DEATH OF MEMBER FOR STORMONT, DUNDAS AND GLENGARRY

DEATH OF CLARE MAPLEDORAM

SUPPLEMENTARY ESTIMATES

RESIGNATION OF DEPUTY SPEAKER

APPOINTMENT TO BOARD OF INTERNAL ECONOMY

LEGISLATIVE PAGES

STATEMENTS BY THE MINISTRY

URBAN TRANSPORTATION DEVELOPMENT CORP. CONTRACT

TREASURY’S FALL AGENDA

MINISTRY OF ENERGY REPORT

TRUST COMPANIES

FUNDING FOR SENIORS

ORAL QUESTIONS

YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT

HYDRO REACTORS

FRENCH LANGUAGE RIGHTS

HYDRO PLANNING

EQUAL PAY FOR WORK OF EQUAL VALUE

INSPECTION OF NURSING HOMES

TVONTARIO COVERAGE

PETITIONS

INFLATION RESTRAINT LEGISLATION

REPORTS

STANDING COMMITTEE ON REGULATIONS AND OTHER STATUTORY INSTRUMENTS

STANDING COMMITTEE ON SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

STANDING COMMITTEE ON GENERAL GOVERNMENT

MOTIONS

ORDER OF ESTIMATES

ESTIMATES

ORDERS FOR CONCURRENCE

STANDING COMMITTEES

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

NEW HORIZONS DAY CENTRE INCORPORATED ACT

CROP INSURANCE AMENDMENT ACT (ONTARIO)

TOWNSHIP OF MATTICE-VAL COTE ACT

REGIONAL AND METROPOLITAN MUNICIPALITIES AMENDMENT ACT

POLICE AMENDMENT ACT

CITY OF TORONTO ACT

BROCKVILLE YMCA/YWCA ACT

CITY OF GUELPH ACT

CITY OF HAMILTON ACT

HUMAN TISSUE GIFT AMENDMENT ACT

MOTION TO SET ASIDE ORDINARY BUSINESS

ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS IN ORDERS AND NOTICES

ORDERS OF THE DAY

OFF-ROAD VEHICLES ACT


The House met at 2 p.m.

Prayers.

DEATH OF MEMBER FOR STORMONT, DUNDAS AND GLENGARRY

Mr. Speaker: Before the routine proceedings, it is my duty to inform the House that a vacancy has occurred in the membership of this House during the adjournment by reason of the death of Osie F. Villeneuve, Esquire, member for the electoral district of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Premier (Mr. Davis), it is my sad duty to inform the House formally of the death of Osie Villeneuve, member for Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, on September 25 at the age of 77. Osie suffered a heart attack while in Toronto to attend a dinner with the Premier and other colleagues.

First elected to the Legislature in 1948 following active service in local government, Osie Villeneuve went on to receive the support of the constituents of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry through eight subsequent provincial elections. He also held office at the federal level, winning election to the House of Commons on two occasions. Thus, for more than 35 years, Osie Villeneuve served the people of the united counties at the local, provincial and national levels of government.

More than the longevity of his service, which stands as a remarkable achievement by itself, it is the quality and nature of that service which so many people have commented on in recent weeks. Osie truly embodied the concept of public life as one of service to others.

Indeed, few constituents have had a harder- working, more concerned or more deeply compassionate representative in the Legislature than the people of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry. No problem was too small, no request was too minor and no hour of the day was too late to attract the full measure of Osie’s interest and effort as he endeavoured to make government responsive to the needs of the people he represented. His efforts brought a very human and humane face to the workings of public institutions.

Osie very much believed that the Legislature played a major role in the life of our province. Whether it was through his effective service on numerous committees, his courteous conduct towards all who worked here or his contributions to debates, ranging in topic from the Constitution to the role of the Speaker, Osie Villeneuve evidenced his love of this chamber and of the traditions for which it stands.

His own sense of decency shaped his view of the Legislature as a forum for reasoned dialogue and for the demonstration of concern for others. This sense of decency was itself shaped by the values acquired from both his family and his beloved community of Maxville. His own upbringing instilled in Osie a belief in tolerance, moderation and a deep commitment to the betterment of relations among all Canadians. He was both a gentleman and a gentle Canadian who, as the Premier noted in his statement of September 26, “demonstrated that public service was very much a profession of high calling.”

Osie managed to find time, however, in which to pursue other interests. As members will recall, he was an avid sports fan and maintained a keen interest in and a knowledge of hockey and baseball in particular. His beloved Canadiens and Expos could certainly have benefited from the energy and the dedication he applied to his own endeavours.

A talented and valued friend has been lost to us. We will all miss him greatly but we will keep his memory very much alive, particularly his commitment to our parliamentary form of government. Speaking in this chamber on November 16, 1981, the honourable member who occupied seat number one offered the following advice to his colleagues:

“Tradition, precedent, convention, the rules of the game and a sense of fairness and justice are at the heart of our ways of proceeding, but they are only as valuable as the participants are willing to make them; they are only as good as we are.”

I know all of us will agree that the example set by Osie Villeneuve was a very good one indeed. On behalf of the government and the members of the Legislature I extend our deepest sympathies to his wife Alma and the entire Villeneuve family.

We have received a communication from Mrs. Villeneuve and members of the family which she has asked me to communicate to all of us through you Mr. Speaker. Perhaps I might read it as an appendix to this statement this afternoon.

“Mr. Speaker:

“I would like to express my profound gratitude to you and the members of the Legislature for their thoughtfulness at the time of Osie’s passing. All of us in the Villeneuve family were deeply touched by the assistance, the sympathy and the many fine tributes paid to Osie. It was especially moving to see so many members of the House in Maxville for his funeral.

“Above all, we want to thank you for the support and the loyalty and the friendship Osie received during his many years of service as a member of the Ontario Legislature. You helped make his life rewarding and worth while. Although we mourn his loss, we are thankful for many things. Not the least is the record of his service to the people of Ontario. No one summed up his life better than Osie himself. Speaking at the reception in Maxville honouring his 35th year in politics, he said: ‘Friends are friends. That is what I want to be and hope to be forever more.’

“Very sincerely, Alma Villeneuve and the family.”

Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, 35 years ago in 1948, Osie Villeneuve was first elected to the Ontario Legislature. Over the years and since that time he has given dedicated and comprehensive representation to the people of his riding at both the federal and provincial levels.

2:10 p.m.

Osie -- and I point this out to all my colleagues -- was rarely absent from the House and the people of his riding were rarely absent from his thoughts. Regarded as he was as the dean of the House in years of service, Osie gave tremendous emphasis to the problems of his constituents. No problem was too small for his attention and no bureaucratic tangle too complex for him to handle. For example, Ontario Hydro is very much in the news these days, but when Osie Villeneuve first came to Queen’s Park he kept electric power in the public eye for different reasons, as he fought to bring the blessings of electricity to many communities in Ontario.

While for the most part Osie was content to carry out his responsibilities quietly and away from the spotlight of centre stage, there were times when he brought considerable drama to this House during debates on events or development about which he felt strongly and passionately; for example, the invasion of Afghanistan and the Moscow Olympics boycott.

Osie was well liked and respected by members of all parties in the Ontario Legislature, and many new members have had the occasion to be grateful for his good judgement and his wisdom. A man of warmth, friendliness and wide-ranging knowledge, Osie was deeply concerned about individuals’ problems, about his province, about his country and, indeed, about the future of the world.

All of us have special personal memories of Osie. Everyone had experiences with him, whether it was breakfasting downstairs or having the benefit of his good humour or his wisdom. When I was at his funeral some 10 days or so ago, I have never been in a place in my life where I felt such a profound sense of loss by everyone as I did at that funeral.

I should say that my own very special memory of Osie was one day in a committee. He was chairman of that committee, and there was a particularly rancorous fight between Dr. Parrott and Dr. Smith as only they could fight, as members will recall. Osie tolerated this for some long period of time and then he turned to the two doctors engaged in a learned and bitter debate and said: “You know I am an old man; you know I am not as smart as you two guys. But if you do not learn to behave like gentlemen and discuss this in an orderly way, I am going to jump up and punch you both in the snoot.” With that one remark he changed the tone very substantially.

His passing leaves a gap in this House and in this province that will not easily be filled. He will be sadly missed by every one of us. He was indeed one of a kind.

Mr. Rae: Mr. Speaker, it is with sadness that I rise on this occasion on behalf of my party. I do so as the most newly elected member of the Legislature to pay respect to Osie Villeneuve who, as has already been mentioned, had the longest service of any member in the House.

It is perhaps only on occasions such as this that we as individual members of the Legislature reflect on the kind of people who go into public service and the kind of people who see politics as a very high calling indeed. In fact, whenever I think of the clichés that are often mentioned about politics and politicians, I think all of us might reflect on the extraordinary career of a very dedicated man like Osie Villeneuve who had the respect, I think it can be said, of every member of this Legislature from whatever party he came, and had the respect, the love and the very real affection and support -- Lord knows, he had the support -- of the good constituents of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry.

Osie Villeneuve was very good to me personally when I first arrived here. He joked with me about the fact that before I was elected to the Legislature I had spent some time visiting some cheese and dairy factories in his riding. We joked about the efficacy of my spending a great deal of time in his constituency from a political point of view. We joked about baseball, as the Deputy Premier (Mr. Welch) has already mentioned. He was a very dedicated Expos fan and I, of course, am a supporter of the team that has transformed the city of Toronto.

Osie Villeneuve was loved by his people because he stood by them and stood for them. He worked hard on their behalf and they knew it. He had an extraordinary gift of integrity and of service.

This session will no doubt be contentious and divisive at times and will no doubt raise some tempers. It might perhaps raise a bit of temper in the public about our behaviour too. But as we enter upon our partisan battle, I think it is important that we reflect on those people who may not get all the publicity, who may not get all the attention, but who simply do their job representing their constituents. It is a job all of us try to do; not all of us succeed in doing it as well as Osie Villeneuve did. He did it extraordinarily well, with grace, with dignity and with a gift for friendship that was extraordinary.

Orland French, the columnist with the Globe and Mail, who reported on the dinner that was held for Osie Villeneuve marking his 35th anniversary, quoted Osie as saying: “I never had any desire to be anything but a humble backbencher because I knew my limitations. Friends are friends, and that is all we want to be or hope to be forever.”

I think today we recognize not Osie Villeneuve’s limitations, which Lord knows are not any greater than anybody else’s in this chamber, but his quiet achievements. To the Villeneuve family, to Mrs. Villeneuve, Alma, to the people of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, on behalf of the New Democratic Party, I want to express our very real feelings of loss and our sense of comradeship with them at this very difficult time.

Mr. Speaker: Thank you. Obviously, Osie Villeneuve is going to be sadly missed by all members on all sides of this House. On behalf of all members, I would like to pass along our sincerest sympathies to the Villeneuve family.

DEATH OF CLARE MAPLEDORAM

Hon. Mr. Bernier: Mr. Speaker, it is with sadness that I rise in my place today and advise the members of the Ontario Legislature of the passing of a former member of this House, Clare Mapledoram of Thunder Bay. Clare Mapledoram passed away on Sunday in Thunder Bay in his 80th year. As members will recall, he was a member of this Legislature, having been elected in 1951. He was Minister of Lands and Forests from 1954 to 1958.

Clare Mapledoram had a very distinguished career in municipal politics, having been reeve of Neebing township from 1947 to 1951. He was active in the Northwestern Ontario Municipal League from 1950 to 1952. He worked for the Great Lakes Paper Co. for 35 years and was president of the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce for several years. He is survived by his wife Mary, one daughter and three sons.

I am sure, Mr. Speaker, that other members will join with me in extending sincere sympathy to the members of his family.

Mr. Speaker: I am sure all members extend to the Mapledoram family their sincerest sympathies.

SUPPLEMENTARY ESTIMATES

Hon. Mr. McCague: Mr. Speaker, I have a message from the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor signed by his own hand.

Mr. Speaker: John B. Aird, the Lieutenant Governor, transmits supplementary estimates of certain additional sums required for the services of the province for the year ending March 31, 1984, and recommends them to the Legislative Assembly, Toronto, October 11, 1983.

2:20 p.m.

RESIGNATION OF DEPUTY SPEAKER

Mr. Speaker: It is my duty to inform the House that a vacancy has occurred in the office of Deputy Speaker of the assembly by reason of the resignation of Mr. Sam L. Cureatz, Esquire.

Applause

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I am sure that applause is for the job the honourable member did. We would not want the record to show that people were happy with his leaving.

Hon. Mr. Wells moved, seconded by Mr. Nixon, that the member for Mississauga North (Mr. Jones) be appointed Deputy Speaker for the remainder of this parliament.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Conway: Mr. Speaker, if I might briefly have the opportunity of speaking as a private member, I want to say that I think the member for Durham East (Mr. Cureatz) did a very fine job. I want to say to him through you, sir, that I think he deserves our collective thanks, which already have been tendered.

Mr. Speaker: Thank you very much. You took the words out of my mouth. I would like, personally. to extend my thanks for the time Mr. Cureatz devoted to this position and to helping me in particular.

APPOINTMENT TO BOARD OF INTERNAL ECONOMY

Mr. Speaker: I beg to inform the House that I have laid upon the table a copy of an order in council appointing the Honourable Gordon Dean, Minister without Portfolio, a member of the Board of Internal Economy) in the place of the Honourable Milton Edward Charles Gregory.

LEGISLATIVE PAGES

Mr. Speaker: As you have all noticed, starting off this session we have a new group of pages with us. I would like to take this opportunity of introducing them to all the members of the House.

Mark Atkins, York Centre; Amie Bond, Mississauga South; Leslie Clarke, Essex North; Jeffrey Dawley, Brampton; Catherine Elgie, St. David; Janet Ferland, Niagara Falls; Kyle Findlay, Durham York; Barbara Frey, Cambridge; Paul Gillard, Carleton-Grenville; Genevieve Gordon, Sudbury; Michael Gordon, London North;

Teresa lannuzziello, Scarborough East; Diana Liepold, Beaches-Woodbine; Jennifer Mactaggart, Brock; Heather McDiarmid, Algoma; Christopher Overgaard, Prince Edward-Lennox; David Pathe, York East; Andres Quinlan, Hamilton West; Jason Rodney, Huron-Middlesex; Douglas Sage, Humber; Jennifer Sheffield, Lanark, and John Todd, Grey.

I ask you to join with me in welcoming these young people to the Legislature.

STATEMENTS BY THE MINISTRY

URBAN TRANSPORTATION DEVELOPMENT CORP. CONTRACT

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure today to be able to announce that this morning in San Jose, California, the Urban Transportation Development Corp. has signed a contract to supply a minimum of 30 articulated light rail vehicles, for a total value of $29.8 million in March 1983 United States dollars.

Moreover, the agreement with the Santa Clara County Transit District -- won, I might add, against very stiff competition from the international scene -- provides for options for an additional 20 vehicles, which could make the contract worth up to $50 million in Canadian dollars.

The Santa Clara vehicles will be built in Thunder Bay at the Canadian Car manufacturing facility, directly creating 200 man-years of work for that community. Manufacturing of the vehicles is to begin in late 1984, with final delivery in 1986.

The articulated light rail vehicles are based on the modern equipment developed by UTDC for the Toronto Transit Commission. These vehicles have successfully operated for more than 22 million kilometres in passenger service since 1979. They will be used on a new 32-kilometre light rail transit system to serve the historic city of San Jose, the fourth largest city in California, and the rapidly growing Silicon Valley area, known for its concentration of high-technology firms.

This successful contract will complement the other UTDC projects on the west coast, mainly the design and construction of an advanced light rail transit service for Vancouver, British Columbia. It will provide another showcase in the vital Pacific Rim market area for yet another of UTDC’s state-of-the-art transportation products and services.

TREASURY’S FALL AGENDA

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, I would like to outline for the House some major changes to the budget-making process and to take this opportunity to set forth the legislative activities we anticipate this fall. Both of these are designed to allow for consultation and preplanning by members of this assembly, interested groups and the public.

Mr. Nixon: The Peterson program.

Hon. Mr. Grossman: No. We like office over here.

Perhaps I might begin with an outline of our restraint program agenda. Although an economic recovery is clearly under way in Ontario, it is vulnerable to a renewal of higher levels of inflation. Our government is not prepared to abandon its leadership role in the struggle to keep a lid on inflationary pressures that might otherwise threaten and destroy a real but fragile recovery.

We are committed to sustaining economic momentum while promoting job creation and providing assistance to those less well-off in society, those hardest hit by the recession. Government initiatives, including our public sector wage restraint program, have provided us with some fiscal flexibility to pursue both of these important objectives.

Further, if expenditure control slips away, the deficit will rise, thus increasing dramatically the cost of borrowing. This would rob us of hundreds of millions of dollars that otherwise might have been available to spend on much-needed programs.

For all these reasons, cabinet approved on September 22 a proposal to introduce legislation continuing for one year our public sector wage restraint and administered price efforts. There is agreement that our new restraint legislation should provide for a return to collective bargaining to the greatest extent possible.

This will be a significant departure from the current Inflation Restraint Act but one we believe is appropriate, necessary and important. By restoring the maximum degree of collective bargaining possible within the parameters of our restraint objectives, we are seeking to introduce the flexibility to overcome certain of the inequities that need to be addressed.

We are indeed aware of the difficulties involved in drafting a piece of legislation which both meets our government’s restraint objectives and makes a significant move to return to free collective bargaining. Because of the complexity of the undertaking, we are moving cautiously to ensure that we understand the views and concerns of those affected by the program. We want to provide an opportunity for assessment and discussion of the implications and how we can achieve our combined objectives. As this consultation takes place, we will be able to clarify further aspects of the restraint legislation.

One element of the program will involve a restriction on public sector compensation increases. Details of this restriction are now under consideration, and we expect it will be determined and announced towards the latter part of October. We will be welcoming input on ways in which this limit should be applied. We will also be seeking advice on the administered price provisions of the restraint program.

Given our commitment to undertake a process of open consultation, we expect the new legislation itself to be ready for introduction around November 1.

2:30 p.m.

The second matter I would like to inform the House about relates to plans we have to open up the budget process in important and innovative ways.

We believe the veil of secrecy surrounding the development of budgets should be lifted. Obviously there are certain elements of revenue policy which must remain confidential until budget day. None the less, in an era when economic problems are complex and need as much analysis and consultation as possible, the current preoccupation with secrecy is, we believe, overemphasized.

We should be able to find ways of opening up the budget process so citizens, interest groups and members of this assembly can participate more effectively. In short, we plan to consult, not conceal, in budget policy decision-making. To help accomplish this, we intend to introduce important innovations to the process this year.

First, an economic and fiscal statement will be tabled in the third week of November. This document will include projections which set the stage for major policy decisions to be taken in the spring budget.

Second, over the course of the next four or five months, we plan to table a number of prebudget papers. Each will deal with a specific issue of budgetary policy.

Traditionally, most budget papers have been tabled with the budget itself on budget day. Therefore, even though they may have made a significant contribution to public understanding of complex issues, they were often overlooked in the attention paid to the budget itself. The papers also tended to be more technical in nature and geared to a limited audience. In this new budget process, we now plan to place more emphasis on wider issues related to economic policy and to address the papers to a broad audience.

By tabling these papers and changing their orientation, we will be sharing with members of this assembly information and analysis that have until now been kept under the hooded purview of the Treasury. The papers will provide a greatly improved basis for public discussion of budget issues as they are being developed, not after the fact.

To facilitate a greater degree of public participation, we will undertake an extensive process of consultation not confined simply to Treasury boardrooms at Queen’s Park.

These innovations, combined with the effective system of prebudget consultation already in place, should make a significant contribution to demystifying the budget process.

Another area of budget development where improvements can be made involves the timing of our announcements of major transfer payments.

When we are asking our school boards, hospitals and municipalities to plan more effectively and make better use of their financial resources, it seems only fair that they be given greater lead time in their knowledge of provincial levels of support.

In the past, our transfer decisions have not been made until some of the recipients were well into their fiscal years. This has made it more difficult for them to organize their affairs and to manage resources effectively.

Therefore, in accordance with the requests of many transferees, my colleagues have agreed to make a special effort to work with us in getting decisions made this fall on provincial transfer payments for 1984.

We hope to make the appropriate announcements in November, rather than in February or March of next year. We may, in fact, be able to include them in the economic and fiscal statement I referred to earlier.

Before decisions on transfer payments are made, my colleagues and I will, of course, be consulting with the affected groups, such as the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, to hear their views on 1984 financing levels.

To summarize, the guideline for public sector compensation and administered prices will be announced within two weeks, with legislation to be introduced on or about November 1. An economic and fiscal statement will be tabled in the third week of November, at which time we may be able to announce decisions on provincial transfer payments for 1984. Prebudget papers will be introduced over the next four to five months, and opportunities will be provided for a broad degree of public consultation.

These, then, are our fall restraint and spring budget schedules, both of which are designed to provide more opportunity for public involvement and participation.

While ultimate decisions, difficult as they are, remain with government, the problems are so complex and the solutions so difficult that no one can afford narrow internal policy formulation. Rather, access to ideas and policy options

from every quarter must surely be the order of the day.

Mr. Speaker: The Minister of Energy.

[Applause]

Hon. Mr. Andrewes: I hope they are not disappointed, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

MINISTRY OF ENERGY REPORT

Hon. Mr. Andrewes: It is all good news.

Mr. Speaker, today I intend to report to the House on two matters of public interest and importance related to energy. These are the present situation regarding unit 2 at Ontario Hydro’s Pickering generating station, and oil and natural gas pricing.

First, I would like to provide Ontario Hydro’s assessment of the current situation at the Pickering generating station unit 2 and the work that is being done by Ontario Hydro and Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.

As members are aware, control room operators acting in accordance with approved procedures shut down unit 2 at the Pickering generating station in the afternoon of August 1. I might add that this occurred after almost a full year of continuous trouble-free operation.

The shutdown was necessary because of a break in a pressure tube which caused heavy water to leak from the cooling system into the containment structure. There was no escape of radioactivity to the environment, and the heavy water was recycled back into the cooling system and recovered for future use.

Since the shutdown, Ontario Hydro has taken steps to determine the cause of the failure. On September 8, Ontario Hydro removed the cracked pressure tube and sent it to the Chalk River laboratories of AECL for inspection and metallurgical examination. A second intact pressure tube, which was not cracked, was sent for examination and comparison on September 30.

Ontario Hydro has indicated that it is planning to remove the calandria tube associated with the broken pressure tube and is considering the removal of additional pressure tubes for detailed examination at Chalk River. In the meantime, unit 2 remains shut down and routine maintenance work, scheduled before the shutdown, is proceeding.

Ontario Hydro has reported that accelerated corrosion has been identified on the surface of both the pressure tubes towards the outlet end. There is also a higher than expected amount of hydrogen in the zirconium metal of the tubes towards the outlet end.

Both corrosion and the buildup of hydrogen in the metal are expected to occur during the operating life of pressure tubes. However, the rate at which this has occurred at the outlet end of the tubes examined is greater than in other pressure tubes that have been examined previously. Examination of the inlet end of the tubes indicates corrosion and hydrogen pickup rates in the range expected on the basis of previous experience.

Ontario Hydro reports that a comprehensive analysis of the pressure tube problem will not be available for another month or so. The extent of the rehabilitation work that must be undertaken before unit 2 can be restarted will depend on the results of this analysis.

Throughout this period, Ontario Hydro has kept both me and officials of the ministry fully informed of what it is doing and of the results.

As Minister of Energy, my responsibilities in this matter relate to the adequacy and security of all energy supply systems, including our electrical systems. I am satisfied that, in spite of the current situation, Ontario Hydro has adequate generating capacity to meet the electricity needs of industry and the residents of Ontario. However, this will be done at a cost that is higher than would exist if Pickering unit 2 was in service. This higher cost results from the fact that energy that could have been produced by unit 2 must be replaced by coal-fired stations, which are more costly to fuel and operate.

2:40 p.m.

I would also like to note the role of the other agencies that are involved in aspects of Ontario Hydro’s nuclear generating system. The responsibility for the operation of the generating station rests, of course, with Ontario Hydro. In carrying out this responsibility, they will be relying on the expert technical advice they obtain from Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., which has special skills and resources in these matters. Overseeing both Ontario Hydro and AECL is the Atomic Energy Control Board, the federal regulatory agency charged with the independent assessment of matters related to the operation and safety of nuclear facilities.

As additional information becomes available on this situation, I will ensure that all sides of the House are kept informed, as they have been to date.

The second matter I would like to report on today is my ministry’s current perspective on oil and natural gas prices. This perspective was shaped by the recent amending agreement signed by the federal and Alberta governments and the provision in that amending agreement for incentive natural gas prices, particularly for the industrial markets.

As honourable members are aware, the framework for the pricing of crude oil and natural gas in Canada has been the agreement of September 1981 between the governments of Canada and Alberta. With the decline in international oil prices during the first few months of 1983, revisions to this framework became necessary.

The outcome was an amendment to the Canada-Alberta agreement, announced on June 30, 1983, covering the 18 months through the end of 1984. The amendment’s main result is the maintenance of relatively stable wholesale prices for crude oil and natural gas during this period.

A further important feature of this amendment is an undertaking by the two governments to explore incentives for increasing the sale of natural gas, particularly in industrial markets. In the light of the very difficult competitive position of Ontario industry, this was welcome news, as was the undertaking by the federal and Alberta governments to consult with the consuming provinces.

I have urged that any industrial gas incentive pricing scheme should be directed not only at attracting new loads but also to maintaining the base volume of industrial gas sales. Only through this broader approach will our industry’s difficult international competitive position be assisted.

Officials of the Ministry of Energy have communicated this concern to officials in Alberta and Ottawa, and I expect many further contacts in the weeks ahead.

A related matter is the hearing held over the summer by the Ontario Energy Board on industrial and particularly feedstock uses of natural gas. This inquiry relates to the supply arrangements for a major part of the industrial gas market and therefore affects directly the future structure of gas distribution in Ontario. The Ontario government will be giving very careful consideration to the board’s report when it is received.

TRUST COMPANIES

Hon. Mr. Elgie: Mr. Speaker, I would like to report to the House on some matters relating to the administration of trust companies that have occurred since the House adjourned.

The first matter is the preparation of the white paper on the Loan and Trust Corporations Act. I regret that I was not able to table that paper prior to the adjournment of the House in June. As I indicated at that time, the preparation of the Morrison report took longer than was originally contemplated and that, in turn, carried the preparation of the white paper into the summer months. The white paper is taking more time to prepare than I originally anticipated and I now believe it will be available for this House in November.

On that basis, I would contemplate that the white paper might be referred to the standing committee on administration of justice for study and that this study might take place over the winter break. This, of course, will be a matter to be worked out in discussion with opposition parties. However, this timing would afford a reasonable time for interested parties to consider the white paper recommendations and to prepare submissions to the committee.

A second matter is the internal review of administration and procedures carried out in the ministry. Members may recall that I earlier advised the House that a review of our administration and procedures in the area of financial institutions would be carried out. This has now been done with respect to the regulation of loan and trust corporations.

I have not yet finally decided whether the internal review, which was a thorough one, should be supplemented by an external review. At this point, I am inclined to believe this might not be necessary and that our continuing assessment and response will confirm that conclusion. In any event, I intend to make a decision on that question by the time the white paper is presented. If, as I now expect, I conclude that an external review is unnecessary, I would propose referring that internal review to the committee at the same time as I present the white paper.

I also hope to be more explicit at that time about changes now being made in administration and procedures. This would mean the committee would have the benefit of the Morrison report, other material already filed and the internal review when the members commence their study of the white paper. If I conclude that the internal review should be supplemented by an external one, I would think it better to release the internal and external reviews at the same time. I would not expect any external review to take very long, so both should be available by the time the committee meets to study the white paper.

I can report now on one of the major changes that is under way. This relates to the form, content and frequency of reports made by trust companies to the registrar. A new early warning system has been developed and is now being tested on 25 Ontario incorporated companies. This system concentrates on indicators that reflect the financial health of the company and which can be produced in a format that lends itself to computer analysis and should be available for general use in early 1984.

In this regard, I would point out that the federal officials and our colleagues in other provinces are interested in this work as it holds the promise of being a system that can be applied nationally to all loan and trust corporations. Such a development has obvious advantages in terms of keeping all loan and trust corporation regulators informed of the performance and economic health of companies operating in their jurisdiction. Indeed, the principles of this system might be applicable to all financial institutions. Our initiative in this area may be an important step in moving towards more uniform administrative practices in Canada.

I know that some members are concerned about possible consequences of delay in bringing forward remedial legislation. Without wishing to minimize the need for further legislative changes, I would like to remind the House of the very significant changes that were made to the registrar’s powers in the bill that was passed last December to amend the Loan and Trust Corporations Act. Those amendments, for the first time, gave the registrar the authority to review and, in a proper case, prevent the sale of controlling interests in an existing trust company. It also allowed the registrar to impose terms and conditions on the operation of a loan and trust corporation.

With these additional powers, the registrar is able to deal with situations that might otherwise develop into much more difficult problems. Thus while I still intend to press for additional changes to the Loan and Trust Corporations Act, it is my belief we can and should take the time to carefully consider the issues that will be raised in the white paper.

As I promised members earlier, I made the Morrison report available to members at the earliest opportunity after its receipt by filing it with the Clerk during the summer recess as a report. All members of the House will now have had an opportunity to read and digest the Morrison report and its conclusions. Mr. Morrison is to be congratulated on his success in setting out, in clear and understandable language, a very complex and confusing fact situation.

As I previously said I would, I have referred that report to Mr. Stuart Thom for whatever assistance it may be to him in his deliberations in respect of rent review. The report has been studied by staff working on the white paper and a number of recommendations in the paper will relate to the findings or observations of Mr. Morrison.

2:50 p.m.

I would like to make a brief report on the three trust companies themselves. First, as members are aware, the arm’s-length depositors with these companies have been and will continue to be paid in full. As a result of the co-operation between the registrar and the Canada Deposit Insurance Corp., special arrangements were made permitting all depositors to be paid and allowing the registrar, the CDIC and the trust companies adequate time to assess the financial situation in these companies. In this way, those in charge of the trust companies’ assets can determine how best to protect creditors, preferred shareholders and ordinary shareholders.

Second, members will be aware that the trust companies have initiated lawsuits to recover moneys improperly removed from the trust companies and those matters are currently before the courts. The legal responsibility for the losses to these trust companies will be determined in the courts under the process of the courts.

The one case that has already gone to judgement involved the Cayman bank which we are told was used by the so-called Saudi purchasers and Mr. Player. The Cayman bank was found in contempt of court and substantial fines were imposed upon it and its manager. In addition, the Cayman bank’s licence has been suspended by the inspector of banks in the Cayman Islands.

Lastly, the trust companies have endeavoured to locate and pursue the funds paid out by the trust companies in the Cadillac Fairview transaction. When located, court orders have been obtained freezing those funds pending the conclusion of the various actions under way.

In closing, I would like to assure this House that the government will continue to pursue the issues that have arisen in a careful, sensitive and orderly fashion. As significant events occur, I will report them to the House.

FUNDING FOR SENIORS

Hon. Mr. McCaffrey: Mr. Speaker, as acting Minister of Community and Social Services, I would like to take this opportunity to announce a $1-million funding program to help maintain and expand home support services for seniors across the province. This funding is in addition to the more than $4 million budgeted for home support services for the elderly during this fiscal year by the Ministry of Community and Social Services.

As members of this House -- even those interjecting at this moment -- are no doubt aware, there are many voluntary agencies throughout the province providing home support services to seniors. These include such necessary services as Meals on Wheels, assistance with general maintenance and household chores such as cleaning, snow shovelling and grass cutting, visits to make sure seniors are all right, transportation for seniors to doctors’ appointments, shopping and the like, and phone monitoring and reassurance.

Thanks to the work of these dedicated volunteers and volunteer co-ordinators, many thousands of seniors across Ontario are able to remain living independently in their own homes and communities. The majority of these voluntary agencies and the services they provide receive up to 50 per cent funding from the ministry on a fee-for-service basis.

As a result of the increase in seniors needing services, coupled with the economic situation and the lack of growth in the number of volunteer dollars available, many of these groups are finding they can no longer meet the demand for existing services under current funding, let alone respond to the pressure for new services. The program I am announcing today is aimed at rectifying that situation.

In Metro alone, there are more than 30 agencies providing home support services that we intend to help under this program. Several of these agencies, as well as agencies in other parts of the province, are in a deficit or close to a deficit situation and are faced with the decision of having to cut back services or close their doors altogether.

The object of this funding program is to provide increased base financial assistance to agencies in three ways: (1) by providing funds for direct services to agencies that are in a deficit position; (2) by providing funding for agencies to expand their services to meet existing demands in critical areas such as Meals on Wheels; and (3) by continuing to fund home support programs in situations where federal funds for such programs have dried up.

Let me reiterate that the funds provided through this program will become part of the base funding of these agencies. These funds will go towards helping agencies to maintain and expand all the various types of home support services which I mentioned earlier -- Meals on Wheels, home assistance, transportation and telephone contact -- as well as providing help to centres that sponsor social activities for seniors.

Right now we are in the process of holding negotiations and discussions with various home support agencies supplying services to seniors. Funding details will be finalized with all agencies selected for this program in the next few weeks. Our plan is to have this funding in place by the beginning of the winter.

All agencies selected for this program must show two characteristics: that they are in financial need and that they are providing a service to seniors for which there is a demonstrated need. The program is primarily a culmination of extensive discussions between the province, agencies and municipalities, including Metro Toronto.

The wellbeing of the seniors of this province is an important concern of the Ministry of Community and Social Services. As part of that concern we are committed to ensuring that as many seniors as possible have the support they need to continue living in their homes and their local communities. The funding program I am announcing today is a further demonstration of this government’s commitment to meet the needs of Ontario’s seniors.

Even though hard economic times have strained our financial resources, this government, unlike other jurisdictions in Canada and across North America, has not cut or reduced any of our social assistance programs, nor do we intend to do so.

ORAL QUESTIONS

YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT

Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, my first question is to the new Treasurer, and I congratulate him on his recent elevation to that post.

I want to ask him a question about what we in our party consider to be the single most important problem in this province: the future of our youth. He is quite well aware there are some 183,000 unemployed young people in the province at this time. I am sure he is also aware of the recent report of the federal Department of Employment and Immigration, which concluded that youth unemployment will not materially improve until at least 1986. Indeed, it projects an unemployment rate of about 19 per cent in 1985, which would translate into at least 15 per cent in Ontario.

The Treasurer also will be aware of the statement in the report that it normally takes several quarters for improved economic conditions and a decline in the prime age unemployment rate to appreciably affect employment opportunities for youth. It concludes by stating that economic recovery in the latter part of 1983 and 1984 probably will not reduce the youth unemployment rate significantly relative to that of adult workers.

Given all those facts the Treasurer knows, would he tell this House what specific initiatives he is prepared to undertake in order to alleviate this structural problem, this chronic problem, this problem that is going to be with us for a very long time in the future?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: Mr. Speaker, as the honourable member knows quite well, the response of this province really has never been lacking. In the current year we have about $250 million going to youth employment programs and we expect that kind of record to continue. At present, about 100,000 jobs for youth can be attributed to Ontario government programs.

We do not expect our concerns to flag at all in this regard. I was interested this morning to read the remarks of the federal Minister of Employment and Immigration about yet a new federal youth initiative.

Before we decide what our further response should be this year -- and I emphasize it is only a further response to what we are already doing -- I would like to see what the federal intentions are. I know the member would agree there is no point in duplicating programs. Therefore, we would like to see whether the new announcement is only a pre-announcement about reallocating some funds they had already committed. We also would like to see what time frame those $40 million go over. Is it a one-year program or a four-year program; and just how is it going to be allocated across Canada?

After we get a feel for the federal initiatives in this area, where they have a primary responsibility, then we will be assessing our current program -- as I say it has been very successful to date -- and decide where we go from there.

3 p.m.

Mr. Peterson: The Treasurer will be aware that the vast majority of his programs are seasonal. Admittedly, they go some way to solving some of those problems, but clearly not far enough. He is aware that one of the big problems developing is the chronic unemployment over the winter season. He will be aware that 20 per cent of all unemployed youth account for well over half of the youth unemployment. These are people who do not have any skills and are unprepared to go into the marketplace.

He is aware also that the winter Experience program, the one program that did address the seasonal problems, had 2,000 jobs last year but is down to 1,800 jobs in this year’s budget and was reduced to 1,700 by September 27, when the Provincial Secretary for Social Development (Mr. McCaffrey) then recycled the program.

Would the Treasurer not agree with me that the major thrust of his attack must be on that chronic unemployment, not just the summer unemployment, and that it must contain an element of skills training to give these young people an opportunity to learn something in order to compete in an economic market?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: The short answer to that, of course, is yes, I would agree. In point of fact, not only does this government agree, it has already taken some steps in that regard. The Leader of the Opposition will have noticed over the summer, I am sure, that the Minister of Colleges and Universities (Miss Stephenson) announced some expanded programs in the skills training area. To date, in 1983-84 programs alone, we are looking at some $24 million in addition to the ongoing federal programs, which we would also like more of but which do amount to a substantial amount of money being invested in this province, I would admit, in skills training.

All in all, of course, the answer to the member’s question is yes, we are looking at further ways in which we might address the structural problems he refers to. But in fairness I should indicate that we have been shifting away from the seasonal types of programs that the member talks about. All of the things we have been doing recently have been to expand what have traditionally been seasonal programs into the winter period of time in order to deal with the very kind of problem he is talking about.

Mr. Rae: Mr. Speaker, is the Treasurer aware that one of the problems of the existing programs is that, because of the way they are designed, the full budget for those programs is not being taken up and has not been taken up? How does the Treasurer feel about the fact that the critical trades skills training program and the general industrial training program have not been taken up to their full capacity, and what does he intend to do about that?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: In simple terms I wish to make it clear that the flow of funds is not presenting a problem to those funds being spent. In other words, there is no artificial blockage being created by this government holding up funding in order to allow people to enter those programs which they badly need -- bring them forward.

Mr. Peterson: There is no doubt that the Treasurer is apprised of the statistics in this matter. I remind him that, for example, in the Peterborough, Bancroft, Cobourg, Trenton, Belleville and surrounding area the average youth unemployment rate in 1982 was 24.1 per cent; it improved just recently to 19.1 per cent. In northeastern Ontario the average 1982 rate of youth unemployment was 24.7 per cent and is now at 25.1 per cent, one in four of our young people.

Is he also aware that the chairman of the Ontario Manpower Commission told a legislative committee that skilled labour shortages will persist in this province for the foreseeable future? Clearly, that gives the Treasurer a view of where we have to go as a province.

Will the Treasurer consult with his colleague the Minister of Education and persuade her that an active, vigorous and immediate attack must be launched in these particular areas so that we do not face a generation of youth without any prospects at all?

Hon. Mr. Grossman: I should tell the member that as I cast across the provinces, as I have done in assembling data and information on programs for job creation and training alike, I think any province in this country would be happy to have as the person responsible for those retraining programs our Minister of Colleges and Universities.

If the member looks at the Board of Industrial Leadership and Development programs, the amount of money BILD has funded into Colleges and Universities for the retraining programs; if he looks at the special new programs brought out in the budget and subsequently for job retraining -- I could read him the numbers, and he knows them well: the Ontario training incentive program, the employer-sponsored training program, the training in business and industry programs, both phases -- they are far ahead of what any other jurisdiction in this country is doing.

To be fair, I want to acknowledge completely and clearly that the minister and I met about a month and a half ago to discuss this very question. She has provided me with a fairly complete analysis of places where the situation could be topped up and improved -- with, I might add, co-operation from the federal government. I do hope they will be able to provide us that co-operation; for when they are looking for direct delivery programs in this area -- programs where they can provide all the funding and take all the credit -- I think it is rather inappropriate.

What we really need is a complementary series of programs between this government, which is prepared to make those investments, and the federal government, which says it is prepared to make those investments; and has made some, but we would look to them for more.

Mr. Peterson: If, in fact, the Treasurer’s theory is right about the honourable minister, I can assure him my colleagues will each chip in a one-way bus fare for her to Prince Edward Island. They would really be happy to have her.

Interjections.

HYDRO REACTORS

Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for him, but at the outset I would congratulate the new Minister of Energy (Mr. Andrewes) on his recent elevation to cabinet. I recognize that he has one of the most difficult jobs in that cabinet. We wish him well. He is aware that the landscape is littered with the corpses of his predecessors.

Mr. Conway: Into the Bermuda Triangle.

Mr. Peterson: As he plunges into the Bermuda Triangle, I want to ask the minister a question with respect to his statement today. He is aware that Ontario Hydro has been aware of the hydriding problem for some long time, but in spite of that, Hydro has put forward the leaked-before-break concept that was supposed to transpire until the unfortunate incident at Pickering unit 2.

He will be aware then that this gives some credence to the theory that the hydride platelets which had formed on the pressure tube, in fact, realign themselves in a manner which weakens the tube each time the tubes cool during the refueling operations. Do we have a major structural flaw in the design of those reactors?

Hon. Mr. Andrewes: Mr. Speaker, first of all, I would like to thank the Leader of the Opposition for his comments and his good wishes and tell him that those so-called corridors of power are now well lit and that we hope to proceed down them without any difficulty.

Interjections

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Andrewes: In the statement I made at the outset at the beginning of the session, I made it clear that information is coming forward as a result of the studies that are being conducted at Chalk River in co-operation with Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd; that that information at this time is preliminary; and that it would be foolish for us or anyone else to make judgements that suggest there are major structural flaws in the design at Pickering unit 2 or in the design of any of the other reactors. I said that as information comes forward I would report further and I intend to do just that.

Mr. Peterson: My supplementary relates to the broader question of the major mistakes that have been made in Hydro and the new minister’s attempt to get a handle on some of the decisions that have been made and that are costing us dearly today as a society.

Is the minister prepared in his new capacity as Minister of Energy to bring forward initiatives that would bring Hydro back under at least some semblance of legislative control? Would the minister not admit, as the new minister and presumably an objective observer, that the select committee of this House did very fine work and brought an element of political accountability?

Would the minister not admit, as the new minister who has a clean slate and can put his own stamp on these matters, that we should bring in legislation in this House so that this House has to approve of the Hydro debt and that we cannot let it run ahead of the provincial debt, $19 billion as it is now and $27 billion by 1987? It is getting out of control in the words of a former Treasurer and a former Minister of Energy, none less than the gas man himself, Darcy McKeough.

3:10 p.m.

Would the minister not agree that one of the ways we could have a better handle on Hydro is to have confirmation hearings or at least some kind of public scrutiny of the new appointment to Hydro so that he would be beyond just being a political crony, but indeed would be the right person in this province to bring that great corporation under control? Would the minister agree to those things?

Hon. Mr. Andrewes: Mr. Speaker, might I say at the outset that I am not sure the supplementary questions of the Leader of the Opposition related to his first question about a structural flaw. However, with your indulgence, I will endeavour to answer his question.

I have maintained from the outset that this whole question of the problems of Pickering needs to be dealt with as an issue separate and apart from all these other issues that have been raised on occasion. I want to make it very clear that we are prepared to give some consideration to the request that the honourable member is bringing forward after we have made some determination as to the extent of the problem at Pickering and after Hydro has reported to me on its discussions with Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. and the Atomic Energy Control Board, which has the regulatory authority in this case, when it has made that report and has taken some direction from the board as to what kinds of activities Hydro will be undertaking prior to the restarting of unit 2.

Mr. Rae: Mr. Speaker, by way of congratulating the new Minister of Energy, I would like to ask him a supplementary to the first question that was asked by the leader of the Liberal Party, having specifically to do with Pickering.

Given the fact that unit I at Pickering, as the minister will know, uses the same zirconium metal as unit 2, and given the fact that, therefore, there could be a potential hydriding problem at unit 1, can the minister explain to the House why unit I is being allowed, indeed encouraged, to operate at full tilt, as it was described to me by the vice-president of Ontario Hydro? If there is a potential problem at unit 2, and the evidence clearly points to that, there also is going to be a problem at unit 1. Why is unit I being allowed to go at full blast at present?

Hon. Mr. Andrewes: Mr. Speaker, in response to the leader of the third party, might I say that Hydro is operating unit I with caution and with the full consultation of the Atomic Energy Control Board, which has the regulatory control of that activity. They are providing on a daily basis any information that is coming forward with respect to unit 2 and the problems in unit 2, and they will act on the advice of the board and the direction of the board when that advice is forthcoming.

Mr. Kerrio: Mr. Speaker, I would also like to congratulate the new Minister of Energy. He is taking on a very important portfolio. I hope he is going to be very objective in the future about Ontario Hydro.

This causes me to pose the question as to whether the minister would agree that we should have pursued every last vestige of hydraulic power in this province and have been just a little more cautious about nuclear power until we knew all the ramifications -- in fact, until we know the true cost of getting rid of all of the spent fuel and all of the other ancillary things that are going to happen and that are years down the road from having any kind of cost-effective involvement. Would the minister not agree that we should have gone for that option?

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. I would point out that was not supplementary to the answer provided by the minister. New question.

FRENCH LANGUAGE RIGHTS

Mr. Rae: Mr. Speaker, I would like to address my question to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs in the absence of the Premier (Mr. Davis).

Given the enormous impact on national unity and on minority rights across this country, I would simply like to ask the minister what effect the entrenchment of French language rights in this province in the Constitution would have. Can the minister please explain to the House why the Progressive Conservative government of this province continues to refuse to move for the entrenchment of minority language rights in this province?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, the first aim of this government, as has been stated for a number of years, is to provide services, and an ongoing program of improved services, to Franco-Ontarians in this province. Coupled with that is the signal to the rest of Canada, particularly to the province of Quebec, that as part of the deal to keep Quebec in Canada, we will make this province a province where people from Quebec, be they francophones or anglophones, can feel at home. We, therefore, have to decide what is the best climate for achieving the greatest possible extension of services.

I think my friend will agree that in the past 10 years we have made significant gains in this province, some of them completely unknown to people in Quebec. If this is so, that is his fault and my fault because we have not been able to communicate them enough. When I think of what has happened in the courts and what has happened in our education system, when I think of the kind of government services that are now provided and when I look at the last issue of Topical, as I did just last night, and see the kinds of bilingual positions that are being advertised in various ministries of this government, we have made significant progress.

The question which then has to be asked is, can entrenching official bilingualism in the Constitution of Canada for this province gain us anything more than we now have? The answer this government has come up with is that it cannot gain us anything more and, in fact, may hinder us in the advancement of our programs. What we need to do is tell the rest of Canada what we are really doing here and not worry about any symbolic steps at this time.

Mr. Rae: I would like to point out to the minister that the federal leader of his party in an interview on June 2 in Le Devoir, the Montreal newspaper, said, and I am quoting from what Mr. Mulroney said, he found it abnormal -- I am translating -- that the francophone minority in Ontario does not have “des droits écrits, solides et irréversibles dans une constitution.” He finds it abnormal that the francophone minority in this province does not have rights that are written, that are solid and that are irreversible in a constitution.

That is the position of the minister’s federal leader, and I support it because it is the position of my federal leader as well. We speak the same language in Ottawa as we speak in Toronto.

Mr. Speaker: Question, please.

Mr. Rae: Given that fact, and the minister knows what the climate is with respect to constitutional entrenchment and the importance of giving individual citizens the right to have their rights enforced in court, I would like to ask the minister how can he continue the charade of saying, on the one hand, we are doing all kinds of things and saying, on the other hand, we do not want to do them officially because it might cause a problem. Why not seize the bull by the horns and speak up for the francophone minority in this province and entrench their rights so that no government can ever take them away?

Hon. Mr. Wells: I can say to my friend no government that I would ever be a part of or that would ever be formed by the Progressive Conservative Party would take those rights away in this province.

Interjections.

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Hon. Mr. Wells: The proof of the pudding is in the eating, when we see the kind of divisiveness that is now occurring in our sister province to the west.

Mr. Martel: Led by Sterling Lyon.

Hon. Mr. Wells: I do not care by whom. When we see that kind of divisiveness compared with the kind of progress we have been able to make in this province, progress that has been supplemented by the entrenchment of rights in legislation in this Legislature, which means that those rights can only be taken away by someone changing the legislation in this Legislature -- a procedure, incidentally, supported by the official opposition members; they too differ with the leader of their national party in their position on this matter -- all I say to my friend is that I think the greatest progress on behalf of all the people of Ontario, and particularly the Franco-Ontarians, can be obtained through the kind of process we have been following in this province.

3:20 p.m.

Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, given the fact the minister to whom we are addressing the question is personally on record as favouring official bilingualism and constitutional entrenchment -- I believe that speech was made in this House and I believe the minister’s colleague to his immediate left has said a similar kind of thing given that and the minister’s understanding of the Manitoba situation, which is divisive and partisan and in our view not constructive, but given also the triumph of leadership that was shown at the federal level last week when the Prime Minister, the minister’s federal leader -- given the problems he has had historically -- and the leader of the New Democratic Party got together to create a resolution every member could support, would the minister use his good offices -- and I know he is personally sensitive to these things -- to try to persuade the Premier to engage in meetings with various members of various parties here to try to develop a resolution we could all mutually support that would at the very least statutorily entrench the rights of the francophone minority in this province and avoid the kind of partisan bitter backlash we have seen in other cases? Surely that is a reasonable objective for reasonable people in this House. I would ask the minister to take that initiative.

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, in answer to the first part of my friend’s question, I have never that I can recall ever said I was in favour of entrenching official bilingualism for Ontario in the Constitution of Canada. We are talking about section 16 and I have never indicated I was in favour of that. Although in fairness to my friend I have read press stories that have indicated I was, I have never indicated that.

I did indicate during my estimates in this House that I hoped some day, while I still held this portfolio, I might be able to bring forward a resolution that would entrench what we are already doing in sections 17 to 20, that is the courts, education, the Legislature and so forth, but not section 16, the official bilingualism section. I hope that some day I might be able to move that resolution in this House. That time has not come and that is not the policy of this government. That is a personal policy or personal position of my own.

The proposition my friend has put about some committee or some resolution this House could support might be a worthwhile position, although I must say it would be very hard to arrive at some uniformly agreed to position because we have a variety of opinions being very vigorously put forward here. If my friend means are we all willing to pass a resolution that we are committed, not in symbolic actions but in actual actions that speak louder than words, in actual delivery of services, and we are guaranteeing services to Franco-Ontarians, we will be glad to put that kind of motion.

We will be glad to amend various pieces of legislation to entrench the services we are now providing in legislation. We do not need a French-language services act in this province because we have the legislation in a whole variety of acts. My friend the Attorney General (Mr. McMurtry) has amended a number of acts to provide for significant changes in the court systems, changes I venture to say many of the members of this Legislature do not even know have occurred.

Mr. Wildman: Why do you repudiate your leader?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Why do I repudiate whom?

Mr. Speaker: Never mind the interjections, please.

Hon. Mr. Wells: I have never repudiated my leader and my leader sits here two seats to my right.

Mr. Rae: Mr. Speaker, given the consensus, not with respect to some motherhood statement but with respect to entrenchment, given the support the federal Parliament has expressed unanimously for the courage of the Manitoba government in pressing ahead in the face of some small-minded minority which was unprepared to accept with generosity and civility the very nature of our country, and given the fact the minister’s own deputy minister, the co-ordinator of French language services, said last year that the policy of the government leads to a general belief in both the English- and French-language communities that the francophone minority can be granted only as much linguistic leeway as the majority determines to be good for it, I come back to the basic question, what is the source of the reluctance of the government?

I do not want to hear 25 individual opinions from each minister as to what they might do in the best of all possible worlds. What is the reluctance of the government collectively to move with generosity to reform the Constitution to provide basic rights guaranteed in the Constitution? As Mr. Mulroney said, there is no painless solution. He is right on that score. Why does the government not agree with him?

Hon. Mr. Wells: I can agree with my friend that there is no painless solution. As one who has moved some very difficult legislation in this House and seen it opposed by certain members of the opposition party even though other members voted for it, legislation that has been difficult perhaps to get passed and to explain to people in this province, I would agree that there is no easy solution.

The answer I gave the member a few minutes ago is that, in the view of this government, the way to set the best climate to achieve the greatest gains for Franco-Ontarians and to provide service is not at this time to seek a constitutional amendment making Ontario officially bilingual. That would be counterproductive. The point is that we must move ahead, provide the services, amend our legislation where necessary and do those things that Franco-Ontarians want. That is the best way and the best climate in which to achieve those ends at this time.

Mr. Rae: When the Premier returns, we will have to come back to that question because it is fundamental to the very nature of our province.

HYDRO PLANNING

Mr. Rae: Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the Minister of Energy a broader question with respect to Ontario Hydro. It flows from documents that Ontario Hydro itself provided to the Ontario Energy Board at the hearings in the spring of 1983.

This corporate planning document for the next 10 years, which was tabled with the Ontario Energy Board, showed that Ontario Hydro’s excess capacity would double in the next 10 years and that in its corporate plan Ontario Hydro planned to mothball, in terms of viable, non-nuclear plants, the equivalent of Darlington and the four reactors at Pickering B. Can the minister explain the rationale for this kind of planning?

Hon. Mr. Andrewes: Mr. Speaker, I think there are several items missing in the question, particularly in relation to the supply of energy on an economical basis and in relation to the supply of energy and the concern we have in this province, as indeed we have in the whole country, about acid rain and the kinds of results we have been achieving as a result of the conversion of the electrical generating system to a nuclear system.

I would like first to view the information the honourable member is referring to in that context and to remind him that this province indeed has a strong commitment to an energy supply that will relate to the industrial fabric of the province and that will provide us with the economic prudence that will take us through the difficult times we are facing. I also want him to consider the very difficult situation that my colleague the Minister of the Environment (Mr. Brandt) faces in his negotiations and the negotiations of the federal government with the government of the United States with respect to acid gas emission.

Keeping all of this in perspective, let us look at the electrical energy rates that are prevalent in this province and compare them to other jurisdictions in North America. Having considered all these things, I am sure the member might want to pose his question somewhat differently.

3:30 p.m.

Mr. Rae: The minister refers to economic prudence. I would simply like to refer him to one example in appendix II of the document tabled with the Ontario Energy Board. Perhaps the minister would comment on it.

The Atikokan station -- commissioned 1983-84, mothballed 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991 and 1992, at a cost of $660 million. What in the name of goodness is the economic prudence of building a station simply to shut it down? Is that the minister’s definition of economic prudence?

Hon. Mr. Andrewes: I am not aware that the Hydro board has made a decision with respect to the Atikokan station. I think the information presented to the Ontario Energy Board last spring was part of a program Hydro is looking at in terms of reduced energy requirements in northwestern Ontario. That decision, as far as I am aware, has not been made. If it has, it certainly has not come to my attention.

We want to be careful in talking about the Atikokan station and about various other options that are available to Ontario Hydro for generating electricity. We want to be careful to keep some perspective on the costs of generating electricity from coal as opposed to nuclear energy. We in this party have some concern about the economic future of this province.

Mr. Peterson: Mr. Speaker, in addition to the waste in the Atikokan plant mentioned by the leader of the New Democratic Party, the minister is aware that Wesleyville wrote off some $460 million. In Lennox, $490 million was written off because Hydro did not realize oil prices were going to go up. There will be a $500-million loss over the next 10 years because they did not realize uranium prices were going to go down. There has been a $60-million loss so far in the Petrosar contract because they did not realize oil was going up. At the Bruce heavy water plant there was a $485-million loss because Hydro did not know the demand was going down. The list goes on and on. Meanwhile, $12 billion is being spent on Darlington that is not necessary in terms of demand.

Does the minister agree with Darcy McKeough, who said in the Windsor Star of October 5, 1983: “Hydro’s cost has unfortunately nowhere to go but up because of their enormous capital programs and debt. Price increases will be beyond inflation for a long time to come”?

Hon. Mr. Andrewes: Mr. Speaker, perhaps one should view the quotation of our former colleague, Treasurer and Minister of Energy in terms of the experience he has had both in this Legislature and as president of Union Gas.

I refer to a letter the president and chief executive officer of Union Gas wrote to the editor of the Windsor Star in response to an article by John Coleman that quoted him. Mr. McKeough referred to the headline of Mr. Coleman’s article in his letter and said: “This heading does not relate to anything I said, nor to anything attributed to me by Mr. Coleman.” The headline talked about Hydro being “uncontrolled, wasting billions.” The letter says: “It relates rather to a reference in the article to some unattributed comments by Liberal and New Democratic politicians.”

Mr. McKeough went on to say, “I am concerned, however, that my comments are put out of context by being lumped in with quite controversial political observations by the leaders of the two opposition parties and other critics of Ontario Hydro.”

Before the Leader of the Opposition quotes Mr. McKeough, he ought to make sure that those quotes are kept in context and that indeed he reread the article.

Mr. Rae: I ask the minister once again to look at the document Hydro has tabled with the Ontario Energy Board. It talks about its corporate relations review. We are not talking about some outsider or some opposition politician’s speculation. We are talking about Hydro’s own predictions in terms of rate increases above inflation for the next four or five years.

Mr. Speaker: Question, please.

Mr. Rae: It talks about problems with respect to financial soundness for the next two or three years. In particular, it talks about the only way Hydro can deal with the problem of overcapacity; that is, by increasing markets and by increasing the use by existing customers.

How does the talking furnace demanding that people start using more electricity possibly jibe with the historic so-called policies of the ministry with respect to the importance of conservation of energy? The minister cannot flog energy and conserve energy at the same time. Which is it?

Hon. Mr. Andrewes: I am glad the member has had an opportunity to view the Hydro advertisements. That utility is currently engaged in a very active marketing program, as are many other utilities, such as natural gas and other options. Hydro is presenting to the public of this province the opportunity to weigh those alternatives to a conversion from oil, particularly alternatives that are not available in rural areas and areas not served by natural gas utilities. It is a marketing program that has taken initiatives with the industrial sector to provide it with opportunities to make decisions for the future based on projections and sound judgements.

EQUAL PAY FOR WORK OF EQUAL VALUE

Ms. Copps: Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Deputy Premier, the Minister responsible for Women’s Issues. I was very happy to see in a recent news report that he is working with his colleague the Minister of Labour (Mr. Ramsay) to draft some changes to the Employment Standards Act. I wonder if the Deputy Premier can tell us whether these changes mean his government now supports the adoption of equal pay for work of equal value legislation in this province.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, I am sure it will come as no surprise to my honourable friend that the Minister of Labour will be indicating to this House in due course what those changes may be and their extent.

Mr. Wrye: Mr. Speaker, I am sure the Minister responsible for Women’s Issues is aware that the Gunderson study, which his colleague the Minister of Labour is so fond of quoting to say why equal value legislation will not completely wipe out the wage gap, shows the wage gap can be wiped out only to about 85 to 90 per cent without equal value legislation.

I wonder if he will explain to this House whether he believes the legislative changes should entirely wipe out the wage gap and, if so, how he can do that without equal pay for work of equal value.

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, I am not sure I completely understand the question in the light of the preamble, but if my friend is making reference to the Gunderson report, it is my understanding that Mr. Gunderson, and this is his view, was expressing some concern lest we put all our so-called eggs in one basket in so far as closing the wage gap is concerned, thinking that particular legislative route would close the gap.

What he was urging upon those who read his report was that we not lose sight of the long- term responsibility of encouraging young women and ladies to seek career opportunities in hitherto nontraditional jobs. I think that is the point the honourable member raises. He was seeing that there was some need for the legislative approach along the lines to which my friend makes reference, but he cautioned us that we should not lose sight of the longer-term goal, to which we would indeed do well to dedicate a fair amount of energy, to make sure that in that long run we see even greater progress made in closing that gap.

3:40 p.m.

Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, now that Sally Barnes, president of the Ontario Status of Women Council, has seen that the women of Ontario really want nothing less than equal pay for work of equal value and has written the minister urging him to endorse the principle, will he now urge the Minister of Labour to scrap any planned amendments to the present ineffective equal pay section of the Employment Standards Act and replace it with a section providing for equal pay for work of equal value?

Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, I have two observations. When the honourable member makes some reference to the president of the advisory council now taking a certain position, I think in all fairness one might want to review the record to see the consistency with respect to the actual position taken by the president on that subject. I am sure all members of the third party would be very vocal about the right of people to have the opportunity to express personal opinions from time to time. That might even be considered part of our democratic system, to which we on this side are quite committed.

Having said that, I think we also have some advice coming from a number of sources, not with respect to the principle but with respect to implementation.

The second point to which the member makes reference is to presume that she knows what the Minister of Labour’s statement will contain. I think she might be wise to wait until the Minister of Labour has had an opportunity to share that with all of us before she jumps to any conclusion.

INSPECTION OF NURSING HOMES

Mr. Rae: Mr. Speaker, I have a question about nursing homes to ask the acting Minister of Health, who I understand in the absence of the member for Kingston and the Islands (Mr. Norton) is the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs (Mr. Wells), but I do not see him in the House at the moment. I wonder if I could stand down my question and give it to someone else.

Mr. Speaker: The member for Nickel Belt.

Mr. Laughren: The minister is coming in now.

Mr. Speaker: The member for York South.

Mr. Rae: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the minister who is now acting for the Minister of Health in his absence. I am sure we all wish the member for Kingston and the Islands a speedy recovery.

I would like to simply ask the acting Minister of Health a question about the evidence that was revealed at the inquest at Oakridge Villa. The evidence showed that despite the fact that the Ministry of Health launched 15 inspections during 1982 at Oakridge Villa, the problems faced by Mrs. Catherine Jackson went unobserved by the inspectorate.

Given the evidence of really serious problems with respect to inspection at the Ark Eden inquest, and given evidence that goes back to coroner’s inquest after coroner’s inquest brought up by our party and many others in this Legislature in the past 10 years with respect to the inspection of nursing homes, I would simply like to ask the minister what does it take to get this government to recognize there is a fundamental problem with the way in which inspections are carried out and organized?

Why does the minister not move to simply shift the jurisdictions with respect to nursing homes to the Ministry of Community and Social Services, decentralize the inspections, make them on a virtually daily basis and have some real accountability as far as patients’ rights are concerned?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, first I would like to say that the policy of the government, which was enunciated by my friend and colleague the member for St. Andrew-St. Patrick (Mr. Grossman) when he was Minister of Health, and who is now the Treasurer of Ontario, was that this government would provide the finest nursing home care possible and would attempt, within the system that we have in this province, to do all those things to make the care for those who are in these institutions, and particularly for our elderly people, as humane and as high-quality as possible.

My colleague undertook a number of steps to begin that process. One of those steps was revisions in the licensing procedure and publication of the licensing reports at the time of renewal of licence. Every nursing home licence comes up for renewal every year. Each nursing home is inspected before that renewal occurs. At that time the inspector’s report is perused by the ministry and, based on the perusal of that report, the licence is either renewed or not renewed.

For instance, in the case of the Ark Eden Nursing Home, after its review and after the death of one of the patients, the licence was not renewed.

All of these procedures, coupled with a very sincere staff in the Ministry of Health, will see improvements in the nursing home situation.

As far as the evidence concerning the Oakridge Villa Nursing Home is concerned, I cannot comment on that in any greater detail at the moment because the coroner’s report is only in. But from my preliminary discussions with people in the ministry today and with the head of the nursing home services branch, they welcome these reports, because these recommendations from coroners’ reports will help the ministry to bring into line and to improve the system in this province, which is the aim of the ministry and the nursing home branch in the Ministry of Health.

Mr. Rae: Hansard is heavy with statements such as the one made by the acting Minister of Health. It goes back a long, long way.

I simply want to ask the minister to consider the evidence presented by the inspectors themselves. Mr. Rivera stated at the hearing, when he was asked whether it was the case, that people who had problems with nursing homes were told to complain to the Ministry of Health. The person in charge of inspections and enforcement of the Nursing Home Act for 140 homes is telling us he has no authority to rectify the problems. Mr. Rivera, when he was asked that specific question at the inquest, had to admit there was a problem with the system. There was expert evidence that Mrs. Jackson was a tragic victim of the system.

Given the evidence -- which is there, which is evident, which is overwhelming and which is growing -- does the minister not feel it is time to finally act and change the very nature of the way in which inspections are carried out and the very nature of the financial accountability of the system? Does he also not feel it is time to change the fact that people are still making money, literally millions of dollars, by providing substandard care in this province, and this province, this government and the Tory party are powerless, and have made themselves powerless, to do a darned thing about it?

Hon. Mr. Wells: My friend is making a blanket statement. People are not making millions of dollars based on substandard care in this province. There are going to be complaints in any system. There are complaints in every province of this country about nursing homes, about hospitals, about various health care matters. This ministry and this government are as sensitive as any to these problems, and they will be addressed.

The present Minister of Health is working on procedures to implement residents’ councils for nursing homes and on appeal procedures for complaints to be looked at and to be handled. Any complaint that any member of this Legislature has in regard to any matter of care in a nursing home is, I think, very carefully dealt with by the nursing home services branch of the ministry. That is what it is there for.

I must say I have to differ from my friend’s basic assumption that there is no room for private initiative in the nursing home field.

There are a number of dedicated people who over the years have operated nursing homes, not as part of a government operation or as a community or municipal function, but because it is their business to serve.

My friend waves his hand as if they are making some money in doing so. There are a number of people making money out of the health system generally. Doctors make money. Nurses make money. Pharmacists make money. Drug manufacturers make money. People who work in hospitals make money. There are a number of dedicated people who are serving this province by operating nursing homes. We will do everything possible to make sure that they run good nursing homes, that complaints are investigated and that abuses are dealt with.

3:50 p.m.

Ms. Copps: Mr. Speaker, how can the minister compliment the nursing home inspection service and reconcile its role or lack of it in this situation when he should know from the coroner’s inquest that Mrs. Jackson, the deceased victim of the system, was admitted time and again to hospitals for dehydration and anorexia? It was not until after her death that a nursing home inspection report showed that the daily minimum requirements for meat, vegetables and milk products were not being met in this nursing home. Where was the inspection service before she died? Why did they have to wait until after her death to discover those deficiencies?

Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, I cannot comment on those details at this point. The coroner’s report has only been received; I have not had a chance to review it. I will be glad to look it over and comment on some of those matters, and I am sure they can be commented on. As I said earlier, if it highlights deficiencies in the inspection service or in the way things are operating here, we will welcome those because we can then take action to remedy those complaints and deficiencies.

TVONTARIO COVERAGE

Mr. Sheppard: Mr. Speaker. I would like to ask the Minister of Citizenship and Culture, since she took over in that ministry, where does TVOntario stand in Northumberland county and in the riding of Hastings-Peterborough?

Hon. Ms. Fish: Mr. Speaker, I must say I did not expect my first question from the honourable member. However, he has certainly raised the matter of TVOntario transmitters with me on numerous occasions.

Members will be aware that the question of additional transmitters for TVOntario in eastern Ontario is a matter of some considerable priority for TVO and for my ministry. Members will be aware also that there are considerable capital renewal pressures on the Ontario Educational Communications Authority to the tune of approximately $10 million of expected expenditures for capital renewal required over the next five years.

While we remain firmly committed to expansion of transmitters in eastern Ontario, we are mindful of the priority that the board and representatives of TVO have placed upon capital renewal and their indication of first moneys being directed in that regard to maintain the service to those already receiving it.

In sharing a concern about the extension of service to eastern Ontario, I might note that of the approximately 750,000 population in that area of the province not now receiving direct broadcast, some 77 per cent would be able to receive the signal through cable. I might note also that new technology studies continue to be under way.

We are hopeful, as we proceed in the priority for transmitters, that we will be able to continue to expand TVO service to all of the province.

Mr. Sheppard: Will the minister give us some indication of how soon we can have it? The people in Northumberland -- and, naturally, I think they are first-class citizens -- are saying the ministry is treating them as second-class citizens. Can the minister give us any indication as to when she would expect us to have this service?

Hon. Ms. Fish: Let me assure my colleague that neither the ministry nor TVOntario considers any resident of this province to be a second-class citizen. Rather, TVOntario is progressing and has progressed in a staged and phased manner to provide transmission service and coverage throughout this province and has continued on a steady course to increase the coverage through its various transmissions and pickup on cable services.

We continue to put the highest priority possible on the expansion, and I will be pleased to continue discussions with the member to keep him informed of progress with specific dates attached.

Mr. O’Neil: Mr. Speaker, I am glad the honourable member asked this question, because we in that part of eastern Ontario, and that takes in all the way from Kingston through to Port Hope and north to Peterborough and Mr. Speaker’s riding, have been promised by the previous minister on two or three occasions that we were going to get those towers either this year or next year at the latest.

If the government knew it had other priorities as far as capital expenditures are concerned, why were we not told about that two or three years ago when the previous minister promised those stations to us? I have to go along with the member from Northumberland (Mr. Sheppard); it does appear that the government is neglecting the people in eastern Ontario, not only in this way but in other ways as well.

Hon. Ms. Fish: Mr. Speaker, I draw your attention to a remark of my predecessor, the member for Armourdale (Mr. McCaffrey), in the course of answering a question from the member for Quinte in the estimates debates of May 25, 1983. He indicated in respect to timing, “I cannot be more specific at this stage than the summer of 1984 because, clearly, the amount we will be able to undertake in terms of capital renewal, equipment replacement and network extension will be determined by how much money the government is going to be able to make available.”

I reiterate that the priority has been placed in very substantial monetary terms on the service that TVOntario provides. We are in the course of considering expansion.

I might add that approximately two weeks ago we received from the federal government a report of a fairly major study on alternative technology to reach eastern Ontario, as well as other areas of the province, called direct satellite broadcasting, with the specific request that we review and consider the possibilities of TVOntario using the so-called DSB to enable coverage right across the province.

I can assure the members that we continue to place our priority on not only the traditional forms of technology in transmitters, but also look forward in the decades to come to new forms of technology, for example DSB.

Mr. O’Neil: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker: The minister has quoted only one statement that was made by the previous minister. I suggest that she go back to previous estimates and other matters and letters that are on file and state it would be built.

PETITIONS

INFLATION RESTRAINT LEGISLATION

Mr. Newman: Mr. Speaker, I have a petition to the honourable Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.

“We, the undersigned teachers, beg leave to petition the Parliament of Ontario as follows:

“Whereas we oppose the extension of the Inflation Restraint Act because it is inequitable in its application to the citizens of Ontario and restricts our basic free collective bargaining rights; and

“Whereas we believe that an extension of the act or measures which would have a similar effect would violate the spirit of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms,

“We petition the Ontario Legislature to restore our free collective bargaining rights forthwith under Bill 100, the School Boards and Teachers Collective Negotiations Act.”

This petition is signed by 128 teachers from the three following schools: Hon. W. C. Kennedy Secondary School, W. D. Lowe Secondary School and Walkerville Secondary School, all in the city of Windsor.

Mr. Breithaupt: Mr. Speaker, I have a petition in the same form signed by 354 teachers from Cameron Heights Collegiate Institute, Grand River Collegiate Institute, Eastwood Collegiate Institute, Forest Heights Collegiate Institute and Kitchener Waterloo Collegiate and Vocational School, all in the city of Kitchener.

4 p.m.

Mr. J A. Reed: I have a petition to the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor of a like nature. The petition is signed by 350 teachers from the following schools: Acton District High School, E. C. Drury High School, Georgetown District High School, L. B. Pearson High School, Milton District High School and M. M. Robinson High School.

Mr. Epp: Mr. Speaker, I have a similar petition, signed by 170 teachers from the following schools: Waterloo Collegiate Institute, Bluevale Collegiate Institute, Laurel Vocational School and Elmira District Secondary School.

Mr. Edighoffer: Mr. Speaker, I have a petition with the same contents, signed by 117 teachers from the secondary schools of Listowel, Mitchell, Stratford and St. Marys.

Mr. Riddell: Mr. Speaker, I have a petition in a similar form, signed by 178 teachers from the following schools: Strathroy District Collegiate Institute, Medway High School, North Middlesex District High School and Lord Dorchester Secondary School.

Mr. Eakins: Mr. Speaker, I have a similar petition addressed to the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. The petition is signed by 100 teachers from the Lindsay Collegiate and Vocational Institute, Fenelon Falls Secondary School and I. E. Weldon Secondary School, all in the county of Victoria. I have the pleasure of presenting this petition.

Mr. Wrye: Mr. Speaker, I have a similar petition to the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. It is signed by 159 teachers from the following schools in the riding of Windsor-Sandwich: Centennial Secondary School, Forester Secondary School, William Hands Secondary School and Vincent Massey Secondary School.

Mr. G. I. Miller: Mr. Speaker, I have a petition to the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. The petition is signed by 158 teachers from the following schools: Caledonia High School, 18, Cayuga Secondary School, 46, Dunnville Secondary School, 48, and Hagersville Secondary School, 46.

Mr. Worton: Mr. Speaker, I have a petition to the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. It is signed by 168 teachers from the following schools: Centennial Collegiate and Vocational Institute, Guelph Collegiate and Vocational Institute; College Heights Secondary School and the John F. Ross Collegiate and Vocational Institute.

Mr. Conway: Mr. Speaker, I have a petition in a similar vein to the Lieutenant Governor and, I might add, to the potentate of all education, signed by several teachers from Canadian Forces Base Petawawa, in the great electoral district of North Renfrew.

Mr. McGuigan: Mr. Speaker, I have a similar petition to the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. It is signed by 97 teachers from the Ridgetown District High School, the Blenheim District High School and the Tilbury District High School. I also have a petition from the Harwich-Raleigh Public School, which is located in Blenheim and is signed by 31 teachers.

Mr. Ruston: Mr. Speaker, I also have a petition signed by 265 teachers from the following schools: Belle River Secondary School, L’Essor, Essex Secondary, Sandwich West Secondary and Western Secondary.

Mr. Mancini: Mr. Speaker, I have a similar petition addressed to the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, signed by 232 teachers from General Amherst High School, Harrow High School, Kingsville High School and Leamington High School.

Mr. Nixon: Mr. Speaker, I have a petition in the same terms, signed by teachers in the secondary schools of Brant county.

Mr. Van Horne: Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to present a similar petition from teachers in London, Ontario, particularly at these four high schools, three of which I had the honour and privilege of serving as principal: Sir Frederick Banting Secondary School, Clarke Road Secondary School, Sir George Ross Secondary School and Oakridge Secondary School. The total number of petitioners signing it is 194.

Mr. Wildman: Mr. Speaker, I am happy to join with the Liberals -- who I am sure are going to vote along the lines of the petitions they are presenting -- in presenting a similar petition on behalf of 48 teachers from the Central Algoma Secondary School in Algoma district. This represents 89 per cent of the teachers at that school, many of whom are constituents of the Minister of Labour (Mr. Ramsay), and I am sure he will support their position as well.

Mr. Di Santo: Mr. Speaker, I have a similar petition to the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, signed by 160 teachers from C. W. Jefferys Secondary School and Downsview Secondary School.

Mr. Samis: Monsieur l’Orateur, j’ai la même pétition, signée par 163 enseignants de mon comté, venant de quatre écoles: l’Ecole Secondaire St-Laurent, l’Ecole Général Vanier, Cornwall Collegiate and Vocational School and the alternate school.

Mr. Charlton: Mr. Speaker, I have a similar petition to the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 285 teachers in the Hamilton Mountain area from Barton Secondary School, Crestwood Vocational School, Hill Park Secondary School, Sherwood Secondary School, Sir Allan MacNab Secondary School, Southmount Secondary School and Westmount Secondary School.

Mr. Philip: Mr. Speaker, I have a similar petition, signed by 207 teachers, addressed to the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly, from North Albion Collegiate Institute, Humbergrove Secondary School, West Humber Collegiate Institute and Thistletown Collegiate Institute in my riding.

Mr. Laughren: Mr. Speaker, I have petitions signed by a total of 91 teachers from the Chelmsford Valley District Composite School, the Lively District Secondary School and the Chapleau High School. The petition reads as follows:

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

“We, the undersigned teachers, beg leave to petition the parliament of Ontario as follows:

“Whereas we oppose the extension of the Inflation Restraint Act, because it is inequitable in its application to the citizens of Ontario and restricts our basic free collective bargaining rights; and

“Whereas we believe that an extension of the act or measures which will have a similar effect would violate the spirit of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms,

“We petition the Ontario Legislature to restore our free collective bargaining rights forthwith under Bill 100, the School Boards and Teachers Collective Negotiations Act.”

Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, I have a petition to the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, which reads as follows:

“We, the undersigned teachers, beg leave to petition the parliament of Ontario as follows:

“Whereas we oppose the extension of the Inflation Restraint Act, because it is inequitable in its application to the citizens of Ontario and restricts our basic free collective bargaining rights; and

“Whereas we believe that an extension of the act or measures which would have a similar effect would violate the spirit of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms,

“We petition the Ontario Legislature to restore our free collective bargaining rights forthwith under Bill 100, the School Boards and Teachers Collective Negotiations Act.”

This petition is signed by 150 teachers from Lakeview High School, Port Arthur Collegiate Institute, Hammarskjold High School and Gron Morgan Memorial High School in Port Arthur riding, as well as 128 teachers from Fort William Collegiate Institute, Westgate Collegiate and Vocational Institute, Selkirk Collegiate and Vocational Institute and Northwood High School in the Fort William riding.

Mr. Mackenzie: Mr. Speaker, I have a petition to the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

“We, the undersigned teachers, beg leave to petition the parliament of Ontario as follows:

“Whereas we oppose the extension of the Inflation Restraint Act, because it is inequitable in its application to the citizens of Ontario and restricts our basic free collective bargaining rights; and

“Whereas we believe that an extension of the act or measures which would have a similar effect would violate the spirit of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms,

“We petition the Ontario Legislature to restore our free collective bargaining rights forthwith under Bill 100, the School Boards and Teachers Collective Negotiations Act.”

The petition is signed by 152 teachers from the following schools in Hamilton East: Albion Secondary School, Briarwood Secondary School, Glendale Secondary School and Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School. It will be interesting to see the position of all members on this petition.

4:10 p.m.

Mr. J. M. Johnson: Mr. Speaker, I wish to present several petitions to the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, which read:

“We, the undersigned teachers, beg leave to petition the parliament of Ontario as follows:

“Whereas we oppose the extension of the Inflation Restraint Act because it is inequitable in its application to citizens of Ontario and restricts our basic free collective bargaining rights, and

“Whereas we believe that an extension of the act or measures which would have a similar effect would violate the spirit of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms,

“We petition the Ontario Legislature to restore our free collective bargaining rights forthwith under Bill 100, the School Boards and Teachers Collective Negotiations Act.”

As chairman of the government caucus and on their behalf, I am tabling the petition addressed to my Progressive Conservative caucus colleagues.

Mr. Martel: Mr. Speaker, I have never seen so many people to my right anxious to present a petition which they will all vote against ultimately. I guess hope springs eternal with the teaching federation.

Mr. Conway: Do you really want a lecture on the traditions of parliamentary representation?

Mr. Martel: Whatever the member for Renfrew North likes. Maybe he can make comment on it tonight.

Mr. Speaker: The order of business is petitions.

Mr. Martel: I suggest we trade him for future considerations. This petition is to the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.

Mr. Conway: We are not all at the end of a string.

Mr. Speaker: Never mind the interjections.

Mr. Martel: “We, the undersigned teachers, beg leave to petition the parliament of Ontario as follows -- “

Interjection.

Mr. Martel: That is why you didn’t present a petition.

Mr. Riddell: I did present a petition.

Mr. Martel: And you will vote against it.

Mr. Riddell: Wait and see what happens.

Mr. Martel: “Whereas we oppose the extension of the Inflation Restraint Act because it is inequitable in its application to the citizens of Ontario -- “

Interjection.

Mr. Martel: Oh good. “ -- and restricts our basic free collective bargaining rights, and -- “

lnterjections.

Mr. Speaker: Order. Please present your petition. The member for Victoria-Haliburton (Mr. Eakins) will please contain himself.

Mr. Martel: I want to declare and reflect the attitude of the people of Ontario.

“Whereas we believe that an extension of the act or measures which would have similar effects would violate the spirit of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms,

“We petition the Ontario Legislature to restore our free collective bargaining rights forthwith under Bill 100, the School Boards and Teachers Collective Negotiations Act.”

This petition is signed by 139 teachers from Garson-Falconbridge Secondary School, Ecole Secondaire Rayside, Ecole Secondaire Hanmer and Confederation Secondary School.

Mr. Bradley: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to present a petition to the Honourable the Lieutenant Governor and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.

“We, the undersigned teachers, beg leave to petition the parliament of Ontario as follows:

“Whereas we oppose the extension of the Inflation Restraint Act because it is inequitable in its application to the citizens of Ontario and restricts our basic free collective bargaining rights, and

“Whereas we believe that an extension of the act or measures which would have a similar effect would violate the spirit of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms,

“We petition the Ontario Legislature to restore our free collective bargaining rights forthwith under Bill 100, the School Boards and Teachers Collective Negotiations Act.”

The above petition is signed by 326 teachers from the following secondary schools: Merritton High School; Laura Secord Secondary School; Kernahan Park Secondary School; West Park Secondary School; Lakeport Secondary School; Governor Simcoe Secondary School; my old alma mater, Grantham High School; St. Catharines Collegiate Institute and Vocational School and the Lincoln County Board of Education Centre. Some of these schools are in the provincial constituency of Brock and some are in the provincial constituency of St. Catharines.

REPORTS

STANDING COMMITTEE ON REGULATIONS AND OTHER STATUTORY INSTRUMENTS

Mr. Hodgson from the standing committee on regulations and other statutory instruments presented the following report and moved its adoption:

Your committee begs to report the following bills with certain amendments:

Bill Pr2, Frontier College Act, Bill Pr17, Canadian National Exhibition Association Act, Bill Pr21, Institute for Christian Studies Act.

Your committee begs to report the following bills without amendments:

Bill Pr19, Family Day Care Services Act, Bill Pr31, City of Kingston Act and Bill Pr36, City of Toronto Act.

The committee would recommend that the fees less the actual cost of printing be remitted under Bill Pr2, Frontier College Act, Bill Pr19, Family Day Care Services Act and Bill Pr21, Institute for Christian Studies Act.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Hodgson from the standing committee on regulations and other statutory instruments presented the committee’s report and moved that it be placed on the order paper for consideration pursuant to standing order 30(b).

Motion agreed to.

STANDING COMMITTEE ON SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

Mr. Robinson from the standing committee on social development presented the following report and moved its adoption:

Your committee begs to report the following bill with certain amendments:

Bill 42, Ministry of Colleges and Universities Amendment Act.

Motion agreed to.

Bill ordered for committee of the whole House.

Mr. Conway: Excuse me, Mr. Speaker, I am sorry. I was just discussing certain matters with my House leader. Did you call Bill 42?

Mr. Speaker: Yes. It is going to committee.

Mr. Conway: Oh, fine.

STANDING COMMITTEE ON GENERAL GOVERNMENT

Mr. Harris from the standing committee on general government reported the following resolution:

That supply in the following amounts and to defray the expenses of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food be granted to Her Majesty for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1984:

Ministry administration program, $13,183,100; agricultural marketing and development program, $43,085,400; agricultural technology and field services program, $81,714,900 and financial assistance to agriculture program, $101,740,500.

MOTIONS

ORDER OF ESTIMATES

Hon. Mr. Wells moved that in committee of supply the estimates of the Ministry of Intergovernmental Affairs be taken before the estimates of Management Board of Cabinet.

Motion agreed to.

ESTIMATES

Hon. Mr. Wells moved that the supplementary estimates as they are tabled in the House be referred to the same committees to which the main estimates have been referred for consideration within the times already allocated to the main estimates.

Motion agreed to.

ORDERS FOR CONCURRENCE

Hon. Mr. Wells moved that any orders for concurrence in supplementary supply be included in the order for concurrence in supply for that ministry.

Motion agreed to.

STANDING COMMITTEES

Hon. Mr. Wells moved that membership on the standing committees for the remainder of the session be as follows:

Standing committee on administration of justice committee: Messrs. Breithaupt, Elston, Eves, Gillies, Kolyn, MacQuarrie, Mitchell, Renwick, Spensieri, Stevenson, Swart and J.A. Taylor;

Standing committee on general government:

Messrs. Cooke, Eakins, Gordon, Haggerty, Harris, Henderson, Hennessy, Kennedy, McKessock, McLean, Samis and Sheppard;

4:20 p.m.

Standing committee on members’ services:

Messrs. Charlton, Grande, Havrot, Hodgson, J. M. Johnson, G. I. Miller, Rotenberg, Runciman, Ruprecht, Shymko, Wrye and Yakabuski;

Standing committee on procedural affairs:

Messrs. Breaugh, Cassidy, Cureatz, Edighoffer, Epp, J. M. Johnson, Mancini, McNeil, Rotenberg, Runciman, Treleaven and Watson;

Standing committee on public accounts:

Messrs. Bradley, Cunningham, Harris, Kennedy, Kolyn, Philip, T. P. Reid, Robinson, Sargent, Mrs. Scrivener, Messrs. Wildman and Yakabuski;

Standing committee on regulations and other statutory instruments: Ms. Bryden, Messrs. Cousens, Di Santo, Hennessy, Hodgson, Kerr, Kerrio, McEwen, Piché, Pollock, Van Horne and Williams;

Standing committee on resources development: Messrs. Barlow, Lane, Laughren, McLean, Piché, T. P. Reid, Riddell, Stokes, Sweeney, Watson, Williams and Wiseman;

Standing committee on social development:

Mr. Allen, Mrs. Birch, Ms. Copps, Messrs. R. F. Johnston, Kells, McGuigan, McNeil, Pollock, Robinson, Sheppard, Shymko and Wrye.

Motion agreed to.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

NEW HORIZONS DAY CENTRE INCORPORATED ACT

Mr. Cousens moved, seconded by Mr. Runciman, first reading of Bill Pr38, An Act respecting New Horizons Day Centre Incorporated.

Motion agreed to.

CROP INSURANCE AMENDMENT ACT (ONTARIO)

Hon. Mr. Timbrell moved, seconded by hon. Mr. Brandt, first reading of Bill 85, an Act to amend the Crop Insurance Act (Ontario).

Motion agreed to.

Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, the importance of the apple crop to this province is decisive. Apples are by far the largest of our fruit crops. They are grown everywhere and the production of certain varieties is now on the increase to improve even more the primary position apples hold in fruit exports. Currently apples account for well over one third of all fruit sales in the province and it is vital, therefore, that the future of this crop be preserved.

The members are aware of the susceptibility of apple orchards to a host of weather and other hazards. Devastation to trees and crops results from severe weather conditions, virus disease and other perils.

Today I have introduced amendments to Ontario’s Crop Insurance Act to clarify the authority of the Crop Insurance Commission of Ontario to offer insurance against the loss of fruit trees due to those hazards that are designated in the regulations.

The so-called apple tree loss rider for 1983 is covered under the Canada-Ontario crop insurance plan. It is continued from last year by the commission as part of its apple production insurance. Growers must have production insurance and a minimum insurable tree value of $3,000 to qualify. The rider covers perils like winter freeze, ice damage, hail, flood, wind and tornado, and uncontrollable diseases. The maximum amount payable under apple tree insurance for 1983-84 is $40 for a standard tree and $12 for a dwarf tree.

Under the Canada-Ontario crop insurance program the federal government provides half of the total premiums required, with the Ontario government picking up all of the administrative costs. These contributions enable the grower to buy insurance protection at an affordable price, namely at one per cent of the coverage for the tree loss rider. For example, if an orchardist has 400 standard trees with eligible maximum coverage of $40 per tree, his insurance will be $16,000 and his premium $160. This amendment will provide extended coverage for the apple grower against loss of his trees and therefore offer him a greater measure of needed protection.

While on the subject of apple protection, I would like to remind the members of a program we announced during the summer break. It is a $500,000 plan to cover the costs of replacing trees killed by the past two severe winters in eastern Ontario. Apple production is that area’s best fruit crop, important for the incomes of local growers, packers and processors.

TOWNSHIP OF MATTICE-VAL COTE ACT

Mr. Piché moved, seconded by Mr. Eves, first reading of Bill Pr39, An Act to continue the Corporation of the Union of Townships of Eilber and Devitt under the name of the Corporation of the Township of Mattice-Val Coté.

Motion agreed to.

REGIONAL AND METROPOLITAN MUNICIPALITIES AMENDMENT ACT

Hon. G. W. Taylor moved, seconded by Hon. Mr. Wells, first reading of Bill 86, An Act to amend certain acts respecting Regional and Metropolitan Municipalities.

Motion agreed to.

Hon. G. W. Taylor: Mr. Speaker, I have a brief explanatory note. The bill will remove from the acts establishing the regional municipalities, except those of Ottawa and Carleton, and from the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto Act, the present requirement that one member of the board of commissioners of police be a judge. A similar amendment was made to the Police Act in 1979, so that brings these acts into the same consistency, that a member of the board of commissioners of police need not be a judge.

I will have a companion bill to this, Mr. Speaker.

Interjections.

4:30 p.m.

Mr. Speaker: Order, please. Unknown to me, the Solicitor General has another bill.

Hon. G. W. Taylor: That is right. I have the companion bill.

POLICE AMENDMENT ACT

Hon. Mr. G. W. Taylor moved, seconded by Hon. Mr. Wells, first reading of Bill 87, An Act to amend the Police Act.

Motion agreed to.

Hon. G. W. Taylor: Mr. Speaker, I have a brief explanatory note. The bill would amend the Police Act to enlarge boards of commissioners of police in municipalities with populations over 25,000 and in smaller municipalities that opt for expanded boards from three to five members by adding an additional municipal and an additional provincial appointee.

CITY OF TORONTO ACT

Mr. Shymko moved, seconded by Mr. Robinson, first reading of Bill Pr12, An Act respecting the City of Toronto.

Motion agreed to.

BROCKVILLE YMCA/YWCA ACT

Mr. Runciman moved, seconded by Mr. Cousens, first reading of Bill Pr32, An Act respecting the Brockville Young Men’s Christian Association/Young Women’s Christian Association.

Motion agreed to.

CITY OF GUELPH ACT

Mr. Worton moved, seconded by Mr. Newman, first reading of Bill Pr28, An Act respecting the City of Guelph.

Motion agreed to.

CITY OF HAMILTON ACT

Mr. Charlton moved, seconded by Mr. Mackenzie, first reading of Bill Pr41, An Act respecting the City of Hamilton.

Motion agreed to.

HUMAN TISSUE GIFT AMENDMENT ACT

Mr. Van Horne moved, seconded by Mr. Nixon, first reading of Bill 88, An Act to amend the Human Tissue Gift Act.

Motion agreed to.

Mr. Van Horne: Mr. Speaker, this bill is intended to facilitate the obtaining of human organs for transplant purposes by creating an automated register of the names of all persons entitled to insured services under the Health Insurance Act, indicating whether each person has filed a general or specific consent to postmortem organ donation, has filed an objection to the procedure, or has done neither. Provision is made for the amendment of the register and for keeping it confidential.

I would add, too, that this bill, with the same title, was debated in the House, criticized and failed to pass in the spring of this year. It is interesting to note the former Minister of Health a few days later made a rather glowing comment on the need for kidney donations. About the same time I saw for the first time advertisements sponsored by the Solicitor General’s office encouraging the use of drivers’ licences for organ donation.

Also, we are aware of the fact the government has appointed a committee to study the need of organ donation. This bill is intended to keep the theme in front of the members of the Legislature. It has a different thrust from the one presented in the spring. I hope when the time comes to debate it the government will reconsider.

MOTION TO SET ASIDE ORDINARY BUSINESS

Mr. Di Santo moved, seconded by Mr. Samis, that pursuant to standing order 34(a), the ordinary business of the House be set aside in order to discuss a matter of urgent public importance, namely, the recent revelation that units I and 2 of the Pickering nuclear generating station A may have to be retubed as a result of the rupture that took place in August of this year at a cost of between $100 million and $300 million per unit, and the potential impact of this early replacement on the already escalating costs of nuclear power and thereby on the overall economic viability of the nuclear power program.

Mr. Speaker: I would like to inform honour- able members that the motion for emergency debate was indeed received in time, namely, at 10:50 a.m. I shall listen with close attention while the member tells us why he thinks the ordinary business of the House should be set aside to hear this discussion.

4:40 p.m.

Mr. Di Santo: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am pleased that you will listen with attention to my argument.

When I thought of introducing the emergency motion, I did not know that the minister was going to make a statement in the House this afternoon. However, when I heard the statement I was deeply disappointed. In fact, the minister did not answer any of my concerns or the concerns of the majority of the people of Ontario who are faced not only with the accident I mentioned in my motion but also with a series of other accidents that took place from August I to September 3 at various nuclear power stations in Ontario.

The minister told us that Hydro keeps him fully informed, but the minister did not tell us what we -- and I must say his statement was taken almost verbatim from today’s Toronto Globe and Mail. In fact, the Globe and Mail gave us most of the information. Moreover, the information came to the conclusion that, most likely, the Pickering tests hint at massive repairs.

I think this is a very serious business which we should discuss. Today is the very first opportunity that this House, and through this House the people of Ontario, can debate fundamental issues such as Ontario’s policies and what is happening at the nuclear stations in Pickering and the other plants.

We know that the repairs that will be undertaken when the final results come from the nuclear laboratory will range from $100 million to $200 million or more. We do not know how much because it may be that both the nuclear stations should be retubed completely. This would mean an additional cost, which we do not know now but it would have a very serious impact on the performance of the utility. Above all, it would have a very serious impact on the rates that would be imposed on the consumers of Ontario. In fact, those who are going to have to pay the bill will be the consumers of Ontario. The minister did not address any of those issues.

He did not address the issue of safety. We know very well about the discharge of tritium at the beginning of September and we know that Ontario Hydro officials mounted a colossal public relations campaign, but they have given us very little information. We questioned the previous Minister of Energy about the tritium treatment plants, but we never had an answer. Actually, the minister said the tritium treatment plants will be discussed in the future when Darlington is built.

We were told by Hydro officials that an accident like the one that occurred on August I at Pickering 2 could never occur because of the theory of breaking before leaking and not leaking before breaking, but that accident occurred.

We know there are problems of safety and there are problems of cost. I think this is a very important issue and it is urgent that we debate it today. Today is the very first occasion that we are able to debate the issue in this Legislature and inform the people of Ontario and find out, above all, what the policies of the government are, and not just have a statement which does not say much to us and does not say much to the people of Ontario.

Mr. Kerrio: Mr. Speaker, I rise to support the motion for an emergency debate put by the member for Downsview and I do so because of so many unknown factors in the nuclear option.

Of course, Ontario Hydro has been trading on the name Ontario Hydro for a good long time, and really it is a misnomer. It really should be called Ontario Energy Enterprises Inc. They have gone a long way from the mandate that made them what they are, in the sense that the power that has been hydraulically generated for many years has been clean and it does not affect the environment.

We now have a large enterprise that has gone into the nuclear option quite prematurely, we think. Not that we would not support research into this great field, but we feel we should not have accepted the fact that Ontario Hydro has gone one third into the option and is considering going further in that direction.

It seems very odd that Candu reactors have been sold abroad only at great loss to the people of Canada and that we now are confronted with so many unknowns, as was pointed out by the member for Downsview.

We have gone through the hearings of the select committee of the Ontario Legislature not knowing from one day to the next what the cost of uranium was going to be. We have gone through those questions with the best brains in nuclear science to try to find out what it would be worth to decommission one of these nuclear plants.

We cannot find out what it is going to cost to put the spent fuel into what one might consider as safe storage. It is all above the ground in the jurisdictions of the United States and Canada where all these nuclear reactors have been producing power, and the lifespan of those plants is questionable.

We saw what happened at Three Mile Island. We are wondering about the cost of getting that plant back into commission. So one can see we have good reason to want to bring this issue back in order to debate it in this chamber.

There may be those who would suggest that this government has always put forward the notion that Ontario Hydro is at arm’s length, that it was given a mandate under the Power Corporation Act to do its thing as it sees fit. But we also saw that when the time came for that government to put the brakes on that great powerful corporation, all that Darcy McKeough, the then Treasurer, had to do was to restrict its borrowing and conveniently take what the government used to propose as an arm’s-length relationship with Ontario Hydro and show the people of Ontario that, indeed, the Conservative government could pull Ontario Hydro back, stop it, slow it down, or do whatever it chose.

But one thing they do not do is allow the kind of debates that should transpire within this Legislature in relation to Ontario Hydro. That is why this motion is so significant and important and why we are supporting it. We think it is time that we should be able to discuss again those things which Ontario Hydro is doing so that it would fit more meaningfully into the energy picture, to take it out of conservation, out of alternative energy resources, out of those fields where it is completely in contradiction with itself by trying to force the sale of surplus electricity.

The reason we are supporting the motion is that we certainly do not know -- no one knows -- what it costs to produce nuclear power. It is about time we did, and until we do we should put the brakes on that particular aspect.

Today I was trying to raise the question with the new Minister of Energy (Mr. Andrewes) to suggest that we should have developed every last vestige of hydraulic power within this province before we went on this escapade with nuclear power. I think that many people in Ontario will begin to believe that the opposition parties now have made some very meaningful contributions in relation to where Ontario Hydro should be going, how this Legislature should be able to draw them in and to describe to them what their real mandate is, and that is to get out of the free-wheeling enterprise they are running and begin to be responsible to the people of Ontario through this Legislature.

4:50 p.m.

Hon. Mr. Andrewes: Mr. Speaker, I rise on behalf of the government to oppose the motion for an emergency debate on the recent events at the Pickering generating station and the economic viability of the nuclear power program.

At the outset, I want to correct one use of terminology that appears to be popular both here and in the media. In reference to the situations at Pickering as they happened on August I and subsequently, we see reference made to the events as accidents. We want to be careful that we do not lose the context of what we are talking about.

We have a breakdown. We have a mechanical failure. We have a problem with a nuclear reactor that is a piece of equipment made by man. When this equipment was developed, no one in his right mind ever thought it would be perfect and everlasting. To talk about it as an accident is a misnomer and an inaccuracy.

As I reported to the House, and in response to questions from the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Peterson), I have been informed by Ontario Hydro that a comprehensive analysis of the pressure tube problem will not be available for another month or so, and the extent of the rehabilitation work that must be undertaken before unit 2 can be restarted will depend on the results of that comprehensive analysis.

I would also like to remind the members that Pickering unit 2 cannot be restarted without the approval of the Atomic Energy Control Board, whose responsibilities in this matter I referred to in my earlier statement. There are some, no doubt, who would like to remove that responsibility from the board. It has been a very constructive process. It is a federal legislative requirement that the board be the regulatory authority, and I would not propose we interfere in that process.

I feel it would be premature to undertake any debate or review of the events at Pickering until Ontario Hydro has had adequate time to assess the results of the analysis that is currently under way and consultation with and direction from the Atomic Energy Control Board has been undertaken and received.

The member for Downsview admits he does not know how many dollars are involved. He does not know the situation that currently prevails at Pickering. All of it is speculation based on a current report in the Globe and Mail by Mr. Claridge. In the interim, until Hydro reports on the analysis received from Chalk River, the chairman of Hydro is keeping me informed of what they are doing and the results of the analysis, and I intend to report to the House as I did this afternoon and will continue to do.

Mr. Speaker, I would urge you consider these arguments on the merits of this request in the light of the definition and the criteria for an emergency debate.

Mr. Speaker: I have listened carefully to the submissions put forward by members of all three parties. I have some reservations about the immediacy of the motion, given the fact there has been a lot of opportunity to discuss it and there has been a lot of public discussion.

However, having said that, I feel it is a matter of importance and, therefore, I am going to put the question to the House whether this debate shall proceed.

5:15 p.m.

The House divided on whether the debate should proceed, which was negatived on the following vote:

Ayes

Allen, Boudria, Bradley, Breaugh, Breithaupt, Bryden, Cassidy, Charlton, Conway, Cooke, Copps, Di Santo, Edighoffer, Elston, Epp, Foulds, Grande, Johnston, R. F., Laughren, Mackenzie, Mancini, Martel, McClellan, McGuigan, McKessock, Miller, G. I.;

Newman, Nixon, O’Neil, Philip, Rae, Reed, J. A., Renwick, Riddell, Roy, Ruprecht, Ruston, Samis, Sargent, Stokes, Swart, Van Horne, Wildman, Worton, Wrye.

Nays

Andrewes, Baetz, Barlow, Bennett, Bernier, Brandt, Cousens, Cureatz, Dean, Eaton, Elgie, Eves, Fish, Gillies, Gordon, Gregory, Grossman, Harris, Henderson, Hennessy, Hodgson, Johnson, J. M., Jones, Kells, Kolyn, Lane, Leluk;

MacQuarrie, McCaffrey, McCague, McLean, McMurtry, McNeil, Mitchell, Piché, Pollock, Pope, Ramsay, Robinson, Rotenberg, Runciman, Scrivener, Sheppard, Shymko, Snow, Stephenson, B. M., Stevenson, K. R., Taylor, G. W., Timbrell, Treleaven, Walker, Watson, Welch, Wells, Williams.

Ayes 45; nays 55.

5:20 p.m.

ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS IN ORDERS AND NOTICES

Hon. Mr. Wells: Before the orders of the day, Mr. Speaker, I would like to table the answers to questions 230, 231, 295, 304, 307, 308, 310, 311 and 312 standing on the notice paper [see Hansard for Friday, October 14.]

ORDERS OF THE DAY

OFF-ROAD VEHICLES ACT

Hon. Mr. Snow moved second reading of Bill 61, An Act to regulate Off-Road Vehicles.

Hon. Mr. Snow: Mr. Speaker, as four months have passed since first reading was given to Bill 61, An Act to regulate Off-Road Vehicles, I shall briefly summarize its background and purpose.

Municipalities across this province have voiced their concern over the lack of control of off-road vehicles, and this concern has increased steadily. It is very clear that the municipalities want provincial control over trail bikes and other related motorized off-road vehicles. Many of these vehicles are not licensed under the Highway Traffic Act, either because they do not meet the equipment requirements for highway operation or because the owners often choose to operate them exclusively off the highway.

Without mandatory vehicle licence plates and without mandatory registration, municipal bylaws cannot effectively control the damage to public property caused by such vehicles. This bill has been designed to respond to their needs. Hence, all owners of these off-highway vehicles will be required to register their vehicles unless they are already licensed under the Highway Traffic Act.

The registrant must be 16 years of age or over and will be required to pay a one-time registration fee valid for the lifetime of the holder. In accordance with the new plate-to-owner vehicle registration system, the present owner will keep the plates when transferring the vehicle. This bill will lay the responsibility for violations under this act and any liability for personal injury or property damage upon the owner as well as the operator.

Off-road vehicles are defined as motorized two- and three-wheel vehicles not specifically exempted by regulation. In committee I intend to move an amendment that will allow the Lieutenant Governor in Council to prescribe by regulation specific types of vehicles having more than three wheels that are of a recreational character and that it is felt should be regulated under this act, such as vehicles manufactured as dune buggies.

There are provisions to exempt from this act by regulation vehicles such as self-propelled implements of husbandry, road-building machines, golf carts and vehicles for the physically disabled. In addition, the remote section of northern Ontario, already exempt from the Motorized Snow Vehicles Act, will be exempt from the mandatory registration of off-road vehicles.

I also intend to move in committee an amendment to section 2 that will permit drivers of off-road vehicles to cross highways, provided the driver holds an HTA driver’s licence. This change is in response to requests from the farm community, which is making increased use of these vehicles.

It is the intention of this bill to encourage the safe driving of these recreational vehicles and provide a method of control and identification.

Mr. J. A. Reed: Mr. Speaker, I rise on behalf of my party to support the intent and the thrust of this bill. As we know, this bill is approximately three or four years late in being presented to this Legislature.

I recall the time -- I believe it was 1979 -- that amendments were made in an omnibus motion to this House on the last days of the session of that year. They would have amended the Municipal Act to provide some sort of municipal control for off-road vehicles. It was patently clear that the amendments were not workable, they were not applicable on the broad provincial base and, therefore, they really were a very amateurish attempt to come to grips with what has become a rather widespread problem in the province.

I heard the minister in his opening statement saying the municipalities had asked for this bill. But the off-road vehicle industry -- that is, the dealers, the manufacturers and the associations that use these vehicles in competitions -- has also asked for this legislation; it has also made a contribution to its content.

While we are in favour of the principle of this bill and we favour its intent, there are a number of areas where we have particular concern. I will delineate a very few of them, and my colleagues will expand somewhat on the specific content.

First, I ask the minister that at the committee stage this bill go to a standing committee. I ask that it be sent outside the House to where a freer and more open debate can take place. Constructive changes could be made in a standing committee to make it more workable, more suitable and more fulfilling of its general intent.

I refer first to the element of exemption. I realize the bill can exempt certain classes of off-road vehicles but only through the Lieutenant Governor in Council. I respectfully suggest to the minister that while that should continue in the bill, some recognition should be given to those obvious exemptions that could be made right in the core of the legislation.

For instance, the associations that use off-road vehicles competitively would be required under this legislation, without exemption, to have some kind of licence on the vehicle and to carry insurance. However, when a vehicle is used for competitive purposes only those elements seem rather ludicrous. I think there should be some full and open debate to discuss just what is needed.

One of the concerns that has been expressed to me is over the licence plate itself and the kind of registry required. Is it the minister’s intent, for instance, that the identifying licence plate or identifying marker be made of a firm, hard material, perhaps sitting up behind the driver’s seat, or in front of the handle bars if it is for what is commonly known as a dirt bike? Such identifying markers could be physically dangerous if they are used in off-road situations.

I think some of these things have to be clarified.

It has also been brought to my attention that the Canadian Motorcycle Association would be agreeable to a clause in the legislation which would be a sound-level clause, if you like. It would agree to something that would provide an upper decibel level in the amount of muffling required on these bikes.

At present there is no requirement for noise level reduction for off-road vehicles, so far as I know -- certainly none of any significance. Yet here we have the industry that is most vitally concerned with the use and promotion of these vehicles wanting to participate in a very full way in the development of this legislation and the development of the kind of bill that is going to do the job.

5:30 p.m.

To get back to the insurance, for instance, I understand that no insurance is required on snowmobiles at present. Maybe the minister can answer that. Maybe he can answer, too, where the differences lie between the snowmobile legislation and this legislation, understanding that some of the vehicles that are off-road vehicles are convertible and are used as snowmobiles in the wintertime and as dirt-track vehicles in the summertime.

We are looking forward to these amendments with interest. It is with some concern about those specifics, and some that my colleagues will talk about in a few minutes, that we support the spirit of the bill. We say it is long overdue in coming to this Legislature, and we hope the government will participate in certain changes and amendments that will make it more workable and more acceptable to both the industry and the municipalities at large.

Mr. Samis: First of all, I want to congratulate the member for Mississauga North (Mr. Jones), who is occupying the chair at present, upon his appointment as Deputy Speaker and for the sartorial splendour he seems to be intent on bringing to that chair. It represents a drastic change from the plebeian, proletarian appearance of the member for Durham East (Mr. Cureatz). It will take us a while here on the opposition side to get adjusted to his Reaganesque style, but we will do our best to make that adjustment.

I also want to congratulate the minister before moving to the bill on surviving yet another cabinet shuffle and defying the predictions of all the pundits in the fourth estate, who are not with us today. I do not know how many times he has done it, but I think he now deserves to be baptized as the Anastas Mikoyan of the Tory regime because he has outlasted almost every other member over there through cabinet shuffles in the same portfolio for I do not know what it is now -- 11 years or so. I think Anastas in his grave would be proud of him for his longevity and his facility in remaining in that post.

I also think this bill is ominous in the sense that it shows that the minister is able to move from intended massive megaprojects in Oakville to something of a provincial nature, from a dome that Harold Ballard will not accept, the mayor of Hamilton will not accept and the mayor of Toronto will not accept to grass-roots dirt bike legislation like this. I think it displays remarkable facility on the minister’s part. I would not want to take away from his initiative and his interest in promoting the interests of his riding in seeking a domed stadium, which we all know will never be located in Oakville, but his initiative is to be admired and he is to be congratulated for it.

Now moving to the bill, Mr. Speaker, with that introduction, let me say very briefly that we on this side will support the bill. We support the move to exercise control over off-road vehicles. It is long overdue. It is a move that has been sought by many associations and individuals over the past three or four years.

We support the concept of licensing and registering those vehicles, we support the policy of making the wearing of helmets mandatory for anybody on these vehicles, we support the general concept of mandatory public liability insurance and we support the move to limit the registration of these vehicles to people 16 years of age. However, there are a few questions that arise.

We obviously support the intent, the thrust and the overall content of the bill, but we do have some concerns on this side about the question of insurance. We do support the idea of mandatory insurance, but the whole question of cost has not been resolved.

It is my understanding that the minister and his staff have been, not negotiating but having discussions, with the insurance industry as to working out a schedule of rates for the people affected by this act. I ask the minister to bring us up to date on the moves and the initiatives taken by the insurance industry.

We have a certain concern for the interests of the consumer. If this insurance is to be made mandatory, we want to see that the tariffs charged are subject to some form of review so that the users of trail bikes and all-terrain vehicles, or any other vehicles that may be introduced in the future, will not be exploited by the insurance industry. We would like to see some form of protection.

I think it is worth while that the problem of vintage and competitive motorcycles has been taken into consideration by the ministry staff and that adjustments have been made. I congratulate the minister for listening to their representations; it seems to me they had a very valid point.

I do have a small personal concern about the concept of designating the parent or owner as opposed to the driver as the person responsible. I realize the philosophy behind the ministry’s move to have the parent as the person responsible for acquiring the insurance, the plate, etc. The only concern I have is that somebody who is 12, 13, 14 or 15 will be able to drive these vehicles rather freely within certain confines, but the onus will still be on the parent.

I know the philosophy is that if the parent puts out the bucks and takes the initiative to acquire one of these vehicles, then the parent should be involved with his or her son and educate him on the rules of the trails and his responsibility. But I have some personal reservations about the onus being put almost exclusively on the parent in the relationship between government and owner.

I hope that if we proceed along this line, the government will make a commitment to somehow have some form of public education for the people under 16 who may be purchasing these vehicles. This could be done in conjunction with the manufacturer, through retailers, and possibly through the Canada Safety Council. But I hope we will not just let a 13-year-old acquire one of these vehicles, go out on the trails as long as he has the helmet and the old man pays for the licence and registration, and more or less think he is scot-free to do whatever he wants.

I do have some reservations about the thrust of the bill in the sense that it places a pretty heavy reliance on regulations for making adjustments. I can understand some of them, and I welcome the changes that were made in the amendment dealing with four-wheel vehicles. But it seems to me that overall there is a pretty heavy reliance on the regulatory aspect of the bill in resolving some of the implications and possibly some of the problems. I recognize some of the problems may be very specific and precise, and that may require a regulatory agency as opposed to a legislative one, but I do have certain reservations.

It seems to me the bill is a bit tilted towards the regulatory as opposed to the legislative. I hope if we are going to plate the vehicle, which is the system mentioned in the bill, the embattled system will be able to cope with these new additions. The system seems to be having terrible problems at present dealing with automobile owners of the province and the backlogs created with them.

I would also ask the minister to expand briefly on the geographic areas of the province which he mentioned might be given exemptions from this, and to tell us what areas would be considered for that. I presume they would be certain areas of the north, but I would ask the minister to give us a little more information as to the areas that will be given consideration.

To sum up, we support the bill. We will support the amendments, and we will expedite its passage.

The Deputy Speaker: The member for Essex North. I am sorry, I mean the member for Prescott-Russell.

5:40 p.m.

Mr. Boudria: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I was afraid you had your geography confused for a moment and had moved my riding some 500 miles farther southwest than it is.

I would like to speak briefly to the bill. Prior to doing that, I would like to congratulate you, sir, on the way in which in your new uniform you are bringing decorum to the high office you hold. I happen to think very highly of the particular view you are undoubtedly bringing to the high position you now hold.

We had considerable deliberation on the issue of child abuse in the social development committee over the past few months. One issue I raised on many occasions was what I called the neglect of affluence, which is sometimes caused by people in the higher salary brackets buying very expensive toys for their children and sending them to play in very dangerous areas.

Of particular concern is the way young children use snowmobiles and off-road vehicles. I consider that a form of child neglect or child abuse by parents when this type of thing happens. Most of us who live in rural areas do not go a day without seeing some very young child driving a vehicle that can go 50, 60 and 80 miles an hour. I know the member for Leeds (Mr. Runciman) prefers me to say miles an hour as opposed to kilometres. In any case, it is a very dangerous situation we now see in this province.

In our deliberations in the committee earlier this year, the Minister of Community and Social Services (Mr. Drea) indicated that the Minister of Transportation and Communications (Mr. Snow) shortly would be coming up with a bill to correct some of those problems.

I do not think the bill goes far enough in correcting some of those problems. In other wiays, I am somewhat confused by some of the wording in the bill. I hope the minister can clarify it for us. I am in support of the legislation, and I do think it is high time this Legislature expressed itself very clearly in terms of our concerns over some of the things we see happening in regard to our younger citizens using these motor vehicles. I hope the minister will take note of a few things I am particularly concerned about and explain them to us later.

I recognize the minister is going to make certain exceptions where the agricultural community is concerned. If someone is the occupier of land, but the land is registered to a company -- some farms are incorporated rather than being simply privately owned -- is that person deemed to be an occupier of the land for the purpose of this act? Perhaps the minister could clarify that, because it is not clear to me.

Another concern I have was explained briefly by the member for Halton-Burlington (Mr. J. A. Reed) regarding the definition of an off-road vehicle. It is very confusing to me when I see what some of those vehicles look like. A person who lives not too far from me has added two wheels at the front of his snowmobile where the skis were and he uses that in the summer; it uses the track at the back but has wheels at the front. I would like to know whether that is a snowmobile when used in summer. Is the motorized snow vehicle legislation going to apply in that case or does this new bill apply?

The other thing I want to bring to the minister’s attention is that some of the large three-wheel motorcycles are sold as all-season vehicles; meaning, of course, that they are used on packed snow in the winter like a snowmobile. If I read the motorized snow vehicle legislation correctly, it says a person can drive a motorized snow vehicle on a public trail at the age of 12. Would I be right in saying a person could drive the same vehicle in the winter at age 12 but would have to be 16 to drive in the summer? It is the same vehicle, but is used as a snowmobile in the winter and a trail bike in the summer. I find it all very confusing and I hope the minister can clarify it.

With regard to permits for these vehicles, I do not see how they are going to prevent children from using the vehicles. My biggest concern is not whether the vehicle is licensed, but whether we keep seeing seven-year-olds driving them. That is the big concern and really the focus I would have hoped this legislation would take. Perhaps the minister can explain to us whether this legislation is going to do anything for that.

Provided a vehicle is licensed under this particular law, will that make it possible for a peace officer to stop a seven-, eight- or nine- year-old from driving it? I am of the view that we should perhaps use the Child Welfare Act to stop that kind of thing right now, because it is purely negligent to let small children use them. I guess those are personal views rather than anything else. I am not sure whether we could use those laws.

One concern I have with section 9 is with respect to use of a trail bike for the purpose of racing. In clause 9(b) it says the numbers must be kept free from dirt or obstruction. I wonder how one would keep the numbers clear from obstruction when one is racing in the mud. It almost sounds like an impossibility. I want to know whether the minister intends to contemplate an exemption in that clause for racing or organized competitions. If he has ever been to a dirt race track and seen an organized race, he will know it is difficult to imagine that one could keep those numbers clean in that kind of circumstance.

The other thing on which I am not sure of what the law will do is the following: what happens to those organized races where the drivers are under 16? I recognize what I have just said about the seven-year-olds and so forth, but say there are such races starting at age 14 perhaps. I know some clubs do that. Will they be affected by this legislation in any way? If so, how?

Section 16 also confuses me somewhat when it refers to the owner or occupier of a property being able to stop the person who is driving on it. It says something to the effect that a person owning the property can stop, by signalling, a person who is driving his motorized vehicle on that property. But it does not say what happens next, or at least I do not believe it states clearly what happens next.

Say one stopped a person, what then? If one warns that person, does it mean one can stop that person from coming again? What mechanism is it going to take, or will it be done by regulations spelling out exactly what happens when one stops a person who is travelling on one’s property?

I live in a country area, and I would be unclear as to what to do if I stopped an individual on my property, asked him to identify himself and then told him to go away. What happens if he comes back in 10 minutes? Do I do the same thing over again? What recourse would I have?

The Deputy Speaker: I remind the honour able member that some of these questions no doubt have to do with specific sections; perhaps he could keep the thought in mind that no doubt, as the minister has indicated, this is going to committee of the whole.

Mr. Boudria: Okay. The minister has not replied to that part yet, but I will make my comments very brief. I have only one other concern and perhaps the minister could explain it.

Is it contemplated that there will be such a thing as one-day permits for out-of-province vehicles that come here to race, to visit or anything else for that matter? If there are to be such one-day permits, how will they be permitted? Will there be exemptions from insurance in the case of one-day permits? How exactly does the minister intend to proceed with those? Those are really some of the main concerns I have.

5:50 p.m.

Ms. Bryden: Mr. Speaker, I too welcome this legislation, although I think we have been waiting for it for quite a long time. But this is usually the way the Tory government acts. They wait until there is a fair groundswell of concern before they take action on issues. This is so even when safety matters are involved, such as the lack of helmets required for the operators of off-road vehicles at the present time, or when irresponsible owners and operators could cause damage to property or could create noise problems in public recreational areas or could be a hazard to other persons. It is high time we had legislation in this field.

I am not sure whether the minister thinks off-road vehicles might even be operated inside his domed stadium. At least he will be prepared for that and have them under control if the stadium could be put to such a use.

I am sure the majority of the owners and operators of these vehicles are responsible persons who operate them with due regard to the rights of others. I think they, too, will welcome legislation which brings the few irresponsible ones under control by a system of permits and regulations, with penalties for violation of the rules.

However, I do have some problems with the legislation on a matter of principle. Like an increasing amount of Tory legislation brought before this House, it leaves far too much to regulations instead of spelling out what sort of controls will be prescribed or what exemptions will be permitted.

The power this government is constantly seeking under this kind of legislation, in effect, destroys the right of the Legislature and the elected representatives to make our laws and to debate the measures proposed to control a specific problem. For example, the regulation section empowers the Lieutenant Governor in Council to prescribe the fees to be charged for permits and all the details regarding the permits and the plates. It also enables the Lieutenant Governor in Council to designate the classes of vehicles to be covered, the geographic areas to which the act will be applied and even the fees to be paid for copies of documents or access to documents by persons affected.

I hope this government will soon follow the example of Ottawa in providing for notice to the public of proposed regulations before they are passed. This would give the public an opportunity for input into the details of the measures contemplated.

The government might also look at the work and reports of our own standing committee on regulations and other statutory instruments over the past two years. It has been studying the advisability of what is known as notice and comment on regulations prior to finalization. The subject is dealt with in the latest report from the committee, which recommends incorporation of notice and comment procedures in appropriate legislation in the province. When notice and comment is adopted for most regulations that affect significant numbers of citizens, the exercise of the regulatory power will be brought under more scrutiny. Citizens then may have an opportunity to influence the content and sometimes save the government from making serious mistakes.

A second area of the bill which I believe bothers all my colleagues and myself is the compulsory insurance requirement for all owners without any provision for regulation of rates. We know there is the same kind of insurance for car owners, but this is a smaller market. Here there is an even greater danger of people seeking insurance being victimized by insurance companies that simply say: “Take it or leave it. These are the rates.” I think there should be some opportunity for them to appeal rates and for the government to review them and, if necessary, roll them back.

A third point that concerns me is a matter brought to me by an owner of a number of vintage motorcycles. He collects such vehicles as a hobby and participates in meets with them. These vehicles are operated entirely off-road and only occasionally in a meet.

He feels it is very unfair to require a permit and insurance for every single vehicle. He wondered if it would not be possible to have some sort of group permit and some requirement that the insurance companies provide one policy for all these vehicles owned by the same owner. This would not be as expensive as insuring each vehicle separately at what may be prohibitive rates of insurance that make the pursuit of this particular hobby really beyond people of fairly modest means. I hope an amendment will be brought in which would allow for special permits and special insurance for this class of off-road vehicles.

Another area of concern about the bill is the enforcement provisions. Enforcement is put in the hands of peace officers who are defined on page 2 of the bill as “a police officer, constable, conservation officer or other person employed for the preservation and maintenance of the public peace or any officer appointed for enforcing and carrying out the provisions of this act.”

It seems to me this gives power to a very large group of people with or without any special training in the off-road vehicle law or the techniques of dealing with the public on enforcement matters. Under this bill these people can stop any person driving an off-road vehicle, demand to see the permit and may arrest the person without warrant if they have reasonable and probable belief or grounds to think he has committed a contravention of the requirement to stop and identify himself.

While I believe the law must be enforced if irresponsible operators are to be controlled, I think there is a danger that the powers to stop and arrest may be abused. I think their use by peace officers as defined should be carefully monitored and those who are designated as peace officers should receive special training in the exercise of their duties under the act.

I urge the minister to take these concerns into consideration and bring in some amendments in committee to meet some of the concerns that have been expressed. These are not only my concerns, but a considerable number of people and groups affected by the legislation share them and some of them have drawn their concerns to the attention of the members of the Legislature. I hope the minister will consider their concerns.

Mr. Eakins: Mr. Speaker, I would like to make some comments. I realize the time is very short, but it is a very important bill. I want to commend the minister for bringing in Bill 61. I certainly intend to support it, but I do have a couple of questions I would like to ask the minister.

As members know, the importance of this legislation was brought home, certainly to me and to many other people across this province, by the tragic accident and resulting deaths of two young people on May 15, 1983. There is certainly a need for this legislation because of the growing interest in the sport, especially by the many people in cottage country where these types of vehicles are being operated more and more each year.

It is from personal experience that I want to make some comment about this bill. The main concern I have is the age for the operation of such a vehicle. While there is an age here for ownership, etc., it seems to me in reading it that I do not see where there is any particular age for the operation of a vehicle. I think this is unfortunate, because there are many people much too young to be operating these vehicles whom I see operating them at present. They are hardly tall enough to reach the pedals, the handlebars or the steering wheel, and yet they are running up and down the country roads. I think many times we have to protect these children, in a sense, from their parents because if they are not going to show restraint on the young people operating these vehicles, something should be brought forth in legislation.

The Deputy Speaker: I draw the member’s attention to the clock. Perhaps he would put a motion to adjourn the debate.

On motion by Mr. Eakins, the debate was adjourned.

The House recessed at 6:01 p.m.