STANDING COMMITTEE ON ESTIMATES
COMITÉ PERMANENT DES BUDGETS DES DÉPENSES
Tuesday 1 October 2013 Mardi 1er octobre 2013
The committee met at 0900 in room 151.
MINISTRY OF TOURISM,
CULTURE AND SPORT
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): We will call the meeting to order. We are here today for consideration of the estimates of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport for a total of five hours.
The ministry is required to monitor the proceedings for any questions or issues that the ministry undertakes to address. I trust that the deputy minister has made arrangements to have the hearings closely monitored with respect to questions raised so that the ministry can respond accordingly. If you wish, you may, at the end of the appearance, verify the questions and issues being tracked by the research officer.
Any questions before we start?
I am now required to call vote 3801, which sets the review process in motion.
We will begin with a statement of not more than 30 minutes by the minister, followed by statements of up to 30 minutes by the official opposition and 30 minutes by the third party. Then the minister will have 30 minutes for a reply. The remaining time will be apportioned equally amongst the three parties.
Minister, the floor is yours.
Hon. Michael Chan: Thank you, Chair, and thank you very much, committee members, ladies and gentlemen.
I welcome this opportunity to share information about the important work that my ministry is doing on behalf of the people of Ontario to build our great province, create jobs and drive innovation through tourism, culture and sport.
First, let me take a moment to provide some context—how the results we’re achieving in Ontario’s tourism, culture and sport sectors contribute to our government’s plan for a prosperous and fair Ontario.
As we are all aware, we continue to feel the aftershocks of the global economic downturn in 2008 today. Economies worldwide continue to struggle. In Ontario, our heavy reliance on the US economy, the strong Canadian dollar, high oil prices and modest US growth have presented us with challenges. But with challenges come new opportunities.
In Ontario, thanks to our government’s firm belief that we must take a balanced approach, we are recovering from the recession. We are making smart investments for Ontario’s long-term prosperity while remaining steadfast in our efforts to eliminate the deficit.
Today, Ontario enjoys a strong foundation for growth and prosperity. We must continue to build our strong, prosperous economy. Our budget presented the government’s plans to create jobs and invest in Ontario’s future.
Job creation is an important measure of a healthy economy. When an economy is growing steadily, job growth is steady, too. When businesses and entrepreneurs take risks and make investments, Ontario’s economy grows and creates jobs.
Ontario has the right environment for businesses and people to succeed. Jobs, investment, innovation: That’s what we need in Ontario; that’s what tourism, culture and sport is all about.
But before I elaborate on the work of my ministry and the many ways that our ministry delivers jobs, investment and innovation to Ontario as part of its mandate, I want to talk about a high-profile project that supports all three sectors of my portfolio: sport, culture and tourism. It will enhance the economy of Ontario by creating jobs, raising our profile on the international stage and showcasing our many cultural and tourist attractions.
Of course, I am referring to the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games, which Ontario is proud to host for the very first time. As minister responsible for the games, I know that I am speaking for all Ontarians when I say that they are looking forward to seeing our sport sector shine in the international spotlight in 2015, when we welcome the world to our great province.
Together, my ministry, the Pan/Parapan American Games Secretariat, athletes, officials, visitors and volunteers will deliver a great games for Ontario and Canada, a “peoples’ games” in Ontario that will be affordable, accessible and an exceptional experience for athletes, Ontarians and visitors to our province. We look forward to welcoming athletes and officials from the Americas and the Caribbean to Toronto and Ontario in 2015. We are committed to providing them with an exceptional experience, both on and off the field of competition.
Hosting the 2015 games will ignite the power of sport in communities across our province and inspire all Ontarians by highlighting the value of sport and the health benefits of active living. The 2015 games will transform Ontario’s sport infrastructure with new facilities and programs for athletes of all abilities. This will give our athletes the opportunity to train and compete at home in new and improved facilities that Toronto 2015 will be developing.
The games, and games-related investments, will be a key economic driver in the greater Golden Horseshoe area over the next two years. They will:
—trigger investment in new and current sport and recreation infrastructure;
—create more than a whopping 26,000 jobs and grow Ontario’s real GDP by another whopping $3.7 billion from 2009 to 2017;
—attract an estimated 250,000 tourists;
—bring 10,000 athletes and officials to Ontario;
—build and train a team of up to 20,000 volunteers, a valuable foundation for future events and community building; and lastly
—showcase Ontario as an excellent host, promote Ontario as an ideal location for international investment and celebrate Ontario’s creativity and diversity.
I also want to let you know that our government recognizes the importance of keeping the games accessible, affordable and on budget. We take that responsibility very, very seriously. We are keeping a strict eye on the budget. Through diligent financial reporting and risk management, we are making sure that the provincial funding for the games is spent wisely and in accordance with the approved budget. I’m pleased to tell you that to date, all capital projects are on time and on or under budget.
Mr. Chair, committee members, ladies and gentlemen, I want to ask you to consider the transformative power of a great sports event like the 2015 games. The games are already providing an economic boost and speeding up our work on major infrastructure and transportation projects. Beyond the games, they will transform our communities.
Let’s look ahead to 2015. All eyes will be on Ontario as millions of viewers worldwide tune in to watch international contenders compete. When Ontarians and international spectators stand together, cheer together and celebrate together, and when the excitement is over and the games will have made its mark in the history of sport, we in Ontario will know that our investment has paid dividends to future generations by inspiring young people to follow their dreams, to set goals and to strive for excellence by building communities where people step forward to volunteer to make great things happen, and by showing the world that Ontario is a contender on the international stage. While the games are certainly an exciting opportunity, I don’t want to let them overshadow all the other great work that my ministry does to support tourism, culture and sport in Ontario.
Tourism is a vastly important economic driver worldwide, and it is an important contributor to this province’s prosperity. Tourism generates more than $23 billion for Ontario’s economy and supports more than 300,000 jobs. Even though the global economy has presented challenges to Ontario’s tourism industry, we are seeing encouraging results. Figures show that visits to Ontario increased by 1.3% to 106 million in 2012 over 2011, and visitor spending was up by 1% to nearly $18 billion. These increases are from American, overseas residents and Canadian travellers. A new report by the World Economic Forum lists Canada as one of the world’s top 10 tourist destinations—among 140 nations—and, within Canada, Ontario is leading every region in the country in tourism visits and expenditure.
The World Tourism Organization estimates that international tourism will increase by an average of 3.3% per year. This means that roughly 43 million more tourists will join the international tourism marketplace each year. In Ontario, we are working to position Ontario to fully capitalize on this growth and gain market share. We are working to make sure that conditions are right for tourism to grow and for business to invest in the tourism industry.
Knowledge-intensive and creative industries support a higher quality of life and good jobs, making Ontario an attractive place to live, work and raise a family. Jurisdictions throughout the world have also identified cultural industries as key contributors to their economic growth and development. Today, the global entertainment and media market is estimated to be worth more than $1.6 trillion, and it’s expected to grow to over $2.1 trillion by 2016. Ontario is one of many jurisdictions worldwide that is competing for a stake in this lucrative international marketplace.
Ontario’s cultural sector generates more than $20 billion annually in economic activity. Our entertainment and creative industries support over 300,000 jobs. Ontario enjoys being the third-largest jurisdiction for film and television production in North America by employment, after California and New York. Our thriving film and television industry contributed $1.28 billion to the provincial economy in 2012 and accounted for almost 29,000 full-time direct and indirect jobs. When translated into economic impact, these numbers tell us that the creative sector makes up one of the fastest-growing sectors of Ontario’s economy.
Participating in sport and recreation is vital to the health and well-being of Ontarians. Our government recognizes the importance of being active in sport, and we have strengthened opportunities within our communities and for our athletes. Since 2003, our government has increased support for amateur sport by 170%. In 2012-13, we provided over $20 million to promote participation and excellence in sport across Ontario. Working in partnership with the federal government, we have invested more than $634 million in more than 1,100 sport and recreation infrastructure projects since 2006. These investments help Ontario athletes reach the highest levels of competition, improving local sport and recreation facilities and contributing to the health and quality of life of Ontarians.
Mr. Chair, members of the committee, ladies and gentlemen, I’ve just introduced you to the work of our tourism, culture and sport sectors. I have talked about how tourism, culture and sport contribute to building a prosperous Ontario. Now I would like to talk about what we have done and where we are headed.
The 2009 tourism competitiveness study recommended a number of steps for my ministry to take and develop how government and industry partners work together. For example, my ministry created 13 tourism regions to strengthen the tourism industry in Ontario and make it more competitive. Through valuable industry partnerships, regional tourism organizations and destination marketing organizations can broaden their financial base to extend their reach and grow tourism throughout our great province.
My ministry is proud to have supported the development of the workforce development strategy by the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario, in consultation with the Ontario Tourism Education Corp. in 2012. The tourism workforce development strategy will help us meet the current and future needs of the tourism industry and ensure our ability to deliver world-class service and experiences today, tomorrow and for years to come.
Last November, we launched our tourism investment strategy that aims to raise the profile of Ontario as a place to invest in tourism and present investment opportunities to potential international investors. We have seen more than $9 billion in capital investment in new hotels, upgrades and acquisitions over the past 12 years. That means thousands of jobs and continued tax revenues for municipalities. There are many success stories of private sector initiatives and public-private partnerships that have led to wonderful attractions in Ontario like Legoland Discovery Centre in Vaughan and the new Ripley’s Aquarium opening in Toronto soon.
My ministry has committed to ensuring attractions are accessible and exciting for Ontarians. For example, we are moving forward to revitalize Ontario Place into a year-round multi-use waterfront destination and urban park for all Ontarians to enjoy. A new Ontario Place is part of our government’s plan to grow tourism through investments that will stimulate Ontario’s economy, create jobs and develop new opportunities and experiences. Ontario is taking the next step in the revitalization of Ontario Place by creating a new urban park and waterfront trail. This will give Ontarians new green space and access to part of the waterfront that has been closed to the public for more than 40 years.
We have also provided exciting experiences for residents and visitors alike to explore. Since 2003, we have invested more than $233 million in some 4,200 festivals and events all over Ontario. These investments attract new visitors, boost local economies and generate over 22,000 jobs for Ontarians every year. Major festivals and events that have benefited from Celebrate Ontario and other funding programs include Luminato, the 100th anniversary of the Grey Cup, the International Indian Film Academy weekend and awards, and, this summer, the Tall Ships 1812 Tour, part of Ontario’s program of events to commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812.
Ontario is putting up a big welcome sign to bring the international market home. International visitors stay longer and spend more. We have expanded into new markets like China. Last year, Ontario welcomed 122,000 visitors from China. That’s 20% more than in 2011. And that’s already paying dividends—the giant pandas have arrived at the Toronto Zoo.
Since China granted approved destination status to Canada in 2009, visits from China have shot up by 40% in 2011 compared to the year earlier. By next year, we expect those numbers to almost double, to nearly 200,000 people. That’s tourism dollars in our communities.
It’s been my privilege to represent our government in promoting mutual benefits through closer ties with China in the areas of commerce, tourism and culture. Our latest mission to China, earlier this year, resulted in Ontario signing three agreements with China that are expected to benefit Ontario’s tourism industry by more than $200 million.
Mr. Chair, committee members, ladies and gentlemen, you’ll also find the same wealth of innovation and inspiration that drives the success of our tourism sector in Ontario’s creative sector. Culture plays a strong role in building a competitive economy here in Ontario. It’s one of Ontario’s fastest-growing sectors, demonstrating a 15% increase since 2003. That’s equal to 39,000 new jobs.
The Ontario Arts Council recently released new analysis in its Ontario arts and culture tourism profile, which says that spending by arts and culture tourists generated $3.7 billion in GDP province-wide in 2010; 67,000 jobs and $2.4 billion in wages; and $1.7 billion in taxes.
Since 2003, our government has invested more than $4.8 billion in the cultural sector. These strategic investments drive innovation, create jobs and provide a better quality of life for all Ontarians.
Here in Ontario, we are fortunate to be home to almost 57,000 professional artists, people who, through their work, are enhancing not only the cultural life of their communities, but are also helping to build a strong economy.
Each year in Ontario, the cultural sector contributes more than $20 billion to the economy and is one of our fastest-growing sectors. This success is not accidental. It results from hard work, co-operation, co-ordination and collaboration on the part of the sector, our government and our partners.
This year we’re launching the Ontario Music Fund to support Ontario’s music industry, a vital contributor to our province’s cultural and economic prosperity. According to Statistics Canada, in 2011, Ontario’s music sector generated more than $429 million in revenues, accounting for almost 82% of Canada’s total revenues. Through $45 million in grants over three years, the Ontario Music Fund will drive productivity and competitiveness. It will also support Ontario’s Live Music Strategy, positioning the province as a leading place to record and perform music.
We have already seen remarkable returns on our investment in Ontario’s creative economy. Investing in the cultural sector is a robust and winning business strategy to grow the industries and jobs of the future.
Mr. Chair, members of the committee, ladies and gentlemen, I’m sure that you’d agree with me that underlying all of our work as a government is our goal of building strong, vibrant and liveable communities in Ontario.
We know that it’s important for Ontarians to be active in sport and recreation. In 2012-13, we provided more than $23 million to our sport partners to promote participation and excellence in sport across Ontario, including almost $10 million for the Quest for Gold program to assist Ontario’s high-performance athletes; our support for provincial sport and multi-sport organizations to fund provincial sport competitions and training for athletes, coaches and officials; and since 2006, we have supported 32 events through the introduction of our international amateur sport hosting policy, improving high-performance sport in Ontario and positioning our province as a key destination for sporting events—events like the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Hockey Championships; the Toronto International Track and Field Games; and, the World Figure Skating Championships.
Hosting international and national sport events increases economic activity by stimulating tourism and creating jobs. It also provides Ontario’s athletes and para-athletes with a chance to compete at home to prepare and excel at world-class events such as the upcoming Pan/Parapan American Games.
Increasing affordable access to active living and the natural beauty that has become synonymous with Ontario, we have introduced the Ontario Trails Strategy. Ontarians use 80,000 kilometres of trails for recreation, tourism and transportation. Since 2009, our government has invested over $77 million to support these trails. Annually, these trails generate $2 billion in economic activity throughout the province.
Jobs, investment, tourism, culture, sport—they are all intertwined and all are integral to the work that we do in my ministry. More importantly, all are integral to the success of Ontario.
Thank you, Chair. I’ll pass it on to—
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): I was just going to ask that. There are five or six minutes left. If Minister Sergio wants to use it, he can.
Hon. Mario Sergio: Whatever I can, Chair. It’s a pleasure to be here in front of my colleagues. This time I’m on the other side of the table so it’s a bit different, but here we go.
I’m grateful to the committee for the opportunity to talk to you today about what our government is doing to help seniors live lives of quality and dignity. As the minister responsible for seniors’ affairs, I’m pleased to speak to our budget estimates.
Also joining me today are Mr. Chisanga Puta-Chekwe, the deputy minister responsible for seniors, and Juanita Dobson, the assistant deputy minister, Ontario Seniors’ Secretariat. I would like to note for the committee that as of July 2, 2013, the Ontario Seniors’ Secretariat now falls under the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration. However, for the purpose of estimates, the reporting is still under the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.
The Ontario government, together with our community partners, seniors and their families, is making Ontario the best place in North America to grow old. We are living longer. Children born today have the prospect of living a longer life than any generation before them. Every year, the percentage of people in Ontario who are 65 or older increases slightly. By 2017, in just four years, for the first time, Ontario will be home to more people over 65 than children under 15. Ontario isn’t alone in facing the impact of these changing demographics. Provinces across Canada and many countries are coming to terms with the challenges and opportunities resulting from an aging population.
What can and will set Ontario apart, however, is the quality of life that our seniors and their families lead. We know that a longer life can be a good life if it is lived with quality and dignity and our own wishes. That’s why the government developed Ontario’s new Action Plan for Seniors. The plan is Ontario’s first integrated government-wide approach to seniors’ programs and initiatives. It touches on many ministries. We have taken a broad approach with the plan. It recognizes the importance of government seamlessly delivering programs that are easy for Ontarians to access. The Action Plan for Seniors focuses on active aging, improving safety and security and creating better access to high-quality health care in the community. Most importantly, our plan provides seniors with choices and options so they can live the way they want.
We have developed our estimates for 2013-14 to reflect how we are working to implement the action plan and continue our ongoing work to improving the safety of retirement homes, preventing elder abuse, and many other ways to make seniors healthier, safer and more independent. This includes supporting the development of age-friendly communities—accessible, inclusive, social and physical environments, services and programs that enable older people to live active, safe and meaningful lives.
In August, I had the pleasure of releasing the Age-Friendly Community—or AFC—Planning Guide at the Association of Municipalities of Ontario annual conference in Ottawa. We developed the guide in collaboration with the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario, the University of Waterloo and McMaster University and an advisory group that includes many municipal and community partners.
In a nutshell, it outlines step-by-step processes and tools to assist municipalities and communities to develop their local aging plans, and provides information to municipalities on the development, implementation and evaluation of plans for senior-friendly communities which are socially and physically accessible and inclusive. Our guide is the first part of a three-pronged initiative which will also include showcasing best practices through the introduction of a recognition program and offering one-time seed grants to prompt start-up innovations in local age-friendly initiatives.
Part of the action plan includes making it easier for seniors and their families to find and gain access to programs and services that the provincial and federal governments and service providers offer them.
We want to make sure everyone’s future is friendly, safe and supportive. A Guide to Programs and Services for Seniors in Ontario is another resource to help Ontarians achieve that future.
We have updated the guide to provide practical guidance on issues that affect our quality of life as we age: active living, caregiving, finances, health and wellness, housing, long-term-care homes, safety and security and transportation.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): If I can just interject here, do you have much left?
Hon. Mario Sergio: I do.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Okay. Because we have two options here: We can go directly to the Conservatives and then to the NDP, then back to you to finish the speech, or we can let you finish your speech, if there’s concurrence all around—your opening statement—and we will deduct that from the remaining time. Is that all right, that we allow him to finish and then—
Mr. Michael Harris: He can be given his time when the rotation comes up. We’ll take ours now.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): You want yours now? Okay. If they wish their time now, then I have to let that—
Hon. Mario Sergio: That is fine, Chair.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): You can finish this. You will have time for rebuttal in about an hour. Perhaps not till this afternoon, but you will get that time.
Hon. Mario Sergio: Thank you, Chair and members.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Okay. Thank you.
Then we will proceed. The next half-hour belongs to the official opposition. You have 30 minutes. You may either make a statement or ask questions or both. The time is yours.
Mr. Rod Jackson: Thank you, Chair. Thank you, Ministers, for coming in today. I know that this is something that you probably look forward to for months and months.
The last few days have brought a number of different things to light with respect to the Pan Am Games, and I do have a few questions that I want to ask, but I’d like to preface it by saying that, first of all, I think everybody in this room and certainly everybody in the province wishes and hopes for the Pan Am Games to be the biggest success they possibly can, to shine a light on how great the GTA and all the hosting communities can be on a world stage and certainly to highlight our athletes and leave them with a legacy that they can train with into the future. That is first and foremost what everybody wants to see: nothing but success for the Pan Am Games.
Minister, in your opening statement you claimed that the money that has been allocated for the Pan Am Games is being spent wisely. Yesterday, we learned, unfortunately, that many of the highest-level Pan Am executives in TO2015 seem to be using the Pan Am budget and their expense accounts as their own personal purse—we’ve seen executives spending $500 to $700 on dinners. The troubling part about this, Minister, isn’t the fact that they spent that money necessarily but they’re expensed without proper adherence to regulation. We know that part of Pan Am’s own regulations, as far as expenses are concerned, require any expenses that are submitted, especially for meals, to itemize the individuals who were being entertained at that lunch or dinner, or that meal. In many cases, that wasn’t the case. That is a clear violation of the Pan Am Games organizing committee’s own rules on expense reporting and expense claims.
We’ve also got examples where executives have submitted thousands of dollars in undisclosed expenses. This means that someone on the TO2015 organizing committee has submitted thousands of dollars of claims without receipts. Minister, you and I both know that you and I and every other official in this room are required to submit receipts for every expense; not only receipts, but detailed, itemized receipts of exactly what we are trying to expense. That’s the way it ought to be.
Some other members of the committee whose salaries are well beyond the $100K mark—we’re talking about organizing committee management of about 38, I think, who are on the sunshine list, many of them over the $300,000 mark, charging taxpayers for, you know, $1.89 cups of tea and coffee, 91 cents for parking. One of them actually expensed having their pet travel from Vancouver to Toronto.
Minister, can you explain to me how these are examples of money being spent wisely, and what are you going to do about it?
Hon. Michael Chan: Thank you. Can I call you Rod?
Mr. Rod Jackson: Certainly.
Hon. Michael Chan: Fine, I couldn’t agree with you more. I think all Ontario has the expectation to have a fantastic, successful and really wonderful Pan and ParaPan Am Games, come 2015. I think this is one goal that all Ontario should work for, that wonderful time that is less than two years from now. And yes, I hope the athletes, the coaches—I mean all people participating—will say after the games are finished, “You know what? I had a good time with Pan Am.” You and I are together on this particular expectation.
You talk about there being no regulations in terms of expenditures, and I disagree, okay? You’re probably aware—you talk about media reporting. You know, there’s a policy in place in TO2015. There is a policy in place related to meals, hospitality and travel expenses. The policy was implemented, I think, more than a year ago now. So they do have a policy in place regarding those expenses.
You asked me about the items spent. Yes, you know, there are some challenges that came out recently, and I, together with the Premier, have expressed our great disappointment. The Premier mentioned that some of those items are unacceptable—it is ridiculous—and to me, those are an irritant, to my anger, and those are a bad taste. It’s just like someone drinking some kind of poison. So those are bad things.
I have done two things after those items came to my attention, which I think was about three weeks ago. When I learned about those items, I immediately engaged the board, and I told them, “Look, I am disappointed. I don’t like it. I don’t enjoy it. You know, this is absolutely not good.” That’s number one. Secondly, I asked them to engage the operation, which is TO2015, and told them or requested them to strengthen the policy related to meal expenses and travel, and strengthen and tighten up those rules so that they are more comparable to the ones we have.
In terms of, was there a policy in place that gave guidance and guidelines to those expenditures? Yes, it was in place. But it’s not good enough, and we want that to be tightened up and changed for the better, and this is where we stand at the moment.
Mr. Rod Jackson: Minister, the issue actually isn’t that I’m worried or the people of Ontario are worried that there’s a policy or not for expenses; I think it’s clear that there was. The issue was that the policy wasn’t followed. It’s one thing to have a speed limit on a road; it’s another thing to enforce that speed limit. Just by lowering the speed limit, it doesn’t mean that people are going to drive slower. Just because you have a policy in place for expenses doesn’t mean they’re going to follow the expenses unless they’re enforced.
You’re the minister responsible for the Pan Am Games, correct?
Hon. Michael Chan: Yes.
Mr. Rod Jackson: Okay. You’re responsible for the oversight of the expenditures of TO2015, correct?
Hon. Michael Chan: The board exercises that oversight. Let’s be clear on this one. Pan Am has two units; one I call the operating unit, which is usually called TO2015, and there the top person is Mr. Troop, the senior executive, and below that are the director and the people working there. So this is one unit that is responsible for the delivery and staging of the games and all those logistics—hiring people, of course, senior management and all that.
Mr. Rod Jackson: Who do they answer to, Minister?
Hon. Michael Chan: The other unit is the board.
Mr. Rod Jackson: Who does Mr. Troop answer to? Does he answer to you?
Hon. Michael Chan: The board. Let me finish, please. You had a question and I want to finish so that I can give you a proper answer. The Toronto 2015 board is a five-party board. The structure in there is three representatives from the provincial government and three representatives from the federal government, and then you have one rep from the city of Toronto, which is a major centre for all these sports, and one from the Canadian Parapan committee. Also, you have three from the Canadian Olympic Committee. So this is not Ontario alone. This board has a wide range of representation, representing federal, provincial and municipal, the sports sector and also the para sector. The CEO, Ian Troop, reports to the board. This is the total core of the structure.
Mr. Rod Jackson: So you aren’t the minister responsible for the Pan Am Games?
Hon. Michael Chan: I’m the minister responsible for the Pan/Parapan American Games.
Mr. Rod Jackson: Okay. Back to my original question: Does Mr. Troop answer to you?
Hon. Michael Chan: Mr. Troop reports to the board.
Mr. Rod Jackson: Who’s running the games? Who’s in charge? Are you in charge? Who do we go to when we have a problem? When we have an issue like this, are you going to stand up and be accountable for this or not? That’s what I’m trying to find out. Right now, we don’t have any accountability here. You gave me the longest answer I’ve ever heard for a simple question that should have been one word, yes or no. You can’t even tell me, Minister, if you’re in charge of these games. What I’d like to know is, these receipts for expenses that were in bad faith, are you going to ask that board to pay them back?
I’d also like to know, did you provide that direction—actually, let’s back up a little bit. When did you know about these expenses and when did you ask them specifically to tighten up their rules around the expenses? Did you do it in writing? If so, I would like a copy of this for the committee.
Hon. Michael Chan: I think you mentioned the word “refuse.” I think you kind of refused to listen to my answer. Now I have to get back to your previous answers before you had these new questions.
You mentioned previously that the policy in place was not being followed. There are two pieces here—
Mr. Rod Jackson: Sorry, Minister, I’d—
Hon. Michael Chan: Well, you asked a question. You just keep jumping into more questions.
Mr. Rod Jackson: Did you say the policies in place have been—
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Please, the questions have been asked. Give the minister an opportunity—
Mr. Rod Jackson: I’m just asking him to clarify his—
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Yes, I know that, but he hasn’t even started to respond yet. Please answer the question.
Mr. Rod Jackson: I just would like to know if the minister can just repeat what he said. Did you just say that the policy is being followed?
Hon. Michael Chan: You were asking in your previous statement—you mentioned about the policy in place not being followed. This was your statement. Okay?
Mr. Rod Jackson: That’s correct.
Hon. Michael Chan: We can get back.
Mr. Rod Jackson: Absolutely, and then you said they are being followed.
Hon. Michael Chan: I want to tell you—okay? I want to make a comment on your comment, because I don’t think you’re right. So before I finish that, you’re getting more questions here, which I have to write down here. Let’s do it one step at a time, please.
Mr. Rod Jackson: I’m just trying to clarify something you said, because I didn’t hear it properly. It’s as simple as that. Did you say that the policies are currently being followed for the expenses?
Hon. Michael Chan: You commented that the policy in place is not being followed, so I’m going to answer that. All right?
Mr. Rod Jackson: Okay.
Hon. Michael Chan: You’ll give me the time to answer that?
Mr. Rod Jackson: All right.
Hon. Michael Chan: That’s good. Thank you.
There was a policy in place, as I mentioned before, and they followed the policy. According to Mr. Troop yesterday, they failed on the common sense, meaning that there’s a policy in place at that time, they followed the policy, all the expenses followed the policy, but they failed to use common sense. This is what Ian Troop talked about yesterday: “Okay, this is over.”
I think you asked some other questions here, so if I don’t catch your question right, please ask again. I think you asked, are we going to get a reimbursement? You asked that question. I’m telling you that if those expenses fall outside that policy, where we find those expenses fall outside the policy in place, we will ask for the reimbursement. So I answered that for you.
I think you asked when those expenses came to my attention. I said it before: They came to my attention three weeks ago, and I responded by contacting the board, expressing my disappointment and telling them to strengthen the board.
I think you had one more here, but I failed to put it down. If you can remember, you can ask again. So please go ahead.
Mr. Rod Jackson: Yes. I just asked if you could provide, in writing, the direction you gave the board to tighten up their rules on expenses.
Hon. Michael Chan: As I said previously, when those expenses came to my attention, I actually picked up the phone, and right away, I engaged the board. I told them, “All right, this is really not good, I have grave concern, and I want you to change it. So I asked the board to relay it to operations, which is 2015, and tell them, “Look at the policy, strengthen the policy and come back to me.” So this is what I have done.
Mr. Rod Jackson: Okay. So there’s no written evidence that you gave them direction with regard to expenses three weeks ago?
Hon. Michael Chan: I made it faster: I phoned them.
Mr. Rod Jackson: Okay. Let’s go back to Guadalajara, London and Jamaica. We know that there were some parties or some hospitality that was provided, both at Guadalajara and London certainly, and perhaps in Jamaica. Can you give us an idea of what the costs of those hospitality parties, suites, whatever they may have been, would be? They do not appear, and we have not been able to get access to that information.
Hon. Michael Chan: Okay. I took over this position about a month—those expenses and all that happened previous to my time. I understand the previous minister also attended the Mexico trip.
Look, you mentioned about a lot of expenses in there, and there’s logistics and time involved in all that. So I’m going to ask the deputy to give you a detailed description of those expenses, you know, beginning and ending.
So, Deputy, why don’t you go ahead?
Mr. Steven Davidson: Thank you, Minister. There are two organizations who provide leadership on the planning for the Pan and Parapan Am Games. One is TO2015, of course, and the other is the Pan/Parapan Games Secretariat within the government.
At Guadalajara, the participation there took the form of participation in what’s called the observers’ program. So there were attendees at Guadalajara from the secretariat who participated in that program to get first-hand insights into how the games were delivered. As part of that participation, as you’ve mentioned, Mr. Jackson, there was really a twofold responsibility. The first was to host receptions for delegations, athletes and the broader sport community to raise the awareness of Toronto as the 2015 host. But also there were certain quasi-diplomatic obligations with respect to the Pan American Sports Organization, PASO, where there were obligations as the upcoming host, to host.
I do want to apologize that I don’t have specific dollar figures with me right now in terms of the specific receptions hosted by the secretariat, but I can certainly endeavour to get those for you.
With respect to receptions hosted by the games’ organizing committee, TO2015, at the point of—as is the minister’s situation, I’m about two months on the file, so this was prior to my time. But we would need to request that information from TO2015. They run independently. As the minister has said, we appoint three of the 12-person board, so that isn’t information that I have at hand, but I could certainly endeavour to get it.
Mr. Rod Jackson: Thank you, Mr. Davidson. Can you clarify for me something you said? Did you suggest that the secretariat and TO2015 hosted separate hospitality receptions at Guadalajara?
Mr. Steven Davidson: So I want to be very careful because, as I said, it was my predecessor who participated directly. My understanding is that there were complementary hosting responsibilities. But if you’ll allow me, I’ll confirm that, and confirm the answer with you just as quickly as I can.
Mr. Rod Jackson: Certainly. If you would do the same for London, I’d appreciate it, because I’m assuming the answer would be fairly much the same for London.
Mr. Steven Davidson: Sure.
Mr. Rod Jackson: So I have a question that’s more kind of global in scope as far as the budget is concerned. Actually, I do have one regarding the budget, as far as the hospitality that we just talked about. Where would that land in the budget? Would it be under revenue, marketing and ceremonies where something like that would fall?
Mr. Steven Davidson: I’m sorry, just to clarify, are you talking about the P/PAGS budget or the TO2015 budget?
Mr. Rod Jackson: Sorry, what was the first one you said?
Mr. Steven Davidson: The secretariat’s budget or the games’ organizing committee’s budget?
Mr. Rod Jackson: There are two budgets?
Mr. Steven Davidson: Yes, there are two budgets.
Mr. Rod Jackson: Interesting.
I’d like to see, actually, for starters, if you could, the full budget for the secretariat for the Pan Am Games. I was not aware that the secretariat costs were not a part of the overall $1.4-billion budget of the games.
But, yes, anything that—the 2015 expenses for hospitality. I’d just be curious to know where they fell within the eight-line budget for the $1.4-billion games.
Mr. Steven Davidson: Could I just clarify in terms of the two budgets?
Mr. Rod Jackson: Please do.
Mr. Steven Davidson: The secretariat’s budget is within the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport’s printed estimates. So that budget does include the annual contribution of the province to TO2015’s $1.441-billion budget.
Mr. Rod Jackson: So the $54 million in the ministry’s budget is included in the $1.4-billion—
Mr. Steven Davidson: The $54-million P/PAGS budget includes a $44-million 2013-14 transfer to 2015, so that’s the 2013-14 portion of the government’s $500-million contribution to the $1.4-billion budget.
Mr. Rod Jackson: All right. So you’re saying $44 million of—
Mr. Steven Davidson: So $44 million, I believe, is the 2013-14 transfer.
Mr. Rod Jackson: Okay. So what is the extra $10 million for—
Mr. Steven Davidson: The additional $10 million is the administration costs of the secretariat. That would include salaries and wages, IT, rent and services provided, such as marketing and hosting of receptions. That’s within that $10-million line.
Mr. Rod Jackson: Okay, so there is $10 million for the Pan Am Games that’s outside of the published Pan Am budget for 2015?
Mr. Steven Davidson: There’s $10 million to $15 million of administrative costs that are budgeted for the secretariat, which is what’s in the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport allocation. Last year, you’ll recall, it was within the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration.
Mr. Rod Jackson: Yes. Okay, thank you.
So one thing, Minister, that I would hope that was of concern to you as well is the fact that, in 2011, we saw a budget published for the Pan Am Games; it was about 14 lines long. We asked numerous times for an updated, detailed budget, and when it came, the operating budget portion of it had diminished to eight lines long. It actually got less detailed—more things rolled into others—and it left more questions, frankly. For example, Essential Services (Security, Legacy, etc.) is actually in there at $235 million.
Can you tell me why it hasn’t been updated since the spring of 2012, and does the fact that there is only an eight-line operating budget at about $767 million—why isn’t it more detailed? And if you have a more detailed breakdown of that, could you please provide it?
Hon. Michael Chan: Again, you’re asking for some information, and I don’t know which way you’re doing it and under what platform you’re doing it. Would there have been a phone call or written notice or did you require an FOI, which I have nothing to do with.
I can’t answer your eight lines because I haven’t seen it. I haven’t seen what you asked for. You talked about something in 2012—
Mr. Rod Jackson: It’s right here. It’s actually right off the website, Minister.
Hon. Michael Chan: Fine, because I don’t know what you asked for. I just cannot give you an answer on why you get eight lines, because I’m not aware of what you asked for; you just mentioned it. If you want me to look into it, I can look into it for you to give you a better answer if you like.
You mentioned about some million dollars—so here, Deputy, maybe you can find, in 2012, what he’s asking. But we need a bigger picture from beginning to end. We just cannot, like this, you ask something and then you get something back and then I don’t exactly know, in 2012—what exactly you asked on that.
But anyway, if you’re looking for information, we do have estimates. TO2015, they post information on their website. We have our information on the website. Also, we talked about numbers. TO2015 does a financial report, on a quarterly basis, to treasury board. So we do have all those numbers you’re looking for, and I’ll endeavour to get it for you if you pass it on to us.
Mr. Rod Jackson: Okay, yes. Just to be clear—if there is any confusion—on the website for TO2015, there is an overall budget, the $1.4 billion budget—
Hon. Michael Chan: Of TO2015, did you say?
Mr. Rod Jackson: Yes, it’s right on their website.
Hon. Michael Chan: Okay.
Mr. Rod Jackson: The operating portion of it is what I’m particularly interested in. That’s what the province is specifically responsible for: the operations of the Pan Am Games. It’s eight lines long, which I think is woefully missing in detail. All I’m asking for, Minister, is a further breakdown of those eight lines that represent $767 million. If you could supply that, that would be great.
Hon. Michael Chan: Okay, so let me review it one more time so that I understand exactly what you’re saying. You’re talking about TO2015, their website—which you printed—about operations of Pan Am and then $700 million of operation—and you want a breakdown on those numbers as much as possible?
Mr. Rod Jackson: Yes, please.
Hon. Michael Chan: We’ll endeavour to give it to you. Okay? Thank you.
Mr. Rod Jackson: I appreciate that.
Hon. Michael Chan: All right. Deputy, have you written it down? Okay, great.
Mr. Rod Jackson: Yes, if you could share it with the committee, Minister. I’d appreciate that. Thank you.
Hon. Michael Chan: All right. Thank you.
Mr. Rod Jackson: Quickly, in the short time I have left—this might be something I would like to come back to at a later date. Minister, in all the documentation that I’ve seen here on the TO2015 website, one of the premier showpieces of the games is the Pan Am athletes’ village. It looks like it’s going to be great. We’ve seen the number $1 billion floated around—it’s going to cost a billion dollars. Can you confirm for me that that $1-billion venue cost is or is not in the overall TO2015 budget?
Hon. Michael Chan: Yes, the village is great. It’s 60% complete. I pass by that location every day, and yes, it’s going to be a great showpiece of the province.
I disagree with your number which you said many times—
Mr. Rod Jackson: The number comes straight from your—
Hon. Michael Chan: You’ve said it many times, including your website—
Mr. Rod Jackson: It’s your number, Minister. You can disagree—
Hon. Michael Chan: You mentioned $1 billion. That’s not the correct number.
Mr. Rod Jackson: What is the correct number?
Hon. Michael Chan: Our budget for the village is over $500 million, below $600 million. I think it’s about $550 million. That’s the budget to build the village.
By the way, the village is built in a place called West Don Lands. The West Don Lands—before this decision, it was grossly deteriorating, a place where people don’t want to go. I would say it’s rundown and needs to be revitalized. The decision to build this village there is really a fantastic idea because it will strengthen the area. After the games, this village will become affordable housing for people who are less fortunate. There will be units for people to live in there. There will be a YMCA community centre. There will also be a George Brown residence for the students. So this is a great infrastructure development by the province.
Mr. Rod Jackson: Can you confirm for me whether—
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): There’s less than a minute, so make it very short.
Mr. Rod Jackson: Yes.
Can you confirm for me whether or not the budget for the—we can talk about the numbers in the budget. We’re talking about hundreds of millions of dollars, so it’s a lot of money by anybody’s estimation. Does it appear on this TO2015 budget piece?
Hon. Michael Chan: The deputy just told me he wants to verify some numbers, so I’m going to answer that question—all right?
Mr. Steven Davidson: Just very quickly, the responsibility for the village is with the government, not with TO2015. So the cost for construction of the village is not with the TO2015 budget; it’s with the government’s budget, the actual cost. So $514 million is the fixed-rate contract with the builder, Dundee Kilmer. In addition to that, there is $195 million of additional costs in terms of site preparation and administrative fees for Infrastructure Ontario.
Mr. Rod Jackson: Sorry, what was that number again?
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): I’m going to have to stop you there. At the end of the answer, think about what you want to ask next and whether you want to answer anything later.
I’m going to go to the third party: Mr. Miller.
Mr. Paul Miller: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Good morning. Two ministers for the price of one—how can you go wrong; right?
I want to start off by saying that, having a sports background, I certainly wish great success to the Pan Am Games in our province—and the facilities after will be utilized to the utmost, I hope. It’s a wonderful opportunity for the province and the country to showcase our athletes and our culture and our people. That’s a great thing.
It has a personal meaning for me because my aunt was involved in the first Pan Am Games in Hamilton, and she went on to train for the Berlin Olympics, the Hitler Olympics.
Hon. Michael Chan: That was 19—
Mr. Paul Miller: The 1930s—1936. So we go way back. We were there at the first one—some of us. I wasn’t there. I came along 15 years later.
I guess I’ll dive right into it. Minister, the Premier reacted with shock to news about the Pan Am Games yesterday. But in an interview, Ian Troop, the CEO of the Pan Am Games, insisted that the government knew and approved of the guidelines for expenses and salaries. Who’s telling the truth?
Hon. Michael Chan: Okay. About that—
Mr. Paul Miller: Do you want me to repeat it?
Hon. Michael Chan: No, no; you don’t have to. I just want to comment on your engagement with sport—thank you so much—and your wishes for Pan/Parapan success. I think the official opposition expressed that sort of thing. All parties and all of Ontario would like to see that. That’s great.
I hope your aunt is still living.
Mr. Paul Miller: She’s long gone.
Hon. Michael Chan: Oh. Sorry to hear that.
In terms of the approval of those expenses—that’s your question?
Mr. Paul Miller: My question was: Did the government know and approve of the guidelines for expenses and for salaries? Is Ian Troop wrong or is the Premier wrong?
Hon. Michael Chan: You talk about the guidelines, obviously, right, or approval of the guidelines.
Mr. Paul Miller: I’ll repeat it for you, Minister. I don’t know if you got it.
The Premier reacted with shock to the news about Pan Am Games expenses yesterday. But in an interview, Ian Troop, the CEO of the Pan Am Games, insisted that the government knew and approved of the guidelines for expenses and salaries. Who is telling the truth?
Hon. Michael Chan: Okay. We did not approve those expenses. The board approved those expenses. We did not approve the policy. The board approved the policy.
Mr. Paul Miller: So you had no oversight over the approval of the policies. Basically, did you approve the salaries for the Pan Am organizers?
Hon. Michael Chan: The board approved the Pan Am salaries—the board, which, I said before, consisted of five parties.
Mr. Paul Miller: That’s not my question. My question, with all due respect, was: Did you approve the salaries for the Pan Am organizers?
Hon. Michael Chan: No. The board approved it.
Mr. Paul Miller: And who does the board answer to? You? Your ministry?
Hon. Michael Chan: —but then as far as the salaries are concerned, the board approved those salaries. The board consists of the municipal rep, the federal rep—
Mr. Paul Miller: I know that. I’ve heard that; I’ve heard this all.
Hon. Michael Chan: Okay, you heard that.
Mr. Paul Miller: You said that to this gentleman, about who was on the board. Does the board answer to the ministry? Does the board answer to you?
Hon. Michael Chan: The board will report to us.
Mr. Paul Miller: Thank you.
Hon. Michael Chan: But the board approved those salaries.
Mr. Paul Miller: Did you approve the expense guidelines? If the board reported to you, did you approve the expense guidelines?
Hon. Michael Chan: The expense guidelines: You’re talking about the policy in place?
Mr. Paul Miller: No, I’m talking about the expense guidelines.
Hon. Michael Chan: The policies related to expenses?
Mr. Paul Miller: Right. Did you approve it?
Hon. Michael Chan: Well, I saw that. Basically, you can see the guidelines; you can relate it to the guidelines. The policy was implemented—correct me if I’m wrong, Deputy—on April 12, 2012.
Mr. Paul Miller: Maybe you can answer. Who approved it?
Hon. Michael Chan: The board implemented the policy and gave guidance and direction to the operation.
Mr. Paul Miller: I don’t think I’m still getting my answer.
Hon. Michael Chan: The board approved those policies.
Mr. Paul Miller: Did you approve the expense guidelines? The board answers to you. That’s what you told me. If the board answers to you, then obviously you rubber-stamped the guidelines of expenses. You had to have.
Hon. Michael Chan: We are wasting time here, Paul, okay?
Mr. Paul Miller: We sure are.
Hon. Michael Chan: I tell you what exactly it is, and then you kind of try to—you’re kind of shifting it.
The operation reports to the board in terms of that policy related to meals, hospitality, travel expenses. The board implements that policy. They are the ones responsible for those expenses.
Mr. Paul Miller: And who do they report to? Who is responsible for their decisions?
Hon. Michael Chan: He’s talking about the board, which is the five parties, all right? The operation reports to the board. They keep telling—the board. Remember this: This is not a government agency, by the way. It’s not a government agency, and this is—
Mr. Paul Miller: They’re using taxpayers’ money, Minister. Who are they—a private consortium? Are they using taxpayers’ dollars? I just simply asked you—it doesn’t matter who’s on the board. Obviously, they approved the expenses. They would report to you, as one of the overseers, and you must have said, “Okay.” You must have approved it.
Hon. Michael Chan: Look, you’re wrong on that.
Mr. Paul Miller: I’m wrong. Okay.
Hon. Michael Chan: You’re wrong. You are totally wrong.
Mr. Paul Miller: Okay, then—
Hon. Michael Chan: The operation reports to the board. The board sets those policies. The board approved those expenses. It’s very simple.
Mr. Paul Miller: You’re not answering the question, Minister.
Hon. Michael Chan: I am.
Mr. Paul Miller: I asked you who the board gets their okay from. The board has to answer to someone, too, whether it’s the minister in Ottawa or you. Someone has to okay the board’s recommendations for expenses, so it had to go to the top to get the okay to use taxpayers’ money for those expenses by the board.
Anyone can sit on the board, and they can be appointed to the board, like Mr. Troop. Anybody can. But he still is using taxpayers’ dollars and has to report to the ministry and the government, who is overseeing the expenses. You’re telling me they don’t. They made the decision; you had nothing to do with it. Well, I’m confused. If you didn’t approve the original expense guidelines and salaries, who did, which I just asked you.
Let’s face it, Minister. We had the Ornge debacle. We had the eHealth debacle. We had the gas plant debacle. You’d think the government, by now, would have really dug in to make sure there was no funny business or no wrong expenses.
Mr. Troop’s saying that he followed the guidelines—he could charge for that latte; he could charge for the parking—and you’re telling me that you were shocked that this happened. So, obviously, you weren’t taking an active role in what they were doing, because they would have to ask you or the ministry for permission to have that expense account to be able to do that. So if Mr. Troop’s within his right to charge 91 cents for a parking ticket or for whatever, you must have okayed it, because you said they didn’t do anything wrong. “It was morally wrong.” Well, that doesn’t really help if it’s morally wrong.
What it should have been is they should either pay it back and answer for—what you said was that they skirted around the guidelines; they abused it. Do you know how many millions of dollars have been abused at eHealth? Look at that guy at Ornge. Cripes, he had a boat.
Hon. Michael Chan: Are you making a House statement or—
Mr. Paul Miller: I’m asking you a question. You must have known.
Hon. Michael Chan: I answered your questions—
Mr. Paul Miller: I’m allowed to make a statement in my half-hour. But you tell me that you are not responsible—and you are responsible—for overseeing taxpayers’ money that was involved in the Pan Am/Parapan games. You are the final stop on the list all the way to the top, and you’re telling me you didn’t do your job. You didn’t do due diligence. You weren’t in control. You weren’t overseeing it. You let this board, who are private sector people, make the decisions on how they’re going to do their expenses. It’s outrageous.
Hon. Michael Chan: You know, knowing half of the facts and making up the other half, trying to create a story, is pathetic.
Mr. Paul Miller: I’m not making up anything. I’m asking you: Were you in charge? Did you make the decision? Don’t accuse me of making something up. I simply asked you a question, but you’re not answering me. If your deputy minister’s going to answer, answer.
Hon. Michael Chan: I answered your question. Okay, let me answer one more time, and then allow my deputy to say—
Mr. Paul Miller: I’d like to hear from the deputy, because I’m not getting an answer from you.
Hon. Michael Chan: Paul, you talked about those expenses by the operation. Would there be a guideline, a policy, in there? The answer is yes. Who implemented those policies or guidelines? The board implemented them in April—
Mr. Paul Miller: With who’s permission?
Hon. Michael Chan: The board, with the permission of the five parties, which is the board members—they implemented those guidelines.
Mr. Paul Miller: But who do they answer to?
Hon. Michael Chan: Once they implement the guidelines, then the guidelines are being followed by the operation. It’s as simple as that.
Mr. Paul Miller: I’m not getting an answer. You’re not answering.
Hon. Michael Chan: Okay. Deputy, can you answer that?
Mr. Steven Davidson: TO2015, the games’ organizing committee, is an independent, non-profit organization, as the minister has noted, and you understand that it’s comprised of a board of 12, reflecting the multiple interests. In terms of reporting relationships, as the minister has said, it’s not an agency. It is accountable to the interests represented on the board. So the—
Mr. Paul Miller: So they’re accountable to themselves and not to the public and the ministry, you’re saying?
Mr. Steven Davidson: They’re an independent transfer payment recipient of the government—
Mr. Paul Miller: So they can do what they want.
Mr. Steven Davidson: Well, subject to their accountability back to the stakeholders. So the federal—
Mr. Paul Miller: And who are the stakeholders? The people of Ontario?
Mr. Steven Davidson: So the federal government appoints three—
Mr. Paul Miller: And the taxpayers are stakeholders, would you not say?
Mr. Steven Davidson: Absolutely. Absolutely, I would agree.
Mr. Paul Miller: Oh, okay. That’s interesting.
Mr. Steven Davidson: So their status as an independent transfer payment recipient is somewhat different than an agency in terms of their accountability with government.
Mr. Paul Miller: With all due respect, Deputy Minister, this province oversees agencies, tribunals. Different sectors of our population sit on those tribunals and agencies. They report to the ministry. Their expenditures go to the ministry. So don’t tell me that these guys were an independent group of people who can make decisions and set up their own expense accounts without permission. If they did, there’s a problem there, a big problem, because this is taxpayers’ money.
Mr. Steven Davidson: So the ministry does have an accountability relationship—
Mr. Paul Miller: Oh, they do?
Mr. Steven Davidson: —with 19 provincial agencies, but this is not one of them. This is a different animal. It’s kind of like—
Mr. Paul Miller: It’s quite a unique animal, I would say.
Mr. Steven Davidson: If I could just explain how the rules apply to them?
Mr. Paul Miller: Yes, I’d like to hear that.
Mr. Steven Davidson: So as a transfer payment recipient, any transfer payment recipient that receives more than $10 million in a single fiscal year from the provincial government comes under the Broader Public Sector Accountability Act and associated directives the following fiscal year. So, in the case of TO2015, it first received more than $10 million in a provincial transfer in 2011, which means that April 1, 2012, it came under the broader public sector expenses directive. So, as the minister has noted, effective that date, they were required to have a policy in place to govern expenses within the organization.
Mr. Paul Miller: So what did they do before that?
Mr. Steven Davidson: Before that—
Mr. Paul Miller: Before they were told to report. They were creating policies as they went along?
Mr. Steven Davidson: They would have governed themselves as any—
Mr. Paul Miller: Oh, they were governing themselves?
Mr. Steven Davidson: —non-profit entity does.
Mr. Paul Miller: That’s interesting. So, a year later, they would report under that particular legislation to the government. But in that year, this board made their own policies, their own expenditures and set it up, and then they reported to you the following fiscal year? Is that what you’re telling me?
Mr. Steven Davidson: What I’m saying is that any non-profit entity that receives a transfer from the government in excess of $10 million in a single fiscal year comes under the purview of the broader public sector directives—
Mr. Paul Miller: A year later.
Mr. Steven Davidson: —the following year.
Mr. Paul Miller: A year later. So what you’re telling me is that during the previous year, before they report the next year under the broader accountability, they’re in control and they don’t answer to anyone during that year, the previous year, and there’s no oversight or accountability. They do what they want because they are a separate entity, you told me, but it’s still taxpayers’ money. So no one is seeing what they’re doing to set up the policies or set up the expenses the year before. We wait for a year to find out whether they did or didn’t do something wrong, so they could have spent the money. Would that be a fair statement?
Mr. Steven Davidson: Prior to coming under the purview of the broader public sector accountability directives, they would be in the same circumstance as any other non-profit organization receiving government funds, but underneath the threshold of $10 million.
Mr. Paul Miller: So, if it’s over $10 million, then it goes to a different situation; under $10 million, they’re in control of the expenditures.
Mr. Steven Davidson: Right.
Mr. Paul Miller: Wow. That’s a lot of coin. Interesting.
Hon. Michael Chan: Let me add to that. Look, this is a huge undertaking. It’s a complex games. And also, the TO2015 board appoints representatives from all levels of government, as well as from the sports community.
So, please—I know where you’re coming from. We all want these games to be successful. So far, it’s very successful in terms of those infrastructures, capital projects, so the board has functioned overall—fantastic in the way of their accomplishments so far to date. Look at the village. Look at the waterway.
Mr. Paul Miller: Minister, I wouldn’t call it fantastic. There are some problems there.
Hon. Michael Chan: So, please, understand the responsibility of a government appointee in the board, and have some respect for them too. So far, overall, look at all the accomplishments. It’s there. We are heading into a good games, and you want a good games, and so does Mr. Jackson there.
So look, right now, yes, there’s an issue here. We’re going to strengthen the policy. We’re going to pull them in so that those policies eventually strengthened will be followed by 2015.
Mr. Paul Miller: With all due respect, Minister, you would think, after all the fiascos that we’ve seen in the last few years, that the government would have been treading softly and would have done all due diligence before and certainly kept an eye on the board and the members. No one is questioning the integrity of the board members, but if they were following the guidelines which Mr. Troop said fell within their jurisdiction, then there’s a problem with the people who set it up and there’s a problem with the ministry that’s overseeing the expenses, and they should not have been entered in the first place. If he charged 91 cents for a parking ticket, a dollar for a latte, and all these things, and said it’s within his right to do that, who’s setting up these contracts?
This man is making double what the Premier makes. Who set up the contract to allow him to nickel and dime everybody—and the rest of them—on some of the charges where the Premier was shocked that these things were happening? Obviously, it fell within their privy. So I’m confused; who’s watching the shop? Who’s guarding the henhouse? Is the fox in the henhouse? I’m not sure. It’s really confusing here, what’s going on. No one wants to take responsibility.
Hon. Michael Chan: Deputy, I know that it’s a long process in terms of strengthening the policy until this year. Why don’t you, again, one more time, explain to Paul—
Mr. Paul Miller: Yes, explain to me. I’m having difficulty.
Hon. Michael Chan: —what happened in terms of that strengthening of rules and implementation and also the reporting, one more time.
Mr. Paul Miller: Please. Please do.
Mr. Steven Davidson: The oversight responsibility of the secretariat is really to ensure that TO2015 is adhering to the directives as they should. As I mentioned—
Mr. Paul Miller: So they were. They were, according to Mr. Troop.
Mr. Steven Davidson: On April 1, they were required to have a policy. What the secretariat did do was after the first three months of implementation of that policy, the secretariat, as part of its audit plan, brought in Ontario internal audit services to do an audit of the organizing committee’s compliance during that first three months. They’re a new organization, new to the rules, so this was intended to be an instructive exercise.
Mr. Paul Miller: Deputy Minister, with all due respect, a lot of those people have sat on many boards. They may be new to this particular effort, but they’ve been around a long time, and they know what’s good and what’s morally right to charge and what isn’t. So if they weren’t doing the proper thing, you can’t blame it on—like it’s an apprenticeship or they weren’t aware of what they could do and couldn’t do. They fell within the guidelines. Someone allowed them to do it, and someone’s having problems taking responsibility for allowing those guidelines to be there.
Those guidelines shouldn’t have been there in the first place. There should have been oversight and accountability on those guidelines, and there wasn’t. You allowed an independent body—as you pointed out to me, a separate entity—to set up their own little game, and they did. And they must have had approval from the ministry to do it.
Mr. Steven Davidson: I would take issue with the approval. It is the board’s accountability to approve the policy, and it was the ministry’s or the secretariat’s role to ensure that the policy was in place. So as I said—
Mr. Paul Miller: But, Minister, would they have not been aware of the guidelines in the policy when they said it was in place? Even if they set it up, wouldn’t you have read it to say, “Well, I don’t think you should be charging for parking or lattes or things”? Wouldn’t you have been aware of that or studied that and said, “This will not be part of the guidelines or the policy. This is not allowed”? You would have nipped it in the bud, but you didn’t.
Mr. Steven Davidson: In fact, that is what happened with respect to the policy, so—
Mr. Paul Miller: We had to have an audit to do it.
Mr. Steven Davidson: An audit within the first three months of implementation. It did find that there were some gaps in practice and compliance. Those were conveyed back to TO2015’s senior management, and the result of that was a revision to the policy, and a new policy was introduced in May 2013.
I do understand that the scope, the time frame for the expense records, which are under discussion right now, went up to April 2013, so they would have been under that first version of the policy—
Mr. Paul Miller: Oh, the first version. We have a new version.
Mr. Steven Davidson: So subsequent to the audit—
Mr. Paul Miller: Now after the audit, we have a new version.
Mr. Steven Davidson: —there were revisions made in May 2013.
Mr. Paul Miller: It’s like baseball: three strikes and you’re out kind of thing
Mr. Steven Davidson: A revised policy was implemented in the organization, and then, as a follow-up to the audit undertaken by the secretariat, we have in our audit plan for later in this fiscal year a one-year-out follow-up to ensure compliance.
Mr. Paul Miller: I’m sure we’ll find something else.
Yesterday, the Premier told the press she planned to speak to you, Minister, about getting some of these expenses repaid. Has that happened, and if so, what have you done about it?
Hon. Michael Chan: The Premier said that if those expenses fall outside the policy—
Mr. Paul Miller: Outside the box?
Hon. Michael Chan: Outside the policy that was in place at that time, we will ask for the money back. So at the moment, we are looking at it, and if we find any items that fall outside the policy in place, we will ask for the money back.
Mr. Paul Miller: Thank you.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): And I’m going to stop you right there because the bells have now rung. We will recess until 3:45 p.m., or approximately 3:45. When we return, Mr. Miller, you have about nine minutes left.
Meeting recessed until this afternoon, approximately 3:45.
The committee recessed from 1025 to 1559.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): We will call the meeting to order. The time has now come to resume the hearing. When we left just before the morning session, it was with Mr. Miller. Mr. Miller, it’s back to you. You have nine minutes left.
Mr. Paul Miller: Thank you, Mr. Chair. Good afternoon. Session two here.
To the minister: The committee has been racking up questionable expenses since 2010. How come it took the minister and the ministry so long to take action?
Hon. Michael Chan: When you say “committee,” would that be—
Mr. Paul Miller: The committee—
Hon. Michael Chan: Yes, TO2015. It’s not the board, right? The operation committee, yes.
Those items were just brought to my attention, as I said this morning, three weeks ago. Before, I had no knowledge of any one item of those expenses. It wasn’t brought to my attention; only three weeks ago.
I understand there was an FOI for those expenses.
Mr. Paul Miller: I was just going to ask you that. When—
Hon. Michael Chan: So to your answer your question—
Mr. Paul Miller: When did you learn about the freedom of information?
Hon. Michael Chan: Please repeat that. Repeat your question, please.
Mr. Paul Miller: When did the minister learn of the freedom-of-information request for the details of expenses and compensation?
Hon. Michael Chan: No. You were talking about the expenses. Those expense items were brought to my attention three weeks ago. Okay? That’s the time I knew about it. In terms of the FOI, I had nothing to do with it, because I don’t deal with FOI.
Mr. Paul Miller: So there was no direction given before that to even look into it?
Hon. Michael Chan: No; definitely no.
Mr. Paul Miller: Would it be accurate to say that the minister made the request for new expense guidelines after it became clear that the story was about to break? If not, what triggered his concern after ignoring these expenses for all those years?
Hon. Michael Chan: Okay. Well, if I understand your question right, those expenses came to my attention, and I said some items I had serious concerns about. I wanted that to be corrected, so I engaged the board, the board engaged the operation, and that’s the sequence.
Mr. Paul Miller: What triggered that event that brought the concerns after ignoring the problems for years? What triggered it? Was it the media? Was it the freedom-of-information request? What triggered it?
Hon. Michael Chan: Again, I had no knowledge of those items as you described, like years or a long time before.
Mr. Paul Miller: It was 2010.
Hon. Michael Chan: It only came to my attention three weeks ago, and then I was contacted by—well, you know, in the three weeks, maybe a few, and within that a request by the media, when they talked to me. So then—
Mr. Paul Miller: So, Minister, what I’m saying is, while this was going on, the Ornge debacle was going on, there was some eHealth—some of that, near the end of that—was going on, and I would assume the government would think, with all those problems they were having, that they might have looked into this a little more carefully, other than waiting for a freedom of information to come forward or for the media to get a hold of it, because this is probably the biggest thing that’s going to happen to Ontario in 50 years. So what I’m saying to you is why—johnny-come-lately—why, all of a sudden, has this become a priority for you to look into when from 2010 they were putting in these expenses? What I’m saying is, you had a blind eye to what was going on, for whatever reason, and you haven’t given me an answer what triggered you to do it now. Was it because it was brought up from freedom of information, because the media got a hold of it or you’re taking pressure about it? But you finally are supposedly going to act on this. So why didn’t you do it before?
Hon. Michael Chan: Well, I’ve got to back you up a little bit here. I think we talked about that this morning, and if I’m repeating it, I would ask for your patience.
Again, TO2015, the operation to run the routine affairs, to stage, to develop the Pan Am Games—and I want to stress this fact, okay? This is a non-profit organization and is not a government agency, so in terms of the relationship, it’s not exactly perhaps the one that you’re more familiar with, government running a government agency.
So this board, which is created with five partners—the fed, the province, Toronto—
Mr. Paul Miller: Minister, you’ve said that three times today. I don’t want to talk about that again, because you’ve said it three times. I know who’s on the board. I’ve asked you a question: What triggered you to move now, when you didn’t move in 2010? That’s what I’m saying. With all due respect, you’ve told me about the members of the board three times today. I know all about that now. I want to move on to get to the heart of the issue. You’re avoiding it, and I want to know why it happened when it happened.
Here’s a request: I’d like you to table directions that the government gave to the 2015 Pan Am Games regarding how the organization should tighten their expense guidelines. I would think that something this big for the province of Ontario would have been audited. Did the minister do an audit with the ministry on these inappropriate expenses, like the tea and the laundry that these six-figure fellas were doing? Have there been any audits from your ministry? Have you encouraged a forensic audit before all this was going on? Because if there was the threat of an audit, I think they might have thought twice about charging 97 cents for a parking spot or things like that. Why didn’t the ministry, after all the things you’ve been through—Ornge and eHealth and all the other things—do a forensic audit on this expenditure?
Now, I find out today that there are two budgets, which we didn’t know about before. That came up today, which was very interesting. So your forecast of the cost of the games has now probably doubled. You say that you’re on target, but you didn’t mention the other $765 million for the village. This is now an additional taxpayer cost. We’re looking at a lot more money now. Under a forensic audit, that would have been brought forward.
You and Minister Sousa are telling the public that everything is on track and everything is great, and now we find out that there’s another budget. How many budgets are there?
Hon. Michael Chan: Paul, you mentioned a lot of items and actually requested a lot of things here. So allow me to try as much as possible here to put it down so that we respond to you.
I think you accused me of avoiding the expenses, so I have to disagree with you.
You were also requesting the production of these directives on the policy. You talked about the guidelines. Also, you were talking about the audit. Also, you talked about the two budgets that you discovered today and about the village, which is $765 million—
Hon. Michael Chan: It’s $709 million—sorry for that. I’ll try—I can do that, as much as is possible. Also, you were kind of skeptical of Minister Sousa’s remark that Pan Am is on budget and on time.
As I said this morning to Rod over there, once those expenses came to my attention, I engaged the board by phoning them. I told them what to do, and it was reported widely. If you still think I haven’t done that, I cannot help it. But I have ordered the board to rectify the situation and given them a very, very clear direction for doing it.
Internal audit: Yes, there was an internal audit. The implementation of it was in April 2012. After three months, the internal audit requested, for those expense items and those before, was probably done in April, maybe into the summer, in July. I think the report came back in the fall and then we engaged them. By May 2013, there were some items—I think the P/PAG asked them to strengthen the situation.
Two budgets: There seems to be worry and much concern about the village, that this is a new thing, new money into the budget. You’re wrong. I can prove that you’re wrong in three documents. Number one—
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Okay. I’m going to have to stop you. You’re going to have to tell him how he’s wrong later.
Hon. Michael Chan: He’s lucky, then. He’s really lucky on this one.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): And I’m sure he might tell you the same thing back.
It now goes to the minister. Minister Sergio, you were on the floor before, and if you wish to finish your statement—
Hon. Mario Sergio: I’m at the will of the committee.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): —but in any event, there’s a half-hour here available to both of you.
Hon. Mario Sergio: Great, great. Shall I start at the beginning now, since we have half an hour?
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): You’ve got half an hour. Use it as you wish.
Hon. Mario Sergio: I appreciate that. I’ll just start—
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Up to a half-hour. You don’t have to use it all.
Hon. Mario Sergio: Yes, I understand. Thank you. I’ll just start where I left off this morning.
Another part of the action plan—we were talking about the action plan for Ontario seniors this morning, Chair—includes making it easier for seniors and their families to find and gain access to programs and services that the provincial and federal governments and service providers offer them.
We want to make sure everyone’s future is friendly, safe and supportive. A Guide to Programs and Services for Seniors in Ontario is another resource to help Ontarians achieve that future.
We have updated the guide to provide practical guidance on issues that affect our quality of life as we age: active living, caregiving, finances, health and wellness, housing, long-term-care homes, safety and security, and transportation.
The guide is available in English and French and in 14 other languages—it may be 16 languages, Chair.
Since announcing the action plan in January, we have also made progress on a number of other fronts. In partnership with the Alzheimer Society of Ontario and police, we launched Finding Your Way, a new multicultural safety awareness program for individuals with dementia, their caregivers and communities.
We are proud that Ontario has become the first province to make sprinklers mandatory in licensed retirement homes and care and treatment occupancies for our most vulnerable citizens.
We introduced new measures to help seniors make the transition from hospital to home sooner, while also providing higher levels of care to long-term-care residents with complex needs.
The action plan builds on the solid foundation of what Ontario has already achieved for seniors. For example, the government passed the Retirement Homes Act, 2010, to better protect Ontario seniors and regulate the care these homes provide. This is the first time in Ontario’s history that the government has regulated such care.
The Retirement Homes Act respects their need for independence and ability to make informed decisions. The legislation also gives more control to seniors who choose to receive care services in retirement homes. It also provides more transparency about service providers.
As a result, the over 50,000 Ontario seniors residing in retirement homes have access to clear information to help them make educated choices about their accommodation and care. This helps create an environment where retirement homes are places where residents live with dignity, respect, privacy and autonomy and in security, safety and comfort.
The act established the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority, an arm’s-length organization that educates, licenses and inspects retirement homes to make sure they meet prescribed standards. Now, all retirement homes must submit a licence application to the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority to operate in Ontario.
As we implemented the act, we also considered the diversity of Ontario’s seniors. The act includes a bill of rights which states that every resident has the right to have his or her lifestyle and choices respected and to freely pursue his or her social, cultural, religious, spiritual and other interests.
As a direct result of the act, we have also put into effect a number of fire safety and prevention measures, including: training all staff in retirement homes about fire prevention and safety; developing an emergency plan and evacuation procedures; posting information that explains the measures to take in case of fire; and providing information to residents about nighttime staffing levels and whether the home has sprinklers in each resident’s room.
The Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority has established a public registry of retirement homes that includes a list of applicants for licences and information on whether the homes have sprinklers. Speaking of sprinklers, a few months ago I joined Minister Meilleur in announcing another new initiative of our government to protect seniors. Under the new regulations, Ontario became the first province in Canada to require the operators of older facilities—those retirement homes and long-term-care homes built prior to 1997—to install sprinklers in their buildings.
Mr. Paul Miller: Thanks, Paul.
Hon. Mario Sergio: Thanks, Paul. I remember; I was there, Paul.
Back in June 2002, federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for seniors identified elder abuse as a priority area for their ministries to work on.
I think I did mention that, quite a few times in the House, the member has contributed quite a bit to the legislation going through, so I appreciate that.
In Ontario, we developed an elder abuse strategy—the first of its kind in Canada. Since 2003, Ontario has invested over $8 million in elder abuse prevention, and this includes annual operating funding of $900,000 to the Ontario Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse to work with communities to better coordinate resources, help front-line staff recognize and respond to elder abuse, and increase public awareness about where to find help.
Since we have committed the government to combat elder abuse, we continue to infuse other policy initiatives with the same dedication against abuse. For example, by passing the Retirement Homes Act in 2010, we also acted to protect Ontario seniors from abuse in retirement homes. Several protections against abuse also came into force under the act, including: having a policy to promote zero tolerance of abuse and neglect and ensure compliance with the policy; meeting the home’s duty to protect residents from abuse and neglect; complying with the Residents’ Bill of Rights, which must be posted in every licensed retirement home; and conducting mandatory annual staff training on the zero-tolerance-of-abuse policy, fire prevention and safety, and whistle-blowing protection. With the exception of residents, anyone who suspects harm or risk of harm to a resident from abuse, neglect, improper care, unlawful conduct or misuse of a resident’s money, must now call the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority, which will inspect these reports.
Earlier this year, I was pleased to join our partners—the Alzheimer Society of Ontario, police forces, community representatives and other government ministries—in an integrated response to a growing challenge: wandering prevention among individuals with dementia, many of whom are seniors. Finding Your Way is a new multicultural safety awareness program to help people with dementia who may wander and become lost, as well as to assist their caregivers and communities.
This initiative, the first of its kind in Canada, is another important part of our recently announced Ontario Action Plan for Seniors. Its goal is to help us all recognize and reduce the risks of people with dementia going missing. With the increase in the number of people with dementia, and their preference to live in the community as long as possible, we recognize the importance of having this program in place. Seniors, caregivers, the general public—every one of us has an obligation to do our part to ensure the safety and security of people with dementia who wander.
The time for Finding Your Way is now. The number of people with dementia is growing as never before, and will increase 40% in less than a decade, from 180,000 to more than a quarter of a million people. Finding Your Way will improve safety as we educate, involve and empower seniors, their families, caregivers and people throughout the province. Materials are available in English, French, Chinese and Punjabi, and will soon be available in Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. The program will help us all work together—the entire broader community—to become aware of the signs when encountering persons with dementia and other related illnesses who are lost or missing. With the Alzheimer Society of Ontario and the Ontario Police College, we are developing resources for individuals and families to prevent loved ones from going missing, public education to raise awareness, outreach to communities with an emphasis on diversity, and training for front-line police officers to recognize and respond to cases involving seniors who have wandered.
Information about all of these initiatives and much more information that seniors can use is easily available to Ontarians online at ontario.ca/seniors or by calling our toll-free dedicated seniors’ infoline phone number at 1-888-910-1999.
Independence, activity, good health and the ability to make choices to live the way we want: That’s what we want for ourselves and our loved ones as we grow older, and that’s what we’re working hard to provide for seniors in Ontario. Together with seniors, their families and caregivers, and our community partners, we will make Ontario the best place in North America to grow older.
With this, Chair, I finish my presentation.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Thank you. You do have the entire period of time. Would Minister Chan like to—
Hon. Michael Chan: Yes, thank you.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Before we do that, could I ask the members of the committee: I anticipate—I may be wrong—that most of the questions, if not all of them, will go to Minister Chan and not so many to Minister Sergio. Are there members who have questions of Mr. Sergio? If there aren’t any, he and his staff—
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): You have some? Then, fine. You’ll have to stay for the duration.
Mr. Rob Leone: Hey, just to let you know it’s not us.
Chair, if I may, just because you’ve opened up that possibility, does that mean we’re going in 20-minute rotations?
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): As soon as they’re finished their half-hour, the 20-minute rotation goes to the Conservatives.
Mr. Rob Leone: So whether or not we want to ask Minister Sergio questions, it’s still 20 minutes?
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): It’s 20 minutes no matter who you ask the questions of.
Mr. Rob Leone: Got it. Just to make sure. Thank you.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): You ask them all to one minister, to both—whatever you wish.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Wait. No, no; you don’t have a question. Your time has elapsed; you’re done. His time to answer the question was done. But he now has the floor for whatever he wants to say for the next—until 4:40, so it’s about 15 minutes.
Hon. Michael Chan: That’s all?
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): You have 15 minutes left of this time.
Hon. Michael Chan: Chair, I think you used up my time.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Well, it’s your time.
Hon. Michael Chan: Chair, members of the committee, ladies and gentlemen, thank you so very much for the opportunity to speak to you again about the work of my ministry.
The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport is at the forefront of delivering our government’s plan to keep Ontario prosperous. So I want to focus again on how the activities of my ministry help businesses succeed, provide jobs and opportunities for Ontarians, and grow the economy in Ontario.
In particular, I want to talk again about a high-profile project that supports all three sectors of my portfolio, the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games. As the provincial minister responsible for the games, I have to say that what makes me most excited about this portfolio is how the combined strength of our work in tourism, culture and sport provides the best possible foundation for success.
I am not alone in my excitement to host these games, as the members of the committee agreed with me earlier today. These games are an important opportunity, and our government shares the goal of the successful delivery of the games. That includes co-operation and collaboration between multiple players and partners, be they:
—our federal counterparts;
—our multiple municipal partners across the Golden Horseshoe;
—the PASO family of nations;
—my ministry, the Pan/Parapan American Games Secretariat;
—visitors and volunteers.
Together, we all have a part to play in delivering a great games for Ontario and Canada.
At many Pan/Parapan American events, I have been proud to stand alongside these partners, including:
—my federal counterpart, the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of Sport;
—city of Toronto Mayor Mr. Rob Ford;
—mayors and city councillors from other host venue jurisdictions;
—heads of sport such as Marcel Aubut, president of the Canadian Olympic Committee, and Gaetan Tardif, president of the Canadian Paralympic Committee; and
—Canadian and Ontarian athletes who may be participating in the upcoming games.
First and foremost, this will be a “people’s games” in Ontario that will be affordable, accessible and an exceptional experience for the people of this province and for the many, many visitors, spectators and fans who we will welcome.
Our government firmly believes that Ontarians have the ability to perform, from our athletes to our artists; from the stadium to the stage; from the playground to the podium. That is why we sought the bid to host the 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games: to use our skills and our strength and showcase them to the world—as our athletes will compete on our own turf—attracting thousands of visitors from within our borders and beyond, while firmly placing Ontario on the map as a premier international travel destination for world-class sporting events, internationally acclaimed cultural experiences and unique tourism offerings.
This is an incredible undertaking that offers incredible opportunities as we prepare to host 41 participating nations, 36 Pan Am sports, 15 Parapan Am sports and 34 competition and training venues. We are preparing to stage the largest international games ever held on Canadian soil.
It was almost four years ago that Ontario successfully won the bid to host the 2015 games. Since, we have joined together in a team effort to drive forward and keep the pace. With under two years left to go, shovels are in the ground, and we have been pursuing an aggressive timeline to ensure the games’ success.
Hosting the games will ignite the power of sport in communities across our province and inspire all Ontarians by highlighting the value of sport and the health benefits of active living.
While we’re all looking forward to seeing our sport sector shine in the international spotlight in 2015 when we welcome the world to Ontario during the games, the 2015 games will help Ontario improve its sport infrastructure for athletes of all abilities—facilities like the Ajax Pan Am Ballpark; the Caledon Pan Am Equestrian Centre; the Etobicoke Olympium; the Hamilton Pan Am Soccer Stadium; the Markham Pan Am and Parapan Am Centre; the Milton Pan Am/Parapan Am Velodrome; the Pan Am/Parapan Am Athletics Stadium at York University; the Pan Am Field Hockey Centre at the University of Toronto; the Pan Am/Parapan Am Aquatics Centre and Field House; the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario at the University of Toronto Scarborough campus; and the Welland Pan Am Flatwater Centre. This will mean:
—three new Olympic-sized pools;
—Milton will have the first-of-its-kind velodrome in Canada;
—Scarborough’s Pan Am Aquatics Centre and Field House will serve over 100,000 community members and be the home of the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario; and
—Toronto’s Pan Am/Parapan Am Athletics Centre will serve York University students, surrounding communities, and will be a venue for future international track and field events and varsity team sports.
All of these venues are on track, on time and on or under budget.
The vice-president of the Pan American Sports Organization said, during a technical tour of the facilities this April, “They’re ahead of Guadalajara ... they’re ahead of Rio 2007.... Construction is going at a very robust pace here and it’s on schedule and this makes us feel that many of the facilities will be finished a year before the games ... I’d say they’ve been better than past organizing committees and that has me feeling very positive after this week.”
Mario Vázquez Raña, president of the Pan American Sports Organization, added, “These are the 11th Pan Am Games that I’ve organized. I have faith, confidence and assurance that Toronto 2015 Games will be the best in history.”
Our government’s goal is to ensure that all Ontarians have an active role in the games, as well as an opportunity to benefit from them. This is why we expanded the venue footprint of the games to encompass the entire Golden Horseshoe area and have identified site locations that will maximize the number of Ontarians to access their services and facilities.
This approach has been pragmatic and practical, and transcends partisan lines as many of the new venues are located in ridings of all stripes, like the Milton Velodrome, where MPP Chudleigh attended the groundbreaking; the Hamilton Pan Am Soccer Stadium; the Welland Pan Am Flatwater Centre; and the Caledon Equestrian Park, named an official Pan Am Games venue, an announcement for which MPP Sylvia Jones attended and was acknowledged.
In support of our approach, Prime Minister Stephen Harper noted: “Canadians love sports and we are known for our hospitality, an unbeatable combination for successful games.
“Sports fans in Toronto and the Golden Horseshoe area are known for their passion and commitment. I am confident they will give a warm welcome to athletes from across the Americas.”
Our government is ensuring Ontario’s athletes have the opportunity to train and compete at home in new and improved facilities that TO2015 will be developing—and give Ontarians opportunities to access much-needed sporting facilities that will encourage healthy and active lifestyles for generations to come.
In recognition of the importance of this legacy, even our federal counterparts have committed to a legacy fund in partnership with the province to ensure our key venues continue to operate and serve the people of this province in the years that follow the games.
We are proactively seeking ways to maximize the benefits of hosting high-profile international games for Ontarians. Ontario will be host to many national and international amateur sporting events prior to the games. Our venues will be used for test events in the lead-up to the games. They will showcase what an exceptional province Ontario is for hosting sporting events, where athletes come together to compete and perform. Post-games, these facilities will be used for years to come, and Ontario will benefit from the thousands of visitors that they will attract.
Strengthening the positive impact of the games, the government of Ontario committed, in 2009, to the revitalization of the West Don Lands. As part of this development, the athletes’ village will transform the site into a vibrant mixed-use community post-games. This was a commitment made by the then Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, George Smitherman, and I’d like to quote from his announcement on April 26, 2009:
“The West Don Lands is poised to become one of the most exciting new neighbourhoods in Toronto. As part of the Ontario government’s commitment to revitalizing Toronto’s waterfront, we are creating an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable waterfront community there, and the Pan American Village is certainly part of that plan.”
Further, David Peterson, the Chair of the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games Bid also said: “This new development will be an exceptional fit for the requirements of the games and also a wonderful legacy for the city of Toronto. Development in the West Don Lands is already under way as part of the great intergovernmental partnership. It only makes sense to accelerate these plans by using the site for the Pan American Village.”
There should be no confusion about the government’s commitment to the revitalization of the athletes’ village as a longer legacy for the revitalization of the West Don Lands. There should also be no confusion that this is a separate investment by the government of Ontario that contributes greatly to the city of Toronto and the Pan/Parapan American Games.
In the 2013 budget, this commitment was reaffirmed. Let me quote from the budget:
“The province is investing $500 million towards the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games, which will showcase Ontario; promote healthy, active living; and leave a legacy of new and upgraded sports and recreation facilities. In addition, the province is investing $514 million towards the athletes’ village project, which will advance the implementation of Waterfront Toronto’s award-winning precinct plan for the West Don Lands area.”
The award-winning athletes’ village will be home to 10,000 athletes and officials from 41 nations during the games. As we see beyond 2015 and beyond the games, the athletes’ village will be a place where hundreds of Ontario families have access to affordable housing through Fred Victor and Wigwamen Inc., and proudly call it home.
I’d like to cite Mark Aston, executive director of Fred Victor, who said:
“Fred Victor is proud to be part of the Pan/Parapan Am athletes’ village development that will transform the games-time accommodations into permanent affordable housing for our community. We look forward to being part of and contributing to this innovative, diverse and mixed-income community.”
The president of Wigwamen Inc. welcomed the athletes’ village:
“This new community in the West Don Lands will help further Wigwamen’s goal of providing quality, affordable housing for aboriginal and non-aboriginal families and individuals. The focus on a meaningful legacy of the games is helping to ensure families from all backgrounds can benefit.”
It will be a place where hundreds of students will have an opportunity to live in an exciting new community. As Anne Sado, president of George Brown College, said, “Our first-ever student residence will be used during the games to house some of the world’s top athletes. Subsequently, it will be home to 500 students, accommodating growing student demand and increased enrolment. We are delighted we’ll be an integral part of this exciting new neighbourhood.”
The athletes’ village in the newly revitalized and reimagined Canary District will also be a place where the community will have access to programs and services that keep them involved and active in a new YMCA facility. Most importantly, it will be a place where the legacy of the games will continue to enhance and enrich the lives of Ontarians in a brand new community.
I’m pleased that the construction and development of our athletes’ village is well on track for completion, having surpassed 50% completion in April. These games will enrich the quality of life for Ontarians as the “people’s games” in Ontario, but will also serve as a key economic driver in the greater Golden Horseshoe over the next two years.
They will trigger investment in new and current sport and recreation infrastructure and create 26,000 jobs. They will attract an estimated 250,000 tourists, bring 10,000 athletes and team officials to Ontario, build and train a team of up to 20,000 volunteers—a valuable foundation for future events and community-building—and showcase Ontario to millions of international viewers who will be tuning in to see world-class athletes compete on our home turf.
The games and related investments will grow Ontario’s GDP by $3.7 billion from 2009 to 2017. Our government recognizes the importance of keeping the games accessible, affordable and on-budget. We take that responsibility very, very seriously—
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): And with that, I’m going to have to stop you. The half hour is up.
Okay. We now go into 20-minute rotations, starting first with the official opposition, then the third party and then the government, Liberals. So starting now, 20 minutes, Mr. Jackson.
Mr. Rod Jackson: Thank you, Minister. I will start off just by reiterating that we certainly agree with you that it’s critically important that the Pan Am Games come off well. It would be nothing short of disastrous if they didn’t actually turn out to shine a light on our athletes and on all the host cities and show that we can be the best we can be on the world stage. I think everybody wants that from the Pan Am Games. What we need to do is make sure that it happens in a fair, efficient and accountable way.
I’m going to take you back to your opening statement at the beginning of the day today where you claim your ministry was responsible for ensuring that money allotted for the Pan Am Games was spent wisely. When asked about the spending habits of the Pan Am executives, you claim that the board made all financial decisions and operated as an arm’s-length agency. I’m curious, Minister: If your ministry had minimal say on the accountability on how tax dollars are being spent, by your own estimation, how can you claim your ministry was actually responsible for ensuring that spending was done responsibly? Exactly what tools did you have at your disposal to ensure responsible spending for the games?
Hon. Michael Chan: Okay, thank you, Rod. Actually, my rebuttal here about the statement that’s made—I actually had your quote in there, but I didn’t have time to finish it. I thank you for your original letter that you wrote to Minister Charles Sousa stating that it’s important to support the games and your expression of having a successful Pan Am Games. I think you wrote that letter a few years ago, maybe, so thank you for that. It was—
Mr. Rod Jackson: Like I said, we all hope for the best.
Hon. Michael Chan: That’s good. We talked about that this morning, so we’re going to get at this again. I think you’re concerned about those expenses, and—
Mr. Rod Jackson: My question specifically is, what tools do you have at your disposal to make sure there’s responsible spending at every level? By that, I mean the secretariat budget and the TO2015 budget. You are the minister responsible.
Hon. Michael Chan: Again, I can talk to your point as well. For 2015, they report to the board. The board is made up of those people who are responsible for different levels of government. In all my submissions here, as you know, $500 million has been invested by the feds, $500 million by the province, $100 million by the city, and in the private sector and the local sports sector and the rest of the money there. So those people are appointed who make up the board. The TO2015 board is really responsible for the people or the jurisdiction that appointed them.
This is a very important board. The people there are very important, and they have a very important mandate to function—that is, to look after the routine, daily business of the operations.
Mr. Rod Jackson: What are the tools, though, that allow you to have responsibility for the Pan Am Games? What do you have that—
Hon. Michael Chan: Okay, I’m getting there. Our work here, which is P/PAG and also my ministry—basically, we have four functions here. Allow me to read them to you. The first one is to provide oversight and the provincial investment in the games; to ensure the highest standards of accountability to Ontarians as well we good governance; to ensure that provincial objectives and interests for the games are met; and to coordinate all government ministries when it comes to the games.
So this is what we do. P/PAG would provide the advice, the guidance, engage the board, which actually looks after the routine business of the operation. This is what the structure—
Mr. Rod Jackson: Okay, I understand the structure, Minister. What I guess I’m getting at is, and I’ll help you out a little bit here: You referred earlier to an audit that was done, I think, if I heard correctly, back in May? Is that correct?
Hon. Michael Chan: It was done in May, done in—
Mr. Steven Davidson: The summer.
Hon. Michael Chan: Yes, the summer. May the—
Mr. Rod Jackson: So I’m curious, Minister, if the audit was done in the summertime, several months ago—three, four months ago—how did your ministry only find out about the expenses that have come into question three weeks ago? And why didn’t you do anything about it when you saw the audit, if you did—I’m assuming you saw it, Minister, seeing as you’re the minister responsible for the Pan Am Games. I would be looking at the audit and wanting to know exactly what was going on there, if I was responsible for it. Explain to me why you only found out about this three weeks ago and, Minister, I’ll ask you again: Can you provide evidence that you did provide direction to the TO2015 board and the secretariat that you are unhappy about their expenses? Why did it take you so long from receiving that audit to act on it? Why did you only do it three weeks ago? I will ask, also—I have a follow-up question I’ll come back to.
Hon. Michael Chan: Okay. I think I previously explained to Paul the sequence of that particular audit and that it was finalized in May, and actually in May 2013 they strengthened those guidelines and policies so that obviously that almost one-year audit found all those items. But again, that information was brought to my attention three weeks ago, okay?
But anyway, Deputy, you know the whole process; you know perhaps more in-depth, so please explain, because I think they asked and they asked repeatedly, so please explain to them exactly the transactions.
Mr. Steven Davidson: Certainly. Thank you, Minister.
Mr. Jackson, if I could just clarify, I heard two questions. One, you asked about the tools available to exercise the accountability and oversight role, so I could talk about the number of tools. Then I heard you ask quite specifically about the timing of the audit and the timing of the minister’s awareness around the subject of the FIPPA request.
Mr. Rod Jackson: Correct, and—
Mr. Steven Davidson: So I could answer both of those?
Mr. Rod Jackson: If you would, I’d appreciate it. Also, if you wouldn’t mind just telling me what the exact title of that audit was, I’d appreciate that as well.
Mr. Steven Davidson: Okay, so we’ll begin with the audit?
Mr. Rod Jackson: Certainly.
Mr. Steven Davidson: So the audit was undertaken by the Ontario internal audit division; that’s a division within the Ministry of Finance. Their services are available to all ministries to undertake internal audits of ministry operations, ministry agencies, or in the case of TO2015, a significant transfer payment recipient, so not an agency, as we’ve mentioned before.
The subject of the audit was the compliance of TO2015 with the broader public sector expenses directive, which they had just come under in April 1, 2012; so three months of compliance under the audit from April 1 to the end of June 2012 was the subject period for scrutiny.
The fieldwork on the audit began immediately at the beginning of July. It took place over the course of the summer, leading to delivery of a preliminary report whose findings and preliminary recommendations were shared by Ontario internal audit with the management team at TO2015 for their response. Their responses were then incorporated into a final audit report, which was delivered to them, I believe, sometime toward the end of November 2012. So that was the process for the audit engagement.
One of the recommendations, and certainly a direction of the ministry, who was then made aware of the findings and recommendations of the audit—we had, after all, commissioned the audit—or I should say, the secretariat had—was that because there had been, not significant gaps in compliance, but a variety of areas where certainly there could be improvements, the direction was given by the secretariat to TO2015 to review their policy and to make quite specific changes to it. That resulted in an amended policy which was finalized and put on TO2015’s website in May 2013. So that’s the audit story.
As I mentioned this morning, my understanding is that the expenses that are subject to the FIPPA request that are now under scrutiny extended up to the period of April 2013. So it didn’t, in fact, cover the period post amended policy. As is a regular process for ministries that commission an OIAD internal audit of an operation, there is a customary one-year follow-up audit to determine the level of compliance with the recommendations and how implementation has complied with those. So that’s that piece.
If I could come back to the broader array of tools that are available to the ministry that are exercised, I begin with the fact that—again, not to belabour a point, but as they are not an agency, they’re an independent, separately incorporated, not-for-profit transfer payment recipient. A primary tool that we didn’t talk about this morning—we emphasized this morning their coming under the BPSA, the Broader Public Sector Accountability Act. That’s certainly one overarching frame, but there’s a specific transfer payment agreement between the government, the secretariat and TO2015 that governs the government’s investment of the $500 million toward their $1.4-billion budget. That lays out, quite specifically, the expectations in terms of TO2015: its governance, its deliverables, performance measures—basically, the expectations of the funder. That’s a common tool that’s used by government in any funding relationship. So that certainly exists.
There’s a second one that is really important, and that is the business plan that is essentially the more detailed budget that TO2015 is obliged to produce. That is subject to independent, separate review and approval by the two principal funders: the Ontario government and the federal government. That is where the expenditure plans of TO2015 are actually laid out in more detail. That is a very, very important accountability tool for the government, as the government does have approval authority over that with and separate from the approval authority of the federal government. That does govern the spending authority of TO2015.
Those are two. The TPA, the transfer payment agreement, and the business plan approval are important.
Mr. Rod Jackson: And that would have included the expenses in question.
Hon. Michael Chan: I think—are you finished?
Mr. Steven Davidson: The answer to that would be no. The expenses in question are governed by their compliance with the expenses directive, the BPS expenses directive.
Mr. Rod Jackson: Right. So what I’m hearing here is that—Minister Chan, you said earlier that the current issue with expenses was brought to your attention by the media three weeks ago. Is that correct?
Hon. Michael Chan: No. It was brought to my attention through, I think—
Mr. Steven Davidson: I could talk about the sequencing of the FIPPA request, too.
Mr. Rod Jackson: Okay. Well, I guess my point is here—
Hon. Michael Chan: I mentioned the media looked for me, but no, it wasn’t brought to my attention through the media.
Mr. Rod Jackson: Who brought it to your attention? You claim that three weeks ago, you had issues with the expense accounts and you called the members at TO2015 about those expenses. What brought that to your attention? What transpired before that call? What made you want to make that phone call that you allege you made?
Hon. Michael Chan: When those items came to my attention, I was briefed on some of the items and I just—“Look, I can’t stand these items. It’s not good,” and I had a tremendous concern about that. I engaged the board.
This is exactly what I wanted to get back to you on. Previously you talked about, again, the written guidelines. No, I picked up the phone, I called the chair and I told the chair these are bad items and I warned—number one, relay the message to the board that I don’t like it, I want it corrected, and also, strengthen the policy. I think I repeated it a few times.
So we’re looking for written guidelines—no, all right? Also, by the way, I’m expecting the report back to me and I have a meeting—I think it’s November 1. They will be reporting to me concerning the strengthening of the policy.
Mr. Rod Jackson: If the board is essentially—what I’m hearing is the board is policing itself; right? So the wolves are guarding the gate. You claimed earlier that on—let’s see, we’re talking about TO2015 now, not the secretariat; the other, duplicate board. You claim that one of these boards has representatives from the government of Ontario. Correct?
Hon. Michael Chan: Yes. We have three left in there, yes; a total of 12.
Mr. Rod Jackson: Those three representatives who are policing themselves would have known at some point that the expense policy wasn’t adhered to. Would you agree with that statement?
Hon. Michael Chan: Well, there are 12 members and—
Mr. Rod Jackson: I guess my question is, your representatives on that board, who, I would assume, are accountable to you—if not—they probably should be, would have been aware that they are in violation of their own policy on expense reporting; i.e., not supplying receipts for expenses they submitted into the thousands of dollars.
Hon. Michael Chan: They have a policy in place, and the operation submits those expenses. The question will be: Are they in compliance or not in compliance with the policy in place? According to the information we have so far, those items are in compliance with the policy, but the policy may be too generous, too soft—
Mr. Rod Jackson: No, they weren’t in compliance.
Hon. Michael Chan: That’s why we asked for the policy to be strengthened. And also, the board is 12 members—
Mr. Rod Jackson: They weren’t in compliance. Minister, clearly they were not in compliance. Some of them were in bad faith, some of them were lacking common sense, but clearly they were in violation of their own policy on one count at least, where they didn’t submit receipts for expenses they incurred. That is a violation of their own policy that they created themselves.
I guess my question here is, Minister—this isn’t adding up for me. I’m not getting any clarity here. What I really want to know is, who is responsible for the efficient and accountable, transparent spending of Ontario taxpayers’ money? Is it you or is it an appointed board?
What I’m seeing here is, Minister, with due respect—
Mr. Rob Leone: Passing the buck.
Mr. Rod Jackson: —is passing the buck with nothing but double-speak. The Ontario public deserves better. They deserve more accountability. Frankly, I absolutely expected you, when I asked you a question this morning about your responsibility for the Pan Am Games: “Are you responsible, Minister, yes or no?”—I totally expected to have the answer: “Absolutely, I’m responsible. The buck stops with me.”
I don’t understand why you’re running away from this responsibility. I understand you have partners. Your partners aren’t happy either, by the way. I think Mayor Ford all day yesterday and today has been solely on this subject.
Mr. Rob Leone: Angry.
Mr. Rod Jackson: Angry about it. I know, for example, your other partners have actually entrusted money with you, with the government of Ontario, for capital expenditures going directly to Infrastructure Ontario. Your partners I can’t imagine are too pleased, at all, when they find out that the people who were appointed to the board are expensing things like they are. Minister, we’re not even getting into some of the bigger stuff. We’re just nickel and diming here.
When we start talking about the village—you admit it. It’s in the TO2015 advertising material. It has been, by the way, since day one. In fact, here I have—and the numbers are a little bit all over the place. I’m glad we’re getting a little bit of clarity on that today because in this piece here, which comes from TO2015—this is all the Pan Am athletes’ village, by the way, Minister, and it’s a marketing piece from TO2015. It puts the estimated cost of the Pan Am village at $1 billion. Then we start hearing different numbers being floated around, let’s say, $500 million, and then we hear getting the land ready is going to boost that price to $700 million. And then we find out that it’s not even included in the $1.4 billion Pan Am budget.
So I’m wondering, who is accountable for that? Where is that money going, where is it coming from, and who is paying attention to that? If we can’t even keep Starbucks coffee and pet travel straight, how are we going to keep track of—this isn’t even in the budget. It’s not even under your responsibility, is what you’re telling me. So who is responsible for the Pan Am Games? Who is responsible for every project that’s attached to the Pan Am Games, whether it’s the $719-million Pan Am athletes’ village or it’s the multi-hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of rushing the air-rail link through from Pearson to Union Station. Who is it that’s responsible? Is it you, Minister? Is it the Premier? I don’t want to hear this “there are a bunch of partners involved.” The buck has got to stop somewhere. Your title says you’re responsible; by definition, Minister, I believe that means that you’re accountable, too. Who is it?
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): I’m afraid you can’t answer the question, because the time is up. So you’ll have to think about how you’re going to answer that later, if you want to, or—
Hon. Michael Chan: I think he touched on about 10 areas—
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): No, no. The time is up. It’s now going to Mr. Miller.
Mr. Paul Miller: It’s your other friend here.
Mr. Paul Miller: You can’t answer. It’s my turn.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): I can’t—you can give that response, if you want, in some other way, but—
Mr. Michael Harris: It’s Miller time.
Mr. Paul Miller: It’s Miller time.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Yes, and you can’t use Mr. Miller’s time for answering somebody else’s question.
Mr. Paul Miller: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I’d like to follow along the lines—I believe you stated earlier in this afternoon’s session about the four accountable responsibilities of your ministry on oversight. You did mention them. I don’t have them in front of me, but you did mention four of them.
It all boiled down to accountability for the taxpayers of the province and the money which is going to be spent. Yet you tell me—in fact, your deputy minister told me—that Mr. Troop and his group are a separate entity. They have their own set of rules, their own bylaws, their own—up to $10 million, I believe the number was, because you told me non-profit was up to $10 million before they had to report. That’s a lot of money, and they set up their own expense procedures, I guess. What I’m amazed about is, after all the trouble we had been through with Ornge, eHealth, Mr. Mazza and all the stuff that had gone on there, I’m amazed that you would have an arm’s-length association with these two groups that are running the Pan Am Games and you weren’t right in there finding out what they’re spending stuff on.
To save embarrassment for the Liberal government, to save embarrassment for your ministry, I, if I was in the position, would have been all over that, with that kind of expenditure and money that we’re putting out in this province, to run a good set of games. But when you have people that may or may not—according to Mr. Troop, he wasn’t abusing the bylaws. But why would you not set in place a set of bylaws that he couldn’t abuse, or that he couldn’t have set up with his group that would have certainly been in question?
We have now found out that some of the things that were brought forward were certainly questionable, and some of the expenditures. So if the proper thing was done in the first place, he couldn’t have gone down that road. How does that happen with oversight and accountability from your ministry and your staff, and the three reps that sit on it that represent you? I didn’t see them running back to tell you that there were problems. Freedom of information did it, the news did it, everybody but the three guys, or whoever they are—ladies or men—that were representing you on that committee. So obviously, they may have done it too. They may have had some expenses that were questionable. I don’t know. It may come out. They may have been part of it. I don’t know.
So I’m really confused: Who’s in charge here? As Rod pointed out, where does the buck stop? The buck stops in your office, in your ministry, because you’re taking the taxpayers’ funds, and you’re deleting or putting them out, getting tenders and doing the things that you’re doing with good, hard-earned taxpayers’ money. You’re supposed to be overseeing and being accountable with any committee you set up. Any organization that’s receiving funds from you and the government should have proper oversight and accountability. This did not happen, obviously. This isn’t the first time this has happened under your government, and I’m sure it’s not going to be the last time.
But the bottom line here is, when do we smarten up? When do we start pretending that those dollars are your personal dollars and take care of them like any citizen would, as opposed to throwing it around and letting individuals who are high-profile individuals, educated individuals who should know—I would know not to put in a 97-cent parking ticket. I would know not to charge somebody for a latte. I would know not to charge somebody for my cleaning. I would know that. That’s morally wrong, to do that, but these people are running your organization for the Pan Am Games.
If I was there, or someone with my idealism, I would not be milking the system. So I think that these guys have been doing this so long from different organizations that it’s a sense of entitlement. This has gone on and on and on with Liberal debacles for years. They just think, “It’s okay to do that. It’ll go away. No one is going to say anything. We just won’t even mention it to the minister or the ministry.”
So the bottom line is here that they got caught again. Every time since I’ve been here, when the Liberal government gets caught—they have to get caught to bring it forward. They have to catch Mazza. They’ve got to catch all these guys. I wouldn’t have people in these positions that were doing that or had a history of doing that. This government has failed miserably. This ministry has failed miserably on oversight. You throw the word “accountability” around like it’s a done thing, that you’re going to be accountable. No, you’re not. It’s a disgrace these things keep going on and on and on and on and on. No wonder the public is disillusioned; no wonder they don’t like politicians; no wonder they say, “Oh, they’re all the same.” It’s this kind of stuff that does it. You’re sitting there telling me, “Oh,well, you know, they’re a separate entity.” That’s a bunch of baloney. They’re not a separate entity; they’re using taxpayers’ dollars from your ministry, from the taxpayers of Ontario. This nonsense, time and time again, has to stop.
What have you done, Minister, other than call them and say, “I don’t like it”? What have you done to put strict restrictions into that? Not allowing them to do it—you send down the orders, you send down the directives: “You will not do this anymore.” Have you actually set up a line of directives to deal with the things that happened so it’ll never, ever happen again? I doubt it. I doubt if you’ve done that.
So I’ve got a real problem with this whole system in this Legislature, when we’re handing out people’s money—hard-earned money. I’ve got 21% of the people, Minister, in my riding living below the poverty level, while these guys are charging 97 cents for a latte or whatever. How do I explain to the woman that comes into my office toting two kids, with nowhere to go and thrown out of her apartment because she can’t pay her hydro, when these guys are throwing around this kind of money? It’s an absolute disgrace. It has got to stop, and it has got to stop here and now. What do you say about that?
Hon. Michael Chan: Thank you for your very passionate and very partisan remarks. You stopped me a few times when I tried to explain to you the responsibility of different levels of organization, but then you, yourself, have been repeating, perhaps four or five times, what you just—wandering around with your political remarks. But I can understand that. I mean, you had a way to express yourself and try to gain whatever point you want to gain here.
Again, because your comments and your passion are everywhere, I’ll try to catch it here, just like the last time—catch it, you know, because it’s so long.
But allow me to get back to your previous one. You talked about the village, about this additional money and about these budgets. I said that you were wrong; you’re completely wrong; you’re totally wrong. I think if you listen carefully to my response now, I hope you understand that this athletes’ village is not another budget. I’ll prove it to you three ways.
Number one, this village is clearly stated in the bid book that it is outside the 2015 budget. So, if you now, suddenly, wake up and tell the whole world that this is additional money, you’re wrong.
Secondly, I again—
Mr. Paul Miller: Minister, are there two budgets or not? You said this morning that there are two budgets—yes or no? Is that second money for the village included in the $1.4 billion that you keep touting that you’re going to be within those guidelines? Is there two budgets, yes or no? Is the money for the village part of that, yes or no? I don’t need you to tell me I’m wrong, unless you can prove I’m wrong. You’re not proving I’m wrong. You haven’t answered me.
Hon. Michael Chan: Yes, I am.
Mr. Paul Miller: Is there two budgets?
Hon. Michael Chan: I am proving you you’re wrong.
Mr. Paul Miller: Is there two budgets?
Hon. Michael Chan: You take a long time wandering around with comments and questions. When I tried to tell you, I proved you wrong one time—the bid budget mentioned about all the infrastructure, and the bid budget was very clear to state that the village is outside that bid budget, okay? It’s written. I can show it to you.
Mr. Paul Miller: What do you mean “outside the budget”? You mean that it’s going to be additional funds from another source.
Hon. Michael Chan: The second proof that you are wrong: There was a release. There was a release in 2009—maybe you were sleeping at that time—
Mr. Paul Miller: I was sleeping?
Hon. Michael Chan: Yes.
Mr. Paul Miller: I think you’ve been sleeping for 10 years.
Hon. Michael Chan: In 2009, on April 26, there was a release out, a government release. Opposition party members probably would be very careful, watching all the government releases. That release clearly stated that the village is a provincial investment to develop the West Don Lands. Okay?
How about 2013? I hope you weren’t sleeping at that time. In 2013—
Mr. Paul Miller: Minister, with all due respect, you just said it yourself. You just contradicted yourself, with all due respect. You said that the village is provincial funding. What is the funding for the Pan Am committee? Their expenses: Is that not taxpayers’ money? Is that coming from private sources? Is that not a separate budget? Am I wrong? I guess I’m wrong. You’re telling me it isn’t. You’re telling me the money they’re all getting for the Pan Am committee and Mr. Troop and all that is not taxpayers’ money?
Hon. Michael Chan: You were asking—
Mr. Paul Miller: You’re confusing it. You’re mixing it up.
Hon. Michael Chan: —“Will this village funding be included in the 2015 budget?” I’m telling you, a long time ago it was stated “No.” In 2009, it stated “No.” In 2013, the provincial budget stated that this village is in addition to the 2015 budget, all right? So you have three occasions, one perhaps in 2009, another one in 2009, and another one in 2013 to understand that this is a government of Ontario investment to revitalize this land, and it’s not in the 2015 budget. Would that be clear to you?
Mr. Paul Miller: It’s clear to me, but I don’t think it’s clear to you. There are two separate budgets here. You’re telling me—you said this morning that there are two budgets. Now you’re telling me there’s just one, and it has nothing to do with the other one. The bottom line is, it all adds up to taxpayers’ expenditure. It all adds up in the end. When you forecast whatever it is for the actual Pan Am Games, you haven’t included the Pan Am village. It’s a separate entity, you said. Basically, that’s going to put up your prediction; your low prediction is going to go up with this additional revenue that’s required to do the village. It’s a separate entity. So you’re telling me now, “No, no, no, it has nothing to do with the Pan Am budget.” I was there and I was very awake, and that’s probably why you’re struggling today with your answers.
The bottom line here is—I just want to ask the deputy minister. Forget it; I’ll ask the deputy minister. Did you not say this morning that there are two separate budgets, one for the village and one for the Pan Am Games? They’re separate, right?
Mr. Steven Davidson: I wasn’t referring to the village; I was referring to the—
Mr. Paul Miller: Well, I’m referring to the village, then. Is it a separate budget? The government money that’s going to build the centre for the athletes: Is that separate?
Mr. Steven Davidson: As the minister noted, the village is a provincial investment, so the budget for the village is within the secretariat’s budget. I had mentioned the secretariat’s budget is within the estimates.
Mr. Paul Miller: So it’s a second budget, then.
Mr. Steven Davidson: It’s not in the TO2015 organizing committee’s $1.4-billion budget; it’s within—
Mr. Paul Miller: But we’ve been hearing all about the $1.4 billion, but I didn’t hear anything about the village being within the secretariat, a separate entity. Now we’re adding it together, so now it’s a little more than that in taxpayer dollars. Would the secretariat be using taxpayers’ dollars to build the village?
Mr. Steven Davidson: I think the 2013 budget was quite clear to indicate that this was an additional cost beyond the $500 million that the government was investing in the TO2015 budget, that this was an additional cost and it’s within the secretariat’s budget, on page 149.
Mr. Paul Miller: All right. Let’s move on, then. I’m not going to get an answer, here.
Hon. Michael Chan: You got the answer.
Mr. Paul Miller: Yes, I got the answer—
Hon. Michael Chan: You refuse to believe the answer. I gave you three documents to prove that you are wrong.
Mr. Paul Miller: —a little twisted, but I got it.
Minister, under what act has the regulation been implemented, who had input into the regulation and who is ultimately responsible for any infraction caused by the regulation?
Hon. Michael Chan: Please.
Mr. Paul Miller: You want me to repeat it?
Hon. Michael Chan: Yes, repeat it slowly, please. I’m sorry.
Mr. Paul Miller: Under what act has this regulation been implemented, who had input into the regulations, and who was ultimately responsible for any infractions caused by the regulations?
Hon. Michael Chan: What regulation are you talking about. Which regulation?
Mr. Paul Miller: What regulations? The ones that the board was going under, Mr. Troop and his group. Those regulations were put forward. You said that there were four things you put forward as a ministry. They had to follow those guidelines. So the regulations in place for expenditures, for anything else that Mr. Troop had under his auspice—who implemented it? Him? Did you send down the directive?
Hon. Michael Chan: Well, you mentioned four things that I said previously. I said four things here. The secretariat, you know, the P/PAGS, was created to do four things: to provide oversight to ensure a higher standard, to ensure provincial objectives were being met, and to coordinate all government ministries. So I don’t believe this is an act to create that. I’m telling you the function of the secretariat, the P/PAGS. All right? You talk about regulation here, so I don’t—
Mr. Steven Davidson: Just to clarify, the expenses policy—it’s not a government regulation. They are bound to comply with the broader public sector expenses directive, which provides, then, the requirement that they create their own policy, which they have done.
Mr. Paul Miller: So maybe you’re saying, then, that a regulation would be better than implementing their own policy. Would you think so?
Mr. Steven Davidson: A regulation would need to be done under a statute—
Mr. Paul Miller: That’s right.
Mr. Steven Davidson: —so there would need to be a regulation-making power.
Mr. Paul Miller: Right, legislated. Would that not be a better position?
Mr. Steven Davidson: Well, that would be a government policy decision.
Mr. Paul Miller: Ah, thank you.
How much time do I have?
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): About three and a half minutes.
Mr. Paul Miller: Okay. Once again—and maybe the deputy minister can answer this—given what happened at eHealth and Ornge and some of the other things that went on, can the minister or the deputy minister explain why the ministry did not take steps to prevent the kind of inappropriate expense claims that have come forward, to our knowledge? What steps did you do during the process—I’ve heard it was three weeks ago that he heard about the freedom of information, the media and all that, and 2010 was when these things started to happen, according to the audit—inappropriate whatever. Why didn’t you act before then? Why now? Why didn’t you do something when it started? Why didn’t you set out directives to Mr. Troop and his organization that would have stopped this type of behaviour so we wouldn’t be faced with this right now?
We had already gone through a few things, as you know, with Ornge, Mr. Mazza and all the things that had happened there, inappropriate spending and inappropriate direction of funds. It just amazes me that we’d be in this position again when this just recently happened with the other things. Why wasn’t something done? Why is it always after? Why isn’t it done before? Why didn’t you set it up so that this couldn’t have happened?
Hon. Michael Chan: He’s talking about 2010—
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): You have about a minute to answer this if you want to answer it. One minute.
Hon. Michael Chan: He’s talking about 2010, and I became the minister this year, so you’re talking about something where I do have to look into the situation for you, but then you keep talking about nothing being done.
We talked about this implementation of the policy, we talked about, after three months, the internal audit, so there’s a process there, and we keep an eye, even though it’s not my time there. But, you know, the government has been keeping an eye on the whole thing and—
Mr. Paul Miller: Well, they must have had a patch over the eye, Minister, because they missed something.
Hon. Michael Chan: —and now the item comes out, and we’ll be correcting it.
Mr. Paul Miller: Must have been a pirate.
Hon. Michael Chan: I mean, you can go back to 2010—I go back to 2009, something you should have known that you do not. So—
Mr. Paul Miller: Obviously not. I’m not informed.
Hon. Michael Chan: Look, right here, I think we have collectively—yes, it’s a situation that we are correcting. I told you that I acted. Three weeks ago it came to my attention and I acted immediately, and right now we’re in the process of correcting it. The board will be, I think November 1, at a meeting. They have to report to me. So I just want you to know that we are acting on it.
Mr. Paul Miller: Well, thank you, Minister. But this is 2013, not 2010.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Okay. We’re going to go to on to the government party now. Ms. Damerla.
Mr. Mike Colle: Why don’t you release Mr. Sergio? Give him a question—
Hon. Michael Chan: Well, ask him first, then.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Anybody who wants to ask—Ms. Mangat.
Mrs. Amrit Mangat: Thank you, Chair. Mr. Sergio, my question is that we all keep on hearing from demographers that Canada is an aging society, and my understanding is that there are 1.9 million people in the province of Ontario who are over the age of 65. Seniors are not just our parents, friends and neighbours; at some point in the future, we will all be seniors. What are you doing to create healthy and age-friendly communities?
Hon. Mario Sergio: Member, you’re quite right that we have a large number of seniors. They are aging and they are aging fast. We have—yes, you’re quite right, and I’m pleased to see that you have done your homework—about 1.88 million, 1.9 million seniors in Ontario. We are home in Ontario to some 38% of all Canadian seniors out of the 1.9 million seniors, and they live throughout our province. From the age of 55, 60, which we call “seniors,” until they reach the age of 100, every senior needs some type of care from time to time—different care.
As you know, we came into being as of February of this year. I have been called to play the role of minister for seniors, and we quickly realized that—and we knew that before, of course, but we quickly realized that seniors—it doesn’t matter where they live in Ontario—all want to live longer. They want to live better. They want to live healthier. They want to be more engaged in their community. They want to stay as active and as independent as much as possible.
Of course, as I started to travel throughout Ontario and meet with various groups and organizations, we realized that we had quite a bit of challenges and opportunities. So, for me as minister and for the government, the challenge was to provide our seniors with all the means and the care to see that indeed they will go on aging gracefully and being provided all the services that they need.
But at some point in time, we also realized—and this came into being in 2010—that it was not enough to say that we have retirement homes, we have seniors as residents in retirement homes, and that is fine. We have some 700 retirement homes. We have some 55,000 resident occupants in there. We felt that it was not enough, considering the needs of the senior population, to see that they just live longer, that they have to live better; otherwise, living longer, if they don’t live better, is very difficult.
We felt that it was time to regulate retirement homes to provide not only a sense of security for the residents but for the families as well. We have, if you will, a double system, because the seniors living in long-term-care homes were already regulated, but the seniors living in retirement homes were not regulated.
So, in 2010, we legislated all retirements to be regulated and passed the Retirement Homes Act. We also approved the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority, where all the components of looking after retirement homes came into being. So if there were inspections, if there were complaints—whatever—they were all through the regulatory authority. Licences came from there as well. As of July 1 of last year, every retirement home that wanted to operate in the province of Ontario had to apply and get a licence.
Then again, we wanted to go further than that. Of course, there was a bunch of regulations that went along with the Retirement Homes Act and retirement homes so that every caregiver knew exactly the type of care to provide the seniors in their own residence.
Then we felt that there were other seniors in need of other measures, other care. I think you mentioned the demographics as well. We have created a bunch of other plans and programs, if I may, and I think I have supplied every member with the latest community planning guide for seniors. We have provided the other guide to seniors and programs, which has been updated. It has been well received. There is vast information in there.
So, within that, and this past year—no, I think it was this year, actually, earlier this year. Within the Ontario Action Plan for Seniors, we created a bunch of other programs and services that would address the needs of various seniors at various stages. One was the age-friendly program, the Seniors Strategy, the Finding Your Way program and others as well.
Why did we do that? Again, because we felt that if we want to see that our seniors are living longer and better, we had to provide other measures, other assistance, for seniors, wherever they may be living. To give them a choice, I think, was one of the most important things that we could do and recognize. I think this was one of the challenges that we had to address: that seniors want to be given the opportunity to choose. They want to be given a chance, and they need the tools. We were there to provide the tools for them, how to live within their own environment, as long as possible, independently.
If seniors have a choice, Mr. Chair, they do want to live longer and better and healthier and be active in their own environment, especially if it’s their own homes, where they spend, perhaps, the best part of their lives. But there are times when a condition no longer permits that, and then we have the long-term-care homes, we have the retirement homes, and family members, or seniors themselves, have a choice. So we want to provide all of that.
In all of that, then we said that we have to make sure that in whatever type of residence they are, they have to be safe. We also, as a first for us, when we introduced, in 2003, I believe, or earlier, the elder abuse—that is widespread. We have to say, Mr. Chairman, through you to the member, that the variety of abuses on our seniors often comes at the hands of their own family members. Unfortunately, often many abuses go unnoticed because the person taking the abuse does not, for fear, come forward, and doesn’t say anything.
We tried to change all of that. We tried to make it very, very open. We legislated; we’ve put in there some $8 million, as I said before, since 2003, to prevent elder abuse. We instituted the zero-tolerance policy, the whistle-blower policy.
We did that because the abuse of seniors can take many formats. It can be financial, which is a big issue. It can be physical. It can be personal. It can be mental. It can be verbal. It can be sexual—whatever. We felt that the zero-tolerance policy must be adhered to, and we felt that by providing all the information in training the caregivers in whatever sector they’re living in, we believe that there are people who will notice, at some point in time, early enough, when a senior is being abused. It has been extremely well-received. I have to say that this is one of the ways of providing our seniors with the tools so that they can make that choice and live a healthy, long, independent life.
I have to say, Chair, to you and to the member, that we may not realize, but our seniors are living longer and living better. They still provide an immense type of help and assistance to the general community and to the government as well.
Then there is the financial aspect. Why is it important for us, as a government, and I believe this is the aim of every member of the House, that seniors do live healthier and longer? I don’t have to tell you that, especially in health care, we have been going, in the last year or two, through tremendous changes, tremendous reform. It’s very expensive to take care of our seniors—very expensive. If a senior occupies a bed in a hospital, it costs about $1,000 a day, so it’s in our best interest to see that that senior moves out of the hospital bed as quickly as possible. If that particular senior or whatever—it may not necessarily be a senior—goes into a long-term-care home, the cost is about $170 or $180 a day. If we can manage to even do better and provide services to that particular person, or seniors, in our case, in their own home or residence or wherever it may be, then it’s even better because it costs much less, about $75 or $80 a day.
What does this tell us? It tells us that seniors want to live in their own environment, but we must provide the care as well. This is where another aspect of assisting seniors in many ways comes into place: providing more home care, more hours. We have seen some of the changes in the past year or so, where we’ve been saying that if you’re discharging someone from the hospital and you send them home and you have to wait three weeks for particular help, that’s no help at all. It’s no help at all to the government, to the health care system, or to the patient and their family members as well, because within 24 hours that patient is going to be back in the hospital, so it’s going to cause more pain for everybody, and especially, financially, for the hospital and the government as well. I’m saying that because it’s an all-encompassing aspect when we talk about seniors.
I don’t know if maybe I have overextended a little bit in answering your questions.
Mrs. Amrit Mangat: No, it’s fine. Thank you for explaining it in detail. I really appreciate it.
Hon. Mario Sergio: You’re welcome.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Further questions? Ms. Damerla.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: Thank you, Chair. Minister, I just want to compliment you—
Mr. Mike Colle: So can Mr. Sergio go?
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Is there a request—
Hon. Michael Chan: Maybe he wants to stay.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): No, but I have to ask at this point: Are there any members from any party that may have questions for Mr. Sergio before the end of the process, which could be tomorrow? So it’s today or tomorrow. Does anybody think they have any questions?
Mr. Paul Miller: No.
Mr. Rob Leone: It’s 15 hours for sure.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Okay. Mr. Sergio, we thank you. But if you could make you and your staff available tomorrow, because at any time you could be recalled. But there’s no sense in you sitting here in the unlikely event that that will happen. So don’t leave the country, is what I’m saying.
Hon. Mario Sergio: No—I thank you and I thank the member. We have the deputy here. We have the assistant deputy here. We have other staff. They’ll all be available at your call.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): I know, and if they need to be called, we will let you know, but if not, we thank you for your participation.
Hon. Mario Sergio: Thank you very much, and I will submit my passport to the office tomorrow. I won’t be leaving the country.
Thank you very much, Chair and members.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Just hold on while the room partially clears. It will be a little noisy here for a moment.
Mr. Rob Leone: A two-minute recess?
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): I have a request for a two-minute recess. Okay, We’ll take a two-minute recess, beginning now.
The committee recessed from 1734 to 1737.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Two minutes have now expired. We would go back, then, to the government. Ms. Damerla, you have five minutes, starting now.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: Finally. Thank you, Chair.
Minister, I’d like to begin by complimenting you on something, and that’s the fact that with most multi-sport games, people expect the capital project to go over budget and over time. But here we are in a situation with the Pan/Parapan games, one of the largest games ever—the largest Pan/Parapan games. It’s larger than the Vancouver Olympics, and it’s going to come under budget and on time, so well done.
Now, Minister, I’ve always felt that transparency is a two-way street. You can put all the information out there, but if people don’t read it, it does you no good. The confusion that I’ve heard from the opposition side earlier around things like where does the athletes’ village fit in—well, the athletes’ village, right from the beginning, if anybody bothered to look at the documents, it was very clear in the original bid document that the Pan/Parapan games were different and the athletes’ village was separate.
That brings me to the confusion that the opposition seems to have also around the roles, the two very distinct roles, of the Pan Am secretariat and TO2015. Could you, Minister, please explain why we have these two very different organizations, two boards, and how there is no duplication?
Hon. Michael Chan: Thank you very much for your comment about the capital projects. Yes, they’re really on time and under budget, and the capital projects—some of them will be finished earlier than the time scheduled. But really, the credit belongs to IO, Infrastructure Ontario, TO2015, and also the previous minister, Minister Charles Sousa. So, you know, I’d love to take that credit, but really, those people worked hard on that one.
In terms of information not read by other people, I can’t explain. I mean, if they choose not to read and not to believe, then I can’t do much about that. But the fact is that—for example, the village. I mean, on three occasions—in 2009, again in 2009, and in 2013—it was very clear that this is provincial funding, and that it does not belong to the 2015 budget.
Look, in terms of responsibility, we share responsibility in terms of hosting these games. One, by TO2015—they had a budget to run it. At the same time, the hosting jurisdiction also had the responsibility to carry out the function as a host, and it’s not uncommon. It’s very, very common when you compare it to the Vancouver Olympic games and compare it to the upcoming Commonwealth Glasgow games, and also the previous games, the London Olympics. The hosting jurisdiction always participates with additional funding.
You know what? Even Toronto had original funding—or a budget—with 2015, and recently, I think it was a month ago, I was so pleased to hear Toronto that is adding another $20 million to enhance the games.
So in terms of the hosting jurisdiction, it’s always that way. It’s been going on for all the past games. Again, people probably know that because people are telling me who are in the sports arena, and in their younger years they participated in sports. I really believe that they know these facts, but then, if they choose not to believe it, maybe this opportunity will tell them exactly what it is: that 2015—yes, to deliver, to stage the games, they had a budget. At the same time, as the host jurisdiction, we do participate, just like the Vancouver Winter Olympics, just like the London Olympics, and just like the Glasgow games.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: Thank you. How much time do we have left?
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): You have about one minute.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: Okay. Minister, you took very quick and decisive action as soon as you found out about some inappropriate expenses at Toronto 2015. Could you explain to the committee exactly what you did?
Hon. Michael Chan: Thank you for asking, and thank you for allowing me to repeat 10 more times.
Really, three weeks ago, it came to my attention, and I acted. People asked me, “Did you write a long letter or long guidelines?” No, I phoned. I picked up the phone and phoned them. It has been confirmed by the previous chair, and also the current chair, Mr. David Peterson. I think yesterday he also confirmed that I have asked the board to relay the message to fix it.
So this is all that I have done, but too bad the time is over; otherwise, the deputy could explain to you the process about this accountability, transparency and how we engaged the 2015 operation as well as the board.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: Thank you.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): And thank you. We will now go to the Conservatives. It is now, being the time—you have 20 minutes, but obviously we will expire before then. You have till approximately 6 o’clock.
Mr. Rob Leone: Mr. Chair, before we begin, I would like to move a motion.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Go ahead—oh, at this time, then, we’re going to suspend the questioning period so that you’ll have 20 minutes when you come back.
Mr. Rob Leone: Okay. And yes, there are copies available.
Mr. Mike Colle: Excuse me, what are we doing?
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): He’d like to move a motion that’s being distributed.
Mr. Rob Leone: Mr. Chair, I move that the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport release all audits and FIPPA agreements given to the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport related to all expenses of the 2015 Pan Am and Parapan games, from January 1, 2010 to October 1, 2013, to the Standing Committee on Estimates by 10 a.m. Wednesday, October 2, 2013.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Speakers? Mr. Leone and then Ms. Damerla.
Mr. Rob Leone: Thank you, Mr. Chair. I noted with interest earlier today that during the presentation by the minister and the deputy minister, internal audits have been prepared for these expenses. These documents already exist. Since these documents already exist, we feel that it’s simply a matter of transmitting these documents to the committee, and we feel that it can be done by 10 a.m. tomorrow and distributed to committee members via the Clerk.
We’re very hopeful that this motion is in keeping with the spirit of accountability to understand exactly what has transpired with all these expenses. We feel that it will help us in our deliberation with questions and comments related to these expenses, which have certainly preoccupied a great portion of the opposition’s questions in this regard.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Ms. Damerla.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: Thank you, Chair. Given that we had no prior intimation or notice of this motion, we’d like a recess.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Would you be seeking a recess of longer than 12 minutes? Because if you are, I will adjourn for the day.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: We may as well adjourn for the day.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): All right. A recess has been requested, and because it’s more than 12 minutes, we will stand recessed until tomorrow, at approximately 3:45.
This committee stands adjourned till tomorrow.
The committee adjourned at 1746.
Tuesday 1 October 2013
Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport E-127
Hon. Michael Chan
Hon. Mario Sergio
Mr. Steven Davidson
STANDING COMMITTEE ON ESTIMATES
Chair / Président
Mr. Michael Prue (Beaches–East York ND)
Vice-Chair / Vice-Président
Mr. Taras Natyshak (Essex ND)
Mr. Mike Colle (Eglinton–Lawrence L)
Mr. Joe Dickson (Ajax–Pickering L)
Mr. Michael Harris (Kitchener–Conestoga PC)
Mr. Rob Leone (Cambridge PC)
Mrs. Amrit Mangat (Mississauga–Brampton South / Mississauga–Brampton-Sud L)
Mr. Taras Natyshak (Essex ND)
Mr. Rick Nicholls (Chatham–Kent–Essex PC)
Mr. Michael Prue (Beaches–East York ND)
Substitutions / Membres remplaçants
Ms. Dipika Damerla (Mississauga East–Cooksville / Mississauga-Est–Cooksville L)
Mr. Rod Jackson (Barrie PC)
Mr. Paul Miller (Hamilton East–Stoney Creek / Hamilton-Est–Stoney Creek ND)
Also taking part / Autres participants et participantes
Mr. Rick Nicholls (Chatham–Kent–Essex PC)
Clerk / Greffier
Mr. Katch Koch
Staff / Personnel
Mr. Jerry Richmond, research officer,