Mr Richard Brassard
Mr Cameron Leach
Mr Bill Fatsis
Ms Mary Anne McKellar
Mr Richard Dodds
Mr Milton Gregory
Mr Richard Margesson
Mr Benoît Martin
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)
Clerk / Greffière
Ms Donna Bryce
Staff / Personnel
Mr David Pond, research officer,
Research and Information Services
The committee met at 1006 in room 228.
The Chair (Mr James J.
Bradley): I'm going to call the meeting to order. I see
that all parties are fully represented this morning, so I now
want to commence the meeting. I always like waiting, if it's
necessary, till we have all the people here, and we do.
I'm delighted to welcome you
back in the new year to the government agencies committee. We
have, of course, a number of appointments today to various
agencies, boards and commissions, which will be this morning and
Before we start, Mr Martin,
you have a question?
Mr Tony Martin (Sault
Ste Marie): On a point of order, Mr Chairman: I was
wondering if you could tell me how decisions are made about where
committees meet in this precinct. For example, I wonder why this
committee, which makes some pretty important decisions about
appointments to boards and commissions that are important across
this province, never gets to meet in room 151, so that the
proceedings could be televised and the public could have a look
in on some of the questioning and some of the answers we get, so
that they would have some sense of what criteria are being used
by the government today to appoint some of the people that they
I would think it would be
somewhat unfortunate if, for example, that room was empty this
morning. I don't know if it is or not. I didn't come by there; I
came across the second floor. But it's unfortunate if that room
is empty and we are over here doing this very important work and
we are not taking advantage of the opportunity to be more present
to the public out there in the work we do here.
I think we on this side of
the room have all put on the record that there certainly seems to
be a pattern of appointing friends and colleagues of the present
government, although other governments have done that as well.
But I would think that if the government has no concern about
that, they would be more than happy to do this in as public a way
as is possible.
So my question is, how is the
decision made about where this committee meets, and why is it
that we never meet, or other committees take precedence or
priority in terms of room 151?
Mr Morley Kells
(Etobicoke-Lakeshore): Mr Chair, if you're going to do a
little research to provide the answer to the honourable member,
find out how many times this committee met in room 151 when the
NDP was in power.
The Chair: I
have a comment. Is this a request you are making, that this
committee start sitting in that room?
Martin: What you'll find when you go into that history,
Mr Chair, is that when the NDP was in power this committee met
all over the province. We were out investigating agencies and
boards, and meeting with people all over this province, because
we were a government that felt that was important. We thought
that was an investment in democracy to do that kind of thing.
It's called payback time.
Martin: It's called payback, I've heard from the other
side. That's what this committee-
I'm going to call this part of the discussion to order right now
and ask our clerk how it is that we determine this. I presume
anybody can make a re-quest to sit in any specific room they
wish, but I'll ask our clerk to report on this.
Clerk of the
Committee (Ms Donna Bryce): At the beginning of the
session the rooms are divvied up among the committees, and 228
just happens to be this committee's regular meeting room. So
unless otherwise requested, either by the subcommittee or the
Chair, this committee always meets in room 228. It may be
something the subcommittee may want to discuss.
Martin: Could I make a suggestion, then, that the
subcommittee consider, if only from time to time and particularly
when the room is available, that this committee might meet in
room 151 so the public could have a look in on some of the
questioning and some of the criteria that are in place.
My understanding is that the Amethyst Room-I always have a hard
time pronouncing that-room 151, can be broadcast across the
province. I have seen that before; I think the economic policy
committee or the finance committee. Anyway, I will leave that to
the subcommittee now because I would like to proceed with this,
but it's an interesting point.
The Chair: I
want to commence our actual agenda today. First is the reports of
the subcommittee on committee business dated Thursday, December
21, 2000, and Thursday, January 4, 2001.
Mr Bob Wood (London
West): I move their adoption.
The Chair: Mr Wood has moved their
adoption. Discussion, first of all? If not, all in favour?
Opposed? Motion carried.
Review of intended
appointment, selected by official opposition party: Richard
Brassard, intended appointee as member, Muskoka, Nipissing, Parry
Sound and Timiskaming grant review team.
We will begin the appointments review now. The first person is
Richard Brassard, who is the intended appointee as member,
Muskoka, Nipissing, Parry Sound and Timiskaming grant review
team. Mr Brassard, I hope I've pronounced it correctly.
Brassard: You did.
Thank you, sir. If you will come forward, the procedure we follow
is that you are welcome to make an opening statement should you
see fit, or not-that's entirely up to you-and then the parties
each have 10 minutes to direct questions to you.
Thank you, Mr Chairman, ladies and gentlemen of the committee. I
would like to take this opportunity to thank the committee for
extending the deadline for this interview from December 17 to the
end of January. Until I read in Hansard about the problem that my
inability to appear in December may have caused, I really had no
idea that there was a concern. In fact, during my visits to
Toronto, I try to conduct as much business as possible, and this
particular date in January seemed to serve that purpose. In my
travels and during the course of a day, or any other time frame
for that matter, I make every attempt to plan and manage my time
wisely and that is something that I believe would be extremely
helpful to me as a potential member of the grant review team.
Throughout the course of my
life, I have always been a believer in community involvement. For
me, it was unacceptable to sit at home and complain. If a change
needed to be made or something needed to be done, and if I cared
about an issue, I felt that it was important for me to assume
some type of role in affecting that change or in helping to get
the job done. I believe that the strength of any community comes
directly from the degree to which citizens take responsibility
for their collective well-being and do so through acts of
Following the recent
municipal election, during which I was elected mayor of the town
of Englehart, I spent the first few weeks selecting and
appointing individuals to a host of committees which are designed
to serve the public interest in areas of sports, culture, arts,
recreation, social services and so on. All the committees are
designed to enhance and support community life which, I believe,
also reflect the vision and mission of the Trillium Foundation.
In each instance and with each appointment, I would send the
individual a personal letter welcoming him or her to the
committee and thanking that person for being a caring,
community-oriented volunteer. A community is only as strong as
the volunteers who give of their time and efforts to make that
community a better place in which to live, to work and to raise
Having served as a volunteer
for over 25 years in such endeavours as coaching sports, serving
on a board of a credit union, being appointed to and serving on
the Nipissing-Timiskaming District Health Council, as well as in
helping to organize the Northern Ontario Games for the Physically
Disabled in 1981, I feel that my experiences would serve me as an
intended appointee to the Muskoka, Nipissing, Parry Sound and
Timiskaming grant review team.
As the former chairman of the
Nipissing-Timiskaming District Health Council, I believe that I
have acquired a good understanding of the two districts and the
communities within those districts. When the
Nipissing-Timiskaming District Health Council merged with the
Muskoka-Parry Sound District Health Council in late 1997 and
early 1998, I served as a member of the transition team and came
to know those two districts to a greater degree than ever
In addition, I'll attempt to
bring a perspective to the table from central Timiskaming so that
people might better understand the area, but when decisions are
made that involve a geographic area, my approach is to have a
broad-based approach rather than to have a narrow focus. I
sincerely believe that membership on any committee must be based
on a desire and commitment to serve the whole public interest,
rather than the interests of a certain few, and I have
endeavoured to maintain that approach in my work as a volunteer
In closing, ladies and
gentlemen, I would like to once again thank you for having given
me the opportunity to appear before you today as a candidate for
membership on the Muskoka, Nipissing, Parry Sound and Timiskaming
grant review team. I accept your decision, whatever it may be,
and I invite any questions that you may wish to direct my
Thank you very much, sir. We'll commence with the official
Mr Bruce Crozier
(Essex): Thank you and welcome to the committee. I see
by the information that's been given to me that you were a
candidate in the 1999 Ontario provincial election. That was for
That's correct. In the Timiskaming-Cochrane riding.
Does that mean, then, that you're a member of the Conservative
I am, sir.
Can you tell us what positions you've held, if any, in the
I hold no positions in the Conservative Party.
OK. When it came to this appointment, did you apply for it or
were you approached?
Mr Brassard: No, I applied for it.
I had discussed the matter with another member on the grant
review team and, discovering that there was an opening, it
interested me, so I applied for the position.
Sir, was that before you were elected mayor?
In my view, there may be a question raised, since you're the
mayor of Englehart, that you may have to review applications that
would be presented at the same time as those of other
communities. Can you tell me, then, how I could be assured, but
more importantly, how the people in the area in which you're
going to serve can be sure, that there is no conflict of
Certainly, as a former chairman of a district health council, as
mayor of a community, I'm very aware of conflict of interest. In
discussions that I've had with others regarding this particular
issue, I'm led to believe that no applications would be directed
my way if they pertained to my constituency. So I would be
prepared, in the event that they were for some unforeseen reason,
to declare a conflict of interest and not deliberate on those
But you may know, sir, or at least you will find out, that the
requests exceed the amount that's available, so whether they
direct anything from the Englehart area your way or not, there is
going to be a competition between your community and others.
Wouldn't you at least consider the fact that being mayor may put
you in a conflict?
I would never put myself in a compromising position. If I thought
there was a conflict of interest, I would declare it.
Doesn't that reduce your effectiveness on the committee if you
have to declare a conflict? In other words, you're not there to
help them make the decision.
I think the committee would expect that of me. That's, in my
mind, a rule and I've always tried to govern myself
Why wouldn't you just simply say, "I'm now mayor of Englehart,"
so that there can be absolutely no question about a conflict?
With what's in the news today, particularly with golf courses and
Peter Minogue and others, conflict of interest is certainly on
everybody's mind. Wouldn't it be just as easy for you to say,
"Look, I think perhaps you should get someone else who can serve
completely, can serve without any question of conflict of
I don't think I would ever have a problem whatsoever in that
area. I think my actions to date serving on various other
committees have shown that to be correct, so I'm not prepared to
step down. But I am prepared to declare a conflict of interest
and to indicate to everyone who sits on that review team-I'm sure
they already know that I am the mayor, because I'm acquainted
with most of those who sit on the grant review team in the
Well, sir, it doesn't always matter whether it's in your mind.
It's what is perceived by the public as well. Aren't you
concerned about that?
I'm not concerned about it. I don't think the public would have
any concern. I think the public in the area is well aware of my
activities within the community, and that certainly has not been
something or will not be something that concerns me, because I
know I'll do the right thing.
When you were chair of the Nipissing-Timiskaming District Health
Council, did you hold any public elected office at that time?
I did not.
You did not. So you don't have any experience as to whether or
not you may be in conflict when it comes to being on one
appointed body as opposed to being an elected official.
I served on municipal council from 1977, I believe, until 1985,
in the town of Englehart on many, many committees. I've never,
ever had a comment directed toward me that my actions could be
perceived as or were in fact a conflict of interest. There is no
track record in that department. I have no concerns and I assure
the public that they will not have any concerns in that area
Had you been elected in 1999, would you have been expected to be
appointed to a committee such as this by the government of the
Then why would you expect to be an elected official and appointed
to a committee like this today?
I may be wrong, and I stand corrected if I am, but I believe
being an elected member of the Legislature precludes one from
holding office as far as an appointment from the province is
You may be right or wrong. I don't know.
I think I'm right.
I'm asking about the perception. What's the difference, in your
I think I can honestly serve both purposes. I can act on behalf
of my municipality and the citizens at large within the
Well, sir, you have a great public record. I'm going to have to
vote against this-you're going to be appointed anyway, so don't
be afraid-because I frankly think the honourable and correct
thing to do would be to withdraw your name.
Mrs Leona Dombrowsky
(Hastings-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington): Do you still
serve as principal?
Dombrowsky: Elementary or secondary?
Dombrowsky: How many students?
There are approximately 318 students in my school as we
Mrs Dombrowsky: Is that in the
community of Englehart?
No, it's in the community of Kirkland Lake.
Dombrowsky: Well, Mr Brassard, I guess there are two
points that I would like to make. First of all, I do have some
familiarity with education and I certainly appreciate the many
challenges in the role of principal. I have some concern, given
your many community commitments, and I would suggest that
participating on this type of review team would be a significant
commitment of time and energy as well. So I have some question
and concern about the impact that might have on your professional
Further to the conversation
you've had with my colleague Mr Crozier, when people put their
names forward to participate on local boards or review teams as
members of a community, it usually is from the perspective that
they can advocate on behalf of their community. Yet you've
presented here that on those occasions, if there was an
application from a local club or agency, when really it would be
in the better interests of your community to have someone speak
to the very good work and the commitment of the people who've
made an application, in those particular cases you would remove
yourself from those conversations lest there would be a perceived
conflict. I would suggest that for the very reason that you would
put your name forward, you've indicated today that you would not
be participating in those discussions. So I question how
effective you might be as a member of a review team, as an
advocate for your community, when you've stated already that
whenever anything of your community would come on the agenda, you
would remove yourself from those conversations or those
I have very serious concerns
about your appointment for these two reasons: the impact it will
have on your other very important professional role-and I'm not
questioning, I'm sure you're an excellent principal, but I also
have some sense of the significant demands on that role-and the
other is what I think is really quite clear, that you have put
your name forward as a community advocate and then state for us
today that when there would be conversations about your
community, you would remove yourself from those discussions.
I could be wrong but I believe that's standard procedure when
committees meet to discuss applications, that if you're from a
particular community, you must remove yourself from those
discussions. I stand corrected, but I'm led to believe that's the
case. So anyone who is on a committee might be required to do
Dombrowsky: In my experience-I was a school board
trustee, so it was certainly a representative role, representing
a particular part of a board jurisdiction-I always thought I had
a responsibility to take a very active role and share with my
colleagues all the information I could about my community. If
there was a conversation about an improvement to a school in my
area, I had to be there. I had to explain to them why this was an
important consideration for my community. That's my idea of an
advocate. That you say on those occasions you would remove
yourself from that conversation I don't think is really doing the
community you serve justice.
I think perhaps the definition of what role you serve on whatever
board or agency could differ. Again, I may be wrong on that, but
your role would be distinctly different from my role in that you
were a school board member. That's my guess. I'm not 100% certain
about that but that's what I might think.
Time has expired for the official opposi-tion. For the third
party, Mr Martin.
Martin: I initially wanted to follow up on some of the
questioning of the Liberals with regard to your political
affiliation. I think it's really important, and we should know
about it, understand it and have it on the record to some degree.
Are you on the executive of the PC riding association?
No, I am not.
Martin: You were just a candidate?
I was a candidate.
Martin: Have you ever served on the executive of the
I never have.
Martin: Out of all the boards and commissions that
anybody in this province conceivably could try to be part of, you
chose the grant review team to ask to be appointed to. Could you
tell me why this particular appointment and not some other
I think this is an opportunity to make a difference within the
area. There is certainly great need in the Timiskaming district
for improvement, and I believe I have a fair understanding of the
needs of the district, even beyond what's in the resumé. So
I guess I'm there to make a difference for the district. I
believe in the future of the district. We've certainly had a
difficult time economically in the last few years and I think it
requires that people get involved in whatever way they can to
make some things happen so that the future is bright. Certainly a
lot of people in the district are doing what they can as
volunteers and in other ways to create that brighter future, a
better vision for the Timiskaming district.
Martin: Do you understand the framework within which
money is collected and grants are given out?
I believe I do.
Martin: Could you share that with us?
Brassard: The monies come from the revenues that come
into casinos through slot machines and are distributed
accordingly. I believe 25% goes directly to either racetracks or
to support the community that hosts the racetracks or the
casinos. Another 2% from the revenue goes to the problem gambling
strategy and then the remaining 73%, I believe, is distributed to
a number of organizations, including the Ontario Trillium
Foundation-I think the budget is $100 million-which is then
distributed throughout the province. At least 80% of it goes directly to the grant
review teams in the particular districts for distribution on a
per capita basis, and 20% stays with the Trillium board and is
distributed on provincial projects or activities.
Martin: Your part of Ontario, not unlike my own of Sault
Ste Marie, is probably struggling at the moment in terms of its
economy and trying to find some anchors re some new business so
people can get work. As you can imagine, and I'm sure you know
because of your role as the mayor of that community, there's
tremendous demand for resources to deliver all kinds of programs
where, in my view, there used to be sufficient money to provide
some of what typically and traditionally were
government-delivered programs. They have been shrunk now and
organizations that used to be able to avail themselves of the
charity of the community are now competing with lots of
organizations that weren't in the mix before.
What are your thoughts on
some of the criteria and, as applications come before you, what
will the priorities be, in your view, for the use of this money
in your particular area of northern Ontario?
Brassard: I think you have to take a look at each and
every application on its individual merit. Now, I know there are
broad categories. We look at sports and recreation. There's a
great need in northern Ontario for enhancement of those kinds of
programs and facilities. There's a major focus certainly in my
community on the environment as well in the Timiskaming district.
We look at arts and culture and social and human services. In my
view, I think you have to take a look at each project for its
individual merit and try to juggle that, because you're looking
at a limited resource, prioritize it and do the best job that you
can based on how you collectively think of that particular
application or applications. I think you look at each one
individually in the framework.
Martin: What would the priority for you be? You
mentioned culture and recreation, sports and then human and
social services as three areas.
Martin: What would the priority for you be?
Brassard: You know, I thought about that. For most of my
life I've been involved in sports and recreation, but that's only
me, and within this mix there is everybody else. So I think I
defer to the fact that everybody is important in this and we have
to take a look at everybody's needs and make decisions according
to how we see the public need, which is the priority, and go
according to that.
Martin: I guess the concern I would have in that is,
would you be able to separate yourself from your party
affiliation in terms of some of those priorities? Because it's
fairly obvious to me that there's a bias in this government
against anything organized and run by organized labour, for
example. There's a bias when supplying anything more by way of
support and sustenance to those at the bottom rung of the income
scale. Very early in its mandate this government took 22% of the
income away from the most vulnerable and the poorest in our
community by way of a reduction in social assistance, and just in
the last couple of years they've chosen to hold back the child
tax credit that goes from the federal government to the poorest
of our families to feed children, simply because the parents in
that family don't have a job and they're on the system. Even if
they have a job and they're being topped up in some way by the
social assistance system, that $50 is taken away and put into
some other fund that this government uses for God knows what,
probably a tax break.
If grants came forward to
you as a member of this team which spoke of trying to relieve
some of the very difficult poverty that's out there and you had
to stack that up against some other things-sports and recreation
is one thing you mentioned. Certainly an argument could be made
that it's important that children in poor families get to
participate in some of those things, as other children do who can
afford it, and if you can make that available, that's fine.
Do you share the same
antipathy as this government to targeted groups of people such as
the ones I mentioned, and would that affect your decision-making
when it comes to this work?
Brassard: I'm a school principal; I'm a father; I'm a
community member. I understand human suffering. I understand
community needs. I think I would make my decisions based on my
beliefs that the future lies with our children and we must create
a better future.
To answer maybe a concern
that the two opposition members brought earlier on, I can assure
you that the right decisions will be made. There will be no
conflict of interest. We will look at what's before us and make
appropriate decisions based on numerous factors that enter into
the picture. Again, the future is our children and our
communities. We have to make decisions based on their needs, and
that's what I'm prepared to do.
Martin: Do you believe it's proper and right for this
government to claw back the child tax credit from poor
Brassard: Mr Martin, if I may, I'm an applicant for a
position on a grant review team. I'm a member of the Conservative
Party, and that's well known. Respectfully, I would do what is
right in my heart and in my head to help people so that
communities are better places and our children have a future. So
I don't know how that enters into the debate here right now, how
I feel about that particular issue.
That's the final question, unfortunately, for you. It terminates
Government caucus, Mr
Mr Bert Johnson
(Perth-Middlesex): I'm pleased to have an opportunity to
take a minute because I was so impressed with Mr Brassard's
resumé. I thought, here's a man who has served the
educational and the municipal part of his community so well and
for so many years that surely here is a top-notch candidate for
the kind of people we would want on this sort of team.
I and the member for Essex served as mayors of our
communities. I'm not sure about him, but I know that I held a
real estate broker's licence at that time. There were frequent
times when I declared and saw on the horizon a possibility for a
conflict. We had seven people on council. I indicated my concern.
I got up and left the meeting, and when that part of the business
was done, I came back.
I see in this applicant the
same sort of training or background, so I don't share the
concerns of the member, Mr Crozier, about that particular
I don't really have a
question. I just wanted to add my comments to this morning's
interview. Thank you.
Anyone else from the government caucus?
We'll waive the balance of our time.
Thank you, Mr Wood, for your notification.
Thank you very much, Mr
Brassard, for appearing before the committee. You are now
permitted to depart.
Brassard: Thank you very much, Mr Chairman. I appreciate
the challenging questions and I await your response.
Review of intended
appointment, selected by official opposition party and third
party: Cameron Leach, intended appointee as member, Regional
Municipality of Niagara Police Services Board.
The next intended appointee is Cameron Leach, intended appointee
as member, Regional Municipality of Niagara Police Services
Mr Leach, you are probably
aware, as you were in the audience before, listening, that you
have the opportunity to make an initial statement should you wish
to do so. That's entirely your choice. Welcome to the
Leach: Thank you, Mr Chair, ladies and gentlemen. I
would like to make a brief opening statement.
I am very pleased to be
here today as an intended appointee for the Niagara Police
Services Board. I recognize the importance of the board's
services to the community and to the Niagara region police
It is public knowledge that
the Niagara Regional Police department is in need of sincere
assistance in areas of budgeting, morality and highway
fatalities. As a concerned citizen and business owner in the
Niagara region, I bring to the board a true understanding of the
needs of the community and the police force in regard to
providing a safe environment. As a businessman, I understand that
effective budgeting and decision-making comes through extensive
I understand that my
principal responsibilities will include a safe environment,
effective budgeting, and to determine objectives and priorities
for police services, establish policies for police services,
annually determine their remuneration and working conditions
within the police services, monitor the police chief's
performance, and develop programs to enhance professional police
practices, standards and training.
In my position as a new
board member, I want to observe and gauge the inner workings of
the board's present direction and policies. I want to take a
proactive and direct approach to present and future board
In closing, I look forward
to the opportunity of dedicating my time and knowledge to the
police services board and the Niagara region.
Thank you very much, Mr Leach. We commence this time with the
Martin: Again, the same as I asked the previous
candidate: out of all the things that you could possibly apply
for and want to participate in, in terms of the public life of
your community, why would you have chosen the police services
With my experience as a businessman and being in the community
for all my life, I feel that I would be able to put added value
toward the operations and the policies of the police services. It
would be through the understanding of community policing and how
safe I would like the Niagara region to be overall. So that would
be the input that I would put forward.
Martin: You'll know again, because, as the Chair said,
you sat through the last interview, that one of the issues that
we around this table concern ourselves with so often in
appointments is potential conflict of interest. As you'll know,
I'm sure, the area of policing is a very sensitive area where
that issue is concerned. As a matter of fact, we, as members of
this place, are told very clearly when we get elected that there
are a couple of areas of jurisdiction that we try to stay away
from because we don't want to mix the political with the legal
and get ourselves involved in any way, shape or form or to be
perceived as trying to influence the work of policing because it
is so important to our communities and, I would have to say, such
a sensitive and difficult area.
You own a hotel.
Martin: Does that have a bar in it?
I'm in the food and beverage; it does have a bar in it, yes.
Martin: And it's an area that could come into
relationship with the police from time to time?
It's an area that politicians attend, lawyers, accountants; the
police do go there. It's a public place.
Martin: But in their official capacity, they're
sometimes called in if there's an altercation or something in the
place or they may in fact, under the Alcohol and Gaming
Commission, have to come in sometimes and do an inspection or a
I know that recently the
Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations has come out very
heavily and hard against what he terms illegal activity in booze
cans and after-hours bars and that kind of thing. I've had a
number of folks from my own community in to see me to complain
that they're being harassed by the inspectors, who are oftentimes backed up by
the police, in terms of trying to make sure that the law of the
land is being lived up to. Do you see where that may become a
potential problem for you?
To answer the first part of your question, I would not have a
conflict. In 23 years of operating the Mansion House, I invite
the police in; they have never been called in. I am happy to see
them to do a walk through. I've never had any infractions through
the health department, through the liquor board, nor have I had
any infraction with the police, whether it be OPP or Niagara
Martin: So you're saying in your business and in your
personal life you've not had any run-ins with the police at
None whatsoever, and I don't intend to.
Martin: You don't see where your owning of that hotel
and being in the food and beverage industry might in any way
cause you some difficulty in terms of carrying out your duty or
may give you some undue influence where perhaps applying for a
licence of some sort might be concerned or perhaps the
application of the law is concerned?
No. I don't think I'd be any different than a plumber or a
Martin: Just a couple of more general questions. There
has certainly been a lot of discussion lately re the whole
question of policing and police associations and their
involvement in the political process. You'll remember the True
Blue campaign that happened in the Toronto area over the last
year or so and the-
I'm not sure I'm aware of that. Maybe you could explain that to
Martin: It was a fundraising campaign put on by the
Toronto Police Association. You got a sticker put on your
windshield if you contributed to the True Blue campaign, just to
indicate that you did, although some suggested that could also be
an indicator, if you got pulled over for speeding or whatever,
that maybe preferential treatment should be given or whatever.
That was one part of the program that was considered a problem by
some. The other part was the indicated intention to use the money
collected to involve the association in the political process to
make sure that police-friendly politicians got elected. There was
a backing away from some of that by the association, but in my
understanding there's still a fair bit of money in the bank
account and certainly what happens in the Toronto area sets
precedents for the rest of the province in that arena in many
ways. Is that something you've given any thought to in terms of
your role with this police association?
No, I've given it no thought.
Martin: None whatsoever, so as far as you're concerned
there's no issue there?
There's no issue there with me with that, no.
Martin: What about the issue that's in the papers today
of police carrying guns when they're off duty because they're
afraid for their safety? What's your position on that?
That's a very difficult question. The answer is I would suggest
strongly that they don't carry a gun when they're off duty.
Martin: OK. That's all I have.
We go to the government caucus.
We'll waive our time.
The government caucus has waived its time. We go to the official
Dombrowsky: Good morning, Mr Leach.You've made some
statements in your opening remarks that have indicated to me that
you are especially interested-and probably this stems from your
business experience and your business background. You indicated
you want to provide sincere assistance in budgeting in this new
role. Another comment you made during your remarks was with
regard to effective budgeting.
I would just ask if you
would perhaps comment: is your attention in this particular area
related at all to the fact that there was a significant increase
in the police budget in the year 2000, that the police budget
has, in the past, operated with a deficit? Maybe you could
explain what your goals would be in terms of the budgeting
process for that police service board.
I think with any budget it just cannot be done one time in the
calendar year; I think it's an ongoing process. That's the way I
would approach the budgeting process. In other words, if
someone's going to get $65 million, let's not just use it all up;
let's take a look at it and spend that budget wisely. So it's an
ongoing 365-days-a-year process, and that's how I would approach
We need good policing, so
we need a good budget. If you have a good budget, you're going to
have a good force.
Dombrowsky: I have to think a safe community is a great
business asset for you when you market your business, that you
can say your community is reasonably safe. Also, with regard to
some of the increase in traffic fatalities, it has been indicated
that some of those deaths have been directly related to increased
speed and drinking while driving. We know that a very effective
deterrent to that type of behaviour is an increased police
presence, usually through RIDE programs. While they are
effective, they are expensive.
I guess I would like to
understand, in your desire to provide assistance in effective
budgeting, would you be open to increased expenditures to improve
the service and the protection of the people?
Within reason. Going back to the fatalities, I think alcohol and
speed were 50% of the fatalities. It has to be addressed, but it
has to be wisely addressed. You just can't kick out a whole bunch
of money to address that. It's very important. I think
people-we're sort of on what I do. As a food and beverage man, I
think the food and
beverage industry, through smarts or through a lot of training,
learning how to be more responsible-in our program at my
restaurant we're probably spending $1,200 to $1,500 a year on
taxis. I think the public has to be made more aware of it. I
think the younger people are more aware of drinking and driving
and how to take a designated driver, how to take a cab, sometimes
better than the older people. But not to throw money out
foolishly to try and correct a problem. Let's research it,
research it well, and then decide.
Dombrowsky: Would you be of the opinion that that has
happened in the past, that money is being thrown out
No, I wouldn't say that.
Crozier: Good morning, sir. Just a couple of
technicalities to get out of the way. Are you a member of the
Crozier: Can you tell us what positions and activities
you may have held in the past with the party, or at the present
I have no past positions. What I have been doing for the past few
years, since 1994, is holding a dinner in St Catharines which
encompasses the overall region; it's a regional dinner. I've been
chairing that on behalf of the party.
Crozier: As a fundraiser.
As a fundraiser, yes.
Crozier: You may have answered this, but did you ask or
apply to fill the position on the police services board that you
are being considered for?
No, I did not.
Crozier: You were approached?
It was discussed, and I said I would be happy to serve and help
out in that area.
Crozier: Were you approached?
No, I wasn't approached.
Crozier: Somebody had to start the discussion. Did
I probably suggested the areas where I would like to add benefit
to the community, so I would approach them.
Crozier: Rather than you "probably did," then, you did
Rather than "probably," I did.
Crozier: Well, you said "I probably" did. I figured you
would know better than anyone else.
You're absolutely right. I did.
Crozier: You did. OK. It was as simple as that.
Sorry. I got mixed up on words.
Crozier: Another little technicality: you mentioned that
you've owned the hotel for 23 years.
I've been in the business for 23 years. I've owned the hotel
for-this is my 18th year coming up in June.
Crozier: OK. It said since 1985. It's the account-ant in
me. That would be 15 years.
This will be my 16th year. You're right. I wish I was an
Crozier: Maybe you wouldn't.
In those 16 years, you said
that through the business, in the area of the sale of alcohol,
you've never had anything to do with the police with regard
An infraction? Never.
Crozier: That's great. That's a great record.
I'm interested to know, do
you serve liquor, alcoholic beverages, yourself, as a
I would step in, but I'm not really good at that.
Crozier: Like any good owner would do.
Yes. Sometimes there's a need, and I'll do that.
Crozier: Since you have that impeccable record, perhaps
you can tell us how it is that you determine whether someone has
had too much to drink or not.
I do have my Smart Serve. It's very difficult, if someone comes
into the hotel and immediately sits down, to tell at that point.
Certainly eyes; certainly the way he is speaking; certainly his
Crozier: Or she.
Or she, yes. Those are some of the ways. It goes on and on: how
he or she may approach another customer, how they might be
approaching the bartender or the food server.
Crozier: That's fine. Not having been in the business, I
was curious to know how, because you've had a good record. In
today's society, as you know, your establishment has some
responsibility, in fact a great deal of responsibility, when it
comes to that, so I was just curious as to how that's done.
I think you've answered
perhaps on your relationship with the Niagara Regional Police up
till now. Aside from any specific infractions, not being involved
that way, how would you describe your relationship with the
police services in general?
I would be accepted by them, as I accept-it goes both ways. I'm
not connected with any one person. Some of them are customers,
and a lot of them are not. My average age is 35 to 40 in my
business. A lot of the young officers don't come into my place.
But that would be my only relationship with them.
Crozier: One last question, and it's technical. I saw in
the paper earlier this week that the Premier was golfing with
some of his friends, Peter Minogue being one of them, but Al
Leach was there. Are you any relation to that Leach-that Al
Leach? I'm sorry. I didn't want to imply anything.
Mr Joseph Spina
(Brampton Centre): Capital "L."
Crozier: Yes. Are you any relation to Al Leach?
The answer to that is no. It's the same spelling, unusual,
because Leach is not often spelled "L-e-a," but no relation to Mr
Crozier: Thank you.
All parties have completed their questions. Thank you very much,
Mr Leach, for appearing before the committee.
Thank you very much.
Review of intended
appointment, selected by official opposition party: Bill Fatsis,
intended appointee as member, Health Professions Appeal and
The next individual to appear before the committee is Bill
Fatsis. Mr Fatsis, as you know by sitting in the audience, you
are permitted to make an initial statement if you desire to do
Fatsis: Yes, I do.
Mr Chairman and honourable members, good morning. I'm happy to
appear before you today and present to you my qualifications for
the intended part-time position to Ontario's Health Professions
Appeal and Review Board.
More than 12 years of my
adult working life I have devoted to public service. I consider
such service as the most gratifying service that any individual
may do for society and fellow citizens.
As administrative and
legislative assistant to an Ontario cabinet minister from 1980 to
1985, I have, first, learned the process of law- and
regulations-making and, later, how to understand and interpret
them. Also, at the ministries of labour and consumer and
commercial relations, I was exposed to the process of mediation
and dispute resolution.
For a brief period in 1982,
and in the federal political scene, I unsuccessfully attempted
myself to be part of the political process and law-making,
supporting that the multicultural nature of our country should be
actively reflected also in our political system. Fortunately,
after my political experiment, today most of Canada's cultural
diversity is reflected in all levels of our government and public
This part of my life
brought me to another public service, from 1986 to 1993, as a
full-time member of Canada's highest quasi-judicial tribunal, the
appeal division of the Immigration and Refugee Board. It was
there, for seven years, that I was extensively trained and gained
experience in how to adjudicate disputes fairly, in conformity
with the law and with sensitivity and compassion in recognizing
the cultural demands of an appellant. I strongly believe that my
experience on this board has amply prepared me to serve
effectively on Ontario's Health Professions Appeal and Review
Board as well.
Thank you for your
attention. I would be pleased to answer any of your
We'll begin with the government caucus.
Just a short statement, Mr Fatsis. Thank you for coming before
the committee. I'm not going to ask any questions, but I think
it's clear from your background that you bring some excellent
adjudication qualities, and we think you'll be a very strong
member of an appeal and review board for health.
Do any other government members wish to question?
We'll waive our time.
Thank you, Mr Wood. We'll go to the official opposition, either
Mrs Dombrowsky or Mr Crozier.
Dombrowsky: Sir, are you a lawyer?
No, I'm not. I have some legal training, but I'm not a
Dombrowsky: Could you perhaps speak a little bit more
about your experience as an adjudicator or in an adjudicating
role? What experience do you have in that?
As a full-time member of the immigration appeal division-now
there are two divisions, the refugee division and the appeal
immigration division. In all my service, I was at the appeal
division, which, as I say in my statement, is the highest
quasi-judicial tribunal in the country. Appeals rise to that
board from persons who have been convicted and served time and
then are deported. They have the right of appeal to that
division. Applications of family members who have been refused
come to that board as well. In my seven years at the board, I
have had the opportunity to listen to some of the best lawyers in
the country, not only in immigration law but regarding a lot of
I should mention that the
immigration appeal division, at least at the time I served-I
don't know whether they've changed it now-observed judicially its
own seal. We had the power to summon witnesses, subpoena. I think
my seven years equipped me with some knowledge, not only in terms
of being objective, of following the law, but it was the only
legislation that allowed us to grant equity in a case on
compassionate grounds. The rest of it was all legal arguments. I
believe these qualifications are going to benefit me in the
Dombrowsky: That was a full-time role?
Yes, it was.
Dombrowsky: I did note, in your opening remarks, that
you made reference to the fact this is a part-time
Dombrowsky: You are aware, I am sure, of the backlog
that exists with this particular board to which you would be
appointed. Certainly comment has been made about some real
progress that has taken place, but that progress is the result of
a significant and, I would suggest, less than part-time effort on
the part of the participants on the board.
Given some of your other
activities and involvements we have on your curriculum vitae, it
would be important for me to understand what kind of commitment
you are prepared to make in order to address the serious backlog
that continues to exist.
It's not as bad as it was;
there is no question about that. That was really very
unacceptable. But there continues to be a backlog. You've made
reference to a part-time position, and I would be interested to
understand your flexibility in offering your services in this
I'm fully prepared to serve as needed. My business affairs at
this moment allow me to have a lot of available time, and as long as the board needs
me, I would be there to serve.
Crozier: Could you please tell the committee whether or
not you are a member of the Conservative Party?
I have been. I'm effectively out of politics since 1983.
Crozier: At that time, did you-oh, back in 1983. Oh,
well, that's far enough back; we won't even be concerned about
it. You could be a whole new person by now.
When you served on the
immigration appeal board, how many members were on that
Initially there were 20, and then, because of a huge backlog, the
board appointed additional members, including part-time. When the
refugee problem became a huge problem, after 1990-91, more
members were appointed. I think the total number in the end was
more than 45.
Crozier: In your experience on an appeal board-those of
us who are laypersons may wonder, "Well, if an appellant was
given the hearing that they should have prior to that"-what
factors arise when it comes to that final appeal, which may
result in the decisions of others being turned over?
It's interesting that you raise that question. In all my years,
when I looked at the record, it sort of looked very black and
white. When you see a flesh-and-blood person in front of you,
then all kinds of other factors come into play.
Of course, at all times you
have to follow the demands of the law. Whether you feel one way
or another, you are restricted in your judgment. But as I said
earlier, in our role at the immigration appeal board-and that
role was unique in the country; as far as I know it doesn't exist
in any other tribunal-compassionate grounds came into play, and
you do extend that, because all people are basically good, they
have good aspects. You, as an impartial adjudicator of all the
facts, with all the circumstances in front of you, have to be
taking all these factors into account.
Crozier: Could it be that just a gut feeling would enter
into your decision?
It depends on the case and the difficulty of the case. Often, gut
feeling is not enough. That's why I think that to play your role
as an independent adjudicator effectively, you have to have the
proper training, you have to know the law and the regulations,
and if you feel your personal aspect has a role to play within
those boundaries, then you extend it.
Crozier: As an adjudicator and from your experience, if
decisions had been made by other bodies, you would have no
problem whatsoever overturning those decisions if you felt
Not at all. As a matter of fact, most of my decisions were
against the government of the day. They were all appealed by the
appeals office of the immigration department, and they were all
upheld by the federal Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of
Canada. I think it's our duty to create precedents, if we can, if
the case demands it. If fairness and the fundamental rules of
justice demand it, I think it's our duty to do it.
Martin: I want to flesh out just a wee bit more your
comment that you have not been involved politically since 1983.
Do you hold a membership of any sort at the present time?
Not now, no.
Martin: As I asked some of the other intended appointees
this morning, of all the things you could apply to participate
in-there's a myriad of boards and commissions in the province
that require good people to participate and work on-why would you
have chosen this one, and how did that sort of come about?
It came by chance. A former colleague of mine who served along
with me at the immigration appeal board asked me what I was doing
in my business affairs, and I said that some things had not
turned out the way I wanted them to and I had some free time. She
suggested there was a backlog in that board. She knew my
qualifications, and she suggested I apply to that board. That's
how it was initiated.
Secondly, this board is
very close to my heart, not only as a person with a family.
Health is the number one issue in our lives. I come to that board
with a clean slate and with some experience, as I've indicated.
It's a very interesting issue and a very challenging position,
and I think that attracted me to that board.
Martin: It certainly has a wide variety of things it can
oversee. Could you talk a little bit about those? What does this
I haven't been trained, and my knowledge is really very general
and broad at this point. I understand appeals to that board arise
from the complaints committee of some 23 colleges that regulate
health professionals in Ontario. Once a member of the public
doesn't feel they have been treated fairly by a health
professional, they have a right to be satisfied with all that the
bodies which regulate that profession have done to satisfy him or
her. If they are not satisfied by the decision of the committee,
then they have the right of appeal for a review of the decision
of that board.
Also, I understand that
professionals coming from other jurisdictions who want to
register in their profession and either don't receive the
certificate of registration or are somehow limited in their
practice-restrained-have the right of appeal as well.
I think the third major
area is decisions by hospital boards in the province regarding
the privileges of medical staff when they practise within the
hospital. They have the right of appeal as well.
Martin: Of course you're aware, as you indicated a few
minutes ago, that health care is a very important issue.
Martin: It's a very important service that government
will receive and deliver in this province. At the moment we're
having a difficult time getting it right, and we have been for a while, sort of getting
the right balance of everything. As the NDP, we hear on a regular
basis from constituents who have one complaint or another that
the system didn't work for them or whatever. When we take their
very legitimate complaints and move them forward, we expect they
will be looked at by people who understand and who have some
experience and knowledge.
Earlier you mentioned you
are guided very much in your decisions by the law. But don't you
think it would also be helpful to have had some experience in the
health area? How much of that do you bring to this?
I don't have any experience in the health industry or the health
professions, other than the layman's knowledge of what's going
on. I believe that's not necessarily against my role. I think
that coming with no preconditions or preconceptions of one
position or another, you go to the job and you are supposed to do
what you are supposed to do. If you have the right, by your
decisions, to advance the causes in that area, then you do. As I
mentioned earlier, it's your duty to do it. But I'm not sure that
in my role as a part-time member of that board I would be
changing other policies where I would have the power to do so. I
don't believe I would. But unless I am there and I know what's
involved-my lifelong aspiration has been to contribute to society
and change things for the better, and if I have that opportunity,
I am one person who would be involved in that and recommend
either to the chair or to other bodies within my powers in my
role. As I said, I cannot do anything I'm not supposed to do in
terms of the regulations or the law or what's proper.
Martin: I'm certainly not one who supports the position
the Premier put out early in his term as head of this province,
which was that in appointing people to various things, too much
information and too much knowledge is not necessarily a good
thing. I believe in as much knowledge as you can have, as much
experience as you can fall back on in making decisions about some
very complicated and important issues for communities.
For example, in my own
community recently there was a doctor who left, came back,
applied for privileges and was turned down initially. Then,
through a very complicated and detailed process of appeal, and
with support from the community and a discussion in public, a
decision was made that I believe was in the best interests of the
community. But had he been turned down, given what I heard from
the community, from the professionals who worked with him, from
his patients and others-mind you, it's stacking that up against
other people's experience-it becomes quite delicate. I would like
to think the person ultimately overseeing the decision about
that, which would affect my community one way or the other in a
very significant and important way, would have some prior
knowledge and experience to fall back on, and it concerns me that
you don't have any.
If I understand your question properly, it is that since I don't
have any knowledge or background in the health area, it might be
difficult for me to contribute positively. As I said, I'm not
convinced that's a negative aspect as long as you know the
regulation regarding that profession or that case and you have
common sense. I believe that is the reason this House, in its
wisdom, enacted the legislation and took away the professionals
from the hospital appeal board, for example. As I understand it,
by that legislation there were two medical staff present, and a
judge or a lawyer, and there were only two laypersons. I believe
the issue of health, as long as you have the concern of the
person or the case before you and you study the law and the
demands-I think you can have a fair decision, an objective
decision, without being a doctor or a health professional
yourself. I believe that's true of any role. In most of the other
agencies I'm aware of, whether it was the chairman or other
members, they don't necessarily belong to the profession for the
subject they're dealing with.
Martin: You'll probably agree with me, though, that in
moving toward a more balanced board oversight, they didn't move
to just completely eradicate anybody who-I think there was an
understanding and a feeling that you needed at the table that
expertise to add to the discussion, and ultimately the
If I may add, if I understand the role, as I said, from the very
little knowledge I have of the role of the board at this point,
as a member of the board you are looking basically at two things:
whether the investigation was adequate regarding the case that
came from the college or the hospital board, and whether the
decision was reasonable. So what you really need is the training
to adjudicate and take into account those factors that will lead
you to a fair and objective decision.
Thank you very much, Mr Fatsis, for appearing before the
committee, and you may do whatever it is you wish to do
Thank you, Mr Chairman.
MARY ANNE MCKELLAR
Review of intended
appointment, selected by third party: Mary Anne McKellar,
intended appointee as vice-chair, Ontario Labour Relations
The next intended appointee is Mary Anne McKellar, intended
appointee as vice-chair, Ontario Labour Relations Board.
As you are likely aware, Ms
McKellar, you are permitted to make an initial statement should
you choose to do so. That's totally optional. We simply subtract
that from the government time.
Welcome to the committee.
Ms Mary Anne
McKellar: I did prepare some very brief opening remarks.
I'd like to thank you for this opportunity to address the
committee. I intend to use this time to highlight briefly those
aspects of my background that qualify me for appointment as
vice-chair of the Ontario Labour Relations Board, and I'll refer
to it probably throughout as the "OLRB."
Starting with a bit of history, if you've had an
opportunity to review my resumé, you'll know that I
graduated from the faculty of law at the University of Toronto
with an LLB in 1985. I was called to the bar in Ontario in 1987
following the completion of my articles and the bar admission
course. My articles were completed at the Toronto law firm of
Koskie Minsky, where I also worked as an associate lawyer with
the title of director of research from 1987 until the end of
1990. Then, as now, a significant portion of Koskie Minsky's
practice, and my own practice at that firm, related to labour and
employment law and employee benefits. Although the Labour
Relations Act and practice before the OLRB has seen a number of
changes since 1990, I feel confident that my understanding of
fundamental labour law principles will permit me to quickly grasp
and apply the Labour Relations Act, 1995, in the proceedings
Perhaps more germane to my
qualifications to sit as a vice-chair of the OLRB is my
experience in the agency sector, which now encompasses almost 12
years as a neutral. From January 1, 1990, until September 1992, I
was solicitor to the Pay Equity Hearings Tribunal. From September
1992 until the present, I have been a vice-chair with that
tribunal. Like the OLRB, the Pay Equity Hearings Tribunal is a
tripartite quasi-judicial administrative tribunal that resolves
workplace disputes surrounding the implementation of pay equity.
I suppose that aspect of it is different from the Ontario Labour
Relations Board. These disputes relate to both non-union and
unionized workplaces, and in the latter situation, issues may
arise with respect to the integration of pay equity plans and
I think it's fair to say
that knowledge of employment and labour law is a prerequisite to
the effective adjudication of pay equity disputes. What my
experience at the Pay Equity Hearings Tribunal has provided me
with, then, in terms of skills to bring to the OLRB is the
ability to run an effective hearing, to write a reasoned decision
at the end of it, and to function as part of a tripartite
From 1994 to 1996, while I
was a vice-chair with the Pay Equity Hearings Tribunal, I was
cross-appointed as part of a pilot project to the office of
adjudication, which was at that time responsible for hearing
appeals from employment standards officers-orders or refusal to
issue orders under the Employment Standards Act. My estimate is
that I heard at least 20 employment standards cases and issued
decisions on them during that time. I became quite familiar with
the provisions of that governing legislation and I feel that
experience is quite clearly of benefit to an OLRB vice-chair
because, as you know, jurisdiction over those appeals has passed
from the office of adjudication to the OLRB.
Since 1995 I've been a
vice-chair of the board of inquiry, which adjudicates cases under
the Ontario Human Rights Code. The majority of the cases referred
to the board of inquiry by the Human Rights Commission relate to
complaints arising in the context of employment relationships,
some of which implicate the provisions of collective agreements.
This aspect of my experience, I would suggest, has further honed
my skills in running hearings and writing clear and cogent
decisions. Additionally, board of inquiry hearings, like
employment standards hearings, at least in my experience of the
latter, frequently involve parties who are not represented by
counsel. I find that it can sometimes be challenging to strike
the appropriate balance between fairness to all parties in the
hearing and accessibility to those who are not represented and
may not be familiar with the adjudicative process. I think, as a
result of my experience hearing these kinds of cases, I developed
the flexible skills that are necessary to meet those
Both the Pay Equity
Hearings Tribunal and the human rights board of inquiry, on which
I sit now, are committed to pre-hearing mediation and case
management processes. Mediations and case management pre-hearings
are convened by vice-chairs, which is the title I have there, and
I've been involved in a substantial number of them. Although I
realize that there is no formal mediation role assigned to
vice-chairs at the OLRB, I also appreciate that under the Labour
Relations Act they now engage in what's called a consultation
process, which I believe shares some similarities with the case
management pre-hearings that I've conducted and am familiar with.
I know that also sometimes those consultations result in mediated
resolutions of disputes. As a consequence of that, I think that
my mediation and case management experience would assist me in my
performance in that consultation process.
As a final note, I'm able
to and have convened hearings, pre-hearings and mediations in
Thank you for your
attention. I welcome any questions.
Thank you kindly. We begin with the official opposition.
Crozier: Good morning and welcome to the committee.
You certainly have an
extensive background, and I don't intend to question you on that,
but I wonder how you feel about something I happened to read in
the media this morning with regard to appointees to government
agencies, boards and commissions.
I should ask first, how
long is the term of your appointment?
McKellar: I believe it's three years.
Crozier: What's the salary with that?
McKellar: The salary range is the same as I currently
get, so I believe it's $89,000.
Crozier: We read that effective March 1, all new
government appointees or persons who are appointed for second
terms-and that's why I need your opinion-will have to sign a
detailed agreement setting out the terms and conditions of their
appointments. Among those conditions are: not to leak anything to
the press or public; to meet certain performance standards; and
"to comply with all applicable government policies, directives
and guidelines, as set forth from time to time."
How would you feel, in the position that you're
being considered for, if the government were to tell you, to
direct you on how you are to carry out your duties as you see
McKellar: I guess I find the question a bit abstract.
You mean if the government were to tell me how to decide a case?
Is that the suggestion?
Crozier: It's more in your mind what they would tell you
to do. All I know is that on reappointment, if they chose to
reappoint you and you chose to consider it, you would have to
comply with all government policies, directives and guidelines. I
read this to mean that they would tell you how to do your job.
How do you feel about that?
McKellar: I'm sorry; I thought the first time you read
it, it said-
Crozier: I'd like her to answer that, Morley.
McKellar: I'm sorry; I thought the first time you read
it, you said "applicable policies and guidelines," and I think
the question is, what is applicable?
McKellar: If I signed it, I would have to follow
whatever was applicable, and I don't know who gets to decide
what's applicable. I guess that's the-
Crozier: I guess I'm trying to determine how independent
you feel. Do you feel at arm's length with the government in the
appointment that's being made? How do you feel going into this
McKellar: I've been neutral for 12 years. I don't count
my time as solicitor with the tribunal there. I think I've always
been able to exercise independent decision-making and to act in
an impartial manner and I don't foresee any of that changing.
I agree with you that if
there is a problem with the independence of a tribunal or the
impartiality of decision-makers, then that is a serious
administrative law issue. But I can't really offer in the
abstract an opinion as to how the directive or the press release
you're referring to will impact on that.
Crozier: Do you consider yourself an independent person?
I can take it from that that you do.
McKellar: Yes, I do.
Crozier: That's fine. That's what I was after. Thank
Dombrowsky: The only question I would have for Ms
McKellar is that I'm curious to understand why you might be
interested in moving from your experiences with pay equity into
labour relations. Why the change in your experience-
McKellar: My pay equity appointment continues until the
expiry of its term, which is March 31 of this year.
Dombrowsky: And you just decided that you'd like to-were
you approached to consider this appointment?
McKellar: How did I find out about this position?
McKellar: Most administrative tribunals, at least in my
experience, or certainly in the labour sector-I guess people know
that the chairs of those tribunals are always looking out for
people who might be interested in working there. I am a former
colleague, and I guess now a current colleague as well, of the
alternate chair of the Ontario Labour Relations Board, Mary Ellen
Cummings. Over lunch we had certainly discussed whether I would
ever be interested in being a vice-chair at the board if they
were looking for vice-chairs, and I indicated that is something
that would interest me, to continue working as an adjudicator,
that if an opportunity arose there, yes, I would be
Dombrowsky: Does that mean you would have two full-time
roles at the same time?
McKellar: It's sort of interesting. I think I have to go
back a little bit in history to April 1995, when there was an
administrative merger of two tribunals under the Ministry of
Citizenship and Culture: the Employment Equity Tribunal and the
human rights board of inquiry, and the Pay Equity Hearings
Tribunal, which is under the auspices of the Ministry of Labour.
At the time there were a number of adjudicators. We were all
cross-appointed to those various tribunals and it was I think
arbitrarily-not arbitrarily decided. It was determined that one
of those tribunals could be your full-time appointment; the other
two would be part-time appointments. But in essence you would
have one full-time employment, one salary.
Dombrowsky: Who determined that? You said it was
determined. Who would have determined it?
McKellar: It was the former government in April 1995 and
it was a consultation, I presume, with the ministries of
citizenship and labour. It was sort of a pilot project to have
this administrative merger of these tribunals. So my pay equity
appointment at that time was my full-time appointment. I had a
part-time appointment to the Employment Equity Tribunal, which
disappeared or was revoked along with the repeal of that
legislation. I maintained a part-time appointment to the human
rights board of inquiry.
Dombrowsky: Do you maintain full-time compensation in
McKellar: Yes, I have one full-time compensation. I
don't charge per diems; I am paid as if I were a full-time
vice-chair of a single tribunal while I have responsibilities for
adjudication under two.
Dombrowsky: I see, I think. It's not very clear.
Thank you very much. We appreciate the questions. We now go to Mr
Martin of the third party.
Martin: I first of all want to say that I'm quite
impressed with your resumé. You certainly have an extensive
background, if not directly in the area of labour relations,
certainly in related areas. So you would bring to this position
some knowledge, some history, some understanding; quite different
from the previous intended appointee, who didn't bring any
experience to the new position.
I'm of the contention that the role you play in
adjudicating and making decisions is very important. You're sort
of the last chance somebody has or some group of people have to
have justice done in terms of their particular circumstance or
I do, though, have some
real concerns about the agenda that is unfolding in front of us
where labour relations is concerned and I guess I'd like to know
how you see that and how you see that affecting your possible
appointment here, and how you would carry out your functions in
this environment that right now is quite volatile and difficult.
I know, for example, in the whole pay equity piece of government
right now there are a whole lot of workplaces out there in my own
constituency which have not had their pay equity payments for
quite some time, have been waiting a long time and continue to
wait and find that quite frustrating. I'm wondering how you would
see your role in this instance, trying to come to terms with some
McKellar: Are you speaking of the recent legislative
reforms to the statutes I'd be adjudicating under?
Martin: Yes, the ebb and flow of labour relations
legislation in this province: Bill 40 under the previous
government, just the recent Bill 139 under this govern-ment, and
how you would see that affecting your appointment here in this
McKellar: I think I've been insulated to a fair extent
from that since I ceased private practice before Bill 40. So I'm
getting the Labour Relations Act, 1995 now. Before that I believe
there hadn't been amendments to the act, in essence, from 1975
till 1992. That's the legislation I dealt with at that time.
The government as it's
constituted from time to time obviously gets to pass whatever
legislation it thinks is appropriate and that's the legislation
all adjudicators have to apply and interpret. It would be naive,
I suppose, to say that there are not questions where that
interpretation is a difficult exercise. The Labour Relations Act
has a preamble that indicates what its purpose is, and one of its
purposes is to foster collective bargaining. It also has a
purpose section which indicates other purposes, including to
enhance workplace democracy and various other things. I think
that the board and its adjudicators have shown themselves able to
balance the various values expressed in the act from time to time
for 50 years. I would anticipate there would be no reason that I
wouldn't be able to continue in that vein. I think there is a
I'm not going to comment on
my personal view of the wisdom of any overall government policy,
if that's what you want. The legislation is there and I'll apply
it fairly. What people expect when they come before you for a
hearing is that you listen to them, that they get a fair hearing,
that that's reflected in your decision and that they understand
why you've reached the decision you have, and I think I'm able to
do that very well.
Martin: You realize that you're doing it, though, in
quite an interesting environment. The previous questioner, the
member for Essex, mentioned the piece in the media this morning
which suggests this government is going to become quite involved
in making sure that members of boards and commissions do what
they're told to do and toe the line and follow the agenda of the
government of this day. Certainly there's some question as to the
You mentioned a few minutes
ago the issue of workplace democracy. You can understand that
with a labour organization's understanding of workplace democracy
versus this government's understanding of workplace democracy as
defined very narrowly in Bill 139, which is the right of
employers to post how to break a union on the bulletin board of
that workplace while at the same time not calling for the posting
of how to form a union in a particular workplace, the environment
has been poisoned, as far as I'm concerned, and it's going to be
your job to try to sort through that poison to find some fairness
in the middle of all of this.
I'm wondering how you will
deal with what I consider to be a government that likes to
meddle, particularly in the area of labour relations, because
they see the very existence of organized labour as an impediment
to any growth or prosperity that this province might experience.
I have lots of labour organizations and workers come before me in
my office who are looking for some redress around an issue, which
they are having a hard time getting. You're their last hope.
I don't want to ask you to
repeat yourself, but what I hear you saying is that you will be
able to be an independent voice. What's your understanding of
workplace democracy? What would be your interpretation of
McKellar: My understanding of the way it's used in the
Labour Relations Act or in terms of the amendments that have
occurred to the Labour Relations Act is that it's meant to be a
rubric for all of the various kinds of votes that are now
required to take place that didn't necessary have to in the
That's my understanding of
what it's meant to refer to there. I used it merely as an example
of an area where I anticipated you might question me, which was
this very area, and just to illustrate the fact that I think the
act is a complex piece of legislation. Any section that comes
before you for interpretation has to be interpreted in light of
the act as a whole: the act's purposes; how terms that are used
in that section are used elsewhere in the act to the extent
possible consistent with jurisprudence in other decisions of the
board that are of persuasive value and have guided parties in
their labour relations.
I think there are a lot of
things that can potentially go into making a decision under the
act. Yes, I do feel I'm independent and impartial and would
listen to the evidence presented to me and the legal arguments
made to me and be able to balance in a fair way all of those
things which are sometimes in competition.
Martin: Were you aware of the new requirements that are
now going to be asked of appointees to boards and commissions by
this government before you came here this morning, that you would now
have to sign a document that says you won't do certain things?
Does that cause you any concern in terms of this job and what it
might mean for you in terms of your independence?
McKellar: As I say, "an agreement to abide by applicable
policies," without knowing what someone is going to suggest is an
applicable policy-I guess I can't really comment without content
on that. What was read to me this morning doesn't cause me
concern. I suppose if that's used to encroach upon independence
or impartiality, yes, that would concern me, but I have no reason
to believe that it will.
That's the last question. Thank you very much. We'll go to the
Johnson: I have just a couple of comments and a couple
of questions too.
Ms McKellar, I am impressed
with your education, with your background, with the list of your
publications and presentations. I am impressed with the way you
keep up with your education, your continuing education. I am also
very impressed with your ability to express yourself in English,
I notice Spanish, and you're also quite qualified in French.
My first question is, do
you believe everything you read in the newspapers?
McKellar: It depends what newspaper. No, I don't.
Johnson: That goes right to my second line of questions,
and they won't be very long or deep, because these will be
political. I don't have any questions about your ability in
labour relations, but politically, both the members for Essex and
Sault Ste Marie have neglected to ask you the McCarthy questions,
and they are: Have you ever belonged to the Communist Party of
McKellar: No, I haven't.
Johnson: Have you ever belonged to the NDP?
McKellar: I have never belonged to any political party
in Ontario, a provincial or federal political party.
Johnson: My main interest, of course, is in the Liberal
or the Conservative Party. Well, that answers my questions quite
clearly and succinctly, and I am glad to have those answered on
McKellar: On an interesting note, I actually have now, I
believe, been called before this committee by all three parties
present: in 1992, in 1995 and now. That may demonstrate
Johnson: There's another reason I'm very impressed with
you. Thank you very much, Ms McKellar.
Ms McKellar, as you're probably aware, depending on who is the
applicant, that last question gets asked a number of times, and
members never ask it in a malicious sense, of course; they always
ask it in a cheerful sense-let's put it that way. Thank you very
much for appearing before the committee.
This completes our morning
appointments before the committee. Shall we deal with the morning
appointments, if that's all right with members of the
In the concurrence in
appointments, there will be motions made and no doubt some
discussion. I shouldn't say "no doubt." There may be some
discussion. We will vote on them.
I am going to suggest that
after that we try to have a subcommittee meeting, either before
we start at 2 o'clock or right at 12, whatever is more convenient
to the subcommittee-I'll be in your hands there-simply to discuss
what rooms we might use in the future.
I'll put forward the
intended appointees. The first one is Richard Brassard.
Moved by Mr Wood. Any comment?
Martin: This morning we've had not all but a number of
intended appointees before us here who are obviously coming
because of their political affiliation as opposed to any, I
think, balancing real interest in actually getting a job done. I
suggest that we have an agenda unrolling in this province that is
very damaging to a whole lot of very vulnerable people and that
if we don't indicate very publicly and often our resistance to
that and our objection to that in whatever way we have that's
possible, then we become complicit in it. So even though Mr
Brassard this morning answered some questions, very well
indicating a keen interest in his community and wanting to do
some things, I still have some difficulty with his direct
affiliation and support for a program that in fact is putting the
lives of some of our most vulnerable citizens at risk. So I won't
be able to support this.
Crozier: I'd just put a couple of things on the record.
With this particular appointment I sincerely believe that the
gentleman being proposed, having been elected as mayor of
Englehart, would be wise to have withdrawn his appointment, his
recommendation for this committee, because he acknowledged that
there could be a conflict of interest. I don't think he'll serve
the committee well in that respect and frankly, if that is the
case, I don't think he'll represent his constituency, his
municipality, effectively. I looked at his background. He has a
great background in local public service. I have absolutely no
question with that. But I just think in this particular case it
would have been wise of him and/or the government, after his
election as mayor, to suggest that his intended appointment be
withdrawn. So I will be voting against his appointment.
Just so Mr Wood doesn't
misunderstand-apparently he said on television that we vote for
all of the government appointments-this is one that I will not be
voting for. In fact, I would ask for a polled vote.
Any other comments before we go to the vote? A recorded vote has
Johnson, Kells, Spina,
The motion carries.
The second one we deal with is Cameron Leach,
intended appointee as member, Regional Municipality of Niagara
Police Services Board.
The concurrence in this appointment is moved by Mr Wood.
Martin: I again recognize that Mr Leach probably brings
to this all kinds of good intentions. I think that his being a
proprietor of a business that sells liquor in the community could
become a cause for some conflict, whether real or perceived, and
I don't think we should be putting a community in that precarious
predicament. Because of that, I won't be supporting this
Any other comments? If not, I'll put the motion.
All in favour? Opposed? The
motion is carried.
The third one is Mr
Vasilios (Bill) Fatsis, intended appointee as member, Health
Professions Appeal and Review Board. This concurrence is moved by
Mr Wood. Comments?
Martin: I think the fact that Mr Fatsis has no
background or experience in health care to bring to this position
is a real drawback. I'm not a proponent of less experience, less
information, no knowledge being better than a whole whack of
knowledge, which sometimes seems to be the position of this
government when it makes appointments of various sorts. I think
it's really important, given the very delicate and fragile nature
of what we're doing out there today under the aegis of health
care, that we have people overseeing some of these boards and
commissions who understand the system, who have some background
in it and some knowledge of it and are connected to their
communities in some way where that is concerned.
Mr Fatsis didn't convince
me here this morning that he in fact has that, so I'll be voting
against his appointment as well.
Any other comments? If there are no other comments, I'll put it
to a vote.
All in favour? Opposed? The
motion is carried.
The next one is Mary Anne
McKellar, intended appointee as vice-chair, Ontario Labour
Mr Wood moves concurrence. Any comment?
Martin: I agree with this appointment. I think that Ms
McKellar will bring to the job a wealth of experience and
background. I liked what she had to say re her commitment to
remaining independent and her concern if the government should
all of a sudden show its head, as it has to some degree in the
press this morning, and wanting to influence how some of these
judicial and quasi-judicial boards exercise their discretion, and
that she would be willing to question that or to challenge
There's a lot of integrity
and experience here and I think it could serve us all well if
she's appointed to this position.
Any other debate? If not, I'll put the motion.
All in favour? Opposed? The
motion is carried.
We have concluded the four
appointees this morning. The committee will return at 2 pm. I'll
ask those who are members of the steering committee if we can
meet at 1:45, if that's possible.
At 1:50. I have a meeting at 1:30. I'll get here as fast as I
Mr Wood says at 1:50. Is that fine with Mr Martin and Mr Crozier?
Thank you kindly.
See you this afternoon,
The committee recessed
from 1157 to 1403.
We're ready to commence the activities of the committee. For
Hansard purposes, we are now on the air.
Your subcommittee of the
committee met and made an agreement. There was a motion authored
by Mr Wood that reads as follows: "That, where possible, the
committee sit in room 151 and that the committee receive fair
allocation of the use of the meeting room."
It was carried by the
committee, at the motion of Mr Wood, may I say. I'll put that
before this committee. Does somebody want to move it in this
Mr Wood moves it. All in favour? Opposed? Carried.
Review of intended
appointment, selected by official opposition party: Richard
Dodds, intended appointee as member, Council of the College of
Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.
We have four appointments that we will be considering this
afternoon. The first individual we will call forward is Mr
Richard Dodds, intended appointee as member, Council of the
College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. Mr Dodds, would
you come forward, please?
As you may be aware, you
are welcome to make an initial statement to the committee if you
see fit. We'd be happy to hear from you. After that is the
committee interview. Each party is allocated 10 minutes in which
to ask questions or make statements for you to respond to, or
something of that nature. Welcome to the committee, sir.
Dodds: Thank you very much. Good afternoon, ladies and
gentlemen. As I understand the process, I am here today at your
request to answer your questions so that you may determine
whether or not I am capable and qualified to serve on the Council
of the College of Physicians and Surgeons. Over the next 30
minutes, I shall do my best to answer your questions and your
What I would like to do
first is to summarize ever so briefly my resumé, which I
presume you have in front of you. Second, I would like to provide you with an
explanation as to how I arrived at this table today and what I
believe I can contribute to the college if my appointment is
First, my experience: I've
spent 33 years in education systems in Ontario, Germany, East and
West Africa, and East Asia. I have been a classroom teacher,
consultant, vice-principal, principal, superintendent of schools,
and director of education and secretary-treasurer of the Metro
Toronto school board. It's been my belief over the years that
educators can become too narrow in their experiences and their
thinking and, as a result, I tried to reach out and contribute
beyond the work of the school system. For example, I served as
the provincial and national president of a number of professional
organizations, was deeply involved with the teachers' federation,
served on the Queen's University council, assumed the chair of
the economic development division for the Metroplitan Toronto
corporation. I led trade delegations to Hong Kong, China,
Thailand and Taiwan. I took a leadership role in the United Way
campaign in metropolitan Toronto, served as an adviser to a
number of business education ventures, and developed extensive
skills in marketing and in communications.
In 1992 I retired from the
school systems and opened a consulting firm with a partner from
the private sector. As you can see from my resumé under the
heading "Related Activities," our business became very extensive
and diversified and took us through Canada and, in particular,
East Asia. I have given many keynote speeches, run a good number
of workshops and I have done some writing.
Currently I am completing a
contract with the Vancouver School Board under which I have
negotiated the opening of a joint venture school in Guangzhou,
China. It has been an exciting three years, but frankly I am
tired of long-distance travelling and have decided to bring an
end to my consulting career.
At the same time, I am not
ready to simply stop work. It was suggested to me by a colleague
that I should pursue some of my other interests and perhaps serve
on a provincial committee or agency. As a result, I contacted the
Premier's office and was referred to the Public Appointments
Secretariat. My attention was drawn to the Internet and the list
of opportunities as outlined on the Internet, and I became
intrigued by the work of the College of Physicians and
I asked the opinion of
several family doctors and two specialists at the Hotel Dieu
Hospital in Kingston, and to sum up their reactions, they
suggested, "You would be ideal for the work of the college. We
need non-medical people with broad experiences, desires and
determination." As I asked them to expand, they considered
invaluable my experience in a politically charged arena, my
willingness and ability to listen, my communication skills, my
ability to interact with people, my understanding of process and
negotiations, my proven creativity and willingness to pursue new
approaches to solving problems, my experience in supervising,
evaluating and counselling many personnel, and the fact, as one
specialist said, "You've got energy to burn."
I must say I was flattered
by the feedback, but I was also reminded that for the past 15
years, my wife's life has depended upon the skills, talents and
dedication of family doctors and specialists. We have faced brain
tumours, mini-strokes, heart surgery and severe migraines, and
our doctors have been absolute saints.
It is my hope that once I
have had sufficient training and gained sufficient knowledge,
insights and under-standing of the working of the college, I will
contribute in some small way to solving the many challenges that
are facing our health system today.
Finally, it is my hope that
you will not make your decision today based on my current
knowledge of the role of the college and the related legislation,
policies and regulations, but on my potential as a public member
for assisting the medical profession and the citizens of this
Perhaps at this point, Mr
Chair, I could attempt to answer your questions.
Thank you very much, sir. We will commence, I believe, with the
third party this time.
Martin: Thanks for coming forward today. Certainly your
resumé, as a non-medical appointee to this college, is quite
impressive. I was just wondering: you mentioned at the end of
your input that once you got to know the workings of the college
and the ins and outs of the day to day and all that, you would
then like to contribute in some way to the improvement of the
system of health care. How do you see yourself doing that, out of
the role of a member of the college, which in some instances can
be quite limiting?
I wouldn't try to sit here today-it's Mr Tony Martin, right?
I can't see your name tag.
Martin: They face it toward me so that I remember who I
I wouldn't sit here today and attempt to solve or even suggest
how to solve the problems and challenges that are facing our
medical situation in Ontario, which is common right through the
country. What I would like is to be able to sit down with people
and listen very carefully-I have read the newspapers; I take all
four newspapers in the Kingston area-to try to arrive at some
kind of answer to some of the questions. It becomes very
difficult to take any kind of position, but I would hope I would
be able to listen to doctors and to the public and take their
concerns, their complaints and frankly their positive points back
to the college and try to build on those.
In no way do I suggest that
one person or the college itself can solve the problems we are
facing. The problems of the flight of doctors south, the things
you read in the Toronto papers today and so on are massive
problems that have developed over the years. It just hasn't
started in the last little while.
It's not much of an answer, but I listen very
carefully, I gather information, I try to take that information
forward to solve some of the problems I have identified myself
and that others have identified.
Martin: What would you identify as the major challenge
right now, the biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge, I believe, is the lack of dollars, to
begin with. But as we know, dollars in education and in other
areas don't solve problems; they help. But the lack of doctors,
the lack of doctors in rural areas, the flight of doctors south,
the barriers that are being faced by foreign-trained doctors, the
relative role of nurses and doctors-are there things that nurses
and doctors could perhaps sit down and negotiate? I understand,
and I may be wrong, that we have just as many doctors in this
province today as we had five or six years ago, but the role of
the doctor has changed, and we're going to have to look at that
as well. Those in a nutshell-and there are other things. I
suppose the list is endless.
Martin: What would your position be on, say, the big
question of two-tier health care?
I mentioned the newspapers, and that's one of the concerns that
came up, as you know, in the federal election. I'd pick up the
Star and read their point of view, I'd pick up the Sun and read
its point of view, I'd pick up the Globe and Mail and read their
point of view. To tell you the truth, I frankly don't understand:
Mr Chrétien, for instance, suggested there is no two-tier
health system, others said there was, and in the end he said yes,
there is. I don't know a good definition of two-tier medical
assistance. I understand that people possibly can buy-is that
right? I'd like to know the whole story before I take a definite
answer and a definite position on it, frankly.
Martin: One of the roles of the college is to oversee
the discipline of doctors and professionals under the Regulated
Health Professions Act in terms of how they deliver their
services and that kind of thing.
Your view again: is the
college doing its job? Are there problems out there with
professionals not living up to the standard, the qualifications
or the expectations?
Up till now I've gotten my information from the newspapers. The
billing issue is one that made headlines today. Of the 26,000
teachers in the province, I think 228 were being investigated and
55 charges have been laid, but they have not necessarily been
I look at that and I say
that 55 out of 26,000 is perhaps not a bad number. But frankly I
would hope, if they are found guilty, that they are handled like
any other citizen would be handled when found guilty. Certainly
we've had some experience with that very recently in the Kingston
As far as malpractice and
so on is concerned, I would not want to make a comment on that
because I don't know. I know what I read but I just would rather
not repeat what I read in the newspapers.
Thank you very much. The government caucus.
Johnson: Does anybody ever call you Dick?
Everybody calls me Dick. My mother calls me Richard when she's
mad at me.
Johnson: You grew up in Harriston and went to Norwell
Dick, we haven't seen each
other for quite a while, but I just wanted to say that I am very
impressed with your achievements. I know your high school
principal, now deceased, lived long enough to see your
graduation, if I can call it that, to director of education in
East York. Your family, of course, is very proud of your
achievements and I am proud to be able to say that I went to high
school with you. Congratulations. I don't have any questions for
Interjection: Now you've really
set him back.
You may respond if you wish.
If Mr Johnson's comments do appear in Hansard, I'd like a copy to
send to my mother.
Crozier:I thought you were older than that, Dick.
We now have the official opposition.
Dombrowsky: Welcome, Mr Dodds. It's always nice to have
people from eastern Ontario come and pay us a visit at this
I read with interest your
curriculum vitae and your many activities and experiences in the
field of education. You obviously are familiar with legislation
and the administration of acts of the Legislature. Can you
perhaps explain your familiarity or your knowledge of the
Regulated Health Professions Act or the Medicine Act at this
point? Have you had an opportunity to peruse them? Have you had
any kind of in-service-I appreciate that while appointed members
need not have a background in health-related issues, certainly
part of your role will be to ensure that professionals are in
fact following the law. I am just curious to understand if you've
had an opportunity to review any of those laws that you will be
No, I haven't taken the acts themselves and gone through them
with a fine-toothed comb. I have a very brief overview of the
three major areas: the Regulated Health Professions Act, the
Medicine Act, and the Health Professions Procedural Code, which
seems to drive the work of the college. But as far as having
extensive knowledge or an intimate knowledge of those pieces of
legislation, I do not possess that.
I know that the Regulated
Health Professions Act does identify something different than I
think is in other provinces: there are 13 controlled acts or
procedures of high risk that the medical profession is indeed
allowed to perform. I do know that the regulations create the
college, they regulate the practices of the members, they
identify the qualifications that members must have and they
identify the professional development requirements and
encouragements for the members. They talk about the whole
business of ethics, and that's where we get into, as Mr Martin commented on, discipline,
investigating complaints and so on.
When and if I become a
member, I'm assured that there will be a lot of in-depth
training. I understand there had been a paper prepared a few
years ago that stressed that public members should have far more
training than they have had in the past, and I think that has
been taken into consideration and has now been initiated. I
presume I'm going to have an awful lot of homework to do, but I
can read acts and regulations. Been there; done that.
Dombrowsky: I'm sure that is the case. You indicated in
your remarks that you became aware of a role with the council of
the College of Physicians and Surgeons through your affiliation
with the Hotel Dieu Hospital in Kingston.
Yes. Actually, my initial knowledge was when I called the public
appointments office and they referred me to the list of
opportunities. When I saw the physicians and surgeons
opportunity, I then went to Dr Peterson and I also talked to Dr
Howes and asked them about the opportunities. I said I didn't
want a ceremonial position. I want some kind of a position where
I'd have lots of work to do. They said, "You'll have lots of work
to do in the college and we certainly would encourage you to
Dombrowsky: But you were the one to initiate pursuing
the role. You were not approached by someone to consider
Dombrowsky: I see. Very good. Thank you.
Crozier: Just a couple of questions. Good afternoon, Mr
Dodds, and welcome. In your consulting business, international
education services, have you ever consulted a provincial
government on education issues or acted in a professional role in
consulting to a government?
Crozier: Would you, as a consultant, then be a
registered lobbyist to government?
No. We ran workshops on dealing with the government and we made
those workshops happen. We brought in members to talk to people.
But I myself, no.
Crozier: In that area of government relations.
Any other questions from the official opposition?
Johnson: I did have a question, if I could.
I think you have some time left.
Johnson: A little while ago I was up at OISE and you
were awarded a special presentation. Tell me a little bit about
I was given an award by the Ontario Institute for Studies in
Education for contributions to education. I was, quite frankly,
flattered and delighted to get it because it usually is given to
intellectuals. I considered myself a practitioner, not an
intellectual, but I was just delighted to get that award.
We don't deal with many around here.
Johnson: And I was delighted to be there.
I hope Hansard didn't pick up the comments of the member from
Thank you very much, Mr
Dodds, for appearing before the committee. You may step down.
Review of intended
appointment, selected by official opposition party: Milton
Gregory, intended appointee as member, County of Prince Edward
Police Services Board.
The next individual to appear before the committee is Milton E.C.
"Bud" Gregory. He is an intended appointee as member, County of
Prince Edward Police Services Board. Mr Gregory, you may come
forward. All those years I only knew your name was Bud. I was
always trying to find out what your real name was.
Gregory: I tried to hide it.
Mr Gregory, as members of the committee would know, is a former
member of the Ontario Legislature from Mississauga. I'm probably
the only one here who served when he did at that time a number of
That's right. Mr Kells did as well. Mr Kells has come back.
Welcome to the committee,
Mr Gregory. As you know, you're welcome to make an initial
statement, should you see fit.
Gregory: Thank you very much. Good afternoon to members
of committee. Thank you very much for the opportunity to meet
with you to discuss the Prince Edward county police services
board and, of course, my application to sit on that board.
I have lived in Prince
Edward county for the past 13 years and I've tried to be involved
in the community. Most of my involvement has been as a member of
a small musical group. We entertain in seniors' homes and at
local fairs and functions.
In the past I have had the
opportunity to deal with police matters, first as an elected
member of the council of the city of Mississauga and the regional
municipality of Peel. Later on, I served as Solicitor General of
the province of Ontario for a short time.
I became aware of the
impending vacancy on the police services board only recently,
when an acquaintance who was a member told me of his wish to
resign. I have a basic understanding of the function of the board
and feel confident that I will be able to function ade-quately
given time and whatever training is provided.
I will be happy to address
any questions that the honourable members wish to ask. Thank you
Thank you very much, Mr Gregory. I believe we start with the
government caucus this time. Anyone from the government caucus?
Mr Spina: Since Mr Kells is a
little shy about reminiscing in his relationship with Mr Gregory,
I'll be happy to say a comment. Mr Gregory, thank you for coming
forward. In looking at some of the background that you've had,
particularly with the Solicitor General's office and also your
involvement as an elected municipal official, among a number of
other things, I think you have some absolutely wonderful and
excellent skills and talents that you can bring to the Prince
Edward county police services board. We wish you well, sir.
Gregory: Thank you, sir.
I should perhaps comment on
that. You alluded to my duty as Solicitor General. I wasn't
Solicitor General for very long so I wouldn't want it thought
that I'm an expert in that department. It was sort of a passing
visit. Mr Bradley would know the reasons for that.
Any other government questions? I will now proceed to the
official opposition, Mr Crozier.
Crozier: I'm afraid to ask.
Good afternoon and welcome.
Police services, obviously a topic of discussion across the
province: the operation of police services boards, budgets, the
cost of policing-because they are now a significant part of
municipal budgets. It's my understanding-and perhaps you can help
me with this-that police services boards were brought into being
so it would take away from the local political influence that
councils or councillors might have when it came to police
services. Is that correct? I'm asking for your help on it. It's
not a loaded question.
Gregory: I don't really have an answer for that, but I
like yours and I think I tend to go along with it. It seems that
at one time they had commissions in the various large cities;
whether they had them in small towns I don't know. My
understanding and in my community we have Ontario Provincial
Police, so the function of the services board is largely one of
negotiations with the police department. They would have no
control over them. Now I understand that's not quite the case in
some of the larger communities where they have their own police
Don't get me wrong; I'm no
expert on police services boards. This is my first experience and
I'm looking forward to it, frankly.
Crozier: What do you see as the expectation of the
public of someone who serves on a police services board? If I
might give you an example while you're thinking about it, when I
was on a police services board, of course we were interested
mainly in the administrative area, in the required size of the
police service, as I say, as it relates to budget, because I was
mayor of the municipality at the time. Yet I got the impression
from time to time that the general public thinks that police
services board members should have some direct influence on the
day-to-day operation of police services. How do you feel about
Gregory: I think it's very similar to what you're
undoubtedly experiencing as an MPP, that your general public feel
that you have, I won't say a lot more responsibility, but they
feel you have a larger control than what you actually have in
that you're governed, first, by your party and by the Legislature
itself. I think the same is so of police services boards. The
public probably think they can come to you and have a ticket
fixed or something like that. My opinion is-and, again, I don't
know that much about it as yet-that they don't have anything like
the power the general public feels they do. In the one in Prince
Edward county, I think it's basically negotiations and direct
liaison. Rather than the police having liaison with the council,
they have liaison with the committee.
Crozier: My next question certainly wouldn't apply to
you, because you have an extensive public background. I'm not
aware that background checks are done for appointees to police
services boards, and yet there are activities in the community,
when someone is involved in particular boards or volunteer areas,
where they do feel it's necessary to have background checks. Have
you any opinion on that, or have you ever even thought of it?
Gregory: I think it would be important to have a
background check for appointees to boards such as this, for the
obvious reason that you wouldn't want anyone with any kind of
criminal background. I'm not aware that any study was done on my
background. If it was, I welcome it. I hope they didn't find out
Crozier: Yours is a very public record.
Gregory: I would agree with you. I don't think it's like
appointing someone as the chief spy of the country or
something-it's not that important-but there should be some basic
knowledge of the person's background.
Crozier: I'm not necessarily advocating it either. I
just wondered what your opinion was on it, and I appreciate
Dombrowsky: The OPP have now provided service for the
newly amalgamated municipality of Prince Edward county for the
past three years. Previous to that it was a combination, I
believe: Picton had its own police force, and I think the rest of
the county received the service of the OPP. Would that be
Gregory: I believe the OPP in Picton goes back a little
longer than that.
Dombrowsky: Does it?
Gregory: Yes. As I recall, it goes back at least 10
years. I've only lived in the county for 13 years.
Dombrowsky: Would it be your understanding that the
people in the community are very pleased with the service they
receive from the Ontario Provincial Police?
Gregory: Very much so. You get comments that the people
are very pleased at the job they do. As a matter of fact, certain
personalities from the OPP have made quite a name for themselves
by approaching schools and this sort of thing-a lot of outreach
programs-and they are very popular, I believe. I've only lived in
Picton proper for a very short time, so I can only give you that
experience. I've lived in the county for 13 years.
Mrs Dombrowsky: Since you are
reasonably new to the community, do you have the sense that you
are well known, that you would be considered an approachable
individual should residents have policing issues? Do you think
they know you and would be familiar with you to say, "There's an
individual we need to speak to with regard to a security issue or
a patrolling issue"?
Gregory: I really couldn't say, Ms Dombrowsky. When you
live in the county you're not far from anywhere, as you know.
Dombrowsky: This is true.
Gregory: For the first part of the 13 years I lived in
Cherry Valley, which is not far from Picton. I believe I have
gained a number of acquaintances, both through being a member of
the golf club and being involved in this little band I play with.
I even belong to a horseshoe-pitching group, if you can believe
that, but it's true. I do have a number of acquaintances. I
wouldn't begin to say my name is a household word, by any means,
but I do have a working acquaintance with many of the influential
people of the town. Again, I think if you ask the average person
in Picton who Bud Gregory is, they'd say, "I have no idea."
Martin: You probably know a good friend of mine, who was
elected at about the same time as you and has the same name, Bud
Gregory: Very well.
Martin: You were probably the two Buds in the
Legislature at that time.
Gregory: Yes, we often commented on that, that the two
best members in the House were both named Bud.
Martin: Today we find out your name is Milton, and his
name is Charles. I don't know if you knew that or not: Bud's real
name is Charles Wildman.
It's worthwhile having this committee for that reason alone, Mr
Martin: Given the myriad of things that somebody with
your background-an impressive background, I might say-could bring
to public service, why would you have chosen the police
Gregory: Let me say I didn't go looking. I didn't
approach anyone looking for a committee position, so I didn't
specifically choose this, although I have had an interest in
police work and I admire what the OPP has been doing in the
county. As I mentioned in my opening remarks, when a mutual
friend who is a member of the committee announced that he was
resigning, I felt it was an interesting proposition because I
do-as you no doubt feel, Mr Martin, you want to be a part of your
community; you want to do what you can. This seemed to me an
opportunity to do something for the community that I love very
much. It's as simple as that. I'm sorry I can't make it more
complicated, but it isn't.
Martin: That's OK; it doesn't need to be. As Mr Kells
said a few minutes ago, we don't operate often from an
intellectual capacity here as much as from simple capacity. We're
all ordinary folks elected to give leadership here, and I
Community policing: what's
your understanding of that and what it's about, and do you have
any view on where it might go in order to develop further?
Gregory: Community policing: my understanding of that
expression would be that the police make every effort to go out
into the community and negotiate with the schools, with the
churches, with the people of influence to make their presence
felt without being felt in a fearful way, if you follow me.
I like what the OPP has
done. They've made every effort to liaise with the high schools
and with the seniors. These, to me, are the two most important
things in Picton regarding policing because, as you may or may
not know-Ms Dombrowsky would know, I guess-Prince Edward county
is not exactly the most prosperous county. It's the prettiest and
the nicest place to live in Canada, of course, but it's still not
necessarily the most prosperous, because of the lack of industry.
It is also probably the capital, apart from Victoria, BC, of the
senior citizens retirement area. Because of the recent problems
with seniors and embezzlement, people trying to take advantage of
seniors, I see that as a very important part of a community like
mine with the OPP, that they should be aware of the problems
seniors have with people trying to extort money from them, this
sort of thing.
Because there's little
industry in Picton there's little for the young people to do,
apart from in the summer when they can go swimming, and that's
about it. There's not much for them. So this could present a
problem to the OPP with the young people. I see it as very
necessary that they liaise with the young people and with the
seniors to solve those two particular problems. Those are what I
see as the most important in the community.
Martin: Just your comment on an issue that seems to be
challenging everybody out there who's involved or concerned about
policing at the moment. It's the issue of the role of the police
associations in the whole equation, their power and ability to
affect the oversight of policing and sometimes, depending on who
you're talking to, the pressure they are putting on to affect in
a limiting way the ability of the SIU, for example, to do its
work in investigating where police officers have been involved;
for example, in a shooting. There were some obvious examples of
the police association getting involved: the True Blue campaign
that happened here in Toronto, where they were raising money
putting decals on the windshields of cars. That money was being
targeted at one point to be used in political campaigns to make
sure police-friendly people got elected. What's your view of
that? I know from talking to some people who belong to the police
services in my community that there's always a bit of tension
between them and the police association and the administration of
the police services in the community.
Gregory: I don't have an answer for you, sir. I know
what you're saying. I believe it's necessary for police to have
an association, as it is for any labour group to have a union. I think it's
a similar thing. If a police association starts to throw its
weight around, then I think it probably has to be reined in, much
as a labour union, if it does the same thing, has to be reined in
I don't believe in
political campaigns based on utterances by the police
association, nor would I believe in politics by the people who
are opposed to these associations. I feel it's necessary for the
police to have an association so they can converse with their
brothers in arms, if you like. But if they are in a position
where they're interfering with the carrying out of justice, then
I'm on your side and I totally disagree with what they're doing.
I don't know any better answer than that, I'm afraid.
Martin: There's an issue out there today that is
certainly troubling, and I don't know what the answer is. But
police, particularly the police involved in cracking down on
organized crime, are finding themselves under threat when they're
not on duty. Certainly the police association, it seems, is
intervening in this, as I read the story, to suggest-and, I don't
know, they may be right; I'm looking for your comment on it-that
police should be allowed to have weapons when they're not on duty
because of the threat that's out there now to their personal
lives, I guess. What's your view on that?
Gregory: I suspect this should be governed, number one,
by the laws of the province, and number two, by the way the
police department is particularly governed. There would be a
difference, for example, as to how that would be administered in
Toronto as opposed to how it would be administered in Prince
Edward county, because it's all OPP. I don't know the position of
the OPP in regard to that, but our community would be governed by
that. If the Toronto police department and the council of the
city of Toronto say the police should carry their guns when
they're off duty, then I think that's the answer; they would do
it. Whether I personally agree with it or not, I don't know. I
can see instances where it would be very good to have an off-duty
police officer with a gun. There are other instances where it
would be fatal. Again, I don't know any better answer than that.
I'm speculating and giving a personal opinion, and please accept
it as that.
The government caucus. You've done yours, haven't you?
We'll waive our time.
You waived yours. OK.
Gregory: I think I frightened them years ago, Jim.
Thank you very much, Mr Gregory, for appearing before the
Gregory: Thank you, Chairman. It has been a pleasure,
ladies and gentlemen.
We're going to check to see if Richard Margesson is with us
If he's not here, we can just move to the vote on the two we've
I'm for that. If we wish, we can deal at this time with the two
we've already heard. That saves some time for us.
Mr Wood: I
move concurrence in the intended appointment of Mr Dodds.
Any discussion of Mr Dodds's appointment as intended appointee as
member, Council of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of
Ontario? No discussion?
All in favour of the motion
of Mr Wood?
The motion is carried.
Mr Wood: I
move concurrence in the intended appointment of Mr Gregory.
We have a motion from Mr Wood to concur in the appointment of
Milton E.C. (Bud) Gregory, intended appointee as member, County
of Prince Edward Police Services Board. Any discussion?
All in favour?
The motion is carried.
Review of intended
appointment, selected by official opposition party: Richard
Margesson, intended appointee as member, Council of the College
of Nurses of Ontario.
I understand Mr Margesson is in the building. I think Mr Kells is
about to get him, so perhaps we could just wait a moment.
The next appointee, then,
to appear before us will be Richard Margesson. Come forward, sir.
As you may be aware, you have an opportunity to make an initial
statement if you choose to do so. That's entirely up to you.
You may proceed.
Margesson: Thank you for inviting me to appear before
your committee today. I'll briefly summarize my resumé,
including the attachment.
In the private industries
of finance and construction materials, I achieved well in the
areas of management, sales, credit and union labour negotiating.
Then, subject to corporate downsizing, I obtained a temporary
position in customer service at a major bank, through an agency.
The agency later sent me out on a job assignment with the
province of Ontario where I continued to quite enjoy working in a
variety of temporary and good contract jobs for nine years. I
well learned how government works. Significant was acquiring
excellent experience in investigations and a thorough knowledge
of how tribunals operate pursuant to the Statutory Powers
I hold a bachelor of arts
degree, psychology major, from Wilfrid Laurier University in
Waterloo. My highest well-developed innate strength is in client
service. I can relate well to all levels of personnel. In almost
every job setting, I have been able to streamline processes as
well as increase morale and productivity.
This concludes my
statement, and I'm now open for questions.
We will proceed, starting with the official opposition.
Mrs Dombrowsky: Thank you very
much and good afternoon. It's good to see you. We have had the
opportunity to review your background that you have stated here
for us, but I'm a little more interested in understanding what it
is that has made you interested in a role on the Council of the
College of Nurses of Ontario, since I didn't note in your
background any health-related experiences or interests. Maybe you
could explain what you think you would be able to contribute in
this particular role dealing with the profession of nurses.
Margesson: I'm not a professional in the health field,
but I know from my experience in the government that it's best in
regulatory bodies to have people who are not members of a
particular profession, because if a regulatory body is only
represented by its own members, there's a tendency for them to
have their own view of the way things should be done, and my role
is more to represent the view of the average citizen.
Dombrowsky: Could I ask why you would be interested in
an appointment to a council for the College of Nurses?
Margesson: With my government experience, I know the
basic procedures and how they operate.
Dombrowsky: I really want to pursue why you would want
to serve. There are a variety of government agencies, boards and
commissions. I'm interested in understanding what your specific
interest with regard to the College of Nurses is.
Margesson: I have no particular suggestions at this time
for the college. Also, they will be deciding, if I join them,
what my duties will be.
Mr Crozier, do you want to ask some questions?
Crozier: I still don't think we have the answer to the
question. In fact, I could ask it another way. Did you seek to be
appointed to this particular board?
Margesson: Not specifically.
Crozier: You just-
Margesson: I made it known to people in the government.
I knew that I wished to continue with government service because
I enjoyed it and I felt I was quite good at it.
Crozier: I think that answers the question that Mrs
Dombrowsky was after. Thank you.
Nursing today is in the
public eye because of a shortage of nurses, for a variety of
reasons. I know down in the riding that I represent there is a
critical shortage of nurses in home care, partially because they
are paid less than are nurses who serve in hospitals. Part of it
is because we're a border community almost, that being Essex
County-Windsor area, on the border with the United States. A
number of nursing positions have been left vacant on our side of
the border because they have gone to the United States. Are you
aware of the crisis that some would perceive, and I do, in
nursing services today?
Margesson: Yes, I am aware of some of these problems and
am also aware of the fact that the government is putting more
money into the nursing profession. In fact, some of the colleges
are expanding their facilities to graduate more of them.
Crozier: If that's the case and the objective is met,
perhaps three, five, six years from now we may have a number of
those positions filled. But it's a real crisis today.
Margesson: There are problems. I have not read any of
the studies myself, so I don't think here that I could make any
critique on them.
Crozier: You didn't seek this particular board, but are
you familiar, though, with the responsibilities of the board?
Crozier: What are those?
Margesson: The whole purpose of the college is to
regulate the nursing profession, and it does this by ensuring
that people get quality health care. That's its main
Crozier: OK. Many of these bodies are self-regulating in
the health profession area, as is laid out in the Health
Professions Act. Do you know the objectives of a self-regulated
body, what they try to do?
Crozier: And what are-
Margesson: They are all quite similar. They license the
individuals that work in the field and they strive to achieve
better services and they handle grievances if they occur and take
disciplinary action when necessary. Sometimes grievances are
dismissed because they are frivolous and vexatious.
Crozier: Well then, if the self-regulated body does
that, what do you see, beyond that, as the role of the college of
Margesson: The body is made up of people from the
general public as well as the profession, so there is a view
presented by the profession and the general public who receive
Crozier: Thank you. I haven't any more questions.
Mr Martin, unless Mrs Dombrowsky has any further ones?
Dombrowsky: Are you a member of any political party?
Dombrowsky: What political party would that be?
Margesson: The PCs.
Dombrowsky: Do you have any specific role? Are you a
member of the executive?
Dombrowsky: When I reviewed your resume, what would be
your most recent work reference here?
Margesson: It's management board of-
Dombrowsky: What are you doing right now?
Margesson: I am a self-employed consultant. I do
Mrs Dombrowsky: I see. Is that
Dombrowsky: I see. So you're self-employed and you do
consulting work in the field of?
Margesson: Just small business.
Any other questions from the official opposition? If not, I move
to the third party.
Martin: Thanks for coming today and sitting for these
questions. I guess I'm having some difficulty connecting your
past activity with your wanting to serve on this board and what
you can bring to it. In your own community, are you on the board
of your local hospital?
Margesson: No, I'm not.
Martin: Have you served in any capacity on any advisory
committees for health care?
Margesson: No, so I have no conflict of interest at all
Martin: But you have no experience of the health
Margesson: No. I mentioned that earlier, but they have
people who are not working in the profession as part of their
council to represent the general public.
Martin: So you have absolutely no background whatsoever
in the health care field-other than perhaps you have a
Margesson: I'm not a professional in the health care
Martin: Because you answered a few minutes ago to a
question around the role of the College of Nurses.
Margesson: I'm sorry, I couldn't hear you.
Martin: You answered a question a few minutes ago about
the role of the College of Nurses that simply said that the
College of Nurses was to ensure that health care continues to be
of good quality.
I suggest to you that it's
much more detailed and complicated than that. It's involved in
the oversight of some legislation that regulates the profession
of nursing in the province. I have to say that-and I guess I'll
ask your response to this-the nurses themselves, when asked about
the operation of their particular college, suggest that their
experience has been that public members of the College of Nurses
are generally inadequately informed regarding many of the issues.
For example, it becomes evident during council question periods
that public members are often confused about the difference in
scope of practice between an RN and an RPN. Do you know what the
difference is, Richard?
Martin: What is it?
Margesson: A registered nurse has to take courses and be
licensed to work as a nurse, whereas a registered practical nurse
can just have some informal training in home care or something
like that. They can't give needles or anything like that or
Martin: Under the act that governs those professions,
what can RNs do that RPNs can't do?
Margesson: They can offer some medical advice and give
Martin: Then they go on to say, "Considering the
complexity of health issues today, it would be reasonable to
expect that public members appointed to any college council have
a related background in health care. Adequate education and
training are essential components for public members of college
councils and in the interest of public protection, ONA recommends
that a more extensive orientation, training and education program
be developed for public members of college councils."
So I guess my next question
is, if it turns out that the government continues to support your
appointment to the College of Nurses today, will you be willing
to participate in extensive orientation, training and education
programs concerning these particular acts?
Margesson: Most definitely. I had to do that when I
worked in a variety of assignments in the government, where some
were quite new to me.
Martin: Do you know anything about the Regulated Health
Margesson: I haven't studied the act in detail. As I
said, my duties have not been made known to me yet.
Martin: OK, thank you.
No further questions? The government caucus.
Did you have an opportunity to review the functioning of the
college prior to your name being put forward?
Margesson: I don't quite know what the timing is, what
you mean. I was given what the objectives were for the college
and what it is. It's a regulatory body.
Have you studied what they do?
After studying what they do, did you come to the conclusion there
are some areas that you could make a particular contribution
Margesson: I couldn't enumerate any specific ones here,
but every time I've joined an organization I've always been able
to quickly identify areas of improvement and make
After you studied what the council does, you didn't identify any
areas in which you thought you could make a contribution?
Margesson: I don't think at this stage I'm in a fair
position to be critical of what they're doing, because I haven't
Those are my questions
Any further questions from the government caucus? If not, I would
like to thank you very much, Mr Margesson, for appearing before
The next individual to come
before the committee, who I thought I saw in the room just a
moment ago-I could be
wrong-is Benoît Martin, intended appointee as member,
Deposit Insurance Corp of Ontario.
Since he is not here yet, I
think we could perhaps deal with a motion or discussion, should
you see fit, of the last appointment we completed.
Mr Wood: I
move concurrence for Mr Margesson.
Concurrence is moved by Mr Wood. Any discussion?
Martin: The gentleman has absolutely no experience
whatsoever, or seemingly knowledge, of the health care profession
here, and he's going to participate with nurses to regulate a
profession that is so central and core to delivery. We hear out
there every day the tremendous pressure on nurses to do the job
they need to do and how important they are. Flowing from that, I
think we would want a college overseeing what they do to be
knowledgeable and experienced and have some understanding and
background in health care. Knowing this, I don't know how anybody
could support the appointment of this gentleman to this position.
On behalf of our caucus, I certainly will be voting against
Crozier: I think it's obvious to all of us that we have
an obligation, on any of these appointments, to attempt to get
the best people we can for the job. I have some significant
doubts about Mr Margesson. It would appear as though he is
looking for a job. There is nothing wrong with that, except that
if he were, I would hope he would be looking for a job in an area
in which he felt he could contribute significantly.
I think several of us
around this table tried to give him the opportunity to do that.
When we asked if he understood a certain section of what his
responsibilities might be, he would say yes. But when you asked
him to explain it, he wouldn't be able to explain it.
I feel an absolute
obligation to the College of Nurses of Ontario to attempt to get
the best people we can for the job. I'm afraid, because of his
presentation, if nothing else, that I'm not able to support this.
His presentation was even weak. When he sits on this board with
others who have a keen interest in it and who want to do the
right job, I'm just afraid he's not going to be able to
contribute to that. Therefore, I couldn't support it.
With a lot of the boards, and it came up in the conversation, we
like to have at least one or two, shall we say, John Q.
Citizens-I'll use the words Joe Q. Citizen, better-on a board to
bring an outside perspective to the board. A lot of these
regulatory bodies, as we all know, need and do use that outside
resource to be able to look at it far more objectively than
people who are really close to and very familiar with it, which
is important to have on those boards as well.
There may be any number of
reasons why Mr Margesson may not have come across strongly, but
I'm looking at his resumé, and clearly this man has a pretty
substantial background in financial affairs. If there was
anything that he might be able to contribute at that point-I
understand what he says, that he has looked through the mandate
such as has been presented by legislative research or the
assembly to describe the context of the position.
If I were being appointed
to something I wouldn't want to say, right off the top, "Hey, I
want to do that." Even when we, as elected members, get moved
from one ministry to another as an assistant to a minister, you
cannot hope to identify any one specific area that you would like
to pursue and champion and work for on behalf of the minister
until you've had a full opportunity to see the lay of the land,
what the various projects are and what the various elements are
of that particular field, or that ministry in this case. When
asked what specifics he would be able to contribute, I can
understand his answer in saying, "I haven't really decided until
I get a better feel for what's there."
But I think Mr Margesson
has an opportunity. He certainly has some pretty solid background
in the financial field from when he worked within government
ministries through to other areas, and I think he can provide
that perspective as Joe Q. Citizen on the College of Nurses.
I know we've seen people
who have been appointed to other boards. An individual I know-I'm
not sure if he's from Mr Crozier's riding-sits on the College of
Pharmacists. This man is not a pharmacist. He has never been
involved in the medical profession, and yet he is now vice-chair
and has been there for about three years on that board and has
done a marvellous job, by all accounts from other members of that
college as to the contribution he has made to that particular
I think the role a man like
Mr Margesson can provide would be a very good outside and more
objective perspective that would be needed on any association,
any college, any governing body in this province.
Comments or other discussion?
Crozier: Just briefly, Chair. I'm not so naive as to
think that-you don't want to turn down a government appointee. It
just doesn't look good. I agree with much of what you've said in
the point that you don't have to a be a pharmacist to be
appointed to the pharmacists' board. I understand that.
I'm saying that I think
there must be better appointments out here than this gentleman.
If this committee is going to have any credibility whatsoever-and
those of us over here get frustrated from time to time, I'll
admit-we have to give a very objective assessment and vote on an
issue so that we really feel that person deserves to be
appointed. I think the best advice we can give to the government
on this particular appointment is, think about it one more time
before that final appointment is made.
Dombrowsky: My final comment is with regard to Mr
Spina's reference to Joe Q. Public. I want you to understand that
I personally am offended by that reference. There are far too
many Joe Q. Publics appointed to these boards, commissions and
agencies, and not nearly enough Jane Q. Publics. Just think of
it. Go back and look at your record. How many Jane Q. Publics do
you appoint? I would suggest that even in this particular case,
you would have done well to make that consideration. So I would request that those
kinds of references not be made in the future.
Mr Wood: I
ask that this vote be deferred one week.
Is that a motion?
Mr Wood: I
don't think I have to make a motion. I think if any party
requires that it be deferred, the vote is required to be
Thank you very much, Mr Wood, for that suggestion, motion,
It is a request which carries with it the force of the rules.
It is a request with which this committee is most willing to
Is our next appointee here
Mr Chair, we will need about a five-minute break.
I would be happy to provide a 10-minute break, if you'd like.
We'll adjourn for 10 minutes.
The committee recessed
from 1511 to 1522.
Review of intended
appointment, selected by official opposition party: Benoît
Martin, intended appointee as member, Deposit Insurance Corp of
We're going to call the committee back to order now. Next is
Benoît Martin, intended appointee as member, Deposit
Insurance Corp of Ontario. Welcome to the committee, Mr Martin.
You are welcome at the beginning to make an initial statement,
should you see fit. That is entirely your choice, sir.
Martin: Just a few words. First of all, thank you for
waiting for us. I know we were told we should be a little faster,
so we had a driver who sped up Yonge Street and managed to get us
here on time.
I assure you that you are here even ahead of your scheduled time,
so there's no need for an apology at all.
Martin: Perhaps just a few words to tell you a little
bit about my background. I spent 20 years in the caisses
populaires, the last six of those as president of the board.
Prior to my 20 years in the caisses populaires, I spent 20 years
in the scout movement. I thought I'd mention that because I was
up north and in various other places in Ontario as a young
military person and it gave me an opportunity to meet people in
their local areas. The caisses populaires have done something
similar, where we visited most parts of Ontario, and it gave me a
chance to meet with the people. I enjoyed that part.
Having said that, I believe
I didn't submit my name with the group I'm looking at now. It was
la fédération des caisses populaires that submitted my
name to DICO. I thank them for doing that, because I believe that
if I looked at it now versus about 10 years ago, when there was
all kinds of deficit and so on-perhaps it was harder to get
members to join DICO. But now things are running very smoothly.
They're getting out of debt, and it seems to be the time now to
help the communities a lot more. So I'm anxious to join that
group if they'll have me and if the committee here finds my name
I'm here to respond to any
questions you may have and I'll be glad to go into details.
Thank you very much, Monsieur Martin. We will begin our
questioning with the third party.
Martin: I don't know whether I should right off the bat
declare a conflict of interest or something here because we're
appointing somebody to a body that will oversee a whole lot of my
Martin: When your leader turned all of our pensions into
the market, I had to put it somewhere.
Crozier: You'd be well over that $100,000, then,
Martin: Yes, I was one of the people who got a little
bit more than some others, and I'm thankful for that, and I'm
thankful that the credit union was there to deal with it and that
they had available some vehicle that spoke of ethical investment,
which I think is really important in the world we live in
Having set that aside, I
guess it's obvious, but I just want you to speak to it anyway,
obvious from your background and the work you've done over the
last number of years, why you would want to serve on this
corporation. Perhaps you could expand on that a little bit. Why
do you want to spend the next few years of your life doing this
kind of thing?
Martin: As you know, I recently retired from the
electronics field. I was an engineer and travelled quite a bit
outside the country. I've always had an interest in helping the
community in various activities. Through this board, they're
helping, making sure that the credit union and the caisse
populaire can stay active, making sure that they have a proactive
role these days trying to make sure that these units are well
governed. As you know, as a matter of fact, they won the award,
the DICO corporate governor's award, which was issued on the
national level. So it's a very good board. The people are very
implicated in their community and so on. If I can help in any way
with my background, I'd like to do that.
Martin: You know and I know, and I'm sure people around
this table understand, that the credit union movement has come a
long way in the last few years. I know that we have two very
significant credit unions in Sault Ste Marie, Northern and ASCU.
I'm not sure about the origins of ASCU, but I believe it was the
workers at Algoma Steel. Maybe Mr Spina would know, because he
lived in Sault Ste Marie longer than I did. He was born there and
grew up there. The ASCU credit union was initially the
steelworkers pooling their money so that they might lend to each
other so that they could buy cars and probably refrigerators and
things of that nature. It has grown into a fairly substantial
financial institution now. I know that Northern was started in
the basement of Len-
Interjection: Len Strom.
Mr Tony Martin: Len Strom. He
started it in the basement of his home. That credit union now has
branches in almost every small town in northern Ontario. Some
branches in smaller communities, because the banks moved out-it
wasn't financially profitable enough for them to stay there, and
the credit union moved in to provide the kind of very basic
financial services that communities of the nature that you find
in northern Ontario are in need of if they're going to have any
kind of an economy. So we know where the credit unions have come
from, and we can see how well they've done over the last few
years and the kind of service they provide.
When you compare that, the
very personal service and the continued focus on member care,
which is a branch of the credit union now, to what I perceive to
be a new focus of the major banks, which is more in investment
and managing money as opposed to actually servicing individual
members who have accounts there, where is the credit union
movement going, in your view, and what role do you see yourself
playing or being able to play as a member of this particular
corporation to see that that in fact happens?
Martin: When you mention that, let me tell you, in some
of these small areas, as you identified, sometimes the local
credit union or caisse populaire is the only organization in that
small town where people actually meet on various occasions, and
the caisse populaire or credit union sometimes makes sure that
there is activity they can sponsor to make sure the people do
meet on various occasions. I think they have done extremely well
in various parts of the country.
As you mentioned so
rightly, some of the banks can't afford to stay in communities
where there is less than $15 million or $20 million because there
is not enough money to be made, whereas the credit union or
caisse populaire will still go in there. Sometimes they're not
making very much money but they are giving satisfaction to the
people and a service to some of the people. Otherwise these
people, especially small businesses that can't have any banking
service-it's extremely hard on them.
Yes, they definitely have a
position in the future. I think the DICO is helping to make sure
that they stay financially viable. If well monitored, I'm sure
they can go on for a long time. Mind you, they have to adapt to
the new technology. It's a little harder in some of these areas,
but soon we have to use technology if we want to stay abreast.
With my background as an electrical engineer, electronic
engineer, it's certainly going to be one of my interests in DICO
to make sure that we do, if we can, help some of these smaller
credit unions stay active in their community, to help them.
Martin: You mentioned the smaller credit unions, and it
brings up the issue of how healthy they are and how stable some
of those small institutions are. Could you speak about that for a
minute and perhaps share with us what you think the government,
perhaps in partnership with the deposit insurance corporation,
might do to alleviate any concern anybody might have out there
Martin: DICO is a supervisor of these activities. First
of all, it collects all the data, all the information. I remember
when I was in the organization-they have to collect all this
information, at arm's length, to monitor what's happening out
What can be done in the
future to help them is that perhaps even small companies-I
remember in the electronics business, sometimes a small company
needs a big brother to help. This happens quite often. So it's
possible perhaps that in some areas, sometimes the small credit
union may need a larger credit union to help them stay afloat,
maybe do the back office paperwork and various other things.
There are all kinds of options with the electronic field coming
up. I haven't been in the system for the last two or three years
but I'm sure there are various ways now, with the new technology
coming out, there are methods, especially when we look at-the
governance of these credit unions needs to be well informed. This
can be done now by technology, where they can take courses.
I remember talking to a
small credit union one time and they said, "We have a bit of a
problem in getting people for governance of our credit union.
Because we're so far out, some of our people take 45 minutes to
come to a meeting. They don't have time to come and do some
training sessions, because it's too far away." But now, with the
technology, they can do it much easier, with on-line training and
various other technologies, to make sure these people are well
informed on the latest information and trained in proper
governance for these credit unions and caisses populaires.
Just to summarize, I think,
yes, there is a future for some of these credit unions. The
smaller ones that are operating in a basement and so on, maybe
those will have to change their method of operation. Maybe they
need to have another way. I haven't been in the system for a few
years, but I'm sure there are ways to make sure they can still
help the community. If they're attached to a larger credit union,
they could probably help the community a lot more because, as you
know, a small credit union cannot do a large loan. Nowadays, even
a mortgage has to be fairly large. Sometimes it's bigger than
what this small credit union can do. So by being attached to a
larger one, they can do a better service to these people by at
least giving them more money to be able to afford housing and so
Martin: Thank you.
Thank you kindly. A member of the governing party, Mr Spina.
Thank you, Monsieur Martin, for coming forward. Having had some
experience in the trust company field personally for a few years
in the management side, I can appreciate some of the roles, I
guess, that you've played. With the years of experience that
you've had with the caisses populaires, while you were involved
with them, were they always a member of the deposit insurance
Mr Benoît Martin: You're
mentioning if we were part-
A member of the corporation.
Martin: As you know, since the formation-when they used
to be called OSDIC-a caisse populaire and credit union had to
have that symbol on the door to be able to operate properly, so
yes, the francophone group was certainly part of that. I joined
in 1979 and they had just been formed a couple of years before.
We were proud to display that sign in the window because a caisse
populaire and credit union live with one thing: people have to
have confidence in your financial institution. If they don't have
confidence, you don't survive. So that sign in the window,
Deposit Insurance Corp of Ontario, is most important. It should
be very large to make sure that the-
Instead of three-
Martin: Not just a little symbol but a larger one. I
think it's most important, because nobody's ever lost any
I think we give credit to
all of the parties here, because I've dealt with each one of your
parties at one time from 1979 to 1998. I think each of you, when
I had an opportunity to deal with you, were helping the credit
unions and caisses populaires, and I'm at least glad that each of
the parties present here have certainly helped.
I understand the confidence that the public perhaps would have in
seeing that symbol. My question maybe is, it's a little tougher
now. With all due respect to the gentleman that's in the audience
here that represents DICO, But with the training and the
experience level in management that you clearly indicated and the
use of technology today in the financial services field, I wonder
whether an organization like DICO, beyond the confidence of the
public, would really have any relevance any more.
Martin: They certainly do, because as you know, when
you're dealing with a large group-and you're talking about
350-some-odd groups and being in various places of the province,
and I had the opportunity to live in various places of the
province-you need an organization to certainly help in the aspect
of what we're talking about here, deposit insurance.
The other role that DICO is
taking, as you've seen in their mission, is to be able to go a
little bit beyond protecting the depositor. They're trying to,
and I quote-they're helping to make it a financially sound
business. If we go back to 1980, that was very hard to do,
because if you remember when the interest rates were at 18%, 19%
and 20%, maybe the government should have been the person really
doing something for dropping those interest rates. The little
companies were doing very badly in those days and thank God for
deposit insurance in those days, because some of the companies
just went belly-up.
We don't know what's coming
up in the future. You certainly need an organization like DICO to
be proactive and innovative and protecting and helping, working
with some of these financial institutions to make sure that they
I think you have a very solid background, and personally I'm
pleased to support you. You have a very good grasp of the
industry and of the workings of DICO.
Any other representatives from the government?
We will waive our time.
We'll go to the official opposition.
Mr Crozier: Bienvenue, Monsieur Martin. It's good to have
you here. You certainly have an extensive background, and it's
good to see that you've been encouraged to come forward by your
Can you comment on the
relationship, and perhaps the role, of caisses populaires and
credit unions vis-à-vis the chartered banks?
Martin: In the last several years the chartered banks,
as you have noticed, are making more and more profits. Mind you,
I don't think it's right to show the amount of profit they do.
They should show that as a percentage of their capital
investment. Regardless, I think it makes the common Joe very
unhappy when he sees that the banks are making billion-dollar
The first intention of the
caisses populaires and credit unions is not-to start with, it's a
co-operative movement. As a matter of fact, when I first joined
20 years ago, the biggest problem was that when they made a
profit they returned it to their members. They didn't want to
keep any profit. They were operating at baseline-no profit.
Eventually, because of some bad years coming along, we had to
convince them that yes, you need a certain amount of profit to
maintain it in case you have a bad year. Their primary objective
and purpose-like Alphonse Desjardins, the founding member in
1900-was to provide money to a member who could not get it from
the banking institution. In some small areas the person who
wanted money for something at some point could not get it from
the bank because he didn't have proper information or any
collateral. The credit union would help him because they knew
where he came from. They knew a little bit more. They were closer
to the member than the big banks were.
I think that may have
changed a lot. Nowadays we don't want a credit union to lend
money to be able to help without some kind of security. But they
still work closer to the base. They'll operate in some areas
where the banks do not even want to go because they're too small
and there's not enough profit to be made. I think they're still
helping various communities, especially some of those that are
located far out of the beaten path.
In downtown Toronto there
are some large credit unions, but you don't see caisses
populaires because there's no demand for them. You don't create a
caisse populaire in one area because you think it's good. The
people themselves have to ask to get one. It's a different
concept. You don't start something for the benefit of profit; you
start from the people wanting something and then you help them
create it, being a co-op movement.
I hope that answers some of it.
Crozier: It did. I'm interested and impressed by the
number of times community has been mentioned in both questions
and answers, because certainly they are important to communities
and smaller communities. I belong to the Woodslee Credit Union. I
don't have nearly as much money invested as my colleague Mr
Martin. I'm below the insured level.
It was good having you here
today to answer questions the way you have and to present
yourself, because we only see what's written on a piece of paper.
It was a pleasure to have you here today. I certainly will
support your appointment.
The Chair of the committee seldom gets to say anything. I will
offer a comment, with the indulgence of my colleagues: I do think
your hours are much better than those of the banks, which seem to
be returning to the hours that would cater to birds and farm
animals perhaps, but certainly not to those of us who still wish
to deal with a human being and not with a machine, although-
You might as well talk to a wall.
Exactly. I think my friend from Lakeshore is correct. I'm told
it's a matter of age and attitude, but credit unions do seem to
provide, let's say, more of that personal service than the rich
banks. But I'm Chair of a committee and I'm not supposed to say
Thank you very much, Monsieur Martin. You may step down, sir.
Benoît Martin: I encourage every
one of you to encourage your local credit union or caisse
populaire, if they are around. Thank you very much.
We will now consider the final appointment. Mr Wood.
Mr Wood: I
Any discussion? I'll put the motion. All in favour? Opposed, if
any? The motion is carried. The appointment is concurred in.
Any further business to
come before the committee? If not, we are adjourned until 10 am