27 MAI 1991 ASSEMBLÉE LÉGISLATIVE DE L'ONTARIO

The House met at 1330.

Prayers.

MEMBERS' STATEMENTS

HIGHWAY NOISE BARRIER

Mr Mahoney: On 2 October 1989 I received a letter from then Minister of Transportation, the Honourable William Wrye. It was in reference to a noise barrier that was to be installed on the north side of the Queen Elizabeth Way in my riding, and I would read it to the House:

"We are committed to having the following three walls in place by the fall of 1991" -- north side of Queen Elizabeth Way from Cawthra Road, westerly to Highway 10; the north side from Highway 10, westerly to Mississauga Road; and the north side from Mississauga Road to Erin Mills Parkway.

My reason for raising this in members' statements is that even after a fact sheet was put out to all of the residents in that community and they were invited to come and comment on the wall that was to be installed, even after the wall had been installed on the south side of the Queen Elizabeth Way, they are now being told that there is no guarantee the commitment made by the former Minister of Transportation will be lived up to by this government. I am very concerned that, just because we have had a change of government, commitments made in writing by ministers and ministries and public meetings and commitments made to residents in any community of this province would be treated in such a cavalier way.

I would ask the government to revisit that issue and assure my residents that that wall will be constructed by the fall of 1991 as originally promised.

FISH AND WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT

Mr B. Murdoch: It has come to my attention that by closing down three fish hatcheries in the province, the Ministry of Natural Resources is helping to eliminate a way of life that many of us in the province have cherished.

For years, both young and old have enjoyed the tranquil relaxation of fishing. There was a special bonding between parents and their children spending quality time on the banks and shores of Ontario's rivers and small lakes. Senior citizens could enjoy an inexpensive day of leisure and city people could enjoy the beauty and the unique atmosphere of a day in the country.

This is disappearing with the elimination of speckled trout from these bodies of water. As most members will know, speckled trout need fast-running water, but the increasing number of beaver dams has created stagnant ponds where these fish cannot live. The small lakes have no more fish.

Sports clubs, and in particular the Sydenham sportsmen's club in Grey, in conjunction with the Ministry of Natural Resources have stocked much of Georgian Bay, but this mainly benefits those who fish from boats. The ordinary people, whom this government professes to speak for, are out of luck.

I would ask that the minister look into this situation and find a solution which will help re-establish an important family tradition which is now almost gone.

LIBERAL LEADERSHIP

Mr Ferguson: Even though the Ontario Liberal Party has yet to set a date for its leadership convention, already we have a number of candidates who are off to a flying stop.

The next leader of the Liberal Party could very well be from North York, Charles Who Hopes He Does Not End Up Crying in His Beer. From the north, the residents of Ontario may see David Which Way is the Wind Blowing Ramsay, or Lyn There is a Silver Lining in Every McLeod lead the party. And York Centre's favourite son, Greg Sobbing-era, is rumoured to be so far behind in this race that he thinks he is first.

The good people of Ontario are holding their breath waiting to see if Steve No-baloney Mahoney climbs over the starting gate along with the other love brother from Mississauga, Steve Let Me Make You an Offer. However, all leadership candidates would not be able to compete with the wind and the air of Jim Bragley from St Catharines. Finally, the whole race could change if interim leader Bob I Could Nix-'em decides to join the race.

Yessiree, this summer's leadership contest will have the people of Ontario yawning so long and hard they will swear that their teeth will be tanned. In the final analysis, when all is said and done the good folk of Ontario will still be more concerned about whether or not they can find a parking spot downtown than who will lead the Liberal Party.

CAT SCANNER

Mr Bradley: Fourteen months after the Niagara District Health Council requested a second CAT scanner for the region, the Ministry of Health is now calling on individual hospitals to make their own bids. "There's something rotten in Queen's Park," according to Frank Adamson, a vice-president at Welland County General Hospital. He says, "I wish somebody would wake up -- this is going on 15 months."

The health council followed instructions by the ministry and submitted a report in March 1990 outlining the needs of the entire region. It proposed the Hotel Dieu, Greater Niagara General and Welland County General hospitals as suitable sites for Niagara's second CAT scanner.

On 22 May, according to executive director Gary Zalot, ministry officials instructed that he should go against convention and encourage the hospitals to provide their own proposals.

As members will know, Niagara's 375,000 residents have the longest wait in the province for non-emergency exams by a CAT scanner, and hundreds are heading to the United States for this service at a cost to the taxpayers and themselves.

The minister said she wished to control health care costs. Niagara's hospitals have been co-operating and playing by the rules and assisting in this effort. Now they are being penalized for doing so.

The minister should put an end to this sorry saga and immediately approve the installation and operation of a second CAT scanner to provide an urgently needed service to the people of the Niagara Peninsula.

1340

QUEEN'S BIRTHDAY

Mr Jackson: I am pleased to report to the House that last week's Victoria Day parade was a great success, with one of the largest numbers of parade marchers and public participants who came down to Queen's Park to affirm their loyalty to and love for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, whose birthday was publicly observed on that day.

It was a great success, notwithstanding the absence of the Premier, who received an invitation from the Monarchist League of Canada to review the parade but chose to ignore it without even so much as appointing an official NDP representative to attend on his behalf. This snub given by the Premier to our head of state is all the more shocking when we consider that the Premier has a reputation for attending all manner of public events, so much so that last year one journalist wrote: "Are you having a garage sale? Call the Premier's office; Bob Rae just might show up!"

Monday 20 May was not a garage sale. It was Canada's official yearly tribute to Her Majesty, at which time the Premier stood out by his absence.

At this time, when the NDP government has laid siege to our most cherished traditions and values, I congratulate Toronto city council for its recent resolution demanding a reinstatement of the Queen's name into the police oath, failing which it will fight the NDP's arbitrary decision in court. I also congratulate the Royal Ontario Legion especially, for committing itself to supporting such legal action.

The Premier owes an apology to the participants in the parade and all Ontario citizens for the grave of fence he gave them last week. We assure him that the NDP government will not follow the lead of Saskatchewan, which removed the Union Jack from that --

The Speaker: Will the member take his seat, please.

EAST YORK SENIORS GAMES AND NATIONAL ACCESS AWARENESS WEEK

Mr Malkowski: I am pleased to inform the House of two events taking place today in my riding of York East.

This afternoon marks the official opening ceremonies of the fourth annual East York Seniors Games. The games are open to residents of East York who are 55 years of age and over. The games will run from today through to 14 June and will feature events such as lawn bowling, golf, horseshoes, double tennis and a 3,000-metre walk. There will also be pairs events in bridge, cribbage and darts.

The seniors games are run by seniors for the benefit of seniors who enjoy getting together in friendly competition. These games represent East York's contribution to the Ontario Senior Games, where the goal is to have every district in Ontario hold this type of event for its seniors.

I am sure the other members will join me in wishing the organizers and competitors and their supporters every success as the games begin.

Also, this morning I attended the second annual East York access awareness ceremony at the civic centre. It was an honour to be present, not only as an individual who has faced barriers to access in the past and experienced the positive changes taking place daily, but also as the proud representative of the people of East York.

National Access Awareness Week celebrates and highlights the progress the citizens of Ontario have made in making this province a better place to live, to work and prosper for each and every one of us.

ASSISTED HOUSING

Ms Poole: On Saturday, the Toronto Star reported that the waiting list for assisted housing in Metro Toronto has hit a 15-year high, and that more than 500 people a week are joining Metro's waiting list in a desperate search for affordable housing.

Housing authorities expect the flood of applicants to continue as refugee claimants take advantage of a policy change announced by this Minister of Housing in April, which for the first time makes refugee claimants eligible for subsidized housing.

While we support the minister's decision to allow refugee claimants to apply for subsidized housing, we believe the Minister of Housing was absolutely irresponsible in the way he went about it. Back in February, during the hearings on Bill 4, the minister estimated that if the refugee policy were changed, the number on the waiting list could potentially balloon from 43,000 to 93,000 across the province.

It is obvious the minister knew that adding refugee claimants to the waiting list would have a dramatic impact and would strain the list to the bursting point, and yet he made absolutely no provision to increase the number of subsidized spaces to meet the expanded need.

Because of this action, people who have been waiting desperately for years will have to wait even longer. I have spoken time and time again about the need to increase the number of in-situ placements in existing buildings.

We have no time to wait for new units to be built. The crisis is now and the Minister of Housing must act and act now.

DEVELOPMENT DEPOSITS

Mr Turnbull: On 6 May the member for Downsview made a statement in this Legislature that contained several inflammatory accusations against North York city council and suggested the council has acted against the interests of the residents of North York. His words cast a shadow on the integrity of the mayor and the council.

The member stated that North York returned to developers $25 million which rightly belonged to taxpayers of the city. The city did not return any money to developers; only letters of credit were cancelled. The proceeds of these letters would not have become available for the city's use.

If the developers defaulted, which none did, and if the city cashed the letters of credit, the proceeds would almost certainly have been tied up in costly litigation for years.

The council's concern was to create jobs and boost the sagging economy during this recession. Taxpayers are better served by keeping businesses alive and viable than by doing what the member is suggesting: pushing companies into bankruptcy.

Mayor Lastman has written, and I quote from his letter: "I take great exception to Mr Perruzza's uninformed and damaging prevarications. This is a person who has shown himself in the past to be totally irresponsible and it seems the trend continues unchecked. Once again we see him shoot his face off without having a clue of what he is talking about and failing to check his facts for accuracy. I call now for a full apology and unequivocal retraction in the House."

I ask the government to respond to the mayor and to the people of North York with the apology and a commitment to truth.

BROOKLIN SPRING FAIR

Mr Mills: Members will want to note in their calendars that the annual Brooklin Spring Fair will take place this year from Thursday 30 May to Sunday 2 June. In my riding of Durham East, we are very proud of the Brooklin Spring Fair. It is one of the oldest fairs in Ontario and this year is celebrating its 80th year. The fair has grown over the years and now attracts more than 25,000 people from all over Ontario.

I would like to pay tribute to the members of the Brooklin Spring Fair board for their hard work. There are 18 directors on the board and six junior directors, age 16 to 21. The board should be commended for this innovative idea to encourage young people to get involved in their community. The people of Brooklin and the surrounding area deserve praise for helping to make the fair such an overwhelming success every year.

The fun starts on Sunday with entertainment from Polka Dot Door and horse races. Later you can put your best foot forward in the fiddle and dance contest. The Brooklin Spring Fair has something for everyone, so bring your family and come out and join us. You will be sure of a warm welcome and a good time in Brooklin -- and that is a positive, upbeat statement.

VISITORS

The Speaker: I would like to ask all members of the assembly to recognize in the Speaker's gallery today the Honourable Brian Howe, the Minister for Community Services and Health in the Australian Parliament, and Terry Hunt, the consul general. Please join me in welcoming them.

LEGISLATIVE PAGES

The Speaker: I would also like to ask all members to join me in welcoming the fourth group of pages to serve in the first session of the 35th Parliament:

Missy Beauchamp, Oxford; Christopher Bowman, St Catharines-Brock; Matthew Daw, Eglinton; Dana Hajik, London South; Jay Fitzsimmons, Durham West; Scott Girvin, Etobicoke-Humber; Gaurav Gupta, Mississauga West; Sharon Hannaford, Wentworth North; Emma Hogbin, Grey; Paul Hookham, Port Arthur; Kerrie Johnson, Prince Edward-Lennox-South Hastings; Katherine Klauck, Niagara South; Benedict Lam, Markham; Rhonda Larivée, Lake Nipigon; Shannon Lougheed, Burlington South; Christopher Moloney, Brampton North; Joshua Paterson, Waterloo North; Katrine Raymond, High Park-Swansea; Gregory Salmon, Muskoka-Georgian Bay; Frank Scali Jr, Parkdale; Lisa Volpini, Sarnia; Kendra Williams, Quinte; Rebecca Williston, Cambridge; Gabriel Woo, Scarborough North.

Would you please welcome them to our chamber.

1350

Mr Cousens: I ask that there be unanimous consent for statements by all parties on the death of Rajiv Gandhi.

Some hon members: Agreed.

Agreed to.

DEATH OF RAJIV GANDHI / MORT DE RAJIV GANDHI

Mr Cousens: I rise today on behalf of my colleagues in the Ontario Progressive Conservative caucus and also on behalf of the large number of people in our own community from India to express our very deep shock and sadness at the sudden death of Rajiv Gandhi last Tuesday.

Time stood still as once again a world leader was struck down. Today in this House we grieve for his family. We grieve for India. We grieve for all people in the world that such evil can still strike a blow against democracy, truth and freedom.

His assassination has once again riveted the world towards the senselessness and dismay of political violence. Ironically, Mr Gandhi's death was symbolic of what he himself spent a lifetime attempting to resolve: India's turbulent and tumultuous history of warring ethnic factions. What is even more disturbing is the fact that Mr Gandhi has followed in the tradition of those within his own country, former leaders in their own right -- Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi -- meeting a violent and untimely death.

In an article published this weekend by David Olive of the Globe and Mail, it was noted that Mr Gandhi was attempting in this election to carry out many of the democratic principles and promised reforms that won him the right to rule in 1984. When he took office, he committed himself to bridging the gulf between India's ethnic factions and eliminating the excesses of the bureaucratic regime.

During this recent campaign, he was reaching out to thousands and thousands of people, literally forsaking his own personal security. How tragic that it was his commitment and devotion to an open style that led to his assassination.

There is the school of thought that if any good can come of his death, it is that hopes for an end to these violent class and religious divisions may be achieved by unifying the forces of the moderate, centrist Congress Party. Whatever the outcome of this election, let us pray that India may some day achieve the peace and stability it so longingly desires. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi in 1922, "Non-violence is the first article of my faith. It is also the last article of my creed."

Today we remember a moment in the life of a man that should not have to happen right now. He should still be alive and serving the people he wanted to serve. May there be an end to violence everywhere on the face of this earth.

Mr Scott: I would like to join the honourable member for Markham in expressing the sympathy of the Ontario Liberal Party and, I am sure, of the whole House to the members of the former Prime Minister's family, and most of all to our friends the people of India.

It is important to remember that India is one of the world's most successful experiments in democracy. It is a country of 800 million people that very shortly, by the end of the century, will surpass the population of China. It is a country of hundreds of different languages and dialects. It is a country divided in a concrete way by two major and many dozens of only slightly smaller religions. It is a country that confronts very serious difficulties of unity and governance. We in Ontario and in Canada who are mesmerized, properly, by the problems of unity in our country cannot fathom what real problems of unity are until we look at the great experiment of democracy in India.

India has been a successful democracy for 44 years. For almost all that time, the Congress Party, which has been the governing party in India for most of the time, has been led by distinguished members of the Nehru family, including Rajiv Gandhi, who was assassinated last week.

A double assassination in one prominent political family is tragically, it seems, a characteristic these days of the great democracies of the world. We can only regret that and hope that over time common sense and wisdom will prevail and that Indians will be able to continue effectively with the great experiment that the Gandhis led on behalf of the people of India.

It is a great tragedy in a personal sense and a great tragedy for India, but I know all of us will want to think of the enormous strides Indian democracy has made in the last half-century. As someone said, it is not so much a country as it is a continent. For those of us, all in this House, who believe in the principle of democracy, we will commiserate with the Gandhi family and with the Indian people, but we will wish them well and hope for them strength and wisdom in carrying forward this experiment in the future.

Hon Mr Rae: I want to say a few words on behalf of the government. First of all, I wish to express my gratitude to the member for Markham and the member for St George-St David for speaking on this occasion on behalf, I am sure, of all the members of the Legislature and, indeed, of the people of the province.

It is no exaggeration to say that I felt time stood still for a few moments last Tuesday when we heard the news of the tragic murder of Rajiv Gandhi and the death of dozens of others who were surrounding him at the time. It is a tragic fact of public life not only in India or in developing countries but all around the world that there are people who feel, tragically and so mistakenly, that violence and political assassination are somehow legitimate expressions of feeling or point of view.

We are not immune to this. Our own history has been marked, going back, I suppose, most famously to the tragic death after Confederation of Thomas D'Arcy McGee. We have all been struck. None of us have not been touched in our own lives by watching political leaders whom we admired and whom we felt had the courage to go forward being struck down in the prime of life because, as I said, some poor, misbegotten soul felt he or she had the right to take away someone else's life.

Our heart goes out, first of all, to the Nehru-Gandhi family, which, as the member for St George-St David pointed out so rightly, has been faced twice now in the last decade with the murder of one of its members, first Indira Gandhi and now Rajiv. It is, I think, almost impossible for us to contemplate the sense of grief which must be felt by Mrs Gandhi and by the two children faced with this tragic, tragic event.

Il est important aussi que le peuple de l'Inde reconnaisse et sente le sens, que partagent tous les citoyens du monde, d'injustice au sujet de la tragédie de l'assassinat de M. Gandhi. Nos coeurs sont avec le peuple indien face à ce grand défi et face à ces problèmes, mais nous reconnaissons surtout, comme l'a dit le député de St-George et St-David, la grande capacité du peuple indien, le grand courage que ce peuple a montré depuis très longtemps, certainement depuis la bataille pour une indépendance qui dure maintenant depuis 45 ans.

Our hearts are with the people of India who have lost a leader, a leader who was in office and then in opposition and struggling to be in office again; a leader who had the courage to say he wanted to be with the people. He knew that the risk he was taking was great and was significant and real, but he nevertheless, in a way that I think is hard for us in our own political context to appreciate, was surrounded by thousands of people. When no security system that one can possibly imagine could ever have provided protection, he decided that that was the way in which politics had to be conducted in his country.

It is a great tragedy. It is a tragedy for India; it is a tragedy for the world, because these events pass quickly and reverberate throughout the world with the miracle of modern communication and strike us all with just how ominous these events are.

Our thoughts are with the family. Our thoughts are with the people of India. Perhaps we should say a prayer for political civility throughout the world and take some time to reflect on its real, deep meaning for all of us who believe in the importance of sharing power equitably and trying to deal fairly and democratically with the public.

The Speaker: I know that the kind, thoughtful, reflective comments by the member for Markham, the member for St George-St David and the Premier will be deeply appreciated by many people, not only throughout this province but beyond our borders.

1400

PARLIAMENTARY PROCESS

The Speaker: On Monday 13 May 1991, the government House leader, Miss Martel, rose in her place after statements by the ministry and responses and asked the Speaker to take measures -- and I am quoting her remarks from page 1315 of Hansard -- "that would bring the practice of the Ontario House more closely in line with practices of other Houses of Parliament."

Specifically, the government House leader requested that the Speaker do three things. I think it is important to quote the government House leader's request, as follows:

"First, we respectfully request your ruling that the mover of an unsuccessful dilatory motion to adjourn the debate or adjourn the House loses the floor for the remainder of the debate on the matter under discussion, as is the case in both the Canadian and British House of Commons.

"Second, we respectfully request your ruling that you as Chair have an inherent discretionary authority to refuse to put the question on a dilatory motion where in your opinion such motion is an abuse of the procedures of the House.

"Alternatively, should you find for any reason that the specific rulings we have requested are not appropriate, we would ask that you use your judgement in formulating a response to the present impasse in the Legislature that is duly respectful of both the rights of the majority to govern and the rights of the minority to oppose."

That is what the government House leader said. Thirteen other members from all sides of the House spoke to these requests. In view of the importance of the issues that were raised, I reserved my ruling. I also indicated that I would be willing to accept written submissions over the next two days. A number of members availed themselves of this opportunity. I want to thank the members for their submissions; they helped me in my deliberations over the past two weeks.

I want to preface my substantive response to the point of order raised by the government House leader by making a few general remarks about the nature and sources of parliamentary practice and procedure in this assembly. I do so because I have observed some confusion among members as to what qualifies as a point of order and as to how a point of order should be raised in the House.

The point of order that is currently before me provides an example of this confusion. Various members contended that it was not a point of order at all. However, citation 317 of page 96 of the sixth edition of Beauchesne's Parliamentary Rules and Forms suggests that the government House leader did have a point of order. This is what Beauchesne says:

"Points of order are questions raised with the view of calling attention to any departure from the standing orders or the customary modes of proceeding in debate or in the conduct of legislative business and may be raised at virtually any time by any member, whether that member has previously spoken or not.

"A question of order concerns the interpretation to be put upon the rules of procedure and is a matter for the Speaker or, in a committee, for the chairmen to determine."

I believe that the source of the confusion about the nature of points of order lies in the mistaken premise that concerns such as those raised by the government House leader do not constitute a point of order, because there is no specific relevant provision in the standing orders. However, the rules are only one component of the fullness of parliamentary practice and procedure in our assembly. This is evident from standing order 1(b) which provides as follows:

"In all contingencies not provided for in the standing orders the question shall be decided by the Speaker or Chair, and in making the ruling the Speaker or Chair shall base the decision on the usages and precedents of the Legislature and parliamentary tradition."

I say to members, then, that there are three sources of parliamentary practice and procedure that are germane to this assembly.

First, there are the standing orders, as amended from time to time by sessional orders.

Second, there are the usages and precedents of this House. These usages and precedents have evolved since Ontario's first Parliament met in 1867, and some even go back to the Legislature of the province of Upper Canada, which was created in 1791 and first met in 1792.

There is also a third source of practice and procedure: the traditions of parliamentary institutions in other jurisdictions. These include, among others, the Canadian House of Commons, all of the provincial and territorial legislatures in Canada, the House of Commons at Westminster and the Australian House of Representatives.

Let me now return to the point of order currently before me. I begin by reminding members about some of the procedural occurrences that have marked meetings of the House between 29 April, the day on which the budget was presented, and 16 May.

First, excluding adjournment motions pursuant to standing order 9, there have been eight motions for adjournment of the House and eight motions for adjournment of the debate on whatever item of business has been before the House at the time of these motions. These motions have often been alternated, the one with the other, and there have been divisions on most of them.

Second, there have been nine motions to proceed from one part of routine proceedings to another or to orders of the day. Most of these motions have required recorded divisions.

Third, there have been 19 points of order on the absence of timely responses to written questions under standing order 95(d).

Finally, there have been many events related to the introduction of bills. Twenty-one private members' public bills have been introduced for first reading and many of them have been similar in nature. Recorded divisions have been required on 14 of these bills and the division results often indicated that no one opposed the motion for introduction and first reading.

Also, the reading of the long title of Bill 95 by the mover of the motion for introduction, and first reading by the Acting Speaker, then by the Clerk Assistant and Clerk of Journals filled 12 pages of the Votes and Proceedings for 6 May 1991.

As a result of these occurrences, it has taken considerable time to complete routine proceedings in order to get to orders of the day. The House got to orders of the day before 4 pm on every meeting day in April except on 29 April, when it got to this stage at 4:02 pm, which is not unusual for a budget day. In May, the House passed to orders of the day some time between 4 pm and 6 pm on six meeting days. Routine proceedings were not completed at the usual 6 pm adjournment hour for the other four meeting days. Not surprisingly, the disposition of business in orders of the day, apart from Thursday mornings, has decreased significantly.

Members will know that these occurrences and developments have affected not only afternoon meetings of the House but also the ability of the standing and select committees to meet after routine proceedings.

Before I proceed further, I want to be clear on one point. I do not recite these occurrences at this point in my ruling because I somehow now find them, taken individually, to be procedurally irregular or because I somehow find fault on a retrospective basis with the members who initiated them. On the contrary, most of these occurrences, taken individually, were found to be in order at the time they arose. The reason I recite them is that the government House leader contends that the combined effect of these procedurally valid individual occurrences has been to prevent the House from dealing with most of the business before it in a meaningful way and that it is the responsibility of the Speaker to contain such occurrences. That is one of the contentions I have been asked to respond to and that is why I have listed these occurrences at this point in my ruling.

I shall now consider each of the requests outlined in the statement of the government House leader.

The first request is that I make a ruling that would prevent the unsuccessful mover of a dilatory motion to adjourn the debate or the House from regaining the floor when proceedings resume. I have reflected carefully as to whether or not I can do this, and if so, whether I should do so at this point in time.

Let me begin my response to this first request by saying that our standing orders do not specifically empower me to recognize another member when proceedings resume after an adjournment motion under standing order 44 has been lost.

1410

As regards our practice in such circumstances, our research has found conflicting precedents. On 11 May 1979, Speaker Stokes made these remarks at page 1859 of Hansard about who was entitled to speak when proceedings resumed after the adjournment of a debate:

"There's a general agreement by the whips, who order the speakers, that speakers follow in rotation. On numerous occasions in the past we've had members get up and adjourn the debate on behalf of a particular party. It's just whoever happens to catch the Speaker's eye. I'm assured by the Clerk that from time immemorial you follow the normal rotation as long as you have speakers to fill the slots.... [W]e're not establishing a precedent here...."

However, members will know that since that time the member who moved an adjournment motion has regained the floor when proceedings resumed, and this remains our current practice.

In addition, members may move successive motions to adjourn the House as long as there has been an intermediate proceeding pursuant to standing order 44(b), and they may alternate motions to adjourn the House with motions to adjourn the debate. For an example of this in the 34th Parliament, I refer members to pages 346 and 347 of our journals for 26 April 1990.

The rules in practice in the House of Commons at Ottawa and at Westminster are otherwise. In both of those Houses the movers of such motions lose the floor after the motion is lost. For example, the following remarks appear at page 333 and 334 of the 21st edition of Erskine May's Parliamentary Practice:

"When a motion for the adjournment of the House or the debate has been negatived, it may not be proposed again without some intermediate proceeding. Furthermore, the Speaker has power under standing order 34, if he believes that any dilatory motion is an abuse of the rules of the House, to decline to propose the question on it to the House or to put the question thereon forthwith.

"A member who has already spoken to the main question is not permitted to move either form of dilatory motion; nor, having moved a dilatory motion, may he later speak to the main question if his motion is negatived. Similarly, a member who has moved a dilatory motion is not entitled to move another in the course of debate on the same question."

I am not unduly concerned about the divergence in practice between our Legislature and the practice in other institutions. There are many instances where our usages differ from theirs.

The reason for these and other divergences is quite simple. Our assembly, which this year celebrates the bicentennial of the founding of its colonial predecessor, has a separate and distinct parliamentary culture, a culture that emerged and evolved when centuries-old British parliamentary institutions and traditions were married or adapted to a space we now know as Ontario. That culture continues to evolve.

And so I say to members, when the Speaker has to look to this assembly's usages and precedents for guidance in resolving a contentious point, in circumstances where the standing orders are silent and when the usages and precedents of other parliamentary jurisdictions differ in some measure from Ontario's on that point, then the Speaker tends to follow the usages and precedents of this House, if they exist. Were the Speaker to do otherwise, there would be considerable confusion.

But the government House leader says that what is now before the House is extraordinary, that there is a parliamentary impasse. She contends that despite its best efforts to do so, the government has seldom been able to proceed with any part of its agenda in a meaningful way since the presentation of the budget because, among other things, there has been a large number of adjournment motions, many of them requiring a recorded division. I am therefore asked to somehow not permit the mover of an adjournment motion to regain the floor when proceedings resume after the motion is lost.

I will defer responding to this request at this point in my ruling because it begs the question as to whether I am able to act on it, a subject that is key to the second request of the government House leader. Let me turn to the second request.

The government House leader says that the Speaker has an inherent discretionary authority to refuse to put the question on a dilatory motion if it constitutes an abuse of the procedures of the House. She asks that I exercise this discretion if I do in fact find that it exists.

This request has given me much cause for concern and deliberation. Does the Speaker have such a discretion? If so, what are its parameters? Would a decision in this regard not also require the Speaker to engage in the difficult task of ascertaining the real intentions of a member who moves a dilatory motion? Would the exercise of discretion have a retrospective or prospective operation? If the latter, am I being asked to make such a ruling apply to all future situations where a dilatory motion is used or just to those situations where I would be of the view that it would unduly obstruct the business of the House, or just to those dilatory motions in the current series of alleged obstructions?

Let me begin answering some of these questions by saying that the standing orders give the Speaker a discretion in some aspects of our practice and procedure; for example, to determine whether closure and other motions are in order, to adjourn the House for grave disorder and to recognize members to speak. But the standing orders do not explicitly confer a general or inherent discretion on the Speaker to deal with abuse of the rules or obstruction of House business, nor is there a House usage or precedent that is directly on point, and so it is necessary to examine the practice in other parliamentary jurisdictions.

In British Columbia, standing orders 34 and 44 respectively read as follows:

"A motion to adjourn (except when made for a purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent public importance) shall always be in order; but no second motion to the same effect shall be made until after some intermediate proceedings shall have taken place.

"If Mr Speaker, or the Chairman of a committee of the whole House, shall be of opinion that a motion for the adjournment of a debate, or of the House, during any debate, or that the Chairman do report progress, or do leave the chair, is an abuse of the rules and privileges of the House, he may forthwith put the question thereupon from the chair, or he may decline to propose the question to the House."

The latter standing order shares some similarities with standing order 86 of the rules of the Australian House of Representatives. It lists 14 questions and motions that are not open to debate and then provides as follows:

"Should any of these questions be negatived, no similar proposal shall be received if the Speaker or the Chairman is of opinion that it is an abuse of the orders or forms of the House, or is moved for the purpose of obstructing business."

Standing order 34 of the rules of the House of Commons at Westminster provides as follows:

"(1) If Mr Speaker, or the Chairman, be of the opinion that a dilatory motion is an abuse of the rules of the House, he may forthwith put the question thereupon from the chair, or he may decline to propose the question thereupon to the House or the committee.

"(2) For the purposes of this order the expression 'dilatory motion' shall include a motion for the adjournment of a debate, or of the House, during any debate, or of further consideration of a bill or of the Lords amendments to a bill, or that the Chairman do report progress or do leave the chair."

The House of Commons at Ottawa is in the same position as our assembly -- it has no standing order like the ones in the three jurisdictions I have just mentioned. However, this has not prevented its presiding officers from finding that they had some latitude with respect to exceptional procedural occurrences, or that they might, in the proper circumstances, exercise such latitude.

For example, on 18 March 1982, after a 14-day bell- ringing episode that had effectively prevented the House from proceeding with the business before it, Speaker Sauvé made these remarks (at pages 15,556 and 15,557 of Hansard):

"The Speaker is the guardian of the rules of the House. He does not invent them. It is up the House to decide what changes are necessary. I merely point out that there is a problem. In the meantime, the Chair will continue to be vulnerable until the House provides it with guidelines which would lead to settled practices regarding those very difficult and highly controversial questions, where the rules and practices appear to be less than satisfactory....

"I may point out that obstructive tactics are allowed by the rules. However, their use must be regulated so as to safeguard the government's right to have the House consider its order of business and the equally important right of the opposition to criticize, oppose and even obstruct a government measure....

"It is my hope that such a situation will never again occur in this House. However, should it occur again, the Chair, unless it is provided with firm guidelines, would need to consider its course of action with very great care under the new circumstances. I trust that in the overriding interests of this honourable institution, the House will take steps to make known its will as to how the Chair should act before any such situation occurs again."

1420

The bell-ringing episode and Speaker Sauvé's remarks had an effect on how the House of Commons' presiding officer subsequently dealt with analogous situations. The changed climate informed the views of the Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons when he cautioned members about the use of dilatory tactics in the House on 27 October 1983. He made the following remarks (at page 28,375 of Hansard):

"The Chair is not prepared to entertain a series of dilatory motions whose object -- and I call this to the attention of honourable members -- is to impede the orderly flow of House of Commons business. This is something which honourable members might well wish to remember. They may well wish to remember my words of today, because circumstances could well change in this place and honourable members are creating precedents that they themselves might have to live with. That is something that they will have to be concerned about and answer to themselves.

"At this point the Chair recognizes the points of order that have been raised. It has ruled on the points of order that have been raised. It is always the right of honourable members to raise points of order, but there is a point at which the Chair has to decide that the proceedings are dilatory, designed to impede the conduct of business of the House, and under such circumstances the Chair has to exercise some initiative."

On 14 April 1987 Speaker Fraser ruled that a government motion to proceed from the one part of routine proceedings to another was in order in circumstances where there had been a protracted series of procedural occurrences related to a government bill. He found that these occurrences had become a substitute for debate and that they were disrupting routine proceedings.

I want to quote extensively from this important ruling for the benefit of members. This is what Speaker Fraser said (at page 5120 and 5121 of Hansard):

"In the kind of situation which faces us, I have no doubt that negotiation provides the only route to a satisfactory solution. However, when negotiations fail there comes a time when the Chair is obliged to consider what its own responsibilities are. One of the functions of the Speaker is to ensure that the House is able to transact its business. This does not mean that the Chair plays any part in assisting the government in the management of its business agenda. I want to repeat that; this does not mean that the Chair plays any part in assisting the government in the Management of its business agenda.

"Considerable debate has already taken place on this bill. It cannot be argued the opportunities for airing objections to it have been unreasonably restricted. There has been considerable disruption of routine proceedings which, as I have said, has given me grave concern....

"The House is...facing an impasse which it has been unable to resolve for itself. There comes a time when the Chair has to face its responsibilities. When circumstances change and the rules of procedure provide no solution, the Chair must fall back on its discretion in the interest of the House and all its members. This may require the Chair to modify or vary an earlier decision....

"An eminent parliamentary authority Josef Redlich has written that it is the duty of the Speaker to serve the majority and the minority: 'by maintaining the rules and the usage of centuries, and by taking care that both majority and minority are not impeded in the use of the forces and the weapons which the order of business provides for strong and weak. Protection of a majority against obstruction and protection of minority against oppression are both alike functions of the Chair....,

"I repeat my conviction that the entire question of the use of dilatory motions during routine proceedings needs to be examined and that no procedures should be sanctioned which permit the House to be brought to a total standstill for an indefinite period. Division bells are no substitute for debate....

"The decision of the House to change the manner of electing its Speaker is indicative of the fact that the House of Commons has matured. Has it matured enough to confer upon its presiding officer the discretionary powers necessary to control abuse and resolve deadlocks that the British House of Commons gave its own Speaker over a century ago? I believe it has."

That is what Speaker Fraser said. On 29 June 1987 he made some additional remarks about the circumstance in which he had exercised his latitude to act. He said the following about his April ruling (at page 7713 of Hansard):

"If honourable members have taken from my ruling of 14 April that the Chair would, in the future, exercise discretion on any or all of the rules of the House, they have misunderstood the letter and the spirit of the ruling. The discretion I exercised on that day was in the context of an absolute lack of any guidance in the standing orders -- I repeat, in the context of an absolute lack of any guidance from the standing orders -- or in the precedents, or practices, or conventions of this House. Nor was there any direction from the House itself, at that moment."

I have found these authorities most helpful, and I find, without limiting the ambit of the duties and powers of the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, that the Speaker does have a latitude to act in exceptional instances where the standing orders are being abused or where the business of the House is being obstructed.

Given that I have this latitude, I now have to determine whether the situation before me is such that I should act.

I begin my response on this issue by making a few remarks about the role of the Speaker in parliamentary jurisdictions. As with all presiding officers, the Speaker has to avoid becoming involved in partisan activities in the exercise of his or her office, and has to avoid the appearance of such involvement. The Speaker must uphold the independence and integrity of the office, protect the rights of both the majority and the minority and uphold the privileges of the House and its members. I am cognizant, and have often reminded myself of the importance of respecting the letter and the spirit of the prescriptions, and members can rest assured that I will continue to be vigilant in this regard.

In my deliberations on whether or not I should exercise the latitude to act that is reposed in me, I have been mindful of the fact that previous Speakers have not had occasion to act in the way I am asked to act. This suggests to me an obvious point, namely, that the Speaker will rarely be faced with a situation where the standing orders are being abused or where there is obstruction to the point that he or she must act.

In this vein, I remind members that there have been many serious procedural difficulties in the history of this Legislature, and they have not been resolved by the kind of intervention that is now being sought by the government House leader. For example, in the last session of the 34th Parliament, there was an unprecedented 50-hour debate, over 17 meeting days, on a time allocation motion with respect to Bill 68. The debate ended when the government moved closure.

In the course of that debate, there were many procedural occurrences. There were adjournment motions. There were points of order. There were petitions. There were motions for the introduction and first reading of bills. There were recorded divisions on these motions and there were quorum calls. Members will recognize some of these procedural occurrences as having also marked recent meetings of the House.

Throughout that period, members from the government side contended, as members from the government side do now, that many of the procedural occurrences were out of order, but the Speaker and the other presiding officers ruled that most of them did not offend our rules, as has been the case with the current series of procedural occurrences.

Should I, then, exercise my latitude to act? Does anything prevent me from so doing? In answering this question, it is clear from the rulings of the House of Commons' presiding officers that I have already referred to that I have to consider all the circumstances. So that members may know how they might guide themselves, I will review how two of these circumstances apply to what has transpired in this House in recent weeks.

First, it is clear from the rulings that I have referred to that before the Speaker acts, he or she must be satisfied that the members themselves have attempted to resolve the difficulties that beset the House. There must have been sustained and good faith, albeit unsuccessful, efforts by members to resolve their differences by the traditional, time-worn method of negotiations. It is also clear from those rulings that before exercising the latitude to act, the Speaker must be satisfied that the situation in the House approaches a deadlock or standstill.

In short, I will not act on the government House leader's second request in the absence of evidence that there is no room left for negotiations, and that the situation in the House approaches a deadlock or standstill. These two circumstances were not present when the point of order was raised two weeks ago and they are not present today.

I hope that my remarks on the second request encourage members to resolve their differences and to see their way clear to proceed with the business of the House so that it is not necessary for me to act.

I trust that it is obvious from what I have said about the government House leader's second request that I cannot act with respect to her first request. However, let me also say that the moving of adjournment motions under standing order 44 -- as with dilatory tactics generally -- can, in a proper case, qualify for the exercise of the Speaker's latitude.

I turn now to the alternative request of the government House leader. She suggests that in effect the Speaker has an overarching discretion to act as he or she thinks fit. This goes far beyond the second request. This kind of open-ended request is a common feature of statements of claim and other kinds of legal pleadings in civil law, but it is an inappropriate request in so far as the law and custom of Parliament are concerned. It is a request that I somehow resolve the alleged impasse so as to assist the government to push its agenda through the House.

This I will not do, as it is incompatible with not only the nature of the office of the Speaker but also the idea of parliamentary democracy, something that members from all sides of the House alluded to many times in their submissions on the point of order two weeks ago.

1430

I say to members that it is for the government of the day to decide the agenda and for the House to consider the business put before it by that government. Speaker Stokes made some instructive remarks on this very point in this House on 29 May 1979. He said the following (at page 2292 of Hansard):

"It is not the responsibility of the Chair to order the business of the House or the committees of the House, which are creatures of the House. The ordering of business is the responsibility of the government House leader in consultation with the other two House leaders.

"You wouldn't want the Chair to be forcing its position on the ordering of the business of this House or its committees. It must be resolved by the proper authorities. There is nothing I can do about it."

In declining to act on the third request, I say that the primary responsibility for resolving differences and difficulties among the members lies with the members themselves. In the past, this has usually been done by negotiations and by changes to the standing orders.

In closing my remarks on this point of order, I want to say to members that while I have declined to act on any of the requests of the government House leader, I am very much aware of the exchanges and strains among members and the parties in the past few weeks. I want to be helpful, to render what assistance I am able to give. To this end, I say that my office is available to facilitate resolutions to problems and conflicts to the extent that it would be consistent with the essential nature of my office.

I thank the members for their attention in the course of this extended ruling. It offers something for all members. I trust that it offers some guidance as well.

Mr Nixon: Mr Speaker, even though your ruling is not debatable, I wonder if you could allow me to just say a word or two as a matter of clarification. Am I correct in my hearing of your words that you remain unconvinced that negotiations between the two opposing parties in this regard have not been as sufficient as you would expect and that there is surely a responsibility on the leader of the government or his designate and the leader of the third party or his designate to meet and to reach some sort of conclusion that will put this House back on a working footing?

The Speaker: Simply put, I believe I said in the statement that I remained unconvinced that there was not room for negotiations and, further, that if my office, in the proper exercising of its duty, could be of any assistance to help resolve the impasse, I am more than pleased to do so.

NATIVE HUNTING AND FISHING

The Speaker: On Thursday 16 May, the honourable member for Algoma, the Minister of Natural Resources, rose on a point of order complaining of remarks made the day before in this House by the honourable member for Simcoe East. I have had a chance to consult Hansard and have reviewed the offending words.

I must say that had I been able to hear those words above the extraneous noises in the chamber when they were said to the House, or had they been brought to my attention at that moment, I might have asked the honourable member to withdraw his words.

In the circumstances, I must counsel all honourable members that members' statements should not be used to proffer personal attacks upon other members in this House, nor should they in any way be couched in language that is disorderly.

STATEMENTS BY THE MINISTRY

NATIONAL ACCESS AWARENESS WEEK

Hon Ms Ziemba: As Minister of Citizenship with responsibility for disability issues, I am pleased to remind members that this week is National Access Awareness Week, which began yesterday and continues until 1 June. This is a time to reflect on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for us to dismantle all barriers faced by the disabled community.

Enhancing access and respecting the voices of people with disabilities is integral to this government's overall agenda. We are committed to eliminating barriers for disabled persons. I am speaking not just about obvious barriers that restrict physical access to buildings but also about the more subtle and pervasive systemic barriers that deny access to employment, education, housing, transportation and security of person.

Those barriers have some of their harshest consequences in the workplace, where people with disabilities face well-documented discrimination throughout the recruitment process. Past wrongs can only be redressed through systemic action. I will introduce mandatory employment equity legislation to apply to both the public and private sectors, to ensure that people with disabilities, along with native people, women and visible minorities, will gain access to all levels of employment.

The right to equitable treatment belongs equally to our most vulnerable citizens. The abuse and neglect endured by many persons with severe disabilities, and frail seniors, is an issue that the disabled community has fought long and hard to address.

Last month, it was my honour to introduce the first Advocacy Act in Canada. The act will provide vulnerable adults with full access to advocates who will act as their voice and ensure that their wishes are known.

As minister responsible for disability issues, I greatly value the advice and experience of our partners in advocacy. They are primarily community-based organizations of disabled people who have worked long and hard for the right to speak for themselves. I have recently reviewed the community action fund of the Office for Disability Issues and would like to tell members that 60% of this $1-million fund will now be directed exclusively to support and enhance these organizations.

These organizations have also worked very hard to make National Access Awareness Week a success, and they are not alone. I am very pleased to say that in almost 100 towns and cities across Ontario, advocacy groups have joined with community organizations, business, labour and government. They are bringing the message of equal access to their home communities through a wide variety of activities.

The events that I and my parliamentary assistant, the member for York East, will be attending throughout this week range from informal get-togethers with disabled consumers to Northern Voices, a conference being held at Timmins, where advocacy groups, consumers and service providers from across the north will share their views on disability issues.

The positive changes that society is making particularly benefit young people with disabilities who can assert their right to access in ways that were impossible in the past. I am especially pleased today to announce on behalf of my colleague the Minister of Health that $4 million is being provided to speed up and improve services at 15 centres across the province for young people who cannot speak or write, or who have difficulty speaking or writing.

This includes funding of $2.65 million to enable the centres to increase their staff so that waiting lists for assessments can be shortened and more young people can be served. The centres are receiving an additional $375,000 to purchase much-needed diagnostic technology and to provide working space for their new staff.

Finally, a grant of $1.1 million is being awarded to the Hugh MacMillan Rehabilitation Centre to create, and study the effectiveness of, a centralized equipment pool for expensive high-technology communications aids. The pool will serve the centres by supplying, repairing and reusing devices such as computer-assisted writing aids and voice output machines. The Hugh MacMillan Rehabilitation Centre has been awarded this grant following a tendering process.

I am also pleased to tell members that the Ministry of Treasury and Economics reports that more than $29 million from the government's anti-recession program has funded projects to improve access across Ontario. The projects range from installing an exterior ramp and barrier-free washrooms at the municipal community centre in North Dorchester to the building of a group home for people with developmental disabilities in South Porcupine.

Throughout this week several of my cabinet colleagues will be making announcements about their initiatives to increase access for disabled persons.

I know that all of us are looking forward to taking part in National Access Awareness Week activities across this province. This government will continue to act on its commitments to people with disabilities in the year ahead.

1440

SUBSTITUTE DECISION-MAKING

Hon Mr Hampton: Today I will be introducing legislation in which all members of the House can feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. The Substitute Decisions Act is the result of a consultative process that spans three administrations. The bill implements the report of the Advisory Committee on Substitute Decision Making for Mentally Incapable Persons.

The advisory committee was established in 1985 by a Conservative government, was further encouraged by the Liberals during their time in office and is finally brought to the Legislature by this government. It is legislation that will benefit a significant and often overlooked element of our society.

The Substitute Decisions Act will provide individuals who are mentally capable with the right of determining how they are cared for and medically treated if they subsequently become incapable of making decisions. At the same time the act will protect the rights of those vulnerable adults, the mentally or physically incapable and the elderly, who cannot make personal care and other important life decisions on their own.

The Substitute Decisions Act will allow individuals to maintain personal dignity and control of their lives. It will permit them to designate someone else to make health care and other personal care decisions on their behalf, specifying whether medical treatment should be continued or withheld in different circumstances. The proposed legislation will implement the concept of a living will.

I would like to acknowledge at this time the efforts of the honourable member for Carleton whose two private member's bills on this subject helped to focus this assembly on important legal and moral issues relating to this concept. I look forward to the healthy discussion and debate that I have no doubt will occur during the public hearings before the standing committee on administration of justice.

The Substitute Decisions Act will expand powers of attorney beyond property and financial matters to include personal care decisions such as shelter, health care, nutrition, clothing, hygiene, safety and religious custom. Individuals will also be able to choose in advance the types of future medical treatment to which they would consent or refuse and appoint someone to carry out those wishes for them.

The Substitute Decisions Act reaffirms the government's responsibility to protect vulnerable individuals from financial exploitation, physical abuse and neglect. The Substitute Decisions Act does away with the outdated and ineffective Mental Incompetency Act and replaces it with a workable and more humane definition of mental incapacity. Strict rules of conduct will be set out for guardians who chose to look after vulnerable adults who have no one able or willing to assist them.

To ensure legal compliance and foster compassion and understanding for disadvantaged individuals, the Substitute Decisions Act will expand the present office of the public trustee under a new name, office of the public guardian and trustee. This new body will have increased authority to supervise powers of attorney and guardianship. It will have enhanced powers to investigate allegations of physical neglect, financial abuse and abuse of powers by private guardians; and it will be the duty of the public guardian and trustee to apply to court for authority to take appropriate action.

Furthermore, the new office of the public guardian and trustee will play a greater educational role by informing and assisting people who want to know more about guardianship and power of attorney for personal care.

The Substitute Decisions Act is closely integrated with the Consent to Treatment Act, to be announced today by my cabinet colleague the Minister of Health, and the Advocacy Act, introduced last month by the Minister of Citizenship. Indeed, the Substitute Decisions Act cannot fully succeed in its purpose without a means of advocacy as set out in the Advocacy Act.

The Substitute Decisions Act and its companion legislation are guided by the themes of liberty, empowerment, self-determination and the right to make choices about one's own life.

Finally, I wish to acknowledge the unselfish contributions of the members of the Advisory Committee on Substitute Decision Making for Mentally Incapable Persons. Forty-one dedicated women and men, who represent provincial and municipal governments, advocacy centres, hospitals, psychiatric institutions, the legal community and social workers, committed their expertise and gave of their time to see this challenge through to this day. At the risk of singling out one individual, I would like to personally thank one of my senior legal counsel, Stephen Fram, who presided over this talented group.

CONSENT TO TREATMENT

Hon Ms Lankin: This afternoon I am introducing the Consent to Treatment Act. This act defines the rights and responsibilities of health service consumers and practitioners as well as substitute decision-makers.

Until now, no legislation has dealt clearly and comprehensively with consent to health services. The Mental Health Act and Public Hospitals Act have some consent provisions for patients in hospitals. In some places, such as private homes, no specific legislation governs consent. In other health care settings, the common-law rules on consent to health services apply. These rules stem from court decisions. They are not widely known, nor are they easily accessible to the average person.

This act replaces the consent provisions in other acts and ensures consistency wherever health services are delivered in Ontario.

In recent years, the need for clear and consistent rules on consent to health care has been expressed by consumers, providers, experts and interest groups. In August 1990 the Ministry of Health distributed a consultation paper on the principles for proposed consent legislation to over 150 groups. More than 60 written submissions were received.

This legislation provides clear rules on consent to treatment administered by all health providers in all settings. This act affirms the right of everyone to be fully informed when making a health care decision, enables people to express advance wishes on health care and ensures that decisions made on behalf of mentally incapable people are responsible and respectful of their rights.

The legislation also provides an exemption to the consent rules in emergency situations.

I would also like to address an important subject that we have decided not to include in this legislation. That is the subject of consent on behalf of mentally incapable persons to procedures which have no direct medical benefit for the patient. These procedures include research, organ and tissue transplant donations and contraceptive sterilization. The issues surrounding non-therapeutic procedures for mentally incapable people are very serious and complex. We have decided to undertake more extensive consultation before these issues can be satisfactorily addressed.

On 18 April 1991 the Minister of Citizenship introduced the Advocacy Act to protect the rights and wellbeing of vulnerable people. Today I am very pleased that as I bring forward the Consent to Treatment Act my colleague the Attorney General brings forward the Substitute Decisions Act, which will complete this package.

This Consent to Treatment Act will protect the rights not only of vulnerable people but of all Ontarians. This legislation will ensure that whenever health services are provided, every Ontarian will have the opportunity to make well-informed health care choices.

RESPONSES

GOVERNMENT LEGISLATION

Mr Scott: On behalf of the opposition, I, the former Minister of Health, somewhat muted, and the former Minister of Community and Social Services welcome the introduction of the Substitute Decisions Act.

The interesting thing to note about this -- and we will be reading the legislation very carefully -- is a new phenomenon associated with ministerial announcements. If you recognize that these three acts, the Substitute Decisions Act, the Advocacy Act and the Consent to Treatment Act, are essentially all part of a package, today marks the ninth time that these initiatives have been announced by the government. I want to congratulate them, not only on the legislation, which we will have an opportunity to examine, but about the consistent and protracted way in which this legislation has been heralded across the province by three ministers eagerly in search of a mandate.

I say that, and I bring this to the attention of the Attorney General, because I was discussing with some professional colleagues not long ago the present Attorney General, whose arrival has been greeted with enthusiasm by the bar, and they said, "Well, the only trouble is the new Attorney General doesn't seem to have established a mandate yet, or an agenda for himself." I said: "Well, of course he has. His agenda is to be more popular with the bar than the previous Attorney General, and he will have no difficulty achieving that rather limited and narrow agenda in short order." The warning for the Attorney General is that he cannot hope to achieve even that narrow agenda if he keeps introducing legislation which has the imprimatur of the previous government upon it. It will lead inevitably to a chorus of me-tooism from which his personal reputation will seriously suffer.

But we in the opposition welcome these bills, and I would like to join with the Attorney General in congratulating Stephen Fram of the Ministry of the Attorney General for the work that he has done over a long period of time in this important but extremely complex area. We look forward to examining these new bills with care.

1450

Mr Phillips: To add to my colleague's comments, we welcome the introduction of this bill and look forward to examining the specific wording in the act. We very much agree that it is part of a package of the three bills and that they have to be considered in their totality and we will be, as I say, looking forward to doing that.

I must say that every time I hear the minister is going to make an announcement, I grab my long-term care reform book. I reread the promise that was made 21 March in response to a question on long-term care that said, "The proposal that we will be taking to the public...is now going before cabinet, so we should be able to provide him" -- that is me -- "with very substantial kinds of information on that score within a short period of time."

As I say, I grab my long-term care reform book. I head over here, anxiously awaiting the statement from the minister on long-term care, and while I do not underestimate the importance of the announcement today, I can just say to the minister that the health care community is anxiously awaiting her response on long-term care. Situations are developing out there that are extremely important. Substantial numbers of hospital beds are closing, and one of the responses that the government has given is that it will be providing more community-based care. They cannot have the hospital beds closing without the attendant response on what they are going to do on long-term care.

I would hope this week will not close without us hearing the minister's plans on long-term care so that I will not have to keep dragging over my Strategies for Change, anxiously awaiting her response on that.

Mrs McLeod: I would like to join the minister responsible for disability issues in recognizing that this is National Access Awareness Week and in commending the combined efforts of the national organizations, the corporations and the community organizations that have worked together to ensure that there is an enhanced awareness of the needs and concerns of disabled citizens. It is a commitment which all of the members of this House share.

There are a number of announcements the minister has made which are certainly steps in the right direction, and we do welcome those. They will make a difference as we celebrate what has been achieved and what is left to do. But I would also join my colleague who spoke earlier in recognizing that we continue to be concerned about the lack of announcements on long-term care reform, and specifically individualized funding for disabled individuals, which was a commitment made by the previous government. We look forward eagerly to hearing progress from this government on that.

Mr Sterling: I want to say that I welcome the introduction of these two pieces of legislation to the Legislature. I guess as a private member I am a little chagrined that perhaps it scoops two of the pieces of legislation that I have introduced and brought to this Legislature, but more important, whatever legislation evolves out of this process, I only hope that it is the best legislation for the people of Ontario and for the people who are faced with these very difficult decisions.

This kind of legislation, in my view, is compassionate legislation, legislation which will make the decisions for family members, for friends, for the physicians who attend at these particular times much easier, because what we are doing by considering legislation like this is making the time when very difficult decisions have to be made as to whether health treatment should be continued or health operations should be undertaken much more clear as to how those decisions should be made.

As you know, Mr Speaker, tomorrow afternoon the justice committee of this Legislature will be starting to consider Bills 7 and 8, the two private members' bills that I have introduced to this Legislature, which received second reading. Over 40 groups have indicated their desire to make presentations on those bills.

I would only hope that the Minister of Health and the Attorney General would pay close attention to those presentations so that whatever knowledge is gained from those groups will not be lost in terms of dealing perhaps with amendments to these two bills. I would only hope that the Attorney General and the Minister of Health would have as open a mind as I have to accepting their legislation in place of mine. If they find after public consultations that there are some advantages to continuing on with Bills 7 and 8 to third reading, I hope they will give that an honest look after they have heard from the public of Ontario. I believe there is a valid argument that the living wills and the Powers of Attorney Act should be separate and apart from this kind of legislation, and I will of course be making that remark during the debate on these important bills.

This legislation has been a long time coming. I only say to the Minister of Health that I had wished she could have dealt with the non-therapeutic procedures for incapable people. I understand how difficult that issue is, because it is not only her government that has wrestled with it and it is not only the former government, but I know that two governments ago also the government wrestled with that very difficult question. I hope that her consultation will result in finding some conclusions with regard to that very difficult issue.

Mr Jackson: It was in 1985 that I joined with the then member for Riverdale in our mutual support for changes to the Mental Health Act, and I must say that I am sure that I share with him a rather great disappointment. Not only am I in opposition, but he is an adviser in the Premier's office, and yet nowhere in the statement today is there any clarity on the whole issue of mental incompetence, its legal definition and support for those suffering from mental disabilities in this province. The absence of that clear statement by the minister is also indicative of this government, which refused to offer any public support or commission any further discussions about the David Weisstub report on mental incompetence, and I personally am very disappointed that we are not making progress on that agenda.

I would like to say that as regards the Minister of Citizenship, disability issues, discrimination and seniors, the multi-use minister's statement today, just simply making a statement about verbal support for the disabled community, is somewhat worthy of everyone's support. However, it begs the far deeper question that as this government embarks on a $10-billion deficit, there were scant words, if any, in the budget for the disabled community. We now know that there is no forward progress on long-term care and that many groups in Ontario are seeking for dignity and understanding from this government, let alone from the province at large, during an awareness week.

ORAL QUESTIONS

APPOINTMENT OF ONTARIO HYDRO PRESIDENT

Mr Nixon: I have a question of the Premier concerning the appointment of Al Holt as president of Ontario Hydro. In an extensive background piece in the Toronto Star, very well written but factually incorrect in one minor item, it is clearly indicated that some of the people in the Premier's office were disgruntled and concerned about this appointment, which is a prerogative under the Power Corporation Act of the board of Hydro.

Has the Premier contacted the members of the board? Perhaps he would comment, really, on the article. Does the method of appointment concern him and can he tell the House what action he is contemplating, if any, other than support of the board?

Hon Mr Rae: In answer to the member's question, I would say to the Leader of the Opposition that, yes, I did discuss this matter with some members of the board after I received a letter from them announcing the decision to appoint Mr Holt as the president of Hydro.

I will only say to the Leader of the Opposition that there was no discussion with the government with respect to the appointment of Mr Holt, and I would simply indicate to the House that I can only say that the remaining members of the board -- and it was not the full membership of the board, because there are some new appointees who have not yet been confirmed by the House -- made their decision without any formal consultation with the government.

The Speaker: Could the Premier conclude his remarks, please.

Hon Mr Rae: That consultation, as I would say to the Leader of the Opposition, simply did not take place. The government is determined to --

The Speaker: Could the Premier conclude his remarks, please.

Hon Mr Rae: -- ensure that Hydro is accountable and that the purposes and directions of Ontario Hydro are in conformity with the broad general direction of government policy.

1500

Mr Nixon: There are rumours that there will be a possibility for us to debate amendments to the Power Corporation Act that may change that process.

But does the Premier not feel that since the chair of the board is an appointment by order in council, with a ratification procedure that the Premier has brought in involving some members of the Legislature, there is at least that avenue for the policy of the government to be a part of the consideration of the Hydro board? In addition to that, he will be aware of a memorandum of understanding that exists between the government and Ontario Hydro that indicates it does proceed in response to the policy of the government.

Would the Premier not agree with statements made by people in Ontario Hydro that it is important that the chief administrator of Ontario Hydro, that is, the person who keeps the wheels turning and the lights on, should as far as possible be divorced from the specific direction of the government and the head of the government or his designate, and that in fact it is sufficient as it is under the present statute to have the chair of the corporation being the person who conveys and oversees general government policy in that regard?

Hon Mr Rae: I would certainly agree with the Leader of the Opposition that the discussion around the appointment of Mr Eliesen, the deputy minister who was appointed by the member's government, a former chair of Manitoba Hydro, to be the chair of Ontario Hydro, would afford one opportunity for discussion with respect to the accountability of Ontario Hydro.

The Liberal government in 1985, prior to its election, announced that it was deeply concerned about the accountability of Ontario Hydro and then proceeded by virtue of its amendments to the Power Corporation Act, in our view on reflection and on closer examination, to cut Hydro further loose from public accountability than is the case for any other public utility in Canada.

Mr Nixon: I am sure the Premier would understand the opposite side of the coin that he has flipped into the Legislature is that there are those who believe that the government has no role in the day-to-day operation of the largest utility in Canada and one of the largest utilities in the world, and that as soon as any kind of political philosophy, socialist or otherwise, intrudes into the operation of the utility, then the consumers and the taxpayers are not well served.

Would the Premier not agree that the present Power Corporation Act, which gives him, in consultation with the governor, the right to establish the chair of the commission, which would reflect the policy of the government, is good and sufficient and leaves independent at the hands of the board -- which by the way is appointed by order in council as well -- leaves the operation on a day-to-day basis and the long-range operation as well in the hands of those administratively competent and those with sufficient experience in the operation of a major corporation, borrowing $5 billion a year and managing assets of $35 or $36 billion? Surely there is sufficient means whereby the policies of the government can be brought to sway and to focus on the development of Ontario Hydro without his concern that other provinces seem to do it differently.

Hon Mr Rae: I would only say to the Leader of the Opposition that up until the changes that were introduced by the Liberal government in the post-1985 period -- indeed I think I am right in saying that in common with every other major public utility in Canada -- the chief executive officer was the chair and the chair was appointed by the government of the day. It was the member's government that decided to change that, that decided to give to the Hydro board the power to appoint the president, apparently without any real consultation with the government in terms of the process.

We intend to take steps to ensure that Hydro is in fact accountable to the Legislature, is accountable to the public and clearly reflects the general direction, in a very general sense, of the importance of conservation, efficiency and responsiveness to the needs of the public. That is the direction we intend to follow as a government.

Mr Nixon: From my point of view, the Premier's answer indicates that he really wants to run the place out of the corner office, but we will have a chance to examine that if he does present his alternatives.

MINISTERIAL RESPONSIBILITY

Mr Nixon: I would like to put a question to the Attorney General. On 29 April, he indicated that he expected the report from the RCMP concerning allegations involving the Solicitor General's staff interfering in the judicial process to be completed by 3 May. It is now 27 May. Can he give some indication as to where that report is? Has he received it? What is going to be the disposition of that material?

Hon Mr Hampton: The report from the RCMP was received by senior advisers in the criminal law division, I believe on 17 May. I saw it for the first time earlier today.

Mr Nixon: We will certainly ask the Attorney General what the disposition will be. As he will recall, his predecessor made public such a report, and I think under the circumstances the minister might very well indicate that he will table this as a public document.

Has the Attorney General been made aware of allegations of further interference from the Solicitor General's office with regard to the day-to-day police responsibilities in the matter of the Budd strike in Kitchener? Without pressing your patience, Mr Speaker, I would simply say the indications are that after there was some difficulty on the picket line, some of the people involved were charged with assaulting a police officer, and according to union officials, the Solicitor General's office was contacted to "see if they could put pressure on the police to withdraw." As a result of this apparently the president of the corporation has indicated publicly his dissatisfaction.

Is the Attorney General aware of that matter? Does he consider this a matter that might also be investigated, since it is a further indication that the Solicitor General's office tends to be somewhat unaware of its overall responsibilities?

Hon Mr Hampton: If the Leader of the Opposition has allegations he would like to bring forward, if he has the details of these, I would appreciate receiving them. The information I have is that a phone call may have been placed to the office of the Solicitor General. I have received no other information. I suspect that the Leader of the Opposition knows that literally hundreds of phone calls may be made over the course of a week on various matters of public interest. If he has more information other than just that a phone call was made, I would very much appreciate receiving it.

Mr Nixon: I think the minister may very well have read the same quotes in the press as I have, and they certainly concern me. John Coleman, the president of the union, after he stated the phone call was made to see if they would put pressure on the police to withdraw, stated: "They" -- the police -- "certainly helped our cause by standing back. They took a neutral position, which put more pressure on the company."

I think the honourable Attorney General must further be aware that following those instructions, which according to the union president were successful, acts of vandalism followed, including the burning of a car, the cutting of a rail line, the destruction of a hydro vault, which cut electricity to a wide portion of the city of Kitchener, and to date no action has been taken.

Is the minister not concerned, as the chief law officer of the crown, about the activities, if not of the Solicitor General, apparently and by allegation of his senior political staff member, that have led to this mess?

1510

Hon Mr Hampton: Again, if the Leader of the Opposition has more specific information than he has offered here today, I would be pleased to receive that information. The repetition of secondhand or thirdhand accounts in the newspaper I am afraid is not sufficient, but I invite him, if he has further information, to bring that forward. I would be interested in having a look at it.

PARLIAMENTARY PROCESS

Mr Harris: I have a question for the Premier. I want to acknowledge and thank him for his note, just sent over to me a few moments ago, suggesting that we meet tomorrow to discuss the business of the House. I am disappointed that the note carne after the Speaker's ruling and not nearly two weeks ago when I phoned the Premier's office and suggested it might be beneficial if he and I personally met to discuss the business of the House. However, I do want to acknowledge the note and thank him for that. I am sure we can find a satisfactory time tomorrow.

I would like to ask the Premier whether, by way of suggesting that we meet, he is indicating a willingness to discuss a process to have full public hearings on this budget.

Hon Mr Rae: Mr Speaker, I was simply responding to your recommendation that there should be discussions. Given your decision today, I thought it was appropriate almost immediately in response to that. The leader of the third party stepped out for a bit. I went over and chatted with the Leader of the Opposition and gave him a little note, and I wrote out a little note to the leader of the third party suggesting that we get together tomorrow. Whatever emerges from that meeting will emerge.

Mr Harris: I am disappointed that the Premier would not respond to my request of two weeks ago, and I do not mind saying that. I am most disappointed that his party attempted to put the Speaker in a very untenable position, to avoid even meeting with me, just as he is avoiding meeting with the public on a number of issues, to avoid meeting with me or the leader of the Liberal Party. I would ask the Premier again whether he is prepared to discuss a method for the public to have input by way of hearings on his budget.

Hon Mr Rae: There will be a number of things discussed, I think, at a meeting at which the leader of the third party will bring up some things and the Leader of the Opposition will no doubt have some good ideas, and I may have one or two suggestions to make as well.

Interjection.

Mr Harris: We will see what takes place at the meeting. One of the NDP members says the House is a vehicle. The House is a vehicle. Actually, there is a method to bring the public before the bar of the House, and that may be one of the ways the public can have access to make their comments on this budget.

On 6 May, in response to my question about the budget -- a budget, I might add, which we have had now for about a month that is 180 degrees in the wrong direction -- at that particular time, the Premier indicated in response to a question to me that he was prepared to debate that budget anywhere, anyplace. I ask the Premier if he will commit today that, after we discuss the public hearings process tomorrow, we can discuss as well the times and places across this province where we can have the type of public debate that he said he was prepared to take place?

Hon Mr Rae: In fairness, I think the leader of the third party reminds me very much of the statement made by the Prime Minister in Hong Kong and in Tokyo. I would like to get an accurate sense of exactly what was said. I said he should name the place, and then I said -- and he never quotes this in his letter or in his press conference -- why not do it right here? I would repeat that statement here.

Later the same day, the leader of the third party gave me an answer: It was Chicago Bay, Chicault Lake, Chickadee Lake, Chicken Farm Lake and Chicken Liver Channel, and that has been the extent of his contribution to the budget debate since that time.

Mr Harris: The Premier will know I said I was prepared to accept his place in this House provided he was prepared to accept my place outside the House with the people in Chickadee Lake, Lake Nipissing, Lake Ontario, wherever, across this province; second, I said after we give the public an opportunity to have its say. If the Premier is prepared to accept my locations here for the public, I am prepared to accept his.

ONTARIO PUBLIC SERVICE SALARY INCREASES

Mr Harris: My second question is to the Treasurer. I was appalled last week to learn that he, the Treasurer of this province, the one who holds the taxpayers' purse-strings, was unaware that the Chairman of Management Board had given away the store to middle management and executives in the civil service. I presume that since returning from his trip to New York, he has been fully briefed on what has been happening on this side of the border.

Now that he has been briefed, as I assume he has been, would he tell us if he agrees with the view of the Chairman of Management Board that, in times of economic hardship, it makes sense to give salary increases of 11%, some say up to 20%, to our civil servants who are already earning $60,000 to $100,000? Does that make sense to him now that he has found out about it? Does he agree?

Hon Mr Laughren: Perhaps I could put the beginning part of the remarks of the leader of the third party in context. When I was asked about that question in New York, it was not put to me with the details involved in it. I was just asked if I was aware of some large increases that went to some civil servants. I said I was not aware of what the reporter was talking about and that I would be happy to pursue it further.

In order to be fair, I think the leader of the third party should understand that when increases are given within a ministry, even if there might be some people within that ministry with larger-than-normal increases, those increases must be funded from within an envelope that is not allowed to expand just because someone from within that section received a merit increase.

Mr Harris: While the brothers and the sisters in the private sector are losing their jobs, cutting back, seeing their incomes decline and becoming unemployed, this government is carrying on in the public sector as if it is business as usual or better than usual.

How can the Treasurer justify to the taxpayer who is trying to keep his head above water that he has handed over $11,000-plus of taxpayers' money not just to one civil servant who holds these recession-proof jobs, but to thousands who are already making up to $100,000 a year?

1520

Hon Mr Laughren: The leader of the third party is simply not being fair. He really does not know what he is talking about. The increase was limited to 5%, and the leader of the third party is the first one to claim that there needs to be performance incentive in the public sector. That is simply what we are trying to do. There was also a compression of the number of classifications in the civil service and we think that, all in all, that is going to make for better management of the public sector in the province.

Mr Harris: In the private sector there is incentive; you are fired if you are unsatisfactory. Does the government have to bribe people to come to work and do a good job?

The Chairman of Management Board was quoted on the weekend as saying --

Interjections.

The Speaker: Not just the member for Cochrane South, but other government members, I know you are enthusiastic, but curbing enthusiasm for a little bit would be helpful.

Mr Harris: The Chairman of Management Board was quoted on the weekend as saying, "It would seem to me that the economic indicators at this point in time would lead us to a figure that is very different." She was referring to the salary increases next year, very different from the 6% civil service salary increases she gave away last fall or from the 11% to 20% to those in the $60,000 to $100,000.

I guess I should be thankful the Chairman of Management Board is starting to see the light and is finally able to say that nasty R-word, restraint. I appreciate and applaud that. But does it make sense to the Treasurer that while revenues are in a decline -- we are in the depths of the recession; the private sector, those having to pay the taxes are losing their jobs -- that the big increases are this year and that he will start restraints next year when, as he says in his budget, everything is rosy, 3.7% growth, the good times are here, happy days are here again? How does it make sense that he is going to wait until then before he starts to bring in restraint in the public sector?

Hon Mr Laughren: First of all, the leader of the third party is implying that all sorts of people get large increases. There are people who will get zero increases. The people who will get larger increases are the ones who will earn those larger increases.

If I could be fairminded about it for a moment, the leader of the third party has been in his job for about a year now. Even though he has not reduced his party's debt beyond $5 million, I do not think he should be fired. I think he should be given more time.

CROSS-BORDER SHOPPING

Mrs Y. O'Neill: My question is to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology, who I consider to have made some rather strange statements about this year's budget over the weekend.

The Liberal budget task force is examining the impact of this government's disastrous budget in Windsor today for the past president of the Automotive Dealers Association and others. The 30% hike in the gasoline tax and the government's announced plan to take away the city's option for Sunday shopping are the straws that have broken the camel's back. This prominent businessman in Windsor said today that he would not invest a cent in that city if he were starting over.

The NDP is driving shoppers, and now merchants, over the border. The number of shoppers who declared duty rose by 59% between this January and April, and that says nothing about those who did not declare duty. Six gas stations have closed in that city in that time. At the same time, 26% of Windsorites surveyed said they would shop in Windsor if they were allowed to shop on Sunday.

How long will the cars line up on the bridges to the United States before the minister presents to this House and implements a strategy that will keep Ontario shoppers and merchants in our province?

Hon Mr Pilkey: This government will be bringing forward a statement with respect to cross-border shopping very shortly, and that will not be taking a great deal of time. However, I must reiterate that the issue of cross-border shopping and the control at the federal border points is a federal government issue.

We as members of this Legislature will do what we can to assist Ontario merchants to cope with this free trade agreement, with the GST and all of the other negative circumstances that have led to people increasing their cross-border shopping habits.

My cabinet colleague the Minister of Revenue recently went to Ottawa and met with the Honourable Otto Jelinek. It was disturbing to me to see the response of our federal government. Apparently Mr Jelinek commented in that meeting that he regarded the cross-border shopping issue as a societal one, not federal or provincial.

While we in Ontario have a very real concern for what is happening to our Ontario merchants and while we have joined hands with the mayors of those border communities --

The Speaker: Will the minister conclude his remarks, please.

Hon Mr Pilkey: -- it is imperative that the federal government own up to its responsibility and realize that its borders need its protection.

Mrs Y. O'Neill: This answer is very similar to answers I have had from other ministers on the other side. In my questions I continue to talk to provincial issues, gasoline tax, Sunday shopping laws, and they continue to divert from my questions.

The NDP's strategy to spend its way out of the recession has been to run up a $10-billion deficit. That is the solution offered by this government; $700 million was allocated to the anti-recession fund. In the hearings today in Windsor, Sarnia's mayor, Mike Bradley, said that the anti-recession fund is a sham and that it is nothing new. "It was money we would have got anyway in the normal course of events."

Municipal leaders agree with our caucus. If the NDP is serious about fighting the recession and cross-border shopping, it would start by rescinding the gas tax and leave in place a municipal option for Sunday shopping. These are just two measures which would help Ontario merchants to compete with American businesses.

Is the minister prepared to guarantee to this House today that those two requests are being seriously considered and that he is not going to take the other option, which is to have the 28,000 jobs estimated to be lost in the county of Essex?

Hon Mr Pilkey: I can assure the member that all options are being considered by my ministry and this government with respect to this very difficult question of cross-border shopping.

In terms of Mayor Michael Bradley, a gentleman who is the mayor of Sarnia, whom I know and have known for some time and who, I understand, was an unsuccessful Liberal candidate in the last provincial election, it has been my practice to discuss with him, as with former mayors and colleagues of his, that we as former mayors welcomed provincial expenditure on infrastructure that has benefited our communities in the past, as it will benefit Ontario communities in the future. I believe that the vast majority of mayors, at least those not with biased political strings attached to them, will quite welcome the Treasurer's $700-million anti-recession program.

The Speaker: Conclude your remarks, please.

Hon Mr Pilkey: I will.

Further, relevant to the primary question, I addressed the Ontario Chamber of Commerce at its annual meeting in Peterborough, at which time my remarks were very warmly received and appreciated by those who came forward. I would like to indicate to them that after some delineation of what this budget has meant to business, it is not all doom and gloom in those sectors.

MINISTERIAL RESPONSIBILITY

Mr Carr: My question is for the Premier and deals with the actions of the Solicitor General during the Budd Canada Inc strike. I would like to read a quote from the president of the company: "We had information that Queen's Park was getting involved and limiting the response the police were giving to the company."

My question is very simple. Does he believe it is appropriate for the Solicitor General's office to intervene and support one side during a labour dispute, and why did the Solicitor General's office not leave it up to the fine Waterloo Regional Police to handle the situation?

Hon Mr Rae: I have no reason to believe there was any intervention on one side or the other, by the office of the Solicitor General or by the Solicitor General. If the member has any additional information to provide with respect to what happened, I would be very glad to consider it, but I have no particular evidence to suggest that there was any partisan interference or political interference by the Solicitor General at all.

1530

Mr Carr: The fact is, both sides in the dispute believe there was.

Interjection.

The Speaker: Would the member for St George-St David restrain himself, please.

Mr Carr: The president of the company believed there was some influence, and the chap who is the president of the local of the Canadian Auto Workers said: "They" -- the police -- "certainly helped our cause by standing back." So both sides in the dispute -- it is not one side -- believe there has been some interference.

In fact, in a reply to my colleague the member for Waterloo North, the Solicitor General said, "It would be a very sorry day if politicians were to select communities where the law would be enforced." That was the reply that he had.

Will the Premier investigate the circumstances surrounding this in light of the fact that the Solicitor General already has had some circumstances surrounding another incident? Will he look into it? Will he check out the circumstances so that the public can feel confident that the Solicitor General is not interfering in the justice in this province?

Hon Mr Rae: When any member raises a question with respect to a matter, of course I will look into it in response to a question. But in terms of what I have heard today, leaping from conclusion to conclusion, which is good exercise for members of the opposition but not a way in which we can proceed, I have not heard anything that would lead me to believe that the Solicitor General interfered with the conduct of the police at all. I have not heard that particular evidence in any of the statements that have been made by members opposite today.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

Mr Hope: My question is of the Minister of Housing. In the budget speech we were told of plans of thousands of affordable housing units currently in development. While two grants have been announced in my area by the ministry, I would like to talk about a specific project. Canadian Auto Workers Local 127, our brothers and sisters, have had a proposal for their project in Chatham since 1987. The previous administration never acted on the union's project. Can the minister tell me how he is going to handle this worthy proposal?

Hon Mr Cooke: It will come as no surprise to members that just a couple of weeks ago we notified Labourview Co-operative Homes that we will be funding 50 units with its co-operative housing in order to house people in Chatham and to create jobs in Chatham. The member is quite correct that this has been a long-outstanding request from this community group.

Mr Hope: I want to thank the minister for his expediency, as in 1987 we saw the Liberals, now the opposition, take so long. However, can the minister assure the people of Ontario that the government plan for affordable housing is going to be one that is going to benefit all the residents of Ontario?

Hon Mr Cooke: In an effort to create housing quickly in this province and to create thousands of jobs during a recession, we are engaging in a program of quick starts which will take advantage of the thousands of units that were supposed to be started under the previous government, that never got under way under the Homes Now program, so that those jobs can be created now in the province of Ontario.

NORTHERN HEALTH SERVICES

Mr Miclash: My question is for the Minister of Health. After her government took office, a headline appeared in the Kenora Daily Miner and News. It announced to the residents of Kenora that health is the NDP's priority in the north. In fact, the now Attorney General said that health care would be at the top of the list when it came to the priorities of the NDP northern caucus.

Therefore, when the residents of the area heard at the Northwest Ontario Municipal Association convention that the Premier said that $15 million in capital funding allocated to the Kenora-Rainy River District Health Council last year by the Liberal government was news to him and he was not bound to honour it, I must say the people in northwestern Ontario were shocked.

Why is the government commitment to northern health care being tossed out? I am not talking about a Liberal government commitment, but a promise that the minister's colleagues made to the people of the north that northern health care would be a priority. Why is it that now the minister thinks it is appropriate and fair to change the rules?

Hon Ms Lankin: I appreciate the opportunity to respond to that question. Quite frankly, I think the member has misstated what the Premier said in the meeting he refers to. However, let me say that the commitments my colleagues have made with respect to northern health care being a priority for us is exactly true.

May I point out to the member that we have taken steps with respect to northern health care travel grants. We have taken steps under the anti-recessionary program, much of it being capital expenditure and much of it being from the Ministry of Health, to ensure that northern Ontario received a very generous proportion of that anti-recessionary spending.

May I also point out to the member that today we have sent out a release making an announcement with respect to a new residency program in northern Ontario to try to develop doctors who spend time in residency in northern Ontario, hopefully to promote further doctors relocating there from the south to the north.

There are a number of measures we are undertaking with respect to northern health care, and it does remain a priority for this government.

Mr Miclash: I have laid forth a specific grant that we are talking about, a $15-million allocation to the Kenora-Rainy River District Health Council. Last September the Attorney General promised that this capital allocation would remain in place. He has suggested the process was moving. The government, as the minister knows, was a partner at this table. It was a part of the process, and the recommendations are now on the minister's desk.

I really want to know what kind of organization they have over there. We have the Attorney General saying one thing; we have the Premier saying something else. I want to know from the minister where this commitment lies. They have been working on this commitment, as I say, for the last eight months, with the minister's involvement. I am asking, after a 13% increase in the minister's provincial budget, whether she is willing to meet this commitment, the one that we had budgeted for in the previous government?

Hon Ms Lankin: Again, I suggest that what the member has said about comments made by the Premier does not accurately represent what he actually said that day. But I will look into that and ensure that I have a knowledge of what the Premier said that day.

With respect to commitments that have been made by a previous government for capital allocations, I think it is quite clear that a number of commitments were made during the campaign period that in fact need to be reviewed in light of the actual expenditure practices of the new government. That process has been taking place.

The member indicates that I have had some eight months' involvement in this issue. He knows that also to be untrue. I will try to get further specifics and respond directly to the member on his question.

1540

WAGE PROTECTION

Mrs Witmer: My question is for the Minister of Labour. Upon the introduction of Bill 70 on 11 April, the minister stated that officers and directors would be given a three-month grace period after the date of proclamation to obtain directors and officers liability insurance. This implies the minister considers that liability insurance for his wage protection fund will be readily available. Would the minister at this time inform the House specifically which --

Interjections.

The Speaker: I am attempting to hear every syllable of the question and it is a little difficult because of the cross-fire between the member for St George-St David and the member for Guelph. If both of you could just curb your enthusiasm for a few moments, I could hear the question.

Mrs Witmer: Would the minister inform this House specifically which insurance companies will offer directors and officers liability insurance, and what will the average cost of this insurance be?

Hon Mr Mackenzie: The member should know that the question of insurance or liability insurance for officers and directors is a difficult part of the bill. There is insurance available. We have a list of some of the rates. Some of it is fairly expensive. The question is whether we can get on with the bill and decide if there are good reasons whether or not this should be necessary. If we can get on with the bill, we might be able to resolve that issue.

Mrs Witmer: I am very surprised and I am very disappointed at the minister's vague answer to this question. To me, it clearly demonstrates that this bill was drafted without a clear understanding about the availability of directors and officers insurance. We know that currently only two companies offer directors and officers insurance, and they serve only a small percentage of companies in this province. The prime factor in determining the willingness of an insurance company to underwrite this type of insurance is a firm's financial ability, and as one Chubb Insurance executive put it, "We don't take on burning buildings."

Obviously, the firms that will be most in need of insurance against claims under Bill 70 will be those whose financial positions are unstable. These firms will undoubtedly find most insurance companies unwilling to underwrite them. Without protection, small- and medium-sized companies are going to have to opt to close rather than face personal liability. Jobs will be lost.

The Speaker: Would the member place her supplementary, please.

Mrs Witmer: Is it the intent of the minister's legislation that more jobs will be lost in this province? If not, what does he intend to do about this legislation?

Hon Mr Mackenzie: The member should know that this is not the intent. The intent of our legislation is to protect at least 56,000 workers in the province of Ontario who do not have and have not collected money they have already earned. That is the intent of the legislation. That is exactly what we are trying to do with the legislation.

HAZARDOUS WASTE

Mr Hansen: I have a question of the Minister of the Environment. In my riding of Lincoln there is a proposed site for the hazardous waste treatment facility of the Ontario Waste Management Corp, which is the subject of ongoing public hearings. We have heard some positive statements from the minister about reduction of solid nonhazardous waste, but I am wondering if she could inform the House of her plans in the area of hazardous waste reduction.

Hon Mrs Grier: To respond, as the member knows and has said, there is a consolidated hearings board hearing under way at the moment and I cannot respond to the details before that board, but I can tell the member that he is correct that just as this government's approach to municipal solid waste has been to reduce and reuse as much as possible, the same principles apply to industrial waste. There are many opportunities where one industry's waste is another industry's raw material. We certainly think this is a far better approach than disposing of that waste.

Mr Hansen: I thank the minister for that response and I realize she cannot address the question of the OWMC hearings. It seems to many people in my riding and perhaps elsewhere in Ontario that the primary focus of the Ontario Waste Management Corp is on the disposal facility now before the hearing board. Perhaps the corporation is not bringing enough effort to bear on the other side of the coin -- reduction.

One way to reduce hazardous industrial waste is through the waste materials exchange between industries. The Ontario waste exchange is something that is part of the budget of the OWMC, an agency which reports to the Minister of the Environment. How much attention is the OWMC paying to the waste exchange? How much money is being spent by the Ontario Waste Management Corp and the Ministry of the Environment on waste exchange? How much waste is being diverted through the waste exchange?

Mr Cousens: Good question.

Hon Mrs Grier: It is a very good question and I am glad to be able to tell the member that the Ontario waste exchange is funded by both the OWMC and the Ministry of the Environment. In 1990-91 Ontario Waste Management Corp contributed $94,000, while the Ministry of the Environment gave $70,000 to the Ontario waste exchange. I see that as a very productive way of coming to grips with reduction and reuse of industrial hazardous waste, and it is certainly an approach that I intend to support and to accelerate.

CAPITAL FUNDING FOR SCHOOLS

Mr Beer: My question is to the Minister of Education. It is now a month since the provincial budget was presented in this House. At that time dollars were allocated for capital construction for schools in this province.

It is practically the end of May. As the minister knows, for school boards to get decisions on what capital is going to be provided so that they can get to work and provide the schools, those that are going to be for elementary use take at least one year; at the secondary level, at least two years. So every day in the spring when shovels can be in the ground and work can be in process not only means that those schools are going to be ready for the kids when they are needed, but right now in particular it means jobs during a hard recessionary time.

Will the minister tell this House when she is going to be telling school boards what capital they will have so they can get on with the job of building the schools that are needed now?

Hon Mrs Boyd: The allocations are being finalized even as we speak and I expect that they will be announced by the end of this week. However, I would like to remind the member opposite, as he well knows, that these allocations are for the 1994-95 year. There is lots of time for the communities to make their plans to get shovels in the ground.

Mr Beer: As the minister will know, it was in fact the former government that brought in the program of multi-year funding and making a commitment to providing funds so that it would know in its planning process exactly what it could do. But the minister will also be aware that especially in the fast-growth areas of York, Durham, Peel and Carleton and other major centres -- and my colleague the member for Mississauga West brought to my attention some specific problems in that area, as were brought to other members during the break -- the minister knows that a lot of these are linked in terms of staging and at just what point in time various things will happen. Boards can make changes within that, and so it becomes very important.

What I think is unclear is why it has taken so long for the ministry and for the minister to make those decisions. Will the minister tell us today when those announcements will be made?

Hon Mrs Boyd: I certainly will. They will be made by the end of this week. I did say that in answer to the first question. I would also say to the member that the reason it has taken so long is that we are reviewing the policy decisions, the policy requirements under the capital allocations fund. As was indicated in the budget, there are some new directions we want to see taken in terms of the community use of schools that will be incorporated into that policy decision, and that is exactly why it has taken the length of time it has.

TIRE RECYCLING

Mr Cousens: My question is to the Minister of the Environment. There was just a new heading to the effect, "Ontario Increases Trade to the United States of America." We are shipping 800,000 tires from Ontario across the border. That is what my question deals with. A spokesman from her ministry announced on the weekend that we are going to be shipping 800,000 tires from an unsafe storage site in Hamilton to the United States of America for recycling.

The Speaker: And the question?

Mr Cousens: I repeat: shipping 800,000 tires from Ontario to the States, and I can just see everybody being so excited. It appears that the minister is advocating the shipment of waste, not just from one part of the province to another, but to a foreign country in this case. Given the minister's --

Interjection.

Mr Cousens: It is a foreign country. Sure it is, and if those guys keep on breaking down the borders, who knows what will happen? They are taking the crown away. They are taking everything. We are talking about trade.

The Speaker: Is there a question?

Mr Cousens: Given the minister's past statements that oppose shipment of waste from Toronto to Kirkland Lake, does she not feel that this policy of shipping waste to the United States is a little bit hypocritical, or is this the beginning of yet another new waste policy for the province of Ontario?

Hon Mrs Grier: Let me begin by saying I am glad there is at least one Progressive Conservative who still considers the United States a foreign country. Let me also say to the member that, as I am sure he is aware, the pile of tires that he is referring to, P & L Recycling site outside Hamilton, has been a very serious concern for quite some time. My ministry had issued a control order asking for a cleanup. My predecessor had enormous concerns after the Hagersville tire fire about that site, and we have been striving to find a way to get the site cleaned up and the tires disposed of. We did not wish to see those tires incinerated, either accidentally or purposefully, and we felt that there was a very real concern about the way in which they were being stored and the manner in which security existed at the site.

We have now issued a contract, or are about to do so, to a local company in the area which has guaranteed that the tires can be shredded and can be recycled. The only location that had facilities large enough to deal with that was in the United States.

1550

Mr Cousens: I think it is a disappointing statement that the minister just gave. She has preached to us again and again that we must take care of our own waste here in the province of Ontario and in the community in which we live. A special tax was created to do this -- the tire tax, which has created well over $100 million. It is available right now to create solutions in Ontario to Ontario's tire problem.

Entrepreneurs have again and again proposed environmentally sound, job-creating solutions to our own tire problem, only to be ignored by the ministry. The frustration with the minister's lack of action on this matter is real. One need only look at the angry resignations from the minister's scrap tire task force to understand what I am saying.

This province can now only process one 10th of the waste tires it creates every year. When is she going to develop a working system to process all of our waste tires within the province?

Hon Mrs Grier: I can assure the member that I am attempting to develop that system just as soon as I possibly can. The funds that have been expended as a result of the revenue collected from the tire tax are looking at pilot projects to do just that. Very many of them have the potential to be successful, but in the interim we have situations such as the P & L site in Wentworth that we consider to be unsafe and a risk to the environment. In those situations, we have to take those decisions that we consider are in the best interests of the environment, because that is our bottom line.

ONTARIO MUNICIPAL BOARD

Ms M. Ward: I would like to ask the Attorney General a question about the operations of the Ontario Municipal Board. On 18 February 1991, East York council adopted a resolution from the economic development and planning committee which reflected a similar resolution passed by Cambridge city council regarding a review of the Ontario Municipal Board's staffing. This resolution stated that the Ontario government had issued a policy statement on land use planning for housing which requires all municipalities to speed up the planning process, and yet it is the current OMB backlog itself that is adding more delays to the planning process.

In order to alleviate this situation, both councils recommended that our government conduct a review of the current staffing levels at the OMB. I would like to ask the Attorney General if these claims are indeed valid, and if so, what is he doing to address them?

Hon Mr Hampton: I can tell the member this: At my office, we have also received some complaints from municipal councils and from members of the public regarding the current case backlog at the Ontario Municipal Board. I can tell the House that this backlog has been there for some time and it is as well something that we have inherited from governments of the past.

However, it is my understanding that in part the current backlog is due to the fact that some members of the board have retired recently and others are unable to assume a full work load because of ill health. But it is my understanding that in our most recent search for candidates there are four intended appointees. I believe three of the current members have also been reappointed.

Finally, I think there are some further openings, and I can advise all members of the House that if they know of individuals who might be able to fill a position at the OMB, they should forward their names. We would be particularly interested in receiving applications from minority groups that so far are underrepresented on boards and commissions in Ontario.

ONTARIO PUBLIC SERVICE SALARY INCREASE

Mr Sola: This is similar to the question posed by the leader of the third party. Less than two weeks ago, a news leak revealed that the NDP would spend between $20 million and $30 million to increase the salaries of senior civil servants. The secret increases will go to about 2,200 top administrative --

Hon Mr Wildman: Secret?

Mr Sola: -- to Management Board. They will go to 2,200 top administrative positions with individual raises totalling as much as $11,000 per person. This increase is about as much as a single parent supporting a child receives in welfare payments for a whole year. The government kept the policy under such secrecy that even the Treasurer was not aware of it when questioned last week. According to his answer today, I think he is still not too sure of what the party's position is.

Has the Chairman of Management Board undertaken to inform the Treasurer, who is sitting right beside her, and can she confirm whether these up-to-now-secret pay increases will still be implemented?

Hon Ms Lankin: There are times I find the experience in the Legislature amusing, and when a member of the official opposition refers to secret plans, secret reports, secret increases that in fact were the plan of the previous government of which he was a member, it strikes me as somewhat amusing.

With respect to his question about the Treasurer, may I say that the Treasurer was fully informed of this. He explained earlier that in fact the way the question was put to him, it was not with any detail to trigger in his mind that we were talking about the creation of the senior management group.

Specifically, let me address the content. The plan, of which I think the member should be well aware because it was brought about by the previous government, by his government when it was in power, realigns within the very senior levels of the civil service to create a new senior management group. It takes the 650 people who were part of the executive management compensation plan, along with about 1,400 people in the top, very senior levels of the middle management compensation plan, and combines them to create a new senior management compensation plan

The job evaluation that was done during the period of time his party was in government has taken what we did have, about seven to eight levels of senior management, and condensed them into three; de-layered, which is a very positive aspect of it.

What we are funding is nowhere near the number the member talks about. It will cost about $8 million. The 5% economic increase is the number that we are funding to ministries --

The Speaker: Could the minister conclude her remarks, please.

Hon Ms Lankin: It is a very complicated issue; I will try. Very quickly, let me say that by that funding envelope being limited to what ministries are given, they will have to fund from within, which means also a streamlining and a reduction in the number of people. I will also perhaps in supplementary be able to talk to members about the aspect of this which brings about pay for performance, which we think has merit as well.

Mr Sola: The plan may have been devised by our party when we were in government, but I would advise the minister that this was during a period of boom times and we have to question her sense of priorities in bringing it about at this time.

As to the secrecy aspect, I think it strange that I have to be informed of this by a reporter for the Financial Post trying to find out my reaction to it, and by the fact that the minister waited until the House recessed before even the leak was leaked out.

Referring back to the Treasurer, he has told taxpayers and American financiers that the NDP intends to be vigilant in controlling the deficit, but at the same time, when faced with the choice of fighting the recession or the deficit, he chose to fight the recession.

The Speaker: And your supplementary?

Mr Sola: I am getting to it. It is difficult to understand how these pay increases fit in with either of these government priorities. Could the Chairman of Management Board explain to the House whether the 14% pay increases for civil servants are designed to help the government fight the deficit or whether they were designed to help fight the unemployment caused by the recession?

Hon Ms Lankin: Once again, the member misrepresents the numbers when he says a 14% increase for civil servants in the plural, in large numbers, in an all-encompassing expression. In fact, what is happening is a system which again I would say he should be very familiar with, given it was his government that developed it. May I say that it was approved by the Premier's advisory council in July 1990. I have no idea why the press just found out about it in the last week or so. There is no secrecy to this. There is no secret implementation. This has been around for two years now. It was approved, in terms of the approval of the Premier for the member's government, in July of last year.

Let me say that the increases people will get will range from 0% up to a number not as high as 14%. That is an exaggeration. It is a pay-for-performance structure that will be put in place that will reward people when they meet things that are set out in their performance contracts. These are things like creative risk-taking and expenditure control, the very things that some members in the third party have been saying should be put forward as part of a performance contract, should be rewarded. That is exactly what we are going to do. We think it is a very important step. May I also say that, having been in place for two years -- the work on this, the investment that people made into the job evaluation plan, into the re-evaluation, into the de-layering, and into the streamlining -- it would have been odd had we abandoned it midstream when it was already in the process of being implemented.

1600

FRENCH LANGUAGE SERVICES

Mr Grandmaître: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: I am very concerned that the latest publication from the Ministry of Citizenship, more specifically the Office for Senior Citizens' Affairs -- this guide for senior citizens' services and programs in the province of Ontario -- says on the inside cover that this publication is also available in Braille, Portuguese, Polish, Italian, Greek, English and Chinese. Guess what? The French copy is missing. It is at the printer or it is lost in the shuffle.

This is not the first time that I have risen on a point of order of such kind, and I think that the Minister of Citizenship should know better. She should realize that she must adhere to the requirements of Bill 8, and I find this appalling and inexcusable.

The Speaker: The member may know that it is not a point of order, but the matter which he brings to my attention is something which is very important.

PETITIONS

AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE

Mr Chiarelli: Today I am tabling a series of petitions signed by over 10,000 men and women currently employed in the auto insurance industry from across Ontario. These include Woodbridge, Wingham, Windsor, Whitby, Toronto, Scarborough, St Catharines, Owen Sound, Ottawa, Niagara Falls, Mississauga, Milton, Marathon, Kingston, London, Kitchener, Hamilton, Guelph, Belleville, Barrie and Aurora, including a petition from as far away as New Brunswick. These petitions fill a whole cardboard carton.

I will simply read one petition representing very many petitions which have been signed, as I indicated, by over 10,000 signatures.

The petition reads as follows:

"To the Honourable Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.

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

"Whereas a government takeover of the automobile insurance industry will involve job loss and dislocation for private-sector employees; and

"Whereas a government monopoly leads to increased costs, to inefficiencies and hidden tax subsidies and eliminates the public's right to individual freedom of choice;

"We believe that the insurance industry needs of the Ontario public are best served by private industry in an open, competitive, free enterprise market rather than a government-run monopoly."

MINISTERIAL CORRESPONDENCE

Mr McLean: I have a petition here that I have been asked to present, and I had it checked with the Clerk's office and found it to be in order.

"To the parliament of Ontario:

"Whereas the world is seeing Canada/Ontario, as a free and democratic society;

"Whereas we belong to the United Nations and our Ontario Human Rights Code follows in part the international human rights code;

"This in general should guarantee that the people of Ontario under the authority of this Legislature are treated as instructed by the rules of democracy

"Unfortunately, these rules of democracy have been deserted by the following members of the government: the Premier, Bob Rae; the Solicitor General, Mike Farnan; the Minister of the Environment, Ruth Grier; the Minister of Housing and Municipal Affairs, Dave Cooke; the Minister of Agriculture and Food, Elmer Buchanan; the Minister of Citizenship/Human Rights, Elaine Ziemba.

"All these six members of the Legislature are not conforming to the rules of democracy. These members have one thing in common: they do not communicate with the citizen, they do not reply to letters, or if they reply, they do not address the matters addressed in the letters.

"Whereas such conduct is not in conformity with our freedom of expression or democratic rights. Such conduct is the beginning of anarchy and dictatorship;

"Whereas the people of Ontario have the right to treatment within their inherent dignity and following the great rules of freedom of expression. (If there is no freedom of information/communication then there is no freedom of expression);

"I, the undersigned, petition the Parliament of Ontario as follows:

"To instruct these members of the Legislature to treat all individuals within their inherent dignity and engage in a positive and constructive manner of reply."

That is signed by Henry Freitag, Penetanguishene, Ontario.

ABORTION

Mr Sutherland: I have a petition addressed to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario and it is signed by 59 constituents in my riding. The petition says:

"Whereas medical and biological sciences have proven conclusively that human life begins at conception, therefore abortion is the direct killing of a human being. Over one million unborn Canadians have been killed in our country since 1969;

"Whereas abortion cannot be construed as a 'medical procedure,' since the aim of medicine is to cure and to heal, not to take life. Abortion has only one purpose and that is to terminate the life of an unborn child. This has nothing to do with medical care.

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

"We strongly object to the plan by the Ontario Health minister to increase abortion facilities, provide full funding for the killing of babies and pay travel expenses for women in remote areas to secure abortions. We the taxpayers resent having our tax money used in such destructive policies. This money could be used instead for helping women with crisis pregnancies to have their babies, providing subsequent support for them, both emotional and financial, as well as providing adoption services.

"We strongly urge you to consider the population depletion caused by widespread abortion which has already become a crucial problem, not only in Ontario, but across Canada. This problem will only get worse if your abortion policies are implemented.

"Therefore we plead with you to implement life-enhancing policies that will respect the dignity of all human life, including the unborn."

TVONTARIO TRANSMITTER

Mr Cleary: I have a petition to His Honour the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1,543 residents of my riding and the riding of S-D-G & East Grenville asking that a dual service transmitter be undertaken without delay for the Cornwall area so that taxpayers in the region can benefit from TVOntario and La Chaîne's excellent programming. I have also signed that petition.

OATH OF ALLEGIANCE

Mr Stockwell: "Whereas the Queen of Canada has long been a symbol of national unity for Canadians from all walks of life and from all ethnic backgrounds" --

Mr Perruzza: Is this a petition?

Mr Stockwell: Yes, it is. I am sorry, this is a petition, for my friend's sake. I should start again.

"Whereas the Queen of Canada has long been a symbol of national unity for Canadians from all walks of life and from all ethnic backgrounds; and

"Whereas the people of Canada are currently facing a constitutional crisis, which could potentially result in the breakup of the federation, and are in need of a unifying symbol;

"We, the undersigned, respectfully petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to restore the oath to the Queen for Metropolitan Toronto police officers and any other police officers across this province."

I thank you for your time and I have affixed my signature, Mr Speaker.

RETAIL STORE HOURS

Mr Wiseman: I have a petition from 39 of my constituents.

"Whereas commercialism should not have priority over family life; and

"Whereas the present wide open Sunday shopping restricts the rights of the community of the family and of individuals to a common day off; and

"Whereas any law protecting the rights of workers to refuse work on Sunday is inadequate because of the subtle pressures management may place on conditions for continued employment and promotion; and

"Whereas the Supreme Court of Ontario rejected the legislation of the previous government, mostly because of the municipal option clause;

"Therefore, we petition the government of Ontario to promote legislation enacting a province-wide common pause day for Ontario retailers and retail employees."

1610

OATH OF ALLEGIANCE

Mr Harnick: I have a petition that I wish to present to the Legislature. It reads as follows:

"Whereas the Queen of Canada has long been a symbol of national unity for Canadians from all walks of life and from all ethnic backgrounds; and

"Whereas the people of Canada are currently facing a constitutional crisis, which could potentially result in the breakup of the federation, and are in need of a unifying symbol;

"We, the undersigned, respectfully petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to restore the oath to the Queen for Metropolitan Toronto police officers and for any other police officers across the province."

I have put my name on this petition. I have signed it, and I am proud to present it to the Legislature.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

Mr Silipo: I have a petition to present, which is signed by about 370 residents of Toronto and area, residents who are primarily employed in good times in the construction industry. These construction workers are urging all levels of government to co-ordinate and streamline the process of creating non-profit, affordable housing and further urging the federal government to substantially increase funding for non-profit, affordable housing. They are also encouraging the provincial government to strengthen its financial commitment to non-profit, affordable housing and urging municipal governments to accelerate the approval process for affordable, non-profit housing projects and to promote the creation of second units in single-family dwellings.

OATH OF ALLEGIANCE

Mr Turnbull: I have a petition:

"Whereas the Queen of Canada has long been a symbol of national unity for Canadians from all walks of life and from all ethnic backgrounds;

"Whereas the people of Canada are currently facing a constitutional crisis, which could potentially result in the breakup of the federation, and are in need of a unifying symbol;

"We, the undersigned, respectfully petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to restore the oath to the Queen for Metropolitan Toronto police officers."

I have affixed my signature to this too.

Mr Cousens: I move that this House move to the next item on the agenda, the reports by committees in routine proceedings.

The Speaker: The member for Markham moves that we move to the next item of business on the agenda. Is it the pleasure of the House that the motion carry?

1643

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

Ayes 57; nays 7.

Mr Wiseman: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: I voted against that motion. I would like it recorded that I did not support the Conservatives.

The Deputy Speaker: Agreed.

Mr Jackson: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: I do not want to mislead the House, but the member for Downsview did not vote. Perhaps it should be recorded that he neither voted for nor against it, just to make sure that the record is straight.

The Deputy Speaker: The questions were quite simple: "All those in favour of the motion will please rise" and "All those opposed will please rise." I will ask the member for Downsview. Did you vote?

Mr Perruzza: No, I did not. I am not obligated to vote. I preferred not to vote.

The Deputy Speaker: Yes, you are obligated. Are you voting in favour or against?

Mr Perruzza: Mr Speaker, can I have a ruling on whether or not I am obligated to vote?

Interjections.

The Deputy Speaker: Order, please. I would suggest that you vote. Yes, do vote.

Mr Peruzza: Mr Speaker, it is fine to make a suggestion, but I am not completely familiar with the standing orders of this House.

The Deputy Speaker Order, please. I recommend that you vote.

Mr Perruzza: I would like to vote against the Conservatives, but their motions are redundant so it is unnecessary to --

The Deputy Speaker: Order. Please take your seat.

Mr Cousens: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: I have to congratulate the honourable member for Burlington South for bringing to the attention of the Chair that in fact one of the members in this House is not aware of the standing orders -- I do not have the exact number in front of me, but the Clerk would be able to provide it at his convenience -- on the very important fact that when we are in this House we are --

Interjections.

The Deputy Speaker: Order, please. On the point of order, please.

Mr Cousens: On how many previous occasions have we not had a full record of all members in the House voting, and has there been a review on this? I just have to thank the member for Burlington South that he brought this to your attention, or this honourable member would not have voted. On how many other occasions has this happened?

The Deputy Speaker: Order. Please take your seat. The Chair has ruled. That is the end of it.

Mr Cousens: I am sorry, Mr Speaker. On the point of order, there were other instances where this member has been in the House and not voted.

Interjections.

Mr Cousens: -- of making it clear that all members have a responsibility in this House not to sit on the fence. Mind you, I do not like the way they are voting most of the time.

The Deputy Speaker: Order. Please take your seat. Resume your seat, please. Will the members take their seats, please. The ruling has been made and that is the end of it.

Mr Duignan: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: It has got to do with the ringing of the bells in the corridor. Some staff are complaining of the persistent noise. If the third party persists in calling these votes, is there some way that we can tone down the bells in the corridor? It is affecting the staff.

The Deputy Speaker: Order. Please take your seat. The answer is no.

1650

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

MAY COURT CLUB OF OAKVILLE ACT, 1991

Mr Carr moved first reading of Bill Pr69, An Act to revive May Court Club of Oakville.

Motion agreed to.

CITY OF ST CATHARINES ECONOMIC PROTECTION ACT, 1991 / LOI DE 1991 SUR LA PROTECTION ÉCONOMIQUE DE LA CITÉ DE ST CATHARINES

Mr Cousens moved first reading of Bill 107, An Act to protect the Economy of the Border Community of the City of St Catharines.

M. Cousens propose la première lecture du projet de loi 107, Loi sur la protection économique de la communauté frontière de la Cité de St Catharines.

1658

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

La motion de M. Cousens, mise aux voix, est adoptée :

Ayes/Pour-62

Abel, Akande, Allen, Arnott, Bisson, Bradley, Caplan, Carr, Churley, Cleary, Cooper, Coppen, Cousens, Cunningham, Duignan, Fletcher, Frankford, Gigantes, Grandmaître, Haeck, Hampton, Hansen, Harnick, Harrington, Hayes, Hope, Huget, Jamison, Johnson, Klopp, Kormos, Lankin, MacKinnon, Martel, Martin, Mathyssen, McLean, Mills, Morrow, Murdoch, B., Murdock, S., O'Connor, O'Neill, Y., Perruzza, Philip, E., Silipo, Sola, Sterling, Sutherland, Tilson, Turnbull, Ward, B., Ward, M., Wark-Martyn, Waters, Wessenger, White, Wilson, F., Wilson, G., Winninger, Wiseman, Wood.

Nays/Contre-0

Mr Cousens: We are just trying to make a statement that something has to be done to protect the economy of the province of Ontario, and specifically the city of St Catharines, and every other city, from this budget that the Premier's government has brought in.

1700

Mr Perruzza: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: According to the rules of this House, every member has one vote and you only vote either yea or nay with respect to any motion introduced in this House. Mr Speaker, you do not have to rule on this today. I know that it requires some time for you to make these assessments and report back to the House, because as I understand it, that seems to be the procedure. But the Conservatives on the last vote voted against through their voice vote and voted in favour when they were asked to record their vote. They voted both ways on the same motion, on the same item --

The Deputy Speaker: Thank you.

ROYAL CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC ACT, 1991

Mr Silipo moved first reading of Bill Pr70, An Act respecting the Royal Conservatory of Music.

Motion agreed to.

CITY OF TORONTO ACT, 1991

Mr Silipo moved first reading of Bill Pr50, An Act respecting the City of Toronto.

1708

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

Ayes-57

Abel, Akande, Allen, Bisson, Caplan, Carr, Chiarelli, Churley, Cleary, Cooper, Coppen, Cousens, Cunningham, Duignan, Fletcher, Frankford, Gigantes, Grandmaître, Hampton, Hansen, Harnick, Hayes, Huget, Jamison, Johnson, Jordan, Klopp, Kormos, Lankin, MacKinnon, Martel, Martin, Mathyssen, McLean, Mills, Morrow, Murdoch, B., Murdock, S., O'Connor, O'Neill, Y., Ramsay, Silipo, Sola, Sutherland, Tilson, Turnbull, Ward, B., Ward, M., Wark-Martyn, Waters, Wessenger, White, Wilson, F., Wilson, G., Winninger, Wiseman, Wood.

Nays-1

Sterling.

SUBSTITUTE DECISIONS ACT, 1991 / LOI DE 1991 SUR LA PRISE DE DÉCISIONS AU NOM D'AUTRUI

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

M. Hampton propose la première lecture du projet de loi 108, Loi prévoyant la prise de décisions au nom d'adultes en ce qui concerne la gestion de leurs biens et le soin de leur personne.

1720

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

La motion de M. Hampton, mise aux voix, est adoptée :

Ayes/Pour-60

Abel, Akande, Allen, Bisson, Caplan, Carr, Chiarelli, Churley, Cleary, Cooper, Coppen, Cousens, Cunningham, Duignan, Fletcher, Frankford, Gigantes, Grandmaître, Haeck, Hampton, Hansen, Harnick, Hayes, Hope, Huget, Jamison, Johnson, Jordan, Klopp, Kormos, Lankin, MacKinnon, Martel, Martin, Mathyssen, McLean, Mills, Morrow, Murdoch, B., Murdock, S., O'Connor, O'Neill, Y., Ramsay, Silipo, Sola, Sterling, Sutherland, Tilson, Turnbull, Ward, B., Ward, M., Wark-Martyn, Waters, Wessenger, White, Wilson, F., Wilson, G., Winninger, Wiseman, Wood.

Nays/Contre-0

Mr Cousens: Mr Speaker, on a point of order: Was the honourable Speaker aware that one honourable member from this House was not in his seat, yet was in the chamber when the vote was taken?

The Deputy Speaker: I have noticed that the member for Downsview was in the press gallery and not in the House.

CONSENT TO TREATMENT ACT, 1991 / LOI DE 1991 SUR LE CONSENTEMENT AU TRAITEMENT

Ms Lankin moved first reading of Bill 109, An Act respecting Consent to Treatment.

Mme Lankin propose la première lecture du projet de loi 109, Loi concernant le consentement au traitement.

1729

The House divided on Ms Lankin's motion, which was agreed to on the following vote:

La motion de Mme Lankin, mise aux voix, est adoptée :

Ayes/Pour-57

Abel, Akande, Allen, Bisson, Caplan, Chiarelli, Churley, Cleary, Cooper, Coppen, Cousens, Duignan, Fletcher, Gigantes, Grandmaître, Haeck, Hampton, Hansen, Harnick, Harrington, Hayes, Hope, Huget, Jamison, Johnson, Jordan, Klopp, Lankin, Lessard, MacKinnon, Malkowski, Martel, Mathyssen, McLean, Mills, Morrow, Murdoch, B., Murdock, S., O'Connor, O'Neill, Y., Perruzza, Ramsay, Silipo, Sola, Sterling, Sutherland, Tilson, Turnbull, Ward, B., Ward, M., Wark-Martyn, Wessenger, White, Wilson, F., Wilson, G., Winninger, Wiseman.

Nays/Contre-0

CONSENT AND CAPACITY STATUTE LAW AMENDMENT ACT 1991 / LOI DE 1991 MODIFIANT DES LOIS EN CE QUI CONCERNE LE CONSENTEMENT ET LA CAPACITÉ

Mr Hampton moved first reading of Bill 110, An Act to amend certain Statutes of Ontario consequent upon the enactment of the Consent to Treatment Act, 1991 and the Substitute Decisions Act, 1991.

M. Hampton propose la première lecture du projet de loi 110, Loi modifiant certaines lois de l'Ontario par suite de l'adoption de la Loi de 1991 sur le consentement au traitement et de la Loi de 1991 sur la prise de décisions au nom d'autrui.

Motion agreed to.

La motion est adoptée.

Hon Mr Hampton: Consequent upon the bills introduced by the Minister of Health and myself today, a number of changes will have to be made in a number of other statutes, and this bill deals with that and tries to do so in an orderly fashion.

Mr Cousens: I move that the House proceed to orders of the day.

1805

The House divided on Mr Cousens's motion, which was negatived on the following vote:

Ayes 15; nays 39.

The House adjourned at 1806.

top | new search