Wednesday 24 January 2001

Subcommittee reports

Intended appointments
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


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

Vice-Chair / Vice-Président

Mr Bruce Crozier (Essex L)

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

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 this afternoon.

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 are.

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?

Mr Tony 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.

Mr Kells: It's called payback time.

Mr Tony Martin: It's called payback, I've heard from the other side. That's what this committee-

The Chair: 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.

Mr Tony 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.

The Chair: 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.

The Chair: 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.

Mr Richard Brassard: You did.

The Chair: 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.

Mr Brassard: 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 volunteerism.

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 families.

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 before.

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 decision-maker.

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 way.

The Chair: Thank you very much, sir. We'll commence with the official opposition.

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 the Conservatives?

Mr Brassard: That's correct. In the Timiskaming-Cochrane riding.

Mr Crozier: Does that mean, then, that you're a member of the Conservative Party?

Mr Brassard: I am, sir.

Mr Crozier: Can you tell us what positions you've held, if any, in the Conservative Party?

Mr Brassard: I hold no positions in the Conservative Party.

Mr Crozier: 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.

Mr Crozier: Sir, was that before you were elected mayor?

Mr Brassard: It was.

Mr Crozier: 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 interest?

Mr Brassard: 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 issues.

Mr Crozier: 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?

Mr Brassard: I would never put myself in a compromising position. If I thought there was a conflict of interest, I would declare it.

Mr Crozier: 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.

Mr Brassard: I think the committee would expect that of me. That's, in my mind, a rule and I've always tried to govern myself accordingly.

Mr Crozier: 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 interest"?


Mr Brassard: 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 Timiskaming district.

Mr Crozier: 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?

Mr Brassard: 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.

Mr Crozier: When you were chair of the Nipissing-Timiskaming District Health Council, did you hold any public elected office at that time?

Mr Brassard: I did not.

Mr Crozier: 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.

Mr Brassard: 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 whatsoever.

Mr Crozier: 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 day?

Mr Brassard: Absolutely not.

Mr Crozier: Then why would you expect to be an elected official and appointed to a committee like this today?

Mr Brassard: 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 concerned.

Mr Crozier: You may be right or wrong. I don't know.

Mr Brassard: I think I'm right.

Mr Crozier: I'm asking about the perception. What's the difference, in your mind?

Mr Brassard: I think I can honestly serve both purposes. I can act on behalf of my municipality and the citizens at large within the constituency.

Mr Crozier: 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?

Mr Brassard: I do.

Mrs Dombrowsky: Elementary or secondary?

Mr Brassard: Elementary.

Mrs Dombrowsky: How many students?

Mr Brassard: There are approximately 318 students in my school as we speak.

Mrs Dombrowsky: Is that in the community of Englehart?

Mr Brassard: No, it's in the community of Kirkland Lake.

Mrs 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 role.

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 discussions.

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.

Mr Brassard: 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 that.

Mrs 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.

Mr Brassard: 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.

The Chair: Time has expired for the official opposi-tion. For the third party, Mr Martin.

Mr Tony 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?

Mr Brassard: No, I am not.

Mr Tony Martin: You were just a candidate?

Mr Brassard: I was a candidate.

Mr Tony Martin: Have you ever served on the executive of the riding association?

Mr Brassard: I never have.

Mr Tony 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 one?

Mr Brassard: 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.

Mr Tony Martin: Do you understand the framework within which money is collected and grants are given out?

Mr Brassard: I believe I do.

Mr Tony Martin: Could you share that with us?

Mr 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.


Mr Tony 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?

Mr 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.

Mr Tony Martin: What would the priority for you be? You mentioned culture and recreation, sports and then human and social services as three areas.

Mr Brassard: Right.

Mr Tony Martin: What would the priority for you be?

Mr 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.

Mr Tony 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?

Mr 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.

Mr Tony Martin: Do you believe it's proper and right for this government to claw back the child tax credit from poor families?

Mr 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.

The Chair: That's the final question, unfortunately, for you. It terminates at 10:36.

Government caucus, Mr Johnson.

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 difficulty.

I don't really have a question. I just wanted to add my comments to this morning's interview. Thank you.

The Chair: Anyone else from the government caucus?

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

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Wood, for your notification.

Thank you very much, Mr Brassard, for appearing before the committee. You are now permitted to depart.

Mr 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 Chair: The next intended appointee is Cameron Leach, intended appointee as member, Regional Municipality of Niagara Police Services Board.

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 committee.


Mr Cameron 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 services.

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 research.

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 decisions.

In closing, I look forward to the opportunity of dedicating my time and knowledge to the police services board and the Niagara region.

The Chair: Thank you very much, Mr Leach. We commence this time with the third party.

Mr Tony 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 board?

Mr Leach: 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.

Mr Tony 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.

Mr Leach: I do.

Mr Tony Martin: Does that have a bar in it?

Mr Leach: I'm in the food and beverage; it does have a bar in it, yes.

Mr Tony Martin: And it's an area that could come into relationship with the police from time to time?

Mr Leach: It's an area that politicians attend, lawyers, accountants; the police do go there. It's a public place.

Mr Tony 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 review.

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?

Mr Leach: 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 region.

Mr Tony Martin: So you're saying in your business and in your personal life you've not had any run-ins with the police at all.

Mr Leach: None whatsoever, and I don't intend to.

Mr Tony 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?

Mr Leach: No. I don't think I'd be any different than a plumber or a carpenter.

Mr Tony 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-

Mr Leach: I'm not sure I'm aware of that. Maybe you could explain that to me.

Mr Tony 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?

Mr Leach: No, I've given it no thought.

Mr Tony Martin: None whatsoever, so as far as you're concerned there's no issue there?

Mr Leach: There's no issue there with me with that, no.

Mr Tony 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?

Mr Leach: 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.

Mr Tony Martin: OK. That's all I have.

The Chair: We go to the government caucus.

Mr Wood: We'll waive our time.

The Chair: The government caucus has waived its time. We go to the official opposition.


Mrs 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.

Mr Leach: 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 it.

We need good policing, so we need a good budget. If you have a good budget, you're going to have a good force.

Mrs 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?

Mr Leach: 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.

Mrs Dombrowsky: Would you be of the opinion that that has happened in the past, that money is being thrown out foolishly?

Mr Leach: No, I wouldn't say that.

The Chair: Mr Crozier.

Mr Crozier: Good morning, sir. Just a couple of technicalities to get out of the way. Are you a member of the Conservative Party?

Mr Leach: I am.

Mr Crozier: Can you tell us what positions and activities you may have held in the past with the party, or at the present time.

Mr Leach: 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.

Mr Crozier: As a fundraiser.

Mr Leach: As a fundraiser, yes.

Mr 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?

Mr Leach: No, I did not.

Mr Crozier: You were approached?

Mr Leach: It was discussed, and I said I would be happy to serve and help out in that area.

Mr Crozier: Were you approached?

Mr Leach: No, I wasn't approached.

Mr Crozier: Somebody had to start the discussion. Did you-

Mr Leach: I probably suggested the areas where I would like to add benefit to the community, so I would approach them.

Mr Crozier: Rather than you "probably did," then, you did approach them?

Mr Leach: Rather than "probably," I did.

Mr Crozier: Well, you said "I probably" did. I figured you would know better than anyone else.

Mr Leach: You're absolutely right. I did.

Mr Crozier: You did. OK. It was as simple as that.

Mr Leach: Sorry. I got mixed up on words.

Mr Crozier: Another little technicality: you mentioned that you've owned the hotel for 23 years.

Mr Leach: I've been in the business for 23 years. I've owned the hotel for-this is my 18th year coming up in June.

Mr Crozier: OK. It said since 1985. It's the account-ant in me. That would be 15 years.

Mr Leach: This will be my 16th year. You're right. I wish I was an accountant.

Mr 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 to-

Mr Leach: An infraction? Never.

Mr Crozier: That's great. That's a great record.

I'm interested to know, do you serve liquor, alcoholic beverages, yourself, as a bartender?

Mr Leach: I would step in, but I'm not really good at that.

Mr Crozier: Like any good owner would do.

Mr Leach: Yes. Sometimes there's a need, and I'll do that.

Mr 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.

Mr Leach: 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 balance.

Mr Crozier: Or she.

Mr Leach: 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.

Mr 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?

Mr Leach: 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.


Mr 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."

Mr Crozier: Yes. Are you any relation to Al Leach?

Mr 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 Leach.

Mr Crozier: Thank you.

The Chair: All parties have completed their questions. Thank you very much, Mr Leach, for appearing before the committee.

Mr Leach: Thank you very much.


Review of intended appointment, selected by official opposition party: Bill Fatsis, intended appointee as member, Health Professions Appeal and Review Board.

The Chair: 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 so.

Mr Bill Fatsis: Yes, I do.

The Chair: Fire away.

Mr Fatsis: 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 service.

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 questions.

The Chair: We'll begin with the government caucus.

Mr Spina: 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.

The Chair: Do any other government members wish to question?

Mr Wood: We'll waive our time.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Wood. We'll go to the official opposition, either Mrs Dombrowsky or Mr Crozier.

Mrs Dombrowsky: Sir, are you a lawyer?

Mr Fatsis: No, I'm not. I have some legal training, but I'm not a lawyer.

Mrs 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?

Mr Fatsis: 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 constitutional issues.

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 intended appointment.

Mrs Dombrowsky: That was a full-time role?

Mr Fatsis: Yes, it was.

Mrs Dombrowsky: I did note, in your opening remarks, that you made reference to the fact this is a part-time appointment.

Mr Fatsis: Yes.

Mrs 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 role.

Mr Fatsis: 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.

Mr Crozier: Could you please tell the committee whether or not you are a member of the Conservative Party?

Mr Fatsis: I have been. I'm effectively out of politics since 1983.

Mr 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 board?

Mr Fatsis: 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.

Mr 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?

Mr Fatsis: 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.


Mr Crozier: Could it be that just a gut feeling would enter into your decision?

Mr Fatsis: 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.

Mr 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 convinced?

Mr Fatsis: 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.

Mr Tony 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?

Mr Fatsis: Not now, no.

Mr Tony 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?

Mr Fatsis: 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.

Mr Tony Martin: It certainly has a wide variety of things it can oversee. Could you talk a little bit about those? What does this board do?

Mr Fatsis: 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.

Mr Tony Martin: Of course you're aware, as you indicated a few minutes ago, that health care is a very important issue.

Mr Fatsis: Absolutely.

Mr Tony 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?

Mr Fatsis: 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.

Mr Tony 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.

Mr Fatsis: 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.


Mr Tony 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 decision.

Mr Fatsis: 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.

The Chair: Thank you very much, Mr Fatsis, for appearing before the committee, and you may do whatever it is you wish to do today.

Mr Fatsis: Thank you, Mr Chairman.


Review of intended appointment, selected by third party: Mary Anne McKellar, intended appointee as vice-chair, Ontario Labour Relations Board.

The Chair: 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.


The Chair: 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 before me.

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 collective agreements.

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 panel.

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 challenges.

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 French.

Thank you for your attention. I welcome any questions.

The Chair: Thank you kindly. We begin with the official opposition.

Mr 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?

Ms McKellar: I believe it's three years.

Mr Crozier: What's the salary with that?

Ms McKellar: The salary range is the same as I currently get, so I believe it's $89,000.

Mr 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 them?


Ms 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?

Mr 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?

Ms McKellar: I'm sorry; I thought the first time you read it, it said-


Mr Crozier: I'd like her to answer that, Morley.

Ms 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?

Mr Crozier: Yes.

Ms 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-

Mr 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 appointment?

Ms 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.

Mr Crozier: Do you consider yourself an independent person? I can take it from that that you do.

Ms McKellar: Yes, I do.

Mr Crozier: That's fine. That's what I was after. Thank you.

Mrs 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-

Ms McKellar: My pay equity appointment continues until the expiry of its term, which is March 31 of this year.

Mrs Dombrowsky: And you just decided that you'd like to-were you approached to consider this appointment?

Ms McKellar: How did I find out about this position?

Mrs Dombrowsky: Yes.

Ms 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 interested.

Mrs Dombrowsky: Does that mean you would have two full-time roles at the same time?

Ms 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.

Mrs Dombrowsky: Who determined that? You said it was determined. Who would have determined it?

Ms 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.

Mrs Dombrowsky: Do you maintain full-time compensation in both roles?

Ms 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.

Mrs Dombrowsky: I see, I think. It's not very clear.

The Chair: Thank you very much. We appreciate the questions. We now go to Mr Martin of the third party.

Mr Tony 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 whatever.

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 of that.

Ms McKellar: Are you speaking of the recent legislative reforms to the statutes I'd be adjudicating under?

Mr Tony 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 instance.

Ms 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 balancing.


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.

Mr Tony 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 interpretation.

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 workplace democracy?

Ms 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 past.

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.

Mr Tony 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?

Ms 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.

The Chair: That's the last question. Thank you very much. We'll go to the government caucus.

Mr 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?

Ms McKellar: It depends what newspaper. No, I don't.

Mr 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 Ontario?

Ms McKellar: No, I haven't.

Mr Johnson: Have you ever belonged to the NDP?

Ms McKellar: I have never belonged to any political party in Ontario, a provincial or federal political party.

Mr 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 the record.

Ms 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 something.

Mr Johnson: There's another reason I'm very impressed with you. Thank you very much, Ms McKellar.

The Chair: 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 committee?

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.

Mr Wood: So moved.

The Chair: Moved by Mr Wood. Any comment?

Mr Tony 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.


Mr 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.

The Chair: Any other comments before we go to the vote? A recorded vote has been requested.


Johnson, Kells, Spina, Wood.


Crozier, Dombrowsky, Martin.

The Chair: The motion carries.

The second one we deal with is Cameron Leach, intended appointee as member, Regional Municipality of Niagara Police Services Board.

Mr Wood: So moved.

The Chair: The concurrence in this appointment is moved by Mr Wood. Comments?

Mr Tony 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 appointment.

The Chair: 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?

Mr Tony 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.

The Chair: 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 Relations Board.

Mr Wood: So moved.

The Chair: Mr Wood moves concurrence. Any comment?

Mr Tony 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 that.

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.

The Chair: 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.

Mr Wood: At 1:50. I have a meeting at 1:30. I'll get here as fast as I can.

The Chair: Mr Wood says at 1:50. Is that fine with Mr Martin and Mr Crozier? Thank you kindly.

See you this afternoon, folks.

The committee recessed from 1157 to 1403.

The Chair: 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 committee?

Mr Wood: So moved.

The Chair: Mr Wood moves it. All in favour? Opposed? Carried.


The Chair: Carried anyway.


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.

The Chair: 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.

Mr Richard 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 concerns.

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 approved.

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 Surgeons.

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 province.

Perhaps at this point, Mr Chair, I could attempt to answer your questions.


The Chair: Thank you very much, sir. We will commence, I believe, with the third party this time.

Mr Tony 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?

Mr Dodds: I wouldn't try to sit here today-it's Mr Tony Martin, right?

Mr Tony Martin: Yes.

Mr Dodds: I can't see your name tag.

Mr Tony Martin: They face it toward me so that I remember who I am.

Mr Dodds: 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.

Mr Tony Martin: What would you identify as the major challenge right now, the biggest challenge?

Mr Dodds: 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.

Mr Tony Martin: What would your position be on, say, the big question of two-tier health care?

Mr Dodds: 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.

Mr Tony 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?

Mr Dodds: 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 found guilty.

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 area.

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.

The Chair: Thank you very much. The government caucus.

Mr Johnson: Does anybody ever call you Dick?

Mr Dodds: Everybody calls me Dick. My mother calls me Richard when she's mad at me.

Mr Johnson: You grew up in Harriston and went to Norwell school.

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 you.

Mr Dodds: Thank you.

Interjection: Now you've really set him back.

The Chair: You may respond if you wish.

Mr Dodds: If Mr Johnson's comments do appear in Hansard, I'd like a copy to send to my mother.

Mr Crozier:I thought you were older than that, Dick.

The Chair: We now have the official opposition.

Mrs Dombrowsky: Welcome, Mr Dodds. It's always nice to have people from eastern Ontario come and pay us a visit at this committee.

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 dealing with.

Mr Dodds: 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.

Mrs 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.

Mr Dodds: 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 pursue it."

Mrs Dombrowsky: But you were the one to initiate pursuing the role. You were not approached by someone to consider this.

Mr Dodds: No.

Mrs Dombrowsky: I see. Very good. Thank you.

Mr 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?

Mr Dodds: No.

Mr Crozier: Would you, as a consultant, then be a registered lobbyist to government?

Mr Dodds: 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.

Mr Crozier: In that area of government relations.

Mr Dodds: No.

The Chair: Any other questions from the official opposition?

Mr Johnson: I did have a question, if I could.

The Chair: I think you have some time left.

Mr Johnson: A little while ago I was up at OISE and you were awarded a special presentation. Tell me a little bit about that.

Mr Dodds: 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.

Mr Kells: We don't deal with many around here.

Mr Johnson: And I was delighted to be there.

The Chair: I hope Hansard didn't pick up the comments of the member from Lakeshore.

Thank you very much, Mr Dodds, for appearing before the committee. You may step down.

Mr Dodds: Thank you.


Review of intended appointment, selected by official opposition party: Milton Gregory, intended appointee as member, County of Prince Edward Police Services Board.

The Chair: 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.

Mr Milton Gregory: I tried to hide it.

The Chair: 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 years ago.

Mr Kells: I did.

The Chair: 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.

Mr 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 very much.

The Chair: Thank you very much, Mr Gregory. I believe we start with the government caucus this time. Anyone from the government caucus? Mr Spina.

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.

Mr 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.

The Chair: Any other government questions? I will now proceed to the official opposition, Mr Crozier.

Mr 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.

Mr 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 force.

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.

Mr 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 that?

Mr 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.


Mr 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?

Mr 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 the truth.

Mr Crozier: Yours is a very public record.

Mr 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.

Mr Crozier: I'm not necessarily advocating it either. I just wondered what your opinion was on it, and I appreciate that.

Mrs 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 correct?

Mr Gregory: I believe the OPP in Picton goes back a little longer than that.

Mrs Dombrowsky: Does it?

Mr Gregory: Yes. As I recall, it goes back at least 10 years. I've only lived in the county for 13 years.

Mrs 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?

Mr 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"?

Mr Gregory: I really couldn't say, Ms Dombrowsky. When you live in the county you're not far from anywhere, as you know.

Mrs Dombrowsky: This is true.

Mr 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."

Mr Tony 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 Wildman.

Mr Gregory: Very well.

Mr Tony Martin: You were probably the two Buds in the Legislature at that time.

Mr Gregory: Yes, we often commented on that, that the two best members in the House were both named Bud.

Mr Tony 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.

The Chair: It's worthwhile having this committee for that reason alone, Mr Martin.

Mr Tony 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 services?

Mr 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.

Mr Tony 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 appreciate that.

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?

Mr 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.

Mr Tony 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.


Mr 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 a bit.

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.

Mr Tony 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?

Mr 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 Chair: The government caucus. You've done yours, haven't you?

Mr Wood: We'll waive our time.

The Chair: You waived yours. OK.

Mr Gregory: I think I frightened them years ago, Jim.

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

Mr Gregory: Thank you, Chairman. It has been a pleasure, ladies and gentlemen.

The Chair: We're going to check to see if Richard Margesson is with us yet.

Mr Wood: If he's not here, we can just move to the vote on the two we've heard.

The Chair: 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.

The Chair: 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.

The Chair: 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.

The Chair: 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.

Mr Richard Margesson: Yes.

The Chair: You may proceed.

Mr 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 Procedure Act.

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.

The Chair: 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.

Mr 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.

Mrs Dombrowsky: Could I ask why you would be interested in an appointment to a council for the College of Nurses?

Mr Margesson: With my government experience, I know the basic procedures and how they operate.

Mrs 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.

Mr 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.


The Chair: Mr Crozier, do you want to ask some questions?

Mr 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?

Mr Margesson: No.

Mr Crozier: OK.

Mr Margesson: Not specifically.

Mr Crozier: You just-

Mr 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.

Mr 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?

Mr 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.

Mr 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.

Mr 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.

Mr Crozier: You didn't seek this particular board, but are you familiar, though, with the responsibilities of the board?

Mr Margesson: Yes.

Mr Crozier: What are those?

Mr 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 function.

Mr 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?

Mr Margesson: Yes.

Mr Crozier: And what are-

Mr 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.

Mr Crozier: Well then, if the self-regulated body does that, what do you see, beyond that, as the role of the college of nurses?

Mr 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 the services.

Mr Crozier: Thank you. I haven't any more questions.

The Chair: Mr Martin, unless Mrs Dombrowsky has any further ones?

Mrs Dombrowsky: Are you a member of any political party?

Mr Margesson: Yes.

Mrs Dombrowsky: What political party would that be?

Mr Margesson: The PCs.

Mrs Dombrowsky: Do you have any specific role? Are you a member of the executive?

Mr Margesson: No.

Mrs Dombrowsky: When I reviewed your resume, what would be your most recent work reference here?

Mr Margesson: It's management board of-

Mrs Dombrowsky: What are you doing right now?

Mr Margesson: I am a self-employed consultant. I do temporary work.

Mrs Dombrowsky: I see. Is that indicated here?

Mr Margesson: No.

Mrs Dombrowsky: I see. So you're self-employed and you do consulting work in the field of?

Mr Margesson: Just small business.

The Chair: Any other questions from the official opposition? If not, I move to the third party.

Mr Tony 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?

Mr Margesson: No, I'm not.

Mr Tony Martin: Have you served in any capacity on any advisory committees for health care?

Mr Margesson: No, so I have no conflict of interest at all there.

Mr Tony Martin: But you have no experience of the health profession?

Mr 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.

Mr Tony Martin: So you have absolutely no background whatsoever in the health care field-other than perhaps you have a doctor?

Mr Margesson: I'm not a professional in the health care field.

Mr Tony Martin: Because you answered a few minutes ago to a question around the role of the College of Nurses.

Mr Margesson: I'm sorry, I couldn't hear you.

Mr Tony 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?

Mr Margesson: Yes.

Mr Tony Martin: What is it?

Mr 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 medical advice.

Mr Tony Martin: Under the act that governs those professions, what can RNs do that RPNs can't do?

Mr Margesson: They can offer some medical advice and give some treatment.

Mr Tony 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?

Mr 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.

Mr Tony Martin: Do you know anything about the Regulated Health Professions Act?

Mr Margesson: I haven't studied the act in detail. As I said, my duties have not been made known to me yet.

Mr Tony Martin: OK, thank you.

The Chair: No further questions? The government caucus.

Mr Wood: Did you have an opportunity to review the functioning of the college prior to your name being put forward?

Mr Margesson: No.

Mr Wood: Did you-

Mr 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.

Mr Wood: Have you studied what they do?

Mr Margesson: Yes.

Mr Wood: After studying what they do, did you come to the conclusion there are some areas that you could make a particular contribution in?

Mr 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 recommendations.

Mr Wood: After you studied what the council does, you didn't identify any areas in which you thought you could make a contribution?

Mr 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 worked there.

Mr Wood: Those are my questions


The Chair: Any further questions from the government caucus? If not, I would like to thank you very much, Mr Margesson, for appearing before the committee.

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.

The Chair: Concurrence is moved by Mr Wood. Any discussion?

Mr Tony 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 it.

Mr 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.

Mr Spina: 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 board.

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.

The Chair: Comments or other discussion?

Mr 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.

Mrs 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.

The Chair: 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 deferred.

The Chair: Thank you very much, Mr Wood, for that suggestion, motion, whatever.

Mr Wood: It is a request which carries with it the force of the rules.

The Chair: It is a request with which this committee is most willing to comply.

Is our next appointee here yet?

Mr Wood: Mr Chair, we will need about a five-minute break.

The Chair: I would be happy to provide a 10-minute break, if you'd like.

Mr Wood: Thank you.

The Chair: 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 Ontario.

The Chair: 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.

Mr Benoît 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.

The Chair: I assure you that you are here even ahead of your scheduled time, so there's no need for an apology at all.

Mr Benoît 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 acceptable.

I'm here to respond to any questions you may have and I'll be glad to go into details.

The Chair: Thank you very much, Monsieur Martin. We will begin our questioning with the third party.

Mr Tony 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 money.


Mr Tony Martin: When your leader turned all of our pensions into the market, I had to put it somewhere.

Mr Crozier: You'd be well over that $100,000, then, wouldn't you?

Mr Tony 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 today.

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?

Mr Benoît 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.

Mr Tony 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?

Mr Benoît 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.

Mr Tony 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 about that?

Mr Benoît 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 there.

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 on.

Mr Tony Martin: Thank you.

The Chair: Thank you kindly. A member of the governing party, Mr Spina.

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 corporation?

Mr Benoît Martin: You're mentioning if we were part-

Mr Spina: A member of the corporation.

Mr Benoît 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-

Mr Spina: Instead of three-

Mr Benoît Martin: Not just a little symbol but a larger one. I think it's most important, because nobody's ever lost any money.

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.

Mr Spina: 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.

Mr Benoît 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 stay healthy.

Mr Spina: 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.


The Chair: Any other representatives from the government?

Mr Wood: We will waive our time.

The Chair: 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 peers.

Can you comment on the relationship, and perhaps the role, of caisses populaires and credit unions vis-à-vis the chartered banks?

Mr Benoît 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 profits.

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.

Mr 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: 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-

Mr Kells: You might as well talk to a wall.

The Chair: 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 those things.


The Chair: Thank you very much, Monsieur Martin. You may step down, sir.

Mr 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.

The Chair: We will now consider the final appointment. Mr Wood.

Mr Wood: I move concurrence.

The Chair: 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 next Wednesday.

The committee adjourned at 1546.