STANDING COMMITTEE ON FINANCE AND ECONOMIC AFFAIRS
COMITÉ PERMANENT DES FINANCES ET DES AFFAIRES ÉCONOMIQUES
Monday 10 June 2013 Lundi 10 juin 2013
Prosperous and Fair Ontario Act (Budget Measures), 2013
The committee met at 0901 in room 151.
PROSPEROUS AND FAIR ONTARIO ACT
(BUDGET MEASURES), 2013
LOI DE 2013 POUR UN ONTARIO
PROSPÈRE ET ÉQUITABLE
Consideration of the following bill:
Bill 65, An Act to implement Budget measures and to enact and amend various Acts / Projet de loi 65, Loi visant à mettre en œuvre les mesures budgétaires et à édicter et à modifier diverses lois.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Okay, if we can call to order, this morning we’re here to consider clause-by-clause of Bill 65, An Act to implement Budget measures and to enact and amend various Acts.
We’ll start with a question: Are there any comments, questions or amendments to any section of the bill, and if so, to which section?
Hearing none, what I’m going to do is stand down the sections and begin dealing with the schedules, starting with schedule 1, section 1.
Shall schedule 1, section 1, as amended, carry? That’s carried.
Shall schedule 1, section 2, as amended, carry? Carried.
Okay, we’re going to schedule 1, section 3. Michael, you have an amendment. Are you going to read that into the record?
Mr. Michael Prue: Yes, I will read it into the record.
I move that section 2.1 of the Automobile Insurance Rate Stabilization Act, 2003, as set out in section 3 of schedule 1 to the bill, be amended by adding the following subsections:
“Referral of regulations to standing committee
“(9) Each of the following regulations stands permanently referred to the Standing Committee on General Government (established under the standing orders of the assembly) when the regulation is filed with the Registrar of Regulations under section 18 of the Legislation Act, 2006:
“1. Every regulation referred to in subsection (2) concerning the average of the authorized rates that may be charged by all insurers and concerning the period within which the 15% reduction in the average of the authorized rates must be achieved.
“2. Every regulation referred to in subsection (3) concerning periodic reductions toward the target and the period within which each such reduction must be achieved.
“Terms of reference
“(10) The standing committee may examine the regulations with particular reference to whether they are reasonable in the circumstances and with respect to such other matters as the standing committee considers appropriate.
“Authority to call persons
“(11) The standing committee may examine any member of the executive council or any public servant designated by the member respecting the regulations.
“(12) The standing committee shall report its observations, opinions and recommendations about the regulations to the assembly from time to time.”
Just by way of explanation, I think this is just to ensure that the Legislature and the committee have an opportunity to make sure that the reductions, or the perceived reductions, in automobile insurance take place as they are intended to over the period of time, and to allow the committee to comment, should that be the case or should that not be the case.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Thank you, Michael. Further speakers? Mr. Del Duca, then Mr. Shurman.
Mr. Steven Del Duca: Kind of a minor point: The Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills already reviews regulations; just, I guess, a tiny bit of concern around perhaps a bit of duplication of effort here. I’m wondering if you have any comments on that, Mr. Prue, the member from Beaches–East York.
Mr. Michael Prue: Well, before becoming the Chair of estimates, I was the Chair of regulations and private bills. They look at them only once a year, upon the advice of counsel and upon the advice of bureaucrats, who send in any that they feel are not working out. We think that that’s not the appropriate committee to look at it because that is the actual wording of the bill itself, as opposed to what is happening.
Mr. Steven Del Duca: That’s fine.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Mr. Shurman.
Mr. Peter Shurman: I look at this amendment, and I say to myself, look—first of all, from a Progressive Conservative perspective, you guys can fight it out because you’re the ones who want to do this deal on automobile insurance. But I look at what the force and effect is of bringing in an amendment like this, and I get concerned. If what happens is we’re dealing with the Standing Committee on General Government, we’re effectively creating a secondary body that kind of parallels FSCO. That’s why we have FSCO: to do this kind of work. I don’t understand why we would do that.
I believe that what the NDP is trying to do with this is set the table for a possible want of confidence motion that they would bring in the fall or at such later time as they see fit if they’re not happy with the way things are going. If that’s what they want to do, I suggest you fight it out right now and we look at the NDP to vote down this budget tomorrow. There’s an expression for this that I can’t use. Get on with it, if you get my general drift. I’m not in favour of this amendment.
Mr. Steven Del Duca: How many coffees this morning have you—
Mr. Peter Shurman: Just one so far.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Okay, any further comments? Any further debate on the amendment? Seeing none, I’m going to call the amendment: All those in favour of the amendment on the floor? Those opposed? That amendment is carried.
Moving on, then, shall schedule 1, section 3, as amended, carry? Carried.
Just to go back to the first schedule, section 1 and section 2: I inadvertently included the words “as amended” in there. There was no amendment, so just to be clear on that.
Schedule 1 from section 4 to section 12: I have no amendments, so I’m going to package them, if that’s okay with everybody. Shall schedule 1, sections 4 to 12, carry? Carried.
Mr. Peter Shurman: Please record that the PC Party abstained on that.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): On 4 to 12?
Mr. Peter Shurman: On everything here, including the entire section.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Okay.
Let’s put a motion on the floor, then, for the whole first schedule. Shall schedule 1, as amended, carry? Carried.
Moving on to schedule 2: There are no amendments in this schedule. I’m going to package them again. Shall schedule 2, sections 1, 2 and 3, carry? They’re carried.
Shall schedule 2 carry? Carried.
Moving on now to schedule 3, section 1: Shall schedule 3, section 1, carry? That’s carried.
Schedule 3, section 1.1: We have an amendment for that. That’s coming from the Conservative Party. Mr. Shurman.
Mr. Peter Shurman: I move that schedule 3 to the bill be amended by adding the following section:
“Grants only from Gasoline Tax Act or other existing taxes
“1.1 For greater certainty, the portion of tax that is dedicated to the provision of grants under this act to municipalities for public transportation shall only be paid from the taxes under the Gasoline Tax Act or from another tax that existed on the day the Prosperous and Fair Ontario Act (Budget Measures), 2013, received royal assent, but not from any new taxes or other revenue sources.”
If I may speak to this, Chair, this is, as it says, for greater certainty. We’re not seeking to amend the intent of what’s said here; we’re seeking to draw a line on this and not see it, through regulation or any other ability to open it or interpret it, move into the area of what are commonly now being referred to as revenue tools.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Very good. Thank you. Further speakers? Mr. Del Duca.
Mr. Steven Del Duca: I appreciate what the member from Thornhill said. I’m not quite sure how that provides greater certainty around a program that has worked so effectively since 2004. The intent, if I’m not mistaken, around what we wanted to do, what the government wanted to do, with this was to make that funding permanent. It strikes me and strikes us that making a move like this almost seeks to tie the hands of government going forward around any other plans. I’m not sure if that was the intent or not, but from that perspective, we can’t support this particular amendment.
Mr. Peter Shurman: I didn’t think you could. But what we are seeking to do is support you, basically, in wanting to make that permanent—however, say that we are tying your hands to that for at least the remainder of this budget year. I think that’s eminently fair, considering what your Premier and your finance minister have said about revenue tools without any further specificity. That’s the reason for the amendment, and it’s our only amendment.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Mr. Prue.
Mr. Michael Prue: We would like a 20-minute recess after the deliberations and before the vote.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Okay. Are there any further speakers to the amendment?
Mr. Steven Del Duca: No.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): You’re talking about before the vote on the amendment?
Mr. Michael Prue: Yes.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Very good. Okay, it appears that everybody who wants to speak at this time has spoken, so why don’t we call that right now?
The committee recessed from 0911 to 0921.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Okay, if we can call back to order, we’re going to have a vote on schedule 3, section 1.1, the amendment that was put forward by Mr. Shurman.
If we can have a show of hands on this one, so we know what’s happening—all those in favour of the amendment? Those opposed to the amendment?
We have a tie vote. The Chair has to cast a vote, and I will vote along with the traditions and keep the bill as it is, so that amendment loses.
Moving on, schedule 3, section 2, and schedule 3, section 3: All those in favour? Those opposed? That is carried.
Shall schedule 3 carry? All those in favour? That’s carried.
Moving on to schedule 4, there are no amendments, and it runs from section 1 to section 4.
Shall schedule 4, sections 1 to 4, carry? That’s carried.
Shall schedule 4 carry? Carried.
Schedule 5, sections 1 to 3: Shall they carry? Carried.
Shall schedule 5 carry? Carried.
Schedule 6, sections 1 to 3: Shall they carry? They’re carried.
Mr. Peter Shurman: Let it be noted that the PCs abstain from this section.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): From this section? Okay.
Shall schedule 6 carry? Carried.
The PCs have noted that they abstained on that schedule.
Schedule 7, sections 1 to 3: Shall they carry? Carried.
Shall schedule 7 carry? Carried.
Schedule 8: There are a number of sections on this.
Shall schedule 8, sections 1 to 40, carry? Carried.
Mr. Peter Shurman: Please note the PCs abstain from schedule 8.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): The PCs abstained on that schedule.
Shall schedule 8 carry? Carried.
Schedule 9, sections 1 to 7: Those in favour? Those opposed? That carries.
Shall schedule 9 carry? Carried.
Schedule 10, sections 1 through 4: Those in favour? Those opposed? That is carried.
Shall schedule 10 carry? Carried.
Schedule 11, sections 1 and 2: Shall they carry? Carried.
Shall schedule 11 carry? Carried.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Note that the PCs abstained on that vote.
Schedule 12, sections 1 through 3: Shall they carry? Carried.
Shall schedule 12 carry? That’s carried.
Schedule 13, sections 1 through 5: Shall they carry? Those opposed? That’s carried.
Shall schedule 13 carry? Carried.
Schedule 14, sections 1 through 4: Shall they carry? They’re carried.
Shall schedule 14 carry?
Mr. Peter Shurman: Abstain.
The Chair (Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn): Those in favour? Those opposed? That motion is carried, with the PCs abstaining.
Moving on, then, to the vote that we tabled previously in the meeting: Shall section 1 carry? Those opposed? That is carried.
Shall section 2 carry? That’s carried.
Shall section 3 carry? That’s carried.
Shall the title of the bill carry? Those in favour? Carried.
Shall Bill 65, as amended, carry? Those in favour? Those opposed? That is carried.
Shall I report the bill, as amended, to the House? That is carried.
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much for your co-operation. We’re adjourned.
The committee adjourned at 0926.
Monday 10 June 2013
Prosperous and Fair Ontario Act (Budget Measures), 2013, Bill 65, Mr. Sousa / Loi de 2013 pour un Ontario prospère et équitable (mesures budgétaires), projet de loi 65, M. Sousa F-387
STANDING COMMITTEE ON FINANCE AND ECONOMIC AFFAIRS
Chair / Président
Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn (Oakville L)
Vice-Chair / Vice-Présidente
Ms. Soo Wong (Scarborough–Agincourt L)
Ms. Dipika Damerla (Mississauga East–Cooksville / Mississauga-Est–Cooksville L)
Mr. Steven Del Duca (Vaughan L)
Mr. Victor Fedeli (Nipissing PC)
Ms. Catherine Fife (Kitchener–Waterloo ND)
Mr. Kevin Daniel Flynn (Oakville L)
Mr. Monte McNaughton (Lambton–Kent–Middlesex PC)
Mr. Michael Prue (Beaches–East York ND)
Mr. Peter Shurman (Thornhill PC)
Ms. Soo Wong (Scarborough–Agincourt L)
Substitutions / Membres remplaçants
Mr. Jeff Yurek (Elgin–Middlesex–London PC)
Clerk / Greffier
Mr. Katch Koch
Staff / Personnel
Mr. Bradley Warden, legislative counsel