For several weeks now the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Smith) has been questioning the ministers of Agriculture and Food (Mr. Henderson) and Housing (Mr. Bennett) about the Vaughan official plan amendment 95.
It seems he feels there is some kind of a hidden scandal, to use his own words. For the past two or three days the member for Hamilton West (Mr. Smith) has been hunting for the name of the mysterious caller who he believes is behind whatever it is he thinks happened. I do not believe any of us here knows exactly what the member thinks.
That caller was myself. The person who contacted the Ministry of Agriculture and Food supporting the town of Vaughan was the member representing Vaughan. The member for Hamilton West has implied to the press and here in the House that there is some major developer pulling strings behind the scenes. That is simply not the truth.
I have been doing some research on all of this and want to state for the record that there are exactly 30 land owners in the area affected by the amendment. These holdings range in size from nine acres to 100 acres. There is certainly no massive land assembly and no big-name developer.
I met with these land owners -- Mr. Urbano Battero, who owns 86 acres; his planning consultant, Mr. John Dewar, and his lawyer, Mr. Ross Hitch, QC, whom I am sure the member knows. They told me they were convinced the lands were not of good agricultural quality and asked that I support their request to have the Ministry of Agriculture and Food’s position re-examined.
I was assured by Mayor Garnet Williams and Councillor David Fraser, who is chairman of the York regional planning committee, that the municipality fully supported the Vaughan amendment and the position of the land owners. They in turn asked me to see whether a review could be undertaken.
As the member for York North, I then contacted the Ministry of Agriculture and Food and asked whether the ministry’s position could be reconsidered. I do not feel I acted incorrectly in this matter. I feel I represented my constituency in the best way possible. I was asked to intercede on behalf of constituents and one of my municipalities, and I did so.
As the Minister of Housing said the other day, this is the role of a member of the provincial parliament, a job I have held for almost 14 years. I have no intention, and I repeat this, I have no intention of changing, nor do I suspect any other member in this House will change, at least if he wants to be re-elected. I am sure the Leader of the Opposition would not have got involved in the fruit land situation on behalf of his own municipality if he felt differently.
Further, the town of Vaughan remains committed to its position. On Monday night, June 1, the council of the town of Vaughan passed another motion reaffirming its support of amendment 95. The council member who moved the resolution was Councillor Jan Poot, a former federal Liberal candidate. Clearly, in Vaughan township, we are all interested in amendment 95.
I did not rise on this point earlier this week because I wanted to check out some of the comments that had been made in recent days. Last Friday the member for Huron-Middlesex (Mr. Riddell) stated a petition signed by 30 farmers had been sent to the Ontario Municipal Board, saying their lands were highly suited for agriculture. I made it my business to get a copy of that petition and discovered several things.
The petition was signed in 1978. Four of the petitioners are still farming. One of those who signed the petition, Mr. Robson, I have known for many years. He has since sold all his property and moved away. His family was one of the original group that retained Mr. Webb to fight the amendment, because they wanted their lands included to be rezoned for urban development. This whole matter is certainly straightforward from my point of view. I will table the list of land owners, with the size of their holdings, with the Speaker.
Another thing I want to comment on is the Leader of the Opposition’s claim that the developers, whoever they are, stand to make $88 million profit. I had a chance to look at this situation in Vaughan yesterday, and based on the number of lots the town would allow on these 1,000 acres -- he said 1,300 -- the sale price per lot would have to be in the neighbourhood of $400,000 to $450,000, excluding any house.
Mr. Smith: Mr. Speaker, the statement by the member for York North, the former parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Housing, has clarified only part of the matter, namely that he was the person who made the telephone call. It does not clarify at all how the Minister of Agriculture and Food, who has served in this caucus for so many years with both the Minister of Housing and the member for York North, would not know the one from the other and would take several weeks, in fact, not to know the one from the other.
Would it not be wise, in considering this point of privilege, to take into account the fact that the member for York North must have known the matter was in front of the Ontario Municipal Board, and that he was a parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Housing at the time he acted on behalf of his friends the developers and got in touch with the Minister of Agriculture and Food?
Mr. Smith: May I say very plainly, Mr. Speaker, that this House has been abused by having to go through about two weeks or so of questions that asked over and over again for the name of the person who made that phone call, while that person was sitting right here in this House and waited this long.
Mr. Cassidy: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege: Is the House not entitled to an assurance that when members of the government party are named to the cabinet or are named to parliamentary assistantships, they will understand the conflicts that may arise between what they deem to be their responsibilities as local members and their responsibilities on behalf of the ministers --
Mr. Cassidy: Are we then to understand that the Minister of Agriculture and Food will send his parliamentary assistant out to any other tracts of agricultural land when a private member from the Liberal Party asks him to act, as the member for York North asked the Minister of Agriculture and Food to act?
Mr. Riddell: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege: My name was mentioned in the member’s point of privilege, and I just want to make it amply clear that there was no distortion of the facts from the standpoint of the letter that was signed by 30 land owners who indicated on the petition that they opposed the rezoning of that land. Let us not distort the facts.
Mr. Elston: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege: A matter of concern to me personally has come to my attention through the recent releases in the media concerning some incidents involving members of the Ontario Provincial Police and the Ontario Government Protective Service.
While I understand that the Ontario Government Protective Service is a special service of the OPP, it plays a vital part in our operations here and operates under your jurisdiction in the building. I wonder if you could undertake to inform us fully as to the details of the incident and bring us up to date on the morale of the service here at Queen’s Park.
“With reference to an article in the above- mentioned newspaper, captioned, ‘Grievances Include Assault,’ and in bolder print, ‘Queen’s Park Officers Protest,’ certain serious allegations have been made by Policewoman Younie and Policeman O’Brien which are totally untrue. I have already submitted a report on this incident of May 6, 1981, in which it was clear from the evidence of responsible and uninvolved witnesses that neither Policewoman Younie nor Policeman O’Brien were assaulted, pushed, roughly handled, intimidated or otherwise ill-used. Their statements to the press are a pack of lies.
“Policeman O’Brien, vice president of OPSEU’s Local 589, holds a grudge against management because he was transferred from general headquarters OPP, 90 Harbour Street, to Queen’s Park, and Policeman Dempster, president of OPSEU’s Local 589, is an embittered man ever since he was transferred from special squad No. 2 to the regular line platoons. By this transfer he has forfeited his weekends and his nights in bed and this irks him.”
Mr. Elston: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege: I know you read a letter, but can you tell the House, concerning the investigation by the OPP and the Ontario Government Protective Service of the matter, whether that is the extent to which you are going to go in making inquiries, or are you intending to go further than that letter you read to us?
Mr. Speaker: This is a memo I have as a report on the incident. I shall quote directly from the Legislative Assembly Act, which governs the privileges and the extent of responsibility I have and that the protective service has in this building.
Mr. Breaugh: On a point of privilege, Mr. Speaker: Traditionally the front steps of the Legislature are a place where the citizens of Ontario have a right to gather and to express an opinion. Traditionally, as well, it is the privilege of members of this assembly to visit the front steps, to discuss matters with those individuals, and on occasion to make speeches. There is a sound system, there are gates, all kinds of things have been put in place to recognize that tradition of gathering there and protesting, demonstrating, showing support -- whatever it might be.
Mr. Breaugh: Thank you. It would normally have been my privilege as a member to go to the front steps and to talk to that man. Unfortunately, yesterday afternoon when I went there he was in the custody of the Metropolitan Toronto Police in a cruiser. For a member of this Legislature it became a little awkward to try to deal with that.
The point of privilege I want to raise is that they are, in part, my privileges as well that have been abrogated in that instance. I think it is an unfortunate precedent to have a citizen of Ontario charged with trespass on the steps of Queen’s Park. I would like you to take that matter into consideration.
All of our members here traditionally have gone to groups on the front steps, talked to them and obtained a good deal of information there. I believe in this instance my privileges as a member of this House have been abrogated and his rights as a citizen have been abrogated as well.
Hon. Mr. McMurtry: Mr. Speaker, I would like to address the House on this matter. The member for Hastings-Peterborough (Mr. Pollock) had brought this incident to the attention of my office this morning. I indicated to him that because it actually involved a constituent of the member for Hastings-Peterborough, we would look into the matter. I have a brief report, which I have not had a chance to peruse. As a result of the request of the member for Hastings-Peterborough, I am already looking into the matter.
Mr. Breaugh: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate what the Solicitor General may or may not do, but this House and the grounds surrounding it are under your jurisdiction. To have the police enter the grounds or the building --
I can deal with this quite readily, I think. This is another memorandum: “Re Larry Tadman, RR 1, Gilmour, Ontario, charged under the Trespass to Property Act by Metro police force. The above-mentioned individual was surrounded by press and photographers and arrived in front of the building at 1350 hours. He proceeded to open up his knapsack and removed a toy truck with a paper-packaged bundle of soil and a sign, ‘Danger, radioactive material.’ He set this up on the ground. I told him that dumping was not allowed and to pick it up. He refused, whereupon I handed the situation over to an officer from the Metro police department. The officer subsequently charged him with breach of Trespass to Property Act, section 2(1)(b). The subject left the area at approximately 1435 hours, June 10, 1981.”
Mr. O’Neil: Mr. Speaker, on the same point of privilege: After something like this happens, maybe it is about time the government on the other side of this House realized how the people in the Bancroft area feel about all this waste from Scarborough being dumped in their area.
Mr. Foulds: Mr. Speaker, I am interested in ascertaining from you how far my privileges extend as a member of this House. Do they extend only as far as the confines of the building? Who owns the property on which this building is located, who invites the Metro police or any other police force to enter these premises and this building, and at what point is that done?
Mr. Cassidy: To conclude this point of privilege, Mr. Speaker, since demonstrations in front of the Legislature traditionally have been attended and policed by members of the protective service of this Legislature, would the Speaker undertake to assure this House that the rights of the citizens of the province to peaceful assembly and demonstration in front of this Legislature are not abrogated by the Metro police, the OPP --
Mr. Roy: On the point of privilege, Mr. Speaker: If I may address you as our representative and a servant of this assembly, I consider, and I think all members should consider, that our privileges should not be limited just to the building. In spite of who may have jurisdiction -- legislative or police jurisdiction outside the building -- would you assure us that the long tradition of demonstrations by people and the free expression in front of the building will in no way be curtailed by whoever has jurisdiction, whether it is the protective staff or whether it is Metropolitan Toronto police, so that people can come and freely express their opinions in front of the building as has been the tradition in the past?
Mr. Speaker: That is not in dispute. Quite clearly I said I would get the information and I will. It is all contained, as I understand from reading it, in the Legislative Assembly Act. I do not have a copy of it with me and I just do not want to rely on my memory.
Hon. Mr. Timbrell: Mr. Speaker, we in Ontario have a special reason to celebrate the diamond jubilee of the discovery of insulin. It was 60 years ago, within easy walking distance of this chamber, that Dr. Frederick Banting and Dr. Charles Best made one of the most important medical breakthroughs of this century, indeed of all time. The discovery of insulin at the University of Toronto brought Banting and Best worldwide fame and honours, as well as distinction to Canada and to this province.
As the honourable members will recall, in the fall of 1978 I announced that this government, through my ministry, was to provide a $1-million endowment to the University of Toronto in memory of Dr. Best, who had died that spring. The endowment, called the Charles Herbert Best Chair of Medical Research, was soon after made available from the Provincial lottery.
The purpose of this chair is to develop practical knowledge from research that can be used in the treatment of patients. Such research need not be confined to improvement and refinement in the treatment of diabetes, but can cover a wide range of medical interests, as did the subsequent career of Dr. Best. Among his credits, for example, is the discovery of a means of drying and storing blood serum. Another is a remedy for seasickness. Dr. Best also founded the Canadian Diabetes Association, which now has in excess of 26,000 members from coast to coast.
I would like to remind the members that the first $100,000 from the proceeds of the endowment was designated for the development of the Banting and Best Diabetes Centre at the University of Toronto. It was to be given on a matching dollar basis in keeping with the funds raised by the centre, which funds I am pleased to say the centre had no trouble in raising.
This centre comprises an interdisciplinary group of scientists, physicians and educators at the U of T. Their objective is to extend research into the cause and treatment of diabetes mellitus and to improve the clinical and educational services available to patients with this disease in Ontario.
It is my pleasure at this point to be able to announce the appointment of Dr. Charles Hollenberg to the Best chair at the university and his appointment later this year to the chairmanship of the Banting and Best Diabetes Centre. Let me take a brief moment to describe Dr. Hollenberg’s impressive record. He was a professor of medicine at the universities of McGill and later Toronto. While teaching, he held senior medical posts on the staffs of both Montreal General Hospital and then Toronto General Hospital. His particular research interests centre on fat metabolism. Of special concern here is the way insulin and other hormones --
Mr. Speaker: Order. I suggest to the members that they refrain from carrying on private conversations during the ministerial statements and the question period so we may all hear and understand what is being said. Please proceed.
To continue, Mr. Speaker, his particular research interests centre on fat metabolism. Of special concern here is the way insulin and other hormones interact with fat tissue to regulate the amount of fat in the body.
Dr. Hollenberg holds memberships in several scientific societies and has served as president of a number of learned bodies, including the Canadian Society for Clinical Investigation and the Canadian Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism.
I am most pleased that this distinguished man has consented to accept the appointments I have just announced. I would like all members to acknowledge the presence of Dr. Hollenberg and his good wife in your gallery, Mr. Speaker.
Hon. Mr. Pope: Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw your attention in this, the International Year for Disabled Persons, the fact that access to Ontario provincial parks by groups of disabled persons has been expanded. Facilities have also been tailored to their needs in many parks.
This ministry has had a long-standing policy of providing group camping and group day use privileges to members of agencies for the mentally or physically disabled. However, in the past some people may have been prevented from enjoying Ontario’s provincial parks because access has sometimes been difficult. We are trying to rectify this to the greatest possible extent.
Groups of disabled people will now have greater access to our parks through 35 municipally operated buses that are available to such groups throughout the province. Municipalities operating buses for the disabled will shortly be sent, along with park entry permits, a list of parks with washroom facilities specially designed to accommodate wheelchairs. A news release now being circulated to the media contains a list of parks already equipped with these facilities and those that will have them by the end of this year.
In order to resolve this concern and for the information of the honourable members of this Legislature, I would like to set out the results of an extensive sampling and analysis program that has just been completed by my ministry. A complete report on these results is being sent to the local council and the Environmental Assessment Board, which is at present conducting hearings in that community.
This site has been monitored very extensively, starting in private wells as far back as 1966 and on-site since 1970. Present monitoring has grown to include 13 private wells, two municipal wells and the distribution system, 22 test holes and wells on site, and two surface-water sampling locations.
Over a three-day period our scientists have conducted more than 2,000 tests from Whitchurch-Stouffville drinking waters. Based on these results there is absolutely no indication that the drinking waters are contaminated by the landfill or any other source. In testing for 20 general water quality parameters, 24 metals and 66 industrial chemicals, pesticides and related compounds, we found nothing that would in any way affect or threaten drinking water quality. All in all, our sampling has shown outstanding water quality in this community.
What specifically did we find in the analytical activity? First of all, we found no pesticides, no PCBs, no dioxins and no exachlorobenzene. All the water quality parameters for drinking waters were within the ministry’s water quality criteria.
In our experience, certain volatile organohalides such as carbon tetrachloride, trichloroethylene, freons, et cetera, commonly occur in landfill-site leachates and in emissions from landfill sites and can be regarded as very sensitive indicators of ground water contamination from landfill material.
All unchlorinated drinking water samples were free of these volatile organohalides. The chlorinated water supply, as would be expected, contained low levels of trihalomethanes. These are commonly found in any chlorinated drinking water.
The first samples of Stouffville chlorinated water supply showed the possible presence of three compounds at levels so near the detection limit as to be unidentifiable. Resampling and analysis showed phthalate ester plasticizers in parts per trillion at the local sewage treatment plant, the end of the distribution system. These substances most commonly originate in water systems from the plastic piping and sealants in the system.
Also identified were 2,4,6-tribromophenol, dibromochlorophenol and dichlorobromophenol in the one to three parts per trillion range. Since 2,4,6-trichlorophenol is quite often present in chlorinated drinking waters where the raw water contains traces of phenols, we and the Ministry of Health officials agree the tribromophenol or the bromo-chlorophenols identified in the Stouffville drinking water at the parts per trillion level have no health significance.
In summary, the laboratory produced more than 2,000 priority results in less than three days on Whitchurch-Stouffville drinking waters. I might add that I can, without equivocation, say that municipality has by far the most extensively tested water ever in the history of Ontario. Based on these results, there is absolutely no indication the drinking waters are contaminated by the landfill or any other source.
Hon. Mr. Baetz: Mr. Speaker, an agreement involving the Ontario Science Centre has been signed with the People’s Republic of China. This involves a most unusual international exchange. The Canadian part of this exchange involves the Ontario Science Centre’s unique hands-on concepts and methods of presenting natural law as man understands it and seeks to harness it. The Chinese part involves a unique offering of the artefacts and skills of 3,000 years of Chinese science and technology.
It was in 1979 that Chinese scientific and cultural ambassadors came to Canada as part of a broad effort to implement the “Four Modernizations” in China. The Chinese came to our country against a background of many cultural interests. One of those interests was the further stimulation among the Chinese people of the excitement and importance of science.
It was subsequently determined that in the interests of this stimulation, a science centre should be built in Peking. After a careful worldwide study, the Chinese paid us the singular compliment of choosing the Ontario Science Centre as the model for the Peking science centre. It was further decided that the crystal around which the Peking science centre would grow should be our own science centre’s renowned travelling exhibit, known as the Science Circus.
Our science centre would produce a duplicate science circus for Peking and the Chinese would bring to the science centre the most expansive and expressive exhibition of historic Chinese science and technology ever assembled anywhere outside China.
Today, through the Ontario Research and Development Corporation, the provincial crown’s main contracting commercial research and development agency, the science circus destined for Peking is being produced. At the same time, the planning and preparation of the great Chinese exhibition, to be held at the Ontario Science Centre for six months starting in May 1982, are well under way.
I do not think it inappropriate to submit that this exhibition will fascinate and attract not only Canadians but people from many other countries. China is the cradle and the crucible of some of the most remarkable scientific creativity in human history. This exhibition will unravel the web of a feverish genius. It will embrace rocketry, textiles, medicine, astronomy, paper-making, printing and other areas in which the historic Chinese contribution has been basic.
The Chinese, as many of us know, invented explosive nitrogen-based powder. They packed that powder into bamboo sticks over 1,000 years ago and ignited it, creating, as far as we know, the first rockets.
The Chinese invented remarkably sophisticated looms. This exhibition will bring us one that dates back to the Han Dynasty in the year 200 BC. The Chinese were also the first to observe and record some fascinating astronomical phenomena: Halley’s comet, sunspots and exploding stars.
The Chinese invented the magnetic compass, paper, movable type, and the double bellows that led to hot furnaces for firing steel and porcelain. As we all know from the tremendous attention that has been focused on acupuncture here in the west during the last decade, the Chinese revealed to the Europeans many hundreds of years ago whole new concepts in surgery and medicine.
This is the immense background against which the exhibition of 3,000 years of Chinese science and technology at the Ontario Science Centre will be set. I believe it is fair to say that the centre’s outstanding international reputation and the personal stature of its eminent director-general, Dr. Tuzo Wilson, were fundamental to the Chinese decision to permit us to share in this most remarkable celebration of a rich and gifted culture.
I believe it is also fair to say that this whole exchange speaks eloquently to the emergence of our province and country as serious and important participants in the knowledge-based economies of the future.
Mr. Smith: I have a question for the Minister of Energy, Mr. Speaker. The Minister of Energy, in speaking to the Canadian Nuclear Association, has indicated that he favours having dedicated reactors of a nuclear nature here in Ontario for the purpose of exporting electricity to the United States of America.
Given the fact that when the minister was asked that very question on May 22, 1980, he stated, “This government is not contemplating the construction of another nuclear generating station exclusively dedicated for export,” and given that he made it very clear at that time that he dissociated his ministry from the remarks made by his parliamentary assistant at that time, the member for Durham West (Mr. Ashe), who had floated the same trial balloon, why is the minister now changing his mind?
Is not the simple fact that he is now, after March 19, stating the policy he prefers, another of those realities that before March 19 the people of Ontario were led to believe one policy when all along it was his intention to implement a totally different policy?
Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, I think it is a bit unfortunate that the Leader of the Opposition has not taken the time to read the speech that was delivered in Ottawa earlier this week. I would think that if he did read it, and if he wanted to take some time now to share that speech with us, he would find it has been developed in connection with the Canadian Nuclear Association.
It is sufficient to answer his question to say simply this: there has been no change in government policy. The answer I gave to the questions raised in this House a year ago is the answer I give this afternoon. There is no government policy that could be interpreted as supporting that particular proposition.
Indeed, I included that possibility in sharing these observations with the Canadian Nuclear Association in Ottawa earlier this week. There was nothing original about that particular discussion. The Leader of the Opposition will know that over a period of several years many important bodies and studies have discussed this particular possibility. I shared with the media, who had expressed some interest in those observations a couple of days ago, that I was personally quite attracted to the idea. I felt, however, that because of all the conditions and all the facts that had to be taken into account, many of which were enumerated in the body of that speech, I would want a lot more work done before I gave any serious consideration to taking the proposition forward to my colleagues of government.
Number one, the answer is the same today as it was a year ago. The Leader of the Opposition will know very well that I included that possibility in the development of my paper before that particular society because it had been part of general discussion about the future of Candu technology. I would hope that the Leader of the Opposition would share with the Minister of Energy of this province and with many responsible people the pride we have in that technology, and in the fact that there are a number of things happening at the moment with respect to environmental concerns -- energy policy in the US -- which might before too long make that an attractive proposition.
However, I point out to him that I would not change any word in that particular speech. Its interpretation by others is another matter. I hope the Leader of the Opposition will read it. I see no inconsistency at all in regard to my response to questions a year ago or my speech two days ago.
Mr. Smith: Given that the minister went in front of the Canadian Nuclear Association with a six-page speech, three and a half pages of which were devoted to extolling the virtues of having a dedicated nuclear reactor for the purpose of export, and given that this is obviously, to anybody who was in this House, a very significant change in policy and in tone from the statement made by that very minister when repudiating the same comments by the Minister of Revenue (Mr. Ashe) -- a man who is smiling broadly at the moment, let the record show --
Mr. Smith: -- would the minister not agree that it makes little sense for Canada, and for Ontario in particular, to be trying to find some way to deal with the disposition of nuclear waste, to be having the difficulty we now are having, and to go down into the US to borrow money at high rates of interest to build a reactor here and put up with the nuclear waste problem here while sending clean electricity to the US? If the technology is so good, why do we not sell it to the Americans and let them use it? Does the minister not agree the policy is simply a bad one and should be forgotten about post haste?
Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, may I be permitted to make one or two observations by way of correction? The Leader of the Opposition continues to use the words “government policy.” I made quite clear the context in which those remarks were made.
Indeed, the three and a half pages, if that be the correct number of pages that the Leader of the Opposition professes to have read, are on the subject of the export of electricity, which was the title to the panel discussion there. We talked about the export of electricity in many ways, because, after all, Ontario Hydro has been involved in the export of electricity to the US for 60 years, and the honourable member would have found that in the speech he says he has read.
We included in those three and a half pages, if that is the number of pages, the proposition respecting the possibility of export from a dedicated plant, keeping in mind we were talking in the Canadian context. If the Leader of the Opposition had read the speech as carefully as he professes to have done, he would have noted that the Minister of Energy included in the list of things that would have to be attended to, this question of nuclear waste disposal. It was, in fact, identified as one of the very important matters that would have to be there.
Indeed, I am very pleased that the former parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Energy, now the Minister of Revenue, had the foresight in his speech to include that, because he was in good company at that time, speculating as to the future possibility of exploiting Canadian technology.
Mr. Cassidy: Supplementary, Mr Speaker: I think the minister is being irresponsible in making a speech that is not government policy, or in somehow expecting people in the Canadian Nuclear Association and this Legislature to know whether or not a minister is enunciating government policy. I presume that means the public is going to have to come in here and ask, because the minister did not indicate whether he was or was not doing so in front of the nuclear association.
Were we not to assume when the minister responsible for Hydro, the minister responsible for nuclear policy in the government of Ontario, goes before the Canadian Nuclear Association and makes a speech saying he is looking at the possibility of dedicated plants to sell nuclear power to the United States, and goes on to say that discussions have been going on for some time about this very eventuality, that at the very least he has cleared the speech with the Premier (Mr. Davis) and the cabinet, and at the very least has some authority from the cabinet or the government to go forward?
Would the minister now say what authority he had from cabinet or the government to make this speech? What is the specific nature of the discussions the minister has undertaken on this particular subject, which has to go before the people of the province before we start to see a nuclear power plant in somebody’s backyard to send nuclear power to the US because they will not build the plants themselves?
Hon. Mr. Welch: Mr. Speaker, one of the salient qualities, among so many, of the Premier of this province is the trust he imposes on those whom he chooses to be members of the executive council. I would think, under the circumstances, the leader of the third party, may I say with the greatest respect, obviously could not have read the speech, to have worded his questions the way he has. If the honourable member says he did, I have no right to question that, but I find it difficult to understand that question coming from anyone who has really read the speech and the development of the thesis of that speech.
Regarding the discussions to which reference is made, the honourable member will recall that this whole business of a dedicated nuclear plant for purposes of export has been in the realm of public discussion ever since 1972 --
Hon. Mr. Welch: Whoever may have repudiated it, let me give the honourable member a brief summary; because the member for York South (Mr. MacDonald), who I hope has read the speech as well, has been a bit excessive in his attempts to talk about the message -- he has every right to take exception to the message -- by straying into questioning the reputation of the messenger, using such strong language as his being deceptive. I hope that under the circumstances, being the gentleman that he is, he may well want to reconsider that.
As a matter of fact, the summary of events in this whole question of dedicated nuclear plants goes back to 1972, when Acres Consulting Services presented a brief to the Ontario government giving some results of an examination of the feasibility of establishing such a plant in the vicinity of Sault Ste. Marie.
What is so particularly original about the matter of continuing the discussion, while making it quite clear that it was not a matter of government policy at this time but speaking to an audience and, I hope all members of this House will agree, attempting to keep before the public of this country the safety and the availability of that technology for this particular purpose?
Mr. Sargent: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: I do not know why the minister keeps repeating these crazy stories as he is doing. In view of fact that he is spending $6.6 billion on Darlington, and the last unit at Douglas Point which was to have cost $280 million cost $880 million, and, since the experience across the road is a 500 per cent overrun cost, the Darlington cost with the $600-million pipeline across the pond he is going to build in Lake Erie is going to be $15 billion plus interest, and we have a 40 per cent surplus of power now, will the minister tell me who is crazy?
Will he tell me if he is really going to do that? It will be a $15-billion cost. The Premier, who is sitting there, should be ashamed of himself. He knows I am damned well right when I say this thing. It is a fact.
Mr. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I had a question for the Minister of Agriculture and Food (Mr. Henderson) and for the Minister of Housing (Mr. Bennett). Both ministers were here earlier, and have disappeared. Presumably I will get to speak to them a little later. The parliamentary assistant has also conveniently disappeared.
I will ask a question of the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations concerning the Astra and Re-Mor matter. Given that many people believe there has been, at the very least, negligence and conceivably wrongdoing on the part of the ministry and the Ontario Securities Commission in the matter, given that the government has a majority both in the standing committee on administration of justice and in the House, and so can effectively block any investigation from occurring in this House, and given that up until now the majority has been used to prevent even a judicial inquiry or an independent royal commission from being appointed to look into the government’s performance in this matter, will the minister say how it is that the right of the people and their elected representatives to find out facts about the government’s performance in this matter -- that time-honoured and vital right in a democracy -- is to be protected?
Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, I learned about the news conference the Leader of the Opposition had this morning. Frankly, I thought to myself he was getting a little bit hysterical about the whole matter, going on and on about the fact that there is all kinds of political influence on ministry officials. Why does he not give the evidence of that kind of thing instead of coming out and saying it is there?
He talked about some possible underworld criminal connections involved in the thing but, when questioned about it, he could not come up with one of them that was anywhere decent. Why does he not come up with some evidence, if he has any, and go and talk to the police? Maybe he can tell us something about what is going on. He continues on and on and on.
The last thing I thought he got most hysterical about was when he talked about democracy being threatened. How can he say democracy is threatened when all the things have gone on in this matter that he knows full well have gone on? Does he not realize that for two months the committee sat and argued this matter day in and day out? The opposition-led majority of that day was able to have certain things dealt with for two whole months. An election followed, and what did he have to say about the matter? He said it is threatening democracy. I cannot believe some of the things the member is coming out with.
Mr. Smith: The minister is making my case very well out of his own mouth. Since there were two productive months during which the facts made available to elected members were able to be examined very usefully, an interesting fact did come to light. But since it is obvious, and was the view of all members, that committee did not finish its work at the time; since I asked questions six weeks ago today on the subject of serious allegations regarding the Ontario Securities Commission; since on the fact of underworld involvement there is, as he knows, a payment of a very considerable amount of money on the record from Mr. Montemurro to Mr. Bagnato, who, according to the member for Burlington South (Mr. Kerr), was considered to be an underworld figure; since there are allegedly tapes reported in the Burlington Post linking conversations to one Mr. Clement, which have never been satisfactorily explained or presented; since if the minister desires that it not be considered in the committee, which did such a good job before, he has the option of putting it into a nonpartisan arena, namely, a royal commission headed by some judge of impeccable integrity, why will the minister not move to have this matter and the government’s performance and the performance of the OSC examined by somebody so that the government can be held accountable somehow to the people of Ontario?
Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, I am being challenged on the question of underworld characters. The Leader of the Opposition brought that up this morning in the news conference and, when challenged about it, floated out the Bagnato connection, which is old hat and a useless ingredient in the whole thing.
When one of the reporters asked him this morning, “Is that all you have?” he said, “Well, that’s all I want to talk about at the moment.” What more has he got? I ask him to tell us what he has. Why does he not tell us what he has? If he has something, let him go to the police. If he likes, I will have members of the police force drop around to see him in his office and then he will have a chance to tell them what he has got.
I say to the member not just to sit there making that kind of slimy innuendo. In my mind, Mr. Speaker, it really is embarrassing to this House. He should be ashamed of it. He should withdraw that kind of thing.
Mr. Philip: Supplementary, Mr. Speaker: Since the committee only sat for one month and not two months, as the minister has just erroneously indicated; since there were fairly obvious contradictions in the testimony as he will see if he reads Hansard, as other members have read Hansard; since the former minister agreed he had an eyeball-to-eyeball discussion with the superintendent of insurance on one application, why is the minister so afraid to let the minutes of Hansard be studied again by the standing committee on administration of justice? Why do his lackeys in the back row of the justice committee vote against the open examination of the evidence that was considered during that month by the justice committee?
Mr. Speaker: Order. I draw all honourable members’ attention to standing order 19(d)(8) wherein it says: “In debate, a member shall be called to order by the Speaker if he makes allegations against another member.”
Mr. Speaker: Order. I am dealing with the matter that has been raised. If the general order and conduct of this House were somewhat quiet, I could hear some of the remarks that were going on. I cautioned members earlier to limit their private conversations; they did so for a few seconds and then chose not to.
Mr. Speaker: All right, not having regard for 28(a), if you go back, in actual fact I did not make a ruling. I made a statement of fact which was not appealable, which was not debatable, and I allowed it to be appealed. So the whole procedure has been out of order.
Mr. Nixon: Clearly, Mr. Speaker, when members have been called in for a division, there shall be no further debate. That is quite clear. That is standing order 94(b), and I would suggest to you, sir, that the vote be taken.
Mr. Cassidy: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: If, as you say, the matter was out of order and the vote should never have been called, I assume that, in fact, your naming of the member for Hamilton West stands, unless you intend to withdraw it.
Mr. Smith: I am not going to have the Sergeant of Arms coming to the desk of the leader of Her Majesty’s opposition, saying things to Her Majesty’s opposition leader if, in point of fact, he was here without any authorization according to you.
If the Sergeant of Arms comes to me and asks me to leave this chamber, and does so without your authority, then I would like him dealt with. If, on the other hand he was here with your authority, it is a serious matter for the Sergeant at Arms to come to the leader of Her Majesty’s opposition and instruct him to leave the legislature of Ontario, and I intend to know --
Mr. Smith: So I am already named. Is that what you are saying, Mr. Speaker? Is there no appeal? Why was the Sergeant at Arms at my desk? This has nothing to do with the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations.
Mr. Smith: Mr. Speaker, I want to know by whose authority the Sergeant at Arms came to tell me to leave this chamber. Answer that question. It has nothing to do with the Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations. The Sergeant at Arms came to the desk of the leader of Her Majesty’s opposition. I want to know by whose authority he came here and I insist on that.
Andrewes, Ashe, Baetz, Barlow, Bennett, Bernier, Birch, Brandt, Cousens, Cureatz, Dean, Drea, Eaton, Eves, Fish, Gillies, Gordon, Gregory, Havrot, Henderson, Hennessy, Johnson, J. M., Jones, Kells, Kennedy, Kerr, Kolyn, Lane, MacQuarrie, McCaffrey, McCague, McLean, McNeil, Mitchell;
Norton, Piché, Pope, Ramsay, Robinson, Runciman, Sheppard, Shymko, Snow, Stephenson, B. M., Sterling, Stevenson, K. R., Taylor, G. W., Taylor, J. A., Timbrell, Treleaven, Villeneuve, Walker, Watson, Welch, Wells, Williams, Wiseman.
Boudria, Bradley, Breaugh, Breithaupt, Bryden, Cassidy, Conway, Cooke, Copps, Cunningham, Di Santo, Epp, Foulds, Grande, Haggerty, Kerrio, MacDonald, Mackenzie, Mancini, Martel, McClellan, McGuigan, McKessock, Newman, Nixon, O’Neil, Peterson, Philip;
Hon. Mr. Walker: Mr. Speaker, on a point of privilege: Let me withdraw the comments I made that were considered to be offensive by the Leader of the Opposition, the reference to “slimy innuendo.” I would unconditionally withdraw those. I note that I had done so before and it is on the record, but in the confusion it might have been overlooked.
Hon. Mr. Wells: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order: I would like to propose to the House that we continue with the routine proceedings, which have not yet been concluded, through this evening, and then proceed to the business that we had agreed upon for this evening, that is, consideration of legislation: Bill 20, followed by Bill 69, followed by Bill 67.