JP009 - Wed 19 Apr 2023 / Mer 19 avr 2023



Wednesday 19 April 2023 Mercredi 19 avril 2023

Election of Chair

Committee business


The committee met at 0901 in committee room 2.

Election of Chair

The Clerk of the Committee (Ms. Thushitha Kobikrishna): Good morning, honourable members. It is my duty to call upon you to elect a Chair. Are there any nominations? MPP Hogarth?

Ms. Christine Hogarth: I nominate Ms. Ghamari to be the Chair of the committee.

The Clerk of the Committee (Ms. Thushitha Kobikrishna): Okay. Does the member accept the nomination?

Ms. Goldie Ghamari: Yes.

The Clerk of the Committee (Ms. Thushitha Kobikrishna): Are there any further nominations? There being no further nominations, I declare the nominations closed and MPP Ghamari elected the Chair of the committee.

Committee business

The Chair (Ms. Goldie Ghamari): You raised your hand, MPP Hogarth.

Ms. Christine Hogarth: Yes, Chair, thank you. I move that the committee enter closed session for the purpose of organizing committee business.

The Chair (Ms. Goldie Ghamari): MPP Hogarth has moved for the committee to enter closed session to discuss committee business. Is there any debate? MPP Vanthof.

Mr. John Vanthof: Yes, we would like to oppose that. We would have one issue that should be discussed before the meeting goes into closed session that does not pertain to organization of committee business. We made the committee aware of this by letter.

The Chair (Ms. Goldie Ghamari): We’ll take a brief two-minute recess and we’ll be right back.

The committee recessed from 0903 to 0904.

The Chair (Ms. Goldie Ghamari): MPP Hogarth has moved the motion. Is there any further debate? And, MPP Vanthof, once we are done with the contents of the motion, we will do this as well. We will not end committee.

Mr. John Vanthof: But if I may, Chair, the point is, though, after the motion, then the rest of the meeting will be in camera.

The Chair (Ms. Goldie Ghamari): No, it will not be in camera.

Mr. John Vanthof: Okay, so this will be in open session?

The Chair (Ms. Goldie Ghamari): Yes.

Mr. John Vanthof: Then I’m—


The Chair (Ms. Goldie Ghamari): Well, no, because—what was your motion again, MPP Hogarth?

Ms. Christine Hogarth: It’s about organizing committee business.

The Chair (Ms. Goldie Ghamari): And the motion was to move in camera, correct?

Ms. Christine Hogarth: That’s correct.

The Chair (Ms. Goldie Ghamari): Can you just read the whole motion again, please?

Ms. Christine Hogarth: I move that the committee enter closed session for the purpose of organizing committee business.

The Chair (Ms. Goldie Ghamari): MPP Hogarth has moved a motion. All those in favour, please raise their hands. All those opposed? Okay, we’ll recess briefly until we move in camera for a little while, and then we will resume in public after we’re done that committee business.

The committee recessed at 0905 and later continued in closed session, and resumed at 0915.

The Chair (Ms. Goldie Ghamari): Good morning, everyone. The Standing Committee on Justice Policy will now continue.

MPP Vanthof.

Mr. John Vanthof: Thank you, Chair. I have a motion that I would like to put forward. On April 4, in a speech in a debate to the House regarding the bail reform committee bill, the then Chair of this committee described the results of votes that happened in camera at this committee. We feel that constitutes a breach of privilege of our rights at this committee.

That’s basically it in a nutshell. I can provide examples. We wrote a letter to the committee asking that that could be considered. As a result of that letter, I’m asking if we could provide a motion to that effect.

The Chair (Ms. Goldie Ghamari): MPP Vanthof has raised a point of privilege concerning the former Chair of the Standing Committee on Justice Policy making statements during debate on government notice of motion 13 regarding how members voted during an in camera report-writing session of the committee.

I would like to start by quoting from Bosc and Gagnon, page 154: “The Chair of a committee does not have the power to censure disorder or decide questions of privilege. Should a member wish to raise a question of privilege in committee, or should some event occur in committee which appears to be a breach of privilege or contempt, the Chair of the committee will recognize the member and hear the question of privilege, or, in the case of some incident, suggest that the committee deal with the matter. The Chair, however, has no authority to rule that a breach of privilege or contempt has occurred. If the Chair determines that the question does relate to parliamentary privilege, the committee may then consider presenting a report on the question to the House. The report should:

“—clearly describe the situation;

“—summarize the facts;

“—provide the names of the people involved, if applicable;

“—state that there may be a breach of privilege; and

“—ask the House to take such measures as it deems appropriate.”

Page 153 of Bosc and Gagnon lists the divulging of events during an in camera meeting as a contempt offence. This is what I believe the point being raised here today touches upon.

Once again, I must stress that it is not for this committee or me, as Chair, to pass judgment on this issue. My job as Chair is to determine whether the question raised touches on privilege, which I believe it does. As such, should the committee decide to proceed with this matter, I, as Chair, will entertain a motion to report this matter to the House.

MPP Vanthof.

Mr. John Vanthof: Could I move that motion?

The Chair (Ms. Goldie Ghamari): Yes, now you can move your motion.

Mr. John Vanthof: I move that the following be reported to the House and that the House take such measures as it deems appropriate:

On April 4, 2023, during debate on government motion 13, the member for Whitby repeatedly described the details of in camera meetings of the Standing Committee on Justice Policy that he chaired on February 9 and 16, 2023, about how members voted during those meetings on the committee’s Report on the Modernization of the Bail System: Strengthening Public Safety. This constitutes a matter of privilege and contempt of the privileges of the Standing Committee on Justice Policy.

The Chair (Ms. Goldie Ghamari): MPP Vanthof has moved a motion. Is there any debate? Yes, MPP Vanthof.

Mr. John Vanthof: The only debate I would provide is directly from Hansard from the member, and this is directly from his speech: “We went through all the recommendations. Members of the committee spoke to the context of each recommendation and then we voted. All the hands went up on each recommendation, including the official opposition’s and the independent’s.” That is from an in camera meeting, describing the events of an in camera meeting.


I’m wishing no ill intent on the member’s intentions, but if we’re going to—we often oppose meetings going in camera, because we believe it should be as transparent as possible. But if a meeting is in camera, that should be respected, and the privileges of all members should be respected, and in this case, they weren’t.

Thank you for the time to make that case.

The Chair (Ms. Goldie Ghamari): Further debate? MPP McCarthy.

Mr. Todd J. McCarthy: This is a serious matter. The motion suggests that the language used by the member for Whitby, the former Chair of this committee, in the House during debate on motion 13 constitutes a matter of privilege and contempt of the privileges of the Standing Committee on Justice Policy.

Let me begin my part of the debate, if I may, Chair, on what exactly is privilege. Parliamentary privilege is enjoyed by members individually and collectively before this committee and other committees of this House, and while sitting in the House. It dates back centuries. It ensures that members may speak freely, in recognition of the principle of freedom of speech. It recognizes that members should be free from obstruction and intimidation. It also ensures that we govern ourselves; that no external force, no other branch of government, such as the executive or crown or the courts, can interfere with our privileges as parliamentarians.

The history dates back to a well-known story that triggered the English Civil War almost 400 years ago. King Charles I entered the House of Commons on January 4, 1642, with 100 armed soldiers accompanying him, and he came with five warrants for the arrest of five members of the House, including Oliver Cromwell. Most of the birds had flown, in the words of the King. The Speaker presiding at that time, who was asked to vacate his chair and asked where these members were by His Majesty, suggested that he had no eyes to see nor ears to hear, “except as this House gives me leave.” So the Speaker asserted parliamentary privilege on behalf of all members of the House to the crown. Oliver Cromwell remained in the House, resisted arrest and brought a motion, moved before the House: “Any action against any member of this House is a breach of privilege, and.... a crime against the people and treason against this nation.” That’s the strong language Oliver Cromwell used in a motion that he put forward that was adopted by the House and became the basis, going forward, for parliamentary privilege.

The English Civil War followed. The King was ultimately tried and executed. Oliver Cromwell became Lord Protector, and that was followed, after his death, by the Restoration.

Charles II became the King, as we well know, in the latter part of the 17th century. From that point forward, we really had the development of constitutional monarchy, the separation of powers—the fact that the King could no longer rule by decree and could certainly not interfere with the privileges and independence of Parliament.

And that is where we are today—parliamentary democracy, separation of powers. No other branch of government can obstruct or interfere with parliamentary privileges, and we govern ourselves. That is what we’re doing with this motion, and we take the motion seriously.

When it comes to how we govern ourselves with an alleged breach of privilege by one of our own, we have to remember this first principle: Accusation is not proof. We have to consider the language used by the member—the impugned language—and its context.

We recently had a ruling of the Speaker of the House in relation to language used by Minister Lecce in and outside of the House with respect to a bill then pending before the House for a final vote. Citing the 1997 precedent of Speaker Stockwell, Speaker Arnott made it very clear that one has to consider the language and the context of the language and the overall impact of the language and not take one phrase, word or sentence and use it out of context. There has to be some fairness and even generosity associated with how one considers language used in context.

We know that in speeches in the House, there are rhetorical flourishes; there are metaphors often used. We could call that flowery language. We can say, “We’re all in this together.” Sometimes clichés are used for effect. I’ll come back to this, but I noted, when I listened to the speech, because I happened to be in the House when I heard the speech—but I went back to the Hansard transcript, and repeatedly, when one looks at the entire speech of the member for Whitby, he used the phrase early in his speech, referencing what happened here: “All the hands went up,” “All hands went up.... allowing me, as the Chair of the committee, to bring forward that report.” Again, later in the speech: “All the hands went up. All the recommendations were adopted. ‘Take the report and report it,’ which I did—adopted absolutely unanimously.” That’s the language that is included in his speech, and one must consider those words.

I submit, Chair, that there’s a metaphorical aspect to “All hands went up”—something like “all hands on deck.” And of course, we know, because we have to draw inferences when we receive a report from a committee, even if the deliberations leading up to the report were, in part, in camera, which happened here. In fact, it was publicly reported in the media that this committee went in camera for a time in its deliberations. When we do that, the obvious inference to be drawn is that the report was unanimous. For those who were not even in this committee, in any in camera session, the government House leader in his speech before the House on motion 13, the Premier and myself all referenced a unanimous report from this committee. Why did we do that? Because we drew the inference that, in the absence of a minority or dissenting report, we infer it was unanimous.

Members—any members, including the ones I referenced—who spoke to motion 13 and concluded that it was a unanimous report did so on the basis of inference, without having any knowledge of what happened. And so viewed in that context, the member for Whitby—“All hands went up,” all hands on deck—used metaphorical language to state the obvious, which even members who had no knowledge of what went on in camera assumed.

So at worst, this is an inadvertent reference to the workings of this committee. There’s no planned and deliberate breach of privilege for some motive that is sinister. It’s metaphorical language, for sure; it is inadvertent disclosure at worst, if it’s even that. It’s stating what members who were not at the committee and who had no knowledge of in camera information knew by inference: that this was a unanimous report from this committee, in the absence of a dissenting report.

That brings me to the general principles of what the committee does, because when dealing with such a serious matter, mindful of the fact that accusation is not proof—I begin with the general principle from Erskine May, 24th edition, chapter 12, page 204: “Since parliamentary privilege is a means to the collective discharge by each House of Parliament of its functions, occasions have arisen and will continue to arise when one House or the other is content not to insist upon its privileges, either generally or in a particular instance.”


So in this particular instance, it is open to this committee to, in considering this motion, follow this general principle from Erskine May and simply vote not to insist upon its privileges. I submit we can do that in this case because of the metaphorical language used by the member, because at worst it was inadvertent, and quite frankly it does not rise to the level of contempt which is alleged—and as I said, an allegation or accusation is not proof. It does not rise to that level of contempt that would warrant taking this forward further to the whole House.

The House has many bills before it, much business to occupy its time. If we were to take a matter forward—taking this particular matter forward would be an unnecessary use of the precious time of the House and its members, in my respectful submission. That’s why we deal with this first procedurally at committee so that we, as a committee—and I’m substituting today and I have a vote today because I’m substituting on this committee. I intend to vote against the motion, because I think in this screening process that we’re engaged in right now, we ought to follow the principle from Erskine May “not to insist upon its privileges” because, in my respectful submission, either it was not breached—our privileges were not breached because it was metaphorical language—or it was inadvertent, at worst.

Bosc and Gagnon, House of Commons Procedure and Practice, third edition, chapter 3, contains several principles. It begins with the idea that there is reluctance—that’s usually the default principle with these matters, matters of contempt or breach-of-privilege allegations: “The reluctance to invoke the House’s authority to reprimand or admonish anyone found to have trampled its dignity or authority and that of its members appears to have become a near constant feature of the Canadian approach to privilege.”

So the Canadian federal Parliament and all of the legislative assemblies across Canada have inherited, by custom and precedent and constitutional convention, the privilege rights of members, individually and collectively. That goes back to 1642 in the UK Parliament. That precedent, that privilege, that constitutional principle guides us today. But what do we do with it in a Canadian context? Well, there has been reluctance to invoke the House’s authority across Canada.

“For example, in 1976,” federally, “the Standing Committee on Privileges and Elections chastised a former member ... who claimed that many parliamentarians had obtained undue financial considerations, but did not recommend any further consideration be given to the matter after concluding that his attitude was intemperate and irresponsible.”

Bosc and Gagnon also point out that “members should avoid any arrangement which might limit their independence as members, they should not raise trivial matters as matters of privilege or contempt.”

“Trivial matters” means a critique of metaphorical language that might have inadvertently disclosed something that was obvious to any outside observer anyway. That’s something that makes this a trivial matter. We take it seriously, but when one views the offending language and overall context, it’s trivial. It doesn’t deserve the attention of the full House.

This is the third point from Bosc and Gagnon: “The House should exercise its powers with regard to privilege and contempt sparingly and ensure that when exercising its power to punish for contempt, the action it orders is appropriate to the offence.”

This is, effectively, using the nuclear option and attempting to occupy the valuable time of the House with a matter that does not rise to the level of contempt, that does not deserve condemnation and punishment. Metaphorical language, in the context of a speech in the House—which, by its very nature is going to have rhetoric associated with it—doesn’t rise to the level of contempt deserving of punishment. And it states the obvious that was obvious to objective observers, who referenced unanimity, because that was the only logical inference to be drawn from what came from this committee.

And I quote from the media article of January 18, 2023, in reference to the current government holding bail reform hearings later in the month: There is a reference to “‘broad’ discussion about the province’s role in public safety and firearms-related offences,” and that there was an in camera meeting or the committee voted to go in camera.

So the fact that there was a period of deliberations in camera was well known. Reporting that is not contempt. Reporting detail after detail of what was said by each and every member would—if, for example, the full transcript of every aspect of the in camera meeting were disclosed by anyone, that might warrant further investigation. That’s not what happened here. There was no leak to the press, there was no disclosure of a transcript, and if that were the case, we might have something more to say about it.

On April 4, 2023, when I was speaking to motion 13, I stated in the House, not having any information about what was said or done in camera, that the government order clearly and simply states “based on the unanimous resolution from the Standing Committee on Justice Policy: ‘This House calls on the federal government to immediately reform the Criminal Code of Canada to address the dangers facing our communities and implement meaningful bail reform to prevent violent and repeat offenders from being released back into our communities.’” That was the motion from this House. There was no other motion—by inference, unanimity, hence my word “unanimous” in that speech. That was what was also referenced by others, including the Premier, including the government House leader, including the member to my immediate left, who I believe may have something to say, so I’ll pause my submissions at this point, Chair.

The Chair (Ms. Goldie Ghamari): Further debate? MPP Jones.

Mr. Trevor Jones: Thank you, and through you, Chair, I appreciate you chairing this committee, and deservedly so.

This committee has dealt in a very gracious, collaborative and even magnanimous way over the course of our debates, our deliberations and the good work we did on behalf of the people of Ontario. I’d even suggest that we’ve dealt internally with lower-level conflict, we could say, or perhaps even the release of certain information during in camera moments or material. We’ve dealt with that in a very low-level way because we evaluated, in a collaborative and magnanimous way, that to deal with certain matters in-house and not to occupy the valuable time of the House at large is probably for the benefit of this committee, all our members’ time, our constituents’ time, the House’s time and the Speaker’s time. So I rely on that fact alone, that we’ve had a history of working collaboratively in doing that, that we not occupy this time and the valuable time of our House for a matter that is trivial and trifling.

I’d suggest that there is knowledge outside of this committee, and even knowledge outside of the in camera proceedings, that as my member to the right suggested, there was a unanimous effort in putting forward something valuable and putting forward something meaningful to forward and to advance the safety of all of Ontario, our communities and our law enforcers. This committee has dealt in a very gracious and magnanimous way in the past, and I believe that any further debate on this matter would take away from that effect and take away from our good work. That’s what I’ll submit, Chair.

The Chair (Ms. Goldie Ghamari): Further debate? MPP Vanthof.

Mr. John Vanthof: I listened intently to the government members, and I appreciate their concerns. I truly do. But I do disagree with some of the things that were brought up. I think it’s not so much the issue of what this committee was dealing with; it’s the issue of, once a committee goes in camera, what is in camera and what is not. I heard from the members that if it’s inferred that it’s unanimous, then it seems to be okay to talk about what happened at the committee. Well, that’s not the case. When a committee goes in camera, what is in camera and what isn’t? Because I will counter that the member spoke specifically; it wasn’t metaphorical. He said specifically it was members of the opposition and the independent members who raised hands. That wasn’t a metaphor. That was factual.


Again, we are not arguing about the content of the report. We are arguing about how the committee proceeds.

Regarding the severity of this: “Contempt is not always a breach of privilege while a breach of privilege is always contempt.” If we are in an in camera meeting, in camera we expect that we can have full, free discussions and that they not be reported to the public, but in this case they were, because how someone voted, whether the end result was unanimous or not, is a breach of privilege in an in camera meeting. It’s not metaphorical.

The results of the report—we’re not talking about the report; we’re not even talking about the issue. We just went in camera for something else. We oppose that usually, because we believe government should be open as possible, but this debate is about, once the committee decides to go in camera, what is in camera.

Regarding that this is a trivial matter and that this shouldn’t be discussed in the House, this results from remarks that were made in the House. We may not agree whether or not there was a breach of privilege; we submit that there was. That breach of privilege wasn’t made in this room, at the committee level. That breach was made, it is our contention, in the House. So to suggest that it’s too trivial to bring up in the House when it was actually made in the House—we disagree.

This is not about the content of the report. This is about how we know, going forward, what is in camera and what isn’t, because, “We went through all the recommendations.... And then we voted. All the hands went up on each recommendation”—that is a direct report of what happened at an in camera meeting. Would the government’s argument be different if it said that the government voted in favour and we voted against? If we had said that in an in camera meeting and reported that in the House, I submit that some of the opinions might be different in this committee.

So is what we’re doing all metaphorical or trivial? I submit that it isn’t. I submit that once a committee decides to go in camera, there need to be parameters around what is actually in camera, and reporting how people voted, regardless of the issue and regardless of the result of the vote, and identifying the members who voted by opposition and by independent is a breach of their privilege of anonymity at an in camera meeting.

The Chair (Ms. Goldie Ghamari): Further debate? MPP McCarthy.

Mr. Todd J. McCarthy: I think we need to go back in time. Again, I referenced initially the ruling of Speaker Stockwell in 1997. This had to do with a ministerial pamphlet concerning the amalgamation of the city of Toronto at that time, in 1997, and that ministerial pamphlet “had used definitive, unqualified language which gave the impression that passing the requisite legislation was not necessary or was a foregone conclusion.”

Let’s talk about that for a moment. When we speak of parliamentary privilege and contempt for that privilege in a general way, the 1997 precedent that did lead to a conclusion by Speaker Stockwell that there was contempt for the privileges of the provincial Parliament with the use—and this was outside of the House, but it can be considered, and it was—of “definitive, unqualified language” that the passing of the bill “was a foregone conclusion.” That was found to be contemptuous and that precedent was considered by Speaker Arnott in the fall of 2022 in regard to a charge of contempt or breach of privilege of Parliament in a similar way when there was apparently an allegation—not apparently, there was an actual allegation against the Minister of Education that he, too, had used language within the House and outside the House that created the impression that the particular education bill was a foregone conclusion.

What Speaker Arnott thoughtfully detailed was how important it is, given “the issue of government statements that presuppose the outcome of House proceedings,” to consider all of the language and to take the impugned statements in their proper context. What Speaker Arnott did very thoughtfully and carefully was to consider “the full statements made by the minister in the case at hand,” and he noted “a number of occasions on which the minister acknowledged that the bill had not yet passed through the full legislative process.” For example, the minister, in the 2022 precedent, “referenced the government’s ‘decision to introduce legislation to provide stability,’ and further, that ‘even after the government passes the law, which is the intent ahead of Friday.’ These statements,” noted Speaker Arnott, “do not seem to betray a mindset that questions the role of the Legislature in enacting a necessary law.”

He went on to state and note that, on the same day, in the chamber, the Minister of Education “also spoke about Bill 28 when it was introduced. In his brief comments after the bill received first reading”—so this is in the House—the Minister of Education “explicitly recognized the role of the Legislature, saying the bill”—and the quote is from Hansard—“‘would, if passed, keep kids learning in school without disruption’ and ‘this legislation would, if passed, ensure students remain in class with a refocus on learning.’”

I quote those passages from Hansard, which are in the ruling of Speaker Arnott, to demonstrate that, of course, words matter when considering a charge of contempt. But words in isolation from each other can be unfairly impugned and used against a member improperly. In fact, to use words out of context improperly, not in the full context, not generously, is, itself, I submit, Chair, contempt for the privileges of a particular member. That would be—

The Chair (Ms. Goldie Ghamari): I would just like to remind the members to make their comments through the Chair, not pointing directly at other members. Thank you.

Mr. Todd J. McCarthy: Thank you, Chair. My apologies. And here I am talking about respect and not being contemptuous. Thank you for reminding me. Chair, you may know I was a trial lawyer in my former life, so drama in the courtroom was part of what I did. But in the Court of Appeal we were much more professorial, so I’ll try to put my Court of Appeal hat on.

But this is what troubles me—and I know the member opposite, who is the moving member on this motion, listens as well as speaks eloquently, but he also listens. And I hope that I can persuade him. So far, it appears I have not in my initial comments, so I hope that I can persuade him. Think of what this looks and sounds like if one does not fairly look at the language used, if one only takes some aspects of the statements made by a member of the House, then what this motion calls for, Chair, is indeed ganging up on a member. Now I’m using metaphorical language, but what it amounts to, in my respectful submission to this committee, is an attack on the privileges of that member to speak freely.


As I said, what is parliamentary privilege? I’ll repeat again, because it’s important that we take this motion seriously because it raises a serious matter. Privilege for parliamentarians dates back centuries and has its birth in the English Civil War and the Restoration that followed and the constitutional monarchy that we have in the United Kingdom and here in Canada; that is, to be free to speak freely. It recognizes freedom of speech.

Freedom of speech is one of the cornerstones of individual and collective members’ parliamentary privilege, so any motion that purports to undermine freedom of speech for a member, including to engage in rhetorical flourishes and use metaphorical language and in the process, perhaps inadvertently, say something that taken in that small context might seem to be inappropriate—be careful not to undermine the privilege of that member in the process and to take it out of context. That is why there is reluctance, according to Erskine May and others, to utilize the House’s authority in policing itself and its members and governing itself.

As I said, the other aspect of parliamentary privilege for individual members and members collectively at committee and in the House is, I submit, to ensure that we are all free from intimidation, free from obstruction by external forces or elements. That means no other branch of government can interfere with it, just as we, in our standing orders, call upon all members of the House not to comment on a matter before the courts if to do so would unduly prejudice the proceeding. That’s respect in this branch of government for another branch of government, the judicial branch. Similarly, the courts cannot use their power to intimidate or obstruct parliamentary proceedings and parliamentary process. That would be a breach of privilege. The crown or the executive cannot do so. That’s the King Charles I precedent.

Entering the House—think about what that means. When we have the speech from the throne at the beginning of every session, the Lieutenant Governor, as the representative of the crown, comes into the House, sits in the Speaker’s chair with the permission of the House given to the Lieutenant Governor through the Speaker, because the Speaker has no eyes to see nor ears to hear, except as this House gives him leave. If this House gives him leave, then the Lieutenant Governor can take the chair and deliver the speech from the throne. Then, when her speech is concluded, she departs.

There is the precedent when there is a bicameral Parliament, as we have federally, that there is the knock upon the door of the House of Commons, and the Sergeant-at-Arms then leads the members of the House down the hall to the Senate, the upper house, and it is there that the monarch or the monarch’s representative, the Governor General, delivers the speech from the throne. In bicameral Parliaments, there is not even entry into the House. But because we’re a unicameral Parliament, we have only one House. Then the Lieutenant Governor, with the permission of the House through the Speaker, is invited and permitted, on consent, to speak from the throne. That’s the tradition that goes back almost 400 years, because otherwise, we have intimidation and obstruction by another branch of government. In that case, it would be the crown or the crown’s representative. Think about what that means.

When we govern ourselves, we must do it carefully and thoughtfully. We can’t try to intimidate each other in the exercise of our duties collectively in looking at the language of another. In some cases, that leads to a Speaker’s ruling, as it did in 1997 with Speaker Stockwell. He did rule that there was contempt because of “definitive, unqualified language” that a bill would most certainly pass. That was his finding. Relying upon that precedent—and it’s an important precedent—Speaker Arnott thoughtfully and carefully considered all of the language that was used by the Minister of Education, both within and outside the House, and fairly and properly concluded, I submit, that there was no contempt. There was no overall impact that would lead a fair, objective observer with the impression that the minister was somehow stating overall that this was a foregone conclusion, that the bill in question would be passed. I submit that we ought to be guided by the Speaker’s ruling in our deliberations with respect to this motion.

That’s why I started with, and I’ll go back now to, the language of the member for Whitby. I touched upon it briefly, but the member who is the mover of the motion continues to harp on it—the second paragraph from Hansard from the April 4, 2023, speech to the House from the member for Whitby: “I take myself back to the day the committee was considering the recommendations.” Even that language has a rhetorical flourish to it: “I take myself back to the day.” Well, everyone knows he was at the committee; he was Chair of the committee. Everyone knows it was for him, as the member and as the Chair of this committee, to bring the report of this committee forward to the House. He states, “I take myself back to the day the committee was considering the recommendations, 12 recommendations in that report I had the pleasure of tabling in the Legislature approximately two weeks ago.” Where is the breach of privilege in that language? None whatsoever at all. That’s in the introductory comments.

Although he states in the next paragraph, “We went through all the recommendations,” he then uses the metaphorical phrase, which, I submit, is like saying “all hands on deck”—and why does he use something like that language twice: “All the hands went up.... All hands went up”? Well, first of all, that’s pretty obvious: When all hands go up and all hands are on deck, that means this committee unanimously must have recognized, because there’s no dissenting report, that bail reform is an urgent priority and we’re calling upon the federal government to act. It’s one of those motions—and I note that although it didn’t pass unanimously, I believe publicly His Majesty’s loyal opposition did not vote against the motion. That’s my recollection of the recorded vote. And that’s because some things go above party. Some things are non-partisan. Some things require all hands on deck. So “all hands went up” is a metaphorical phrase. That, I submit, is reading it fairly. That’s not contemptuous language, and at worst, it’s an inadvertent reference to what is obvious to anyone, and that is, this must have been unanimous.

I congratulate this committee. If my inference and the inference of the Premier and the government House leader that this was unanimous, who couldn’t have known about what happened here in camera—I congratulate the committee if indeed it was unanimous, because we ought not to have partisan bickering when we’re talking about the lives of our families, the lives of law enforcement officers who are at risk. We know there’s a connection between the watered-down Bill C-75 enacted by the Liberal government, supported by the NDP federally, and yet this NDP, as the official opposition here, Chair—

The Chair (Ms. Goldie Ghamari): Let’s keep our comments to the motion in front of us, MPP McCarthy.

Mr. Todd J. McCarthy: Yes. Thank you, Chair.

We know that the NDP as the official opposition here seems to be taking a different approach to this issue than the federal NDP, and we congratulate His Majesty’s loyal opposition here for that. But it means that all hands went up, all hands are on deck—metaphorical language, I submit—quoting the member for Whitby, “allowing me, as the Chair of the committee, to bring forward that report” publicly, because, of course, it was and should have been brought forward publicly.

He says it again, midway through the next page of Hansard: “All the hands went up.” When he says, “All the hands went up. All the recommendations were adopted. ‘Take the report and report it,’ which I did—adopted absolutely unanimously,” that language is a fair statement of what is obvious from a public perspective. How can that be contemptuous? It’s not, I submit, read fairly, read generously. And to move forward and waste the time of the House by adopting the member’s motion would, in my view, be unfair to the member, would be bordering on a breach of his privilege to speak freely, metaphorically and strongly. That’s what we can and must do in a parliamentary democracy, in a House that is represented by 124 members representing all of Ontario.

That is why, going back to the Erskine May principle, it is so important to be reluctant to go forward with a serious charge of contempt, a breach of privilege. That is why I urge all members in regard to this motion to effectively vote against it and not insist upon this privilege—because it’s not a breach of privilege. It’s not contemptuous. At worst, it’s a trivial, inadvertent matter viewed in relation to language that would be unfairly isolated from the rest of the member’s speech. That is not right. That is not fair to the member, and we must exercise our powers with regard to privilege and contempt sparingly and ensure that when exercising our power to punish for contempt that the action it orders is appropriate to the offence. Passing this motion would not be appropriate to the alleged offence. There is no offence, I submit, and at worst, this motion is a nuclear option in the face of something that is trivial and inadvertent, at worst.

There is a 1987 Parry case—and I’m not sure if we’re getting near the time, Chair, when we may have to adjourn—

The Chair (Ms. Goldie Ghamari): You have about three minutes left to speak before I ask if there’s further debate.

Mr. Todd J. McCarthy: All right. I don’t want to get—we are returning at 1 o’clock, Chair?

The Chair (Ms. Goldie Ghamari): Well, I will be seeking unanimous consent from the committee to resume proceedings at 3 o’clock, not 1 o’clock.

Mr. Todd J. McCarthy: All right. That’s fine. I certainly don’t want to cut off any other debate, but I do have more to say.

The Chair (Ms. Goldie Ghamari): Okay. You have a couple of minutes if you wish to wrap up, and then—yes, MPP Vanthof? Would you like to respond?

Mr. John Vanthof: Yes.

The Chair (Ms. Goldie Ghamari): Okay. I think what we’ll do, if the committee is okay with this, is I’d like to seek unanimous consent once—I guess, MPP McCarthy, you’re finished for now. So let’s recess, and then we can resume at 3 o’clock, beginning with your response. Do I have approval from the committee to recess and resume proceedings at 3 o’clock today? Yes, MPP McCarthy.

Mr. Todd J. McCarthy: I’m happy to move that or simply—

The Chair (Ms. Goldie Ghamari): No, I’m just asking if there’s unanimous consent from the committee. Perfect. All right, then we will resume at 3 p.m. today.

The committee recessed from 1004 to 1502.

The Chair (Ms. Goldie Ghamari): Good afternoon, everyone. The Standing Committee on Justice Policy will now come to order. We were debating a motion brought forth by MPP Vanthof, and at this point I believe MPP Vanthof is up for further debate.

Mr. John Vanthof: I listened intently to the remarks made by both Mr. Jones and Mr. McCarthy. Actually, Mr. McCarthy’s points got me to thinking about a few things, so I’d like to revisit some of them.

First, Mr. McCarthy said that the comments made by the member from Whitby were metaphorical, weren’t actually—but we contend that that is not the case because reference to unanimous votes was not metaphorical; it was overtly specific and targeted opposition independents and the opposition House leader personally.

I would like to quote from his speech:

“At that time, I read out all the names of the members of the committee, including the official opposition and a representative from the independents. In fact, it was the House leader from the opposition.

“We went through all the recommendations. Members of the committee spoke to the context of each recommendation and then we voted. All the hands went up on each recommendation, including the official opposition’s and the independent’s. All hands went up on the 12 recommendations.”

That’s very specific for an in camera meeting.

Number two, it was brought up that perhaps we’re playing a game of gotcha and that it was inadvertent, that it was a slip, which we can all do. But they weren’t inadvertent. They were repeated numerous times. Four times the member from Whitby described in detail how people voted, and twice he asserted how a specific member voted. Let’s remember: This was the Chair of the committee. And I don’t think we’re having a discussion about competence. I believe he would know full well what is and is not allowed to be disclosed about meetings he shares.

Number three, Mr. McCarthy brought up that we have to look at the context. I hadn’t really thought of that before. I agree; the context is relevant, but the context makes evident that the comments were not inadvertent. He made the statements with the specific aim of undermining opposition members and impugning their debate on the motion.

Again, I will quote: “We can debate that as much as we want; we can debate housing, we can debate other aspects, but clearly the report that was issued approximately two weeks ago by the standing committee was a unanimous report. The committee all put their hands up, including the ... opposition and the independent, allowing me, as the Chair of the committee, to bring forward that report. Speaker, it did not contain the motion that was brought forward by the member from Toronto Centre. It did not.”

The way it was done in the House left the targeted members unable to defend themselves from the member from Whitby’s derogatory comments without themselves violating the privilege of the members of the committee by disclosing details of the discussion in camera. Bringing this forward to the House is the only opportunity those members have to have the record that the member from Whitby created addressed.

The government members are arguing that the member from Whitby did nothing wrong. They are saying, in the alternative, that there are mitigating factors. But their primary argument is that it was sufficiently vague as to not be problematic.

We need to seriously ask ourselves what the standard is that we are condoning for debate in the House when discussing in camera discussions at committee. Would it really be okay for someone else to go in the House and repeat the following statement from the member from Whitby in another context? For instance, while we were just in camera a little while ago: “Well, here we are this afternoon, and we’ve taken a day and a half. Where’s the unified voice? Where is it? The hands went up. On every recommendation, the hands went up. The House leader from the official opposition was there. His hand went up all the time”—would that really be okay, if that was done from another in camera meeting in the House?

Furthermore, we have processes to make sure that we’re not going too far when discussing what was said in camera. There are minutes of those meetings, and we can’t go beyond those minutes. I contend that the member from Whitby went seriously beyond.

We also have processes for when a member goes too far. The opposition attempted to escalate this concern as incrementally as possible. That’s what we’re doing. For the government member to imply that to bring forward this kind of motion is threatening to a member or violates the right to freedom of speech impugns the very process that has been created to address concerns and complaints.

We all understand very well what parliamentary privilege is, what freedom of speech is. I thought I understood what could be and couldn’t be said from an in camera meeting, because going in camera is a very serious step. A committee is deciding to forgo freedom of speech, forgo accountability, forgo transparency. It could be for very specific reasons. There are parameters around that.

What this committee needs to decide is, when those parameters are broken, do we just look the other way? We’re not talking about the individual member so much as that we should know what the parameters are. I think it’s very obvious that they have been broken. To contend that it’s too trivial to be brought forward to the House when discussions of an in camera meeting are used in debate, to say that that is too trivial—I contend that that is perhaps an attack on other members.

It will be the role of this committee to decide whether or not in camera meetings are actually in camera.


The Chair (Ms. Goldie Ghamari): Further debate? MPP McCarthy.

Mr. Todd J. McCarthy: Of course, in camera meetings are confirmed to be in camera meetings, and the duty to keep the information confidential will remain. That committee is firmly in support of this principle.

But this motion calls for this committee to recommend contempt and punishment for something that read fairly and objectively. The words of the member for Whitby in the House, read fairly and objectively, are metaphorical and state what is publicly obvious: that there was no dissenting report. Had there been one, we would have heard about it. And there’s the principle of proportionality when it comes to a committee deciding on a motion such as this. Does what occurred even—when taking it out of context, which wouldn’t be fair—rise to the level of something deserving of condemnation and punishment? I say not. That is not fair. That is not proportional. The House—and this committee, in making a recommendation to the House—should exercise its powers with regard to privilege and contempt sparingly and ensure, when exercising that power, that the action it orders is appropriate to what occurred. In my submission, the motion is not the appropriate approach to metaphorical language that effectively confirmed what was publicly known by other members who weren’t part of the in camera proceedings.

I say that the motion, if passed, would be a threat or an intimidation to the individual member for Whitby, who has served admirably for some seven years in three Parliaments thus far, who is a model member, who will continue to serve on this committee and in the House, and who should continue to serve on this committee and in this House because he’s a credit to public service.

In terms of what is public and what we know about what is public, in other instances in the past, and the inference that could be fairly drawn from what is public, I wish, Chair, to just briefly turn it over to my friend and member to my right with respect to what we know publicly about other committees, if I may.

The Chair (Ms. Goldie Ghamari): MPP Saunderson.

Mr. Brian Saunderson: I appreciate the opportunity to speak. First, I’ll start off by saying that I do adopt the submissions of my colleagues MPP McCarthy and MPP Jones, but I do appreciate the issue that has been raised by the MPP opposite, MPP Vanthof. It’s an issue that has come before this committee once before, and it is a very critical aspect of committee work. When we go in camera, we need to protect what is said in camera so that those involved in the in camera session are able to speak freely.

Picking up on Mr. Vanthof’s comments about context and the contextual aspect, if we look back at reports that had been submitted by standing committees to the House going back to 2019, there were 40 substantive reports, and 15 of those contained dissenting opinions, and actually, if we take out the public accounts committee, that number is reduced to 14 substantive reports, and there were 13 dissenting reports involved in those 14. I think where I’m headed with this is that, if you take the context of the situation, the context of the comments that were made on the floor, as has been noted by my colleague MPP McCarthy, there were three speeches by members of the House who were not part of this committee, all who noted that it was a unanimous report. They were not part of the in camera session, and they put on record the fact that this was a unanimous vote based on the fact that there was no dissenting report. So it was in the public domain before MPP Coe stood up and made his comments.

With that context and with the idea of what the underlying purpose and value of in-committee and privileged information is, which is to protect the discussions that happened so that there is free-flowing discussion, I’m going to submit that, in this instance, by the time MPP Coe stood up as the Chair of this committee to comment, it was in the public domain that it was a unanimous report, based on the fact that there was no dissenting report. We have seen that dissenting reports happen extremely frequently when there is dissent. So it is fair to surmise that it was a unanimous report based on the fact there was no dissenting report.

If we look back just within about a year in Canadian history, we can take the example of Vice-Admiral Norman, who was being called to the mat for leaking information. By the time the discovery was held and before the matter actually went to trial, it was found that there were six other independent sources of information that related to the information the vice-admiral was accused of leaking. In my submission, in that context, where it’s already in the public domain, then in this case, given the context and going to the proportionality, as mentioned by MPP McCarthy, MPP Coe’s comments were not out of line, were not revealing new information and did not in any substantive way breach the privilege that attaches to an in camera session.

In my submission, Madam Chair, this information was in the public domain. It was easily surmisable based on the history of reports and dissenting reports that are a matter of practice in this House and through standing committee procedure, and so the information that forms the subject matter of this complaint, to me, was already in the public realm, is de minimis. It didn’t release anything that wasn’t already in the public domain. It didn’t isolate any individuals or release any information about comments that were made during the in camera discussions, which really is the substance of the in camera privilege.

With that, it’s my submission that this does not rise to the level that needs to be recommended to the House for further discussion. Thank you, Madam Chair.

The Chair (Ms. Goldie Ghamari): Further debate? MPP Vanthof.

Mr. John Vanthof: Am I to infer that, going forward, for every in camera session that has a report without a dissenting report, it is to be assumed that everyone in that room voted in favour? Just because there’s not a dissenting report, that doesn’t determine whether everyone voted in favour or whether someone abstained or not. We need to be clear. Otherwise, we’re going to get a lot more dissenting reports if that’s the new norm. Thank you.

The Chair (Ms. Goldie Ghamari): MPP Saunderson.

Mr. Brian Saunderson: In response to MPP Vanthof’s comments, it is the practice of standing committees—and we’ve seen over the last four years, the term before I got here—that dissenting reports were the norm when there was a dissent. So it’s not an improper inference when there’s no dissenting report to assume that it was a unanimous decision, and that was the basis on which three members of the House made that statement during debate before MPP Coe stood up. So that information was in the public domain.

The Chair (Ms. Goldie Ghamari): Further debate?

Mr. John Vanthof: I’m not trying to belabour this fact, but I need to be clear that, going forward, the inference is, if there is not a dissenting report, that all committee reports will be unanimous, because that is not the case. You have the ability in an in camera meeting to abstain or to vote against, and that still doesn’t stop the report from going forward. It’s the choice of whoever puts a dissenting report to put it forward, but the lack of a dissenting report does not mean that you can publicly assume that the vote was unanimous. We need to know this going forward, because this is—dissenting reports are very important, but I’m questioning whether, if there is not a dissenting report, from here on in the government is just going to assume that it’s a unanimous vote. Because that’s what’s being inferred here.


Also, we need to be clear at what point in camera meeting information is no longer in camera. Because regardless of what’s publicly perceived or how it’s perceived, what happens in an in camera meeting stays as in camera information, regardless of if the public information changes or not. I’m not even arguing at this point for this issue, but going forward. And I don’t even like in camera meetings. I think everything should be in public. We’d save ourselves a lot of trouble if this was all public, and it would be much more transparent. What I’m hearing is that an in camera meeting is in camera for, perhaps, two weeks or three weeks. We need to be very clear on this. I’m not trying to belabour this point, but it is very crucial to how our system is supposed to run. Going in camera, we’re forgoing our freedom of speech, in a way. It’s very important to understand what happens when you go in camera. Now we’re saying, “Well, everybody knew what was going on, so it’s not important.” Well, I would counter that if it was something that the government didn’t like, the arguments would be very different. We need to have rules that all members can understand, and that we all function—because we all try to make the lives of the people of Ontario better. We are not here for different purposes. I fully appreciate that. I’m fully cognizant of that.

But if there isn’t a dissenting report and unanimity is assumed, I question that, and if at some point, with in camera meetings, the information can just leak out publicly and it’s no longer in camera, then I really question my own personal rights to be able to be free and open at an in camera meeting. I participate in lots of them. If, two weeks later, “Well, the opposition House leader said this, but we all knew he said this.”

Mr. Trevor Jones: It’s the same thing.

Mr. John Vanthof: No, but that’s what the member from Whitby said. He specifically said, “The opposition House leader was there, and this is what he did.” He specifically said that.

So if that’s the new rule going forward, fine, but it’s going to change how in camera meetings are perceived. We’d be better off—I would be much more comfortable if there were no in camera meetings, but I’m very uncomfortable with a three-week time limit. “Well, we all knew this, so we can just say what we want now.”

I serve, we all serve, at the will of this committee. We’ve made our case. I’m assuming we’re not going to agree, but I appreciate the opportunity to have said my piece.

The Chair (Ms. Goldie Ghamari): MPP Mamakwa.

Mr. Sol Mamakwa: Meegwetch, Chair. I’ve been listening intently this morning and this afternoon. I’m a very common-sense, practical person. If I had to choose who has got the stronger argument, it would be MPP Vanthof.

I think the arguments that you have are—you’re trying to wiggle out of that argument that you have.

There are so many times, as an MPP, being in camera, when I want to talk about stuff, but I choose not to. Does that mean I will be open to talking about the way people voted on previous finance committees?

I think it is very clear that what was said was, again, not supposed to be said in public. I was part of that committee as well; I’m part of this committee. Even though I wasn’t mentioned, I voted as well for it, and it talks about that in the House.

I just wanted to make those comments. Meegwetch.

The Chair (Ms. Goldie Ghamari): Is there further debate, or are members prepared to vote? MPP McCarthy.

Mr. Todd J. McCarthy: I’d just like to briefly comment further, Chair, if I may.

Let me say this: This motion calls for this committee to deal with a specific occasion about the use of certain language and words and references in the House. That’s all that it’s calling upon this committee to do. The committee, in exercising its collective judgment in the vote to come, can decide—and I submit that it should decide—that it be content not to insist upon its privileges being applied either generally or in this particular instance.

To use another metaphor, MPP Vanthof, in his most recent remarks, seems to be suggesting that the sky is falling or that the sky will fall if this motion is defeated. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are determining, on a point of principle, whether this committee should insist upon its privileges with respect to these metaphorical, rhetorical remarks which state simply what is on the public record, as MPP Saunderson said, by inference or otherwise—and there should be a sparing exercise of invoking privilege and to pursue punishment for contempt, as a result. That’s the principle that we apply.

We believe in the sanctity of the information arising from in camera hearings. That principle is being applied here. We also believe in open and transparent government. That principle is being applied here. We also believe in fairness and a generous, fair, objective reading of language used that is impugned by this motion—a generous, fair reading of language used by the member from Whitby, who is an honourable member and who deserves to be treated with respect and fairness with respect to this motion.

If my friend MPP Vanthof, the mover of the motion, is suggesting that the sky is going to fall, that from now on you’ll be forced to bring forward minority reports just for the sake of doing so—that’s not what this motion is about. And I would hope that would never happen, just as some rebellion for being unsuccessful in this motion, because we shouldn’t have minority reports just for the sake of having them.

Let’s go back to what this was really all about. I congratulate this committee and I congratulate the former Chair for being able to bring forward the report from this committee at a serious moment of public safety in this province, where lives have been lost—both innocent members of our community and law enforcement officials—when their deaths could have been prevented. This committee took it seriously, heard from witnesses, brought forth a report that has been adopted by the House. Hopefully, the federal Parliament will act within its jurisdiction to amend the Criminal Code, reverse the watering-down effect of Bill C-75 from five years ago. Let’s get that balance right—reasonable bail; not bail for violent offenders. That’s what this is about. Let’s not miss the forest for the trees—I’m using more metaphors.

The sky is not falling. This is a point of principle applying several principles. I intend to vote against the motion on the basis of a fair application of the principle of parliamentary privilege, the importance of in camera confidentiality, the importance of open and transparent government. And I proudly stand for those principles as I vote against this motion.

I’d ask that the question be called.

The Chair (Ms. Goldie Ghamari): Are members prepared to vote?

Mr. John Vanthof: May I ask for a recorded vote?

The Chair (Ms. Goldie Ghamari): MPP Vanthof has requested a recorded vote.


Mamakwa, Vanthof.


Bailey, Dixon, Hogarth, Trevor Jones, McCarthy, Saunderson.

The Chair (Ms. Goldie Ghamari): I declare the motion lost.

There being no further business—oh, MPP Vanthof, yes?

Mr. John Vanthof: I move that the committee meet for clause-by-clause consideration of Bill 74, An Act to amend the Missing Persons Act, 2018, on Wednesday, April 26, 2023, from 9 a.m. until 10:15 a.m. and from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m.; and

That the deadline for filing amendments to the bill be 5 p.m. on Monday, April 24, 2023.

The Chair (Ms. Goldie Ghamari): MPP Vanthof has moved a motion. Is there any debate? MPP Vanthof.

Mr. John Vanthof: As committee members are aware, this bill was taken from the House prior to second reading. The reason given—I’m paraphrasing from the government House leader—was that it was a very important bill. He committed that it would come back but that it needed more input, more consultation. We are doing everything that we can to help that, to speed up that consultation. This is our suggestion on how we could start that process, taking the government House leader at his word, trying to bring this bill forward.

As you know, this bill is very important to help to find missing persons, and it was a step—not unprecedented, but it hasn’t happened very often that the government has taken a step to take a private member’s bill and to actually forfeit the private member’s right to debate that bill—because that’s what happened. The member, their right to debate that private members’ bill was forfeited. But the government House leader said that a committee would look at this bill and that it would be brought back and improved. The way to do that is to hold consultations, so that’s why we’re putting this amendment forward.

The Chair (Ms. Goldie Ghamari): MPP Dixon.

Ms. Jess Dixon: I would request a 10-minute recess for this. I hear MPP Vanthof’s comments, and we’d just like to have a moment to consider timing and some of the other issues.

The Chair (Ms. Goldie Ghamari): The committee will recess for 10 minutes, and we will resume at 3:42.

The committee recessed from 1532 to 1547.

The Chair (Ms. Goldie Ghamari): The Standing Committee on Justice Policy is now resuming. We are debating further debate on the motion moved by MPP Vanthof. Further debate? MPP Bailey.

Mr. Robert Bailey: Yes. I move adjournment of the committee.

The Chair (Ms. Goldie Ghamari): MPP Bailey has moved adjournment of the committee—


The Chair (Ms. Goldie Ghamari): MPP Bailey, because there is a motion already on the floor, the wording of your motion that you introduced has to be worded differently, so we’re just preparing the appropriate phrasing for you.

Mr. Robert Bailey: Okay.


The Chair (Ms. Goldie Ghamari): MPP Bailey.

Mr. Robert Bailey: I move that the committee do now adjourn.

The Chair (Ms. Goldie Ghamari): MPP Bailey has moved for adjournment of the committee. Is there any debate?


The Chair (Ms. Goldie Ghamari): Oh, there’s no debate. All those in favour, please raise their hands. All those opposed? I declare the motion carried.

The committee is now adjourned until Wednesday, May 3, 2023, at 10 a.m., when we will reconvene for public hearings on Bill 91, An Act to enact two Acts, amend various Acts and revoke various regulations.

Thank you, everyone, and we’ll see you on Wednesday, May 3, at 10 a.m.

The committee adjourned at 1549.


Chair / Présidente

Ms. Goldie Ghamari (Carleton PC)

Vice-Chair / Vice-Président

Mr. Sol Mamakwa (Kiiwetinoong ND)

Mr. Robert Bailey (Sarnia–Lambton PC)

Mr. Stephen Blais (Orléans L)

Mr. Lorne Coe (Whitby PC)

Ms. Jess Dixon (Kitchener South–Hespeler / Kitchener-Sud–Hespeler PC)

Ms. Goldie Ghamari (Carleton PC)

Ms. Christine Hogarth (Etobicoke–Lakeshore PC)

Mr. Trevor Jones (Chatham-Kent–Leamington PC)

Ms. Natalia Kusendova-Bashta (Mississauga Centre / Mississauga-Centre PC)

Mr. Sol Mamakwa (Kiiwetinoong ND)

Mr. Brian Saunderson (Simcoe–Grey PC)

Mrs. Jennifer (Jennie) Stevens (St. Catharines ND)

MPP Kristyn Wong-Tam (Toronto Centre / Toronto-Centre ND)

Substitutions / Membres remplaçants

Mr. Todd J. McCarthy (Durham PC)

Mr. John Vanthof (Timiskaming–Cochrane ND)

Clerk / Greffière

Ms. Thushitha Kobikrishna

Staff / Personnel

Mr. Andrew McNaught, research officer,
Research Services