STANDING COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT AGENCIES
COMITÉ PERMANENT DES ORGANISMES GOUVERNEMENTAUX
Tuesday 29 November 2016 Mardi 29 novembre 2016
The committee met at 0902 in room 151.
The Vice-Chair (Ms. Daiene Vernile): Good morning, everyone, and welcome to the Standing Committee on Government Agencies. We’re going to begin with a subcommittee report for Thursday, November 24, 2016. We will now move to that. Mr. Pettapiece.
Mr. Randy Pettapiece: I move adoption of the subcommittee report on intended appointments dated Thursday, November 24, 2016.
The Vice-Chair (Ms. Daiene Vernile): Do we have any discussion on this, committee members? Are we all in agreement? The committee accepts the report.
Mr. Jason Madden
Review of intended appointment, selected by third party: Jason Madden, intended appointee as member, local health integration network, Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network.
The Vice-Chair (Ms. Daiene Vernile): We’re now going to move to the appointments review. We have two intended appointments to hear from. We’re going to consider the concurrences following the interviews.
I would ask that our first intended appointment, Mr. Jason Madden, come forward. You are nominated as a member of the local health integration network, Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network.
Welcome. Thanks for being here. You can begin with a brief statement if you wish. Members of each party are then going to have about 10 minutes to ask you questions. Any time that is used for your statement will be deducted from the government’s time for questioning.
Please begin. Start by stating your name.
Mr. Jason Madden: My name is Jason Madden. Good morning, Madam Chair, and members of the standing committee. It’s an honour to appear before you today regarding my candidacy for director of the LHIN for central Toronto. I believe my professional experience as a lawyer, my volunteer work within the indigenous community here in Toronto and, most importantly, my personal experiences as a Métis person who moved to Toronto and now makes it his home will be a helpful addition to the LHIN.
However, before I wanted to start about my professional career, I just want to tell you a bit about myself and my personal background to give you a better understanding of why I decided to apply for the position. I live in downtown Toronto now, a few blocks from the LHIN with my partner. I’ve lived here for over a decade now, but I was born in northwestern Ontario. I come from a proud, big Métis community in Fort Frances. We collectively adhered to Treaty 3 in 1875. A long line of commercial fishermen—I was not good at commercial fishing and the law was the vehicle of how I thought I could make a difference.
I just want to say why I actually believe in some of these things. As I said, my family are all commercial fishermen, and I saw laws or policies having a devastating effect on people, because those people had no voice in the decisions that were actually being made. I saw the law as the only tool to protect the community I come from as well as the livelihoods that my uncles and great-grandfather and great-grandfather before him practised.
For most of my career, I’ve practised representing First Nations and Métis communities to advance their rights and interests and try to rebalance that. The only way that we’re not going to repeat the past is that we change laws and we change policies, and we listen to communities and we find ways for them to be involved.
That’s the national project of reconciliation that this country is undertaking, and it begins with just little things, like not just paying lip service to inclusiveness but making sure that indigenous people are at the table making decisions, so they aren’t just afterthoughts or collateral damage.
Although most of my practice is focused on Métis rights and sitting at negotiation tables or in courts, advancing self-government negotiations or indigenous rights, I see that there are a lot of parallels to what is being undertaken with the LHIN.
You may also ask, why the LHIN in Canada’s largest city, and why in health? I think it matters because the only way that we’re going to advance real reconciliation with indigenous peoples is if they’re decision-makers in the process, not just afterthoughts or stakeholders or bystanders. I think that in the past few weeks, you’ve seen within this Legislature how things can change by virtue of people being a part of the system, as opposed to just seeing it as a negative or something that’s negatively affecting their families.
Moreover, from my perspective, there is nothing more important to an individual’s personal well-being, their family and their community than their health. Our health system is large, complex and difficult to navigate. I truly believe in the work of the LHINs to make the system more welcoming, more integrated and seamless and, most importantly, getting better results for people on the ground.
I’m interested in dedicating my time, knowledge and experience to that, because I grew up in a family where my aunt acted as the navigator for all of us. She was a nurse, and she knew the system. Whether it was dealing with my grandmother’s Alzheimer’s, or me moving to the city, where we have no family and no interconnections, or dealing with our elderly parents today, I realized that having that navigator in a very complicated system is so essential, or people fall through the cracks. I think that the LHINs are designed to make sure that those different perspectives are around the table, so no one falls through the cracks.
I also believe that many in Toronto aren’t as lucky as me, in having an aunt who actually knew the system. We have to make it better, we have to make it friendlier, we have to make it less complicated and we need to make it more seamless.
The other fact is that I bring a unique perspective of coming from a different place and being in the largest city in Canada. But secondly, I also come from being a part of the indigenous community here. It’s not small; it’s the largest within Canada. There are 30,000 in the last census, and Toronto estimates that there are 70,000 indigenous people who live within Toronto. We come from diverse backgrounds, but I think that we have an important perspective to add to LHINs.
Professionally, I’ve been a lawyer for over 15 years now. I’ve sat in courtrooms as well as at negotiation tables, negotiating modern-day treaty agreements north of 60 and for First Nations and Métis communities south of 60. I believe that those self-government discussions about how you make effective government that services and delivers for people are the same things that the LHINs and Ontario continually grapple with as well.
I think one of the lessons learned that I take from all of that self-government experience in the indigenous world is that you constantly have to measure for results, and you constantly have to make sure that the systems you have are working for people, not necessarily just because they make sense on paper.
From a management perspective, I’ve been the managing partner at my firm for going on five years now. It’s a 15-person firm. While I haven’t sat on corporate boards, I’ve sat on and advised a lot of not-for-profit organizations as well as aboriginal organizations, and understand very well the differences between the roles of directors and administration.
Finally, I’ve volunteered extensively in the indigenous community here in Toronto. I’ve been living here for 10 years. We have a lot of friends. The person who actually recommended me, saying, “You should go apply for this,” was one of my Inuit friends, who said we have to actually get more involved in the community, to make sure that we’re seen and not just this number that gets thrown out.
Whether it’s volunteering with the law society—recently, they’ve established an indigenous specialization practitioner for certification—or whether it comes from working to improve the lives of child and family services that are delivered in the Métis community in Toronto, I’m very proud of that volunteer work as well.
Taken together, I believe that I would make a valuable contribution to the Toronto Central LHIN. I think that diversity of perspective is important, but also that I bring the requisite skills and knowledge that would be of assistance to it in this next stage. Thank you.
The Vice-Chair (Ms. Daiene Vernile): Thank you very much, Mr. Madden. Our first set of questions for you is from our third party. Mr. Gates.
Mr. Wayne Gates: Good morning, Jason. How are you, buddy?
Mr. Jason Madden: Good.
Mr. Wayne Gates: Two things that you talked about before I get into my questions that I’m going to ask—we have a very active native centre in my riding, in Niagara-on-the-Lake and Fort Erie. They’re doing incredible work and they’re growing—to your point when you talked about 30,000 to 70,000 in the area. Our area is certainly growing and doing great work. So I wanted you to know that, and you may know that already.
The second thing you talked about was our parents and our grandparents. This may come up with your LHIN, and I want to tell the story so you’re aware of it. Over the course of about the last 25 days, but really since August, we’ve been trying to work together to get a married couple back together. They were 93—Clarence was 93; Jessie was 92—and our system wasn’t working for them. We were able to work with the government, with the health minister, with the CCAC, but they’re away. The only time they’ve ever been separated in their 70 years is because long-term care separated them. One was put in Grimsby and one was put in St. Catharines. It took a long time to get it fixed, but I can tell you that I raised this here a couple of weeks ago. They’re getting back together tomorrow. Their 70th wedding anniversary is December 17.
The problem that I want you to be aware of, because you’ll get voted onto this, is that there are other couples out there going through the same thing. If we want to treat our seniors with the respect and dignity that they deserve, we have to take a look at the process and fix the process. They shouldn’t be separated by the system. They should spend their lives—what we also found was as they were separated, their health deteriorated.
I want you to be aware of that thing. I want you to be aware of what’s going on in Fort Erie. It’s nice to hear that you volunteer.
Now I’ll get into some of the other questions that I wanted to ask you, if you don’t mind.
Mr. Jason Madden: Sure.
Mr. Wayne Gates: According to our records, you have donated to a party in the past. Could you tell us what party that was and how active you would be within that party?
Mr. Jason Madden: I’ve donated to two parties in the past. I’ve donated to the Progressive Conservatives as well as to the Liberals.
How active have I been? I am not a card-carrying member of either. But I have been a lifelong advocate for indigenous peoples, in particular my home community, and so I have played roles in ensuring that policies of whatever government is in power address indigenous peoples. I’m not overly active and have never sat on any committees or structures of parties, but I have donated to both those parties in the past.
Mr. Wayne Gates: You don’t mind if I remind you that you actually missed one?
Mr. Jason Madden: Yes.
Mr. Wayne Gates: I just wanted to put it out there. I spend a lot of time in Fort Erie and Niagara-on-the-Lake—meeting with them, so I just wanted to put it out there. You missed one, that’s all.
You’re fine with the fact that it’s non-partisan. You’d be able to do that and bring in a very important message. I appreciate that, but I wanted to ask some questions.
Toronto is one of the most diverse cities in the world. It has a large concentration of people from across the globe. It has a large homeless population, it has the largest LGBT community in the country and a rapidly growing native population. Given your past experience in aboriginal law, do you feel that the Toronto LHIN does enough to remove barriers that exist as a result of democratic factors, and what can we do better to make sure they do and bring your voice to that?
Mr. Jason Madden: I don’t think that we do that enough, to be quite frank. I know from the excellent work that the Native Canadian Centre does, to Native Child and Family Services—breaking down silos, as you just said. You can’t get so tied up in—it can’t be substance over form, and you have those situations like you referred to. I’ve seen it first-hand, whether it’s in child and family services or a whole host of other things. I think that that is one of the perspectives, and I think the laudable goal of the LHIN is to break down those silos, which by their very nature develop. They develop even within the indigenous community, which is sometimes challenging to see.
I’m very live to that. One of the perspectives that I would bring is to say, “But people don’t care.” People just want to be healthy or to get their loves ones the services they need. I think that that perspective being brought there—I also think there’s the priority in the LHINs, which I agree with, of creating those relationships with indigenous partners out there, because as you say, friendship centres do amazing work, Métis Nation of Ontario does amazing work, Native Child and Family Services does amazing work. You have to build relationships with them because they’re servicing communities within communities within communities, and so building an integrated network makes sense. I think that sometimes people, all intentions good, don’t necessarily know, sometimes, the indigenous politics or the indigenous systems. That’s a helpful perspective for the LHINs to have that may be able to help in breaking that down even further.
Mr. Wayne Gates: I appreciate that, and where I’m going with the question is, everybody should be treated equally, without a doubt. I think that is a message that is important.
The other message that I think is important—and I see it in my own riding, not necessarily with myself, but certainly with some elected councils—is that politicians should all be going to native centres and seeing the good work that they’re doing. We don’t see that enough with some of the elected politicians as well. So that might be a message that can be brought forward as well, because I think it’s important. When you go there, you’re amazed, quite frankly, by the good work that they are doing in all of our communities, right across the province of Ontario, and certainly here in Toronto.
Through Bill 41, the Liberal government is intending to eliminate CCACs across the province without having completed the five-year review they were mandated to do by law. Do you feel it is appropriate to make decisions about our health care system on the basis of political calculation rather than hard, health care-related evidence?
Mr. Jason Madden: Well, everyone wants to have informed decision-making. One of the goals that I see within that bill, though, is you can’t—and I’ve just seen this from implementing self-government: You can’t not have all the tools you need in order to make seamless and integrated delivery of systems. The intention of making sure that LHINs are able to do everything that they set out to do is actually a laudable one. I leave that to the politicians who make the laws—I won’t comment on that—but I think there is value in exactly what you spoke about earlier with that couple. Sometimes, people don’t care. People don’t want to hear, “That’s not my wicket, it’s the next wicket.” I can tell you, I’ve been a part of that in the Métis world for many years about the recent Daniels case from the Supreme Court of Canada: “Not this wicket, that wicket.” What happens to the people is they just fall through the jurisdictional cracks of this country.
I think the goal of trying to ensure that people don’t fall through the cracks, and that we can provide seamless delivery is laudable. I think that it’s a heavy task ahead to do that well.
Mr. Wayne Gates: I’ve still got time?
The Chair (Mrs. Cristina Martins): Yes, you have just over a minute.
Mr. Wayne Gates: Okay. You are a lawyer, so you understand laws. Here’s a challenge that we’re finding in health care with our P3 system. It’s something that maybe you can agree or disagree with. I’m a firm believer that every single dollar should get to front-line workers. If you take a look at what’s there today—and I know they’re doing something with the LHINs, but they’re really not being broken up. They’re just coming under LHINs.
We have the LHINs, which take some of the dollars; the CCACs take some of the dollars; private companies like CarePartners take some of the dollars. By the time it gets down to the front-line workers, there’s not a lot left.
The privatization of health care is a real concern of mine. Certainly, when you get on the committee, I’d like you to take a look at that, because it’s not getting to the front-line workers and the patients who need it, all right?
Thanks for coming here today.
The Chair (Mrs. Cristina Martins): We’re now going to pass the questioning over to the government side. Ms. Mangat.
Mrs. Amrit Mangat: Thank you, Mr. Madden, for appearing before the committee. You have an impressive resumé.
As you said in your statement, Toronto Central LHIN has the highest concentration of health services in Canada. It has 17 hospitals, 17 community health services, 61 community support agencies, 70 community mental health and addiction agencies, and 36 long-term-care homes.
Would you mind sharing with the committee, are there any challenges right now that Toronto Central LHIN is facing?
Mr. Jason Madden: I think a lot. One of the challenges—and this is just my perspective—is breaking down some of those barriers that exist between that. The integration piece is key. I think that’s one of the biggest challenges. People need that navigator. I truly believe that. My grandfather taught me that we all have special skills in life. Mine is not to understand certain things, but it is to rely on others. We need to build systems that, essentially, those communities can rely on.
One of the perspectives that I add to it is, even within Toronto and some of the amazing work that the indigenous organizations are doing, I see those silos. If someone can bring partners together who all have the same goal, which is healthy Torontonians, I think that’s a valuable contribution to make.
The other issue is making sure that resources go where they are most needed, which is a constant challenge. I do a lot of First Nations self-government negotiations, and the issue is that there’s never enough money; there just isn’t. Intelligent choices need to be made in order to serve people, at the end of the day. It’s not about structures, bureaucracies; it’s about, what is the end result, have we closed the gap, have we moved the needle? I think that’s one of the biggest challenges.
Measuring results is key to this. The reality is that some of these things don’t work, some work amazingly, and we constantly need to refine in order to get the best results for patients.
Mrs. Amrit Mangat: Keep up the good work. I’m proud of you.
The Chair (Mrs. Cristina Martins): Mr. Colle, we have 25 seconds.
Mr. Jason Madden: I apologize.
The Chair (Mrs. Cristina Martins): If there are no more questions from the government side, then we’re going to turn it over to Mr. Cho.
Mr. Raymond Sung Joon Cho: I read your resumé. I’m very impressed. I have a couple of general questions, not directly related to your position. I feel so thankful that you’re applying for this position.
Before I became a politician—way before, some 40 or 45 years ago—I was a children’s aid social worker. One problem I saw with indigenous families—we have so many poor families, whether it’s black families, low-income, refugee, all that. But when it comes to aboriginal families, one characteristic is a real drinking problem—parents. Because of that, the children come to care and back to the home, back and forth, and damage is done. Could you share, why is that? We all have problems, but especially aboriginals.
Mr. Jason Madden: I think this comes down to our history as a country. Those challenges flow from the residential school system. We have to own our own history. This is not an inherent defect within indigenous peoples. If you have children ripped from communities and they don’t learn how to love or the things that my grandparents and my parents taught me, what do you expect? I’m sorry, but—and this is a multi-generational national project that our country has to be committed to. That’s the result.
It’s not good enough on any of our parts to just say, “Well, get over it.” It’s not going to be. We all have to work through it together. That’s what reconciliation is about. That’s why we acknowledge the past and we agree that we’re not going to do it anymore. There are going to be generations lost, period. But we’re going to do better. We’re moving the yardstick, and I think that is a symptom of a horrific event that our country has to own and that is of our own making.
Mr. Raymond Sung Joon Cho: I have a second question you already answered, I think. How we could help them—
Mr. Jason Madden: Well, I think we help it—
Mr. Raymond Sung Joon Cho: No, no, I have a second question. Sorry for interrupting.
Mr. Jason Madden: Okay.
Mr. Raymond Sung Joon Cho: We’re all saddened as Canadians that aboriginal young people suicides are way higher. Why is that and how could you help? I saw that you’re involved through your tradition through the hospital. Can we help them way up north? How could you connect this?
Mr. Jason Madden: I think how you help on those issues is—it’s pride and also removing the sense of despair. I think that by building healthy, vibrant communities, that’s the only way we’re going to, in the true Canadian way, muddle through and finally heal the scars that come from the residential school system and many of the colonial policies that have damaged those communities so much.
I see investments in mental health as well because some—you know, nursing stations are overtaxed and also deal with children who have a sense of despair. There are no supports within the community to help them in their times of need. That is one of the things that we need to look at. As well, I think in particular in urban areas, there is an invisible community that needs to actually reach out to many of those people. Many flock to it for a whole host of different reasons. Whether they end up here as homeless or whether they end up here because their home communities are not open to gay, lesbian, bisexual individuals, whatever, the indigenous community, as well as the broader community, have to assist those individuals in creating a sense of community here. I think the LHINs can at least play a small part in trying to bring those partners together.
Mr. Raymond Sung Joon Cho: Thank you very much.
The Chair (Mrs. Cristina Martins): Thank you very much. Mr. Pettapiece.
Mr. Randy Pettapiece: Good morning. There’s part of a paragraph on the last page of this research here, and I’ll just quote it to you. It’s something I’m quite interested in. It says, “I also have extensive knowledge in relation to the Aboriginal Healing and Wellness Strategy, as well as other aboriginal health-based initiatives being implemented throughout Ontario through my representations of aboriginal clients.”
I guess what drew me to that sentence—there was a case out west where a young child died using alternative medicine or whatever this lady was doing. She probably truly believed what she was doing was proper. I don’t know. We’ll find this out in due course.
I know aboriginal people have different ways of treating illnesses or whatever. Do you see any issues that you might face with this type of thing?
Mr. Jason Madden: I don’t think in my role that we would see that. I think in particular, the Aboriginal Health and Wellness Strategy, which is not through the LHINs, is really about building bridges between aboriginal communities and primary service delivery; sometimes that bridge or that navigator isn’t there.
I do think that the issue you’re raising was a very unique circumstance and is one of the issues that will continue to probably play out in the courts of trying to find that balance between what I think everyone says, that the best interests of the child is paramount to some.
Mr. Randy Pettapiece: Okay. A friend of mine who comes from the same small town I’m from is a nurse and she goes way up north to be the doctor and be all to wherever she goes. I don’t know the community she goes to, but I think it’s six or seven plane rides or something she has to get on to go up there. It’s a very challenging career that she’s picked. She tells me she just loves her job, but it does get emotionally hard sometimes. She says the people up there have a feeling of despair at times, which you’re talking about. Their pride sometimes is not there, which leads to this and that, and I can certainly understand that.
Is that such a big thing in the city of Toronto as much as it is up north with your personal feelings or your personal perspective on life?
Mr. Jason Madden: No, I think it’s completely different. I think the points that are made—Toronto has these amazing supports; world-renowned hospitals. It’s not the same issue of only having a nursing station that appears when they’re doing the rotation.
I think it’s a different issue for indigenous peoples in the city. I think that because there isn’t always a clear sense of community, they fall through the cracks. Because who do you rely on? I know who I rely on: my family, my community. You have a whole bunch of different indigenous peoples coming from a whole bunch of different communities throughout the province of Ontario as well the rest of Canada, and trying to forge and create a support network of an urban aboriginal population is a very different issue than what is faced in rural and remote First Nation communities or Métis communities there.
The issues are different but I think that the indigenous perspective can’t be ignored within Toronto. I think it’s a different set of solutions because it’s not that there isn’t that level of quality care, it’s how they are interfacing with the system and how they are getting the supports or access to what they need, whether it’s child and family services or whether it’s health services.
Mr. Randy Pettapiece: I think you are going to face a real situation here with the integration of the CCACs with the LHINs that has been proposed. Whether you agree with it or not, it’s going to be quite a challenge. You’re trying to combine two bureaucracies here that arguably have had their issues. Hopefully, with your management skills and whatever, you’ll be able to get around some of these things. I think it’s going to be a bit turbulent when this thing is done.
Unfortunately, as my friend, Mr. Gates, was saying, people do fall through the cracks when things like this happen. It happens now, and I think as we progress—it won’t be seamless, but I hope it is and that we don’t lose focus on who we’re supposed to be serving here, which is certainly the people who we deal with.
That’s all, Chair.
The Chair (Mrs. Cristina Martins): Thank you very much, Mr. Pettapiece. That now concludes the time allocated for this interview. Thank you very much. You can step down. We will be considering the concurrences following the next interview.
M. Bernard Roy
Review of intended appointment, selected by third party: Bernard Roy, intended appointee as member, Ontario French-language Educational Communications Authority.
La Présidente (Mme Cristina Martins): Notre prochaine proposition de nomination aujourd’hui est celle de M. Bernard Roy au poste de l’Ontario French-language Educational Communications Authority.
Veuillez prendre place à la table.
Bienvenue. Merci d’être venu. Vous pouvez commencer en faisant une courte déclaration, si vous le souhaitez. Des députés de chaque parti auront ensuite 10 minutes pour vous poser des questions. Le temps utilisé pour votre déclaration sera retranché du temps imparti aux questions du gouvernement. C’est le gouvernement qui commencera la ronde de questions. Bienvenue. On peut commencer.
M. Bernard Roy: Bonjour, madame la Présidente.
Good morning, Madam Chair, and members of the standing committee. I very much appreciate the opportunity to appear before you regarding my candidacy for the Ontario French-language Educational Communications Authority.
Donc, merci de me donner l’occasion de pouvoir me présenter au niveau de l’office des télécommunications éducatives de langue française de l’Ontario.
I’ll do it in English, but if you would like more—
M. Mike Colle: En français. En français.
M. Bernard Roy: En français?
M. James J. Bradley: Oui.
M. Bernard Roy: OK.
M. Raymond Sung Joon Cho: Je ne parle pas français.
Mr. Mike Colle: You have translation.
Mr. Randy Pettapiece: We’re just getting wired up.
M. Bernard Roy: J’étais prêt aussi en anglais. Donc, si vous me le permettez, je vais le faire en français. C’est plus facile. C’est ma langue maternelle.
La Présidente (Mme Cristina Martins): On peut continuer.
M. Bernard Roy: On peut continuer?
La Présidente (Mme Cristina Martins): Oui.
M. Bernard Roy: Donc, je crois que, disons, à partir de mes connaissances, mes compétences et mes expériences acquises au niveau de ma carrière en tant que professionnel, et aussi avec ma participation avec différentes organisations au niveau de la communauté—cela m’a certainement permis de me préparer pour faire partie du conseil d’administration de TFO.
J’ai plus de 35 ans d’expérience dans le monde de l’éducation à différents niveaux, autant aux niveaux local et provincial qu’au niveau national et même au niveau international.
Même si j’ai pris ma retraite en 2015, je continue à travailler dans le monde de l’éducation en tant que consultant en gestion et aussi en leadership pour, encore une fois, tenter à appuyer les conseils scolaires et les écoles à améliorer au niveau de l’apprentissage. Je dois également aussi—j’ai toujours travaillé auprès de la francophonie et des organisations francophones pour promouvoir la culture ainsi que les services offerts pour les francophones en Ontario.
Si on regarde au niveau de ma carrière, j’ai été directeur de l’éducation du plus grand conseil scolaire francophone à l’extérieur du Québec et un conseil qui a plus de 22 000 élèves, avec une augmentation au niveau des inscriptions, et un conseil qui est reconnu au niveau de la performance, donc au niveau de la réussite et du bien-être de chaque élève. On a les meilleurs résultats en Ontario francophone au niveau des « testings » d’OQRE—un conseil, aussi, qui a été reconnu au niveau de l’innovation et de faire l’éducation différemment. On sait que dans le monde de l’apprentissage, à l’ère numérique présentement, on doit réinventer ou changer un petit peu nos méthodes et nos façons de travailler en éducation.
Au niveau de ma carrière aussi, j’ai été surintendant d’éducation. J’étais directeur d’une école secondaire de plus de 1 300 élèves. J’étais directeur adjoint aussi dans une école secondaire en plus d’être conseiller pédagogique, enseignant et aussi d’avoir participé en tant que facilitateur avec la Fédération des enseignantes et des enseignants de l’Ontario au niveau de créer une culture de changement.
J’étais dernièrement coprésident de l’équipe de transformation qui a travaillé sur une politique et programme pour la province de l’Ontario, la politique 159 en mai dernier. J’étais un des coprésidents de cette équipe qui devait faire des recommandations à la ministre de l’Éducation sur la collaboration professionnelle et le leadership.
Donc, mes expériences acquises au cour de ces années certainement pourraient aider au niveau de TFO, autant au niveau de la gestion—la gestion de l’ensemble du monde de l’éducation, autant d’un conseil scolaire, des écoles ou même dans des différentes organisations. J’ai acquis des connaissances et des compétences en planification stratégique, et je donne présentement aussi des formations en planification stratégique. Au niveau de la performance des organisations, j’ai acquis aussi des expériences au niveau de l’imputabilité d’une organisation, pas seulement au niveau d’atteindre des résultats, mais en même temps aussi de bien atteindre les objectifs ou les résultats ou des buts d’une organisation, et toute la question des audits au niveau financier, même aussi au niveau des processus.
J’ai travaillé étroitement aussi avec différentes communautés, autant au niveau francophone qu’anglophone pour, encore une fois, faire en sorte de donner les meilleurs services possibles à nos élèves francophones. J’ai aussi travaillé beaucoup à élaborer des partenariats avec les conseils scolaires, les municipalités, le gouvernement ou autres institutions, et aussi dans le monde des affaires. C’est un domaine d’éducation qui m’intéresse énormément.
J’ai acquis aussi des expériences au niveau de la gouvernance, autant de la gouvernance d’un conseil scolaire mais, en plus de ça aussi, j’ai participé à différentes organisations qui avaient un conseil d’administration, tel que le « crime prevention committee » avec la ville d’Ottawa. J’ai aussi, avec l’organisation Ottawa Network for Education, qui faisait partie du comité de gouvernance et aussi de différents comités—et aussi de la Fondation des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est.
J’ai été aussi responsable ou président de plusieurs associations telles que l’association des directions d’éducation francophone des 12 conseils scolaires de langue française. Également, j’ai été président de l’association des directeurs d’éducation en Ontario, qui est CODE, des 72 conseils scolaires, donc les conseils anglophones et francophones.
J’ai également occupé plusieurs postes. Je ne fais pas l’énumération de l’ensemble de tous les comités et organisations dont j’ai fait partie au niveau d’éducation. Je ne la fais pas au niveau de mes qualifications, autant au niveau de mes baccalauréats, et aussi mes maîtrises.
Mais ce qui m’intéresse vraiment au niveau de ce poste, c’est l’implication au niveau de l’apprentissage et aussi de la culture. On sait que, présentement, on vit dans un monde de l’apprentissage à l’ère numérique. Puis, il faut vraiment engager nos élèves à l’apprentissage. Je crois que TFO, par le médium d’apprentissage à l’ère numérique—tout ce qui est « digital » va certainement aider à donner les ressources nécessaires à nos élèves et aussi à nos enseignants pour pouvoir enseigner de façons différentes—et nos élèves aussi d’apprendre de façons différentes—avec toute la technologie qui nous entoure.
On sait aussi que le défi pour les francophones, c’est d’avoir des ressources en français. Au niveau du milieu, surtout au niveau d’Internet et de toutes les ressources au niveau « digital », il y a de plus en plus de ressources qui sont anglophones. On a même eu des discussions souvent avec des directions de l’éducation à travers le Canada—parce que je travaille aussi à travers le Canada—et notre inquiétude souvent c’est que nos élèves, lorsqu’ils vont sur Internet, ont toujours des sources anglophones ou ils ont des applications anglophones.
Donc, TFO est certainement une ressource incroyable pour permettre à nos élèves d’avoir des ressources en français, d’avoir des applications en français, parce que quand on appelle d’amener aussi nos dispositifs en salle de classe—quand je parle aussi, je parle autant pour les adultes, avant même que l’enfant entre dans le monde de l’éducation. Il y a certainement un besoin d’avoir des applications et aussi des logiciels ou des émissions qui vont permettre à nos enfants et à nos adultes aussi d’apprendre en français.
Donc, pour moi, c’est définitif que toute la question d’avoir des ressources en français pour nos élèves—et pas seulement en Ontario. Je fais de la consultation un peu partout au Canada, et puis c’est le même défi que nous avons : c’est d’avoir des ressources en français pour nos élèves.
J’ai regardé aussi les objectifs. J’ai lu le plan stratégique au niveau de TFO, et je crois que les objectifs stratégiques—j’adhère beaucoup au niveau des objectifs pour permettre à l’ensemble, et puis je ne fais pas l’énumération des objectifs—
La Présidente (Mme Cristina Martins): Il reste une minute.
M. Bernard Roy: Deux minutes? Une minute?
La Présidente (Mme Cristina Martins): Une. Oui.
M. Bernard Roy: Donc, je pense ce que je voulais vous transmettre ce matin est ma passion pour le monde de l’éducation au niveau de la culture, puis comment TFO pourrait certainement aider à faire cette transformation de l’expérience de l’apprentissage chez nos élèves.
La Présidente (Mme Cristina Martins): Merci, monsieur Roy. Est-ce qu’il y a une question? Oui. Mme Vernile.
Mme Daiene Vernile: Bonjour, monsieur Roy. Bienvenue à Queen’s Park.
I will try to speak to you in French. Je l’ai étudié il y a beaucoup d’années passées à l’école, mais j’espère que—j’ai oublié beaucoup de français.
Avez-vous des objectifs dans cette position?
M. Bernard Roy: Mon objectif est certainement d’essayer de répondre le plus aux besoins des francophones, des élèves et aussi des enseignants, parce qu’on sait que les élèves et les enseignants doivent utiliser ces ressources. Comment est-ce qu’on peut mieux développer ces ressources-là, mais en plus de cela aussi, de communiquer qu’elles existent et que les enseignants et les élèves puissent les utiliser?
L’autre, c’est certainement aussi toute la question de transformer l’expérience d’apprentissage. On a besoin d’une organisation comme TFO qui va permettre d’avoir ces ressources-là pour permettre aux élèves d’apprendre avec les technologies émergentes qui les entourent.
Il y a aussi un autre défi qu’on a au niveau francophone. C’est les écoles secondaires. On sait qu’au niveau des écoles secondaires, nos élèves, après la huitième année, surtout dans les petites écoles dans les milieux éloignés—et ce n’est pas seulement en Ontario mais à travers le Canada. Nos élèves, après la huitième année, fréquentent souvent des écoles anglophones, parce qu’ils trouvent que peut-être l’école qu’on offre n’a peut-être pas assez de programmes et aussi de variété. Je crois que TFO peut certainement offrir une solution aussi, offrir des ressources ou des façons d’apprendre différemment, surtout avec la mondialisation.
Je pense qu’on devrait être capable maintenant en Ontario et pas seulement—
La Présidente (Mme Cristina Martins): Merci, monsieur Roy. On a terminé le temps. Maintenant on va passer la question à M. Cho.
Mr. Raymond Sung Joon Cho: Merci beaucoup, Madam Chair. I don’t speak French.
Pardonnez-moi. Je ne parle pas français. Je parle l’anglais.
I’m going to ask you in English.
Mr. Bernard Roy: Okay.
Mr. Raymond Sung Joon Cho: I came to this great country 50 years ago, and I thought Canada was really stupid—because it’s one country: Why do you have two languages? Today, I’m the opposite. It’s great that Canada is bilingual. Of my three sons, two are fluently bilingual.
Now we have so many immigrants who come to Ontario especially. Do you have any strategic plan or vision of how we could teach more French to new Canadians?
Mr. Bernard Roy: It starts really at one year old, when our children are in garderies francophones. Really, it starts there. In school, I think that we’ve been doing a good job. So students really learn French. They learn French in kindergarten.
Our strategy that we have in schools is to teach French to the students with some help from educators and teachers and even parents. That really helps, because we know, when we look at our testing in grades 3 and 6, the results are very high in the French school boards. I think we have to start early, we have to start with some resources and we know that students learn very well with digital learning—computers, apps. I think that that’s a way.
I think that we have to involve the parents, and that’s what we’ve been trying to do in our school boards. It’s really, “How can we involve the parents?” Sometimes, parents, if they don’t speak English or French that well, we have to support them with some courses, either after school or at night, and try to help them to learn French.
Because when we learn French, it’s not only the language, but at the same, it’s the culture. As much as possible, if we can have students and parents being together immersed in that French culture—when we say “culture,” it’s songs, it’s emotions. That’s the way we learn. It’s not always the way that we’re thinking. The emotions are global. I think that’s what we have to do.
I think that we have to show the importance of learning French in Canada, but also outside in the world. Right now, we have the summit for la Francophonie. People are speaking French all over Canada—not all over Canada, but all over the world.
Mr. Raymond Sung Joon Cho: That’s an excellent point.
I learned that, in some of the Jewish daycares, young children learn three different languages just naturally, by singing and all that. Do you think that it’s a good idea that, when public schools and Catholic schools hire kindergarten teachers—it’s not mandatory, but if they speak French and different languages, they may have a better chance to get the job? I’m talking about employment policy. I don’t know whether it causes problems, but I’m just asking you.
Mr. Bernard Roy: Maybe I didn’t—
Mr. Raymond Sung Joon Cho: When school boards hire kindergarten teachers, if the teachers speak two languages, three languages, is there a better chance for them to get the job, so that they could teach young children singing or different languages, like Jewish daycares?
Mr. Bernard Roy: We know that all teachers in the French boards are French, and we know that we have immersion programs in English schools. There are a lot of teachers who speak French and English or other languages. I think that has really helped. There are more and more schools all over Ontario and even in Canada that have immersion programs. A lot of parents register their children in a French immersion program.
With TFO, I know that now they’re supporting all of the immersion programs, which is very good. I think that we have to work closer—the French community with the French immersion programs—so that all the students can learn some French.
Mr. Raymond Sung Joon Cho: Thank you very much.
La Présidente (Mrs. Cristina Martins): Merci beaucoup.
Mr. Randy Pettapiece: Do I have time?
La Présidente (Mrs. Cristina Martins): Monsieur Pettapiece, oui. On a cinq minutes.
Mr. Randy Pettapiece: Five minutes?
La Présidente (Mrs. Cristina Martins): Un, deux, trois, quatre, cinq—cinq minutes.
Mr. Randy Pettapiece: All right.
Ms. Daiene Vernile: He’s getting a French lesson today.
Mr. Randy Pettapiece: I am. I grew up—or as my wife said, I got older; she doesn’t know about the grown up part—back in the 1960s, and our French started in high school. That’s when we started to learn French. It’s a subject that I always did really well in. I got high marks in French and I enjoyed the class. Then I got out of high school and that was the end of the deal. Unfortunately, I didn’t take an interest in keeping up with the language, although I can recall certain bits and pieces of it. I can say “hello” or “goodbye,” stuff like that.
Then my nieces, who lived in Kitchener-Waterloo, went to French immersion school. I’m sure they have more of a knowledge of the language than I did, but, again, they haven’t kept up with—because if you’re going to speak the language, you have to keep talking in the language.
I’m interested in the technology part of it. This is where I’m going here. You seem to be a person who would promote technology as a learning tool for language. Possibly that’s something that should really be looked at a little bit more than what we are doing right now. But for a parent who does not speak the language, are there any safeguards or programs that you’d get into or that you would buy so that I, as a parent, can feel very comfortable that my child is learning? This is an extreme example, but I think we all heard about the 11-year-old who took the van for a drive the other day. He was watching one of these—I forget even what the program was called, but he decided that he’d take the van for a little bit of a jaunt to see what would happen.
Something that does concern me are the safeguards in this type of technology, especially with people like myself, who don’t have any language skills.
Mr. Bernard Roy: For sure, there is always a risk with technology, but at the same time, we have to teach how to use technology to students. We do that with students. It’s the same thing with all of the sources that come with technology, the knowledge and all that. Is it a good source of information? Is it credible? Is it based on research?
I think an organization like TFO—we know that everything that will come out from TFO is based on education, is based on the curriculum and is based on proper learning; it’s good information.
It’s always education, even with adults and even with students. What is good information? What is not good information? I think that’s probably the way of doing it. And the same thing with education: It’s pedagogy that is more important than the technology. The technology is always there to support learning. It’s a tool. The tool is not the end. It’s learning that is the end.
I don’t know if I’m answering your questions, but I know, as you said, sometimes, for students, even with immersion, it’s very difficult. After they finish high school, they don’t speak French. They’re not in an environment where they speak French. Maybe there are ways that—technology could be a way if they want to listen or have movies or songs or culture that is in French. But I wonder if we could tie some closer bonds with the French community, because there are French communities all over Ontario. Maybe that’s a way for people who learn French to be part of that French community, to continue speaking French.
Mr. Randy Pettapiece: I like that statement, but—
La Présidente (Mme Cristina Martins): On a trente secondes.
Mr. Randy Pettapiece: Thank you, Chair.
La Présidente (Mme Cristina Martins): De rien. On va passer la question à M. Gates.
Mr. Wayne Gates: Thank you very much. I’ll tell you my French connection—it used to be a line for the Sabres. My wife, Rita, is a French teacher.
Mr. Wayne Gates: It finally got to that side? It takes a while to get over there.
My wife was a French teacher in the public schools. But the one thing that I haven’t talked to you about, which surprised me on your comments, was that it actually starts with children at one year old. It’s a little earlier than I thought. My colleague talked about high school. Because I’m a little younger than him, mine was in grade 7. It has shifted quite a bit over the years.
Also to my colleagues, knowing more than one language would certainly help you in getting a job as well. Whether it’s English, French and another language, or more than one language, it’s certainly a good way to let our young people know that as jobs get scarcer and scarcer—especially good-paying jobs—it’s another avenue, which is important as well.
I’m going to ask you the same question I asked the last gentleman who was here. Have you ever contributed to any political party over the course of your lifetime?
Mr. Bernard Roy: Yes, I did, with the Liberals, but only financially, not by campaigning or doing any other work.
Mr. Wayne Gates: Okay. That was short and sweet, yes.
Mr. Bernard Roy: Well, that’s what I did—
Mr. Wayne Gates: It’s fine. It’s a question that I decided a while ago to ask, so it’s out in the open and there are no secrets on what people are doing. I am a little disappointed that it isn’t a different party, but it’s a fair question to ask.
Because in these jobs, you have to be non-partisan, and because you have donated to a party in the past, is that an issue for you, being non-partisan?
Mr. Bernard Roy: No, it’s not an issue because I’ve been working with different parties, and as a director of education, I think we’ve been working with all the parties. Even if we have a different philosophy, different objectives, I think part of being a democracy and being a society is that we all work together. There’s good everywhere, so how can we work closer together to have a—I really believe in professional collaborations and leadership. We all have something to help society to be better.
Mr. Wayne Gates: I will agree with you that it is important in any job or any role that you play, including as an MPP, to make sure you have a rapport with everybody and that you can get stuff done. At the end of the day, that’s why we’re here.
Mr. Bernard Roy: That’s right.
Mr. Wayne Gates: Whether it’s for our kids—
Mr. James J. Bradley: Wayne, I asked that question in opposition all the time.
Mr. Wayne Gates: Oh, did you? There you go. And Jim has been here longer than, I don’t know—
Mr. Wayne Gates: Well, you’ve been here a while. We’ll just leave it at that.
Mr. James J. Bradley: I asked it all the time in opposition, so don’t feel bad.
Mr. Wayne Gates: No, I don’t feel bad. I think it’s a fair and balanced question, for sure.
In October 2016, TFO signed an agreement with PBS to distribute its French-language content across the United States, which I believe was a good thing. It went to 55 states and it went to the territories, but equally important, it went to 1.8 million teachers.
Do you have any thoughts on how TFO can go about this process to maximize their profits while still ensuring that we have access to the French-language program and we’re able to get it?
Mr. Bernard Roy: I think TFO should work closer with all the organizations in Canada, and even outside of Canada, that are working to have some learning tools for students. When I say students, it’s from, let’s say, one year old to adult.
Our challenge right now is to have some resources in French. Let’s try not to duplicate. Let’s try to work together. Let’s try to have a vision for what we need as francophones all over the world. I think that’s our challenge right now.
Financially, we cannot support all the needs. We know that, and I think, as a politician, you know that. There are a lot of needs, but can we work better together and not work in an organization independently? I think we need a vision for that. We need a vision for francophones in Canada; we need a vision for the world.
There’s a lot of knowledge—it’s the same thing—but it’s always the way we’re going to present it to the students. I’m sure there are ways of presenting it to all the francophones, and those would be resources that could be helpful.
I’m pleased that TFO is opening up, because that’s another way to promote the Francophonie all over the world, not only in Canada.
Mr. Wayne Gates: I agree with you. The other way we could do it is, let’s bring the Quebec Nordiques back to the NHL, because that was a good way to get it across North America and around the world as well.
Mr. Bernard Roy: Yes?
Mr. Wayne Gates: I’m serious about that.
Mr. Bernard Roy: No, I agree.
Mr. Wayne Gates: It sounds funny but I think that was one of the best things that could have happened, and hopefully soon—
Mr. Mike Colle: Bring back the TPTs while you’re at it.
Mr. Wayne Gates: I don’t know what he’s talking about, but at the end of the day I really believe that the Quebec Nordiques—because it was on TV, because it went across the country and went across the States but also went around the world. As new Canadians come here, they’ll know before they get here that we do have two languages. I really think that through sports, that sometimes works, and this is an indication or an opportunity that it did work for sure.
The other thing I’d like to say, because I know I don’t have a lot of time and I’m being—
Mr. Wayne Gates: I feel like I’m in question period or something, you know? It’s like I’m on the other side or something. I’ve got to get used to that.
Down in Niagara, I have a strong francophone community in Welland. I don’t know if you’re aware of that.
Mr. Bernard Roy: Yes.
Mr. Wayne Gates: I like your word “vision.” I really like that word. We need a vision in a lot of our municipalities, a vision for our children or our grandchildren. So I really like that word.
The reason why I asked about the revenue part of it is that when I took a look at their statement of operations, their bookkeeper is very good, because their revenue was $29 million and their expenses were $29 million right to the penny. Their bookkeeper is extremely good, but they need more revenue to get the message out, and I think that’s fair.
Given your extensive experience in the education system, in particular the French-language education system, are there any specific improvements you are hoping to see at TFO?
Mr. Bernard Roy: Well, you know, I was looking and there’s not much on leadership programs in French. It’s like that, too, sometimes all over the world. I wonder if maybe we could develop some leadership programs—not only for administrators, but for people in general—and maybe that could be a source of revenue, because maybe we could sell it, or even some programs.
I think that TFO is known in Ontario, but I’m not sure it’s that known all over Canada, even with our teachers, because teachers are very busy and sometimes there are resources that they don’t know about that could be close to their curriculum or their programs. I think we should be able to communicate or do a bit more marketing to get closer to what the teacher needs to do, because sometimes—as I’m sure you know; your wife was a teacher—they don’t have time to look all over for what resources can support the teaching and the learning of the students.
I think TFO could probably do more to try to add some new strategies. I’m a believer in always asking teachers, because they’re professionals. They know what they need and they know how to communicate or how they can get those resources better. I believe that TFO probably could do better on doing that, because I just came out of a school board and it’s not always obvious that teachers know.
Sometimes there are so many resources. I think they have to work closer with the centre franco-ontarien, because there are different organizations that develop some resources for teachers, but after that, it’s pick and choose, and it’s not always easy to have a common vision that’s related to the curriculum.
Mr. Wayne Gates: Well, I would certainly agree with you that we should speak to our teachers a little more than we probably do. They face it every day. They’re there with the kids every day. They know the challenges they’re facing, so that certainly is a good comment.
My last question I’ll ask: What challenges would you feel the board faces?
The Chair (Mrs. Cristina Martins): Fifteen seconds.
Mr. Wayne Gates: Talk quick.
Mr. Bernard Roy: Like I said, I think the expectations are very high for resources. So it’s really to make some choices. Which choice are we going to make with the money that we have financially? I think that’s the biggest challenge, because the needs are very high. There are limits financially; how can we meet those expectations and deliver some very good products that will support learning and teaching?
Mr. Wayne Gates: Thank you very much. I appreciate the time with you.
Mr. Bernard Roy: Thank you.
La Présidente (Mme Cristina Martins): Merci beaucoup, monsieur Roy. Le temps imparti à cet entretien est maintenant écoulé. Vous pouvez vous retirer.
M. Bernard Roy: Merci beaucoup. Je vous souhaite une bonne journée.
Have a good day.
The Chair (Mrs. Cristina Martins): We will now consider the concurrence for Mr. Jason Madden, who is nominated as member, local health integration network, Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network.
Would someone please move the concurrence? Mr. Bradley.
Mr. James J. Bradley: I move concurrence in the intended appointment of Jason Madden, nominated as member, local health integration network, Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network.
The Chair (Mrs. Cristina Martins): Any discussion? All in favour? Opposed? The motion is carried. Thank you very much.
We will now consider the concurrence for Mr. Bernard Roy, nominated as member, Ontario French-language Educational Communications Authority.
Would someone please move the concurrence? Mr. Bradley.
Mr. James J. Bradley: I move concurrence in the intended appointment of Bernard Roy, nominated as member, Ontario French-language Educational Communications Authority.
The Chair (Mrs. Cristina Martins): Any discussion? All in favour? Opposed? The motion is carried. Wonderful.
We do have some extensions that we have to take care of here as well. John Wilson, nominated as member and vice-chair, Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Appeal Tribunal, and member, Board of Negotiation. His certificate expires today, November 29, 2016. The proposal is to extend his certificate to February 21, 2017. Do we have unanimous consent? Agreed? Agreed. Perfect.
The second deadline extension is Marguerite Pigott, nominated as vice-chair, Ontario Media Development Corp. Her certificate expires December 4, 2016. The proposal is to extend her certificate to February 21, 2017. All in agreement? Unanimous consent? Carried. Perfect. Thank you.
If there are no further discussions, the committee is now adjourned.
The committee adjourned at 1007.
STANDING COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT AGENCIES
Chair / Présidente
Mrs. Cristina Martins (Davenport L)
Vice-Chair / Vice-Présidente
Ms. Daiene Vernile (Kitchener Centre / Kitchener-Centre L)
Mr. James J. Bradley (St. Catharines L)
Mr. Raymond Sung Joon Cho (Scarborough–Rouge River PC)
Mr. Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls ND)
Mr. Monte Kwinter (York Centre / York-Centre L)
Mrs. Amrit Mangat (Mississauga–Brampton South / Mississauga–Brampton-Sud L)
Mrs. Cristina Martins (Davenport L)
Mr. Randy Pettapiece (Perth–Wellington PC)
Mr. Shafiq Qaadri (Etobicoke North / Etobicoke-Nord L)
Ms. Daiene Vernile (Kitchener Centre / Kitchener-Centre L)
Substitutions / Membres remplaçants
Mr. Mike Colle (Eglinton–Lawrence L)
Clerk / Greffière
Ms. Sylwia Przezdziecki
Staff / Personnel
Ms. Erin Fowler, research officer,