Mr James Grieve
Ms Sharon Wheeler
Mr Terence Young
STANDING COMMITTEE ON
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
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
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
Mr Bob Wood (London
West): So moved.
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
Review of intended
appointment, selected by official opposition party: James Grieve,
intended appointee as member, Niagara Grant Review Team.
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?
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.
Thank you very much, sir. I'll begin with the official
opposition, Mr Caplan.
Mr David Caplan (Don
Valley East): How much time?
Each party will have nine minutes now assigned to them.
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
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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?
Yes, on a per capita basis.
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
Christopherson (Hamilton West): Thank you, Mr Grieve,
for your comments this morning. You were on the city council?
Yes, for 15 years.
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
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?
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.
Christopherson: What would you consider to be the top
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.
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
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
Unless you were specific, it's a hard question to answer.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Thank you very much. I appreciate your comments.
The government party now.
We'll waive our time.
The government party is going to waive its time. Does that
include Mr Kells?
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.
Thank you very much for appearing before the committee, Mr
Review of intended
appointment, selected by official opposition party: Sharon
Wheeler, intended appointee as member, Ontario Tourism Marketing
Partnership Corp board of directors.
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.
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
Thank you very much. We will begin our questioning this time with
the third party, and that will be Mr Christopherson.
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
Christopherson: Without getting into specifics, I would
assume that you have probably had an increase in five years in
your wages, some modest increase.
I personally have. I have also switched jobs three or four times
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.
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?
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.
Mazzilli: That's my only question. Thank you.
We'll waive the balance of our time.
The government party has agreed to waive the balance of its time,
so I will proceed to the official opposition.
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
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
Wheeler: Would that be overseas versus US tourism into
Ontario as well, or just overall?
That would be overseas visitation.
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.
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
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?
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
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?
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.
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.
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
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.
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?
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 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
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
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
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
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
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.
Thank you, Mr Young. We'll begin with the government caucus.
We'll waive our time.
The government caucus has made a decision to waive its time,
which means we'll come to the official opposition, 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?
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.
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?
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
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.
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?
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
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.
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.
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
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?
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.
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?
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.
You wouldn't do it. Does the Cornerstone Club have members who
would fall under the auspices of the Alcohol and Gaming
I don't know of any.
You don't know of any?
I don't know of any.
You are chair of the organization. I presume that you do receive
detailed information about that group.
I'm not chair. I'm one of about 25 people on the executive.
You're not chair of that particular organization?
No. I'm on the executive.
It's just interesting. I had a copy of the newsletter. It said,
"Cornerstone chairs." In fact, you're listed second, under
I'm sorry. Those are area chairs for Burlington-Oakville.
So you are a chair.
A chair of an area. That's correct, yes.
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?
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
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
You wouldn't have to adjudicate that in your own mind.
Who would, then?
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.
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
Ontario Association of Former Parliamentarians.
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
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
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
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?
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
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
So I've been very involved
in community issues where the community came first.
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
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.
Any other comments? Mr Young, would you like to make any wrap-up
No, just thank you very much for the opportunity to appear. Thank
you for your time.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Moved by Mr Wood. All in favour? Opposed? Carried. The meeting is