Tuesday 7 March 2000

Subcommittee report

Intended appointments
Mr James Grieve
Ms Sharon Wheeler
Mr Terence Young


Chair / Président
Mr James J. Bradley (St Catharines L)

Vice-Chair / Vice-Président

Mr Bruce Crozier (Essex L)

Mr James J. Bradley (St Catharines L)
Mr Bruce Crozier (Essex L)
Mrs Leona Dombrowsky (Hastings-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington L)
Mr Bert Johnson (Perth-Middlesex PC)
Mr Morley Kells (Etobicoke-Lakeshore PC)
Mr Tony Martin (Sault Ste Marie ND)
Mr Joseph Spina (Brampton Centre / -Centre PC)
Mr Bob Wood (London West / -Ouest PC)

Substitutions / Membres remplaçants

Mr David Caplan (Don Valley East / -Est L)
Mr David Christopherson (Hamilton West / -Ouest ND)
Mr Frank Mazzilli (London-Fanshawe PC)

Clerk / Greffier

Mr Douglas Arnott

Staff / Personnel

Mr David Pond, research officer, Research and Information Services

The committee met at 1010 in room 151.


The Chair (Mr James J. Bradley): This meeting in now open.

The first item on the agenda is the report of the subcommittee on committee business, dated Thursday, February 24, 2000. Do I have a motion to adopt on that?

Mr Bob Wood (London West): So moved.

The Chair: Moved by Mr Wood. Any discussion of that? No discussion. All in favour? Opposed? The motion is carried.

We will now commence the half-hour reviews of intended appointments. As you know, the normal procedure, so that those who are with us today may know, is that ordinarily there is a half an hour which is reserved for the interview of the intended appointees. Each party represented is allotted 10 minutes in time for that purpose and at the conclusion, decisions are made.

Mr Christopherson has joined us, substituting for Mr Martin. Mr Caplan is substituting for Mr Crozier.


Review of intended appointment, selected by official opposition party: James Grieve, intended appointee as member, Niagara Grant Review Team.

The Chair: The first intended appointee is Mr James Grieve, intended appointee as member of the Niagara Grant Review Team. I'll ask Mr Grieve to come forward, please. Mr Grieve, do you have a brief statement or anything you wish to say to begin?

Mr James Grieve: Yes, I do. I want to thank the committee for its indulgence in letting me appear here this morning to discuss this matter. I've made some notes. I don't want to miss anything that may be salient. The resumé that was produced I think is fairly sketchy, so I'll try to enlarge on that somewhat.

My name is James Grieve. I presently reside in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, where I've been for the last five years. I've basically lived my life in the city of Burlington, Ontario, and five years ago relocated. I have a business background that's quite extensive, both inside and outside of major corporations. I'm completely famil-iar with financial statements, with blueprints, with the construction process and construction costs.

I spent 15 years in municipal government in the city of Burlington. There are two tiers in Burlington. There's the city and the region of Halton, as well. I served on both those governments for 15 years. As part of my responsibility there I was council's appointee to the Halton Regional Police Commission, where I served for 11 years, three of those as chairman.

In the city of Burlington, I had pretty extensive experi-ence with grants, recreational grants mainly at that level. Burlington's sort of a unique place in terms of recreation facilities and we had an interest-free lending policy to local groups, citizens groups that wanted to establish recreational facilities. If they established that they could come up with the down payment and the ability to raise the balance, the money would be loaned to them over a period of time and when they paid the loan back, the premise or the facility would become part of the city of Burlington's projects.

At the region of Halton, I served on administration and finance and I served on health and social services, as well. At the region, I had a lot of experience with grants-social services grants and grants to agencies-so it's not an area that's brand new to me.

During my time in Burlington, I was chairman of the 1981 Ontario Games for the Physically Disabled, which were very successful. I'm a Rotarian and have been active with Rotary for some 30 years. There's a lot of fundraising and there are a lot of grants and assistance to community groups and even international groups. That's been a good experience as well.

I guess that pretty well sums up what my background has been, so I'm quite prepared to deal with any questions you may have.

The Chair: Thank you very much, sir. I'll begin with the official opposition, Mr Caplan.

Mr David Caplan (Don Valley East): How much time?

The Chair: Each party will have nine minutes now assigned to them.

Mr Caplan: Mr Grieve, thank you and welcome. I appreciated your opening comments. One of the things I didn't hear was why you want to do this.

Mr Grieve: I'm not a young guy, as you can probably tell. I've had quite an extensive background and the opportunity was presented to me and I thought it would be a challenge and a worthwhile thing to do.

Mr Caplan: As a member, assuming of course that you're going to be on the grant review team for Niagara region, what kinds of criteria would you look at and what sorts of things will you be looking at in some of the grant applications? What do you think is going to really strike you as very critical in some of those things that you're going to be dealing with?

Mr Grieve: The worthiness of the request and I suppose the substance of the group that is making the request, like can they fulfill what they're suggesting their role would be? There has to be a sound basis to grant money to groups and make sure as much as you can that they're going to be able to do what they hold out to do.

Mr Caplan: So the ability to fulfill whatever it is they're seeking to do. But you mentioned the worthiness of the request. How would you judge the worthiness of the request?

Mr Grieve: That's not always easy. A lot of it is subjective, but I think you have to weigh requests one against the other. You have a pool of money, a pool of resources, and you want to spend those in a balanced way but in a way that's going to do the most good. Those kinds of decisions you have to make when you're doing it.

There are some agencies that I've had experience with that have tremendous fundraising ability on their own, and they ain't the ones, in my view, that need help; it's those agencies and groups that don't have that facility or that ability.

Mr Caplan: My understanding is that all of the money that the Ontario government collects goes into the consolidated revenue fund and a portion is given over to the Trillium Foundation. That's your understanding as well?

Mr Grieve: Yes, on a per capita basis.

Mr Caplan: Right. It's not dependent on any other sources of revenue. It just comes from whatever the government is willing to put in there. Are there any particular organizations or charities you can think of that you've had dealings with in the past or some awareness of the projects that they're engaged in which you think should receive special consideration?

Mr Grieve: I don't think so. I think everything has to be on its merits. Over the years, I've had a lot of experience with groups and some of them have been more successful than others. Recently, our Rotary Club was able to give money to the swimming pool fund in Niagara-on-the-Lake for building the pool, and we were able to give money to the historical society, which has a big capital project, things of that nature. I was happy with those decisions.

Mr David Christopherson (Hamilton West): Thank you, Mr Grieve, for your comments this morning. You were on the city council?

Mr Grieve: Yes, for 15 years.

Mr Christopherson: OK. Of course it's a neighbouring community to me. Being out of Hamilton, I know Burlington quite well. I also, when I was on regional council, chaired the regional health and social services, the same as you did, so we have an overlapping experience there. What year did you complete your term?

Mr Grieve: In 1991.

Mr Christopherson: What is your sense right now of the level and the appropriateness of service that communities received, with particular attention to health and social service issues, as they were in the 1980s versus what your experience is now, if any?

Mr Grieve: I'm not totally up to date with what's happening now. I've been out of that realm for nine years, but I think there are a lot of similarities. There seem to be some glaring problems that when you come to Toronto you can't help miss. Something that's new to me is people sleeping on the streets, and that happens all over North America because of the deinstitutionalizing of people. But there is an element I think that really requires some help.


Mr Christopherson: What would you consider to be the top priority?

Mr Grieve: I'm dealing with Niagara, and as I pointed out, it's more of a large urban problem. I haven't seen anybody sleeping on the streets in Niagara-on-the-Lake recently.

But I think the top priority in my mind is dealing with young people, mentoring young people and trying to bring them along and showing them that there's more to life than their little bailiwick. I grew up in the village of Waterdown, if you remember where that is. When I was a kid there it was about 900 people, and I will always be grateful to my father for getting me out of that environment. At personal expense, he sent me away to school and I learned there was something far beyond the borders of the village of Waterdown. The opportunities I was given by being able to get out and meet other people were immense in that they've made my life quite different. So I think young people are very important.

Mr Christopherson: A lot of the agencies have been affected by the cutbacks that Harris has imposed to pay for his tax cut, which have resulted in the closure of a lot of services, as well as a paring back of services in most of the communities in Ontario.

In terms of community action and community involvement, there's been a real decrease in the last few years because these agencies were the ones that organized, if you will, community grassroots input into decision-making. How do you feel about restoring funding for agencies in communities that play a role in community development, or do you think the money, given that it's scarce, needs to go only into the more established services, the ones that we all know and care about? The United Way comes to mind.

Mr Grieve: Unless you were specific, it's a hard question to answer.

Mr Christopherson: I agree.

Mr Grieve: I think volunteerism, in my view, has suffered somewhat over recent years. More professionals seem to be doing those kinds of things, so I think the kind of thing that Trillium is doing, and other groups like service clubs and churches, is getting people to be somewhat more self-reliant.

I guess my view is that government can't answer all questions. I think if people want a particular good or service then they should be prepared to some extent to help pay for it themselves. But I know what you're saying and it is a problem. There seems to be less money now than there was 10 years ago and there seems to be a greater demand now than there was 10 years ago, so I think we've all got to be careful in how the assets are dealt with.

Mr Christopherson: In your own philosophy, how far do you think we can go with volunteerism in terms of replacing services that were once in place because funding was there and it was more established? That's gone. We've seen an increase in volunteerism, and that's to be praised and supported. But in terms of the long range, just how far-and I realize it's a very open-ended question-do you think we can go as a society in terms of using what Bush called his thousand points of light as a replacement for established services with decently paid staff providing these services that, as you point out, have increased over the years?

Mr Grieve: I think there's a need, and if the services can demonstrate that they can deal with those needs in a serious, legitimate, responsible way, then I think there should be some help certainly.

Mr Christopherson: Do you support the notion that volunteerism, more and more, needs to replace these paid services because the money's just not there? It's being put into tax cuts right now, but it's certainly not going into communities.

Mr Grieve: I've always been a big proponent of volunteerism. In Burlington, it was a way of life, and I think it is in a lot of communities. There are tremendous resources in our communities. I know I just have to scratch the surface at our Rotary Club and I can come up with an expert on almost any subject and get things done. It's amazing, the resources that are there and that are waiting to be tapped. I think we've got to be creative.

Mr Christopherson: Does it concern you at all, the lack of security that relying on volunteerism creates in terms of providing services in a community? Do you think there are lines where there needs to be an established, organized agency with paid people out there performing certain services, or do you think it's pretty much limitless as to where we can go in terms of using volunteers?

Mr Grieve: No. There certainly is a need to have paid people. In Burlington we established a women's shelter, Halton Women's Place, which is marvellous, and there certainly are paid people who are responsible for that. There are a lot of volunteers involved as well. To answer your question, the answer is yes.

Mr Christopherson: As a rule, the appointments this government makes to many important community agencies leave a lot to be desired, from our perspective. Not that there's anything wrong with a business point of view, you need that, but sometimes that seems to be all there is. When I look at the experience you have as an elected person, so you certainly understand what it is to feel the pulse of a community, the fact that you chaired health and social services means you had a great degree of exposure to how communities operate in terms of trying to provide the needs. I'm always partial to people who served on their police services board, being a former Solicitor General myself. I've got to say, on balance, I think you'll do a good job and I'll be pleased to support your appointment.

Mr Grieve: Thank you very much. I appreciate your comments.

The Chair: The government party now.

Mr Wood: We'll waive our time.

The Chair: The government party is going to waive its time. Does that include Mr Kells?

Mr Morley Kells (Etobicoke-Lakeshore): Yes, I'm waiving.

The Chair: Mr Grieve, the government party will waive its time, which means you have no further questions, but I do have a moment or two right now if you wish to make any concluding statement.

Mr Grieve: I don't really. I'm excited about the opportunity to become involved in this foundation. I'm not a proponent of casino gambling, but it's such a wonderful cash cow I think that it's hard not to do, and if the funds are being used for these kinds of purposes, that really goes a long way to justifying those means, in my view.

The Chair: Thank you very much for appearing before the committee, Mr Grieve.


Review of intended appointment, selected by official opposition party: Sharon Wheeler, intended appointee as member, Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corp board of directors.

The Chair: Our next intended appointee is Sharon Wheeler. She's an intended appointee as member of the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corp board of directors. I'll ask Ms Wheeler to come forward now. Welcome to the committee. If you have any opening statement or comments, we would be pleased to hear them.

Ms Sharon Wheeler: It's an honour to be here. I would just like to take a minute to go through my background for the committee quickly. I have been a marketing professional for just over 15 years, exclusively working in the gaming industry in those 15 years. The intent on coming to work at Casino Niagara in Canada was to bring that expertise and to share it with the people I currently work with. I have worked through the United States in every major and most of the minor gaming markets, so I do bring that expertise with me.

I have a background in marketing educationally, with a bachelor's degree as well as a master's degree. I have taught at a couple different universities as well, both marketing and gaming classes. It's something I enjoy doing. I enjoy getting involved and helping where I can and sharing in a growing experience.

The Chair: Thank you very much. We will begin our questioning this time with the third party, and that will be Mr Christopherson.

Mr Christopherson: Thank you for attending the committee today. What's your sense of how far we can go with gambling in our province in terms of using the revenue, as Mr Grieve pointed out, from a cash cow? We all know that they generate incredible amounts of money. What's your sense of how far we can go in terms of increasing the amount of casino gambling, or otherwise, quite frankly, even though much of the profit is going to good causes? What is your sense of that in terms of where you think we ought to be and what's a good mix and balance five, 10, 15 years hence?

Ms Wheeler: From the standpoint of where the province currently is as far as the offerings that it has for gaming, it's exceptional, especially compared to what's being offered in the US markets around the province of Ontario.

One of the processes we're going through currently at Casino Niagara is creating a situation where we become more of a destination market. So, in essence, we are getting a lot more involved in not just selling gaming but selling a destination and an entire entertainment package into US and international markets.

As far as bringing tourism into Ontario, how far can we go? There's a huge market out there. We really have not focused on anything outside of a current 50- or 100-mile radius for bringing visitors in. One of our processes and one of the things I hope to bring to this board is some expertise on how to develop destination marketing and bringing people from further away into Ontario.


Mr Christopherson: Do you think any community can just open up a casino and expect that their tourism is going to rise and that there will be enough money? I remember one presentation we heard when we were doing pre-budget consultations. Correct me if I'm wrong, but for every $100 that someone brought into the community to spend at a casino, only $3 actually found its way into the community.

I guess when I was asking my previous question, I linked it to this. In one community in particular-I won't name it, there's no need-the mayor came forward, and they were banking everything on this casino. I have to tell you, it's not the sort of community one immediately thinks of when you think of tourism. Some of us on the committee were privately mulling over their proposal and where they were putting their eggs. We really were concerned for that community, about whether or not this was really going to work in the long run. One could say, "What the hell do we know?" and that's a fair comment. But when you've had enough experience dealing with trying to make local economies work, you do get some experience. There was just this sense from the mayor that they were going to drop a casino in there and that was going to be wonderful. I think that's a good example of maybe what some other communities-I know my own went through it, in Hamilton: "We've all downtown problems. Let's get a casino down there. That's going to solve all our problems."

In terms of specific comments on what you see the fit is for a casino in a community, do you think it fits every community? Again, extending that thought back to my earlier question, how much gambling do you think there is room for in our communities in terms of being able to generate enough money and actually stimulating a local economy, rather than looking glitzy to some local leaders? What's the reality, as you sense it? In 20 years are we going to be looking at casinos in every community and that's going to solve all our problems? That's sort of what I'd like you to turn your mind to: community development, local economy. There is disruption when a casino comes in. It can completely alter and change the characteristics. Certainly, I don't think anyone would argue that Niagara Falls was a great idea, Windsor has worked out well. Do you think that is a winning formula for virtually every community in our province?

Ms Wheeler: It's a little difficult for me to talk to because I really don't know the background of all the communities in the province. I certainly have to believe, as somebody who has been in the industry for a long time, that it is not the end-all measure or the begin-all measure for any city in the world. I think the cities themselves have to take a look at what they have to offer, what they can bring to the table and whether or not there's a real commitment. There have been cities in the United States that thought the same thing: "Great, we'll get a riverboat. It'll come in here, it'll solve all our problems." In essence, they didn't have any other thing bringing tourism into town and it failed.

From my standpoint, gaming is a form of entertainment. People game to entertain, and if you have an area where entertainment is a focus and there is an opportunity to grow entertainment tourism as a result of that, then you probably have a win-win situation.

To further answer your question, it would be purely theory on my part to say 20 years from now where we are going to go. If I talk to people in the industry, some people think it will go full circle and in 20 years you'll see gaming back in just one or two locations in the States and maybe not in many other foreign countries. Other people believe that it's going to continue to grow and will become a way of life in many cities and nations throughout the world-pure speculation.

I think that the communities have to want to embrace it, they have to want it there to help make it work. I think that's the winning formula we've seen in some of the cities in Canada. The tourism areas that are already drawing tourists are looking to draw a stronger base, to create an overnight base, and it makes sense in those situations.

Mr Christopherson: Tourism, by and large, is an area where a lot of students work, especially where it's seasonal work, a lot of part-time work. A good chunk of it is minimum-wage-level type jobs. Obviously, in tourism, as in any other business, labour is a big part of the cost of doing business.

The minimum wage in Ontario has not moved in five years and we're now behind the Americans in terms of our minimum wage. Given that this industry is heavily minimum-wage-level pay, how do you feel about the notion of increases in wages for people who work in this industry? Recognizing that the leaders on the business side of tourism are not going to be too thrilled about the idea of an increase in minimum wage, because it means more costs for them, but recognizing, on the other hand, that everybody deserves a decent standard of living, what's your personal feeling about the minimum wage?

Ms Wheeler: In my understanding, at Casino Niagara in Niagara Falls we just went through a wage survey and the people working at that casino are actually paid at the same level as or more than any other person doing that same job in the region and/or in the gaming industry within Ontario. From that standpoint, it is a little difficult to speak to it. We look very closely at what the people are earning, and it is our understanding that it's fair within the structure of what's going on in the industry as well as in Ontario.

Mr Christopherson: I was thinking beyond casinos. A lot of them are organized, so they're able to set the bar at a little higher level. They have the benefit of a collective agreement. It's certainly Windsor that probably sets the pace in large part. I'm thinking more of the other aspects of tourism. A lot of the jobs in restaurant services and hotel services and in Niagara Falls are minimum-wage jobs. I want to get a sense of how you feel about the fact that those people who work in the industry of tourism, as opposed to those who own and operate-and I know they have challenges too-are at minimum wage and that it hasn't increased in five years. Your opinion on these things would certainly matter.

Ms Wheeler: That's a little difficult for me to talk to because I have not had the opportunity to discuss that situation with those people. I have the opportunity on a daily basis to talk to the people who work within my organization, the line employees, and haven't gotten any type of feedback on that. I have not gotten any feedback from the people in the industry in Niagara Falls that they have a difficult time hiring and/or filling those positions, so my assumption would be that it's not a huge problem.

I think also from the service standpoint, which a lot of those jobs are, where they get tips as well as minimum wage, those types of gratuities are driven by an increase in traffic as well as their own increase in service. From that standpoint, there is probably much more of an opportunity for them to take advantage of a gratuity-based payroll, so to speak, than there probably was in the past. The hotels are filling more rooms for longer periods of time. The restaurants now are not closing in the wintertime but staying open year-round. I think those types of things are starting to happen in that community. Even though minimum wage may still be there, the gratuity plus minimum wage is bringing more to the table for them. My understanding is that there isn't a shortage of people out there or a problem with the wage that's being offered.

Mr Christopherson: Without getting into specifics, I would assume that you have probably had an increase in five years in your wages, some modest increase.

Ms Wheeler: I personally have. I have also switched jobs three or four times as well.

Mr Christopherson: I'm really disappointed in that answer. I realize that you don't have a lot of expertise, but I really had hoped to hear something that suggests to me that you have a feel for the other side of the equation, which is people. As you say, it's a very service-driven industry. The only concern I have in your answer is that it is heavily balanced on the business side, which is fine-I realize this is a business-type position-but I believe strongly that it's time people who are in the decision-making areas of services like tourism, where minimum wage is often the standard, have some compassion and understanding. I'm not suggesting you're not a compassionate person, but I do want to tell you straight up that I'm a little disappointed that there wasn't a little more tie-in in terms of your own feelings for what literally tens of thousands of people experience as their income. I'll give you a chance to respond to that, but that will be my last comment.

Ms Wheeler: I find that difficult to respond to because that's really not my focus. My focus is on marketing and tourism. It's not the business side of the business. I don't run Casino Niagara; I just contribute to it on a daily basis.


Mr Frank Mazzilli (London-Fanshawe): Thank you for appearing. I want to look at the situation Mr Christopherson was talking about. Certainly five or six years ago in this province there were very few jobs and no growth. That was a legacy of a lost decade of NDP and Liberal governments. Since the Mike Harris government took over, over 700,000 new jobs have been created, and in the service industry, as you have said.

In your experience in some of the American cities, as the unemployment rate goes down, what happens to wages?

Ms Wheeler: As unemployment goes down, wages typically go up. As service industries continue to grow and more people are coming in, their wage base will go up because gratuities will grow as well, which is more than likely where the bulk of their money is coming from versus the wage rate.

Mr Mazzilli: That's my only question. Thank you.

Mr Wood: We'll waive the balance of our time.

The Chair: The government party has agreed to waive the balance of its time, so I will proceed to the official opposition.

Mr Caplan: Welcome, Ms Wheeler, and thank you for being here today. My understanding is that in the period of the 1990s-I think the latest figures we have are for 1998-99-Ontario's share of tourism declined. Is that your understanding as well?

Ms Wheeler: From the things I have read, I have seen an increase in tourism in the late 1990s. I understand there was some decrease prior to that, but for the last few years-and again, my focus has been primarily Ontario but also primarily in Niagara Falls-the numbers are continuing to increase.

Mr Caplan: Really? The information I have is that from 1997 to 1998 there was a 17% decline in overseas visitation in Ontario, the first decline in this travel market since 1991. You're not familiar with that?

Ms Wheeler: Would that be overseas versus US tourism into Ontario as well, or just overall?

Mr Caplan: That would be overseas visitation.

Ms Wheeler: OK. The information I have seen has shown a growth in US tourism into Canada as well as Ontario tourism within Ontario, and some Canadian tourism from other provinces into the province of Ontario. I haven't specifically seen anything on the overseas or international markets. That hasn't been as much a focus in the six-month time frame that I've been here. I probably do not know the answer to that question, but I do know that the US market is the number one market and that tourism within Ontario itself is the number two market, and that is where my focus has been.

Mr Caplan: I would expect, logically and intuitively, that you would normally see increases in both of those categories, particularly with a low Canadian dollar relative to the US dollar. It would make sense that people would want to travel within the province or within Canada, and that people from south of the border would like to come and take advantage of the increased purchasing power. Do you think that would be an accurate kind of comment?

Ms Wheeler: Yes.

Mr Caplan: Would you say it's perhaps less from a marketing standpoint, hence the need for greater marketing opportunities, particularly from some of the overseas folks who wouldn't normally think of Ontario or our particular region as a tourist destination?

Ms Wheeler: There are definitely opportunities internationally. There are still definitely opportunities domestically, within Canada and the United States. The focus has been on specific markets, close-in markets and drive markets, because research has shown that people are now spending more of their vacation time taking shorter vaca-tions, where they are driving to a destination, versus traditional, longer vacations where they flew to a destination.

It's a very different marketing strategy, and sometimes a very long-term marketing strategy, to go after an international market. To get into that market, get to know that market, translate to that market and then bring it in, it sometimes takes two to three years to see a return on your investment. Obviously, the closer-in is a much quicker return on getting people to visit your destination. So even as the marketing partnership looks to further states within the United States, the return on that investment is going to take some time, because it's not as simple as getting in the car and driving three or four hours to our destination. You have to put together a package that includes a fly/drive package to get into Canada. It's something that definitely can be done, and that I think is being done, but sometimes the return on that is a little further out.

Mr Caplan: I note from your background that your expertise is in the gambling and gaming industries. Being a part of the tourism marketing or the corporation that's going to be doing this, I would think that you would want to highlight and market all the various kinds of tourism destination points we have. We have the member from the Stratford area-we have wonderful theatre that goes on there. Previous presenters from Niagara-on-the-Lake-also northern Ontario and other places. What kinds of things do you think you are going to recommend so that we will be able to take advantage of all the various tourist options we have in Ontario, be it ecotourism, provincial parks, points of interest or other kinds of things aside from the gambling and gaming area?

Ms Wheeler: Somebody from gaming being on the board doesn't mean we want the emphasis to be on gaming. As a matter of fact, right now the entire marketing plan we are developing at Casino Niagara, where my job is, so to speak, is to focus on everything else there is to do in the area and create a destination. Obviously, from our standpoint, in the marketing dollars we spend, we don't want our primary message to be gaming but to be destination Ontario, and the secondary message to be gaming, golf and wines, because every bit of research we have on the industry shows that people who like to do those activities, like to do all of them. People have a high interest in golf. They also have a high interest in drinking wines, eating out at restaurants, staying in high-end hotels and gaming.

We don't want to go to them with a message that is one-sided. Fortunately, and wonderfully enough, the message is that everything is available in Ontario. So it's not a hard sell. We just have to make them aware it's available. That will help us to create an overnight destination, which leads to people staying longer and spending more money in the community, because they're now bringing more money. It's not just a four-hour trip across the border. It is a destination: spend the night, eat at restaurants, dine and shop.

Part of what I hope to bring to the board, to the group of people who are there, is my background and expertise in research. The people who are currently coming, the 9 million people who visit just one casino in Ontario-these are the other things they want to do. How can we sell that to them so that they stay longer? That's what I hope to bring to them.

Mr Caplan: Do you have any specific ideas about the wonderful system of provincial parks we have in Ontario, which perhaps don't have the buffet, if you will, of additional amenities, or some of the other kinds of tourist destinations or options we would want to highlight? Obviously, with tourism you want to have as much exposure of all of Ontario, of all the various options of Ontario as possible. I'd like to hear any thoughts you have on how the province, through the advice of the tourism marketing corporation, would go about engaging in some of those activities.

Ms Wheeler: From the overall picture standpoint, as you mentioned, there are a lot of other things to do in Ontario. A lot of those are family-oriented vacation destinations as well, which gaming obviously is not, and at some point in time wineries are not part of that mix. But from the standpoint of what I have seen that has been produced by the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership, they have done an excellent job in taking all the segments of markets that are available in Ontario and marketing those to the areas, either US, Canadian or international, that have an interest in those areas.

My expertise there would come from 16 years of marketing and knowing how to research a market, find out how to develop it, find out how to go into it, buy the right media, get the message to the right person and create a trip as a result. Those were the types of things that I think we would be talking about and the strategies we would be setting for every area and every aspect of tourism in Ontario.


Mr Caplan: That's going to take significant support from the provincial government and the Ministry of Tourism.

I just want to end with the comment that according to my understanding from the business plan of the Ministry of Tourism, they identified that declining government support was a key factor in some of the decline that was seen in tourism, because the marketing had not been done. From the late 1980s to the present day, Ontario's share of worldwide tourism-that would be more than just overseas and would include American markets as well-fell by roughly one third. That's a significant reduction in the economic value of tourism to the various communities across Ontario.

The business plan itself identifies a great concern, and I hope that you and the board will be able to turn that around and restore Ontario to the tradition that it once enjoyed.

The Chair: Thank you, Ms Wheeler, for appearing before the committee. Our questioning has now concluded. Do you have any statement you'd like to make at the end, any comments?

Ms Wheeler: No, that's great. Thank you.


Review of intended appointment, selected by official opposition party: Terence Young, intended appointee as member, Alcohol and Gaming Commission board of directors.

The Chair: The intended appointee from a certificate received on Friday, February 18, 2000, is Mr Terence Young.

Mr Young, welcome back. I should put it that way. Please join us in a different position at the table. We all know Mr Young as one of our colleagues from 1995 to 1999, the Legislative Assembly, member for Halton Centre. Do you have a brief comment you would like to make at the beginning?

Mr Terence Young: I do have an opening statement, if that's agreeable to the committee members.

Good morning and thank you for giving me the opportunity to appear before you today. I very much appreciate having the opportunity to discuss my proposed appointment to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission. I look forward to your concurrence as well.

I've always viewed public service as an honour and view your consideration of me in this commission as an honour as well. The work this commission does to ensure the integrity and honesty of the people involved in gaming and liquor sales and service is extremely important because it safeguards the public interest. I thought a brief summary of my CV would be helpful in your deliberations.

I've been married to Gloria for 19 years and we have three children, ages 17, 15 and 13. We live in Oakville where we attend St Jude's Anglican Church and the children attend public schools.

I grew up in Toronto, where my father was rector at St Anne's Anglican Church on Gladstone Avenue for 20 years. He conceived and built St Anne's Tower, the first non-profit hotel-style seniors' residence, where I later served on the board for five years.

I obtained my BA in political and social science from York University in 1975. My formal legal training includes 10 credit courses at Osgoode Hall Law School in 1976 and two further courses at University of Toronto law school as a mature student. I chaired the standing committee on finance and economic affairs in 1998 as well.

As MPP, I served on many government committees considering a myriad of bills, including public hearings on the Gaming Control Act, where committee members travelled as far as Windsor, Thunder Bay and Kenora to listen to the concerns and thoughts of people in these communities on gaming.

My 18 years of business experience includes various positions at Bell Canada, including public affairs, marketing, customer service and quality assurance.

I was not a candidate in the last election due to the downsizing of the government, and I am currently president of my own company, incorporated in July 1999.

My commitment to law enforcement and safe communities includes past service on the boards of Crime Stoppers of Halton region, the Glen Abbey Residents' Association, grassroots work with the Halton Regional Police in community policing for Oakville, and as MPP, the caucus advisory committee to the Solicitor General, where we helped develop Christopher's Law, a registry for dangerous sexual offenders.

As an MPP and a concerned parent, I twice introduced a private member's bill designed to address the problem of substance abuse among our youth, the Zero Tolerance for Substance Abuse Act.

I am currently the chair of the Theatre Sheridan Gala at Sheridan College and the bishop of Toronto's appoin-tee to the board of St Hilda's Towers, a non-profit seniors' residence where I'm president of the Lewis Garnsworthy Tower. I act as pro tem vice-chair of the Ontario Association of Former Parliamentarians, which is a non-partisan association designed to support the parliamentary system in Ontario.

As parliamentary assistant to the Honourable Ernie Eves, Minister of Finance, I co-chaired sectoral consultations with the minister and, in 1999, co-chaired pre-budget consultations with the public in nine cities. As parliamentary assistant to the Honourable John Snobelen during his tenure as Minister of Education, I held responsibility for colleges and universities and consulted direct-ly with post-secondary stakeholders at 17 universities and 25 colleges, with particular reference to a $200-million investment in capital projects.

In closing, I would like to thank you once again for giving me the opportunity to appear, and I look forward to any comments or questions you may have with regard to my proposed appointment.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Young. We'll begin with the government caucus.

Mr Wood: We'll waive our time.

The Chair: The government caucus has made a decision to waive its time, which means we'll come to the official opposition, Mr Caplan.

Mr Caplan: Mr Young, thank you for your presentation. Welcome, and welcome back. Correct me if I'm wrong, but as I recall from past association, you were a member of the family values caucus here at Queen's Park; that's correct?

Mr Young: We met about once a month. We called it the family issues group-in Ottawa, they have a family issues caucus, I guess, but we call it the family issues group-and discussed issues relating to family etc, yes.

Mr Caplan: You're interested in substance abuse. I guess I find a certain irony that you're proposing to be a licenser and regulator of alcohol and gaming activities in Ontario. Would you care to comment on your past associations and what you're proposing to do as a member of this commission?

Mr Young: Certainly. I'm not a gambler per se. As an MPP, I visited the casino in Niagara, the casino in Windsor and community gaming halls in Kenora and Thunder Bay. One time when I was in Ottawa, I took a cab over and visited the casino in Quebec. But other than that, in my life I've only ever been to one real casino, which was in Nassau on holiday about five years ago. I'm not a gambler. Once in a while I buy a lottery ticket or something.

But in my position as MPP, I discovered that there's an awful lot of gambling out there. A lot of people choose gaming as a form of entertainment and they choose these activities. I believe it's important to enforce fairness in these activities and have them out in the open where they can be seen and where the profits from the activities are put back in for the benefit of the public and to charities rather than what was happening, which was gambling taking place out of sight and in backrooms.

If I could give you one example, when we travelled on the government committee, in every community we went to the OPP would tell us there were VLTs in the bars and restaurants. They were paying cash for them, so people were playing them, but they were operated by people of dubious background. They didn't know where the profits went, and they weren't sure that people were being treated fairly. It made a great deal of sense, then, to take control of it and to license it and to make sure it's done fairly and in a well-controlled environment.

Also, you can imagine as a parent of three teenagers, I'm very concerned that teenagers and minors are not given access to gambling. So I would view my role on the commission as one of the people who help make sure that doesn't happen, and I think that's very important work.

Mr Caplan: But as I understand it, the government's direction is to expand gambling. We now have not only formal casinos, we have makeshift casinos at racetracks. There have been proposals to set up "community casinos." That will be a part of your duties and responsibilities. Do you feel that's an appropriate activity, to make casino gambling more available and accessible around the province of Ontario?

Mr Young: With respect, and I'm not on the commission yet, it's my understanding that is not part of the mandate of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission is there to ensure compliance with the law, and the law is policy created by the government.

In 1995, again when I was an MPP and in government duties, we knew that there were a lot of community gaming halls with these one- and two-night charity casinos where the charities weren't getting any money at all. In fact, no one really knew where some of the money was going. The charity gaming halls that are open now, I understand in Brantford and Sault Ste Marie, were passed with the support of the local community by ballot and are in and working. I think that was a democratic choice that they made.

When these things were being considered, and I was an MPP representing the northern part of Oakville, I took a message back to the government that Oakville chose not to have a community gaming hall. That was the message I sent back, and they listened and there is no proposal at this time.


Mr Caplan: In the city of Toronto, where I'm from, there was a referendum on various municipal ballots, or a plebiscite, and we now have slot machines in the racetracks within the city of Toronto, against the express wishes of the community residents. I would differ with you on the expansion of gambling.

I take it that the government looks to the commission for significant advice and direction as well. I wanted to ask you about one of the items that's on your CV. In committee work you list that you're an executive member of the Cornerstone Club. Perhaps you could elaborate as to what that organization is and its purpose, and what it does.

Mr Young: I'd be happy to do that. The Cornerstone Club is fundraising for the PC Party. It's a party I've belonged to since 1985. I don't apologize for that. Everybody at this table, elected officials, belongs to a party. I think that's how we give the voters choice, and that's a role I played between 1995 and 1999 as an MPP.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission is a different role. It's an adjudicative role with some administration, and I feel quite confident I can play that role in an unbiased manner. I've played many other roles, as chairs of various charities etc, in an unbiased manner and I would have no problem doing so with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission.

Mr Caplan: You're soliciting funds, large sums of dollars, from individuals and organizations. Would any of those groups fall under the umbrella of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission? Would they apply for licen-ces or be regulated at all by the commission on which you would like to sit?

Mr Young: The Cornerstone Club does not solicit large amounts of money from organizations. It's basically a one-on-one. It's an individual process where people join and they have a certain status. They're invited to certain events and that sort of thing. It's not large amounts of money from corporations or anything.

I can assure you, if I ever came across any person who was in any way connected with the hospitality industry, I would avoid any potential conflict of interest in my role on the Alcohol and Gaming Commission. I'm sure I can do that. I have experience as an MPP watching very carefully for conflict of interest and I assure you I would do that as well.

Mr Caplan: So you concede it would be a conflict of interest for you to solicit funds from an individual who would be regulated or licensed by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission if you were to be appointed to that body?

Mr Young: In politics, perception is the reality. I wouldn't say it necessarily would be, but I would say to avoid the perception I wouldn't do that.

Mr Caplan: You wouldn't do it. Does the Cornerstone Club have members who would fall under the auspices of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission?

Mr Young: I don't know of any.

Mr Caplan: You don't know of any?

Mr Young: I don't know of any.

Mr Caplan: You are chair of the organization. I presume that you do receive detailed information about that group.

Mr Young: I'm not chair. I'm one of about 25 people on the executive.

Mr Caplan: You're not chair of that particular organization?

Mr Young: No. I'm on the executive.

Mr Caplan: It's just interesting. I had a copy of the newsletter. It said, "Cornerstone chairs." In fact, you're listed second, under Mr-

Mr Young: I'm sorry. Those are area chairs for Burlington-Oakville.

Mr Caplan: So you are a chair.

Mr Young: A chair of an area. That's correct, yes.

Mr Caplan: I was curious about a number of the groups and individuals who would be a part of this organization. Would you have any hand in soliciting funds from, say, Labatt Breweries or Magnotta Winery Estates or Molstar or the Ontario Jockey Club, all of which are rather large contributors to the Ontario PC Party? This is a fund of the PC Party. Would you have any role at all in soliciting funds from any of those organizations?

Mr Young: No. My role would be limited normally to the area that my title is chair of, which is as an executive member. I wouldn't do that. I understand the sensitivities and the perceptions and the reality, and I would not do that. I would pledge that to you today.

Mr Caplan: As you put it, the perception that that conflict would exist I think creates a significant problem. I feel it puts you in an untenable position to have the perception of, on the one hand, soliciting funds-and I don't know what you consider small or large, but I think they're quite large sums of money-and then, on the other hand, being involved in a regulatory and licensing body for individuals or organizations which could fall under your jurisdiction. I think that would be just an absolutely impossible situation to be in and to have to adjudicate in your own mind which ones are reasonable and which ones are not. How could the public have confidence that you would be able to do that or to know all of the relevant situations? I don't see how that would be possible.

Mr Young: You wouldn't have to adjudicate that in your own mind.

Mr Caplan: Who would, then?

Mr Young: As a member of the board you have other resources, which are the other board members. There are 13 board members and there is a chair. If there was ever any question in my mind, an administrative or adjudicative question, you have the resources of the other board members to go to. If I were ever asked to sit on anything where I knew the people-for instance, if I had a restaurant in the town of Oakville where I knew the owner-I could simply say to the chair, "I shouldn't sit on that. I know the owner," or, "I've met them through another capacity," and the chair or the registrar could have someone else sit on that from another community. So you can actually avoid those issues.

Mr Christopherson: Thanks, Terry. Welcome back. I want to say at the outset that I am one of those who has a high comfort level with appointing former elected officials from any level of government to positions, for a number of reasons. Hopefully not the strongest one is the fact that I'll be one some day, either by my choice or that of my constituents. But certainly for those of us who served during the time of and personally knew Hans Daigeler, I think that shook a lot of people. I know that the former-what's the name of the association?

Mr Young: Ontario Association of Former Parliamentarians.

Mr Christopherson: I've got to learn it because I'll be a member some day; hopefully not too soon, but I will be a member. That jarred a lot of us when we watched what happened to Hans.

Certainly in my own community there was a bit of a backlash when Lillian Ross, the former MPP for Hamilton West, was appointed to a full-time position. I spoke out immediately, saying that I thought it was a good appointment. I knew that she was not someone of independent means and wealth or a professional, and she was serving in a way such that I thought her experience would reflect well on all of us in terms of where she ended up. I don't have a problem with that. In fact, I think there are some people who aren't used enough in terms of their experience. That's not a block for me and the fact that you're a Tory is not a block for me, per se.

I have to tell you, though-and your answer is going to mean a lot to me, so think about it. Not that it's not going to go through anyway, the Tories are going to carry it, but I consider these things to be important matters and very non-partisan from our point of view. I found your answer around the gambling curious too, and I share some of the concerns of David. You responded about the idea of gambling versus your background and your own personal values and said that it's already out there and there's a lot of it going on, you learned there was more of it when you became an MPP and you thought it was important to regulate that and ensure that there was-and I'm paraphrasing-a fairly safe and secure place for people to conduct this. At the risk of seeming to be argumentative, that's one of the main reasons why things like abortion services are provided in this community, because of the reality versus the way people would like the world to be.

My biggest problem is when I look at the requirements, Terry. They call for the principles of "honesty and integrity and social responsibility." I have no problem saying publicly right now, anywhere, anytime, that I would never question your honesty or integrity. I think you are one of the most upright, straightforward, honest politicians who has served here, and I would have no problem standing behind that statement anywhere. On the social responsibility, in terms of knowing your political philosophy, I start to get into some difficulty.

Two areas: One is the area that David Caplan has mentioned in terms of the fundraising and just the whole notion of sitting on a licensing board where decisions can mean huge sums of money, big money, in terms of whether you're granting a licence, and can also mean a business person has invested a whole lot of money thinking they're going to get it, and if it doesn't happen, they're out a lot of money and they're going to be upset. These are crucial decisions, not unlike zoning decisions, if you will.


To have someone who is so closely tied with a political party and being a part of and staying with this Cornerstone Club-even though you may not be directly involved in fundraising with these businesses, your colleagues and people you're interacting with will be-I've got to tell you, that one really leaves me uncomfortable. It's just so close in terms of the appearance of conflict, and, as you stated, in politics that's much of the game.

The other part of it is, where there's a choice. Again, having the experience of sitting close together in the House, listening to your speeches and being in committees with you, I know that you're very pro-business and on the right wing of your party, and that's fine. But these decisions also, I know from my days as a local alderman-a liquor licence can change the nature of a community overnight. If you're only looking at the business case or giving too much emphasis to the business case, especially where it's one of these that could go either way, that worries me. That concerns me a lot in terms of the values and philosophy you would bring to those decisions, and I worry that there won't be enough consideration for the impact on the neighbourhood, the people who live there, especially when you link it to the possibility that you may know or be once removed from the person who's making the application in terms of the dollars.

If it were any other appointment, I'd be very supportive and would say so and this would be a short discussion, but on this one, Terry, it really gives me a problem. Can you respond to me in a way that you think might raise my comfort level?

Mr Young: With regard to your first issue, I'm not on the board yet. There's an acting chair, but I haven't had a sit-down meeting with the acting chair. What I will do is commit to the committee members today to sit down with the chair and discuss that very issue raised by Mr Caplan and take the advice of the chair on any potential or perceived conflict of interest. I'll commit that to you today.

On the second issue, I appreciate your raising that, because I spent many years before I was in public life on Crime Stoppers for Halton region, which is a community based volunteer organization. We raise money, answer the telephone and pay tipsters, many of whom call in and report crimes without even taking the money. They just want to do the right thing in their community.

I was also involved in community policing. We had monthly meetings with the police. It's basically a bunch of homeowners and parents who get together and meet with the police monthly and share information about the community to improve the quality of life in the community and policing. I was very involved with those community issues.

On the Glen Abbey Residents' Association, we met monthly. To anyone who wanted to build a building or change the community in any way, the council of Oakville would say, "Well, you should go talk to the Glen Abbey Residents' Association." We went to a lot of work, a lot of residents in addition to myself, and we analyzed every change to the community. They would actually make changes to buildings, make changes to their plans to please the community. I was very involved with what happens in the community and protecting the community. It was not a matter of being pro-business or pro-community, it was a matter of finding the right balance.

I attended a meeting just several months ago. Home Depot wanted to open a big store on the North Service Road right next to our community, which most of the community members felt was inappropriate. I attended that meeting and participated in that issue as well. In other words, it's a great idea to have a store, but have it up on Highway 5 where all the other big stores are; don't have it down here on the North Service Road.

So I've been very involved in community issues where the community came first.

Mr Christopherson: That's helpful, and I know that you're sincere in offering those up. I've got to tell you, I'm having real difficulty with this particular appointment, Terry. I wish it were another. I'd like to vote in favour of it, because to some degree, at one level, it's a bit of a passing of judgment on a former colleague. I came in here wanting to support you but recognizing that I think these conflicts-I don't think it's good politics, I don't think it's good for the province to put someone who is so closely aligned to partisan politics, and in a fundraising nature, on something so closely tied to business, money and communities. You know I'm not a fan of the philosophy of the current government in terms of what they think about communities and how they operate. I just can't bring myself to support this.

I say to you very frankly that I would have no problem defending supporting you for something where I thought there was a good fit, because I think you have more to contribute to our province. Again, even though I disagree with a lot of your philosophy, I think the kind of person you are is good for Ontario, good for politics and good for democracy, but I think this is a bad fit, Terry, and I wish it was something else in front of me.

The Chair: Any other comments? Mr Young, would you like to make any wrap-up statement?

Mr Young: No, just thank you very much for the opportunity to appear. Thank you for your time.

The Chair: Thank you very much, Mr Young.

Having heard the three intended appointees, and having interviewed these appointees, we now have the time for consideration of concurrence in the appointments. Is there a motion, first of all, on the selection of Mr James Grieve?

Mr Wood: I move concurrence in the intended appointment of Mr Grieve.

The Chair: Any discussion? All in favour? Opposed? Carried unanimously.

I'll now entertain a motion in concurrence for the appointment of Sharon Wheeler, intended appointee as member, Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corp board of directors.

Mr Wood: I move concurrence in the intended appointment of Ms Wheeler.

The Chair: Discussion? All in favour? Opposed? It is carried.

Lastly, the intended appointee as member of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission board of directors, Mr Terence Young.

Mr Wood: I move concurrence in the intended appointment of Mr Young.

The Chair: Mr Wood moves concurrence in the appointment of Terence Young. Discussion? Mr Wood.

Mr Wood: I support concurrence and I do it on the basis that I think Mr Young has heard some considerations put forward today with respect to his outside activities that I know he's going to consider very carefully. I support this with the confidence that he is going to do the right thing in the areas of concern that were raised.

The Chair: Other discussion or comments? If not, I'll call the motion. All in favour? Opposed? The motion is carried.

You'll notice on the agenda a request by Bruce Crozier, MPP, for extension of the deadline pursuant to standing order 106(e)11 to review the intended appoint-ment of Shehnaz Alidina, as member of the Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal. It is my understanding from discussions with members of all three political parties that there is unanimous consent for a 30-day extension. So I'll simply announce that as unanimous consent. I see nodding from all three parties.

Any other business before the committee adjourns? There being no other business, I'll entertain a motion of adjournment.

Mr Wood: So moved.

The Chair: Moved by Mr Wood. All in favour? Opposed? Carried. The meeting is adjourned.

The committee adjourned at 1119.