STANDING COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT AGENCIES
COMITÉ PERMANENT DES ORGANISMES GOUVERNEMENTAUX
Tuesday 8 April 2014 Mardi 8 avril 2014
The committee met at 0904 in committee room 1.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Good morning, everybody. We’ll start our meeting of the Standing Committee on Government Agencies. Everyone has a copy of the agenda. I would ask the indulgence of the committee if we could just do at least item number 2, which is the report of the subcommittee on committee business dated Thursday, April 3, 2014. Is it agreed if we just do that first? Mr. McDonell?
Mr. Jim McDonell: I move adoption of the subcommittee report on intended appointments dated Thursday, April 3, 2014.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Thank you. Any discussion? All those in favour? Opposed? That carries.
We have a selection of the official opposition, Anne Egan. We can wait, but she was here last time, a while back, and we didn’t get to her. She’s here in the audience today.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: We support that.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Can we deal with that very quickly? No? Okay, Miss Taylor? We’ll leave that till later, and we’ll go back to item number 1, which is the debate—
Ms. Dipika Damerla: Chair, can I just get—I want to move a dilatory motion to change the order and just get a recorded vote. Can I get that? To move the appointments review first and postpone the review of the motion and the amendment?
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): There is already a motion on the floor, which was moved by Miss Taylor. We were discussing the amendment, and we put it first on the agenda so we can debate that first. If we get through this debate—
Ms. Dipika Damerla: A point of order.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Ms. Damerla?
Ms. Dipika Damerla: Thank you, Chair. I’m just trying to understand because I’m learning as I go along and I don’t have my handy little book of rules, but I thought that if there’s a question in front of the committee, that can be postponed through a dilatory motion and we can vote on it.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Yes, but it’s not really dilatory because it was already being discussed last meeting.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): All right. According to the Clerk, Ms. Damerla can only move that we deal with item number 3, but we have to vote on that to get it through.
Ms. Damerla, repeat again what you want to move, the motion?
Ms. Dipika Damerla: We’re good to go? Right? I can move it now?
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): To move to item 3? In front of us right now is item number 1: debating the motion moved by Ms. Damerla to the motion by Miss Taylor, and that’s what’s first on the agenda. Then, what did you want to move?
Ms. Dipika Damerla: Chair, we can proceed, and when I get an opportunity, I will move what I need to move.
Mr. Jim McDonell: Chair, can we just move ahead? There is a motion on the floor in front of us.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): The debate on number 1?
Mr. Jim McDonell: Yes.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Okay. We’ll move ahead with item number 1 and leave item number 3—if we finish this debate. So right now, we’re on item number 1, and I think you had the floor, Ms. Damerla.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: Thank you, Chair. Before I continue debate on the amendment that I proposed last time, I would like to move a motion to postpone the discussion of this debate so that we can move to other agenda items—a dilatory motion, and I would like a recorded vote.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: So that Ms. Egan can see who’s postponing these proceedings and it’s a matter of record.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Okay. We’ll do a recorded vote—I know what the result is going to be. We’ll do a recorded vote on the motion by Ms. Damerla—yes, Mr. McDonell?
Mr. Jim McDonell: There is a motion on the floor now. Are we not obliged to finish this motion first and to hear it? I would request that we just put the amendment—we are in agreement with your amendment. This is just another stall tactic to get around getting to the final vote, and it’s very clear.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): We’ll just vote on it, plain and simple.
Ms. Damerla has put forward a motion to postpone item number 1, and—
Mr. Jim McDonell: We’ve seen this time and time again, where they try to get through the first half-hour so that they can get—their three speakers can time-out the meeting. Let’s just get to the motion. It’s a simple amendment that you proposed—
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Let’s just vote on Ms. Damerla’s motion. She has made a request to deal with item number 1. All those in favour of item number 1?
Ms. Dipika Damerla: Sorry, Chair, it’s not clear, the question.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): To postpone item 1 and go to item number 3. All those in favour of postponing item number 1? It’s a recorded vote.
Damerla, Hunter, Wong.
Hatfield, Holyday, McDonell, Taylor, Yurek.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): So that does not carry.
Then we deal with item number 1, which is debate on the amendment moved by Ms. Damerla to the motion by Ms. Taylor.
I think you still have the floor for a few minutes. I’ll just mark your name down, Ms. Taylor.
Go ahead, Ms. Damerla.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: Thank you so much, Chair, for indulging my dilatory motion. It’s clear to everybody that the government side really wanted to move ahead so that we could go through Anne Egan’s appointment. I’m very disappointed that the opposition voted against that.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): For the record, your motion, very quickly.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: The motion that I had just—
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Yes, the one that we left last Tuesday.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: Okay. Just for the record, I had moved that we postpone debate on the amendment moved by me—
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): The motion that we were discussing last week, your motion.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: I’m happy to do that as well.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Thank you.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: I move that the sentence “and that these documents be produced within 30 days of this motion passing” be struck and replaced with “and that these documents be produced within 45 days of this motion passing.”
That’s the amendment.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Yes.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: I’m happy to read the motion into the record as well. It’s not my motion, though.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Ms. Taylor had the original motion that was circulated, and then Ms. Damerla has an amendment to that motion, and that’s where we left off last week. The original motion was moved by Ms. Taylor. So then Ms. Damerla moved an amendment to go from 30 days to 45 days.
Miss Monique Taylor: No, that’s not part of this. No, Chair, you’re confused. You’re way ahead in your notes.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): I’m sorry. I’m looking at your motion, and I’ll read it into the record. Ms. Damerla moved: That the words “all documents” be struck from the motion and replaced with “only financial records directly related to the expense claims of Metrolinx executives.” That was her amendment to the motion.
Sorry, I was looking at your motion, Ms. Taylor. My apologies.
Okay. So you have that amendment. Is there further debate?
Ms. Dipika Damerla: Thank you, Chair. One of the reasons we have consistently, in every committee that I have been—let me just begin by saying that this morning I, once again, took the GO train to come in to work, and I think I’m—
Ms. Dipika Damerla: Thank you, Mr. Yurek.
I’m probably among the few MPPs who have that ability to commute in, and so I really see first-hand the great work that Metrolinx is doing. I’m sure MPP Holyday has a pretty good idea as well. The GO train runs through parts of his riding, I believe, Long Branch and maybe Mimico. I’m not entirely sure.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Ms. Damerla, I’m listening carefully. You’re going to have to speak directly to your amendment, your motion.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: Chair, I’m just leading up to, just as a bit of a preamble, where I’m going. I’m just setting the table, just trying to say, you know, how important public transit is for me personally. This is a topic that’s close to my heart, and I just wanted to establish that.
Mr. Jim McDonell: It has nothing to do with the motion.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: It does. It does, actually.
Mr. Percy Hatfield: I think she should be given 60 seconds to give her personal opinion on public transit, Mr. Chair. Sixty seconds should be—
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Yes, but her amendment is in front of us, and I just want to stick to that amendment, which is pretty straightforward: “all documents” be struck from the motion and replaced with “only financial records directly related to the expense claims of Metrolinx executives.”
Ms. Dipika Damerla: Thank you, Chair. So the original motion reads: “I move that the Standing Committee on Government Agencies request from Metrolinx and the Ministry of Transportation the production of all documents related to the expenses of all Metrolinx board of directors and executive members....”
All we are saying is that we are just finessing it to say the production of only financial expense statements of all Metrolinx board of directors and executive members between January 1, 2012, and March 18, 2014.
The purpose of doing this is fairly straightforward. We are doing this so that the direction that we give our bureaucrats is crystal clear, because I presume that if the original motion was given to the bureaucrats—and I’m just going to play this out for you. The big boss, whoever is going to get it, he or she is going to hand it over to a direct report and say, “Here’s a request from the committee. Go look for all of this.” The person at the other end, this junior executive, is going to start wondering what exactly is the definition of “all documents” related to the expenses of all Metrolinx board of directors and executive members. Does this include an email that said, “Can you book this hotel room?” That is indirectly related to that expense claim, but what you’re really interested in is the invoice that shows how much was spent on that hotel. So that’s the thing.
All we’re saying is, let’s just narrow it down to say “financial,” so you know that what you really need is an invoice, because otherwise that junior executive is going to be in this quandary, saying, “If I don’t produce that original email and the back and forth that may have said, ‘Is it the 22nd or is it the 23rd that you want us to book?’ and all of that stuff—maybe I’m in contempt of what the committee is asking?” Therein lies the confusion.
The way it has been worded is fairly confusing. So what we are asking for—
Ms. Dipika Damerla: Chair, someone is trying to get your attention.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Ms. Taylor?
Miss Monique Taylor: Chair, I just want to be really clear—because a week has passed, so there may be some confusion and some cloud happening on this—but we already agreed to support the amendment, Chair. We’re not quite sure why Ms. Damerla is still trying to convince us of such.
Mr. Jim McDonell: Let’s vote.
Miss Monique Taylor: Let’s vote.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Yes, but the rules allow 20 minutes. She moved the amendment—I’m just trying to be clear—
Miss Monique Taylor: But she had 20 minutes in the last session.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: I did not. I did not, and the rules do permit me each time—but I am pleased that Ms. Taylor is so easily persuaded. I’ll take that, but I don’t know if everybody else is as easily persuaded.
Mr. Jim McDonell: We are. We have already agreed.
Mr. Percy Hatfield: We’re all in accord.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: I just wanted to make sure.
Now, I have before me, Chair, the page of our website. If you were to go to Metrolinx, if you went to their website, there’s actually a website which has an expense menu. You click on that and it says, “Travel, Meal and Hospitality Expenses.” Essentially, if the committee chose, they could go to this, see what’s already there, come back with a motion that says, “This is already there and this is what we still need.” That, Chair, would be the responsible thing to do, and that is how it—and I’m not being partisan. I think anybody here, before we became politicians, we’ve all worked at different jobs. I think it’s a reasonable request. If there’s already information available online related to expenses of the Metrolinx board of directors and executive members, I think it’s really either laziness or irresponsibility to not first go through that, sift through that and then say, “This is still missing. This is what the committee wants.” Instead, we have a very broad statement that says, “all documents related to the expenses of all Metrolinx board of directors and executives,” without even looking at the basic data that is already available and out there.
When I get that opportunity, I’d actually like to refine it to say, “Go back, committee”—in fact, I think we should have a private member’s bill that says that it’s wrong for MPPs to ask bureaucrats for information that’s already available online. Consider what is already there before you ask. It’s a waste of taxpayer dollars to ask them to provide information that is already available online, information that this committee has chosen not to look at. I mean, look at it, come back and say, “This is still not enough.” Instead, we just have this—and I find that a little disappointing. This is not responsible governing, to ask for information that’s already out there. So I am disappointed.
Ideally, what we would like is a motion that says that once the committee has looked at what’s already available, we’ll come back and ask for more information. Given that that’s not happening right now, at the very least, to narrow it down to say, “only financial expense statements,” and that goes back to my—I thought that that example might serve to illustrate why we need to do this.
The other thing that is a little concerning is the amount of time that bureaucrats have been given. Here are the three problems with the original motion: One, it does not take into consideration information that is already publicly available online; it does not define exactly what the members would like to see in terms of the expenses—instead of saying “all documents,” to say, “We’re looking for the financial documents backing up these expenses”; lastly, the timeline—30 days. One of the things that I don’t understand is that—we would not be wasting this time if from the get-go, motions from the NDP would come with 45 days, because this government has, every single time that a motion has been brought forward asking for 30 days, come back and said, “Can we make that 45 days and go through the whole process?” Why not just word it with 45 days from the get-go? If from the get-go this had said, “We’ve looked at this information and this is still missing. We’re giving you 45 days, and it’s financial documents that we’re looking for,” right now we would be debating and dealing with Ms. Egan’s appointment. Instead, we are in this situation where it’s very unfortunate that Ms. Egan is being asked to wait again, a second time, when the committee could have very easily listened to her presentation.
I don’t know about you guys, but I’ll tell you one of the things—because I’m not a very good public speaker. Before I have to go and speak at an event, like many people, I like to prepare the night before. I think about what I’m going to say. It’s very disappointing when you go the next day and nobody cares what you’ve said—
Mr. Percy Hatfield: On a point of order, Chair: Can you get her back on topic here?
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Yes. I’m trying to listen, but the motion is—
Ms. Dipika Damerla: Chair, I’m talking. I think it’s relevant to the whole proceedings. My point is, Ms. Egan has prepared. I’m sure she prepared last night. She has come here and it’s disappointing for her that we don’t care about—
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): No. I know, but you have to stick to your amendment.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: Okay, Chair. I just wanted to get that in. Anyway, I think we can all relate to that.
But just coming back to the amendment that I have proposed, one more time, just to be very clear, it’s to—
Miss Monique Taylor: This is a filibuster.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: This is not a filibuster, because—
Miss Monique Taylor: Chair?
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Hang on, here. She just has the floor for a bit longer. Is it a point of order?
Miss Monique Taylor: Chair, can I ask for clarification, please? Can the Clerk please let us know how long Ms. Damerla spoke to this amendment last time that we were here, for time purposes, and then how much time she has spent this time. I mean, there’s no way that she could possibly have 20 minutes to speak last time, 20 minutes to speak again this time and nobody else has been able to speak to this.
Mr. Jim McDonell: Thirty minutes—
Miss Monique Taylor: Yes. I mean, if we want to talk about holding people up and not allowing appointments to go through, this is why the appointments are not getting through. It’s not about the problem of this side; it’s the problem of the government, who’s holding this up and not allowing this woman to be seen before us today. So if we want to talk about accountability and transparency in this House, this is exactly where it needs to start, right at committee where we’re speaking and saying exactly what’s happening.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Okay. While she speaks, Ms. Taylor, the Clerk is going to check her notes, because I know she did start speaking last time but she didn’t speak very long.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: Chair, I just had—
Miss Monique Taylor: Chair, sorry, just one more time for clarification: Didn’t we go into recess right before we left last time? Because we called the vote and—
Ms. Dipika Damerla: No.
Miss Monique Taylor: We didn’t go into recess right before the end of session?
Ms. Dipika Damerla: No.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): No, we didn’t go into recess.
Miss Monique Taylor: All right. There have been so many days of filibustering, I’m confused.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: Chair, I have a few questions.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Go ahead.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: Every time another member interrupts while I’m speaking, do you deduct that time?
Ms. Dipika Damerla: No, it is serious. I’ve got stuff to say, and if somebody is taking up my time, do you add it back? I just wanted to know what the procedure is.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): You had the floor for 20 minutes. There was some discussion last time and then we went to recess. I’m not going to stop the clock. You’ve spoken for 10 minutes now. Continue speaking. It’s not as formal as it is in the House, okay? Continue speaking, and while you’re doing that, I’m going to check very quickly as to how much time you spoke last time. But I know you didn’t speak very long.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: Chair, my second question is—our notes suggest that what I was speaking to last time was going from 30 days to 45 days. So while you’re checking, could you also check what I actually spoke to? That would be helpful, while we’re doing that.
Miss Monique Taylor: No, that isn’t right.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: The third thing is, Chair, if a member opposite accuses me of something, I hope I have the ability to rebut that. She accused me of filibustering. I don’t want you to rule that that’s out of order and I’m not speaking to the amendment, because I ought to able to—fair is fair, right?
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): What the committee Clerk has informed me—unlike the House, where we have a countdown clock, she can speak for 20 minutes, cede the floor to someone else, and then, if she wants to, she can go back and speak for another 20 minutes. That’s just the rules that are in front of us.
Miss Taylor, then Mr. McDonell.
Miss Monique Taylor: Thank you, Chair. I believe, when we were going through this exact same process on a different motion earlier, in the last few months, you stated that it was your inherent right to say when there has been enough speaking to this amendment and to this motion and that you could move it forward as you wished.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: Oh, I love it.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Yes,I know. The debate just started on this motion, and unfortunately, I have to allow debate on this motion. The last time, we spoke on and on, and eventually, Mr. McDonell called the question and I said, “Enough debate has happened.” Then we voted. But we just started today with this. I have to allow this to happen for a bit.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: Chair, I’m losing my time. I would request that you stop the clock because I’ve lost so much of my time now to all these procedural questions.
Mr. Douglas C. Holyday: If you’re going to proceed on this—
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Mr. McDonell had the floor. Then we’ll go to Mr. Holyday.
Mr. Jim McDonell: I’m just saying that the Chair has the final right on the debate. In this case here, we’re agreeing to pass the amendment, so the debate is just a stalling tactic. It’s not required. What are they trying to hide? Are these the computers you haven’t had a chance to wipe yet? What is this? Let’s get on with this, get the motion passed and get on to hearing the witness, like we think is appropriate as well. This should be a two-minute vote, and move on.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Yes, but the rules allow—I can pull the section: Anyone can speak for 20 minutes.
Mr. Jim McDonell: But she spoke last week for 20 minutes.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Whether they agree or not. Mr. Holyday?
Mr. Douglas C. Holyday: Mr. Chairman, if you’re going to follow that process, then maybe you should just inform the young woman that’s here today to appear that she’s not going to be able to do it today. Apologize and let her go home.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Yes. I don’t know if this debate is going to end or not. I would like to do that, but—
Mr. Douglas C. Holyday: If we follow your process, that’s what’s going to happen.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: If you’d voted with us, we’d be listening to her—
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): One moment, please.
Miss Monique Taylor: You just want to hold everything up, so this is what happens.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Let’s hear her out, and hopefully, we’ll have a vote. But members of the committee are allowed to speak to any motion and to pass amendments if they want to, which is what Ms. Damerla has done. This is her amendment, and she’s allowed to speak to it. It’s 9:30. At some point in time, either we apologize to the person that’s arrived here today or we ask for unanimous consent to hear from her.
Ms. Mitzie Hunter: We could pause, Mr. Chair, and listen to her, now that Mr. Holyday—
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Yes, but let’s continue the debate here for now.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: Thank you, Chair. I just did want to address some of the things that I heard on the floor. It’s a little rich for anybody on that side to talk about filibustering. What I saw yesterday with the caregiver leave act—it’s in third reading. No changes can be made to that act, and all I heard—the NDP had speaker after speaker stand up, just speaking because you don’t want that bill to pass. So it’s a little rich—
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Okay, I’m sorry, Ms. Damerla. You have to speak to this amendment, instead of—
Ms. Dipika Damerla: Well, Chair, I have to defend myself and get it on the record.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): No, no. The amendment is pretty straightforward.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: So for anybody to say that there are, you know, issues around—
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): That’s off topic.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: There’s a huge credibility issue for anybody on that side to say we are filibustering, because what I see in the House is nonstop filibustering. But just getting back on track to—
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Yes. Please speak to the amendment. I’m sorry, I’m going to have to interrupt. Just speak to the amendment.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: So, Chair, I would like to, one more time, out of respect for Ms. Egan, move a motion that we postpone debating this amendment and instead allow Ms. Egan to present. Mr. Holyday is very correct: Why are we just allowing her to sit?
So one more opportunity for this committee here to now vote to allow that. So, Chair, I move that Ms. Egan can come forward and present.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Yes, but the committee has already ruled on that, and the decision was no, that we’re going to continue debate.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: But can we not try again? We can try again.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): I’m sorry. You have to continue debating it. This committee has already ruled they want to discuss this and deal with—
Ms. Dipika Damerla: I thought I’d try, Chair, that’s all, in deference to Ms. Egan’s time. That’s all.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Ms. Taylor.
Miss Monique Taylor: Chair, I think I have a solution. I’m going to give the government one more chance, and I’m going to call the question on the amendment. And then maybe we can move forward.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: Well, the debate is not done. Debate is not done.
Miss Monique Taylor: So I call the question, Chair.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: Debate is not done, and you cannot take away the right of MPPs to speak to a motion. That is something—
Miss Monique Taylor: I had to try one more time.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): It’s getting argumentative. Please.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: That’s something Miss Taylor has stood up and defended over and over again: her right to speak to a bill, in vain. So it’s a double standard here.
Anyway, Mr. Chair, just going ahead with my amendment. Because of all the time we lost with distractions, I want to one more time clarify that my amendment is seeking that the phrase—oh, God, this means so many—yes: That the Standing Committee on Government Agencies request from Metrolinx and the Ministry of Transportation the production of only financial expense statements of all Metrolinx board of directors and executive members between January 1, 2012, and March 18, 2014, and that these documents be produced within 30 days of this motion passing and that the respective documents be provided in an electronic, searchable format.
I just wanted to clarify what we are speaking about because there were so many interruptions. The reason I’m asking for this amendment is because “all documents” is too broad a request. We should, you know, refine the search down to be more helpful to the committee. What exactly is the committee looking for? Line items, emails, calendar invites, meeting briefing notes? We need to clarify because—you know, is a calendar invitation to a meeting that a Metrolinx executive goes to attend part of the chain because, in the end, that led to an expense, maybe a cab fare? When you say “all documents related to the expenses of all Metrolinx board,” that calendar invite would be included, and I think we can all agree that that’s perhaps not going to help us get to the bottom of whatever it is that you want to get. So that’s a very small example to clarify.
We’ve also clearly seen from other communities the issues that can arise from the ministries when broad, overarching motions are moved with short timelines. This is something that I really feel I want to speak to: the short timeline. Can you imagine if we just asked any one of us to just go back and, for the last two years, find every expense item? How long would it take? Would you be able to do it in 30 days? Oh, by the way, while you’re at it, I’m not looking just for the Visa statement; I’m looking for any emails that you might have had. So, if you went to celebrate a friend’s birthday, I want not just the receipt for how much you spent at that party, but all of the emails that went towards arranging that party, because, you know, it’s related to the expense, the way it is worded. How long would it take? And, by the way, if you happen to miss one of those invites, we, the committee, will then say you have something to hide.
So you are putting somebody in that situation where it’s a gotcha game that you want to play. Well, then, give them enough time. Don’t set them up to fail. I don’t think it’s fair to our bureaucrats. I have tremendous respect for the Ontario public service. I have served alongside them when I worked in the minister’s office, and all I can say is, we owe it to them, as elected officials, to be fair to them and to be respectful of their time. This is not something that should be taken lightly, and we cannot be in a situation where we are setting them up to fail.
Again in general, we’re supportive of the motion. We’re happy to be transparent. We’re one of the most transparent governments. In fact, you’ll be surprised to learn that—well, some of you who may have sat on the Parapan committee would know that this government, of its own accord, brought the games under FIPPA, the freedom-of-information act. No other jurisdiction, no other government in Canada has ever done that. We brought—
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Sorry to interrupt, Ms. Damerla. You’ve got less than two minutes. If you’d just stick to this—
Ms. Dipika Damerla: Chair, I’m just talking about—
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Not the Pan Am Games.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: I think it’s related to the fact that—
Mr. Jim McDonell: Chair, she has talked for 22 minutes now—
Ms. Dipika Damerla: Well, Mr. McDonell, I think I lost a lot of time. But anyway—
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): According to my stopwatch—
Ms. Dipika Damerla: The Chair says I have two minutes, and I’m just going to keep going.
What I feel is that the motion, as it stands, is setting up the OPS to fail. The amendment that we are proposing is something that would set the OPS up to succeed, and I think that’s an important difference. The more specific the motion, the easier it is for the ministry to locate the documents and get them to committee.
Chair, I don’t want to take up my full 20 minutes. I have said everything that I need to. I do believe, though, that my colleague Ms. Hunter has a few things to add. Thank you for the time.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Okay. Thank you. Any further debate?
Ms. Mitzie Hunter: Yes.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Ms. Hunter.
Ms. Mitzie Hunter: Thank you, Chair. It’s interesting listening to the debate and the opposition wanting to cut off debate. I’m very surprised by that, given the remarks that I hear all the time.
I do think it is important that when we introduce these amendments, we have the opportunity to provide some clarification as to what we are looking for, not just for the people who are surrounding this table, but actually for the people who have to carry out the requests of this committee. I think the debate is very helpful for that and instructive—having the opportunity to speak to this amendment, as we’re seeking to clarify what we mean by “only financial expense statements” as opposed to a very broad and, frankly, what I would say is an unclear request that was initially made.
It is important for us to identify, particularly as it relates to financial matters, exactly what those line items are that are important to bring forward. We know, as Ms. Damerla has said, that much of this information is already publicly available, and it might be duplicative as well. I find it very surprising that this motion originally was not set up in a way that would take that into consideration, because we certainly don’t want to be duplicative of work that perhaps is already under way.
I also note that we’re asking for the format and the way that this information is brought forward to be very specific, and I think it is important that we don’t be too broad in our requests, that we provide very clear direction to the agency and the staff that will be tasked with putting this together.
I’m very pleased that the spirit of this motion has been well received, but I think that we need to take the time to clarify exactly what we are looking for. We have to acknowledge that the easier it is for the ministry to locate these documents, assemble them in the right format, get them to committee—then we’re able to actually get to the business of utilizing them for the work that we want to do.
The time that we’re taking here, Chair, I think is well spent. It is about being more specific to the motion on the floor, and it is about the output that we want at the end of the day. So I appreciate you giving us the opportunity to speak to it as we are able to, and also that this information will be utilized by the agency and by their team.
In terms of the motion itself, we also have to take into context what has already been requested. The fact of the matter is that we have already passed two substantial motions that require a large amount of information to be assembled. At the end of the day, that’s not the work of the agency. The work of the agency is actually to fulfill the mandate that they’ve been tasked with in terms of building out our transportation system and our transportation network.
That said, having oversight and due diligence is very important to the work that we do here in this committee. I think what we’re seeking to do is to refine and to clarify our request, ensuring that we receive the information that is most useful to this committee, and that we also—I think we have to seek, when we’re drafting these motions, that they are not so broad and all-encompassing that it can’t be defined and really provides volumes of information that maybe we don’t even have the time ourselves to go through. So narrowing the scope, making it specific to what we need and having that outcome in mind, is something that we have to be mindful of as a committee and as members of the committee.
I also want us to talk about, just in terms of the responsiveness of the agencies—I know that we touched on this before in terms of the amount of time that we’re giving, but that is also very important. The amount of time that we are giving has a direct relationship to the quality of the documents that are assembled for us and that are put in front of us.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): That’s not the motion, though. I think that the amendment in front of us is pretty straightforward, and the motion by Miss Taylor is in front of us, too. I would ask that you speak to the amendment and just stick to the amendment that was moved by Ms. Damerla at the last meeting.
Ms. Mitzie Hunter: Absolutely, Chair, and that is what I am attempting to do, in terms of seeking to provide the clarity that we need. But in terms of the agency’s ability and timeliness in these motions, I do think that that is important. I do think that we need to take into context that we have asked for two substantive document requests of the said agency, and we are continuing to make those requests. I think that it is relevant as it relates to the specificity of this motion regarding financial documents and expense-related documents of the Metrolinx organization.
It’s great to see that both the NDP and the Tories are supportive of the amendment. I think that that’s very good to see, but I also want to make sure that we take the time that we need to ensure that we provide that specificity in terms of why we’re requesting this motion and what we expect in terms of the documents coming into this committee, so that, at the end of the day, it makes our work useful.
I know, Chair, that you’ve spoken to, at times, the dual work of this committee, that we want to give time to the agencies, but we also have to give time to the appointments process that we have in this committee, which I am also very concerned with. We have not been able to respect the people who are actually sitting here waiting for those considerations to be made, and we’ve had to delay that part of the business. I think that’s something that we also need to address.
That being said, I think that one of the things that we’re trying to do here is to ensure, in terms of our service to the public, that this committee and the work of this committee provides that level of service and oversight. At the end of the day, that’s why we’re all here and that’s why these types of requests are being made.
I also want to respect those who put their names forward to be part of boards and committees—
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): We have to stick to the amendment, which is—
Ms. Mitzie Hunter: That is very much part of—
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): All that Ms. Damerla is moving is that the words “all documents” be struck from the motion and replaced with “only financial records directly related to the expense claims of Metrolinx executives.” That’s all we’re really discussing right now.
Ms. Mitzie Hunter: What I was saying, if I could finish my sentence there, Chair, in terms of respecting the work of those individuals who put their names forward before this committee for appointments, is that they can know what to expect in terms of this level of oversight. The way that Ms. Damerla has amended this motion in terms of being very specific about the financial expense statements provides that clarity that those individuals need as well, because it is not so broad that it talks about every and all emails or every and all correspondences that have been made between the members of the board and executive and the agency itself.
I think there’s a lot of value to taking the time to provide that clarity and really respecting the people who put their names forward, because we do want to ensure that we have the best people providing that level of oversight to our agencies. I think there is a tremendous amount of relevance to considering that fact. As a committee, putting these requests in front of the agencies and asking them to do the required searching, especially when they already have a process that is online and available to the public in terms of the posting of expenses—they might be asking, “Is this duplicating what has already been done? Or is there more that they’re asking for?” The fact that we’ve refined from “all documents” related to the expenses to only the financial expense statements, I just want to commend my colleague for putting this forward, for perhaps putting herself in the shoes of those who are serving.
Having had the experience serving on these types of agencies, I think it is very important that we respect the time that they put in, and that we want to also continue to attract the best people to serve on these committees. That speaks to the work that we’re doing here in this committee, ensuring that we are as helpful as possible as committee members as we are making requests of those agencies, so that they can have the clarity that they need to put together the information that we’ve asked for, in the format that we’ve asked for, and in the time frame that we’ve asked for. I think those are things that are important, because at the end of the day, we’re going to receive these documents and they have to have some relevance to the work and the oversight that we’re providing in this committee. If we take all of these requests combined, it’s a tremendous amount that we’re asking of them. I just want to make sure that we’re doing the best job possible as committee members.
I really appreciate having the time to speak to this motion and providing these inputs. It’s really easy for us to write these requests and then say, “Go off and get this all assembled for us.” But we also have to remember, at the end of the day, that these documents have to have some relevance to the oversight that we’re doing here and that we’re able to utilize them in the most effective way that is available. I also feel that narrowing the search specific to the financial expenses also removes the unnecessary information—information that, really, we don’t want to have to wade through because it is not relevant to our look into this agency. It gives us as committee members the opportunity, also, to focus. I see benefits on both sides, as well as to the agency themselves and to the people that are serving on these boards and in these oversight roles for our agencies.
I also think the fact that we can co-operatively put this forward is important as well, so that we’re not at odds with the information that we’re trying to seek out, that we’re working together across parties. So I’m also appreciative of that and to see that we can actually agree. I think that’s an important part as well.
So these are some of the comments that I wanted to make. I don’t know if you want to add anything further. I know my colleague Ms. Wong wanted to address this briefly as well.
Ms. Soo Wong: Thank you very much—
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Before you start, Ms. Wong—and I know Miss Taylor wants to speak—I’m just going to ask one more time: We have a dual role here. I know that we’re speaking on this motion right now, this amendment, but if we don’t deal with this appointment today—it was a selection of the official opposition. If we don’t do it today, then there won’t be a chance to review it, because the time will expire. It’ll just go to the appointment secretariat for appointment—just to be aware of that.
Now, I have Ms. Wong to speak and then Miss Taylor to speak.
Mr. Jim McDonell: I just want to say that—
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): A point of order?
Mr. Jim McDonell: Yes, a point of order: just to say that, really, this committee’s been struck to look into Metrolinx. Over the last four or five months, I’ve been somewhat surprised at just how little we’ve been able to get to because of the filibustering by the Liberal Party here. I think that it’s our job to look into it. I would agree that, although we called the witness today, we’d be willing to let that go, because, really, we have an onus to actually get something done on this. We haven’t done anything because the last question took four months to get through. This motion here is taking—we’re now at two weeks. In this case, it’s crazy, because we agree with her amendment and we just want to get to the main motion and move on. If we’re going to look into Metrolinx, we’ve seen—
Ms. Dipika Damerla: Chair?
Mr. Jim McDonell: I have the floor here for a second. We’ve seen a party that has had very little oversight over their agencies. If you look back, if it hadn’t been for committees like this, we wouldn’t have had any information on the power plants. The same thing happened for months and months before we were able to get some of the information out. With Ornge, the same thing happened. It was only when we got to the summer period where the meetings went to eight hours and the filibustering just ran out of time.
It’s our job here to find out and provide oversight to these agencies, because we clearly see that this government has not been able to do that. It’s obviously looking like there’s something to hide here, because they’re desperately trying not to let this information out.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: Nothing to hide.
Mr. Jim McDonell: Well, that’s what we said about other committees. I think it’s time that we move ahead and call the motion. I’d like to just call the motion—
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Order.
Mr. Jim McDonell: —put it to a vote and move on. I mean, we are agreeing with what you’re asking for. What else could be more clear?
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Okay. Miss Taylor, you’re next, but it’s getting close to 10 o’clock. It takes half an hour to do the review of an appointee. She’s sitting there in the audience. It’s not going to finish today. We have other speakers down here.
Mr. Jim McDonell: We have 20 minutes per speaker. That should be reasonable debate on this and we should be able to move ahead. It’s clear that they’re trying to delay this vote—
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Yes, I know.
Mr. Jim McDonell: —and so any documents will not come out before this spring. We don’t need this—
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Yes. I know. I can’t stop that right now. I’m following—
Mr. Jim McDonell: Well, you can after one more vote. I would think that everybody speaking for 20 minutes here would be sufficient debate.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): I’m allowing debate because the standing rules allow it, and—
Mr. Jim McDonell: Well, let’s move on and get the next 20 minutes over. We’ll still have time for a vote—and move on. I think that would be sufficient debate.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Yes. Okay, Miss Taylor.
Miss Monique Taylor: Thank you, Chair. I was also looking at the clock and seeing that it was five to 10. It would be great if we could have Ms. Egan go through her appointment today as she’s been here for the second time.
We would love to see this be moved through, Chair. There has to have been sufficient time on this matter, and it is your right to say that there has been sufficient time for debate on this matter. We went through the debate on the last week that we sat, and now we’re doing it again today, Chair. It’s five to 10. We’ve had nothing accomplished except listening to words that we’ve already heard several times over. I think that we need to respect Ms. Egan’s time, stop filibustering and move this committee on with the work that it’s supposed to do.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): I would like to move on with the appointment. As Chair, part of my job is to move on and get appointments done. In fact, when I was Chair of this committee for the first time in 2003-04, many, many years ago, we used to get a lot of appointments through, and then we decided to add—I wasn’t on it afterward, but someone decided to add the review of committees.
I have to be fair. Ms. Wong wants to speak next; I can’t say no to her. We’re going to lose the right, if we don’t let Ms. Egan speak today—she will just be appointed. It was a selection of the official opposition. So as much as I would also like to move on, the rules allow for any member to speak for up to 20 minutes and then cede the floor. Those are right here in the standing orders. So if Ms. Wong wants to speak for one minute or 20, up to a 20-minute maximum, I have to allow that.
Ms. Soo Wong: Okay. Mr. Chair, I just want to be, as a new member of this committee this morning—
Ms. Soo Wong: It is true. You can laugh, but I just want to be on record, Mr. Chair. There have been several comments and allegations made, and these are public meetings and public records. I am prepared—I want to be on record—to park my 20 minutes. As Mr. Chair has indicated, I am allowed 20 minutes to speak. I am prepared to park my 20 minutes to have the witness called before this committee so that the committee can review her credentials for this appointment. I’m prepared to do that, Mr. Chair.
To address the comments made by Mr. McDonell and Miss Taylor is fair and transparent, because when you make allegations against a member, a member has the right to defend his or her position. I’ve dutifully said that I haven’t been given that opportunity. Furthermore, Mr. Chair, I’ve been very respectful, not interrupting and not filibustering as they’ve been alleging. I’ve been listening and taking notes throughout the whole proceeding. I am prepared, Mr. Chair, if necessary, to move the motion, as Ms. Damerla asked earlier, the selection on the agenda: a selection of the official opposition members for he Building Materials Evaluation Commission. I am prepared to move the motion—it wasn’t moved by me; it was my colleague—to move the agenda up.
I don’t know, Mr. Chair. In past practices, when an appointment of this nature, a selection of a potential candidate for a board or commission—why wouldn’t that be considered a first priority if this is time-sensitive? You just told us, the committee, that this is time-sensitive. If this is time-sensitive, it should be the first priority of the day. Furthermore, maybe the subcommittee can provide some direction, because I know that the subcommittee does its work before the committee. Furthermore, I just want to make sure that we don’t delay the appointment of Anne Egan for the committee.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Okay. I just want to make one point clear: You would need the unanimous consent of this committee if you wanted to hear from Ms. Egan. If we don’t get unanimous consent, then you have your time to speak. Is there unanimous consent to deal with Ms. Egan or not? I heard a no here.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Please go ahead, Ms. Damerla.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: Chair, I just want to know two things. One is: When the other side interrupts while we’re speaking and they speak, does that count towards the time that they are speaking? They keep accusing us of filibustering, but I’d be very interested to know how many minutes Miss Taylor has spoken today, in all.
The second thing is: I applaud Ms. Wong for what she has done; she is giving up her time so that Ms. Egan can present. The other side has said no. Why can’t we get a recorded vote on that?
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): There is discretion here. There’s no countdown clock saying, “19, 18, 17, 16.” Mr. McDonell and a few others do not want to move on. So Ms. Wong, you can speak, but you’ve got to speak to the amendment that’s in front of us.
Ms. Soo Wong: I’m happy to talk about the amendment. Mr. Chair, I’m just reading the amendment now for the first time. The first piece here is: As a new member of the committee, I need to get some clarification with regard to the words “financial expenses.” What does that term mean? The piece here is with respect to this—because in the original motion, the mover asked for “financial expenses.” So clarification is critically important, because what is the intended outcome?
The other piece here is, when you ask about all of the Metrolinx board of directors and executive members, who is defined as an executive member? Does that also include the consultants? Because from time to time, you have consultants out there making X number of dollars, and there’s an allegation the consultants overspent. So I want to know in terms of clarity.
The other piece here with regard to the amended motion as well as the original motion—because if the amended motion fails, you go back to the original motion—what is the intended purpose of this? I suspect—and I could be wrong, so I want some clarification. Is the intent of the motion to hold Metrolinx accountable and ensure the transparency of the funds being given by the government?
The other piece here is, I heard earlier from my colleague about the concern of duplication. What specifically is the intent of this, both the original motion and now the amended motion? Because with regard to this extended date to now 45 days or something to that effect, this review can be done sooner. So I wouldn’t mind having a motion if the data can come back earlier. If there’s no duplication—because I heard earlier that some of the information is already on the website. If the information is already on the website, it’s reducing the timeline. I would rather have the information come to this committee sooner, but no more than the 30 days or whatever date it is. If it can come to this committee—this committee meets on a weekly basis. I see Mr. Holyday nodding his head. If the committee can get the information, if it can come earlier, that’s what we want to do, right? Am I correct? And if we can, reduce the duplication, because it requires staff time. Staff time means both Metrolinx staff as well as the Ministry of Transportation. The message has to be, if we can get this information sooner—but no less than that timeline. That’s what I’m asking. In other committees, they have reviewed Metrolinx. Are we doing duplication? It’s not just a government agency here. There are other committees that have reviewed Metrolinx.
My question here is, there are multiple committees going on, looking at this particular crown agency. How do we reduce duplication? If we can reduce the duplication as well as get the report back to the committee sooner than later, but we do a cap on the specific day so that Metrolinx cannot delay in reporting back to this particular standing committee—because at the end of the day, I don’t want to review another report that has gone before another committee asking for the same thing. At the end of the day, I want the report to come sooner, not later, and there is a specific timeline for that search and that request.
Those are my questions, Mr. Chair. If somebody, maybe the researcher, can clarify: What does the term “financial expenses” mean? What does the term “executive members” mean? Does that include those consultants? Some of those consultants make over $100,000 on the sunshine list. Would they be considered as an executive member? We have consultants who work for crown agencies who will be perceived as executive members, but they are not direct employees. Would they be considered as executive members? So I need some clarification. Those are my comments.
Ms. Soo Wong: Mr. Chair, I want him to respond to my questions.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Okay. One moment. I think Mr. Parker can answer that for you.
Mr. Jeff Parker: I won’t be able to get you a specific definition off the top of my head necessarily. The motion will be interpreted by the committee based on what the committee decides is appropriate. Generally, when you talk about the board of directors, that’s a specific list of people for any crown agency. The executive members again are usually a very specific list of people. If you go on Metrolinx websites, you can find that list. That’s generally how we would think it would be interpreted.
Ms. Soo Wong: So any consultants who work for Metrolinx in terms of IT—because oftentimes, companies hire external reviewers and external reports and what have you—will not be considered as executive members in terms of the definition?
Mr. Jeff Parker: Well, it would depend internally on Metrolinx definitions, but generally an executive member is someone who holds a specific rank, as opposed to someone who makes a specific amount of money. It would depend on the corporation. In Metrolinx’s case, they already have lists on their website, so I assume that that’s how they would interpret the motion and give it back to us, but that’s both between Metrolinx to interpret the motion and the will of the committee to decide whether or not they’ve interpreted it correctly.
Ms. Soo Wong: Now, my other question to you, through the Chair, is in terms of duplications, because there have been express concerns about potential duplications. In terms of ensuring the quality of the report coming to this committee, can you provide some direction to this committee to reduce the duplication? And, in your professional opinion, can this kind of report come back in less than the timeline?
Mr. Jeff Parker: I don’t know that I would be best equipped to say what resources Metrolinx will need in order to enact this motion. The committee has the power to request documents and persons at their discretion, so if the committee decides that they would like to request this information from Metrolinx in 30 days, it will be up to Metrolinx to decide how best to meet the motion.
In terms of duplication—I’ve been to the Metrolinx website. In terms of costings, it gives an overview, but it doesn’t necessarily cover all of the documentation that this motion requests. But again, that is up to the committee and up to you, as members, to decide what information you need to best carry out your duties.
Ms. Soo Wong: Thank you.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: Chair?
Mr. Jim McDonell: Ms. Wong has the floor.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): She has 20 minutes to speak.
Ms. Soo Wong: I’m done.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Okay. Ms. Damerla?
Ms. Dipika Damerla: Chair, we do believe that—
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Miss Taylor, I’m sorry. One second. Miss Taylor first. My apologies. I was getting caught up.
Miss Monique Taylor: Thank you, Chair.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Go ahead.
Miss Monique Taylor: I was really hoping that we would be able to move along, Chair, and be able to get this appointment done today. It looks like we’ve now wasted another full day here in this committee in talking and not getting any work done.
I was really impressed to hear the member, Ms. Wong, say that she thinks this work should be presented to us in no less than 30 days, or in 30 days at the max—that it should be sooner, or at the max 30 days—because she’s absolutely right. The information is there, so they should be able to provide it quite readily.
Even their own members are agreeing that 30 days is more than sufficient, Chair. We need to move forward, so I would like to take this opportunity to call the question.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): All right. Before we call the question, I’m going to allow Ms. Damerla, because she put her hand up. You have a question of the researcher?
Ms. Dipika Damerla: I just wanted to suggest something, Chair. We are actually ready for you to ask the question. We’ve said everything we wanted to, but one more time, in the interests of forwarding the proceedings and being respectful to Ms. Egan—who, by the way, has been called here by the official opposition. As you know, Chair, once we go to a vote, we are entitled to a 20-minute recess.
The government side is willing to give that recess time to Ms. Egan so she can present. The only rider is that it can be used only for Ms. Egan to present, and not to filibuster or anything else by the other side. It’s our right to get that recess; as long as the recess is used only for the business of listening to Ms. Egan presenting, not to introduce other motions or anything else. We would be prepared to do this one more time to ensure that Ms. Egan can go away, having done her job, and not have to come back.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): I can’t allow that to happen right now, because we have the motion that you moved, Ms. Damerla, and we have to vote on that. Then we have the main motion by Miss Taylor.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: In that case, before a vote, we’d like a recess.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Sorry? You would like—
Ms. Dipika Damerla: Before a vote, we’d like a recess. If we can’t use it, that’s unfortunate. We would have liked to have used it for Ms. Egan, but if it’s not going to be used—
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): All right. So we’ll do the recess. Unfortunately, that will use up the time.
Next meeting, first thing—
Mr. Jim McDonell: We don’t agree to 20 minutes. We’ll agree to a 10-minute recess. We don’t—
Ms. Dipika Damerla: The rules allow it, Jim.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): No, but they’re allowed a 20-minute recess.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Hang on. Okay. So the question is, do we want to vote now?
Miss Monique Taylor: Yes.
Mr. Jim McDonell: No.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Do you want to vote now?
Ms. Dipika Damerla: A 20-minute recess. It will take us to past—we can’t hold it today.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): You want a recess. Okay.
Miss Monique Taylor: Can I just have on record, Chair—
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Yeah. It’s all in Hansard. I’m sorry. What—
Miss Monique Taylor: I would just like to make sure that it’s recorded that the question is now on the floor, that the government has called a 20-minute recess, and that the next time we come back, next week, the first thing that we’re going to be doing is voting on the amendment, Chair.
Ms. Dipika Damerla: We would like to listen to Ms. Egan first, but we’ll—
Miss Monique Taylor: Well, you have your 20-minute right. You have to come back and you have to vote. So by the time we come back next week, just so we’re all clear, the first thing that we’re going to be doing is voting, right?
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Yes, but as Chair, I’ve got to be satisfied there has been enough debate.
Miss Monique Taylor: We’re not going to allow them to speak again.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Okay. All right. She called the vote, and I will call the vote. There’s been enough debate. So first thing next Tuesday, we will do the vote. She’s allowed to call that 20-minute—
Mr. Jim McDonell: A point of order.
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Mr. McDonell.
Mr. Jim McDonell: A question to the Clerk: In this case here, with the motions on the floor, are they entitled to a 20-minute—
The Chair (Mr. Lorenzo Berardinetti): Once the Chair has called the vote, any member is allowed to call for a recess for up to 20 minutes. That’s standard. So we will vote next week, first thing on the agenda. We’ll vote on this amendment, and hopefully we can get to the main motion. Okay? Thank you. The committee stands adjourned.
The committee adjourned at 1012.
Tuesday 8 April 2014
Subcommittee report A-275
STANDING COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT AGENCIES
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
Ms. Dipika Damerla (Mississauga East–Cooksville / Mississauga-Est–Cooksville L)
Mr. Douglas C. Holyday (Etobicoke–Lakeshore PC)
Ms. Soo Wong (Scarborough–Agincourt L)
Mr. Jeff Yurek (Elgin–Middlesex–London PC)
Clerk / Greffière
Ms. Sylwia Przezdziecki
Staff / Personnel
Mr. Jeff Parker, research officer,