather than dwelling on differences which might further divide them."

The jubilee is a time for unity, for learning about our institutions and their importance to the civil society, which together we have built under the stable framework of the crown.

Earlier this week, His Royal Highness Prince Charles summed up the feeling of many when he said to his mother, "We feel proud of you, proud and grateful for everything you have done for your country and the Commonwealth over 50 extraordinary years."

Long live the Queen.


Mr Steve Peters (Elgin-Middlesex-London): I rise in this House today on behalf of Dalton McGuinty and Her Majesty's loyal opposition as we pay tribute to the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.

Ontario -- Loyal she began, loyal she remains.

After the Second World War, as after the First, there was a concerted royal effort to undertake empire tours again. In 1951 Princess Elizabeth, who was chosen to represent the King, gave Canada and Ontario an opportunity for another royal tour.

This was the first major royal tour in which the airplane played a major part, the journey from London and several internal connections being made by air.

It was the first time in which televised outside broadcasts allowed those Canadians fortunate enough to own TVs the chance to see the progress of the visit.

In Toronto, more than 40,000 people lined the streets to greet our royal visitors.

The Prince Arthur Hotel in Port Arthur, where the royal party rested overnight, spent several thousand dollars renovating one suite. Furniture, china, a chef and an elevator operator were flown in, and a window was raised three feet to keep out the public gaze.

In Kapuskasing, a chef made tea every 15 minutes between 7 and 9:30 am, so that whenever the royal couple awoke the tea could be sent fresh to their room.

While in Ontario during this visit, the royal visitors met the Dionne quintuplets, 17 years old at the time, in North Bay.

The Duke discovered that one of his valets shared his love of practical jokes and borrowed several gadgets that the valet had bought from a local joke shop to try out on his wife, the future Queen. Stories spread that the heiress to the throne had opened a small desk box to find a snake inside and had been chased along the corridors by the Duke, wearing a pair of monstrous false teeth, and she was forever wary of devices that might pass on an electric shock when touched.

When she returned to London, the princess said she hoped that the people from the United Kingdom would go out and make their lives beside the fine men and women who formed the nation of Canada. She described Canada as a country "on its way to becoming one of the greatest in the world" and for which "its people have placed in our hearts a love which will never grow old and which will always draw us back to her shores." Canada had become a second home to Princess Elizabeth.

After her accession to the throne, the Queen visited Canada in 1957 and became the first reigning sovereign to open the Canadian Parliament in person.

In 1959, the royal family visited many outlying districts never before visited by royalty, taking a cruise through the islands of Ontario's Georgian Bay on Lake Huron and touring nickel mines near Sudbury.

In the summer of 1973, the Queen reminded 1,400 guests at an official dinner given by this great province of Ontario that, "The crown is an idea more than a person, and I would like the crown to represent everything that is best and most admired in the Canadian ideal."

During the Queen's visit of 1982, there was much celebration of the long-awaited totality of independence after 115 years of diminishing reliance on England for foreign-policy decisions. It was during her five-day stay that the Queen faced national matters squarely when she spoke at the ceremony. She referred to differences and rivalries that existed in Canada and would likely always exist in such a "vast and vigorous land." The Queen continued, "Although we regret the absence of the Premier, it is right to associate the people of Quebec with this celebration, because without them Canada would not be what she is today."

By the 1980s the Queen and Prince Philip were truly old hands at visiting Canada. When the Queen and Prince Philip visited in 1984 to celebrate the province's bicentennial and sesquicentennial of the city of Toronto, there was great public enthusiasm. There were grand ceremonial salutes and presentations as the royal party arrived here at Queen's Park in a state landau: bagpipe tributes from Ontario police; a flypast of modern and heritage aircraft at the air force memorial down on University Avenue; a rousing, strident welcome for "La Regina" from the Italian community, where grape-crushing displays and the singing of ballads provided an eclectic variety of entertainment. After the official welcome, the Queen and Prince Philip planted two white pines, Ontario's arboreal emblem, here on the grounds of Queen's Park. And they did the traditional walkabout through the crowds at Queen's Park.

In the evening there was a superb military spectacle at the old Exhibition Stadium. As the Queen arrived that night, the noise of the 21-gun salute startled the two leading horses. They shied, panicked and turned about face, to bring an otherwise flawless process to an embarrassing halt. Grooms and Horse Guards were quick to untangle the tack, but by then other horses had become fretful. So the firing of the cannon was wisely brought to an end. Toronto could rightly lay claim to being the only Canadian city to have given the Queen an eight-gun salute.

Also that year, the Queen saw a new, more multicultural Canada. In Brantford, she touched base with the Six Nations, who reminded her of the pact of loyalty they made with her great-great-great-great-grandfather, King George III, back in 1784. Enthusiastic flag-waving crowds bearing flowers and notes, young and old, from United Empire Loyalists to newly arrived immigrants have warmly welcomed her to every Ontario community she has visited, each of those visits inscribed in the history books with fond memories.

In 1997, the Queen visited London, Ontario, and I'll never forget that moment when she stopped to speak to me. During that visit, the Queen and Prince Philip stayed at the Red Tail Golf Course, the only time a reigning monarch has visited Elgin county.

Long may she reign. May she defend our laws and ever give us cause to sing, with heart and voice, God Save the Queen.

Mr Michael Prue (Beaches-East York): It is indeed my honour to rise today and to salute the Queen on this her Golden Jubilee.

The world of Queen Elizabeth has changed very much since that time, 50 years ago, where a grieving daughter was thrust into the royal limelight. With it so has she changed, so have we all changed. The Queen's reign, as I said, began unexpectedly in 1952 when the reigning monarch, King George VI, the Queen's father, died suddenly at Sandringham after several years of ill health. News of his death reached the princess that afternoon in Kenya, where she was on Commonwealth duty. She immediately flew back with her husband to England. She flew back to London and was met there by Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Following the funeral and a 16-week period of court mourning, she was crowned Queen on June 2, 1953.

Her political duties began immediately and she has never shrunk from those duties -- not one day in 50 years. She has always taken her role as Queen seriously and presided over important reforms that have made royalty more accessible to the public than ever before. During the first few years of her reign she travelled to all parts of the Commonwealth never before visited by her predecessors. She introduced innovations, such as the royal walkabout, to allow the royals to meet as many people as possible. She allowed increased access into the lives of the royal family like we have never seen before. In 1969, the first television filming of regular family life among the royals was allowed and, as they say, the rest is history.

Her dedication to an accessible, public monarchy had its price, but she was prepared to pay it. She has gone on to fulfill an astonishing number of duties, been involved with the works of hundreds of organizations and met more people in the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth, Canada and overseas than any other monarch, I believe, in the history of the world. Since 1952, she has conferred 380,630 honours and awards, received around 3 million items of correspondence and send almost 100,000 telegrams to centenarians.

With her commitment to a more accessible public monarchy came intense interest and scrutiny. Our connection with the Queen has been no less emotional. Upon her coronation, Canadians took to the streets to rejoice. Here was a young woman full of hope and promise, with the allure of royal life that captivates millions to this very day.


Like Queen Victoria, it was assumed Queen Elizabeth II's reign would usher in Britain's rise to world power status. History deemed otherwise, but the Queen and her Royal Family left their mark on the Commonwealth nonetheless.

Through the years, news of the births of her children, their weddings and the births of her grandchildren have all been celebrated here, and the deaths in the Royal Family of the Queen Mum, Margaret and Diana have all been mourned here.

Royal visits have been a thing of pomp, pageantry and legend. We as Canadians dug in our heels in a debate in the early 1950s about whether the Queen should reside here for part of the year. Although most Canadians at that time did not agree with it and it never came to pass, we still have our ties to the monarchy. The majority of Canadians remain committed and maintain the institution the Queen represents as an important part of Canada's unique identity.

Much has changed in the world. We all have television sets now and watch the royal news and the gossip about what's happening in the Royal Family. Interest in the Monarch remains very much alive. Watching the Royal Family reveals as much about us as it does about them.

Her influence has been as constant as her Christmas television addresses, moments when she came into our living rooms to espouse opportunities for women in the 1960s, messages of unity for our own country in those troubling times of the 1970s, and more recently the virtues of fairness, justice, tolerance and understanding.

In many ways she has been a pragmatic Queen who understood her people do not live in a fairy tale world, yet yearn for peace, love and stability. That is in fact what makes her so endearing. The Queen has had her share of personal grief and sadness. I remember watching her describe her year of annus horribilis on the television, but she has never relinquished her political or personal duties.

While her life has always proven to fascinate, it has been a very public life marked by sacrifice, loyalty to her people and commitment to tradition. Her voice has always been one of unity. She has tried in her unique way to build bridges to the future. She has worked tirelessly. Only four earlier monarchs have achieved this milestone of a Golden Jubilee. In the course of her 50-year reign she has undertaken more official duties and met more of her subjects than any of her predecessors. She has been faithful to this country; she has been faithful to the Commonwealth. She has served the people of this nation to the best of her ability through dramatically changing times and that is something to celebrate.

I leave the final words to the Queen herself, and she described these just in the last few days in her jubilee message to the Commonwealth:

"This anniversary is for us an occasion to acknowledge with gratitude the loyalty and support which we have received from so many people since I came to the Throne in 1952. It is especially an opportunity to thank all those of you who help others in your own local communities through public or voluntary service.

"I hope also that this time of celebration in the United Kingdom and across the Commonwealth will not simply be an occasion to be nostalgic about the past. I believe that, young or old, we have as much to look forward to with confidence and hope as we have to look back on with pride."

A toast to the Queen.

Mr Mario Sergio (York West): On a point of order, Mr Speaker: Today we are truly blessed, honouring the Pope and the Queen. I would like to ask the House for one moment of meditation and to pass a congratulatory message on the birthday of our member for Prince Edward-Hastings.

The Speaker: I'm sorry. It's his birthday. I didn't understand the first part.

Mr Sergio: I think it's a blessed day. We've been honouring the Pope and we've been congratulating the Queen. I thought it would be very appropriate to have one moment -- not one minute, but one moment -- to meditate and congratulate the member for Prince Edward-Hastings. Happy Birthday.

The Speaker: Happy Birthday. I've got it now. It is now time for oral questions.



Mr Sean G. Conway (Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke): My question is to the Minister of Energy. Ontario citizens will be very troubled today to hear from a number of board members at Hydro One, that successor company to Ontario Hydro entirely owned by the Ontario government. Board members like the chairman, Sir Graham Day, and Dona Harvey, a board member of some years' service, have both made plain today that from their perspective as board members at Hydro One, the government of Ontario knew from the beginning, in 1999, all aspects of the executive compensation issues that have so aroused the interest of this Legislature and the Ontario public.

My question to the Minister of Energy is: will you table in this Legislature, at the earliest point, all communication that the Ontario government provided to the board of Hydro One, and particularly any and all written direction to the board of Hydro One around matters of your concern in respect of executive compensation?

Hon Chris Stockwell (Minister of Environment and Energy, Government House Leader): I suppose the member opposite is speaking about the minutes that were forwarded from the meetings of the board of directors to the Deputy Minister of Energy and to the ministry staff.


Hon Mr Stockwell: Hold on, guys.

I have in my hand some examples of those minutes that we received with respect to the packages. I'll be happy to share these with the member opposite if he chooses.

Let me just say there are examples of benefits and so on. The minutes are in such a way as, "They reported on the discussion of this item, and the committee indicated that the committee supported the recommendation." That's the kind of information we got with respect to minutes.

Mr Conway: Three and a half or four years ago, the Harris-Eves government appointed Graham Day and Dona Harvey and the entire board. Mike Harris and Ernie Eves and Jim Wilson were very proud of their appointments. You appointed these people. Presumably, you gave them some specific direction as to how you expected your company, Hydro One, to be operated, and direction around issues of executive compensation, particularly in the last while when, according to former Minister Wilson, things started to go sour.

Minister, my supplementary question is: will you table any and all written direction from the Ontario government in the last three and half years that you provided as a government to the board at Hydro One? In particular, will you table any and all information that would make it clear that in the last 18 months, while you were apparently unhappy, you were providing some specific written direction around these contentious issues of executive compensation that apparently you're now saying the board did not respond to?

Hon Mr Stockwell: It's kind of interesting -- I've heard this kind of line of questioning for the last few weeks. The member opposite has an opportunity to pick the taxpayers' side or Sir Graham Day's side by giving us unanimous consent to support the bill I introduced in this House yesterday.

It seems to me that what would be prudent at this time would be to pass the bill by unanimous consent today. I will give full warning to the members opposite that I will be asking for unanimous consent once again to pass Bill 80, the bill I introduced yesterday to deal with the board of directors.

With respect to correspondence, we have received, as you outlined earlier, the correspondence that was given from the Hydro One board of directors by way of minutes. I'll be happy to provide these minutes. I know of no other information provided to the board at Hydro One other than the fact that they were asked to perform their fiduciary duties in the proper and acceptable fashion, as any board of directors would do, and respect the shareholders' wishes. Those are the things I know.

Mr Conway: I say with all due respect that I'm concerned, because as a member of this Legislature, I believe that I am not being told the truth.


The Speaker (Hon Gary Carr): You're going to have to withdraw that. You can't say that.

Mr Conway: Mr Speaker, I will withdraw myself, because my problem as an honourable member is that I have two versions of reality, both of which cannot be true. Somebody is not telling me the truth, and that lack of truth is going to cost the Ontario electricity consumer and the Ontario taxpayer millions of dollars.

I want to know, in the public interest, what the truth of this situation is, because I have in my hand today two clear statements, one by the former chairman of Hydro One and the other by Ms Dona Harvey, not only a board member but a member of the compensation committee of the Hydro board. Sir Graham Day, chairman of the Hydro One board, and Ms Dona Harvey are both saying that since the beginning of Hydro One's operation as a commercial company in 1999, the board told the government everything they were doing around issues like executive compensation. That is the evidence of both Sir Graham Day and Ms Dona Harvey.

The crown, as represented by the minister, is giving a very --

The Speaker: Order. The member's time is up.


The Speaker: Order. Just before the minister gets up, I didn't hear the withdrawal that I talked about in the beginning.

Mr Conway: I can't withdraw, Mr Speaker.

The Speaker: That's fine. It's your last warning.

Mr Conway: I'll save you the bother. This is a multi-billion dollar cover-up, and I'm going to find out who's lying.

The Speaker: I name the member and ask him to leave the chamber.

Mr Conway left the chamber.

The Speaker: Just so we are clear, the member was named, and he is going to have to withdraw for the entire afternoon.

I don't believe a question actually came through there. It was more of a statement. Minister.

Hon Mr Stockwell: Speaker, let's be clear. What he was quoting from --


Hon Mr Stockwell: I'm trying my best to talk over the member for Scarborough-Agincourt. I appreciate he's very exercised about this.

Mr Gerry Phillips (Scarborough-Agincourt): Answer the question.

Hon Mr Stockwell: The truth of the matter is simply this --


The Speaker: Order. The minister has the floor. Sorry for the interruption. Minister.

Hon Mr Stockwell: Let's get this thing straight. Everybody knew the compensation package. It was filed at the OSC on May 17, 2001. Dalton McGuinty talked about the compensation package in this House. Everybody knew the compensation package. There was no cover-up. There was nothing to hide. She spoke about the minutes. I have the minutes with me. I offered the minutes to the member. He doesn't want the truth. He wants to grandstand. He wants the rhetoric. He doesn't want the truth. He can't handle the truth.

The Speaker: It is now time for a new question.

Mr Michael Bryant (St Paul's): My question is for the Minister of Energy. I'm not talking about post-prospectus. I'm not talking about post-OSC filing. We're talking about the revelation from one of the deposed, resigned board members of Hydro One. This is what they said -- not that the government knew post-OSC filing, but that the government has known all along. She said, "From the beginning, we have made the government aware of all of our decisions ... and they ... were well aware of the compensation package. I don't think it came as a surprise." That's Dona Harvey.

Then she got more specific. She said, "The government has known about the compensation packages since 1999. Every year, on a regular basis, they get briefed." The government is saying they didn't know. I say to the minister, we need to know the truth. What I'm hearing today --

Interjection: You can't handle the truth.

Mr Bryant: You can't handle the truth, because the truth would involve this minister standing up and taking responsibility for what this government was supposed to do as a shareholder instead of running Hydro One into the ground. Let's get the truth on Hydro One. How long have you known about the compensation packages?

Hon Mr Stockwell: No one has denied knowing the compensation packages. No one has denied it.


The Speaker: This is the last warning for the member for Kingston and the Islands. You're not going to continue to shout across like that or you're going to be gone for the afternoon as well.

Sorry, Minister.

Hon Mr Stockwell: No one has denied they filed at the OSC in 1999. They filed at the OSC in 2000. They filed at the OSC in 2001. They did the prospectus. Everybody in this room knew the truth. They knew what they were being paid. You knew in 1999, you knew in 2000 and you knew in 2001; in fact, your leader quoted in May 2001 about what the compensation packages were for these people. Everyone knew it. We never denied knowing it. All you had to do was have the capacity to be able to read to know what the compensation was. We've never said anything different. What are you going after here? The truth is clear: we all knew. Hallelujah.

Mr Bryant: So why the hell haven't you done something about it?

The Speaker: Order. You're not going to be able to use language like that. I ask you to withdraw it.

Mr Bryant: Withdrawn.

Hon Mr Stockwell: When I got into the Ministry of Energy and they briefed me on these salaries, I went on the consultations, spoke to the Premier, said, "We have to deal with this. These are excessive."

So we did what we did. Why didn't we do anything about it? As of yesterday, we did something --


The Speaker: Order. It's too noisy. The House leader for the official opposition, this is his last warning as well. I'm not going to continue to get up. Does anybody else want to be included on the list? I'm not going to continue to get up like this. We're just going to start throwing people out.


Hon Mr Stockwell: So the decision the board took on May 17, to gerrymander the pay packages, that was it, that was the last straw, as Minister of Energy. I then moved forward and sent the letter. I sent the letter and introduced legislation. Now, where are you guys on the legislation? Where are you guys? Where are the strong-minded, tough Liberals and NDP? You're gutless. You're gutless. You've got a chance to protect the taxpayers. You're gutless --

The Speaker: Order. I'm going to make the Minister of Energy withdraw that as well.

Hon Mr Stockwell: Withdrawn.

The Speaker: In the last few days, personal accusations have been flying regardless of the circumstances, all sides have been flying with personal accusations, and it's not helpful. I would ask all members to refrain from personal attacks against other members. We know it's a very controversial issue, but it isn't helpful when people use language like the minister and the member for St Paul's did. It doesn't help the debate, and quite frankly we're not going to be able to proceed. One side does it, the other side does it, and all we end up with in here is chaos. The people of the province expect answers. That's what question period is for, not to have both sides yell at each other like a bunch of schoolchildren.

It is now, I believe, time for --


The Speaker: Sorry. I apologize. Supplementary, the member for St Paul's.

Mr Bryant: Look, I think everybody would agree that a government that does not hold itself to account to this Legislature and to the people is a government that has run amok. We all know that power corrupts and all power corrupts absolutely.

I have heard nothing from this government in terms of having the courage to hold themselves to account and say what mistakes this government committed with respect to the handling of executive compensation packages around Hydro One from 1999 to the present.


If this government had courage, it would have done something -- not now through this last-minute hatchet job, however necessary; it would have done something when Minister Wilson said, in his own words, that there were abhorrent compensation packages underway. They would have done something earlier this year, they would have done something last year or they would have done something the year before, but they didn't.

My question for the government is quite simple: are you saying that when it comes to this government's handling of executive compensation packages of Hydro One from 1999 to the present, you guys did nothing wrong?

Hon Mr Stockwell: The year 1999 and the year 2000, as they were filed, were probably defendable remuneration packages. They were in line with industry standards. When they got out of line was 2001. After 2001 they became extravagant and overly generous. What I can say is that all those packages were filed.

The question you ask is -- when I became Minister of Energy did I act quickly, swiftly and decisively. The question has to be put back to you as the critic. If this was such a burning and concerning issue to you and your leadership, why didn't you talk about this to anybody else in the province of Ontario? Why didn't you ask a question? Why didn't you bring this forward as an issue?

I'm not really sure. It was all public information. All you had to do was read it. You never, ever brought it forward. Furthermore, your leader, on December 12, told us he's in favour of privatization of Hydro One, as well as the generation side -- except he thought too quickly, so when he thinks too quickly, we're not sure whether we take his word for it.

Let's ask the question and reverse it. If this was a burning issue, was all public, were you asleep at the switch?

The Speaker: It is time for a new question.

Mr Howard Hampton (Kenora-Rainy River): My question is for the Minister of Energy. Minister, you want the people of Ontario to believe that your government knew nothing about the ridiculous salaries at Hydro One until a couple of weeks ago. But again I'll quote from Dona Harvey. She said, "From the beginning, we have made the government aware of all of our decisions. They got our minutes. They are regularly briefed and they certainly were well aware of the compensation package" -- your government. As to your personal awareness, I really don't care. I want to know about your government over the last three years. Are you saying that Dona Harvey is not telling the truth?

Hon Mr Stockwell: I'm saying that Dona Harvey may have provided us with the minutes. I have the minutes. I'm asking you to listen to what the minutes say.

"D. Harvey reported on the discussion in the items committee and indicated the committee supported the recommendation" -- that's the information we got.

"That the board of directors grant approval to proceed with development in place of long-term incentive plan with design frameworks contained in the memorandum of the board dated December 16." That's the information she's talking about.

"That the retainer for serving on Hydro One Inc board for the directors be $25,000 per annum." That's what she's talking about.

"Ms D. Harvey reported on the human resources and policy committee discussions on the annual performance of the president and the base salary adjustment be made as recommended by the committee."

Those are the minutes Dona Harvey is talking about. If you're trying to peddle a theory that somehow we had up-to-date daily briefing minutes from this operation that somehow outlined exact compensation levels, it's patently absurd.

Dona Harvey said she gave us the minutes. Yes, these are the minutes. They tell you no more and significantly less than what you and I knew from the OSC application files. So, yes, she gave us the minutes, but there's nothing in the minutes. Just look up the files and you know how much they get paid.

Mr Hampton: Minister, your answer might be more credible if Ms Harvey were all alone, but she's not all alone. Sir Graham Day, the person you handpicked to be chair of Hydro One, said, "The Ontario government has been aware of the changing compensation packages since the company was established in 1999." A member of your own cabinet, Jim Wilson, said he knew about the pay packages all along. Are you saying that Dona Harvey, Sir Graham Day and Jim Wilson aren't telling the truth?

Hon Mr Stockwell: I've said, yes, we all knew. We knew in 1999, we knew in 2000, we knew in 2001. When they filed at the OSC, you knew, I knew, everybody here knew. When I became Minister of Energy, we saw the compensation levels, which skyrocketed at that point in time. We made a decision that we had to deal with because it was overly generous.

I am not suggesting to you that we didn't know. Of course we knew. Everybody in the province knew. All you had to do was tap into the Web site and look up their pay packages.

Let me just give this straight: we all knew what their pay packages were. You knew, they knew, the member for Scarborough-Agincourt knew, although he now claims he didn't. We all knew what their pay packages were. We've never denied that. What's the point of your question?

Mr Hampton: Minister, if Wilson knew that the pay packages were out of line -- because that's what he's quoted as saying in the press -- and your hand-picked chair of Hydro One says you knew and Dona Harvey, who was chair of the compensation committee, tells you that your government knew, can you tell us why your government did nothing in 2000 and 2001, and you've only done something now, ie, blame the board when it's become public?

Hon Mr Stockwell: It's been public forever. It's been public every time they filed. What are you talking about, "since it's become public"? Whose team are you on: Sir Graham Day's or the taxpayers'? Whose team are you on: the board of directors', who think this is a reasonable payment, or the taxpayers' and ratepayers'? Whose team are you on: the Hydro One board's or the taxpayers'? We're on the taxpayers' team, and if you're on the taxpayers' team, give us unanimous consent and support the bill.

The Speaker: New question?

Mr Hampton: I was raising these issues six months ago, and your former Minister of Energy was saying it was just fine.

I want to address this question to the Deputy Premier. It was your board; you appointed the chair, and you appointed all the board members. They say that your government knew full well everything that was happening, but now your government is trying to say, "Oh, no. It's all the board's fault."

Very recently, the federal government appointed a legislative committee to look into misleading statements made by the former Minister of Defence. I'm asking you today, since your government is saying it's all the board's fault, and the board is saying your government knew all along, let's get this to a legislative committee so we can find out the truth. Will you do that?

Hon Elizabeth Witmer (Deputy Premier, Minister of Education): I will refer that to the very capable Minister of Environment and Energy.

Hon Chris Stockwell: I say to the leader of the third party that this phantom letter you dreamed about has still not arrived at my office. You said to me yesterday that you'd give me a copy. I still haven't received it, so I don't know what you're talking about with respect to this letter.

Secondly, there's a disagreement. You're saying we need to call an inquiry or some process to determine the truth because we're saying we didn't know and the Hydro board is saying we did know. Let's be clear: we're saying we knew, OK? OSC filed in 1999 and 2000. They had defensible pay packages at that point. In 2001 they were not defensible and we acted on it. There's no need for a commission to determine whether we knew. I'm telling you as clearly as I can: we knew, you knew, they knew. There's no disruption here. We all knew the pay packages. I don't need an inquiry to determine that we're admitting we all knew what the pay packages were.

Mr Hampton: To the Deputy Premier: if your government is saying that you knew all along and you did nothing, then I am suggesting that this go to a legislative committee so that we can determine once and for all -- we can see the minutes, we can see the directions from your government to this board. What's happening here is that the hydro ratepayers of this province are going to be hit with millions of dollars to pay your government's bumbling and bungling, and they don't deserve to be forced to pay that without knowing who is responsible. You want to hold the Hydro One board responsible; they're saying you knew all along. Let's put it before a legislative committee and find out who is really responsible. If you want to get to the truth, it seems to me that's what you have to do. Will you do that, Deputy Premier?

Hon Mr Stockwell: Oh, my goodness. We knew. We don't need a committee to determine if we knew or we didn't. We said we knew, we said you knew, we said they knew.



Hon Mr Stockwell: I've just quoted the minutes. Come on over and have a look. You see, those are the minutes. I've read you the minutes. Do you want to have a look at them? Come on over and I'll show them to you.

The only committee we're going to have to establish, the only group that's going to have to convene to determine what's going on in this place will be to determine where your letter is that you claim to have sent six months ago.

The Speaker: New question. The member for St Paul's.

Mr Bryant: Minister, you're making it sound like you, the shareholder -- and you're the shareholder, you're the minister -- are some passive observer in all this, like you were maybe a commentator or a pundit. The difference between the folks who sit up there and cover the news and the fellow who's sitting over there in that chair is that you're ultimately responsible for those pay packages. Not only did you know about them, you approved them. You approved the $180,000 car allowance. You approved the $6-million golden parachute. You could have stopped it. You had an option. You were the shareholder and you did nothing. Now what I'm asking you to do is stand up and say you made a mistake. You were asleep at the switch and the taxpayers are going to pay the price.

Hon Mr Stockwell: First, the taxpayers are not paying one red cent, nothing.


Hon Mr Stockwell: No. I understand the member across is a lawyer and I appreciate it. I've got so many third party statements about the fact that we insulated with this legislation and that we won't pay one red cent.

Second, we have dealt with this issue very clearly. We have acted with new dispatch. We introduced a bill yesterday. We're asking the board of directors to step down. They did that. We want to freeze the compensation.

All we're asking you to do is to give us unanimous consent for this bill. I will be asking again later today for unanimous consent, which you refuse to do. Why do you refuse to do that? Why do you not want to protect the taxpayers? Why do you want to play politics with such a very important issue? Why, I say to you? Whose team are you on, the Hydro One board team or the taxpayers' team? We're on the taxpayers' team. Why aren't you on that team?

Mr Bryant: Well, I say to the Hydro executioner, let's see what you think about the other $2-million executive in an Ontario Hydro successor company. As we said yesterday, and has been confirmed today by officials from Ontario Power Generation, president Ron Osborne on his T4 is going to be getting more than $2 million from the OPG.

Let's be clear. It's been confirmed. We were right and you were wrong. You were wrong and we were right. Now let's see you stand up and act with due dispatch. You said before that the $2 million man Ron Osborne's pay package was unacceptable. It is unacceptable. What are you going to do about it?

Hon Mr Stockwell: There is Liberal revisionism at its best. That's not what you said yesterday, my friend. That's not what your leader said yesterday. Here we've got Andy of Mayberry coming in to bail out Opie because Opie stepped in it yesterday and all the good people of Mayberry are cheering in the background.

That's not what Opie said yesterday, Andy. What he said was that at Hydro One, we're paying the president annually $2.2 million, and you know that's not true. You know it was accrued over three years and you know Ron Osborne's done interviews and said he's getting nothing this year. Something's gone smelly in Mayberry. We've got Andy up trying to clean up the smell that Opie left yesterday.


Mr Doug Galt (Northumberland): Mr Speaker, you'll be pleased to know I have a new topic. My question is for the Minister of Tourism and Recreation. Last week in the Ottawa Sun, Deputy Prime Minister John Manley said the federal government is not committing funds to the expansion of the Ottawa Congress Centre. I find this rather confusing because it's my understanding that the Liberal government has a generous surplus.

You might wonder where that surplus came from. I believe it came from the economic policies of the province of Ontario brought in by our Premier when he was the Minister of Finance. Those policies were later copied by the Honourable Paul Martin, who, by the way, is probably the best politician the Liberal Party has ever seen, but he got fired.

Minister, what is this government's response to Manley's comment that expansion of the Ottawa Congress Centre does not qualify for federal funding because it's owned by the province?

Hon Cameron Jackson (Minister of Tourism and Recreation): I'm a little concerned about the comments by Minister Manley, because our provincial government nominated the expansion of the Ottawa Congress Centre under the Canada-Ontario infrastructure partnership program, run by Minister Allan Rock. We think this is a good project for the citizens of Ottawa, so much so that three years ago when I sat down with Mayor Chiarelli, who is a member of the Ottawa Congress Centre board, I asked him to lobby the federal government to ensure that convention facilities were included in the infrastructure program.

In January this year we committed $127 million from this fund, new SuperBuild funding for Ottawa, including $25 million for the Ottawa Congress Centre. Minister Manley has said there's no federal money, but we have yet to hear from Minister Rock. We still think he's in charge of the program. We have yet to hear if he and the federal government are going to support the Ottawa Congress Centre.

Mr Galt: Minister, indeed it is hard to know who is in charge in Ottawa -- you referred to Minister Rock -- but I'm sure the people of Ottawa are pleased to know that the provincial government is committed to the much-needed expansion of their convention centre.

The mayor of Ottawa, Bob Chiarelli, said last week in the Ottawa Sun that he "absolutely empathizes" with John Manley that the provincial government should cover the cost of expanding the Ottawa convention centre. To me, it sounds like a Liberal is a Liberal is a Liberal; they're all in the same mess. But I'm wondering if the federal government is signalling that since they own Fort Henry in Kingston, the federal government should cover the total cost of the fort.

Minister, what is the city of Ottawa's level of commitment to the Ottawa Congress Centre's expansion?

Hon Mr Jackson: We're getting a mixed signal from the mayor of Ottawa. It would appear that he may have convinced Minister Manley that the city of Ottawa has no leasehold interest in the Ottawa Congress Centre.

This is a significant piece of infrastructure to the economy of Ottawa. In fact, the Ottawa Congress Centre projects that the economic impact of lost business waiting for the expansion is about $26 million. To the extended community of Ottawa, with restaurants and hotel space and everything else, it's about $132 million. By not getting the support, and the support of the city of Ottawa, we've had 340,000 hotel room nights lost as a result of the lack of expansion.

We are concerned that the federal government is a 20% tenant at the Ottawa Congress Centre, and we know they need additional space. Our concern is that the real agenda is that the federal government is thinking of building a convention centre in Hull, Quebec, instead of putting the money in Ontario and supporting the city of Ottawa.

We need to hear from the city of Ottawa, if this is a priority.


Mr Michael Bryant (St Paul's): The question is for the Minister of Energy. Is the total compensation package for President Osborne for 2002 satisfactory? Is it satisfactory or not?

Hon Chris Stockwell (Minister of Environment and Energy, Government House Leader): The satisfactory compensation he receives -- I believe it's $1.6 million in salary and a bonus accrued over three years -- is within industry standards. It's in the 50th percentile of people who hold similar positions. He also came over from Bell Canada at a very similar salary. He's done a good job at OPG. OPG is running well. They've done a good job of privatizing. They've done a good job setting up the open market. They are divesting themselves and creating competition. I think Mr Osborne has done a good job, and at $1.6 million or $1.7 million a year, it's within the 50th percentile. I suppose that's reasonable.

Now, if we go back to periods of time when others were paid at this level of private sector compensation, you'll find that under the NDP and others the salaries get high. There's no doubt about it.


Mr Bryant: Wait a minute. There's a bit of a double standard here. Over in Hydro One, Eleanor Clitheroe's salary of $2 million-plus was said to be unacceptable. I heard that from you and from the Premier many times. I heard from you yesterday and from the Premier that $2.3 million was unacceptable. Where between $2.3 million and $1.7 million do you have a problem? Are you trying to tell me that it's not OK for Eleanor Clitheroe to be making, in total, over $2 million, but it is OK for President Osborne with salary, bonus and other compensation, which has been confirmed to be over $2 million? Why is it not OK for Captain Clitheroe but it is OK for President Osborne?

Hon Mr Stockwell: I'll try again. That compensation package, with a long-term bonus, is over three years. Let's work slowly here. It's obviously a two-day question; it's been very complicated for them. Three years, OK? That's not one year, that's not two years, that's three years. So when they divide that number by three, that makes the compensation $1.7 million or $1.8 million. When someone makes $2.2 million and someone makes $1.7 million or $1.8 million, that's significantly less. One is the private market; one is in the regulated market. One doesn't get the pension; the other gets $1 million a year. One gets a $6-million buyout; the other one doesn't. So it seems to me -- and I've tried to be very slow, very clear -- that it's significantly less than what Eleanor Clitheroe was making. If you'd like the note, I'll write it down in big letters for you to let you know the benefit is over three years, not one year.


Mr Al McDonald (Nipissing): My question is for the Associate Minister of Enterprise, Opportunity and Innovation. Minister, export industries support over 1.6 million jobs in Ontario, representing the equivalent of approximately 50% of the GDP. According to Standard and Poor's, each additional $1 billion of Ontario exports translates into approximately 10,000 new jobs. Clearly more exports mean more jobs. What is the Ontario government doing to encourage companies to export the very best that Ontario has to offer the world?

Hon David Turnbull (Associate Minister of Enterprise, Opportunity and Innovation): I thank the most excellent new member for Nipissing for his question. Our government is continuing to foster a competitive economic business environment for Ontario. We've lowered corporate taxes, we've lowered personal taxes. We've eliminated red tape. We're investing massively in infrastructure. The result of this is almost 900,000 net new jobs since 1995. Ontario exported $230 billion worth of goods and services in 2000, but there's more work to be done.

Mr James J. Bradley (St Catharines): Well, whoop-dee-doo.

Hon Mr Turnbull: Apparently the member for St Catharines isn't interested in our success. Success creates jobs -- do you understand? -- jobs for people who work. Well, there's more work to be done.

It's estimated that there are 15,000 small and medium-sized enterprises that have the potential to export.

Mr McDonald: Minister, could you tell us more about Ontario Exports Inc and how it assists Ontario-based producers of goods and services?

Hon Mr Turnbull: As I was saying, there are some 15,000 small and medium-sized enterprises that have the potential to export, but only 15% are currently exporting. Ontario Exports Inc is staffed by a very talented group of professionals who are committed to increasing global exports, and their mandate is to expand trade around the world.

Currently OEI is working with some 4,000 clients to expand sales worldwide by developing export opportunities and assisting foreign buyers to find Ontario suppliers. In fiscal 2001-02, OEI assisted 396 firms and generated $119 million in export sales. Our government will continue to aggressively work with the market to improve our business and investment climate.


Mr Howard Hampton (Kenora-Rainy River): My question again is to the Minister of Energy. Minister, earlier today when I asked you, you said that your government always knew about the bloated salaries at Hydro One. Yet last Thursday I asked you when the government first become aware and you replied, "When the government first became aware? I can't answer that question. I don't know. I can't speak for the entire government. You'll have to ask somebody else." Between Thursday and now you've changed your story an awful lot. Can you tell us why last Thursday your answer was, "I don't know if the government knew. I don't know if the government knew anything," and suddenly today your answer is, "Oh, yeah, the government knew about the salaries over there. The government knew about the excessive salaries"? How can you change your story so completely in six days?

Hon Chris Stockwell (Minister of Environment and Energy, Government House Leader): You only got one applause from that caucus over there. I can understand. This duck isn't flying, Howie. Be serious. When did the government know? There are 50,000 employees in the government. You're asking me to tell you when one of 50,000 employees potentially knew about a salary component for people at Hydro One. I can't answer that question. I did say to you at the time, when you asked me about the increased amount of money to Eleanor Clitheroe, that I was briefed a week to 10 days after, and that's when the ministry staff informed me. But your question was when did anybody in the government know. I can't answer for 50,000 people. My God, you can't even answer for nine; how do you expect me to answer for 50,000?

Mr Hampton: This gets to the root of this matter. This is a government that wants to govern but doesn't want to be accountable for anything. As soon as something goes wrong, "Oh, it's the fault of the Hydro board," or "Oh, it's the fault of somebody else over here." You put the Hydro board in place; you chose the chair of the Hydro board; you told them to behave like a private sector corporation. You knew about the excessive salaries and you did nothing. Instead of saying that all these people out here who are now pointing out that you knew it and that you did nothing are not telling the truth, why don't you come right out and admit you knew about the salaries, you knew how excessive the salaries were, you did nothing about the salaries and now you're looking for someone to blame? Why don't you admit that?

Hon Mr Stockwell: OK, we knew about the salaries. We knew when they were filed with the OSC in 1999, 2000 and 2001. When I was made Minister of Energy, I was briefed on the salaries and I began a process to review the salaries. The straw that broke the camel's back was May 17. We decided at that point that we had to take distinct and dramatic action, because the board was not listening to us or the taxpayers. There's your answer.

Now, will you do the right thing? Will you do the honourable thing? Will you protect the taxpayers? Will you and the Liberals do the thing the people want you to do and give this government unanimous consent on one of the best bills that's ever been brought in this House -- protecting taxpayers' money, protecting taxpayers and ratepayers out there -- and stop siding with the Hydro One board, who you've been ragging on for three weeks? Figure out what team you're one. Get on the taxpayers' side and endorse this bill by unanimous consent.


Mr Steve Peters (Elgin-Middlesex-London): My question is for the Minister of the Environment. On May 27 in this Legislature, Premier Eves said, "We will be committing to implement every one of Mr Justice O'Connor's 93 recommendations in the second report." Let's talk about the truth and commitments. I would like you to publicly address recommendation number 11: "The Ministry of the Environment should take the lead role in regulating the potential impacts of farm activities on drinking water sources." It goes on to say, "It is essential that a single ministry" -- your ministry -- " ... be responsible for developing and enforcing regulations."

The report is crystal clear. During clause-by-clause for nutrient management, the Minister of Agriculture's PA led the Tory pack to turn down amendments to define your ministry, as in the bill, as the Minister of Environment. It's incumbent on you to clarify your position. Will you commit that as the Minister of Environment you will be the lead minister on nutrient management?


Hon Chris Stockwell (Minister of Environment and Energy, Government House Leader): If you pick up Topical, the May 24, 2002, edition, we are advertising for a manager of implementation for resources planning and management, schedule 6, an 18-month job, to enforce the Nutrient Management Act. Not only is that our position, we're advertising for the job.

I'll send it over to you. The job is in Topical. We're looking for people. We're implementing the act, as we should. Without being in contempt, we're planning to proceed. The advertisement is in Topical. The ministry involved is the Ministry of Environment. We're moving forward on that bill and I don't know why you people are holding up that bill either. You've got some good legislation in this House. You're obstructionist. Do you know why? Because you don't respect the taxpayers like we respect the taxpayers.

Mr Peters: It would have been nice if the minister had answered the question and explained why the government turned down the amendment to make your ministry the lead ministry and put it in the legislation where it should be. You didn't do that.

Let's look at another of Justice O'Connor's recommendations, recommendation 16. It recommends the province "establish a system of cost-share incentives for water protection projects on farms." We know that society as a whole benefits from both environmental protection and inexpensive food. But once again, at committee this week, where your ministry was not present even though it should be the lead, OMAF's PA led the newly trained seals to turn down an amendment that would have put into law the requirement that the minister consider the desirability of using economic incentives to encourage compliance.

Minister, the agricultural community is under massive economic strain from a host of factors beyond its control. Don't tell the province's farmers to trust that maybe some day in the future you'll be there for them. We've heard that before with made-in-Ontario safety nets.

I'd like you to stand in your place today to commit that you as the Minister of Environment will implement Justice O'Connor's recommendation. Take the lead on nutrient management and ensure that there is financial assistance to help our farmers protect the drinking water in this province, as laid out in recommendation 16.

Hon Mr Stockwell: You can't be selective in reading Justice O'Connor's report.


The Speaker: Order.

Hon Mr Stockwell: Thank you. Bluster.

It talks about the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture working together. Bill 81 is one of those bills. It was carried forward with us working with the Ministry of Agriculture to put in a complementary bill that can be efficiently worked on and produced.

Let me say that it was stated by the Premier that recommendations would be implemented. One of those recommendations is the one you're talking about. The Premier of Ontario said that we're going to implement all of the recommendations, so all I'm going to tell you is that we are going to implement them. It matters not what's in the bill; it's what the government decides to do. We're implementing the recommendations and we'll go ahead and do it.


Ms Marilyn Mushinski (Scarborough Centre): Surprise, surprise, my question today is for the Minister of Environment. Today is not only World Environment Day but it's also Clean Air Day in Canada. My constituents of Scarborough Centre are particularly concerned about air quality, especially with the summer fast approaching. I'm wondering if you can inform this Legislature what you are doing to improve the air we breathe.

Hon Chris Stockwell (Minister of Environment and Energy, Government House Leader): What an excellent question, too, from the member for Scarborough Centre. I know that she works and worries and is very diligent when it comes to this issue. I appreciate the question and I appreciate her hard work.

Air quality is a top priority of the Minister of Environment. Clean air and a well-protected environment are essential for the health and prosperity of all Ontarians. Today -- I want to be very clear and say to the member for St Catharines because he will be excited about this -- we launched a new initiative to increase awareness about air quality and the state of the environment. It's called OnAir. OnAir is an on-line emissions reporting registry. OnAir makes emissions information available via the Internet. Everyone has the right to know what is being emitted in the air, especially in and around their communities.

For the first time, people will access immediate, reliable information. The registry will make polluters more accountable to the public by providing timely information about airborne emissions. It will help consumers make decisions about their lifestyle and consumer choices. I know I have the full support of the member for St Catharines. He, I know, thinks this is a good idea, as do we, and I can only hope that he has enough clout in that caucus to talk those other folks into agreeing with this as well.

Ms Mushinski: Thank you, Minister, for that response. We know that just goes to enhance the goal of Clean Air Day, which is particularly to increase public awareness and action. I am particularly interested, because I know, Minister, you are a man of action, in what specific actions you are taking to improve air quality in this province.

Hon Mr Stockwell: Awareness and action are the keys to our success. OnAir is just one of the many actions we're taking. I outlined some of the actions the other day, when I got a question from the member for St Catharines. I know he was very satisfied with my answer, because he was shouting platitudes as I was speaking.


Hon Mr Stockwell: You'll be impressed by this, Jim. We placed stringent caps on emissions from fossil fuel power plants. We fully implemented the caps, which will reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides by 53% and sulphur dioxides by 25%. Also, we're moving ahead with consultation on tough emission limits for other major industries. Our new emissions trading program will make polluters pay and reward companies that reduce emissions.

Next month -- and this is good -- Drive Clean will cover all of the southern Ontario smog zone, from Windsor to Quebec. This is the government that introduced Drive Clean -- the green government, the environmentalists, the Conservatives. Drive Clean works. Smog-causing emissions dropped by 11.5% in two years in Toronto. We recognize there's more work to do. I'll tell you, the green people are happy --

The Speaker (Hon Gary Carr): I'm afraid the minister's time is up.


Mr Gerard Kennedy (Parkdale-High Park): I have a question for the Minister of Education. I want to ask you about some of the kids who need help right now. They need your attention. They're kids like Natalie Druklec in Windsor. Natalie Druklec is a special-needs child. In years past, starting in JK, kindergarten and grades 1 and 2, she got assistance and did fine.

At the beginning of this year, at her school now, like emergency rooms in this province, they do triage. They had six children who needed assistance and only three EAs. Natalie gets very little, if any, assistance with her daily learning, and she's not doing well. Like thousands of other kids under your system, which requires paperwork to be done -- her mother spent all summer collecting paperwork and assessments from rare specialists and so on to qualify, only to find out that her daughter was not going to get any support.

Minister, you know this is happening all around the province. You're diverting precious resources away from kids like Natalie into paperwork that you want. Will you pay up to boards like Windsor Catholic and make sure that there is help available for kids like Natalie? Will you do it in this next budget?

Hon Elizabeth Witmer (Deputy Premier, Minister of Education): The reason we're making changes to the system is in order to ensure that special-needs children in the province get the support that they need. As I indicated the other day, we are presently funding special needs and special education in the amount of $1.37 billion. We have kept our commitment. We are moving forward to provide the services and finances that those children with special needs need, and we will continue to do so.

Mr Kennedy: Here are printing samples. This is Natalie in grade 1. The printing is very clean and clear; it's almost adult-like. In grade 3, here's her printing.


Mr Kennedy: I hear the member for Durham heckling. Minister, her mother, teachers and board would like this not to be the case.

In grade 3, her printing is barely legible because she's regressing. She is in a board that has told you that their teachers and specialists are spending thousands of hours filling in your piles of paperwork at Natalie's expense. She is regressing. Not only her printing, but her comprehension and behaviour are all regressing because your government is too busy trying to find ways to justify not funding the assistance she needed.

Hon Mrs Witmer: This member of the opposition is making the same types of allegations that have been made in the past. Our government recently announced an additional $350 million for students in this province. In fact, there is an extra $100 per student for flexible funding that could be used by boards as they saw fit to respond to the needs of students in this province. That was a very significant announcement. We are committed and that's why we're going to be reviewing the funding formula.

Mr Kennedy: None of it was for special education, not one dime. How dare you?

Hon Mrs Witmer: Again I would say to the member opposite, we have been increasing special education funding on a regular and significant basis. I would suggest to you that you take a look at the facts and stop with the fiction.



Mr Raminder Gill (Bramalea-Gore-Malton-Springdale): My question today is for the Minister of Labour. According to injury statistics from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, logging is one of the most dangerous occupations in the province. What part does the Ministry of Labour play in the health and safety of Ontario workers in the logging industry?

Hon Brad Clark (Minister of Labour): I thank the honourable member for the question. The Ministry of Labour enforces the health and safety regulations which apply to the logging industry. This includes regular enforcement of requirements for mandatory safety training and focusing on high-hazard operations. The ministry works with the WSIB, the Ontario Forestry Safe Workplace Association, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities and labour leaders to promote and communicate safe logging practices.

We've had tremendous success. According to the WSIB data, between 1997 and 2001, lost-time injuries in logging operations decreased by 18%, making Ontario logging operations among the safest in Canada. At the same time, the Ontario Forestry Safe Workplace Association is sponsoring a safety group with 142 firms. The result of this means the WSIB group rebate is about $1.3 million, shared by 45 firms. Tremendous success. We're very pleased.

Mr Gill: Thank you for that answer. However, given the potentially dangerous nature of work in the logging industry, does the government have any plans on the horizon to improve safety in this industry?

Mr James J. Bradley (St Catharines): I bet they do.

Hon Mr Clark: The member for St Catharines says, "I bet they do," and most certainly we do.

I am pleased to announce that on June 1 of this year amendments to the logging sections of the regulations for industrial establishments under the Occupational Health and Safety Act came into effect. With these amendments, employers must provide all mechanical harvesting equipment operators and supervisors with mandatory orientation training before they begin work, and operators must complete all the on-job training requirements within one year.

We're proud that Ontario is leading other Canadian provinces in ensuring that forestry workers are trained in health and safety. I know this is important for the members of the third party because they're keenly interested. Ontario is the first jurisdiction to mandate training for cutter and skidder operators, and now for mechanical harvesting operators and their supervisors. We're committed to making our workplaces the safest in the world.


Mr Howard Hampton (Kenora-Rainy River): My question is for the Deputy Premier. Six months ago, I asked your Minister of Energy if your government approved of the new million-dollar-club salaries over at Ontario Power Generation. Your Minister of Energy on November 21 said that the "compensation package ... was set by the board and the board members, and we have great confidence in that board." And, "I ... stand behind our board."

Deputy Premier, the executive salaries at OPG now total over $6.5 million a year and climbing. Does your government still find the executive salaries at OPG acceptable?

Hon Elizabeth Witmer (Deputy Premier, Minister of Education): I think the Minister of Energy has been addressing the entire issue of salaries, whether it's Hydro One or OPG. I think all the actions that have been taken by our government indicate we take the issue of compensation and salaries very seriously. We are here to protect the taxpayers in the province of Ontario. As the member knows full well, yesterday we introduced legislation order to ensure we could deal with the issue.

If you are really concerned about the taxpayers in Ontario, if you are concerned about excessive compensation, then I would recommend to you that you pass the legislation that was introduced yesterday in order to deal with the compensation at Hydro One.

Mr Hampton: The question you tried to stay away from is this: your Minister of Energy said that you found those executive salaries acceptable. Well, those executive salaries at OPG have now climbed to $6.5 million a year. I assume by your answer that you can only find them acceptable. If that's the case, then explain to the people of Ontario how million-dollar salaries and bonuses can be acceptable at OPG if million-dollar salaries and bonuses are unacceptable at Hydro One.

Hon Mrs Witmer: The leader of the third party has an opportunity to actually do what is right and what's appropriate. If he is so concerned about compensation and salaries, why does he not pass the bill that was introduced yesterday by the Minister of Energy and deal with the issue of compensation at Hydro One? Let's get on and get the job done. Why are you stalling? Don't you care about the taxpayers?


Ms Caroline Di Cocco (Sarnia-Lambton): On a point of order, Mr Speaker: I'd just like to welcome to the legislature Mr Morrison's OAC class from St Pat's. They're in the gallery.

Mr Dwight Duncan (Windsor-St Clair): On a point of order, Mr Speaker: I seek unanimous consent to put a motion that reads as follows:

1. That this House move into committee of the whole this afternoon for the purpose of considering Bill 80, and that this House will allow an introduction to that bill that would provide for amendments to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act to restore the successor companies of Ontario Hydro to its purview and to the Public Sector Salary Disclosure Act to disclose all compensation for all employees of the successor companies of Ontario Hydro who earn more than $100,000 a year; and

2. In exchange for passing this motion and Bill 80 today, the government agrees to introduce and pass a motion directing the standing committee on public accounts --

The Speaker: Order. You can't read the whole thing. They've got the gist of it; you can't read it out. We'll ask for unanimous consent.

Mr Duncan: I have a motion.

The Speaker: Yes, and you read the whole thing and then it might not -- you give us the gist of it; we've got the gist of it. We're going to ask for unanimous consent, and I bet I know what the answer is going to be.

Is there unanimous consent? No.

Mr Duncan: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: I ask unanimous consent to introduce a motion that would, again, allow the passage of Bill 80 this afternoon, subject to the bill going to committee, and that the government agree to introduce and pass a motion directing the committee on public accounts to conduct an immediate inquiry into executive compensation of the successor companies of Ontario Hydro, reporting back to the Legislative Assembly by June 20, and we will pass the bill.

The Speaker: Is there unanimous consent? I'm afraid I heard some noes.



Mr James J. Bradley (St Catharines): I have a petition that reads as follows:

"To the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

"Whereas there are over 525 long-term-care facilities across the province of Ontario housing over 60,000 Ontarians;

"Whereas over 60% of individuals living in long-term-care facilities suffer from dementia, 90% need assistance to eat and get dressed, and 56% have circulatory disease;

"Whereas government funding of long-term-care facilities by the government of Ontario has failed to keep pace with the growing needs of individuals in long-term-care facilities;

"Whereas government funding currently allows for only four minutes per day of assistance in washing and dressing long-term-care facility residents;

"Whereas government funding currently allows for only 10 minutes of assistance with eating per day and 15 minutes of programming per week;

"Therefore, we, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to provide additional funding to Ontario's 525 long-term-care facilities to ensure adequate staffing and service for long-term-care facility residents and appropriate levels of care such that Ontario's thousands of long-term-care users can enjoy their later years in comfort and contentment."

I affix my signature, as I'm in complete agreement with this petition.



Ms Shelley Martel (Nickel Belt): I have a petition addressed to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. It reads as follows:

"Whereas the Ontario government abandoned the minimum requirement for 2.25 hours per day of nursing care for seniors in nursing homes; and

"Whereas the Ontario government's own study in January 2001 showed Ontario's long-term-care residents receive less nursing, bathing and general care than elderly people in comparable jurisdictions in Canada, the United States and Europe; and

"Whereas poor management of residents leads to excessive acute care hospital stays and added strain on staffing levels in long-term-care facilities; and

"Whereas Ontario long-term-care residents now receive an average of only 2.04 hours of care per day, well below the level of 4.2 hours even the state of Mississippi provides; and

"Whereas US studies have indicated that total nursing care hours for long-term-care residents should be in the range of 4.55 total hours of care per resident per day;

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

"We call on the Ontario government to regulate a minimum requirement of at least 3.5 hours of care per resident per day."

This petition was sent to me by John Van Beek of SEIU. I have affixed my signature to it and I agree with the petitioners.


Mr Rick Bartolucci (Sudbury): Mr Morrison and the OAC students from St Pat's will be very interested in this petition as it deals with their future. It's a petition to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario and it's from the College Student Alliance, who are partners in learning. It says:

"Whereas by eliminating the fifth year of high school, the government of Ontario has created a double cohort of students; and

"Whereas the government of Ontario has promised that there will be a space at a university or college for every willing and qualified student; and

"Whereas Ontario's universities and colleges have not received sufficient funding from the government of Ontario to accommodate these double cohort students; and

"Whereas the quality of education at Ontario's universities and colleges has been declining in recent years; and

"Whereas the double cohort students will add an additional strain on an already fragile university and college system;

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

"To provide full funding for every new student entering Ontario's universities and colleges; and to provide additional funding to increase quality at Ontario's universities and colleges; and to provide targeted funding to colleges for skills and innovation; and finally, to increase the per student funding to the national average over the next five years."

I know the students at St Pat's and I certainly support this petition and I'll affix my signature to it.


Mrs Lyn McLeod (Thunder Bay-Atikokan): I have a petition to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.

"Whereas the Mike Harris government promised to institute patient-based budgeting for health care services in the 1995 Common Sense Revolution; and

"Whereas community care access centres now face a collective shortfall of $175 million due to a funding freeze by the provincial government; and

"Whereas due to this funding shortfall, CCACs have cut back on home care services affecting many sick and elderly Ontarians; and

"Whereas these cuts in services are mostly in homemaking services, forcing Ontarians into more expensive long-term-care facilities or back into hospital;

"We, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to immediately institute real patient-based budgeting for health care services, including home care, so as to ensure that working families in Ontario can access the health services they need."

I affix my signature in complete agreement with the concerns of my constituents.


Mr Ted McMeekin (Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Aldershot): Emmett Fraser is the page from the wonderful riding of Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Aldershot, the riding with the longest name, because our people have the biggest hearts and hopes and dreams.

I want to submit the last 2,000 names on my audiology petition from some 42 new Ontario communities. As you know, there have been over 12,000 names already presented from 251 Ontario communities. It reads as follows:

"Whereas services delisted by the Harris government now exceed $100 million in total; and

"Whereas Ontarians depend on audiologists for the provision of qualified hearing assessments and hearing aid prescriptions; and

"Whereas the new government policy has virtually eliminated access to publicly funded audiology assessments across vast regions of Ontario; and

"Whereas the new government policy has made it virtually impossible to implement programs in underserviced areas across Ontario; and

"Whereas this policy has lengthened waiting lists for patients and therefore has a most detrimental effect on the health of these Ontarians;

"Therefore, be it resolved that we, the undersigned, petition the Ontario Legislature to demand the Conservative government move immediately to permanently fund audiologists directly for the provision of audiology services."


Mr John O'Toole (Durham): It's my pleasure to present the first petition of this session on this side of the House, I think.

"Whereas the citizens of Ontario are alarmed and disappointed with the `golden parachute' severance packages available to senior executives at Hydro One; and

"Whereas the top five executives at Hydro One are not only making large salaries, but are also being given packages that would provide more than $12 million if they leave, even of their own accord; and

"Whereas the citizens of Ontario consider this compensation to be clearly excessive;

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

"That the Parliament of Ontario instruct the board and senior management of Hydro One to roll back the salaries and severance packages, with the goal of ensuring remuneration is in keeping with expectations of the citizens of Ontario, and

"Further, that the Parliament of Ontario take action to dismiss members of the board and/or senior management if they refuse to reduce the pay and severance packages for Hydro's top executives."

I am pleased to report that Minister Stockwell has moved such a bill and I am going to support this legislation because I am confident that we, with the support of the opposition, will pass it.


Mr David Caplan (Don Valley East): I have a petition that says, "Stop the Sale of Hydro One.

"To the Ontario Legislature:

"Whereas Ernie Eves and the Conservative government plan to sell off Hydro One and Ontario's electricity transmission grid -- the central nervous system of Ontario's economy;

"Whereas the government never campaigned on selling off this vital $5-billion public asset and never consulted the people of Ontario on this plan;

"Whereas Ontario families want affordable, reliable electricity -- they know that the sale of the grid that carries electricity to their homes is a disaster for" all of our communities;

"Whereas selling the grid will not benefit consumers -- the only Ontarians who will benefit are Bay Street brokers and Hydro One executives;

"Whereas selling Hydro One and the grid is like selling every 400-series highway in the province to private interests -- selling the grid means the public sector will no longer be responsible for its security and protection;

"Therefore, be it resolved that we, the undersigned, petition the Ontario Legislature as follows:

"To demand that Ernie Eves and the Conservative government halt the sale of Hydro One until the government has a clear mandate from the owners of Hydro One -- the people of Ontario."

I agree wholeheartedly with this petition and I have affixed my signature to it.


Mr Mario Sergio (York West): I have received a fairly long petition from Mr Nnaumbua Farrell. I'm going to submit it and I want to read it first as it is a request by the person I have supplied the petition to to have me read it in the House. It's a petition concerning the future of electricity in Ontario, addressed to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.

"Whereas the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity in the province of Ontario is fundamental to nearly every aspect of our lives and has been and is crucial to its economic vitality and competitiveness, and is effectively an essential service;

"That this service, despite any shortcomings, has in the last three years generated more than $1.6 billion in net income for the province of Ontario (this after contributing taxes to the province), in addition to providing reliable and affordable electricity to the businesses, industries and residents of Ontario;

"That the privatization of this service will most likely result in higher electricity rates as most recently evidenced by the cases of Alberta and California, statements by numerous experts and officials, and reports submitted to the Legislatures of several American states; and

"When considering the broad and serious nature of this issue, and that a public mandate was never received by this government to initiate any privatization measures in the first place, that recent public consultations were woefully inadequate in their timing (just before deregulation), subject matter (only one Hydro One), and time allotted;


"I, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as follows:

"That all current decontrol negotiations concerning the sale of Ontario's power plants by Ontario Power Generation be suspended and, if possible, that recent sales, such as the four Mississauga hydroelectric stations to Great Lakes Hydro Income Fund on May 17, be reversed;

"That all plants concerned with achieving the sale or lease of Hydro One be suspended;

"That, as soon as possible, a comprehensive province-wide public debate be held which clearly outlines the pros and cons of both privatization and remaining public;

"That, at the very least, following the previously stated measures, a public referendum, as opposed to a general election, be held to ascertain the true desire of Ontarians to have their electricity system privatized or public, especially as this would have been the case prior to 1995 with the passing of Bill 26;

"That then, and only then, any government measures, whether for or against privatization, that may be implemented be consistent with the wishes expressed by the aforementioned referendum, again whether for or against privatization; and

"That, after this, if it is decided that electricity is to remain in the public domain, practical measures be taken to ensure better management of the electricity system so that any deficiency found in the previous Ontario Hydro may be corrected. In other words, have it run like a business (not the Enron type), but keep the business and its benefits ours.

"Thank you for your time and your consideration.


"Nnaumbua Farrell."

I concur, by the way, with the address in the petition, and I'm delighted to affix my signature to it.


Mr Pat Hoy (Chatham-Kent Essex): "To the Ontario Legislature:

"Whereas the Conservative government plans to sell off Hydro One and Ontario's electricity transmission grid -- the central nervous system of Ontario's economy;

"Whereas the government never campaigned on selling off this vital $5-billion public asset and never consulted the people of Ontario on this plan;

"Whereas Ontario families want affordable, reliable electricity -- they know that the sale of the grid that carries electricity to their homes is a disaster for consumers;

"Whereas selling the grid will not benefit consumers -- the only Ontarians who will benefit are Bay Street brokers and Hydro One executives;

"Whereas selling Hydro One and the grid is like selling every 400-series highway in the province to private interests -- selling the grid means the public sector will no longer be responsible for its security and protection;

"Therefore, be it resolved that we, the undersigned, petition the Ontario Legislature as follows:

"To demand the Conservative government halt the sale of Hydro One until the government has a clear mandate from the owners of Hydro One -- the people of Ontario."

This petition is signed by a number of residents of Chatham and Blenheim, and I too sign this petition.


Mr Gilles Bisson (Timmins-James Bay): On a point of order, Mr Speaker: I rise today on a point of order relating to government notice of motion number 9, which is just about to be called here in the Legislature. My understanding is that it will be called for debate in the House this afternoon. There are two orders and notices motions coming forward, both of which don't allow for any committee time whatsoever to be able to introduce amendments. My point of order is around this particular issue. The motion, as you know, Speaker, is a time allocation motion. I respectfully submit that this motion is out of order, and let me explain why.

First, I want to remind the House of section 533 of Beauchesne's Parliamentary Rules and Forms, which reads, "Time allocation is a device for planning the use of time during the various stages of consideration of a bill rather than bringing the debate to an immediate conclusion." I'm citing the reference with approval, because it reflects a well-established principle of parliamentary procedure.

The reason behind it finds its genesis in Erskine May, who writes that, "The purpose of many of the rules is to safeguard the rights of a minority in the House" -- meaning us in this case -- "to guard against the development of an `elective dictatorship,' which some have predicted," and that's the point here. "Above all, the balance between the right of governments to obtain their business and the right of the House as a whole to examine it ... is maintained through the discretionary powers given to the Speaker."

I call upon you now, Speaker, to use that discretion in ruling government notice of motion number 9 out of order. As you know, the time allocation motion in question allows no time for debate at third-reading stage in one instance, one hour in the other, and no time for committee whatsoever, so we have no ability to bring in amendments to the bill.

Past Speakers of this House have ruled such motions in order, but this motion is different from those that were the subject of previous rulings in one significant respect. If this motion is deemed to be in order, it allows the government to pass legislation after only allowing debate on its principles rather than on its details. In all of the previous rulings on the order list of time allocation motions, the question arose after the bill had already had extensive committee consideration -- in this case, we've not gone to committee -- either in a standing committee of the Legislature or in the committee of the whole House. The motion before us today skips that stage entirely. We go from second reading over to third reading, with no time for committee.

Let me just address briefly what the implication would be if you were to rule government notice of motion number 9 in order. Second reading is a stage where a bill's principles -- I repeat, principles -- are at issue. It is either affirmed or denied by a vote in the House. As Beauchesne correctly points out, it's not regular on this occasion to discuss in detail the clauses of the bill. In other words, we don't have any ability to be able to deal with amendments at second reading; only at committee are we able to do that. The stage reserved for such detailed consideration of a piece of legislation is the committee stage, either in a standing committee or here in committee of the whole House.

Mr Speaker, I put you on notice that I have amendments that I want to bring forward to this bill and, by way of these time allocation motions, I will not be able to do so. The bill which is the subject of government notice of motion number 9 has not had the benefit of such detailed scrutiny. Members of this House have been deprived of the opportunity -- indeed, the right -- to consider a bill in detail for the purpose of making improvements by way of amendments. That is in itself not without precedence in this House, although -- and I repeat, although -- most times, it has only happened in instances where the bill truly was non-controversial and, more importantly, House leaders had agreement to allow it to proceed directly from one stage to the other without it going to committee. So there was an agreement among the parties. In other words, the decision is normally reached through political accommodation.

But to have a bill that has not been the beneficiary of detailed scrutiny and to not have the opportunity to improve the bill by way of amendments, and also to be deprived of debate at third-reading stage of the process, makes a farce of the entire legislative process. If this debate on second reading, which is intended simply to be a vote on the principle of the bill, is allowed to be the final stage of the bill, then it abrogates the fundamental right of members of this assembly to give due sufficient consideration to legislation.

I submit that, indeed, it would fly in the face of Beauchesne's well-reasoned principle of parliamentary law, which is, "To protect a minority and restrain the improvidence or tyranny of a majority; to secure the transaction of public business in an orderly manner; to enable every member to express opinions within limits necessary to preserve decorum and prevent an unnecessary waste of time; to give abundant opportunity for the consideration of every measure, and to prevent any legislative action being taken upon sudden impulse." Clearly, a motion which essentially stops the legislative process in its tracks at only its second stage violates this fundamental parliamentary principle.

I respectfully ask you, Mr Speaker, to uphold the rights of the members of the opposition and of the Legislature by ruling government notice of motion number 9 out of order.

The Acting Speaker (Mr Bert Johnson): I'll consider that, thank you. In the meantime, I would like to hear other comments.

Hon John R. Baird (Associate Minister of Francophone Affairs): On the same point of order as my colleague the member for Timmins-James Bay, I think there is a substantial amount of precedent, going back not just to Speakers Carr and Stockwell, with respect to what a time allocation motion is. By its very nature, a time allocation motion, which is allowed under section 46(a) of the standing orders, requires a substantial amount of debate to take place -- at least three days' debate at second reading. After it has gone through first reading, been printed and distributed. By it's very nature, a motion for time allocation supersedes the rest of the standing orders.


I would agree with my colleague opposite on many of his points if the facts were with him, but they're not. This is not the final stage of the bill. Notice of this motion has been put in orders and notices. We're going to have debate on this motion for a full sessional day. We're going to have a vote on this motion. The bill in question will be called for second reading, and if the motion were to pass, it would complete the second reading stage of the bill. It would come back to the House on yet another day for a third reading stage of the bill which, if the motion passed, would prescribe, as the will of the majority of the House, that the vote be ordered for third reading and that the question be put. Then it would obviously have to go through the royal ascent and proclamation stages of the bill.

This is not a complicated bill. It's a two-page bill. It's a very small bill, relatively non-controversial. All parties, I think, are planning on supporting the bill, as I indicated, from many of the speeches. I know the member opposite has some concerns that all members would want to consider when we debate this motion, as to whether or not they agree with the point of view of the member opposite on whether it warrants even further debate, as he's suggesting it does.

We've had a substantial amount of debate. The standing orders don't even allow for this to be discussed. Not only has the member opposite, the critic of the third party, spoken to the bill, but his leader has spoken to the bill, and Mr Parsons, Ms Di Cocco, Mr Peters, Mr Bryant, Mr Conway, Mr Hodgson, Mr O'Toole, Mrs Johns, Mr Wettlaufer, Mr Sterling, Mr Stewart, Mr Ouellette, Mr Barrett and Mr Baird. This bill wasn't tabled the other day; it was tabled back in November last year, well over eight months ago. I think if you look at the submissions, the rulings by Speaker Carr and Speaker Stockwell in the past about what the very notion of a time allocation motion is, you'd agree that motion number nine is in order.

Mr Bisson: Not to prolong the debate, Mr Speaker, the point here is that we've had three days of debate. We understand the rule that the government can bring time allocation after three days --

The Acting Speaker: I'm working furiously to get precedents and so on, if you'd just give me a few minutes.

Mr David Caplan (Don Valley East): On this point of order, Mr Speaker: If you allow this motion to stand and say it's in order, you are essentially saying the government can come in and wipe out third reading debate in it's entirety at any point if it passes a time allocation motion. Clearly this motion is in conflict with the standing orders, that a government on motion can say there will be absolutely no debate at all in one of the required readings of a bill. That is the implication of saying this motion is in order. I think the member for Timmins-James Bay is quite correct. The legislative process is very clear: introduction, approval in principle, a chance for amendment, and final approval and debate of whatever amended-or-not bill there is.

If a government is allowed to say, "No, we are not going to allow the legislative process to proceed by way of motion," then the rights of all members of this House have been usurped. This motion is offensive. It is clearly out of order.

I hope you will protect the rights of all members. Regardless of when a piece of legislation was introduced, regardless of when a government decides to call it and regardless of how many members have had a chance to speak to it, it is fundamental to the legislative process that on third reading there is some opportunity to debate the merits of whatever the final bill is.

This is a very fundamental change. This is precedent-setting. I ask you to consider very carefully whether or not you're going to allow this kind of a precedent because, Speaker, we will see this kind of motion regularly now, where there will be no debate on third reading matters if you allow a motion like this to be in order. It is that critical to the legislative function and process. It is in your hands, Speaker, and I ask you to rule very, very carefully, because my rights as a member and the rights of all members of this House, today and in the future, are hanging in the balance.

Mr Bisson: On the same point of order: I just want to be very clear, because the government whip was trying to assert that we were objecting because there are only three days of debate. We understand that the government has the right. I don't like it, and I don't agree with it, but the government has the right, after three days of debate at second reading, to bring in a time allocation motion. We understand that, although we don't like it.

But the issue on this particular time allocation motion is that if you rule in favour, it will be precedent-setting. It will mean that, by way of these types of motions, members of this House will not have an opportunity to bring amendments to a bill in committee, either standing committee or committee of the whole, and will have virtually no ability to debate at third reading. In a sense, what we would have is an ability to debate a bill in principle but not to deal with the details of a bill. Government members should be very wary of this time allocation motion, because it is one we're all going to have to live with and it's not one we're going to be happy with.

So I'm asking you again, do consider this. This is precedent-setting. We have not had a Speaker rule on this type of motion before. If you rule in favour of this time allocation motion, it will be precedent-setting. It will not be a good thing for this Legislature nor for the rights of the members.

The Acting Speaker: The Chair would like to take a 15-minute recess to consider it -- I hope that's long enough -- in which case I'll be back.

The House recessed from 1557 to 1621.

The Acting Speaker: Mr Bisson, the member for Timmins-James Bay, I want to respond to your point of order in the following way:

I have carefully reviewed the standing orders respecting time allocation. The only restriction placed on such motions respecting how much time can be allocated at each stage is that which stipulates that a time allocation motion cannot be moved until there have been at least three sessional days of second reading debate. This requirement has been met with respect to Bill 135. Except with respect to the rules around notice and debate of such a motion, there are no other restrictions; standing Order 46 is very clear.

We've had several examples in this House of time allocation motions which allocate no committee time and several examples which allocate no time for debate at third reading. In his ruling of July 21, 1992, Speaker Warner stated that standing orders do not "require that the motion provide for a minimum period of debate at third reading of a bill." Similarly, there is no standing order requirement that the motion provide for committee consideration.

Let me be clear. Each of the three required stages of legislative consideration will be decided by this House. Additionally, the required three days of second reading debate have occurred. All of the terms of the standing orders have been satisfied.

I find that government notices of motion 8 and 9 do comply with Standing Order 46 and are therefore in order.

Mr Bisson: Mr Speaker, I just want to thank you for the due consideration of my point of order.

Hon Mr Baird: I join my college from Timmins-James Bay.



Hon John R. Baird (Associate Minister of Francophone Affairs): I move that, pursuant to Standing Order 46 and notwithstanding any other Standing Order or Special Order of the House relating to Bill 135, An Act to recognize Ontario's recreational hunting and fishing heritage and to establish the Fish and Wildlife Heritage Commission, when Bill 135 is next called as a government order, the Speaker shall put every question necessary to dispose of the second reading stage of the bill, without further debate or amendment, and

That the vote on second reading may, pursuant to standing order 28(h), be deferred until the next sessional day during the routine proceeding "deferred votes"; and

That on the same day that the bill receives second reading, it may be called for third reading; and

When the order for third reading is called, the Speaker shall put every question necessary to dispose of this stage of the bill without further debate or amendment; and

That the vote on third reading may, pursuant to standing order 28(h), be deferred until the next sessional day during the routine proceeding "deferred votes"; and

That, in the case of any division relating to any proceedings on the bill, the division bell shall be limited to five minutes.

Mr Speaker, Bill 135 was presented for first reading in this House back on November 19, 2001. It's not a long piece of legislation, but I certainly believe it's an important one. It's only about a page and a half long in both French and English, but nonetheless I think it's an incredibly important piece of legislation. It recognizes that part of our heritage as a province over the centuries and today is in the fishing and hunting parts of Ontario. It deals with a lot of important issues. This is very important in the tourist trade, not just in southern Ontario but across northern Ontario.

There is a concern that as we change as a province, as we change as a society, those values that surround fishing and hunting will change with them, and that's why we want to come forward as a government and present this legislation.

This legislation was presented by my colleague John Snobelen, the former Minister of Natural Resources, and has been a very big priority of my colleague the Honourable Jerry Ouellette to ensure that this House gets the opportunity to vote on this important piece of legislation.

We have, as I mentioned in the point of order, had a rather significant amount of debate on what is not a gigantic piece of legislation. As I mentioned earlier, we've had three full days of debate, more than seven hours. Mr Hodgson has spoken to the bill, and Mr O'Toole, Mrs Johns, Mr Wettlaufer, Mr Sterling, Mr Stewart, Mr Ouellette, Mr Barrett, Mr Baird; for the opposition, Mr Parsons, Ms Di Cocco, Mr Peters, Mr Bryant, Mr Conway, Mr Bisson, the critic for the New Democratic Party and my good friend the leader of the third party, Mr Hampton.

As I was listening to the debates, and I was here for most of them, I think all members of this House are supporting the bill. I think the New Democratic Party is supporting it in principle.


Hon Mr Baird: There may be one Liberal member who votes against the bill, I've just heard. I say with some caution that I remember the last time a member of the Liberal Party voted against his leader, and he's no longer here, nor is he on the district health council, for that matter.

Mr McGuinty did not like members of the Liberal Party daring to vote against him. When Alex Cullen voted against McGuinty -- Dalton McGuinty and his office run things like it was a culture of fear. They kicked him out of the party and kicked him out of the nomination in his own constituency. The NDP took him in because they wanted to help the homeless, so they gave him a political home in the New Democratic Party.

He ran in the constituency of Ottawa-West Nepean. I represented 50% of that constituency in the last Parliament and I could tell you that they were not going to vote NDP in Nepean, and they didn't. But to Mr Cullen's credit, he got his deposit back. Mr Guzzo got elected, so I suppose we should give Mr Cullen a word of thanks.

I will be watching with great interest to see how my colleague from Ottawa Centre votes in the Legislature if his leader wants to stand up and vote for this bill, because we have certainly heard a good number of Liberals speak in favour of this bill, not just from the north but from southern Ontario. I look forward with great interest. I do think, though, it's safe to say that given the number of speeches we've had in this place, the Liberal Party members, a good majority of them, indicated their support for the bill.

We debated the bill for quite a long period of time. It was brought in in November. This is the type of bill I don't think we should have debated for as long as we have because there are other, more important pieces of legislation. I think it's regrettable on all sides. I'm not going to point fingers. It is regrettable that we don't have more negotiations on the government side and on the opposition side to be able to have more time on those issues that might be more important and less time on those issues that are rather more straightforward and where there would be more widespread support and agreement.

I was pleased to have the opportunity to speak on Bill 135 at second reading and to talk about how important I believe angling is to Ontario, not just from a heritage perspective but from a tourist perspective. I indicated that I am a fisherman and that I taught Will Stewart everything he knows about fishing, but I didn't teach him everything I know about fishing, in case he's watching.

This is an important piece of legislation. I think an essential part of the debate, not just in this place but around the province, is that you have a discussion about the pros and cons, but then you've got to make a decision and stand up and be counted. The motion we're putting forward -- we'll have a full day this afternoon to debate -- is to ask the House to move on to the next stage of the bill, which is to make a decision and to move forward. I want to indicate my strong support for the piece of legislation that's before us. I will be voting for it. I think the motion we have before us is quite reasonable.

Since this bill was tabled, Mr Chrétien has fired from his cabinet Mr Tobin, Ms Minna, Ms Fry, Mr Eggleton, Mr Gray, Mr Duhamel, Mr Gagliano and Mr Martin. You can see we practically have an entirely new federal cabinet since this legislation was first introduced into the House.


Mr Gilles Bisson (Timmins-James Bay): Did you hope to be in it?

Hon Mr Baird: The member for Timmins-James Bay asked if I hoped to be in it. I waited for the call to become Minister of Finance, but I didn't get the call.

At this time, I would like to congratulate the Honourable Paul Martin for his tenure as Minister of Finance. I feel very badly, as I think many people do right across Ontario and the whole country, about the way he was treated. He performed exceptionally well and he should be congratulated. We should say that on a non-partisan basis. I would like to put that on the record at the conclusion of this debate.

I look forward to moving on to the rest of this debate on this important motion. I look forward to having an opportunity to render a judgment on this important piece of legislation at second and third readings. I look forward to the benefits that will flow from the passage by the Legislative Assembly of Ontario of this important piece of legislation.

Mr Michael A. Brown (Algoma-Manitoulin): We will be opposing the time allocation motion. That is because, as the member would know, this subverts all the normal rules and procedures that would go forward through this Legislature. I say that in spite of the fact that we believe this bill to be one that we will support; we've been very clear. As a matter of fact, in December the member for Timiskaming-Cochrane asked this House if it would give this piece of legislation second and third reading on unanimous consent. Unanimous consent was not available. Under the rules, that meant we would have to proceed through debate, thereby delaying the debate. But that should not mean that once we're in the debate the process should not be followed.

I would say to you this has to be absolute madness. My sense is much the same sense that has been stated by the chief government whip. I think all three parties support this. Am I right on that?

Mr Bisson: Yes.

Mr Brown: We have some amendments that my friend from Timmins-James Bay has suggested. Perhaps with some agreement we may have been able to incorporate them this afternoon in unanimous consent. We may have been able to do the whole thing this afternoon. Instead, we're back to having this just shoved down our throats. If we have any respect for democracy, this can't possibly happen.

For those members of the public who are watching this debate, you should know what this act says. You can read this whole act in three minutes. It says it is An Act to recognize Ontario's recreational hunting and fishing heritage and to establish the Fish and Wildlife Heritage Commission.

The really important part of this act is the preamble. The preamble is what really counts, because this bill is about symbolism; it isn't about a whole lot more. But sometimes symbolism is important. It says, "Recreational hunting and fishing have played important roles in shaping Ontario's social, cultural and economic heritage. Recreational hunters and anglers have made important contributions to the understanding, conservation, restoration and management of Ontario's fish and wildlife resources. The best traditions of recreational hunting and fishing should be valued by future generations." That is what is important in this act. The clauses really aren't.

This is what the first clause, on the right to hunt and fish, says: "A person has a right to hunt and fish in accordance with the law." I think I have that right today. I will have that right tomorrow. I will have that right into eternity. If I obey the law, I can hunt or fish. It doesn't change anything.

While I'm on the subject, I think we should outlaw the word "right" in bills, because this Legislature has no ability to make rights. We can make laws, but we cannot make rights. Only by amending the Charter of Rights and Freedoms can we possibly actually convey a right. That would take, depending on the amending formula that would apply, seven of 10 provinces with over 50% of the population, blah, blah, blah -- not an easy thing to do. So we should not give people the impression we're giving them a right when in fact all we're saying is they have to obey the law.

Do you know what the second part does? It creates a commission. And you know what? The difference here is that after the bill is passed it will be a commission; today it's a board. Wow, that's pretty dramatic.

So I think we have to understand that the operative clauses of the bill are really not very operative. But it is important to recognize that hunting and fishing is part of our heritage. That's why the preamble is the most important part of the bill and the part that I think has members in this House supporting it.

Mr Speaker, I represent Algoma-Manitoulin, one of the larger ridings in the province of Ontario, which I know you've had the opportunity to visit on occasion. You were very nearby last week, I understand. It is a riding where hunting and fishing is part of the culture. On Manitoulin Island the deer hunt in November is pretty close to a national holiday. I see the member for Brampton Centre; he knows. Christmas on Manitoulin is almost as big an event as the deer hunt. It is part of the heritage of the place. It is something that people on Manitoulin are especially interested in. As a matter of fact, people from all across the province are very interested in it. The same could be said for places like Dubreuilville, Hornepayne, Chapleau, Thessalon, Bruce Mines and Manitouwadge. These are outdoor communities. They like to fish and they like to hunt.

Like some of my northern colleagues, one of the biggest constituency problems I face every year is moose tags. In the 1990 election, I had a constituent run down the street after me, following me all the way, yelling, "I'll never vote for you, Brown. You didn't get me a moose tag."

Mr Bisson: You should have given him one of the moose tags you have in your drawer.

Mr Brown: You have them?

These are big issues in a large, rural riding.

I want to talk for just a minute about some of the bigger issues. How would this bill affect the decisions around bear management in this province? What would this bill do? I understand that the Premier of Ontario is committed to a public review of the bear hunt decision. I've written to the Minister of Natural Resources asking that the good new minister tell us who will be on the panel for the review, where the public might go to make presentations, which biology will in fact be talked about as they review that decision. Because in my constituency, and all across northern Ontario and in many parts of southern Ontario, bear management has been downloaded to municipalities. They might be able to deal with raccoons or squirrels, but having a big mother bear in the backyard is a different sort of thing. We believe the Ministry of Natural Resources needs to deal with bears; not municipalities, who just don't have the resources, the capability, the expertise. The ministry should have to deal with such animals. It's a very dangerous situation, and we've been asking the government to upload this responsibility for quite some time.

The second issue I might ask about is, how would this bill affect cormorants? Cormorants are found by the angling community to be an increasingly large problem to our fishery and to our land base. Some months ago in my constituency I attended a meeting in Espanola of over 50 people who were representing fish and game clubs and others from across our section of northern Ontario, and I think there were even people from down south of Parry Sound, who were very concerned that we are not in any way, shape or form managing the cormorant population, and therefore cormorants are destroying large land bases.


Mr Bruce Crozier (Essex): You're right on.

Mr Brown: I see the member from Essex down there saying, "You're right on."

They're destroying Pelee Island, they destroyed Middle Island and they're going to destroy others. They are destroying fish populations. They are doing a great deal of harm, and we have no real management program for those particular birds.

Those birds are here in great numbers because of man. Men made some decisions in the southern United States that have meant we have more than our share of cormorants in the world. I know my friend Mr Ouellette is carefully looking at that, and hopefully he will be doing something about it. But there's nothing in this bill that will help those folks. This bill, though, has some value in terms of its symbolism. We will obviously be supporting the ability to fish and hunt according to the law, but the government should not be moving closure today, because it's madness.

Today we have the government asking the opposition to give unanimous consent to pass a bill dealing with Hydro compensation. I just looked in my desk, and the bill doesn't exist. I can't find it; it's not there. It hasn't even been printed, and the government expects some opposition, any opposition, to pass a Hydro bill without us even having it in our desks to be able to understand what it says. They're crazy. They could have introduced it, and we could have been talking about it this afternoon.


Mr Brown: My whip is saying that maybe I've taken enough time. But I want to assure the House that we will be opposing this motion, even though we support the bill.

Ms Shelley Martel (Nickel Belt): If it's Wednesday, it must be time allocation day. Here we go yet again. It was the same thing last Wednesday. As I mentioned to the House last Wednesday when I spoke on that time allocation motion, it was the same thing in the last session. My colleague Tony Martin and I, who do House duty on Wednesday afternoons, noticed that almost every single Wednesday in the last session, the government used its majority to shut down debate.

The reason I'm very concerned about this is because New Democrats have made it clear that we do think Bill 135 should go to committee for some consideration and some amendments, and we've been very upfront about that from the beginning. We stated our case with respect to that even at the time the bill was introduced on November 17.

I listened with curiosity to the government whip today saying this was a very important piece of legislation. I'd like to remind the government that they didn't introduce it for first reading until November 17, and then they didn't call it again. It was so important to the government, in terms of being a priority piece of legislation, that after it was introduced for first reading, it went into the black hole. I think that should say something to those people out there who hope the government is committed to fishing and hunting in this province.

I listened to government members last week tell us that this bill enshrines -- and I want to use that word directly -- forever the right to hunt and fish. The government holds this legislation up as a bill that would meet the needs of anglers and hunters. The problem is that the bill does nothing to enshrine or guarantee people's rights to hunt and fish. Frankly, I don't think it does very much to meet the needs of most anglers and hunters who have very serious and very legitimate concerns about both their access to natural resources and the allocation of natural resources. Their very legitimate and very serious concerns are not dealt with anywhere in Bill 135.

That is why we felt the government should send this bill to committee, so we could have an open and frank discussion about those legitimate and serious concerns. We could use the bill as an opportunity to try to have that discussion and then to have amendments moved so that we actually might meet the legitimate concerns of those people who hunt and fish and we might really enshrine their right to do so.

I don't think the anglers and hunters in my riding really want to be part of a snow job that is now being perpetrated by the government. I don't think they're interested at all in a public relations exercise that's designed to make them feel good but doesn't do anything to address their very serious concerns about natural resources, and the allocation of and access to those.

That is why I continue to say to the government today it is not too late. There are several amendments that could be put, amendments which I think would actually address the real, legitimate and serious concerns that anglers and hunters have with respect to our natural resources. I encourage the government to go through that process if they are interested in and intent on somehow enshrining a right to hunt and fish in law in this province.

I want to give three examples of why I say there should be hearings and why I think the government, if they were truly interested in enshrining some kind of right, could do so with amendments to this bill.

The first has to do with the government's proclamation of slot sizes. Early in January of this year this government proclaimed, unilaterally, slot sizes in most of northern Ontario, certainly in my part of northern Ontario. There was no consultation whatsoever; it was just proclaimed. People out there who are looking at this bill and hearing the government say, "You have a right to hunt and fish," look at the government's unilateral proclamation of slot sizes and say, "Just how far does my right really extend?"

I'm not denying that there may well be some very good reasons for conservation and some very good reasons to implement slot sizes. But when the government moves forward unilaterally, with no consultation whatsoever, without talking to the angling community and without providing the angling community with information and evidence from MNR biologists about why there have to be slot sizes, that really puts into question in people's minds just what their rights are and how far those rights extend.

If the government is serious about enshrining some kind of rights, they would also be putting into this bill some kind of process whereby there can be some legitimate discussion between the angling community and the government about why there may be a need for conservation, on what lakes, what the slot sizes are supposed to be and what the evidence is that would provoke MNR to move in that direction. But that didn't happen in January in northern Ontario. All that happened was a government announcement -- better to say a government proclamation -- that "This is the way it shall be." I tell you, that doesn't do anything to further your interests with respect to the angling community. It doesn't do anything to convince people they have some rights and they have an opportunity to exercise those rights.

On the contrary, unilateral declarations like that one, with no input, no consultation and no providing of the research or the evidence from MNR to show why it's necessary as a conservation exercise, sends people the wrong message and makes them concerned once again about their true and legitimate ability to access natural resources in the province.

The second issue has to do with moose tags. I remember, when this government was elected, they were going to fix the moose tag lottery. They were going to make it fair; they were going to make sure people got an opportunity to get a moose tag on a regular basis; they were going to do it all.

Do you know what? I was at a meeting last week and one of my constituents said to me, "You know, my dad hasn't been able to get a moose tag for the last eight years." That is not uncommon. There are many members in this Legislature who know that every year we get calls from constituents who have been unable to get a moose tag for three, five, six, eight years.

This government hasn't done anything to deal with that issue. I raise this in the context of Bill 135 because I heard government members say last week that this bill enshrines people's right to hunt and fish. If you can't get a moose tag, it's hard to believe that you have a right to hunt in Ontario. If, year after year, year in and year out, you apply to the lottery and you don't get a tag, it's hard to believe the government can tell you that you have a right to hunt and fish and it's enshrined in Bill 135. It leaves a bad taste in people's mouths.


The other problem is it's not good enough to tell constituents, "There may be too many applications in this particular management unit, but if you look at another management unit, you might get a tag." The problem with that is that in most cases it's very far away in northern Ontario to actually allow people to do that. It's really difficult to tell people from northeastern Ontario, for example, that they are unlucky and can't get a tag, but if they only go to a management unit in northwestern Ontario they might be able to hunt. You know what? It's a long way away from Sudbury to go and hunt in Nakina. It's very expensive, it's very costly, it's a long way to go and most people in northeastern Ontario already have a hunt camp in one of the surrounding local management units. That's where they want to go and hunt and that's where they've been hunting for a number of years.

So I say to the government, you could have used this opportunity to have some public hearings, to put some amendments and to actually tell the folks what you were going to do about the moose tag draw, because you cannot convince people who have been shut out of that process for four and five and eight years that they somehow have a right to hunt. You just can't convince them of that if they can't even get a tag, year after year, to allow them to actually do that.

The third issue I want to raise has to do with restrictions on motorized access to a number of lakes. There are two examples I want to raise in particular. Last May in Gogama there was a notice posted on the Pineland-Martel forest access road -- no relation to me. Three different notices went up over about a three-week period, notices posted by the MNR that essentially said that use of this road to gain access to the following tourism lakes -- and seven of them were listed -- was now prohibited, that use of access by motorized vehicle was now prohibited.

The second notice said the same thing, that use of roads 166, 213, 403 to gain access to the following designated tourism lakes, and they're all listed, is prohibited by motorized vehicle access, and for further information call the MNR.

Then there was a third notice. One was put up and taken down; a second was put up and taken down. The third one said that Domtar Forest Resources is giving notice of road closure at kilometre 44 and it goes on to say that this is all done under a particular section of the Public Lands Act.

I raise this because I immediately got calls from a number of people, not only from Gogama but from Chelmsford and Valley East in my riding, people who had traditionally, year after year, gone to fish in those lakes and had used all-terrain vehicles in the summer to do so and had gone up on snowmobiles in the winter. Now the MNR, without any consultation, had posted notices saying motorized access along that road to those lakes was now being restricted. Essentially the only way you could get in to fish in those lakes was to walk in or try and canoe in by an alternative route.

That's ridiculous because some of those lakes are far too far away for the people of Gogama to walk into. A number of those lakes are impossible to canoe into. So they came to see me to say, "How was this decision arrived at? We received no consultation whatsoever. No notice was posted except the notice on the road when we went in to start to fish. That was the only consultation we had: here's the way it's going to be."

After a very long process involving freedom of information requests and discussions with MNR, we got a fair bit of information back. I specifically wrote to the government and said, "I want all correspondence, e-mails, memos, anything you have between the minister's office and the local MNR about how this decision was arrived at."

One of the things MNR provided to me was a committee meeting of the LCC, the local citizens' committee, in Gogama, whereby the MNR seemed to suggest that it was the local citizens' committee in Gogama that had actually made this decision. They were outraged. They were incensed. They called me back and said, "We remember this issue coming before us in April. The MNR talked to us about a particular policy with respect to access to tourism lakes. They didn't ask for input. They didn't ask if we agreed. In fact, we told them we didn't. There was certainly no vote and we are very unhappy now that the government is somehow using this minute from this particular meeting of the local citizens' committee to somehow justify the decision that was made."

You know what? They were right, because there was no vote. They specifically told the MNR they didn't want motorized vehicle access to be restricted on those lakes.

At the end of the day, when we went through all of the information that the government had given, the government was relying on land use policies from 1984 to justify the decision to cut off motorized vehicle access to these seven lakes. You know what? Some of the people who have been in Gogama who were around in 1984 in the development of those plans also told me there was no discussion in 1984 either with respect to cutting off motorized access to those lakes. So they feel very strongly, and well they should, that they had no input. You tell these people in Gogama today that this government is giving them a right to fish under Bill 135 and they'll laugh. They laugh because they say, "We can't even access those lakes any more. We can't access them as we previously did on our all-terrain vehicles or on our snowmobiles, we can't walk in there because it's too far and we can't canoe using some alternate route to many of those lakes because the access is just not there."

A second example -- because it's not just my riding -- when the committee that was dealing with the Ontarians with Disabilities Act actually met in Sudbury, we had a group from West Nipissing who came to talk about this very issue and said the following: "New regulations by the Ministry of Natural Resources that would exclude all motorized vehicles except snowmobiles will discriminate against the elderly and the disabled who must use a truck to get to their fishing or hunting site." In the case of West Nipissing, snowmobiles were being allowed; I should make that point. The group went on to say -- and this is Mr Alfred Levac, who is from Sturgeon Falls -- "If this regulation takes effect, it will make it virtually impossible for the elderly or the disabled to enjoy their traditional rights of hunting and fishing."

You know what? I agree with Mr Alfred Levac about the case in West Nipissing, just as I agree with my constituents in Nickel Belt who were and remain very concerned that they can't access those seven lakes, lakes that they used to access for years and years with their families. If the government truly wanted to enshrine rights to hunt and fish, the government would deal with this issue, because you can't tell those people that they have a right when they know full well that they can't access those lakes.

In conclusion, my colleague from Timmins-James Bay will be moving an amendment that will again call on the government to have some time to move amendments. I think this is one that should be dealt with if you are truly interested in telling anglers and hunters out there that they do have some rights with respect to hunting and fishing in this province.

The Acting Speaker (Mr Bert Johnson): Further debate? The Chair recognizes the member from Brampton Centre.

Mr Joseph Spina (Brampton Centre): Thank you, Speaker.

Mr Richard Patten (Ottawa Centre): How many moose do you have in your riding?

Mr Spina: But I came from further north than you did.

Having been born and raised in northern Ontario, I very much empathize with the comments made by our colleagues from northern Ontario, the member from Timmins-James Bay, the member from Nickel Belt and certainly the member from Algoma-Manitoulin, who lives very close to where I grew up. I recognized every name and have been to pretty well most places that he indicated. Growing up, particularly in northern Ontario, but even in all of Ontario when it comes to fishing, we all have a great appreciation for what this province's heritage is with respect to fishing. With respect to hunting, it generally takes place in central and northern Ontario, and those from southern Ontario who are hunters, like many in my own riding, generally travel extensively.

This bill, as has been indicated by many parties, really supports the diverse array of fish and wildlife species and the right of people to hunt and fish. There is a board, as the member indicated earlier, that is now going to become a commission. They will advise the minister on the various issues that the minister should be addressing. But this bill wasn't just created willy-nilly out of the blue. It was really created out of a request from the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, who wanted to ensure that the right to hunt and fish, even though it was kind of an expected right -- but there are things that turn up over the years, regulations or bills, pieces of legislation or somebody's arbitrary rules, that often can impinge on that.


I remember full well what the member for Nickel Belt, I think, was alluding to earlier, when we went through the Bill 101 process on the snowmobile sustainability act. We encountered some very strong positions put forward to us from anglers and hunters regarding the right to traditional trails in this province. We weren't able to address it at the time, but it has been addressed since. I'm very pleased to be able to say that an agreement was reached with the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters to permit the use of traditional trails for snowmobiling in the winter.

It seems almost ironic, because if anybody knows anything about hunting in the winter, there isn't a whole lot of it, unless you go rabbit hunting, which is open year-round. But there is very little occasion, with the exception of the far north, where you would be using a snowmobile to go hunting.

Mr Bisson: It would be hard to shoot a rabbit from the back of a snow machine.

Mr Spina: My friend from Timmins-James Bay is terrific. I always like talking to him about stuff from northern Ontario, except that he has a plane and I don't. Somehow you earned the money and found the time to get a licence, Gilles. I really like that; that's very good.

Mr Bisson: Nothing's too good for the working class.

Mr Spina: It's nice to be in opposition and not have to commit a lot of time to this job. I don't know.

I found the comments made by some of the other members criticizing this bill a little strange. They want more time for debate. What are we debating here, the right to fish? No, nobody argues that, really. Are we debating the right to hunt? Nobody argues that. What we're trying to do is look at the responsibilities that would be put in with the creation of a Fish and Wildlife Heritage Commission. If I can take a second, I just wanted to touch on the points in subsection 2(3) of the bill, which talks about responsibilities. It says:

"On the request of the Minister of Natural Resources, the commission shall consider and make recommendations to the minister on the following matters:

"The promotion of practices that will contribute to recreational hunting and fishing being valued by future generations." There's nothing to argue here. I don't think there's anybody who disagrees with that issue.

"The promotion of public participation in fish and wildlife conservation programs." I don't think anybody would argue with that.

"The promotion of youth participation in hunting, fishing and other fish and wildlife activities." I don't think anybody argues with that either.

"The promotion of tourism.... The promotion of new opportunities.... The design and establishment of a mechanism to finance matters referred to" in the paragraphs on public participation, promotion of youth, tourism etc.

All of those elements are part of the responsibilities that are set out in subsection 2(3) of this bill. I don't know anybody who would really want to argue with that. The one criticism that was levelled in the previous debate, before the time allocation was brought in, was the fact that it did not address the rights of aboriginals. The rights of aboriginals are very clearly defined in the federal laws. So there is no question; it's laid down in statute. We are really trying to develop a parallel here and to lay down a statute that essentially enshrines that right to hunt and fish for the rest of the citizens of Ontario.

I got a chuckle out of the member for St Paul's the other day, when he talked about having his thumb bitten by muskie. I rather chuckled at that.

Mr Bisson: How the hell do you do that?

Mr Spina: Anybody who's a fisherman, or has somebody who knows something around him, knows that the first thing you do is hit it with a fish bat if it's a muskie, for Pete's sake. You only stick your thumb in the mouth of a bass in order to get the hook out of it. Anybody who has done any fishing would know --

Mr Brown: Or a trout.

Mr Spina: Or a trout; that's true. But it's with the smaller game fish that you do that. You don't do it with a muskie. So I rather chuckled. But it was a memorable experience for the member for St Paul's. So maybe he'll have the opportunity to learn that as an adult or with his children as they get older.

The member for Nickel Belt started talking about slot sizes. Why did this government impose slot sizes? Should we remind her that her husband was the Minister of Natural Resources when they were in government? Slot sizes are necessary to be implemented when certain sizes of fish are in danger of being depleted. Therefore, you have to identify, for conservation reasons, certain lakes and streams and particular sizes of fish that have to be limited in the amount that can be caught, and where. The member for Nickel Belt makes it sound as if this has been an arbitrary decision. It's not an arbitrary decision.

She also asked the question about what would happen here and who is going to be doing the study, and the issues on the bear hunt: who's doing the biological study on those kinds of issues? The Ministry of Natural Resources. They are the expert, highly paid people of this government ministry who are expected to be able to provide that sort of information and analysis and make recommendations to the minister to be able to be implemented so we can act in a conservationist manner.

Last, regarding the moose tags, we've all had calls, even those of us in southern Ontario. Having been born and raised in the Soo, I know what they were all about. I was a little taken aback when one of my own constituents in Brampton came to me and said, "I can't get a moose tag. I haven't had one for four or five years." We understand that. You know what? I agree with you that the whole moose tag and deer licence issue ought to be addressed to make it a fairer system.

Mr Bisson: Was it Danny Rankin?

Mr Spina: No.

However, I found that hunters tend to be extremely resourceful. The constituents I mentioned came to me and said, "Look, we all apply for moose tags and usually one or two or three might get it." It's always a mix between a bull or a cow. So they go hunting together and then they share the kill.

Mr John Gerretsen (Kingston and the Islands): How do you share a kill?

Mr Spina: Obviously, someone who has the licence is permitted to take the animal and the rest share in cutting it up, taking it out of the bush and that sort of thing. That's what we mean by share the kill. Thank you to the member for Kingston and the Islands.

I'm going to keep quiet now because I've got to leave some time for my honourable friend the member for Peterborough, who knows and lives and whose constituency is the heart of the Federation of Anglers and Hunters. He's as good a fisher of people and hunter of men as I've ever met. Don't forget -- we try to ignore that phrase, which I think some Liberal brought forward many years ago, which said people think of Canada as drawers of water and hewers of wood, and we're more than that; we like to hunt and fish too.


Mr James J. Bradley (St Catharines): Since we're dealing with a time allocation motion, I'm going to devote my remarks this afternoon to the lack of wisdom of invoking time allocation in this House. It's a subject I have talked about on many occasions. Since they tell me there's a new Premier with a new attitude, I always hope that perhaps he will change the rules, to not invoke these kinds of time allocation motions.


Mr Bradley: My colleague from Kingston and the Islands says we're seeing just as many as ever.

Mr David Caplan (Don Valley East): This one is even worse.

Mr Bradley: This one apparently is even worse because there's no third reading debate. That's something I find astounding, that there would be no third reading debate on a bill with the importance of this piece of legislation.

What we have to understand is the reason we're into time allocation motions, and that is because the government refused to bring the Legislature back into session much earlier in the year. A lot of people were appalled when I told them -- they didn't read it in the news media, certainly -- that the Legislature had last sat in the middle of December 2001 and then was reconvened in the middle of May 2002. They said, "It can't be that the House hasn't sat for five full months. Do you mean to tell me you people were not in the Legislative chamber during that period of time?" I had to tell them that was indeed the case.

I said, "If that happened in Ottawa, there would be an uproar of the kind that you would never believe." The National Post and the Toronto Sun -- who else would we have? -- Mike Duffy, CFTO, the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, the Ottawa Citizen, which is so independent in its approach to political issues, all those papers would be up in arms if the federal government had announced it was not bringing the House back into session until May. Here, apparently, nobody cares about that. I was looking through the columns the other day at what columnists had written, and I said, "Maybe there was a column I missed somewhere along the line that said the House hasn't sat." I couldn't find it. Then I started to go through old tapes to see if maybe somebody in a newscast had said the House hadn't sat for five months. Alas, no matter where I went in the news media looking for something that would be a glaring headline story in Ottawa if the federal Liberals had done this, I couldn't find it. And, alas, when I was reading a column last weekend in the Toronto Star -- the good friend of the government -- the columnist happened to say, "It's harder to raise these issues. You know what they're raising in Ottawa? Well, they don't get raised here because there are not enough staff and resources and people don't tend to aim at the provincial government."

I keep thinking, "I would bet dollars to doughnuts that the government has steered contracts of the advertising variety to its friends." If only someone would ask, as they're going into the government caucus room or going into the cabinet room, "Have you ever steered one of these advertising contracts to one of your friends?" or perhaps, "When the government gave you such a huge contract for advertising, a $6-million or $7-million contract, does that mean then that when the Conservative Party is asking for advertising, they get a break on the price?"

I don't know that to be the case, Mr Speaker. You may be in a better position to know than I. I don't know that to be the case. But nobody ever asks. I get puzzled when I see the feeding frenzy in Ottawa, and I see the people in Queen's Park just toddle along and apparently get away with that kind of stuff.

So I ask the question rhetorically in this House, and my friend the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities may have the answer. She may be able to help me out after my remarks are finished.

Hon Dianne Cunningham (Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, minister responsible for women's issues): We've suffered together.

Mr Bradley: She says we've suffered together, so we would know that.

But I digress, and the Speaker is so very tolerant of allowing digression when we are talking about a time-allocation motion. He's most understanding of the parameters of such a motion.

I think it's unfortunate that we cannot spend the appropriate amount of time on bills of great import and that we cannot decide, as three parties, what shall go through relatively quickly and what shall receive a full debate. That's a procedural question.

I remember as well that the government on at least two occasions has changed the rules of this House. We simply don't have the same kind of accountability we once had. The House now sits day and night. I don't object to that. What I object to is that the government gets to count two days in its debate, the afternoon being one day and the evening being another day. They get what I call "two for one" -- one question period, and they get two days when you are asked, as Speaker, sometimes to rule on how long a debate has gone on and we look at how many days it's been, the government can use one day for two days, and they've essentially taken away all the bargaining chips the opposition has.

I thought the Liberal House leader made a very good point today about moving a piece of legislation that the government now wants to move quickly. He said, "I've got a couple of conditions that I think are reasonable." He got up for unanimous consent, and the government said no. They did not want to deal with those conditions. They were not onerous conditions, I thought. They were quite reasonable. They certainly would brighten the issue and enlighten people about the issue of Hydro, but they were turned down. The government said, "No, we simply want you to pass second and third readings on our latest bill quickly, no debate and no conditions."

I think the House functions best when there's some give and take, when the opposition could say, "Here are a couple of conditions that we think would be reasonable," and the government could then say, "That's fine; we agree with those," and then we will all proceed. Instead, we get a confrontation, we get histrionics on all sides of the House and there is much more heat than light generated as a result.

So I must oppose the time allocation motion. I have always opposed time allocation motions in principle. In government -- behind cabinet doors, if I can reveal it now -- I opposed time allocation motions when they were proposed. But they were so infrequent in those days that when one was applied you felt it was probably justified.

Mr Speaker, you would know that there was a time when there was no limit on the speeches in this Legislature, and that was rather interesting to see. Some people could speak for two and three hours and be compelling; others might not be as compelling after eight minutes. I think I've gone eight minutes at the present time, and I really feel a compulsion to yield some further time to my colleague. I think the NDP is ready to speak now as well, so I'll sit down.

Mr Bisson: I just want to set out that my cousin, Danny Rankin, has his wonderful member over here who represents him, but there's only one problem. It's the wrong party. Cross over and sit with us New Democrats, and Danny would be much more comfortable.

We're debating a time allocation motion on the Heritage Hunting and Fishing Act. The effect of the motion is to say there will be no time for members such as myself to present amendments to deal with various aspects of this bill that we think need to be dealt with, and there will be no debate at third reading.

Before I start, I want to move an amendment to the original motion.

I move that the motion be amended by striking out the third and fourth paragraphs of the motion as it appears on the orders and notices paper, and substituting the following:

"At such time, the bill be ordered referred to the committee of the whole House, and that one hour be allotted to this stage, at the expiry of which the Chair of the committee of the whole House shall interrupt the proceedings and shall, without further debate or amendment, put every question necessary to dispose of all remaining sections of the bill and any amendments thereto and report the bill to the House;

"That, upon receiving the report of the committee of the whole House, the Speaker shall put the question for adoption of the report forthwith, which question shall be decided without debate or amendment, and at such time the bill shall be ordered for third reading;

"That the order for third reading may be immediately called and that 60 minutes shall be allotted to the third reading stage of the bill, to be divided equally among all recognized parties, and at the end of that time the Speaker shall interrupt the proceedings and shall put every question necessary to dispose of this stage of the bill without further debate or amendment; and"

The reason I put forward this amendment is very simple. I have three amendments that are very straightforward that I want to put to this legislation. I believe they are amendments that the government probably wants to support, and I know that we, as New Democrats, and the Liberals support these amendments.

The problem I've got, because of this time allocation motion, is that the government is not allowing us to put forward any amendments. The purpose of this is very simple. We'll allow the government to get this bill in the same amount of time that they would with their own time allocation motion. The only difference is that we would be allowed to get into committee of the whole and we would be allowed to introduce the amendments and to vote on them.


The amendments are fairly straightforward. There are three. I'll deal with the first one. The first one deals with the composition of the commission. In the bill there are two sections. Section 2 says that where there used to be a committee to advise the minister on various issues having to do with angling and hunting, you now have a commission. What I want to do by way of an amendment is to give structure to who will sit on that commission so we see that there is proper representation. I would move, in committee of the whole, the following amendment to Bill 135:

"Subsection (2.1)

"I move that section 2 of the bill be amended by adding the following subsection:


"`(2.1) In appointing members of the commission, the Lieutenant Governor in Council shall ensure that an equal number of members is appointed from each of the following classes of persons:

"`1. representatives of recreational hunters and anglers;

"`2. representatives of environmental organizations;

"`3. biologists employed by universities in Ontario who work in the field of biology related to natural resources.'"

The reason we're moving that is very simple. We want to make sure the minister doesn't put just one group of people on this commission. We don't want just environmentalists, we don't want just biologists, we don't want just MNR staff or just anglers. We want to make sure that when we're dealing with issues there is a balance on that committee to deal with them properly.

The second amendment we want to put forward is non-contentious amendment. It's very simple. This speaks to the concerns of First Nations communities. I represent a riding that has a large number of First Nations communities throughout the riding. Nishnawbe-Aski Nation along with Mushkegowuk Council, Matawa Tribal Council and the Chiefs of Ontario have asked me to move a motion that is basically a non-derogation clause. I believe that the way the bill is written it doesn't confer any new rights to anybody and, as such, aboriginal rights to hunting, fishing and trapping are not affected by this bill; and I have had that confirmed by the ministry. But First Nations leaders in this province are asking for an amendment. I think as a government-to-government relationship that we're supposed to have with First Nations, we should support this amendment. The amendment would be very simple. It would read as follows:

"Section 2.2

"I move that the bill be amended by adding the following section:

"`Aboriginal rights

"`2.2 This act does not abrogate, derogate from or add to any aboriginal treaty right that is recognized and affirmed by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982."

The purpose of that is simple. It's a non-derogation clause. It's a no-brainer. We all agree that this current bill does not take away the right of aboriginals to hunting, fishing or trapping. We say that. But we have the Chiefs of Ontario and various other leaders in the First Nations community of Ontario who say it does. So let's put our money where our mouth is. Accept our amendment to go into committee of the whole. You'll get the bill in the same amount of time and we will vote on this particular amendment.

I'm sure the government doesn't want to give an impression that it's taking rights from First Nations communities. I know that we don't want to accept that and neither do the Liberals. So I say to the government, this is for your own good. This is so the First Nations people can feel as if they've been respected in this process. After all, we did sign, under the Bob Rae government in 1990, a statement of political relationship with First Nations people to be dealt with on a government-to-government basis. This is a request from the Chiefs of Ontario. That is the highest level of representation of First Nations leadership in this province and they're asking us for a non-derogation clause. So allow my amendment to your time allocation motion to pass so we can get into committee of the whole and we can support that particular amendment.

The third amendment that I want is the one that really is the anglers and hunters issue, and it's very simple. Anglers and hunters are being told by this government that this bill confers on them new rights when it comes to hunting and fishing. We have all spoken to this and said that is not the case. When I sat down for ministry briefings, when the ministry people briefed me, and when the minister's staff briefed me, they all said the same thing. "Under this bill, if you tried to cancel the spring bear hunt, could you have any effect?" The answer is no. "If you were to introduce slot sizes to fishing across the province, as they did in January, could anglers in any way change that decision?" No, they couldn't do that. "Do I have any new rights to go out and hunt or fish under this act?" The answer is no. So there are no new rights given by this bill.

I'm saying to the government, if you're trying to give something to anglers and hunters, let's put some teeth in this legislation. So I want to move an amendment and that's why I'm asking you to support, in my amendment to your time allocation motion, the following motion. It's a very simple one, a motion that would be moved in committee of the whole House on section 2.1, in my name. It says:

"I move that the bill be amended by adding the following section:

"`Proposals affecting local communities

"`2.1 If a local community would be affected by a proposal under consideration in the Ministry of Natural Resources that relates to recreational hunting or fishing or a matter referred to in subsection 2(3)'" -- that means all of those matters that the commissioner is supposed to deal with -- "`the Minister of Natural Resources shall ensure that:

"`(a) a local citizens' committee established for the community under section 13 of the Crown Forest Sustainability Act, 1994, is consulted, or, if none exists,

"`(b) if there is no local citizens' committee established for the community under section 13 of the Crown Forest Sustainability Act, 1994, other steps are taken to consult the community.'" In other words, they would have to form a committee.

The reason I want this is real simple. There's no way in heck that the provincial committee is going to be able to deal with all the issues across the province when it comes to angling and hunting. For example, what do we do if they shut down access? For example, my good friend Nick Fergassi, out of Timmins, has had areas that he and his family have hunted for generations closed to him for angling and hunting. He can't take motorized vehicles in there any more. He's been told he can't go. Under this new act the government is putting forward, that doesn't change anything. He still would get stuck. At least under what I'm proposing, the ministry, if they came to shut down a road, would have to go to the citizens' committee under the Crown Forest Sustainability Act and advise them that they wish to do this. Then the local citizens' committee would have to turn their attention to the issue and then consult with the various people they represent at those committees. So people like Nick Fergassi, Roger Cauchon and Pio Alberton, and the list goes on, would at least find out what is going on and have the ability to affect the decision, because at this point there's no obligation for the ministry to do anything.

I'm saying, in this particular case, we can't refer those matters up to a provincial committee that the government's creating under the commission because they will not be able to deal with all the individual things that happen across the province. God, they would be sitting 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and they still couldn't deal with it. So I'm saying refer all those things in the district to the local citizens' committee. Why? For example, when we had the cancellation of the spring bear hunt northerners were outraged, but they had no effective measure to be able to get at the government to change their position. At least with this amendment I'm putting forward, the government would have had to refer that decision to the local citizens' committees, and under the Crown Forest Sustainability Act, those people would have had to turn their attention to it on that committee. People would have found out about it and we would have had the ability to affect the final outcome. Under the current structure of the bill, you couldn't do that. You have no new rights. At least this section gives you some rights.

The other reason I want to put it in is really, really simple. My good friend Roger Cauchon, who runs a sporting store in the community of Timmins, is extremely frustrated with the Ministry of Natural Resources -- as he calls it, "the ministry of no response" -- on a number of issues that affect him and affect anglers and hunters across the province. He tries to deal with the ministry on a number of decisions and he feels stymied. He feels as if he's not being listened to. He says, "Listen, my business is being taken away." With all of these new regulations and all the stuff that this government has done, he finds himself in a position where people are not fishing and hunting because of the restrictions. So he's saying that at the very least he needs to have some ability to affect the decision.

My amendment would speak to people like Roger. He would find out through his local citizens' committee, because I know he's well connected to the people there and there are people on that committee whom he has confidence in. He would be able to find out what's going on, have input in the process, be able to present to the local citizens' committee, and then there would have to be a recommendation from the committee to allow or not allow the Ministry of Natural Resources to do what they're doing.

People like Pio Alberton, who never got a moose tag in 15 years, at least under this proposal would have an opportunity to deal with that issue through the citizens' committee. He's complained to the ministry. He's complained to me, and he was a long-time supporter who was pretty mad at me for a number of years because he couldn't get a moose tag. At least under what I'm proposing, people like Pio would have a voice.

The bill as it is currently written would not do anything to deal with Pio Alberton's problem of getting a moose tag. At least this amendment would put teeth in the legislation and it would say that people like Pio can go to the local citizens' committee, make their complaint to them, have them turn their attention to it and make a recommendation to the ministry as to what needs to be done. But you cannot have something happen where the ministry just does its own thing.



Mr Bisson: OK. I thought you were trying to get my attention on something else. Very good. I already moved my amendment.

The last thing I want to say is that people in northern Ontario see through the trick the government's trying to pull here. The title of the bill purports to give anglers and hunters rights, but this bill gives absolutely no rights. I'm saying to the government that I'm prepared to support this legislation, but at least give it some teeth. Accept the amendments we're putting forward, especially the one around the local citizens' committees and around the issue of the non-derogation clause. At least that way we can speak to those constituents who will be affected by this bill.

Mr R. Gary Stewart (Peterborough): Mr Speaker, I think it is very appropriate today to have you in the chair, as a very ardent, very resourceful and very conservation-oriented person who likes to fish. I don't know about the hunting, but you certainly like to fish. It is most appropriate that you would be in the chair listening to this -- well, I can't use the word "debate." I hear that word "debate" a lot of times in this House and I sometimes think that many of us -- I guess sometimes I have to include myself -- stand up and we don't debate; we talk to hear ourselves talking. It was pretty evident when we heard the member from St Catharines talking about his digressing from what we are actually, supposedly talking about today. That seems to happen in his case a lot, the reason being he doesn't understand the bill and doesn't know anything about the bill. That bothers me a little bit.

I want to make a couple of comments to the speaker from Timmins-James Bay. I was in the House last week when he was talking to this bill. At that time he was talking about how this bill affected the aboriginal community. Today I understand, and I am pleased, that he got a briefing from MNR, because this bill does not affect the aboriginal community in any way at all. This act cannot -- I want to emphasize "cannot" -- supersede treaty rights. So I am pleased he got a briefing on that which now is suggesting to us that this will not have an effect on the aboriginal community.

The other amendment he wants to make is regarding the voice of the people and the various regions. I believe in that 100%. I am very supportive of our going out and talking to people across this province and getting their input. The voice of this type of legislation will be the commission. Let me assure you that I am quite sure the commission will be made up of stakeholders who are involved in the hunting and fishing community, the conservation community, full membership across the board, to make sure this type of legislation works well in years to come.

One of the things that impresses me very much about this bill is that finally there will be legislation -- there is none now; you know it and I know it -- that permits or enshrines -- I know the member for Nickel Belt doesn't like that word -- the right to hunt and fish, in accordance with the law.

Mr Peter Kormos (Niagara Centre): What about the Game and Fish Act?

Mr Stewart: It is not in legislation.

I think that's one of the keys to this piece of legislation. There was a suggestion by the member from Brampton Centre that this was a piece of legislation asked for by the Federation of Anglers and Hunters, which has a membership of 85,000, many of whom are hunters and fishermen. But this actually goes back to a meeting in Lindsay two or three years ago, where there were some 800 people, most of whom were hunters and fishermen, who requested -- their right to do this recreational sport in the future might not continue. That was where this originated. They wanted to have it enshrined in law that they would have that right to hunt recreationally.

It was interesting when I also heard the member from, I guess it was Nickel Belt. If I listened to her about the moose hunt, we'd be throwing open the moose hunt and allowing everybody in Ontario to get a permit. If that's what she calls conservation, if that's what she calls scientific management of a resource, of conservation, then I'm sorry, I don't believe in that.

We have the various areas. Some areas get a larger number of tags. Why? Because there's a larger number of moose there. It's the same thing with the antlerless deer, the doe licences. I haven't had a doe licence for probably the last 10 years, for two reasons: the first reason being I never got my application in time in a few of them; and in the other ones I didn't apply. So again, you can't throw out a doe licence to every hunter in Ontario. If you do that, you are not going to in any way make sure that we have a sustainable resource in this province in the future.

I believe that with the implementation of hunter safety, the apprenticeship program where, yes, we allow young people, 12-year-olds, accompanied by a hunter one firearm to learn safety aspects, learn conservation, learn how to hunt and fish in a respectable manner -- I want to use that word "respectable," that being respect for the wildlife that we have in this great province.

I believe that this legislation will lead to good, sound additional science-based management. I believe it will lead to additional education programs to make sure that we do not in any way jeopardize hunting and fishing in this province. And I believe that the hunters and fishermen continue to monitor the welfare of the wildlife and, indeed, their habitat.

You know, I made a comment the other night. Everybody seems to think the hunter and the fisherman is the guy who has the red hat with the peak on the back, sitting on the back of an old 150 Ford barrelling down the road. Do you know who those people are? They're the doctors, they're the lawyers, both male --

Mr Kormos: Damned lawyers.

Mr Stewart: That's what I wanted to say -- both male and female. They are our next-door neighbours. They are mothers and fathers. They are grandmothers and grandfathers. Those are the people who represent the hunting and fishing community of this great province. I want to make sure that those are the people who believe in making sure this is a resource that is protected.

It's a social resource. Many of the hunt camps, the fishing camps -- I happened to be at one last week, the Caledon Mountain Trout Club, a major family-oriented club where husbands and wives and family members go and have a social event, do some fishing and make it, as I said, into a family outing. Camps in the area where I am have major weekends where the wives are back, they go fishing, they go hunting. They have a major social and cultural evening.

The tourism -- we've talked about the dollars that are coming into this province on a resource that we have to maintain.

As I said, I believe a great deal that in the future, with this type of legislation going through, the sustainability of our natural resource of wildlife will be protected. I also believe that those people are stewards of the land and of the forests and will make sure that it stays managed and as a resource, that my children and my grandchildren will be able to benefit and go and enjoy the outdoors in a recreational manner and do some hunting and fishing if they want to.

I cannot believe the allocation. It's ludicrous that we had to time-allocate this. This is a piece of legislation that is long overdue. It's a piece of legislation that I believe protects our wildlife and our fishing habitat. I believe it is long overdue and I can't for the life of me understand why people are sitting and blocking it.


Mr Rick Bartolucci (Sudbury): I have only about two minutes to say what I want to say, so I want to reinforce the message to the anglers and hunters in my area of Sudbury in northern Ontario that I very much support Bill 135, and that there's absolutely no question in my mind that it's a good bill. It's a bill that is in accordance with the law, so I don't have some of the concerns that others do. I respect the concerns of others. But I want the people in my area of northern Ontario to know that I'm against time allocation motions because they stifle debate, and that's not fair.

I also want to say that in this instance, although I disagree with the members of the third party, I was prepared -- in fact I sent a letter to the leader of the third party asking for unanimous consent to have this bill passed before Christmas. I make no apologies for that. I am still convinced it was the right thing to do then. This is a good bill. This bill will not take away the rights of others, so I say to anyone who's listening that I will be supporting Bill 135. I am very much in favour of the Heritage Hunting and Fishing Act. But I do not agree with the government invoking time allocation, which stifles debate. In fact, I think we're going directly to third reading for support.

So as long as the hunters and fishermen in my area understand: thoroughly in support of Bill 135, no question; haven't deviated at all; don't like the government's antics of invoking time allocation.

Mr Gerretsen: I, too, want to add my voice on this situation, which is not, contrary to what was stated earlier by the parliamentary assistant, that we're here to debate the merits of the bill right now. We're here debating the time allocation motion this government has brought forward once again. For him to suggest this bill is somehow being held up by us is absolute nonsense. You, sir, are the government that is introducing time allocation, closure. You don't want any further debate. Nobody's blocking anything at all. You are in effect causing the debate to be shut down on this in its entirety.

I have talked about this issue many times in the past, but I will do so once again. From a study I had conducted by our legislative library during the intersession, let there be no mistake about it: the democracy in this Parliament is failing, and failing rapidly. Back during the Peterson government years -- this is from this study -- time allocation was introduced on exactly five out of 312 bills that were introduced during that period of time -- exactly 2.1% of the time. During the Rae years, time allocation was introduced 11% of the time -- 18 out of 163 bills. But during the Harris-Eves years, on 191 bills, time allocation was invoked 86.4% of the time, on more than four out of five bills. This government has continually over the last seven years invoked closure whereby basically it's saying, "We don't want to hear from anybody any more."

In this particular motion, it gets even worse than that because, as has already been pointed out, there won't even be any third reading debate. There will be no way in which amendments to this bill, perhaps very reasonable amendments, can be introduced by any member. I'll read right from the motion. It states, "When the order for third reading is called, the Speaker shall put every question necessary to dispose of this stage of the bill without further debate or amendment."

I would think, and I would hope, that the people of Ontario are simply outraged over that position. I know everybody thinks it's funny, but it's happening on a day-to-day basis, and then we wonder why politicians, why this process, why this Parliament, are held in such disrespect and disrepute by the people of Ontario.

How should things be handled? I'll give you an example of how they should be handled. Over the last three or four days we've had some very heavy questions and answers, or non-answers I should say, on this whole Hydro One situation. The government House leader has challenged us a number of times by saying, "We want to give Bill 80, which deals with the compensation packages of the senior executives at Hydro, second and third readings." The first time he asked for that was yesterday, about a minute and a half after he introduced the bill. Without having as much as a copy available to any member in the House, to any of the House leaders of the other two parties, he wanted us to pass the bill, and we had absolutely no idea as to what the bill contained. He just wanted us to go on trust: "Here's the title of the bill. Now give it second and third readings."

I think the people of Ontario should know that our House leader today put a very simple request to the government House leader. I'll just read you his letter. He basically states:

"I write you with regard to Bill 80....

"The official opposition will grant unanimous consent for the second and third reading of the bill" -- now that we've had an opportunity to see it over the last 24 hours -- "under the following conditions," and they are the most reasonable conditions anybody could think of,

"(1) The House moves into committee of the whole to improve the bill by amending the freedom of information act to restore the successor companies of Ontario Hydro" to that act. In other words, we're saying that the freedom of information act should apply to the Ontario Hydro situation as it applies to all other government bills and situations in this province, and why shouldn't it? Why should Ontario Hydro not be subject to the freedom of information act?

Secondly, he states, "The government agree to introduce and pass a motion directing the committee on public accounts to conduct an immediate inquiry into executive compensation at the successor companies of Ontario Hydro," so that witnesses can be examined under oath, such as "Sir Graham Day, Eleanor Clitheroe, Ron Osborne, Jim Wilson, Chris Stockwell and, if necessary, Mike Harris and Ernie Eves."

What could one possibly have against those two conditions? Absolutely nothing. One is to apply the freedom of information act to the Ontario Hydro situation, and the second is so we can get all the principal actors in this scenario before a committee of this House to examine them under oath as to what really happened.

All I'm saying is, there are ways in which bills can be dealt with very effectively and very expeditiously in this House, but you have to give an opportunity to allow the opposition to bring in very reasonable amendments or conditions. I would urge the government House leader, now that he's had a chance to take a look at this letter, to change his mind and say that, yes, these two conditions set out by my House leader about the freedom of information act applying to the Ontario Hydro situation and about the committee to examine the individuals involved under oath are reasonable and should be included. Then we can pass this bill tomorrow, so that we can finally get down to the truth and the bottom of the Ontario Hydro situation.

The Acting Speaker: Mr Bisson has moved that the motion be amended by striking out the third and fourth paragraphs of the motion as it appears on the orders and notices paper, and substituting the following:

"At such time, the bill be ordered referred to the committee of the whole House, and that one hour be allotted to this stage, at the expiry of which the Chair of the committee of the whole House shall interrupt the proceedings and shall, without further debate or amendment, put every question necessary to dispose of all remaining sections of the bill and any amendments thereto and report the bill to the House;

"That, upon receiving the report of the committee of the whole House, the Speaker shall put the question for adoption of the report forthwith, which question shall be decided without debate or amendment, and at such time the bill shall be ordered for third reading;

"That the order for third reading may be immediately called and that 60 minutes shall be allotted to the third reading stage of the bill, to be divided equally among all recognized parties, and at the end of that time the Speaker shall interrupt the proceedings and shall put every question necessary to dispose of this stage of the bill without further debate or amendment; and"

All those in favour of the amendment? All those opposed?



The Acting Speaker: Pardon me. I should have said, is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry?

All those in favour will say "aye."

All those opposed will say "nay."

In my opinion, the ayes have it.

Call in the members. This will be a 10-minute bell.

The division bells rang from 1750 to 1800.

The Acting Speaker: Please take your seats. Mr Bisson has moved an amendment to government notice of motion number 9. All those in favour will please rise one at a time and be recognized by the Clerk.


Bisson, Gilles

Boyer, Claudette

Bradley, James J.

Brown, Michael A.

Caplan, David

Churley, Marilyn

Cordiano, Joseph

Crozier, Bruce

Di Cocco, Caroline

Duncan, Dwight

Gerretsen, John

Hampton, Howard

Hoy, Pat

Kormos, Peter

Levac, David

Marchese, Rosario

Martel, Shelley

McMeekin, Ted

Parsons, Ernie

Patten, Richard

Peters, Steve

Phillips, Gerry

Prue, Michael

Ruprecht, Tony

Sergio, Mario

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


Arnott, Ted

Baird, John R.

Barrett, Toby

Chudleigh, Ted

Clark, Brad

Clement, Tony

Coburn, Brian

Cunningham, Dianne

DeFaria, Carl

Dunlop, Garfield

Ecker, Janet

Elliott, Brenda

Eves, Ernie

Galt, Doug

Gilchrist, Steve

Gill, Raminder

Hardeman, Ernie

Hastings, John

Hodgson, Chris

Hudak, Tim

Jackson, Cameron

Johns, Helen

Klees, Frank

Marland, Margaret

Martiniuk, Gerry

Maves, Bart

Mazzilli, Frank

McDonald, Al

Miller, Norm

Molinari, Tina R.

Munro, Julia

Mushinski, Marilyn

Newman, Dan

O'Toole, John

Ouellette, Jerry J.

Runciman, Robert W.

Spina, Joseph

Sterling, Norman W.

Stewart, R. Gary

Stockwell, Chris

Tsubouchi, David H.

Wettlaufer, Wayne

Witmer, Elizabeth

Wood, Bob

Young, David

Clerk of the House (Mr Claude L. DesRosiers): The ayes are 25; the nays are 45.

The Acting Speaker: I declare the amendment lost.

Mr Baird has moved government notice of motion number 9. Is it the pleasure of the House the motion carry?

All those in favour say "aye."

All those opposed say "nay."

In my opinion, the ayes have it.

Call in the members. This will be a 10-minute bell.

The division bells rang from 1803 to 1813.

The Acting Speaker: All those in favour of the motion will please rise one at time and be recognized by the Clerk.


Arnott, Ted

Baird, John R.

Barrett, Toby

Chudleigh, Ted

Clark, Brad

Clement, Tony

Coburn, Brian

Cunningham, Dianne

DeFaria, Carl

Dunlop, Garfield

Ecker, Janet

Elliott, Brenda

Galt, Doug

Gilchrist, Steve

Gill, Raminder

Hardeman, Ernie

Hastings, John

Hodgson, Chris

Hudak, Tim

Jackson, Cameron

Johns, Helen

Klees, Frank

Marland, Margaret

Martiniuk, Gerry

Maves, Bart

Mazzilli, Frank

McDonald, Al

Miller, Norm

Molinari, Tina R.

Munro, Julia

Mushinski, Marilyn

Newman, Dan

O'Toole, John

Ouellette, Jerry J.

Runciman, Robert W.

Spina, Joseph

Sterling, Norman W.

Stewart, R. Gary

Stockwell, Chris

Tsubouchi, David H.

Wettlaufer, Wayne

Witmer, Elizabeth

Wood, Bob

Young, David

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


Bisson, Gilles

Boyer, Claudette

Bradley, James J.

Brown, Michael A.

Caplan, David

Churley, Marilyn

Cordiano, Joseph

Crozier, Bruce

Duncan, Dwight

Gerretsen, John

Hoy, Pat

Kormos, Peter

Levac, David

Marchese, Rosario

Martel, Shelley

McMeekin, Ted

Parsons, Ernie

Peters, Steve

Phillips, Gerry

Prue, Michael

Ruprecht, Tony

Sergio, Mario

Clerk of the House (Mr Claude L. DesRosiers): The ayes are 44; the nays are 22.

The Acting Speaker: I declare the motion carried.

It being way past 6 o'clock, this House stands adjourned until 6:45.

The House adjourned at 1816.

Evening meeting reported in volume B.