A007 - Tue 10 Sep 2013 / Mar 10 sep 2013



Tuesday 10 September 2013 Mardi 10 septembre 2013






The committee met at 0906 in committee room 1.


The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Good morning, everyone. I’d like to call the Standing Committee on Government Agencies meeting to order. I want to welcome the new members here especially.

We’ll start right now, and the first thing we’re going to do on our agenda is to entertain a motion for nomination for Vice-Chair of this committee. Mrs. Albanese?

Mrs. Laura Albanese: Thank you, Chair. I move that Mr. Rick Bartolucci be appointed as Vice-Chair of the committee.

The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Okay. Laura Albanese has nominated Rick Bartolucci. Any other nominations? No? I’ll close the nominations and Mr. Bartolucci is now Vice-Chair of the committee.


The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Okay, if we want to, we can have a vote. All those in favour? Opposed? That carries.

Mr. Randy Pettapiece: —like my Lions club, Mr. Chair. If you’re not here, you get an appointment.

The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Yes, that’s pretty good: Miss a meeting and you get an appointment.


The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Okay, so we’re going to move down the agenda here. There are a number of subcommittee reports that we have to adopt.

The first report is regarding committee business, dated Thursday, August 15, 2013. Is there a motion to adopt the report?

Miss Monique Taylor: I move adoption of the subcommittee report on intended appointments dated August 15, 2013.

The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Okay, any discussion?

Mr. Percy Hatfield: Just a clarification, if I could. I wasn’t on the committee then. Am I allowed to vote on that, or is that like you can’t approve your minutes if you weren’t here at the time?

The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): I think yesterday the motions in the House by the House leader—I think you are on the committee now, so you have the full rights of any other committee member.

Mr. Percy Hatfield: Thank you.

The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Okay, so there’s a motion to adopt by Monique Taylor. Any discussion? All those in favour? Opposed? That carries.

Then we have a second report of the subcommittee on committee business dated Thursday, August 22, 2013. Is there a motion to adopt that?

Miss Monique Taylor: I move adoption of the subcommittee report on intended appointments dated August 22, 2013.

The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Thank you. Any discussion? None? All those in favour? Opposed? That carries.

We have a third report on committee business dated Thursday, September 5, 2013. Do we have a motion to adopt the report?

Ms. Mitzie Hunter: I move adoption of the subcommittee report on intended appointments dated September 5, 2013.

The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Okay. Mitzie Hunter moves adoption of the report. Any discussion? All those in favour? Opposed? That carries.



Review of intended appointment, selected by official opposition party: Shannon McManus, intended appointee as member, Pay Equity Hearings Tribunal.

The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): We’re moving now to item number 5 on the agenda, appointments review. The selection from the official opposition is Shannon McManus as member of the Pay Equity Hearings Tribunal. Is Shannon McManus present? Good morning. Welcome to committee. If you want to have a chair there where the lighted microphone is. We welcome you here.

Before we begin, each party has time to ask questions of you after your presentation. Any time that’s used up in your presentation will be deducted from the government time regarding questions.

Ms. Shannon McManus: Sure.

The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Okay, so we’ll go ahead with your presentation. Again, welcome to committee.

Ms. Shannon McManus: I think I’m going to have a short presentation, but we’ll see.

First of all, I’d like to thank the committee for the opportunity to be here and be before you. I’m here because Diane Gee, who was until recently the chair of the pay equity tribunal, asked me a few months back to apply for this position, and I was interested, so I have.

I’ve been a member on the labour board now for more than seven years. In that capacity, I’ve worked with Diane. I’ve worked with other current members, all of them, of the pay equity tribunal—not all of them, most of them—so I have a lot of experience at the labour board with the type of work.


Ms. Shannon McManus: Yes, I’m having trouble too because of the construction—

The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): We’re fighting against the lawnmower there outside.

Ms. Shannon McManus: That’s okay.


Ms. Shannon McManus: I will. I’m having trouble hearing as well because of the construction outside. It’s everywhere, the construction. I guess it’s good. It’s good for the economy, anyway.

So in my capacity at the labour board, I do, of course, write decisions and do a lot of mediation and negotiation to try to get expedited solutions to the problems that come before us.

I guess also, my work experience throughout my life, I think, makes me suited to this position. I have experience in the public and the private sectors, a wide variety of work experience. Throughout university, I worked for years as a weekend supervisor for a residence at the Montreal Association for the Blind, for example, and I worked with young people who were all visually impaired. As well, most of them were developmentally disabled, so I have some social services experience.

I worked as a proofreader; I did a lot of work in publishing. I worked as a puzzle-maker for many years; it was actually quite fun. I worked as a teacher—English as a second language. I’ve also been a substitute teacher. I’ve done office work. I’ve done factory work; when I was 14 and 15, in the summers I worked in the garment trade as a bundler, which was quite an eye-opener.

I went on to work at the Toronto Star for many years in the newsroom as an editorial assistant, and I became the chair of the newspaper guild there at the time. I did a lot of work, of course, with negotiations. It was the early days of pay equity, so I was very involved in pay equity at the time. I also worked with the craft unions there; I’m quite familiar with the craft unions in this province as well.

I went on to work as a staff representative with the Canadian Union of Educational Workers in the university sector, so I’m very familiar with that sector as well. I then proceeded to work for OPSEU for a while and eventually ended up at CUPE, where I worked for many years before coming to the board. I worked in many capacities at CUPE. I worked as a researcher, a communications officer, a rep and executive assistant to the national secretary-treasurer.

I don’t know quite what else to say. I think I’m fine with questions.

The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Thank you. Each party will have 10 minutes to ask you questions. We’ll start first with the Conservative Party. Ms. Thompson.

Mr. Randy Pettapiece: Good morning.

Ms. Shannon McManus: Good morning.

Interjection: Mr. Pettapiece.

Mr. Randy Pettapiece: What are we doing?

The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Mr. Pettapiece, sorry.

Ms. Shannon McManus: Do you have a question?

Mr. Randy Pettapiece: I’m just like a cow: I keep going to the same stall. This is me over here.

Ms. Shannon McManus: Oh, okay.

Mr. Randy Pettapiece: Anyway, members of the tribunal are sometimes paid a per diem. Sometimes they’re paid otherwise. Have you been advised of any salary, remuneration or what you will be paid?

Ms. Shannon McManus: Yes, I have. I understand it’s a part-time appointment. These appointments were full-time. It’s now completely moving to part-time, and that’s what it would be. I will be paid on a daily basis as I work, as I understand. I believe it’s going to be the same rate of pay that it is going to be for the labour board for part-time appointees.

Mr. Randy Pettapiece: Have you been told a dollar figure of what it is?

Ms. Shannon McManus: I believe, for a full day, it’s around $600.

The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Mr. Walker.

Mr. Bill Walker: Welcome.

Ms. Shannon McManus: Thanks.

Mr. Bill Walker: A recent court decision determined that pay equalization at the top of the salary scale may count as a sufficient pay equity target. How do you see this decision influencing your adjudications in the cases that will come before you?

Ms. Shannon McManus: I think I know the decision you’re referring to, but can you repeat it, just in case?

Mr. Bill Walker: I don’t have the very specifics in front of me, but a recent court decision determined that pay equalization at the top of a salary scale may count as a sufficient pay equity target. How do you see this decision influencing your adjudications in the cases that will come before you?

Ms. Shannon McManus: I don’t know if I can answer that, to be perfectly frank. It really depends. What amazed me working for the labour board was how almost every situation is unique. You do have to go by the legislation that exists and you have to abide by that legislation. Really, that is going to determine, I think, circumstances. It’s going to be entirely based on the circumstances of what you’re looking at at the time.

Is that clear at all? It’s a hard question to answer.

Mr. Bill Walker: Yes. I think what we’re trying to determine is, are you going to go by the letter of what’s there as opposed to what may be, in some cases, the right decision? What I’m hearing you say is the legislation could be here, but if legislation is wrong, then legislation, in my mind, needs to be changed, because that person’s life in front of you could change because of that.

Ms. Shannon McManus: I don’t think that’s what I was saying.

I will say one thing about legislation: There are different ways of looking at it. We have a very legalistic—the pay equity tribunal and the labour board. It’s a very legalistic system.

I always believe that we need to look at the overriding intent of the legislation, that that is key: What was the intention behind it? It’s very important not to, say, take the law and take little bits that would go against that overriding intention when people actually designed and wrote this legislation. I don’t know if that helps.

On the other hand, you do have to look at case law and you do have to look at decisions made in the past and that sort of thing. I have written dissents at the labour board based, sometimes, on this, when I felt that the spirit of the law wasn’t being advanced by the decision of the majority.


Mr. Bill Walker: Thank you.

The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Any other questions? Ms. Thompson.

Ms. Lisa M. Thompson: Yes. Pay equity is based on a weighted points system. We all know that small business is the pulse of Ontario, but there’s a bit of a struggle there.

Ms. Shannon McManus: Yes.

Ms. Lisa M. Thompson: In your experience, is there a comparatively effective simpler program to employ for small business? How do we get there, and how do we support them? What’s your viewpoint on that?

Ms. Shannon McManus: I think it’s even a broader issue. I agree with you about small business. You know what? It’s not only about pay equity; it’s about all kinds of things we’d like to see in society, like daycare on-site. I mean, there are all kinds of things that can come up.

I’m not sure. I think that what we have with the pay equity—and I was very interested and involved at the very beginning when pay equity was being brought in—is an attempt, to some degree, to close the wage gap between men and women. We have not entirely succeeded, as we know. Women do not make, on average, the same salaries as men. It has always been difficult, when you are dealing with small business and different kinds of employers, to bring in an ideal situation of wage parity.

It’s a hard question. I think we have to work with what we’ve got. If there are any other ideas for improving how it can be done and how we can achieve wage parity, I think that would be great.

Ms. Lisa M. Thompson: Thank you.

Mr. Randy Pettapiece: Have I still got time?

The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Mr. Pettapiece.

Mr. Randy Pettapiece: You’ve worked on pay equity plans before?

Ms. Shannon McManus: I haven’t worked on pay equity plans for years. I want to make that clear. I’ve been involved in almost everything else. My pay equity experience was at the newspaper guild as chair. I sort of supervised the whole introduction of pay equity in bargaining, bargaining pay equity, for the first time at the Toronto Star. I did a bit of work on pay equity at the Canadian Union of Educational Workers, but once I moved to OPSEU and the other places I’ve worked, I have not done a large amount of work on pay equity.

Mr. Randy Pettapiece: Okay. I’m just going to stay with that, and if you can’t answer, or I’m not asking the question properly, then tell me.

Do you have some ideas of how you would approach pay equity these days?

Ms. Shannon McManus: Yes. Okay. I am concerned. I would like to see it expedited. I’ve had discussions with people who are doing pay equity about this. There have been some great awards that have come down. I think there was a PSAC one a few years ago, but they’ve taken years and years and years, and suddenly there’s an award that comes down. People benefited from that, but it would be good, I think, to try to expedite a lot of these decisions.

I do believe, when it comes down to it, it is often about mediation and negotiation, the way everything stands right now and the way it’s being done. I don’t know if that helps.

Mr. Randy Pettapiece: It does. It’s nice to get these settlements done as fast as we can, and I certainly agree with that. Do you have some ideas of how you would do that?

Ms. Shannon McManus: Well, I think it’s mediation and negotiation. I think it’s also about, when you’re working with people, and this happens at the labour board all the time, you have to go in and tell people that they can’t always get the moon, you know—what is realistic for them to achieve; and talk to them about getting something sooner rather than later. That’s one example.

Sorry, I’m just losing track here.

Mr. Randy Pettapiece: That’s fine.

Ms. Shannon McManus: At the labour board, we also do this. I mean, many, many times, I’ve gone in and had to tell parties that it may not be in their greatest interest to pursue something, or about the benefits of settlement—not perhaps everything they wanted, but the benefits of getting an issue settled. That has happened frequently.

There are cases, though, that are, in my mind, clear-cut and may have to take time, where you would tell people “no,” to say “stand firm” or “pursue something.” It really depends on the situation.

Mr. Randy Pettapiece: Thank you.

The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Any further questions? None? Okay. We’ll move on to the NDP. Any questions?

Mr. Percy Hatfield: Good morning.

Ms. Shannon McManus: Good morning.

Mr. Percy Hatfield: Welcome. Thank you for coming.

First, let me commend you as being a pioneer in this subspecialty of labour law, if you will, because when you were dealing with the newspaper guild, with pay equity, that was just when it was unfolding in the industry, was it not?

Ms. Shannon McManus: That’s right.

Mr. Percy Hatfield: And you’ve been on the Ontario Labour Relations Board for a while now.

Ms. Shannon McManus: Yes.

Mr. Percy Hatfield: And pay equity sometimes works its way up that way.

Ms. Shannon McManus: Not with what I deal with. I’ve been dealing strictly with violations or accusations of violations of labour law.

Mr. Percy Hatfield: But in that general field, you’ve had conversations, have you not, with people who deal with pay equity legislation?

Ms. Shannon McManus: Yes.

Mr. Percy Hatfield: Have they indicated to you any specific issues or problems with the act that lead to the challenges that come before them?

Ms. Shannon McManus: I have had conversations with some of the people who are currently or have been on the pay equity tribunal. The main concern has been trying to expedite cases so that it doesn’t drag on for a very long time, which I think is a fair concern.

Mr. Percy Hatfield: I know that at the municipal level—I just spent seven years as a city councillor in Windsor—pay equity would be something we would deal with from time to time, because it’s a never-ending rollout, it’s a never-ending domino effect of what goes on within the corporation. I’m just wondering, if you receive this appointment, whether somewhere down the road you would like to see everything so clear and cut and dried that there wouldn’t be a need for further challenges, if the act was specific and if there were rules to follow.

Ms. Shannon McManus: I have to say that I don’t think that pay equity is a perfect system. What we’ve now seen out in the world, from what I can see—and that, I have been involved in, somewhat—is job evaluation, which is sort of a spinoff of pay equity. I think it may be here for good. As I said, I think, in a perfect world, job parity and wage fairness would be great, but I don’t see it happening tomorrow. I think we will see job evaluation and pay equity here for a very long time.

I am concerned, though, that when settlements are held up for a long, long time, with workers that clearly should receive an increase or parity—and this is through job evaluation as well as pay equity systems. I have seen cases where one sector of a workforce may not see increases that were really necessary, and sometimes employers wanted them to have, by the way, not just unions. Employers, for market reasons, may want to pay a certain group of employees more, and sometimes that gets held up for a good long time.

That, I think, is one of the intrinsic problems of the way it’s working now. I don’t have a solution, so please don’t ask me for one. I think, though, that all of us should be thinking of ways to improve any system, and pay equity is one, indeed.

To tell you the truth, Diane Gee asked me to apply, and I am interested, but I hadn’t put my mind to pay equity for quite a long time, just because it wasn’t necessary and I’ve been concentrating on other aspects of employment.

Mr. Percy Hatfield: And also, it is such a subspecialty that there aren’t that many real experts in the field, as I understand it. Most municipalities end up going to one specific person to help guide them through.

Ms. Shannon McManus: Yes, that’s always been the case, actually. Even at the Toronto Star, When we were introducing pay equity in those days, we brought in consultants to help with the original plan, because it was all quite new. That was commonplace, yes.


Mr. Percy Hatfield: Thank you.

Ms. Shannon McManus: You’re welcome.

The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Any further questions? Ms. Taylor.

Miss Monique Taylor: Good morning. Thank you so much for being here. I applaud the work that you’ve done in the past.

Ms. Shannon McManus: Thank you.

Miss Monique Taylor: You have a wonderful history in moving the labour movement forward. I think this will definitely be another notch in the belt of the great work that could be accomplished. I know that we will definitely be looking forward to new recommendations because you’ll be fresh eyes in that position and making sure that you use that position to the fullest to see how we can move that bench forward and make it a fairer province for everyone.

Ms. Shannon McManus: I will try if I am appointed.

Miss Monique Taylor: I really hope that you do look at that, and don’t be afraid to come back with recommendations and to speak up to say that these are the kinds of changes that need to come forward in this Legislature to make that difference.

Other than that, that’s all I have to say.

Ms. Shannon McManus: That’s great.

Miss Monique Taylor: Good luck on everything.

Ms. Shannon McManus: Thank you very much.

The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Thank you. Any more questions? We’ll move to the government side. I think our deputant spoke for about six minutes—sorry, I’m going to make sure I’ve got the right time here. I’m sorry, the government has six minutes left; she spoke for nine minutes. Are there any questions? Ms. Hunter?

Ms. Mitzie Hunter: Yes, thank you. Ms. McManus, I want to thank you for appearing before us today and for your willingness to put your name forward to serve on this tribunal.

I do have a couple of questions. I know you’ve already certainly given us a great overview of your track record and your history. I wonder if you could just tell us a little bit about what made you interested in taking on an added responsibility, since you are currently serving on the Labour Relations Board.

Ms. Shannon McManus: Well, Diane asked me to because part of it is, as I understand it—I think Diane asked me to because she knows I’m a good worker. And we had had conversations about pay equity long before—you know, brief, incidental conversations from time to time about what was happening in pay equity.

Part of the situation also is the government is trying to be more cost-effective, of course, and the idea of cross-appointments, they felt, would be good, I believe; that people could be doing both: the labour side and the pay equity side. I think it’s also good, the cross-appointment idea, personally, because you bring the expertise of already dealing with this type of thing. I think it’s less of a learning curve. There will be a learning curve for me with pay equity. I haven’t dealt with pay equity directly for a long time, but I don’t think it’s going to be a big learning curve.

I hope that answers the question.

Ms. Mitzie Hunter: Absolutely. Just to expand on that, what would you say would be your particular contribution that you would like to make to the tribunal?

Ms. Shannon McManus: I’d like to facilitate settlements. That’s what I would really like to do. There are always systemic issues with any structure and any—it’s not just in government, it’s in everything, in private companies as well. But I believe that it is possible to start expediting settlements and getting settlements made quickly—I hope—and I’ll try to find ways to do that.

Ms. Mitzie Hunter: Wonderful. We certainly want to get a move on that. I also appreciate your sensitivity to the cost-effectiveness, both within the organizations as well as within the tribunal.

Ms. Shannon McManus: Thank you very much. Absolutely.

The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Thank you. Any further questions from the government? Mrs. Albanese?

Mrs. Laura Albanese: I would just wish to thank you for appearing before the committee this morning and thank you for putting your name forward.

Ms. Shannon McManus: Thank you to the committee for seeing me.

The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): That concludes the time allocated for this interview. You may step down. There’s one other person that we’re going to consider, and then we’ll try to move concurrence afterwards. So if you want to please have a seat—

Ms. Shannon McManus: A seat here?

The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Yes.

Ms. Shannon McManus: Okay, sure. This is the first time I’ve done this.


Review of intended appointment, selected by official opposition party: Yvonne Boyer, intended appointee as member, Champlain Local Health Integration Network.

The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): The next person up is Yvonne Boyer, member, Champlain Local Health Integration Network. Welcome to the committee. Good morning. If you want to make a presentation, please do. Afterwards there will be questions from the three parties.

Ms. Yvonne Boyer: Thank you. Good morning, everybody. Good morning, committee. Thank you for the opportunity for me to appear here today. I appreciate it.

My name is Yvonne Boyer, and I’m a member of the Métis Nation of Saskatchewan. I have travelled here from Ottawa this morning. I live in Ottawa and I’ve been there for about 15 years. I’d really like to thank you for the opportunity to consider me for the Champlain LHIN’s board, and my anticipated contribution to that board as well.

You may have had time to peruse my resumé or not, but before I became a lawyer, I was a nurse, so health care is in my blood, so to speak. As a young child, I lived with my auntie, who told me endless stories of growing up in a tuberculosis sanatorium in Fort Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan. These were my bedtime stories. Some of these stories were good and some of them were bad, and I grew up with a huge imprint of what health care is and its impacts on First Nations people.

I also learned a bit about traditional health care and the methods that our elders used to take care of themselves and to prevent and treat illness. When I became a nurse, I worked at small hospitals in central Alberta and I often took care of the patients from the Hobbema reserve. I found myself taking operating room nursing in the 1980s, and I worked in operating rooms in Regina, Moose Jaw, during the Gulf War, at the Canadian Armed Forces base at CFB Stadacona in Halifax.

I stopped nursing in about 1982. I moved into law for various reasons, and I’ve been compelled ever since to use the law to advance aboriginal health in Canada. This is my life work and it’s my passion. I study the intersect between the law and health. But my motivation to seek this appointment comes from my desire to keep learning. I applied specifically for this board because I’ll learn how the system works. I expect we will develop somewhat of a symbiotic relationship, and I will learn as much as I will give.

I expect to look at the issues that the board deals with from an aboriginal health perspective and a community-based voice. I hope to speak on behalf of people who traditionally have had very little voice for various reasons, and I hope the fact of me sitting there means I will be able to provide a perspective that the board may not have had otherwise.

The issues that the population faces at the Champlain LHINs are the same issues that aboriginal people face, except aboriginal people are generally at the lowest socio-economic rung and have a poor health status, with disproportionately high rates of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, among others. They often suffer from poverty and low educational standards, and I believe my presence on this board will help make a small difference. It won’t solve all of the problems, but it will help.

What will I bring to the board of the LHIN? Well, I know what it’s like to work in the trenches. The fact that an aboriginal person is sitting on the board with an eye to looking at the issues from an aboriginal perspective will be beneficial to the community. I will bring my community-based perspective to the board.

I’ve sat on the Minwaashin Aboriginal Women’s Support Centre in Ottawa for the past seven years. This is a continuum of care where women who have been victims of violence can access health care at Wabano—culturally based health care. They can safely escape the violence through our 21-bed shelter—it’s the only aboriginal one in Ottawa—and they can attend the programs at the lodge. These are culturally based employment readiness, and women are helped back to their feet.

We worked with the STORM van, the Sex Trade Out Reach Mobile. We deal with the women who are involved in the sex trade on the street, and there’s a high level of Inuit women on these streets. I know these women and I can assist the LHIN’s board in looking at the issues that they have to deal with from an aboriginal perspective.


To a lesser degree, my legal background and experience on a board is important as well. In my practice, I enjoy working with bylaws and non-profit boards, and I have a good eye for detail and structure. I also sit on the board of Save the Children Canada, so I have many years of board experience.

I welcome this opportunity to answer your questions. Thank you.

The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Thank you very much, Ms. Boyer. We’re going to start first with the NDP party to ask questions: 10 minutes. Are there any questions from the NDP?

Miss Monique Taylor: Of course.

The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Miss Taylor.

Miss Monique Taylor: Good morning.

Ms. Yvonne Boyer: Good morning.

Miss Monique Taylor: Thank you so much for being here with us today and for taking the time to travel from Ottawa. We appreciate you coming forward today.

I was looking through your resumé and the absolutely fabulous work that you’ve been doing in the community and with the First Nations people. I think it’s important that their voices be heard within the LHINs.

What is it that you hope to achieve, and what is your final-outcome goal, to make life better there for folks within the health care system?

Ms. Yvonne Boyer: I think I can assist the LHIN’s board in looking at the issues that they deal with from a community-based perspective and in actually looking at their priorities and looking at a shared-priority model with an aboriginal perspective in that as well.

I think when I get on the board—hopefully, I will get on the board—that I will be able to speak for the people who have traditionally not really had a voice to speak with: some of the women that I had mentioned earlier.

Miss Monique Taylor: Was there a reason specifically why you chose this agency to be on? What motivated you to join the LHIN?

Ms. Yvonne Boyer: I think because it’s a systemic issue and I do—I spent a year and a half with the Canadian Nurses Protective Society. At that point, I was able to learn about the issues that nurses deal with, from a Canada-wide perspective, in the civil courts and in the criminal courts.

For me, everything that I do, I’m able to take and digest and add to my knowledge base. I feel I have a lifelong learning program, and they’re going to be teaching me a lot. It’s a systemic—I want to know about how this works. How does it actually work? I’m very anxious to learn about that.

Miss Monique Taylor: So you weren’t specifically asked—

Ms. Yvonne Boyer: No. It was me picking—

Miss Monique Taylor: You did it—

Ms. Yvonne Boyer: I checked off all the health boards, and I was lucky enough to get this one.

Miss Monique Taylor: Interesting. Thank you, Chair.

The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Mr. Hatfield.

Mr. Percy Hatfield: Good morning. Thank you for being here. I’m new. I just had my first day in the Legislature yesterday, so I’m not sure of my questions to you.

I’ll be honest with you: I know nothing about your LHINs. I’m from Windsor. Are those meetings open to the public?

Ms. Yvonne Boyer: I don’t know, actually. I don’t think so, but I don’t know why they wouldn’t be. I haven’t heard of public going in, but it’s quite possible that they are open and people would be welcome. I don’t see why not.

Mr. Percy Hatfield: I know that in the great southwest, the LHINs down there at one time weren’t open and there was a media outcry. Then they finally opened them.

Ms. Yvonne Boyer: Yes, I agree. I think that they should be open, and they probably are. I don’t know why they wouldn’t be, because we’re serving the people.

Mr. Percy Hatfield: I know there has been criticism of the LHINs from some parties—not necessarily political parties, but some parties in the greater community. I don’t think the term “shrinking violet” would describe you at all, so I imagine you’re going to be very active and very vocal as a board member.

Ms. Yvonne Boyer: Respectful, though.

Mr. Percy Hatfield: Of course; as we all are, I hope.

I’ve been told that at least in one instance, the person that runs one of the LHINs in this province has managed to convince the board to give this person a golden parachute if the board ever decides to part ways with the person running the LHINs. I guess it’s good for him, bad for the taxpayers; the money could be used elsewhere.

I guess my question, or my challenge, to you is, if you get this appointment and go on the board, would you commit to the committee that you will look into what severance provisions there may be for the senior staff at your LHINs, and if it seems out of whack with what the general taxpayer would expect, would you attempt to make a change?

Ms. Yvonne Boyer: Yes, of course. Anything that’s based on evidence, I would, definitely—definitely. I wouldn’t comply with anything that was not totally above board.

Mr. Percy Hatfield: Thank you.

Ms. Yvonne Boyer: Thank you.

The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Further questions?

Miss Monique Taylor: I see through your application process that you applied for several boards. Was there a ranking to those? Was there a reason—I mean there’s parole, there’s human rights, there’s police commission and then there’s the LHINs. So what would you have ranked where you would prefer to have been?

Ms. Yvonne Boyer: I think probably with the LHINs, because all of the other issues, the base is health. As you can see, my CV is health and the law, and the intersect between the health and the law. The parole board, definitely—anybody that’s on parole certainly has health issues. One affects the other.

Health is the centre of the universe; it’s the centre of everybody’s being, so for me to be able to look at the LHIN’s board and be able to see how they function—I’m going to learn about how that would affect people in the corrections system. I’m going to learn about the human rights, as well.

My background is with human rights. I was a Canadian human rights commissioner for three years, and I looked at the human rights issues from a health perspective, from an aboriginal perspective as well. So I’ll be doing the same thing, even though I have an interest in all of those areas.

Miss Monique Taylor: Thank you very much. No further questions, Chair.

The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Thank you. We’ll then move on to the government, and the government has I think it was six minutes left; 5 minutes and 30 seconds, sorry. Any questions? Mrs. Albanese.

Mrs. Laura Albanese: I will start. First of all, thank you for being here and thank you for seeking a public appointment. I believe that it’s good that we have more women, and especially with a number of general backgrounds, such as you.

I was going to start by asking you what had motivated you, but you specifically mentioned the genuine interest and curiosity to keep on learning. I think that’s a great asset, to want to learn how things work. Obviously, your background and your experience in health and in the aboriginal sector also will really help.

You worked for the aboriginal health organization, the native women’s association. You’ve done a lot of research on your own. How will that help you? What will you bring from that to the LHIN?

Ms. Yvonne Boyer: The Aboriginal Healing Foundation brought me to Ottawa in 1999, and they were the organization that held a $350-million trust fund to assist people healing from physical and sexual abuse resulting from residential schools. My grandmother was in a residential school, so everything that I touch on is part of me. So my work with the healing foundation was part of me. I was doing it for my grandmother and for all the other grandmothers, and the children and the children’s children, the five generations that have been affected.

When I moved over to their sister organization, the National Aboriginal Health Organization, it was an opportunity to use my legal skills in a wide, systemic way once again. I was their legal adviser and their senior policy analyst, so I was able to blend the law, policy and aboriginal health. I published a discussion paper series at that time, called Aboriginal Health: Legal Issues. I touched on aboriginal and treaty rights, constitutional status, fiduciary obligations, women’s health, international health, all dealing on an aboriginal health perspective.

Everything that I’ve done has been a building block for what I was able to culminate in the end with a PhD in law. Now, I’ve created—I know I’m very passionate about what I do and I’ll stop after this, but I have a book that’s going to be published in just a few months. What it does is, it lays out a framework to help advance aboriginal health in Canada, and it’s a legal framework. It’ll be coming out—I don’t know if I answered your question or not. Whatever I do is from the heart, and it’s a building block for me.


Mrs. Laura Albanese: That passion, I’m sure, will serve you well.

Ms. Yvonne Boyer: Thank you.

Mrs. Laura Albanese: I believe my colleague has a question for you, or two.

Mr. Vic Dhillon: Yes. Can you tell us a little bit about how you heard about this position and what sort of inspired you? I think you partly answered the question, but what inspired you or led you to believe that you would do a really good job?

Ms. Yvonne Boyer: I know that the aboriginal person before me who was on this board was Mike DeGagne, and I only knew about that when I attended his installation as president of Nipissing University. Mike was my boss during the Aboriginal Healing Foundation, and I know that the work that he did with the LHIN’s board on aboriginal issues was just a beginning, so I’m hoping I can take it from there, from the beginning, and take it a few steps further to look at some of the issues that had already begun.

I’ve noticed on the website that they are thinking about aboriginal issues. They’re advertising for an aboriginal liaison with the communities of the Champlain district. They’re advertising for an aboriginal cancer liaison with the communities. So things are moving, and I’m hoping to be able to see where it is now and be able to advance it just a few steps further, as much as I can, during my time there. So I’m taking over from where Mike DeGagne left off.

Mr. Vic Dhillon: Good. That’s nice to know. Thank you very much.

Ms. Yvonne Boyer: Thank you.

The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Ms. Hunter.

Ms. Mitzie Hunter: Ms. Boyer, I want to say thank you so much for putting your name forward to take on this very important and challenging role. As my colleagues have said, the passion that you bring and your understanding of the aboriginal community will serve you well, should you be appointed, so thank you.

Ms. Yvonne Boyer: Thank you very much.

The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Thank you. We’ll move on to the Conservative Party for any questions. Ms. Thompson?

Ms. Lisa M. Thompson: Thank you for being here. My question reflects back to the Auditor General report, where it reported that, unfortunately, the Champlain LHIN was the worst reported LHIN in Ontario for long-term-care wait times.

Ms. Yvonne Boyer: Right.

Ms. Lisa M. Thompson: So given your vast experience, what would you do to encourage LHINs to work better with CCACs to bring down this wait time and to really funnel those funds straight through to front-line care?

Ms. Yvonne Boyer: I agree. I read that as well, and I’m concerned as well. I think I have to get on the board to find out where they’re at, but I do think that sometimes reorganizing and restructuring—and it may have already happened. I don’t know, because I don’t know enough about it, but I’m certainly committed to knowing, and I will do whatever I can do to assist in that area, because I’m concerned as well.

Ms. Lisa M. Thompson: Thank you.

The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Further questions? Mr. Pettapiece?

Mr. Randy Pettapiece: Thank you for coming today. Is Merrickville real close to Ottawa?

Ms. Yvonne Boyer: Yes, it’s 45 minutes away.

Interjection: It’s near Kemptville.

Ms. Yvonne Boyer: It’s near Kemptville—yes, between Kemptville and Smiths Falls.

Mr. Randy Pettapiece: Okay.

Ms. Yvonne Boyer: I have 15 acres there of peace and quiet.

Mr. Randy Pettapiece: I’ve been through it, but I didn’t think it was that close to Ottawa. Of course, then, I have issues finding my way around anyway.

Anyway, you may have heard that the government is cutting back on physiotherapy for seniors. Many seniors are receiving discharge letters from the clinics that used to care for them, even in retirement facilities. Would you agree that a focus on preventative measures pays off in the long term, and how would you encourage the LHIN to develop better prevention and better overall care?

Ms. Yvonne Boyer: Well, I’ll have to see where they’re at right now—again, looking at the organization and the structure and working with what we have to advance some of these areas. I mean, I think that’s an important issue as well.

Mr. Randy Pettapiece: When this happens, it’s difficult. LHINs have had issues in the past: They have a program going and then, all of a sudden, the money is taken out of it, so it’s difficult for an organization to operate under those circumstances.

Ms. Yvonne Boyer: Yes.

Mr. Randy Pettapiece: We have had many complaints from senior citizens. I would just as soon have people doing preventative medicine as having to go the other way and maybe ending up in a hospital. So I guess it’s a management thing that maybe you’ll be required to look at as to how we’re going to try to get that care enhanced a little bit, because of the dollars that have been taken away from it. I wonder if you’ve had any thoughts on that.

Ms. Yvonne Boyer: I certainly will be looking at that. I’m sure that’s one of the issues that the LHIN’s board does look at. When I’m a board member, I will be looking at that, definitely.

The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Mr. Walker.

Mr. Bill Walker: Thank you, Mr. Chair. Welcome again.

Ms. Yvonne Boyer: Thank you.

Mr. Bill Walker: As you’re aware, the Champlain LHIN encompasses a very large area, from Renfrew county down to the Quebec border. As you broaden the area that an agency administers, the local influence and local input sometimes get lost.

Ms. Yvonne Boyer: Yes.

Mr. Bill Walker: I’m actually sitting in today for Jim McDonell, who’s on the TV screen behind you, doing another matter from consumer affairs.

One of the challenges that happens is, seniors requiring care get shipped further and further from home. One of the specific things that he has witnessed is people that are getting sent from Cornwall, for example, to francophone Bourget, 64 kilometres away. That becomes more and more prevalent. Of course, that’s not a comfortable position for the patient to be in. If an anglophone is in a francophone community, that’s not as easy as it may seem.

Considering these challenges, I just want to get your sense of where you stand on this issue and what you will do as a champion to advocate for that.

Ms. Yvonne Boyer: I certainly will be a champion to advocate, because I have seen these same types of issues in the aboriginal communities—the women who are getting evacuated out to have children. They’re leaving their families behind. It’s a dreadful experience for the women. I see that. I see it as aboriginal issues too, that aboriginal people are caught in the same thing. I mean, who really wants to be transported out like that?

I would be a champion. I’ll be alert to those issues and I will speak on behalf of the people. I will.

Mr. Bill Walker: Chair, if I could, one more quick one?

The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Mr. Walker.

Mr. Bill Walker: I actually have two First Nations communities in my riding as well, so I note here that there is—obviously, you have a great history and passion with First Nations communities. Is there anything specific that I could take from you back to my riding to help how the LHIN administers specifically to a First Nations community?

Ms. Yvonne Boyer: Yes, definitely. Let’s look at shared models. Let’s look at working together—together, rather than being separate. We have so many common issues that if we sit down together and look at recruitment, retention, cultural issues and traditional healing, we look at a whole series of a continuum of care—that the LHIN’s board can work with the First Nation and the Métis communities in the area.

Mr. Bill Walker: Just a point of clarity for that as well: I just want to make sure I’m hearing the same thing as what I’m thinking. Part of that is an integrated approach by both of those communities, as opposed to different sub-services for a very specialized community.

Ms. Yvonne Boyer: Absolutely. Let’s work together.

Mr. Bill Walker: Thank you.

The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Thank you. Any further questions? No?

Ms. Boyer, that completes all the questions. Thank you very much. If you want to, just have a seat.

The committee will now consider the two appointments. What we’ll do is we will move to the first appointment, which is Shannon McManus, to be appointed as member of the Pay Equity Hearings Tribunal. Would someone please move concurrence?

Mrs. Laura Albanese: Chair, I move concurrence in the intended appointment of Shannon McManus, nominated as member of the Pay Equity Hearings Tribunal.

The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Thank you, Ms. Albanese.


The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): I’m trying to memorize—Mr. Hatfield.

Mr. Percy Hatfield: I didn’t know if somebody had to support that or if it was just moved.

The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): We’re just going to move to a vote in a moment. Ms. Albanese has moved concurrence.

All those in favour, please raise your hand. Opposed? That carries.

Congratulations, Ms. McManus. You’ve been approved by this committee.

The second appointment is for Ms. Yvonne Boyer. Will someone please move concurrence in this appointment?

Mrs. Laura Albanese: I move concurrence in the intended appointment of Yvonne Boyer, nominated as member of the Champlain Local Health Integration Network.

The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Thank you, Ms. Albanese.

All those in favour? Opposed? That carries.

Congratulations, Ms. Boyer.

I hope both of you enjoy your jobs and do a great job for the government. Thank you.

Next on the agenda is report writing. It’s already five after 10. I don’t know if we should clear the room.


The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Do you want to recess for a couple of minutes? We’ll come back at 10 after 10.


The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): I’m sorry; that clock is a bit wrong. It’s actually 10 o’clock. That’s off by five minutes.

Miss Monique Taylor: Do we need to recess? Are we done the report, honestly? I think we’re—

The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Okay. As long as nobody wants to take a break, I’m fine continuing and going on.

Miss Monique Taylor: We just don’t have a lot of time left.

The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): So we’ll go into closed session. Can we ask all other non-committee members to vacate the room?

The committee continued in closed session at 1000.


Tuesday 10 September 2013

Election of Vice-Chair A-55

Subcommittee reports A-55

Intended appointments A-55

Ms. Shannon McManus A-55

Ms. Yvonne Boyer A-59


Chair / Président

Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti (Scarborough Southwest / Scarborough-Sud-Ouest L)

Vice-Chair / Vice-Président

Mr. Rick Bartolucci (Sudbury L)

Mrs. Laura Albanese (York South–Weston / York-Sud–Weston L)

Mr. Rick Bartolucci (Sudbury L)

Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti (Scarborough Southwest / Scarborough-Sud-Ouest L)

Mr. Percy Hatfield (Windsor–Tecumseh ND)

Ms. Mitzie Hunter (Scarborough–Guildwood L)

Mr. Jim McDonell (Stormont–Dundas–South Glengarry PC)

Mr. Randy Pettapiece (Perth–Wellington PC)

Miss Monique Taylor (Hamilton Mountain ND)

Ms. Lisa Thompson (Huron–Bruce PC)

Substitutions / Membres remplaçants

Mr. Vic Dhillon (Brampton West / Brampton-Ouest L)

Mr. Bill Walker (Bruce–Grey–Owen Sound PC)

Clerk / Greffière

Ms. Sylwia Przezdziecki

Staff / Personnel

Ms. Carrie Hull, research officer,
Research Services