STANDING COMMITTEE ON ESTIMATES

COMITÉ PERMANENT DES BUDGETS DES DÉPENSES

Tuesday 28 April 2009 Mardi 28 avril 2009

ORGANIZATION


 

   

The committee met at 0905 in room 151.

ORGANIZATION

The Chair (Mr. Tim Hudak): Good morning, folks. The Standing Committee on Estimates is now back in session. Welcome back, folks, and welcome to some new faces as well. We need to make a change to the subcommittee. Ms. Aggelonitis has a motion.

Ms. Sophia Aggelonitis: Yes. I have a motion. I move that the following changes be made to the membership of the subcommittee on committee business: Mr. Rinaldi be replaced by Yasir Naqvi.

The Chair (Mr. Tim Hudak): Ms. Aggelonitis moves that Mr. Naqvi be put on the subcommittee. Mr. Rinaldi is no longer a member of this committee. Any comments or debate?

Mr. Garfield Dunlop: We're going to miss him.

The Chair (Mr. Tim Hudak): Duly noted. We should give Mr. Naqvi a chance.

Mr. Garfield Dunlop: You've got big boots to fill.

The Chair (Mr. Tim Hudak): Any other comments? All in favour? Opposed? It is carried.

Mr. Naqvi, welcome to the subcommittee of the Standing Committee on Estimates. We look forward to working with you.

Mr. Yasir Naqvi: Thank you very much.

The Chair (Mr. Tim Hudak): Any other business before we begin the selection of ministries? Seeing no other business, I'm going to just walk us through. By the way, members of the committee will have received an updated resource binder on how the Standing Committee on Estimates operates. It's always a very helpful resource as we go through the number of ministries together in the months ahead. If you have any questions on it or what's new in there, you're welcome to speak with the clerk after the session. I've found that to be a handy resource on committee matters during our time together.

I'm just going to walk through how this process works as a reminder, because we only do this once a year, and then we will proceed with the actual selection of ministries.

As the members know, the Lieutenant Governor has transmitted the estimates of certain sums required for the services of the province for the year ending March 31, 2010, to the Legislative Assembly. Pursuant to standing order 59, these printed estimates, upon tabling, are deemed to be referred to the Standing Committee on Estimates. All members of the House should have received a copy of the 2009-10 expenditure estimates when they were tabled on Tuesday, April 21.

We have the following two objectives from today's meeting:

(1) to select the estimates of certain ministries or offices for detailed review by the committee, and

(2) to determine the date on which the committee will begin the consideration of the selected estimates.

Standing order 60 sets out the process by which the committee makes its selections. Essentially, each of the recognized parties on the committee shall select the estimates of either one or two ministries or offices in each of two rounds of selection.

The official opposition selects first, followed by the third party and then the government members. After two rounds of selection, the committee will have selected the estimates of six to 12 ministries or offices for review.

Each party then also determines how much time is to be allocated to the consideration of estimates for each ministry or office that they have selected. A maximum of 15 hours is permitted per selection. If only one ministry's estimates are selected in a round, those estimates could be reviewed for a maximum of 15 hours, if you so chose. If the estimates of two ministries are selected in a round, they could be reviewed or combined to the total of 15 hours. It is up to the party making the selection to determine how the 15 hours are divided between the two ministries chosen.

At the conclusion of the two rounds, a maximum of 90 hours will have been allocated to the estimates review of the selected ministries or offices. The ministries and offices shall be reviewed in the order in which they were selected. This order may only be changed by an Order of the House.

The estimates of the ministries and offices not selected for consideration will be deemed to have been passed by the committee. As Chair, I'll report those estimates back to the House and they will be deemed to be adopted and concurred in by the House.

Any supplementary estimates of selected ministries and offices shall be considered by the committee within the time allocated during this selection process.

In accordance with standing order 63(a), the committee must present a report to the House with respect to the estimates it selected and considered by the third Thursday of November this year, which is November 19, 2009. So that's our drop-dead date, so to speak. If the committee fails to report by the third Thursday in November, the estimates and supplementary estimates before the committee will be deemed to be passed by the committee and deemed to be reported to and received by the House.

Any questions on procedure before we begin? All right. Then, following procedure, the first two ministries or offices will be selected by the official opposition. Mr. Dunlop.

Mr. Garfield Dunlop: The official opposition would choose, number one, for seven and a half hours, economic development and trade. The second seven and a half hours would be the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure renewal.

0910

The Chair (Mr. Tim Hudak): Very good. So the official opposition's first two choices: the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade for seven and a half hours and then the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure for seven and half hours. Is that a single ministry or is thatâ€"

Interjection.

The Chair (Mr. Tim Hudak): Okay. You've got to be clear for the record. The new name is the Ministry of Economic Development, just to be clear for the record. So it's the Ministry of Economic Development for seven and a half hours, and the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, which is the name of the ministry, for seven and a half hours. Terrific. Thank you, Mr. Dunlop.

Mr. Bisson.

Mr. Gilles Bisson: The NDP would choose, for the first part, the Ministry of Finance for seven and a half hoursâ€"and you've taken two of mine; that's pretty good. I've got to do a bit of a switch here. Innovationâ€"what is it called again?

The Chair (Mr. Tim Hudak): Research and Innovation.

Mr. Gilles Bisson: The Ministry of Research and Innovation for the other seven and a half hours.

The Chair (Mr. Tim Hudak): We'll just confirm the official name of the ministry for the record: the Ministry of Research and Innovation.

Again, the third party and Mr. Bisson: seven and a half hours for the Ministry of Finance followed by seven and a half hours for the Ministry of Research and Innovation. Thank you, Mr. Bisson.

For the government side, Mr. Naqvi.

Mr. Yasir Naqvi: The Liberals will choose the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing for 15 hours.

The Chair (Mr. Tim Hudak): How many hours of theâ€"

Mr. Yasir Naqvi: Fifteen.

The Chair (Mr. Tim Hudak): All 15 hours?

Mr. Yasir Naqvi: All 15 hours.

The Chair (Mr. Tim Hudak): So Jim Watson gets to hang out with us for 15 hours straight.

Mr. Yasir Naqvi: He'll enjoy it.

Mr. Garfield Dunlop: That was our next one. Thank you.

Mr. Bob Delaney: Don't say we've never done you any favours.

The Chair (Mr. Tim Hudak): All right, so the government has chosen the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing for the full 15 hours of the first round.

We'll repeat our pattern for the second batch of choices. Mr. Dunlop.

Mr. Garfield Dunlop: The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for seven and a half hours and the Ministry of Small Business.

The Chair (Mr. Tim Hudak): The official opposition has chosen the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for seven and a half hours and the Ministry of Small Business and Consumer Services for seven and a half hours. That will conclude the official opposition's choices. Mr. Dunlop, thank you very much.

Mr. Bisson, your second two choices.

Mr. Gilles Bisson: So that leaves me, then, with the Ministry of Health for seven and a half hours, and the other seven and a half hours will be Comsoc.

The Chair (Mr. Tim Hudak): I'm sorry. The Ministry of Health was chosen by the official opposition.

Mr. Gilles Bisson: That's right. Sorry, I forgot to scratch it off. My mistake. So that leaves me withâ€"Small Business is taken. All right, so Comsoc will be seven and half hoursâ€"

The Chair (Mr. Tim Hudak): Community andâ€"

Mr. Gilles Bisson: Social Servicesâ€"poverty, youth and all that stuff. I will then move to the Ministry of Labour for the other choice.

The Chair (Mr. Tim Hudak): And that's for seven and a half hours as well?

Mr. Gilles Bisson: Yes.

The Chair (Mr. Tim Hudak): So the third party, in their second set of selections, has chosen the Ministry of Community and Social Services for seven and a half hours and the Ministry of Labour for seven and a half hours.

To the government, Mr. Naqvi.

Mr. Yasir Naqvi: We will choose the Ministry of Tourism for seven hours and the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs for eight hours.

The Chair (Mr. Tim Hudak): So the government, in its final two selections, has chosen the Ministry of Tourism for seven hours and the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs for eight hours. Terrific.

That will conclude our draft for the 2009-10 estimates. Again, we call the ministries in the order in which they were selected. Typically, folks, because of the ministers' schedules and the time to put those binders together, I allow for a week. So I would recommend not calling estimates in the session next week; it would be in two weeks' time. So two weeks from today we would expect the Ministry of Economic Development to present to the committee. I'm checking the calendar hereâ€"

Mr. Garfield Dunlop: May 12.

The Chair (Mr. Tim Hudak): That will be Tuesday, May 12. In my view, that's fair to give time for the minister's schedule and the ministry to prepare. Our expectation is that the minister would be here on each occasion to defend the estimates.

Mr. Gilles Bisson: Can you give us the run through in what order they are again?

The Chair (Mr. Tim Hudak): Yes, sure. Let's finish this: Are we all agreed on May 12 as the start date? Does that seem fair and reasonable?

Mr. Garfield Dunlop: Agreed.

The Chair (Mr. Tim Hudak): Tuesday, May 12, for the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade? Terrific. The clerk will then communicate that appropriately.

Just to recap, then, beginning Tuesday, May 12, we'll have the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade appearing for seven and a half hours.

Mr. Yasir Naqvi: Just to clarify, we're talking about the Ministry of Economic Development.

The Chair (Mr. Tim Hudak): I keep saying "Trade." Sorry, it's the old title. Yes, thank you, the Ministry of Economic Development. Old habit.

So on Tuesday, May 12, the Ministry of Economic Development for seven and a half hours. When that concludes, we'll have the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure for seven and a half hours. When that is complete, the Ministry of Finance will appear for seven and a half hours, followed by the Ministry of Research and Innovation for seven and a half hours. Then we will have the Jim Watson show, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, for 15 hours. Then, upon completion, we'll be visited by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for seven and a half hours, followed by the Ministry of Small Business and Consumer Services for seven and a half hours. Following that, the Ministry of Community and Social Services, seven and a half hours; the Ministry of Labour, seven and a half hours; the Ministry of Tourism, seven hours; and the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, eight hours.

Again, we are to report back by November 19, meeting every Tuesday and Wednesday. The clerk will probably remind me: We'll start the afternoon sessions atâ€"

Interjection.

The Chair (Mr. Tim Hudak): Just to make sure, last year we started at 4, but we found that with the way the procedures work in the House, we're going to start at 3:30 on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons or the end of routine proceedings.

Mr. Garfield Dunlop: Wednesday morning or Tuesday morning?

The Chair (Mr. Tim Hudak): Wednesday afternoon. We're Tuesday mornings, 9 till 10:15 or 10:20, and then on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons, 3:30 until 6. This will help us get through the estimates in an appropriate manner.

I think I covered all the bases. Anything else from the committee members?

Mr. Garfield Dunlop: Sylwia, will you be sending out an e-mail on this, or will we just do that individually with our own caucus members? Will there be a follow-up on this?

The Clerk of the Committee (Ms. Sylwia Przezdziecki): This will be reported to the House; the Chair will report this to the House.

Mr. Garfield Dunlop: Oh, okay. You're reporting this to the House?

The Chair (Mr. Tim Hudak): I do, yes.

Mr. Garfield Dunlop: Okay. I'm just wondering when we'll see a cleaned-up copy of what we're doing for estimates for this year.

The Chair (Mr. Tim Hudak): Yes, why don't we try to put together sort of a rough sketch. Is that all right? A calendar for members, so they can seeâ€"

Mr. Gilles Bisson: Good luck.

The Chair (Mr. Tim Hudak): Yes, I know.

Mr. Bob Delaney: He said a rough sketch.

The Chair (Mr. Tim Hudak): It's a rough sketch. We all know that things can change, depending on what happens in the House.

Mr. Garfield Dunlop: But even just a list, in order, would be good for meâ€"

The Chair (Mr. Tim Hudak): This would help, I think, the ministers and the critics know roughly what time they would be appearing at estimates.

The Clerk of the Committee (Ms. Sylwia Przezdziecki): If I can just say, the list will appear on the orders and notices paper. It will be printed there daily after the report in the House and updated with the remaining time after each committee meeting, and it will be posted on the committees website, updated daily.

Mr. Garfield Dunlop: Okay, good.

Mr. Gilles Bisson: I think the issue you're raising is just approximately what the timing would be. I think that's what you're looking at.

The Chair (Mr. Tim Hudak): We'll work on sort of a rough schedule for members of the committee, so they can inform their respective ministers and critics roughly when they'll be coming. It's often unpredictable, depending on what happens in the assembly itself, but at least they'll know notionally when they should be prepared with their questions and answers.

Anything else, folks?

Mr. Bob Delaney: No trades for ministries to be named later?

The Chair (Mr. Tim Hudak): For 2011-12? No, I don't think that's allowed in the standing orders. No future considerations.

Okay, folks, the standing committee is adjourned until May 12 at 9 a.m. Thank you very much. Have a great day.

The committee adjourned at 0920.

CONTENTS

Tuesday 28 April 2009

Organization E-613

STANDING COMMITTEE ON ESTIMATES

Chair / Président

Mr. Tim Hudak (Niagara Westâ€"Glanbrook / Niagara-Ouestâ€"Glanbrook PC)

Vice-Chair / Vice-Président

Mr. Garfield Dunlop (Simcoe North / Simcoe-Nord PC)

Mr. Gilles Bisson (Timminsâ€"James Bay / Timminsâ€"Baie James ND)

Mr. Bob Delaney (Mississaugaâ€"Streetsville L)

Mr. Garfield Dunlop (Simcoe North / Simcoe-Nord PC)

Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn (Oakville L)

Mr. Tim Hudak (Niagara Westâ€"Glanbrook / Niagara-Ouestâ€"Glanbrook PC)

Mrs. Amrit Mangat (Mississaugaâ€"Brampton South / Mississaugaâ€"Brampton-Sud L)

Mr. Phil McNeely (Ottawaâ€"Orléans L)

Mr. Yasir Naqvi (Ottawa Centre / Ottawa-Centre L)

Mr. John O'Toole (Durham PC)

Substitutions / Membres remplaçants

Ms. Sophia Aggelonitis (Hamilton Mountain L)

Ms. Helena Jaczek (Oak Ridgesâ€"Markham L)

Clerk / Greffière

Ms. Sylwia Przezdziecki

Staff / Personnel

Mr. Ray McLellan, research officer,
Research and Information Services