STANDING COMMITTEE ON ESTIMATES
COMITÉ PERMANENT DES BUDGETS DES DÉPENSES
Wednesday 2 October 2013 Mercredi 2 octobre 2013
The committee met at 1558 in room 151.
MINISTRY OF TOURISM,
CULTURE AND SPORT
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): This meeting is called to order. I’ve just seen that we’re at orders of the day, so we may commence.
We are here to resume the consideration of estimates of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. There is a total of one hour and 54 minutes remaining. When the committee adjourned, we were in the process of dealing with a motion. Following the motion, the official opposition has 20 minutes remaining in their rotation.
When the committee was adjourned, as I said, we were in the middle of the debate of the PC motion. The floor is open to the Conservatives on their motion. A request for an adjournment had been asked for by Ms. Damerla and was granted, and therefore, we are back to the motion.
Mr. Rob Leone: Thank you, Mr. Chair. I do note that in the motion that we were putting forth yesterday, the deadline was for earlier today, so that deadline has since passed. So, Mr. Chair, I would like to withdraw that motion and introduce a new one.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): First of all, I have to rule on that. It does not require a vote. The motion has been withdrawn and therefore is withdrawn.
The floor is yours again.
Mr. Rob Leone: Thank you, Mr. Chair. I would like to move that the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport release all audits and Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act agreements given to or conducted by 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 2, 2013, to the Standing Committee on Estimates by 2 p.m., Thursday, October 3, 2013.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): We have a motion duly made. Any debate?
Mr. Rob Leone: I do, Mr. Chair.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Mr. Leone.
Mr. Rob Leone: Mr. Chair, I do want to begin my remarks by providing perhaps a rationale for why such a motion at this juncture is necessary. I know that a lot of members of this committee and a lot of members of the Legislature, even members of the broader public, are very interested in what is transpiring with the Pan Am/Parapan Games. Therefore, it has garnered, I think, a significant amount of attention outside of the halls of Queen’s Park and certainly in the media. If we look at the media clippings over the last few days, this has certainly been one of those moments and one of those issues that people have questions about. They are perhaps emailing members or perhaps emailing the minister different questions about these sorts of things.
At this point in time, we believe that it’s absolutely necessary that we have the facts on the table. I think all of us, all members of the committee—our task is to review the estimates and to ensure that the numbers that are given to us and provided to us are accurate. Certainly over the deliberations of the past couple of days, we have seen, I think, a little bit of discussion, if not dispute, over the numbers and what is contained, how many budgets actually, in fact, exist and so on.
I also want to note, Chair, that we are here at the estimates committee. I believe we have about one hour and 15 minutes remaining with this minister. It is—
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): No, no. In fact, I have said one hour and 54 minutes remain.
Mr. Rob Leone: Fifty-four minutes? One hour and 54 minutes. I wrote that down wrong, and I appreciate the fact that it was corrected. There’s one hour and 54 minutes left with this minister. We actually need the opportunity to review the documents that are going to be put forth before us and to actually ask the minister questions about them.
That’s the reason why yesterday we moved a motion to have the information released in an expeditious manner: so that we could have those audits present with us and for us to deliberate, and I ask the minister, since we have him this evening and this afternoon here in the estimates committee. It’s why we want to ensure that we get a timely response from the minister with respect to these audits.
Now, during the testimony and the discussions that were interchanged over the last little while, over the last couple of days in estimates and in the House, we have heard a lot of varying things about what has transpired and the fact that these internal audits have, in fact, been completed. We are happy to hear that there are internal audits available. That means that documents have been analyzed, assessed and reported on. We would like to have access to those audits so that we can ask the appropriate questions of the minister while he’s still here in the estimates committee.
So it’s vitally important for us to obtain the documentation that we’re requesting. We believe these documents are easily accessible. They are documents that can be transmitted in an appropriate time frame to the committee. That we can have those documents in our hand in a very short time frame, I think, would help members of this committee in deliberating over the issues and the matters that we have, particularly with respect to the Pan Am Games.
Now, one of the reasons why I think the estimates committee has undertaken to provide documents and ask for and request documents, as is our right—we have an unfettered right to people, papers and things—is, when we don’t have answers to the questions that are before us, we have to have an opportunity to find and explore and do other things that may allow us to get closer to those answers.
I know during the gas plant issue, when we had the Minister of Energy a year ago, we were doing the same kinds of deliberations at that time—more than a year ago at that time. When we weren’t getting the answers to the questions that we had, we actually requested documents. That request for documents was far more far-reaching than this request. We believe that this one is actually far easier to achieve and to accomplish because the audits that were discussed at committee yesterday should be readily available. It is our opportunity in the estimates committee to talk about those things that will allow us to get closer to the truth.
I’m sure some of my colleagues might want to chat a bit about what transpired during that and why, but I did want to make the parallel with respect to the gas plants issue that was before estimates last year in the sense that we’re trying to obtain and ascertain the different kinds of documents that would allow us to get to the truth.
When we hear things about multiple budgets, perhaps the athletes’ villages not being included or included, and when we hear stories about the kinds of expenses that have been popular in the media, these are obviously questions that the public has a great deal of interest in. We need not actually delve too much into the other scandals and fiascos of the government with respect to Ornge and eHealth to know that the only way we actually start to get answers to these questions is if we make further inquiry. If this information isn’t forthcoming when we ask simple questions and don’t get the direct answers we require, we have to actually engage in extra matters and look into different things.
We believe that this audit and the audits that were discussed yesterday in committee would give us an opportunity to further raise the issues that are important and pertinent to examining the estimates of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. These are very important elements that could potentially cost billions of dollars. We know already that, at one estimate, the cost of the games is going to be $1.4 billion. We’ve long maintained in the Ontario PC caucus that that cost is actually going to be astronomically higher than that which was stated already. So we have to have the opportunity and ability to get to the bottom of what has transpired.
I remember that my good friend the member from Perth–Wellington had to go to a freedom-of-information request to look at the expenses of what was transpiring at the horse racing panel. We obviously exposed some things with regard to that simply by getting the proper documentation to analyze the expenses of that ministry.
There’s a pattern here, Chair, that I want to bring to the attention of the committee. When we are looking at and exploring different avenues, it’s not simply asking questions and not getting those answers, but the only way we actually start to get the answers to these questions is if we go through, I think, extraneous processes to extract documentation to actually get to the bottom of what has happened.
That’s why, very simply, we are in the business of trying to understand what has transpired with the Pan Am Games. We want to make sure, I think as everyone else does, that everything is being done above board, that protocols are being followed, that expenses that have been filed have been filed appropriately, and where there has not been appropriate reporting of that information, that the appropriate resource is sought. Only when we, as members of the Legislature, have that information at our disposal are we able to get to the bottom of certain things.
So this motion, Chair, seeks to do that with particular reference to the expenses that have been reported and the audits that have taken place. The motion talks about a particular timeline. I believe the timeline that we’re interested in is the timeline between January 1, 2010, and October 3, 2013. We realize that this timeline has been and is longer than the minister’s tenure as the minister responsible for the Pan Am Games, but obviously he is the minister right now who has to account for these things.
Again, going back to what we did in the gas plants issue here at estimates, we note that the minister of the day was not the minister when all the kerfuffle, if you will—and I don’t know how that’s going to be transcribed in Hansard—wasn’t the minister, but he had to account for what happened and what transpired before him. I know my good friend from Barrie, today in the Legislature, did ask some pertinent questions to the Minister of Finance, who was the minister responsible for the Pan Am Games prior to Minister Chan being given that responsibility in his capacity as the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.
So we have at issue here, Chair, the fact that we have questions that are still outstanding; we don’t have the answers to those questions. We require those answers in order to perform the duties of this committee. It is a great deal of time that we’re looking at, but apparently, as we learned in committee, these audits already exist. So this is simply a matter of transmitting, particularly if they’re in an electronic format, sending an email to members of this committee so that we have the ability to ask these questions.
An hour and 54 minutes is not a whole lot of time. That is basically one 20-minute rotation and one 18-minute rotation remaining for each party to discuss the issues at hand. That’s not a whole lot of time.
One of the reasons, again, that we wanted to push this yesterday—and I note that the governing side did ask to have a recess which adjourned this debate to today—one of the reasons why we wanted to have that information at our disposal this morning was to be able to ask the minister this afternoon pertinent questions with respect to those audits. Now, I know that would have required us to do some very fast reading. I know that the member for Barrie, who has been on this file for a very long time, is a quick reader, so we were happy to turn around the kinds of questions we might ask in a very short time frame. But given the fact that the deadline is past its due date of this morning—yesterday’s motion; that is, we’re pushing forward with a new motion that says that we should get this information by 2 p.m. on October 3.
That timeline, we feel, is very appropriate. It allows us to spend a little bit more time reviewing that audit, because now we’ll have the weekend to also do that. I think that it’s an appropriate timeline and time frame for all of us to have those deliberations, and very important.
I’ve listened to and reviewed the Hansard of the committee and of the minister during his deliberations. Questions have been asked, not just today and yesterday, but he has been asked, particularly by the member from Barrie, about this file. I know that the member from Hamilton East–Stoney Creek, who is now in the Speaker’s chair, wishes he could have been here today to talk about this motion and add some of his commentary on it.
But at the end of the day, we feel that when it comes to responsibility and accountability on the Pan Am file, we are still severely lacking in what we’ve heard and what we know that exists today. We have an inability to get the answers to the questions that we need. We are looking for a modicum of responsibility to be shown with respect to what has transpired.
One of the things that I think has agitated me since I’ve become the member for Cambridge is that, when we ask questions about certain expenses and certain things, the automatic government response is, “Well, I don’t really know what you’re talking about until you can prove otherwise.” It’s only when we can prove otherwise that they say, “Oh, yeah, you’re right. I’m sorry.” Well, it shouldn’t be that way.
I know that the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure made a big deal in the Legislature today that the Premier is telling the cabinet ministers to be forthcoming with things, that they don’t want to wait for the problem to come to the surface; they should fix the problem before it happens. Well, if that’s the case, there should be no disagreement with this motion that we have presented today. This is what apparently has been discussed around the cabinet table. The Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure stated so in the Legislature.
I want to also note that I acknowledge and appreciate the fact that the minister has stated that the expenses that we’re talking about are in bad taste. Yet another review is being done, but the deadline for that review is November 1. November 1? Why do we have to wait that long? Certainly, November 1 will allow the minister to escape the scrutiny that the estimates committee could provide in terms of those expenses, to ask the very serious and important questions that we have. I think it’s only appropriate that members of this committee do their due diligence and support this motion because it’s about understanding what has transpired. Let’s get the facts on the table. If there are outstanding questions, let’s talk about them, and hopefully we can start getting the answers that the people are demanding of us.
This isn’t about Conservative, Liberal or NDP; it’s what the people want. They want their government to be accountable and responsible for the decisions and actions that they have taken. Only when we can get that information are we able to have a further appreciation of what that means.
A $1.4-billion budget, a 62-person Pan Am Secretariat with an operating budget of $54 million, $10 million of which is outside the Pan Am Games budget of $1.4 billion—this is information that has come to light. This is the information that we’re seeing day in and day out in the media. This is what people are talking about, what they’re thinking about when they’re reading it in the newspaper and talking about what has transpired at the water cooler in the offices.
This isn’t small money, either. This is money that’s obviously important. When you have a government that has consistently failed to balance its books with crushing and mounting debt, we have, I think, an obligation, as members of this Legislature, to ask the appropriate questions to ensure that accountability is maintained. Hopefully at the end of the day, if there has been activity that is not in keeping with the aims, principles and protocols that have been established by the Legislature and the government, appropriate recourse is taken and action is revealed with respect to that.
Chair, I wholeheartedly support the motion. I think that all members of this committee should consider the merits and the appropriateness of what has transpired. I hope, at the end of the day, that this motion receives, obviously, the debate that it deserves, but also the support that it merits on the basis of the fundamental principle of parliamentary democracy.
Chair, my remarks are stated on that. I could go on and talk about why we believe the minister has not asked the—
Mr. Mike Colle: Point of order.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): On a point of order, yes.
Mr. Mike Colle: Can we just call the question and call the vote?
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): No, you can’t. When it’s your turn, you can, but he has 20 minutes, and he has used up about 18 of them so far. At the end of two minutes, I will recognize the next speaker for the next action that you wish to take.
Mr. Rob Leone: Mr. Chair, I realize the member for Etobicoke–Lakeshore wants to call the question and end this debate pretty quickly, but I do want to state appropriately that the issue at hand is that we need to have these documents to appropriately ask the minister.
Mr. Mike Colle: Yes.
Mr. Rob Leone: Look, I’m not disagreeing with you. I hope you’re going to support it on the basis of doing that, but the idea here—I’m sure members on this side, Mr. Harris and Mr. Jackson, want to speak to this because of the vital importance of this issue. I’m not belabouring this, Mr. Colle. I think that it’s obvious that we want to ask the minister questions about these documents.
Mr. Mike Colle: Yeah, so let’s get on with it.
Mr. Rob Leone: Well, if we’re going to ask the minister questions about these documents, we want to have those documents in our possession. I’m not making any quarrel about this. I’m suggesting the obvious: that we need these documents to ask—for the remaining one hour and 54 minutes, we want to be asking and directing questions about these audits and these expenses to the minister. So we’re going to have some folks who want to talk about this issue, and they should because it’s a very important and vital aspect of what we’re doing here.
I don’t know how much time I have left, Chair.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): One minute.
Mr. Rob Leone: Well, on the basis of that, again, I urge all members of this committee to talk to this issue. I hope that the debate is fulsome and that everyone has an opportunity to participate and discuss this. Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
Mr. Mike Colle: Point of order.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): I have a point of order.
Mr. Mike Colle: I’d like to call the question on the motion.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): That’s not a point of order. If you wish to be on the list, I can put you on the list to debate. That would be the next speaker after Mr. Jackson.
Mr. Mike Colle: But isn’t the motion—
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): It’s not a point of order, though. A point of order is when something is going wrong.
Mr. Mike Colle: —to call the question?
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): It’s not so that you can interject and take the place of someone who’s ahead of you in the speaking rotation.
Mr. Mike Colle: By calling for the vote on the motion?
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): You can put that forward if you want.
Mr. Mike Colle: Yes, that’s what I’m doing.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Okay, that’s not a point of order. You were calling for the vote.
We have a request that the vote now be called.
Mr. Mike Colle: Recorded vote, please.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Yes. I don’t know whether there are other people who want to speak. We have certainly heard 20 minutes from the Conservative Party. Are there other people who want to speak? I know I’ve got two more Conservatives wanting to speak. Are there others who want to speak to this issue? No one else wants to speak to the issue.
Ms. Damerla, do you want to speak to the issue?
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): All right. Then I will recognize you, and then Mr. Jackson and then Mr. Harris, because if there are people who want to speak, we have to hear them.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: I just want to reinforce the idea that we should just go for a vote.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Well, no. In my opinion, there has only been one speaker to the issue. Now there have been two, and we’ve had two calls for the vote. I’m sure people want to vote. I would ask, then, Mr. Jackson and Mr. Harris, if you could briefly state your opinions, and we can get on with this.
Mr. Rod Jackson: Thank you, Chair. This is a file that I’ve been on almost since the day I was elected, close to two years ago now. Up till now, there have been a lot of questions that haven’t been answered. I think that the ability to actually have these questions answered through some of the information that would come through in the audit would be very valuable to this committee. Certainly, the time that we would need to actually review the audit material meaningfully and to be able to question the minister based on that audit material is going to be critical.
I’ll refer to some of the FOIs that I’ve put forward and some of the, frankly, lacking responses I’ve got. This only illustrates the reason why we need this information. On May 30, 2013, I requested the itemized list of expenses, including travel costs incurred by the TO2015 Parapan American Secretariat for the trips to Guadalajara, Mexico, London in the United Kingdom and even in Jamaica. What I got back was actually extremely lacking. I got the cost of plane tickets and hotel. Clearly that is the travel cost but not expenses. Clearly, the request I had was expenses including travel costs.
This is just an example of some of the blocking and obfuscation that we’ve had by the secretariat and by TO2015 about getting the information we need. Worse than that, Chair, is that this costs money. We have to pay for this freedom of information. It’s not so free when you have to pay for it.
It’s kind of disturbing, especially now in light of some of the information we’re getting. Even the minister has admitted that some of the information we’re getting back is frankly ridiculous, I think using his words or at least the Premier’s words. I would agree that this is not in the scope or the spirit of expenses for people who are being paid by the public to do a job—paid well, Chair.
The chair makes $477,000 a year. There’s a couple more who make over $300,000 a year. This borders—38 people on that board are on the sunshine list. That’s not including their expenses. Their expenses are upwards of $30,000 a year. So I want to know what those expenses are—
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): I would remind you, Mr. Jackson, that what we are debating is the motion put forward by Mr. Leone, not who’s on the board or how much they’re paid, but whether or not the minister should produce the documentation in the manner set out, which is by 2 o’clock tomorrow. That’s the motion, so if you would confine yourself to why the motion is a good motion rather than how much people earn on the committee, I would appreciate that.
Mr. Rod Jackson: Chair, with respect, that is pertinent to what I’m talking about. We need to find out exactly what the expenses are and the audit is of all these people on that board. The expenses that they have are a good portion of what their remuneration is.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: Chair, point of order.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): On a point of order, Ms. Damerla.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: Chair, I do get the sense that the opposition is just talking to delay. We all agree; we want to support this. Why don’t we just go for a vote? There is no dispute. We want to vote with you. We want to vote on this motion, and we want to support you, so I don’t understand—I mean, I understand why you’re talking this out, but please, this is not constructive.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): First of all, the Chair cannot take a point of order as Mr. Colle did and shut down debate. That is not parliamentary; it cannot be done.
I have to entertain those who wish to speak to the motion until I am satisfied that there is nothing else being said. I have cautioned Mr. Jackson to speak to the motion. Please speak to the motion. I anticipate that there are many in the committee who would like to go to a vote. If you could state why it’s a good reason to vote for it or not, I think that’s what’s parliamentary, and that’s what needs to happen, not whether or not there are people in the committee who are earning what you might consider exorbitant amounts of money or whether there has been money wasted. The issue is whether or not the minister or the ministry should be producing the documents you are requesting in the time frame you are requesting, which is tomorrow at 2 o’clock.
Mr. Rod Jackson: Thank you, Chair. Yes, it is critical that we have these documents produced. The expenses of the committee, as we’ve found up till now, are not being properly observed. We don’t have any indication that there’s anyone watching these expenses. We don’t have any indication so far, in writing, from the ministry, or any evidence whatsoever from the minister or from TO2015 that there is any accountability here for these expenses. So for us to actually get hold of these expenses and have the time—Chair, this is the critical piece to this, to have the time—to actually review these documents before we have an opportunity to question the minister is critical.
So far to date, as I’ve mentioned, in previous requests going back to 2011, we haven’t had a proper clarification of any of the expenses. In fact, we’ve been stonewalled on them and given only pieces of what the FOI has asked for, despite the fact the FOI was actually paid for. This is bad faith so far, and on top of that, what we’re looking at is potential bad-faith expenses. The more we look at these, the more important they become.
I want to know why they’ve been hidden so far. The expenses are a critical piece of accountability. We know that these people are being paid by the public purse. This money is coming out of all our pockets. I think people deserve to understand and appreciate exactly not only what the TO2015 organizing committee is expensing, but also what the secretariat is expensing on these trips. Many of these trips and responsibilities overlap with one another. So I think it’s critical that we actually find all this information and find out exactly what’s at stake here.
We all know that when you submit expenses, you’re accountable for them. As MPPs, we’re accountable for them, and we don’t get paid for them if we don’t even give receipts. We’ve already found, in the small FOIs that we have actually seen, that—
Mrs. Amrit Mangat: Chair, I have a point of order.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Point of order from Mrs. Mangat.
Mrs. Amrit Mangat: Can the member speak about the motion? He’s not talking about the motion.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): He is straying far from the motion. This is a very simple motion: whether or not the minister should produce the documentation in a timely manner by tomorrow at 2 o’clock. If you would speak to the motion why the minister ought to do it or why the committee members ought to vote to have it done, rather than straying into the extraneous areas, we would appreciate it very much.
Mr. Rod Jackson: With all due respect, Chair, I think I’ve been talking exactly about the expenses and the important need for them.
Mrs. Amrit Mangat: Talk to the motion.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: Talk to the motion, please.
Mr. Rod Jackson: The motion actually states, “I move that the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport release all audits and FIPPA agreements given to or conducted by 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 3, 2013, and report to the Standing Committee on Estimates by 2 p.m., Thursday, October 3.”
I don’t know what part of what I’ve been talking about isn’t pertinent to that at all, Chair, with due respect. I’ve been talking about the need for all expenses, not only for TO2015, but certainly for the secretariat as well. We’ve learned that there are two budgets, and I want to know what the expenses are for these two groups of people. We’ve seen a duplication of bureaucracy here, and if there’s going to be duplication of expenses and maybe even different rules around these expenses, it’s critical for us to get them under this audit. This is the only way we’re going to get it. It’s clearly the only way we’re going to get this: if we actually go and demand to get these from the ministry and then actually have the time to be able to question them. Without this motion going through, we won’t have the time to actually read the documents. We won’t have the proper time we need to interrogate the minister about these documents and find out exactly how to get to the bottom of these expenses. By his own estimation, these expenses are exorbitant, inappropriate and ridiculous, so let’s get to the bottom of the expenses—
Ms. Dipika Damerla: Chair, a point of order.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Another point of order from Ms. Damerla.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: He’s straying. All you need to talk about is the merits of why you want this motion, not whether expenses are—or the budget. You’re not speaking to the motion.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): I think her point is well made. I understand that the members may want to speak for a while in order to make sure that this goes on to the next day so that you’ll have a chance to look at it, but there are other avenues and other ways of doing that other than talking around the motion. Please, if you want to talk to the motion, do so. If you want a recess or an adjournment, that’s another way, but to speak endlessly about things that are not contained in the motion is not doing anyone any good here today.
I leave it to you. There are many parliamentary tools, and speaking endlessly around the motion is not one that I would countenance or agree to. So I would ask, Mr. Jackson, that you speak to the merits of the motion or cede the floor to your colleague Mr. Harris.
Mr. Rod Jackson: Thanks, Chair. Like I said, I don’t know how much more clear I can be about talking to the validity of this motion to get all the expenses that are incurred by the TO2015 committee. We know they’ve been less forthcoming. In fact, some receipts that we know of already—the reason we need this audit is because we want to really know exactly what is going on with these expenses. We know that certain expenses have been paid for without receipts, for example. I want to know how many more of those are going on. We’re only going to get that if we actually go through and find the audited version of the Pan Am Games.
It’ll be interesting, too, to find out whether this audit includes the secretariat and TO2015 or if it’s only indicative of one or the other. So to be clear, we need a list, an audited list, of all of these expenses. I think it’s incumbent on the minister to provide oversight for this. I want to see from these expenses what kind of oversight he has provided, this ministry has provided, this government has provided. We’re only going to get that from these audited documents.
Like I said today, we have not received any indication from them, not even that—I don’t even have faith that there is any oversight here. So it’ll be very interesting to see the results of these audits, when they happened, what the timelines are with respect to what the minister now and the previous minister knew before and after the audit about the expenses and what took them so long to act. The timelines here are actually critical about when we get hold of these expenses and our ability to question the minister about them.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Mr. Jackson, I have been very patient. Unless there is something new, I’m going to give the floor over to Mr. Harris. Is there something new that is based on the motion itself?
Mr. Rod Jackson: I’ve been talking about the motion now for several minutes, I think—
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): No, no, you’ve been talking around the motion. I do not sense from the members—and I have no idea how people are going to vote—that there is any opposition to this. If I am wrong, please tell me, but I anticipate that this is a routine motion, and I would ask that you either deal with the motion or cede the floor to Mr. Harris. Talking about everything else that’s around the motion and what you’re hoping might be produced is not what the motion is about. The motion is about the minister and the ministry producing the documents by tomorrow. That’s what the motion is. You’ve explained your rationale for wanting it.
I’m trying to be a fair Chair, but I don’t like dilatory practices at the best of times for any reason. If you don’t want to proceed today, and if you want a whole day to study this and don’t want to do anything else today, then please move an adjournment of the committee if that’s what you want, but please don’t continue to use this debate as some way of delaying how long it takes.
Hon. Michael Chan: Thank you, Chair.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): No, no, please don’t thank me. I don’t want to be thanked here. This is a thankless job, and I cannot be thanked.
Hon. Michael Chan: I apologize, Mr. Chair.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): This is a thankless job.
Mr. Jackson, if you have something to say about the motion, please say it; otherwise, I’m going to recognize Mr. Harris.
Mr. Rod Jackson: Can I call for a 10-minute recess?
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Okay. We have a request for a 10-minute recess, which is always in order. This committee is recessed for 10 minutes. Please be back promptly at a quarter to 5.
The committee recessed from 1635 to 1645.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): The meeting is resumed. Mr. Jackson, the floor is yours if you have anything to say around the motion itself.
Mr. Rod Jackson: Thank you, Chair. I think I’ve covered most of the ground I’d like to cover, and I cede the floor to Mr. Harris.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): I have Mr. Harris down as the next speaker.
Mr. Michael Harris: Thanks, Chair. I think it’s extremely important to give some context to the reason we’re doing this. I know there likely is agreement to this.
However, from the beginning of my elected career to the Legislature, back in October 2011, I had the opportunity to sit on the estimates committee, where we debated similar motions to this. They went on for some time. In fact, I just ran into Minister Zimmer coming down the stairs, and I had to recall some of his discussion points as we were going through similar motions to get information from the Ministry of Energy, when it came to power plants.
I think Ontarians, especially the constituents that I represent, send me here to ensure that—they can’t come to committee and sit in these chairs and ask the relevant questions of the minister pertaining to expenditures of the government or in this case specifically the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport related to certain expenses when it comes to some significant spending budgets with regard to the Pan Am Games. I think it is extremely important to give context to Ontarians as to why we’re asking for these things.
I recall the member across from me, who oftentimes would call many, many recesses to discuss with his colleagues pertaining to some of these motions that came about. It is extremely important.
Although there could be, and there likely is, agreement to this particular motion, I believe it is extremely important to give context as to why we’re putting this forward. We had similar motions back in estimates of the Ministry of Energy on similar requests for things, especially expenses and costs relating to the cancellation of the power plants. It took months and months and months to get those pertinent pieces of information to allow Ontarians the true transparency that we believe is important to them as those are the tax dollars that they send.
Again, I know Mr. Leone and Mr. Jackson spoke to the essence of the motion. I’m going to continue to speak to it. I remember the Minister of Energy, former Minister Bentley, often wanting to give context to what he was doing, and I think the onus is on us to give that same context to Ontarians who sent us here to protect the public’s purse. That’s simply what we’re doing here.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: Point of order, Chair.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): A point of order from Ms. Damerla.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: Chair, I’d like to ask the member opposite to stick to the motion and not go into the history of who he has met and hasn’t met. Thank you.
Mr. Michael Harris: Well—
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Excuse me. It’s not for you to ask; it’s for the Chair to ask, but your point is well taken.
Mr. Harris, I have allowed a little bit of leeway in the first minute or two for you to get to your point, but the point is why the committee should support the motion put forward by Mr. Leone and whether or not the facts contained in it are what you want. It is amendable; you can amend it. It is arguable on the facts that are before us in the motion. The rationale for you doing it is not so much an issue here today.
Mr. Michael Harris: All right. Well, I think it’s important to communicate why members of this committee should vote for this motion that Mr. Leone did, in fact, put forward. I see members of the committee are willing to move this motion forward.
I can’t assume anything. I think that we all know when it comes to commitments or promises that some of the parties in this Legislature oftentimes will say one thing and do another. I’m fearful that if we got to a vote—
Ms. Dipika Damerla: Point of order, Chair.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): On another point of order: Ms. Damerla.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: Speaking about party records, Chair: I don’t see how that pertains to the motion.
Mr. Michael Harris: I’m not speaking to your specific party. If you assumed that that’s the case, that’s your own prerogative.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: I’m not speaking to you; I’m speaking to the Chair.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Thank you for your interjection. I’m going to allow Mr. Harris to continue, but I do ask you to get to the point.
Mr. Michael Harris: Yes, well, I’m giving not only context but appealing to members of this committee. Like I had said before, I didn’t specifically name a certain party. I think we all know who I was talking about when it comes to making commitments and following through on things.
I see that there’s some sort of sense of agreement to this motion, but I think it’s important, Chair, to give members of the committee reasons as to why they should support this motion, and I feel that I need to outline those reasons. I’m sorry; I’m not going to take their word for it. We know how that has panned out in the past.
As my colleague Rod Jackson has stated, and we’ve seen this happen time and time again, when we’ve asked for things, they don’t always come. Or all of a sudden, there’s a memo to the committee tomorrow saying that—
Mr. Grant Crack: Point of order, Chair.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): On a point of order: Mr. Crack.
Mr. Grant Crack: I think if the member opposite would speak to the motion, it will be quite helpful. It appears to me that this is just a stall tactic, and I think we need to get on with the business at hand.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): I thank you for your interjection. I have dealt with this a number of times. I would remind Mr. Harris that I’m anxious that you continue with this.
We have a number of people who are here from the ministry. We have the minister, the deputy minister and a number of staff who I think we pay, if not handsomely, at least well. They are here, and they are not doing what they are supposed to do, which is to answer questions at the committee. They cannot answer the questions of the committee members until such time as we deal with this motion. This motion is fairly routine, and I would ask you to either get to the point or to finish.
If for some reason you don’t wish to deal with anything today, as I’ve explained to you, you have other tools. Simply talking in circles is not one of the tools that I will countenance. Please get to the point and do it rapidly, because I am starting to lose my patience, and I am a very patient man.
Mr. Michael Harris: No, I know that, Michael. We’ve tested that. In fact, the government has tested that. The member who just raised this very point of order has tested that time and time again, and I experienced that. I would hope that he would give me the same latitude when it comes to speaking to the motion.
Although yes, I agree with you, Chair, that members of the ministry are here, I think it is important and pertinent that they hear why this is so important for Ontarians to get this out as to why these audits that the ministry has performed are so important to Ontarians so that we can receive that information and ask the appropriate questions of the minister and the ministry pertaining to significant expenses that the taxpayer has and will continue to incur. Yes, you’re right: There are significant resources here. But I also believe it is so important for them to understand why we’re asking for this motion and to make sure that we’ve left nothing on the table when it comes to voting for the motion, that all members will unanimously support our call for these audits, but not only that: to understand and realize the importance of why we’re asking, and then what we’re going to do with those audits. Although the bureaucracy has done these things, it is important that the committee analyze these on behalf of taxpayers, the ones who, ultimately, we defend, and get those questions out appropriately.
As I had stated before, it’s important to give the context. Chair, you’ve asked me to explain my reasoning as to why this motion is important. The list goes on and on. We’re talking about $1.4 billion here. That’s significant. I understand people sitting in the gallery today are earning a wage, as we all are. I think there are significant dollars here at the committee table that are being spent by taxpayers.
But the taxpayers that I represent expect me to stand up and communicate the reasoning of the importance of this motion, because they can’t. They don’t have that opportunity. We do, and we need to communicate that to the best of our ability so that when a vote does come—
Ms. Dipika Damerla: Chair, point of order: If the member could please speak to the motion.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Your point is well taken and I think, Mr. Harris, I’m going to have to say that this has become extremely repetitive. I haven’t heard anything new, nor have I heard any arguments about the motion itself. I’m going to ask if there are any other speakers, and in the absence of that, I’m going to call the question. Are there any other speakers to this motion on the merits of the motion, or any amendments to the motion or anything else of relevance to the motion? Any other speakers? Seeing none—
Mr. Rob Leone: Twenty-minute recess, Chair.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Yes, that is totally in order. I have a request for a 20-minute recess, which is automatic. It must be granted. This is in advance of the vote, just so everybody knows. When you come back at a quarter past five, we will be voting on the motion.
The meeting is recessed until a quarter past five.
The committee recessed from 1655 to 1715.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): The meeting is called back to order. We will now deal with the question at hand, and that is the motion made by Mr. Leone.
All those in favour of the motion by Mr. Leone—
Mr. Rob Leone: Recorded vote.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): A recorded vote has been requested.
Campbell, Colle, Crack, Damerla, Dickson, Harris, Jackson, Leone.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): That would be unanimous.
It’s now back to the Conservatives. You have 20 minutes in which to question the minister.
Mr. Rob Leone: Mr. Chair, I’d ask for a 10-minute recess.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): It is, again, in order. A 10-minute-recess—
Mr. Mike Colle: You don’t want to ask the minister any questions? The minister is here; the staff is here.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): It is in order. A 10-minute recess has been requested, and we will come back again at about 26 or 27 minutes after 5.
The committee recessed from 1717 to 1722.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): We will now call the meeting back to order. The Conservatives: It is now your 20-minute rotation.
Mr. Rob Leone: Mr. Chair, I would move adjournment.
Mr. Mike Colle: Point of order—
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): No, there has to be proceedings. You’ll have to at least ask one question of the minister before I can do that.
Mr. Rob Leone: Minister, how are you?
Mr. Mike Colle: Point of order, Mr. Chair.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Yes?
Mr. Mike Colle: Mr. Chair, today we have all the ministry staff here. They’ve been here since 3:45. The minister and the deputy have been here to answer questions about the estimates. They’ve been waiting patiently—
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Yes, and the point of order is?
Mr. Mike Colle: The point of order is that I think we should get on with the business of the day, and that is to question the minister about the estimates that are before this committee and to do our job. We shouldn’t be playing these stalling tactics that offer no value to anyone, especially the public. We should get on with our job, and that is to question the minister on the estimates before us. An adjournment would basically mean that we’re not doing our job.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): There is not an adjournment at this moment. There may be an adjournment in short order. Your point is not well taken at this point.
The member has asked the minister how he is today. Minister, do you want to respond to that?
Hon. Michael Chan: Definitely. This is a very, very wonderful and very nice question. I actually feel great, and I’ll tell you why I am feeling great—
Mr. Rob Leone: Good answer. Mr. Chair, I move adjournment.
Hon. Michael Chan: I feel great about, so far, the success of Pan Am. It’s just fantastic. Chair, I’ll tell you why I think it’s a fantastic success so far. Since we landed Pan Am in 2009—
Mr. Rob Leone: Thank you for the answer. You’re doing well. It’s good. Thank you.
I move adjournment.
Hon. Michael Chan: I’m answering. Please do not interrupt. I thank you very much for your question.
Since we landed the 2015 Pan Am, we’ve huddled together, of course, and so far have done a fantastic job in terms of the capital projects.
Mr. Rob Leone: Thank you very much—
Hon. Michael Chan: All the capital projects so far, I think most of them are soil-turning. Many of them are half-completed. I would say that all of them, from the information I have, are on time and on budget.
The early indication that I have on numbers is about $50 million under budget. This is a tremendous success so far for Pan Am and the people who work in Pan Am, of course. They partnered with Infrastructure Ontario, which provides the expertise and guidance and planning and all that. This is really a tremendous partnership between the province of Ontario and Pan Am—
Mr. Rob Leone: All right. I have another question for you, Minister.
I’ll move adjournment, Chair.
Hon. Michael Chan: Chair, I haven’t finished answering this wonderful question. I feel so great, and he asked me how I am, so I’m excited to tell him why I feel so great.
Mr. Rob Leone: Well, you did already. Thank you.
Hon. Michael Chan: No, I haven’t finished.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Please—
Mr. Rob Leone: He stopped.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): I know he has spoken, but, please—if you would wrap up on how great you feel, because I don’t think anything is happening here in terms of what estimates are supposed to do. I mean, if we’re going to adjourn, let’s adjourn. If we’re not going to adjourn, then we’ll get into the real questions.
Is there anything else you want to tell us about how great you feel?
Hon. Michael Chan: Chair, I just want to continue to tell you the good news and why I’m feeling so great.
I’ll give you an example: The Pan Am aquatics centre and field house were done in Scarborough. The construction is really on the go, and that will meet the target. They will finish on time, perhaps under budget.
How about the other one here, the Pan Am/Parapan Am athletics stadium? That one will be also—
Mr. Rob Leone: Minister?
Hon. Michael Chan: —up at York University, and that one will be also going on as well.
Oh God, this one is great. I get so excited about this one. This one is happening in my own area—
Mr. Rob Leone: Oh, you should be excited.
Hon. Michael Chan: —which is the Markham Pan Am/Parapan Am Centre. I would invite the member, when you have time, to come on up to Markham to have a look at the construction. It’s such a good thing, a good feeling that these Pan Am capital projects are able to be in Markham, to be in other areas, because it really can be able, when the games come and go, to leave a fantastic legacy. What I mean, Chair, is that people can use those capital projects for many, many years to come.
I’ll give you another legacy here, Chair. We planned to talk—
Mr. Rob Leone: Point of order, Chair.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Point of order for Mr. Leone.
Mr. Rob Leone: I asked a simple question. I’m not sure I got a simple answer, and since I’m not hearing—
Hon. Michael Chan: Well, I don’t think your question is that simple—
Mr. Rob Leone: I’m satisfied, totally. He’s feeling great.
Hon. Michael Chan: I’m excited about talking about how great it is.
Mr. Rob Leone: He said it in a few words; he’s feeling so excellent and great.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): I can see from all sides of this room that people are good at speaking. Mr. Leone, back to you for questions, or whatever.
Mr. Rod Jackson: Chair?
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Mr. Jackson.
Mr. Rod Jackson: May I call for a 10-minute recess, please?
Ms. Dipika Damerla: No.
Mr. Mike Colle: He hasn’t asked any substantive questions.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: There’s no reason.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): No, but he did get a substantive answer.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: Depending on the question; he answered the question.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): All right. I am bound to grant the request for a 10-minute recess.
However, as the Chair, it is my responsibility to make sure that the meeting flows smoothly, that the estimates committee gets its job done, which is the questions of the minister and the responses from the minister on the estimates themselves. We have in total only five hours with this particular minister. We had one hour and 54 minutes when we started. We probably have about one hour and 50 minutes left. I don’t know; I’m only guessing.
But this, I think, must be frustrating to all members. I’m going to grant the recess, but I’m not going to grant a recess every time it’s requested when it’s one question, one recess, one question, one recess. I want the members to know that we simply cannot go on like this.
This will be a recess for 10 minutes, but when we come back, I assume that we’re going to get on with the business of the committee. The meeting is recessed for 10 minutes. We’ll be back at a quarter to 6.
The committee recessed from 1734 to 1745.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): I call the members back to order. The floor, again, belongs to the Conservative Party. There are how many minutes left, Mr. Clerk?
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): You have six minutes left.
Mr. Rob Leone: Seriously?
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): You used 14 up with your question to the minister.
Mr. Rob Leone: I asked a simple question of: How are you doing today?
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Yes, and—
Mr. Rob Leone: I used 14 minutes for that?
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Fourteen minutes.
Mr. Rob Leone: Seriously?
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Seriously. I’m sorry; that’s what the Clerk informs me.
Mr. Rob Leone: Thanks, Mr. Chair. I’m going to move another motion, if I’m able to do so.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Yes, you can, then we will cease with the time, so we’ll preserve your six minutes. Please move on to the motion.
Mr. Rob Leone: Thank you. I move that the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport release all correspondence delivered to the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport and the Pan Am and Parapan Secretariat related to the 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Games from January 1, 2010, to October 3, 2013, to the Standing Committee on Estimates by 12 p.m. Thursday, October 17, 2013.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Do you have copies made, or do we need—
Mr. Rob Leone: I believe I have some copies made, yes.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): You have copies made. Well, if you could give them to the Clerk, first of all, we’ll check and read it to see if it’s in order. If it is, the committee can then proceed as it wishes.
Mr. Rob Leone: So Chair, did that 10 minutes count toward the four? Like, how does the 14—
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Yes, as soon as the question started, as soon as you started asking the question, and then the response and the other debate times until such time as the motion for a recess was made, the Clerk advises me that was 14 minutes.
Mr. Rob Leone: I don’t believe that.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Well, we will check it. If it’s wrong, we will let you know, but that’s what he advises me.
Mr. Rob Leone: I would like that checked.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): He watches the clock much more carefully than I; it’s the nature of his job.
So just wait till we read this. All right, so it is substantially different from the first motion, and it would appear to me, on the face of it, to be in order. All right, then—
Mr. Mike Colle: If I have a question about the motion, can we ask the question?
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Yes. I’m going to have the mover of the motion speak first, and then I have you down as the second speaker to the motion.
Mr. Rob Leone: Well, quite simply, Mr. Chair, the idea behind this motion is that, firstly, we’re looking for correspondence now delivered to and from the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport and the Pan Am and Parapan Secretariat with respect to the information related to expenses and costing of the Pan Am Games and Parapan Games.
Again, this is a very important issue with respect to what our constituents are talking about. I do note that the timeline that we’re talking about here with respect to the release of that correspondence—we’re actually trying to provide some more leeway with respect to the date of Thursday, October 17. So there’s some more time related to the issuing of the release of the documentation that we require.
It’s important for us to have all the information necessary. We feel that the audits are one component of the information that we’re going to discuss. We passed that motion, thankfully, earlier today. We think that the correspondence—and by “correspondence” we mean certainly letters, emails, presentations given to various people, either delivered to or from the ministries stated and the secretariat—would be pertinent to the investigation that is before us.
At this point in time, Chair, we feel that this motion would provide us with the necessary information to conduct our work on this committee. Again, we’re talking about a time frame that is not as long as we’ve done in the past on this committee, but one which provides ample time to gather and collect the documents that we require.
That is, in essence, the purpose of the motion. I’m happy to entertain a question from the member from Etobicoke–Lakeshore.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Eglinton–Lawrence, actually.
Mr. Rob Leone: That’s right.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): But before you do that, the Clerk has advised me that in fact the Conservatives used up only 12 minutes, not 14, and the actual timing, to be correct—the questions started at 5:22 p.m. and the motion for the recess was 5:34. So that is the 12 minutes. So in fact you have eight minutes left, not six.
Mr. Rob Leone: Thank you, Chair.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Mr. Colle, the floor is yours.
Mr. Mike Colle: I’m just wondering, as the federal government is an equal partner in this and they have three members on the board and they’re funding it—I think $500 million—whether we should ask also for all correspondence between the federal ministry responsible for the Pan Am Games and—the federal ministry and the Pan Am Games secretariat—that we ask for their correspondence also to give us a fuller picture of the information that was pertinent to this request, given the equal partnership between the feds and the province on this. So I think it would be amended to ask for that further information from our federal partners in this, too.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Are you moving an amendment?
Mr. Mike Colle: Yes.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Okay, so the amendment—I’m not sure that the amendment—well, we’ll have to get it in writing. I’m not sure that it’s in order because I’m not sure that this committee has the authority to compel evidence from the federal government. I’d have to ask the Clerk, but it does not seem logical to me that we do. But the Clerk is otherwise occupied, so let’s just give him a second and we’ll put the question whether the motion—the motion has been made to add the federal government to produce the documents, and I have stated that I feel uncomfortable with that because I don’t think the committee has that authority.
The Clerk has confirmed that we don’t have that authority, so I would have to rule the amendment—
Mr. Mike Colle: Could I speak to that question? I have a question, a point of order.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Well, if you have a point of order, please, you can make your point. I’m happy to listen. Perhaps I’m wrong, but the Clerk has verified that we don’t have that authority, and I think it’s only logical.
Mr. Mike Colle: We’ve got $500 million in the estimates of the ministry. It’s a line item from the federal government because they are equal partners. This is a very unique situation where it is not a ministry agency directly. This is a tripartite organization, especially with the two major partners being the federal and provincial governments. I’m sure there’s been correspondence between this second major partner and the secretariat, and I think we need to get that full picture, given that one of the partners is in the estimates. If you look at the estimates—I’ll get a copy of the estimates—I know that’s a line item. Why we can’t at least ask them for their information—we can at least make the request.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Any member can write a letter and ask, so if you want to ask for the federal government to produce these documents—I’m sure that any Canadian citizen can do so.
However, the estimates committee is confined to the estimates of the ministry, not of anything else. That’s why I had to rule earlier against a motion made by the member from Nipissing. I had to rule against his motion because he was asking for items that were outside of the estimates of that particular ministry. I would have to rule exactly the same way on your request; it is outside the estimates of the ministry of culture and sports, and we are confined to what is in his estimates document.
What is going on between this ministry and the federal government or agencies or others is extraneous. Again, I’m sorry. You’ve made your point; I have to rule it out of order.
Are there further speakers? Any further speakers to this motion? All right, seeing no—Ms. Damerla.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: I’d like to ask for a recess.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Well, if you’re asking for a recess, it’s now six minutes to, so I’m going to ask you to move that in the form of an adjournment, because, unless your recess is going to be less than six minutes—
Ms. Dipika Damerla: The recess will be more than six minutes.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): All right, then. If you would move adjournment, I think there will be agreement from all parties.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: It’s up to you, Chair.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): She moves adjournment. We have a motion for adjournment. All in favour? Everybody agree to adjournment?
Mr. Rob Leone: Yes.
The Chair (Mr. Michael Prue): Okay, all right. Carried.
We are adjourned, then, until next Tuesday at 9 a.m.
The committee adjourned at 1755.
Wednesday 2 October 2013
Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport E-155
Hon. Michael Chan
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. Sarah Campbell (Kenora–Rainy River ND)
Mr. Grant Crack (Glengarry–Prescott–Russell L)
Ms. Dipika Damerla (Mississauga East–Cooksville / Mississauga-Est–Cooksville L)
Mr. Rod Jackson (Barrie PC)
Clerk / Greffier
Mr. Katch Koch
Staff / Personnel
Mr. Jerry Richmond, research officer,